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Thread: What is with all this frame buffering!!!

  1. #1
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    Default What is with all this frame buffering!!!

    Decided to make a thread on this finally.
    After thinking I had this issue resolved, it's suddenly back.

    It appears to happen mostly in rF2.
    Everything will be running smoothly, then the little micro stutters start. Observing the data, framerate stays at 60, yet I clearly see a lack of fluidity.
    I have been observing this for some time, ever since changing video cards (moved to 1050ti)....I thought I had it under control after working some stuff in Inspector. "ASR" smoothing behavior and whatnot fixed it for a time, but it came back.

    Now, here's the strange part. (I could swear this stuff is linked to power issues, and I'll try to explain why)
    Strange part is that when the GPU is being taxed, there are no issues. It's when the card is not being taxed that the issues arises, then goes away, then comes back if the card is not being taxed again.
    For instance, currently doing some practice for Oulton Park in the LMP3. It's a stuttery mess (yet still telling me I'm pushing 60 frames without deviation) in certain parts of the course. I am alone on track.

    I hop straight over to Sebring, set it to the most taxing things I can imagine....crank all graphics settings, etc etc.
    Put 15 or so AI on the track with me...and it's golden. Not a stutter to be found, fluid as can be.

    I look at graph data after the fact, and my GPU is being taxed in the way it should. The frame buffering percentages are really low, and basically stable in terms of the graph.

    I go back to Oulton. Alone.
    Now I've got the stutters again, and my card is jumping from being taxed to not so much.
    I observe the clocks, and it appears to me that the stutters come when the clocks start to go back up.

    It's like the PCI-e lane tries to go into some idle state because it's not being used...?...

    I'm not CPU bottlenecking, as the AI test at Sebring with everything one can throw at the CPU in this sim proves.

    Every single time the stutters happen, I see the frame buffering percentage shoot to 35%-40% ish. As soon as it's not buffering to that degree, all is well, until the next time it does the same.

    I've tried a million different things to resolve it, and I'm pretty much at a lose now.

    I was having the good ole HDD bottleneck issue as well. And after a mention about another having that same issue, it's what led to this thread and these assumptions.

    Seems Win 10 does not like being on HDD. Some say moving OS to SSD solves that particular issue.
    The work around I found involves changing some power settings. High performance mode seems to stop (or rather, stifle) the issue. I've not had issues with it in a few days.

    But it got me wondering...and seeing some talk at Nvidia forums and elsewhere, I am starting to wonder if, when the card is not being taxed, the PCI-e lane is trying to "go idle" then has to "wake up" to provide the extra juice.
    Today, I am going to try to force it awake and play with some advanced power options because I see some regarding the PCI-e lane.

    But I'm not sure, and I lack the full understanding to solve the issue if this does not work.

    Anyone here ever had these buffering issues? And if so, is there a solution?
    Is this an rF2 lack of optimization thing, or is it something else?

    I run v sync on. Capped framerate. Triple buffering.
    Someone mentioned that triple buffering may be the cause? But, not sure and haven't tested it because it's cumbersome to test in rF2 having to open launcher, wait for steam sync, open everything, load...change settings, clear caches, then do it all over again (useless in rF2 to change any graphics settings without deleting cbash and shaders..btw...all kinds of weird stuff can happen if one changes these settings and disregards those steps)

    So pretty much just wondering if any of you have experienced such an issue. And what possible remedies there may be.
    I feel like the machine is fully up to task, and given performance at the heaviest things I can chuck at it, it proves my point.

    It's when it's NOT being worked out that the problems arise, which is frikkin' weird to me.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
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    You're saying that the clock switching (idle mode, etc.) is what appears to be causing the stutters?

    I wonder if there's a way to force the idle mode off when running an application....never really thought about that to be honest. Or better yet, force the clock speeds to full blast when you start an application....hmmmm. I'm intrigued!

    EDIT: I had a thought right after posting this, and supposedly going into the nVidia Control Panel and setting the "Power Management Mode" to "Maximum Performance" forces full clock speeds when applications run. I have this set myself, and can't say that I'm getting stutters but, then I have my graphics settings at levels for VR 90FPS, well, hopefully 90FPS.

    You have really hit on something though....there have been times when I finished racing, shut down all applications, and the video card was still at full throttle. Had to reboot to get the idle mode to kick back in. I have an EVGA card and use PrecisionX to set a custom fan curve for temps, so I know when it's cranked up!
    Last edited by TimCollier; 11-15-2018 at 12:23 PM.
    Tim Collier


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  3. #3
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    Found this video with several setting changes...but I think the aim of the video is that you will use full power when in Windows Desktop mode. I don't agree with this, as I run all my applications in Full Screen mode, but it appears that some with Windowed mode, or alt-tabbing have the card downclock.

    Last edited by TimCollier; 11-15-2018 at 12:30 PM.
    Tim Collier


    It's not how fast you can go, but how long you can go fast!




    | CPU: i7-9700k @ 3.6Ghz (4.9GHz Turbo) | GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC Gaming 8GB | MOBO: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 6 | RAM: G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3000 | SSD: Samsung 970EVO 512GB
    | PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G2 1000W | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Wheel: Fanatec CSL Base/Formula Wheel | Pedals: Fanatec V3 Clubsport | Monitor: DELL S2716DG 27" G-Sync Monitor @2560x1440 144Hz | Oculus Rift S

  4. #4

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    Never let up for a second....or that may be where you finish!

  5. #5
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    You're saying that the clock switching (idle mode, etc.) is what appears to be causing the stutters?
    I could almost swear it.

    Interesting about the alt tabbing. Haven't viewed the video just yet, but will. Just the mention of alt tabbing causing a downclock caught my eye because I've noted this on some tracks (seems to be the ones less resource heavy)....

    For example, Rouen the other night with NARS.
    Initially load up everything up and I go onto track observing the purple and green graph you get from ctrl + c.
    Drive around a bit, everything is as smooth as butter, GPU being utilized nicely. Green bar sitting at about 75-85%.

    I alt tab out...come back in, go on track, and the card is barely being utilized. It's down like 40% or so and refuses to work harder.
    I run all my apps fullscreen too. But I could swear sometimes that rF2 is running in some kind of fake fullscreen something 'nother.
    Sometimes (usually after alt tabbing) I can activate telemetry stuff, and I'll get that "ding" sound you get from windows outside of a game, like rather than working in game, it's trying to do something in windows (if that makes sense)

    Running a Gigabyte 1050ti. So, using the xtreme gaming software that came with it. There are a few default overclocks there for the card. I've been using gaming mode, but think after adjusting power settings, I'm going to try to manually set it. I see option for min clocks, so maybe if I up those and force them to run higher it will stop
    And, after alt tabbing, (not often but has happened) I've had someone post text or a link or whatever in TS...and suddenly their name and the message or whatever, is on screen...like it takes rF2 from fullscreen to a windowed mode or something. Very strange. Hasn't happened in a while, and I never really did track down what that was.

    I've even moved away from that at times, testing with MSI afterburner because the graphs are more detailed and it logs all that while I'm in game. I cannot find such an option in the xtreme gaming software...not to log it. Only time I can monitor there is real time, which is absolutely useless for seeing what was happening 5 minutes ago when the problem was there.

    Tried disabling both, running no such software, as I've heard some have issues with this or that OC software (MSI, but I've never had issue with it so must be in that lucky few on that one)

    Idk...going to try some things today, eliminate possibilities or possibly find a fix.
    Nothing more annoying in sim racing that an image that is not completely fluid. I cannot stand stutters, even minute ones. Grinds my gears...lol

    I'm locked at 60fps (well, 60.7 to be exact)...v sync...60hz monitor and no real reason to push the card (plus I cannot stand screen tearing, would rather deal with a bit of latency honestly)

    Anytime the frame buffering percentage is beyond 30% or so, that's when the stutters arrive. Only time it buffers like that is when the card is not being utilized. When it's taxed, all is well.
    One would think the opposite would happen...stop taxing the machine and it's better.
    I used to think it was CPU bottleneck, just couldn't necessarily see it...but that is surely not the case when I crank out 15 or so AI (which is about the limit at Sebring without a bit of fps issue...in which case I do CPU bottleneck because of the AI) and it runs smooth as butter.

    Half these issues seem backwards...that's what is confusing for me.
    I'd rather it be a hardware issue (not up to par or something) but given my config of single screen @60hz, etc etc.....there is absolutely no reason this shouldn't run smoothly.

    ...possibly a combination of issues...but first, I am going to see if I can't force this card to stay at high clocks and not fall into that stock clock phase which seems to be some kind of "sleep" state or something, for lack of better terminology.

    Guess if that doesn't work, I'll start monkeying around with GPU drivers. New ones seem to have some issues...I see a few with far superior machines, having similar/same issues at the Nvidia forums.
    And the MS forums...but different stuff, like that HDD bottleneck that happens for seemingly no reasons.

    Some days I get motivated to work on it when I have time.
    But then I wonder how much it's going to actually help because of seeing issues that those others with superior gear have...I start thinking it's not on my end. But, that's another story all together.

    So off to try some fixes...

    Thanks for the feedback, Tim. Was hoping you'd jump in here

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Fryman View Post
    Had not put eyes on that particular read, Don.
    Thanks very much!

    ETA: So, I don't have the option for "unhide additional plans"...but, if I create a plan I can go into advanced options and play around with all kinds of things.
    Did note that even though I was in high performance, the HDD was still able to go into a "sleep" state, so disabled that. Disabled hybrid sleep and other things.
    Maxed out everything I could, turned off anything being able to sleep/idle.

    So appears basically this ultimate performance plan is basically that. Reading some comments there, that assumption seems correct.
    Maybe it'll help resolve the HDD bottleneck, but high performance plan seemed to reduce it, so maybe this is icing on the cake there

    On balanced plan, the processor mins are at like 5%, and maxs at 100%, of course.
    Switch to high performance and both are at 100%, so no sleepy for CPU...which I've never seen happen when I needed it, but hell, can't hurt anything but a bit of electricity usage or whatever, which really doesn't concern me at all.

    .....now, off to the GPU settings, see if I can't force this puppy to put out some POWER!
    I know it's in there...just got to drag it's dead ass awake... lol
    Last edited by Jason Whited; 11-15-2018 at 01:11 PM.

  7. #7
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    Well, that was a bit like work.
    Pretty sure I'd have rather worked hot tar in the summer heat than this stuff, and the time it consumed yesterday.

    Seem to have solved a few issues by creating a high performance power plan...or maybe I didn't and there was no issue to begin with...?...
    "FB usage" was never an issue because FB usage is VRAM usage. Up's and downs are normal and are not the cause of micro stuttering.
    The card was not "downclocking", I was conflating two graphs and it was me that was wrong. Further observance saw 1837mhz across the graph without deviation. Though, the gigabyte xtreme software does seem to pose a bit of issue. It's been a little glitchy, and I've never had problems with afterburner, so going to move there for OC at this time.

    The HDD bottleneck issue could have been the reason I started making A = B....and it seems cranking power to it, forcing it "awake" at all times, stops that from happening (for now, but I won't hold my breath, this one isn't just a problem for me, but a problem for many currently. I'll solve that one the only tried and true way I've seen definitively work for others soon, I'll move OS to SSD as soon as I get one ordered up and here.
    It's not a common issue, unless I leave replays on in rF2 with a bunch of cars there. The other cases seem to be other stuff read/writing...blah blah....bottom line, Win 10 on HDD is just not optimal and I seriously doubt they are too concerned about "fixing it".

    The issue at Oulton Park....it's the track! I am absolutely certain at this point.
    Probably could have done a search BEFORE I spent an entire day monkeying around this machine, but hey....learned a few things along the way, so...
    Turn off shadows and "special effects" (which I'm not even certain does anything at all)....and all is well. Very little to no stuttering. The shadows seem to be the problem and a little searching showed I am not the only one that has issues with it. With v sync it's a bit harder to tell in a case like that, especially if able to keep 60fps. You can't see the big dips at certain places to assess why they are occurring. All you feel is the little stutter. With shadows at high, it's like the card is waiting on something.

    And, that explains why something like a much heavier resource combination isn't an issue (Sebring with some AI in low light conditions)
    Seems the newer, dev made content, is far more optimized in many cases. This is what makes rF2 so hard to do anything with, sometimes hard to tell if it's the sim, or the machine. Maybe a little easier if one actually understands the stuff one is looking at, but nevermind that

    Kind of a shame, guess I'll live with it, but it's a bit annoying to have to crank something like shadows completely off because of some optimization issue(s).
    Far more annoying thinking it was on my end, when there was simply no logical reasons for it, thinking something was wrong.
    One other thing I learned....don't ever start digging around in the event logs if you are out of your element. You will quickly become a hypochondriac, or at least, that's what happened to me yesterday evening after sorting the stuttering...
    "Oh, since we're here, let's tidy this entire machine up".......*enters event log........"OMG, my PC is dying of something!!!!!!"
    Spends next 4 hours reading, researching, trying to figure out a few error codes, wondering what all this info is, only to realize it was nothing to worry about and everything is healthy and happy (except my eyes, which were now being pulled to the front of my face, out of their sockets, from the vast amount of read this that and the other that I did in pursuit of ghosts )

    Good lord, how did I ever get into this as a "hobby"?
    And they said it would be fun

  8. Default

    Also try disabling "Aggressive Threading" if it is on. rFactor 2 Launcher > Settings (orange gear) > Video Settings

    If that doesn't work, throw a handful of rice in the air, spin around 3 times in your chair to the left, and blink your eyes once. That has been know to correct rFactor2 technical issues.

    /snort

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Atkinson View Post
    Also try disabling "Aggressive Threading" if it is on. rFactor 2 Launcher > Settings (orange gear) > Video Settings

    If that doesn't work, throw a handful of rice in the air, spin around 3 times in your chair to the left, and blink your eyes once. That has been know to correct rFactor2 technical issues.

    /snort
    Seems to work sometimes (the black magic)

    No aggressive threading for me. Definitely not a CPU issue. In terms of CPU usage in rF2, never an issue (unless I exceed what I know to be basically it's limitations, and in rF2 it's mainly AI....bout 15 of em to be exact. lol) ...probably the one thing I monitor over all others like some paranoid headcase.

    It's not rF2 in general though. Like I said, Sebring in resource hungry conditions I described, is wonderful.
    Came from Nords (checking out Apex mod changes) just now, using the conditions to be used for the special event here. (With shadows back on high, from off at Oulton)...and everything is beautiful. (Btw, this particular lighting...7:30-8:30 am, is as beautiful as I've seen this track. Perfect!)

    Not a hiccup. Interestingly, observing afterburner, VRAM usage stays quite steady in comparison to Oulton. Even without shadows off at the track, Oulton eats more VRAM, and in a more up and down unstable sort of fashion as well.
    Even the GT3 from S397 don't eat as much, while at Nords in the same conditions as above

    Conclusion. Oulton is not optimized, and it's something to do with the shadows, but not entirely (because it still chomps down more VRAM with shadows completely off than the Nords)
    Heck, it uses more VRAM than myself and 15 AI at Sebring with mostly maxed settings and PP at medium lol

    Anyways, turning off the shadows works. Not even sure why. The graphs don't appear much differently. GPU usage in general, and FB usage (and everything else) basically looks the same. So, not even sure why it works, but it does.
    Just glad to have sorted a work around (though I miss the shadows ) ......but, freebie track and all, can't complain.
    Learned a few more things along the way, so that's a plus, guess it balances out in the end.

  10. Default

    Shadows... one more WAG.

    You tossed all the shaders cache before running Oulton Park?

    Maybe Nords or something else is having a squabble in that ....\steamapps\common\rFactor 2\UserData\Log\Shaders folder ?

    (tosses rice, etc...)

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