VOGONS


Half-Life Performance Issues

Topic actions

Reply 21 of 57, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Yep running at a stuttery 70FPS with the freeze and instant drop sounds just like my machine as well. It sounds to me like you have to start getting into 1.8GHz and beyond Pentium 4 systems before this game will lock in at 71FPS and not experience drops or microstuttering.

I do have a P4 1.5ghz tucked away in the closet I could potentially get to and test with the same GPU. I have a feeling that may be the baseline CPU for 'modern' performance of HL. This game was most certainly the "Crysis" of 1998.

SPBHM wrote:
this game is very heavy on the CPU side, there was a significant gain on my slot 1 PC going from a PII 400 to a p3 750, but as f […]
Show full quote

this game is very heavy on the CPU side,
there was a significant gain on my slot 1 PC going from a PII 400 to a p3 750,
but as far as I can remember it still wasn't 100%, but fairly ok.

well, I have the p3 750 on 440bx and a voodoo 4 pci, if you have any demo files from bad parts I could test it on that, I have the CD version of Half Life (game of the year I think)

it's very easy on the half life games to record demos and use for benchmarking I think.

Yep you just type in record <filename> in the console and it gets saved in your half-life folder. playdemo <filename> to play it back.

I also have a GOTY edition, it's 1.1.0.8. I'll try to grab a demo of the second chapter, which is where performance began to take hits on my system (ignoring the rift / meltdown sequence on chapter 1)

Last edited by BeginnerGuy on 2018-12-03, 22:02. Edited 1 time in total.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 23 of 57, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Garrett W wrote:
BeginnerGuy wrote:

This game was most certainly the "Crysis" of 1998.

Unreal would like to have a word with you.

oh hell yeah, gotta bench that one too. I have a feeling that one may be a bit more demanding on the GPU end of the spectrum though, Half-life seems to clobber the CPU.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 24 of 57, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Filename
game.zip
File size
699.48 KiB
Downloads
25 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

-- Demo recorded from Game version 1.1.0.8, zip contains one file "game.dem". This file goes in c:\sierra\half-life\valve\

I've uploaded a demo from one of the scenes I find to be quite demanding for the early game. When I replay the demo (playdemo game) with the fps showing (cl_showfps 1), the lowest drop I saw was to 38FPS. This is on an SE440BX-2 (100mhz fsb), Coppermine P3 800, 512MB SDRAM, GeForce 3 Ti. Demo playback seems a bit smoother than when I actually played, but that could just be because I'm watching instead of handling it.

It's not the greatest way to benchmark, but maybe you guys can get this demo going too and see for yourselves.

I have however checked and verified this will not play on the latest steam version of half-life.

I'm willing to patch my version if anybody else cares enough for a demo, but I do believe that for earlier versions there did exist some time demo style benchmarks.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 25 of 57, by cxm717

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
BeginnerGuy wrote:
Garrett W wrote:
BeginnerGuy wrote:

This game was most certainly the "Crysis" of 1998.

Unreal would like to have a word with you.

oh hell yeah, gotta bench that one too. I have a feeling that one may be a bit more demanding on the GPU end of the spectrum though, Half-life seems to clobber the CPU.

From my testing (my 1998 video card comparison) Half life really isn't very demanding on the GPU at all. The game runs fine even on cards like the i740 as long as you have a fast enough CPU. Unreal is much more playable on period correct hardware than half life. With a P2 450 and a voodoo2 you can get close to 60fps at 640x480 while half life will only be around 39fps on the same hardware. That was with high quality audio in unreal and high quality audio and EAX were disabled in half life.

Edit: Btw, I did my testing with 3fingers blowout timedemo. Which only works with half life 1.0.0.5 and 1.0.0.6

Reply 26 of 57, by cxm717

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Btw, on the TNT and TNT2 cards (depending on which driver version you are using) you can use rivatuner to enable gl_sgis_multitexture in 16bit for a performance increase. I'm not 100% sure if Half life uses gl_sgis_multitexture as some games from this time used gl_arb_multitexture (unreal and heretic2 use arb_multitexture). When I did test with enable vs disabled I did get a performance boost, mainly at higher resolutions but every little bit helps.

Edit: Added rivatuner 2.24c as an attachment

Attachments

  • Filename
    rivatuner-2.24c.exe
    File size
    2.71 MiB
    Downloads
    16 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 27 of 57, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
cxm717 wrote:

From my testing (my 1998 video card comparison) Half life really isn't very demanding on the GPU at all. The game runs fine even on cards like the i740 as long as you have a fast enough CPU. Unreal is much more playable on period correct hardware than half life. With a P2 450 and a voodoo2 you can get close to 60fps at 640x480 while half life will only be around 39fps on the same hardware. That was with high quality audio in unreal and high quality audio and EAX were disabled in half life.

Edit: Btw, I did my testing with 3fingers blowout timedemo. Which only works with half life 1.0.0.5 and 1.0.0.6

Ahh yes blowout, I remember that. I only have a copy of half-life goty which came with a much later patch though. I think I purchased this around late 2001 or early 02.

Speaking of Unreal. I just installed my copy of unreal gold but it runs horribly bad, this version only supports glide and directx (I'm using a geforce 3 ti). I'm only getting around 15FPS in the menu and 15-25 once the game starts with a coppermine 800mhz. Should I be rolling back/ahead to another nvidia driver or do I need an earlier version of unreal with OpenGL support. Too many years have gone by since I've played this on period hardware.

Half-life likewise runs hilariously bad in DX mode compared to OGL.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 28 of 57, by cxm717

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I would update Unreal to 2.26f, the early versions did not run well on non 3dfx cards. I haven't run Unreal on a Geforce4 in a while but I know this version works fine with my TNT1/2 and Geforce 1/2.

I actually own a few different copies of half life and they are different versions, I think the latest one comes with steam even. I used to have more than 1 copy so I could have some lan games (sven coop is a great mod for that)

Reply 29 of 57, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Many of Half-Life's stutters come from the "sentence" sounds getting cached in during gameplay as they're not precached. There's also some pretty unoptimal monster models (Bullsquid mostly being the worst offender)

apsosig.png

Reply 30 of 57, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
cxm717 wrote:

I would update Unreal to 2.26f, the early versions did not run well on non 3dfx cards. I haven't run Unreal on a Geforce4 in a while but I know this version works fine with my TNT1/2 and Geforce 1/2.

I actually own a few different copies of half life and they are different versions, I think the latest one comes with steam even. I used to have more than 1 copy so I could have some lan games (sven coop is a great mod for that)

I don't want to push too far into unreal since this thread is about half-life, just reporting mine is version 2.26 (can't tell what letter, it just says 226 in the corner), but dropping it from 32bit color down to 16 shot the frame rate in the intro video from 15 up to 60-80 and same with gameplay.

leileilol wrote:

Many of Half-Life's stutters come from the "sentence" sounds getting cached in during gameplay as they're not precached. There's also some pretty unoptimal monster models (Bullsquid mostly being the worst offender)

I've noticed both actually, when somebody speaks it can stutter and the voice echoes, the game also drops from 71 fps right down to the 30s when a bullsquid or houndeye are rendered.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 31 of 57, by clueless1

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I played and completed Half-Life back in Feb-Mar of this year on a P3-933/GF3 Ti200. Had EAX enabled on my Audigy. I remember it playing quite well. Probably in the 40-60 fps range for most parts.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 32 of 57, by SPBHM

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
BeginnerGuy wrote:
-- Demo recorded from Game version 1.1.0.8, zip contains one file "game.dem". This file goes in c:\sierra\half-life\valve\ […]
Show full quote
game.zip

-- Demo recorded from Game version 1.1.0.8, zip contains one file "game.dem". This file goes in c:\sierra\half-life\valve\

I've uploaded a demo from one of the scenes I find to be quite demanding for the early game. When I replay the demo (playdemo game) with the fps showing (cl_showfps 1), the lowest drop I saw was to 38FPS. This is on an SE440BX-2 (100mhz fsb), Coppermine P3 800, 512MB SDRAM, GeForce 3 Ti. Demo playback seems a bit smoother than when I actually played, but that could just be because I'm watching instead of handling it.

It's not the greatest way to benchmark, but maybe you guys can get this demo going too and see for yourselves.

I have however checked and verified this will not play on the latest steam version of half-life.

I'm willing to patch my version if anybody else cares enough for a demo, but I do believe that for earlier versions there did exist some time demo style benchmarks.

the demo worked nicely I've done a clean install from the CD and it's version 1.1.0.8
the PC is a P3 750 (slot 1, FSB 100), Asus P2B, 256MB PC100, Voodoo 4 4500 PCI, the windows 98se install is pretty old/messy but it seems to be performing OK, not sure what driver version it is, I think it's the last official (not beta)

default OpenlGL 800x600
timedemo: 77.676s 55.500fps

playdemo: drops very often bellow 60fps, lowest I've seen was 31/32 but seems OK most of the time, playable.

3dfx mini gl 800x600

timedemo: 69.132s 62.359 fps

playdemo: lowest 35 (in a different spot, the spot the default driver hits 32 is more like 37 now) it's noticeably faster, staying above 60FPS more often

Reply 33 of 57, by athlon-power

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

So, odd thing. I decided to change out heatsinks between my Katmai and my Coppermine, seeing as the Katmai was really the one that needed active cooling. Once I did that, I got to Blast Pit, and it's running somewhat better than it did on the Coppermine, even though the Coppermine runs at 600MHz, the Katmai at 500MHz, and the Katmai's cache only running at 250MHz, whereas the Coppermine's cache runs full speed. I'm not sure, but maybe I'm just getting used to old HL being old HL. It stutters sometimes while loading things, and the FPS can drop in fights and things such as that, but it's fully playable.

Also, wow this blew up. I didn't realize how many replies had been sent since I last replied to this thread. I'll have to go over what's happened, I take breaks from my older PCs sometimes and then return to them later on, usually with some weird solution (in this case, a 500MHz CPU doing better than a 600MHz CPU).

I put the active cooler on the 500MHz and stuck it back into my rig because I wanted to keep the time-accuracy, and Half-Life honestly didn't mind, which surprised me.

Reply 34 of 57, by buckeye

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Sorry to hijacking. So are we looking at a 1.4ghz. Tuatalin cpu - 2.4ghz. P4 range as optimal for this game? Would it have speed related problems going up to a Duo Core 2 running XP?

Foxconn Q45M E8400 Core2 Duo 3GB DDR2 800 BFG Geforce 7950GT 512MB X-Fi Xtreme Music 500W XP SP3
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
Intel DH61CR i3 LGA-1155 8GB DDR3 EVGA 1050ti 4GB 480GB SSD 650W

Reply 35 of 57, by matze79

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

a PIII 600Mhz should run Half-Life 1 fine.. even at 1280x1024 with the right Video Card.

If you use a TNT2 M64 keep in mind that modern drivers are optimized for GeForce and therefore are much slower on TNT2 M64..

i played Half-Life 1 on a K6-2 500 ~2000... with 3Dfx Banshee and it worked well at 1024x768

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 36 of 57, by feipoa

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
BeginnerGuy wrote:
-- Demo recorded from Game version 1.1.0.8, zip contains one file "game.dem". This file goes in c:\sierra\half-life\valve\ […]
Show full quote
game.zip

-- Demo recorded from Game version 1.1.0.8, zip contains one file "game.dem". This file goes in c:\sierra\half-life\valve\

I've uploaded a demo from one of the scenes I find to be quite demanding for the early game. When I replay the demo (playdemo game) with the fps showing (cl_showfps 1), the lowest drop I saw was to 38FPS. This is on an SE440BX-2 (100mhz fsb), Coppermine P3 800, 512MB SDRAM, GeForce 3 Ti. Demo playback seems a bit smoother than when I actually played, but that could just be because I'm watching instead of handling it.

It's not the greatest way to benchmark, but maybe you guys can get this demo going too and see for yourselves.

I have however checked and verified this will not play on the latest steam version of half-life.

I'm willing to patch my version if anybody else cares enough for a demo, but I do believe that for earlier versions there did exist some time demo style benchmarks.

Is there a timedemo similar to the 3finger's blowout which works on 1.0.0.9 or the patched 1.1.0.8 version of the game?

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 38 of 57, by Skalabala

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Guys 😁 Apology for the resurrection...
Iam a sad panda at the moment.
All these years working on my K6, optimizing it to be able to game on it one day at fair frame rates just dont look realistic anymore 🙁

The one game that Iam most excited about to play is Half Life 1.
But it drops as low as 17fps!!
When there is no action its almost always pegged to 99fps. Super fast and smooth!

So do you need Core i9 for this game or what?

I did see an awesome youtube video by our best friend Phill. But he did not have it set at cl_showfps 1

My system at the moment is.

AMD K6-3+ 600Mhz
Voodoo 3 2000 PCI
Jetway 542C
512Mb Ram
20Gb 7200Rpm HDD
Diamond aureal vortex 2 (A3D Enabled) No noticeable performance changes if A3D disabled. High quality sound not enabled.
Win98SE
Direct X 7.0A (I am thinking of using 6.0)
3DFX WHQL drivers from 2000 November 1.07.00
MiniGL 1.47
Half life GOTY think its 1.0.0.8
WPCREDIT tweaks etc done.

How is the FPS supposed to look like with a fast K6?
FPS are the same with 800x600 and 1024x768
And where can I find these Benchmarks 😁

Thanks for reading 😀

Reply 39 of 57, by Garrett W

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

There ain't much that can be done. Half-Life is just that slow once you get into firefights. Perhaps there's some console command that disables something that takes up CPU cycles. I had a go with the game on a PII 350 recently, played through Uplink once again and yeah performance is shit with a Voodoo2 at 640x480. I did play through Uplink and had fun, but that's just because Half-Life kicks ass 😀.

I find it very odd however that A3D does not impact performance, are you sure of that? A3D is quite CPU expensive. Oh and the benchmarks will not run on the GOTY version AFAIK, compatibility with old timedemos was broken at some point. The only way I've managed to run them is using an older copy, but I'm not sure how much performance was improved with later patches.