VOGONS


Half-Life Performance Issues

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Reply 40 of 61, by swaaye

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Yeah you have to realize that a K6 was never a good choice for 3D games. Even if you had a top of the line Pentium 3 machine in 1999 you weren't getting solid 60 fps out of Half Life. You have to rethink how you approach those 1998-2000 games if you want such fluidity because the contemporaneous hardware was not fast enough for many of them.

A3D 2.0 has significant overhead too. I toyed around with Vortex 2 and Athlon 1000 with Half Life a couple of years ago and that would get dragged down in various places. The CPU has to process some parts of A3D 2.0.

Reply 41 of 61, by Oetker

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I remember playing this on my P166 with a Voodoo 2 and I don't remember performance being especially bad (Unreal as unplayable) however at the time I was probably used to bad performance and I always used cheats so at least the slow fire fights weren't annoying.

Reply 42 of 61, by Skalabala

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Ok I will test with the sound card removed. I saved the game at a place where the fps is lowest so that I can tweak and test to see what happens.
Its where you first get to the Houndyes. The part where the Vortigaunt is behind a door and he breaks it open.
After that action looking at the bust open door. +- around that area frames drop for me to 17fps! Overclock 550 to 600 gets me to 18fps
Overclocked Voodoo to 166Mhz did not help anything.

Yeah maybe there is some console command to turn something off like in Quake 1/2 😁

I love this game so much. If I can get the fps to lets say 22-25 at min then I will be happy as I play with the cap at 35fps

Wonder if AGP cards will do any better, will try my GF3 Ti

I tried a random Mikepedo voodoo driver and it is a mess and its slower 🤣.

Was there not a member in this thread that made a timedemo for to work on GOTY?

Reply 43 of 61, by kjliew

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This game is more than 20 years old. Thanks to its future-proof OpenGL support, it can still be played on any modern system and you really don't need a very expensive system to play it nowadays. A used/renewed laptop ($99~$149) with Intel HD Graphics for the last 7 years can easily handle it at 60FPS. If you have the knowledge and skills to re-purpose used chrombooks (Acer C720, C740) for Linux, then it becomes even cheaper. I played it on QEMU with Core i3-4010U at 1024x768 32bpp with an almost all-time locked at 60FPS.

Reply 44 of 61, by Garrett W

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Skalabala wrote on 2020-06-03, 22:28:

Wonder if AGP cards will do any better, will try my GF3 Ti

This will not help. The game is not GPU bound, unless you're trying to play it at super high resolutions on that Voodoo3. I suspect that even at 1024x768, the V3 should be able to maintain 60fps with the game. Your issue is the CPU, the K6 is just slow, even at 600MHz it's not faster than a PII 400 for games, probably closer to PII 350.
Those 3Dfx cards are the sweet spot for these CPUs, because their drivers have very low overhead on the CPU, not to mention they barely used the AGP bus so are compatible with these weird chipsets. Sticking a GF3 in there will not help in the slightest and in fact will lower your performance because of the driver overhead.

Out of curiosity, is that board based on Aladdin V? How is performance on other titles, have you compared with other systems on Vogons? The Aladdin V may need some tweaking with a the AGP utility, otherwise it can produce lower performance than expected, although you seem right on the money with HL.

Reply 46 of 61, by SPBHM

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kjliew wrote on 2020-06-03, 22:52:

This game is more than 20 years old. Thanks to its future-proof OpenGL support, it can still be played on any modern system and you really don't need a very expensive system to play it nowadays. A used/renewed laptop ($99~$149) with Intel HD Graphics for the last 7 years can easily handle it at 60FPS. If you have the knowledge and skills to re-purpose used chrombooks (Acer C720, C740) for Linux, then it becomes even cheaper. I played it on QEMU with Core i3-4010U at 1024x768 32bpp with an almost all-time locked at 60FPS.

the D3D renderer still works,
at least when I last tried in on windows 10 with a GCN radeon I copied the files from my P3 and it loaded fine, in windowed mode at least I tested D3D, OGL and Software modes, it all worked
D3D was also pretty fast, but OGL was faster, I was kind of impressed that such an old version of D3D just worked.

Skalabala wrote on 2020-06-03, 22:28:
Ok I will test with the sound card removed. I saved the game at a place where the fps is lowest so that I can tweak and test to […]
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Ok I will test with the sound card removed. I saved the game at a place where the fps is lowest so that I can tweak and test to see what happens.
Its where you first get to the Houndyes. The part where the Vortigaunt is behind a door and he breaks it open.
After that action looking at the bust open door. +- around that area frames drop for me to 17fps! Overclock 550 to 600 gets me to 18fps
Overclocked Voodoo to 166Mhz did not help anything.

Yeah maybe there is some console command to turn something off like in Quake 1/2 😁

I love this game so much. If I can get the fps to lets say 22-25 at min then I will be happy as I play with the cap at 35fps

Wonder if AGP cards will do any better, will try my GF3 Ti

I tried a random Mikepedo voodoo driver and it is a mess and its slower 🤣.

Was there not a member in this thread that made a timedemo for to work on GOTY?

the demo posted on the previous page by BeginnerGuy I think uses the version of the game the GOTY uses, it's a little touchy with resolution I think, I remember it working fine at 800x600 and failing at another in any case he reported his performance with his system and I did the same with mine in a post using his demo,

if you can upload the save of the spot you mention I could run it in the p3 750+v4 4500
I've actually replayed most of the game a few months ago on that system at 1280x960 and it was mostly enjoyable, but not "stable 60" by any means.

Reply 47 of 61, by foil_fresh

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i had to turn off a3d and also set sound quality to low on a p3 667 / voodoo 3000 system not too long ago to get some stable framerates at 800x600. a3d ate about 20-30% of the cpu's performance and the higher quality takes abother 5-10%.

a pentium 3 450 would still dip to 15fps in some areas.

ended up playing it on an athlon 2200+ / radeon 9600 with a3d on and audio quality on high on 1280x1024. very smooth.

Reply 48 of 61, by kjliew

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SPBHM wrote on 2020-06-04, 03:59:

the D3D renderer still works,
at least when I last tried in on windows 10 with a GCN radeon I copied the files from my P3 and it loaded fine, in windowed mode at least I tested D3D, OGL and Software modes, it all worked
D3D was also pretty fast, but OGL was faster, I was kind of impressed that such an old version of D3D just worked.

I thought Half-Life 1 with D3D render had very poor performance. It wasn't playable back then with K6-2 400MHz and Matrox G400. When the G400 eventually got its long delayed OpenGL ICD/TurboGL, it was at least playable on the same system.

Reply 50 of 61, by Skalabala

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Hello 😀

So removing the sound card barely did anything to the performance. Maybe 0.5fps haha
I have attached my save file 😀
The position it loads in I get 22Fps, basically the lowest I can get standing in that spot.

My further tests will be:
Geforce 3
DirectX 6.0
MVP3G-M motherboard, Also see what impact overclocked buss speed will have.

I did find a list of console commands and tried all of them. Some are actually performance related but nothing substantial for the save file attached.
Some console commands might actually give a noticeable performance gain in the appropriate circumstances.

Attachments

  • Filename
    SAVE.rar
    File size
    747.02 KiB
    Downloads
    12 downloads
    File comment
    Save file with low fps
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 51 of 61, by pixel_workbench

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Garrett W wrote on 2020-06-04, 06:36:

D3D in Half-Life is not that bad, but OpenGL is faster and more stable, I guess owing to the engine's roots in id tech 2. Not sure what was going on with that G400 there.

With OpenGL you don't get overbright lighting on textures (a type of early bloom lighting effect). I would rather play it in D3D or Glide.

My Youtube Channel
P2 400 unlocked / Asus P3B-F / Voodoo3 3k / MX300 + YMF718

Reply 52 of 61, by kjliew

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2020-06-04, 20:56:

With OpenGL you don't get overbright lighting on textures (a type of early bloom lighting effect). I would rather play it in D3D or Glide.

I wasn't aware of such difference of OpenGL render. Do you have screenshots to show what it really means?

Reply 53 of 61, by Garrett W

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Sigh... There is no Glide renderer for Half-Life, there's miniGL support. If it works in... "Glide" for you, then it should probably work in OpenGL as well.

Half-Life was written with Software and OpenGL renderers in mind and D3D was added late in development for compatibility, as by late 1998 not every vendor offered OpenGL ICDs or even miniGLs at times. Not saying D3D is bad though, it's certainly miles better than the implementation in Unreal from that same year. AFAIK overbrights got broken on OpenGL from a specific patch and onwards. Not sure if GOTY is affected by this.
I seem to recall a thread here in VOGONS with screenshots between versions and renderers, it was a little confusing to say the least as to which is the optimal way to play.

Reply 55 of 61, by leileilol

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2020-06-04, 20:56:
Garrett W wrote on 2020-06-04, 06:36:

D3D in Half-Life is not that bad, but OpenGL is faster and more stable, I guess owing to the engine's roots in id tech 2. Not sure what was going on with that G400 there.

With OpenGL you don't get overbright lighting on textures (a type of early bloom lighting effect).

Software mode also has overbrights.

The reason why there's no overbright in GL is due to multitexture combine optimization that wouldn't get along with a slower "modulated" blending function for the lightmaps. If you use a single TMU card like a Banshee or Voodoo Graphics that can't do multitexturing, you should have GL overbrights 😀

Unreal does the same for GlideDrv too! Epic can't even get visual consistency in their "best" renderer updates either! Likewise this also has much division of what is the "proper" graphics experience, as even "Play Best On VooDoo ! 3dfx Rulez" is no definite answer....

apsosig.png

Reply 56 of 61, by SPBHM

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Skalabala wrote on 2020-06-04, 20:23:
Hello :) […]
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Hello 😀

So removing the sound card barely did anything to the performance. Maybe 0.5fps haha
I have attached my save file 😀
The position it loads in I get 22Fps, basically the lowest I can get standing in that spot.

My further tests will be:
Geforce 3
DirectX 6.0
MVP3G-M motherboard, Also see what impact overclocked buss speed will have.

I did find a list of console commands and tried all of them. Some are actually performance related but nothing substantial for the save file attached.
Some console commands might actually give a noticeable performance gain in the appropriate circumstances.

for now I manage to test this on my k6-2 only,

it's a K6-2 533, with sdram (CL2) at 97MHz, 512k of onboard cache, MVP4 chipset
with the Trident IGP at 512x384 I got on loading this 11FPS in D3D, and 7FPS in OGL,

now I disabled the IGP (boosts memory performance significantly) and Installed my v4 4500 and got at 800x600 with 3dfxminigl: 14FPS, default OGL: 10FPS, D3D: 11FPS
this is clearly a huge CPU bottleneck right there for the trident to be so close,

also I ran the demo from the last page again, I'm having issues to read the result of the timedemo, still observing the FPS while running it is just a playdemo, it's low, often bellow 20FPS, lots of times hitting 13FPS with the lowest I saw at 12, this is very different from the P3 750 which had the lowest at 35 with the same video card/settings.

so if you are getting 22FPS with the k6-3 where my k6-2 is getting 14FPS, I'm going to guess that is kind of normal!?
hopefully someone has a closer setup to yours with a k6-3 and can load that save...

but yes, I also remember my PII 400 struggling on this part, which is partly why I got the p3 750 for my Asus P2B.
HL is hard on the older CPUs.

edit: the savegame on the p3 750 + v4 4500 PCI gave me
37FPS minigl, 30FPS default OGL, 28FPS D3D, 18FPS software

Last edited by SPBHM on 2020-06-07, 09:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 57 of 61, by Skalabala

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Thanks so much for your efforts SPBHM.

I have installed my GF3, and it is slightly faster. I think it is because of that it is AGP and my Voodoo is PCI.
Wish I had a Voodoo 3000 AGP 😁

Well if this is how low the fps will go then I guess it will be ok to play the game on a K6.
Will see what the fps does when I get to the first Gargantua 😁 😁 🤣

Where can I download a benchmark for GOTY version?

Reply 59 of 61, by DoZator

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2020-06-04, 20:56:
Garrett W wrote on 2020-06-04, 06:36:

D3D in Half-Life is not that bad, but OpenGL is faster and more stable, I guess owing to the engine's roots in id tech 2. Not sure what was going on with that G400 there.

With OpenGL you don't get overbright lighting on textures (a type of early bloom lighting effect). I would rather play it in D3D or Glide.

Everything is working. A workaround for this flaw was found by nVidia back in 2004: https://www.ixbt.com/video2/fw5656.shtml A registry setting called ExtensionStringVersion "1" set to hl.exe makes OverBright work again in OpenGL mode. Yes, there seems to be no solution for AMD / ATI.