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Xonotic vs. Nexuiz on a netbook

#1
Question 
Hi all,

I've been a fan of Nexuiz for quite some time now, and I've been playing on a Gateway LT4004u netbook. The game is surprisingly smooth, with framerates between 25-60 fps depending on the number of bots. I play at native 1024x600 resolution with model and texture detail maxed out, but fancy settings like lightmaps and coronas disabled. How much of a performance difference can I expect from switching to Xonotic? It's going to take a very long time to download with my Internet speeds, so I need to know if it's worth the time.

Thanks in advance!

My specs:

Intel Atom N2600 @ 1.6 GHz
Intel GMA 3600 (based on PowerVR SGX545)
2 GB DDR3 (probably underclocked to 800 MHz)
Win7 Starter
250 GB HDD
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#2
Xonotic will be slower on older hardware like this than Nexuiz. I would think that it will need low settings to be playable. Take a look here for benchmark results on many systems (including the odd netbook) and you might be able to see where it'll fit in:
http://dev.xonotic.org/projects/3/wiki/H...ersion=103
I'm at least a reasonably tolerable person to be around - Narcopic
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#3
It's not older hardware, but it might as well be. Intel is refusing to make good Windows drivers for the PowerVR chip, so many games run horribly slow (Doom 3) or with irritating glitches (Minecraft and UT with DX rendering). Nexuiz is one of the few games that seem to take full advantage of the PowerVR's power. Because of this, I can't place my netbook anywhere on this chart; the current drivers are too unpredictable. It's unlikely that Intel is going to do anything about this problem, because of the small number of people that use the Atom 2xx0 series.

Offtopic: For the most part, only OpenGL games will run as smoothly as they should. OpenArena, Quake 3, and SuperTux are all very fast. Other games aren't so lucky. SuperTuxKart is a little on the slow side, and TORCS has the worst rendering corruption of all the games I've tried. Sad
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#4
In my experience of a few systems that are on the edge of playing Xonotic, getting 200fps on Quake 3 maxed out will equal 35fps on Xonotic on low. Your mileage may vary of course.
I'm at least a reasonably tolerable person to be around - Narcopic
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#5
During The Big Benchmark, I got 36 fps on OMG, 34 on low, 30 on medium, and 17 on normal at 1024x768. I got through 2 rounds on high at 7 fps before my netbook restarted. With regular gameplay, the framerate is very irregular; the average framerate is acceptable, but the game is very stuttery. I have all settings set to their lowest (except resolution and bit depth), and I don't have OMG mode enabled.

My skill on my netbook is quite poor, to say the least. Smile
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#6
I managed to finish The Big Benchmark at 1024x768 on high at 8 fps. Instead of spontaneously rebooting my netbook, Ultra mode crashes Xonotic now, thanks to new drivers for my graphics chip.

I'm convinced that at the lower settings, the CPU (and maybe my hard drive) is the bottleneck. How much does Xonotic take advantage of multiple threads/cores? If it's a purely singlethreaded game, it's no surprise my 1.6 GHz in-order Atom isn't cutting it. The framerate in regular play and the benchmark is very sporadic. Sure, it looks good when averaged, but there's a big gap between min and max framerates. Also, CTF mode is exponentially slower than other game modes, at least on Newtonian Nightmare and Space Elevator. Thoughts?
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#7
It's pretty much single threaded, yes. Audio uses a separate thread.

How much slower is CTF? How do you make the comparison?
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#8
(03-14-2013, 06:46 PM)gamingwithnetbooks Wrote: I'm convinced that at the lower settings, the CPU

That Atom should be able to get around 50fps with graphical bottlenecks removed. An Athlon XP 2000+ can get 53fps on OMG so this may be a good comparison.

(03-14-2013, 06:46 PM)gamingwithnetbooks Wrote: (and maybe my hard drive) is the bottleneck

Not specifically the hard drive as such. What's going to be happening there is that you'll be running out of RAM and the system starts paging to the hard disk. While Xonotic runs without slow downs under Linux with 512Mb RAM, Windows does not manage memory so well for games leading to slow downs while it pages in game. I've certainly seen this at 768Mb under Windows XP. You may have 2Gb RAM but Windows 7 is substantially heavier in RAM and some of that RAM is being used as video memory. What other software do you have running? Maybe you should take a look at memory usage on your system, clear out the system tray of all the unneccessary things and retry?

(03-14-2013, 06:46 PM)gamingwithnetbooks Wrote: The framerate in regular play and the benchmark is very sporadic. Sure, it looks good when averaged, but there's a big gap between min and max framerates. Also, CTF mode is exponentially slower than other game modes, at least on Newtonian Nightmare and Space Elevator. Thoughts?

Those two maps you mention have some big distances and it's quite easy to have many players rendered on screen at once. This can be a big slow down. I'm not sure how the onboard graphics on your system may allocate video memory but you might want to take a look at how much is available. In my experience 128Mb is not sufficient to make high and above render in any satisfactory speed continuously as textures are constantly being swapped. Similarly 64Mb won't be satisfactory for lower settings either. 256Mb is fine for all but the highest settings with offset mapping enabled and more than 1Gb video memory is wasted on Xonotic.
I'm at least a reasonably tolerable person to be around - Narcopic
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#9
(03-15-2013, 04:12 AM)edh Wrote: That Atom should be able to get around 50fps with graphical bottlenecks removed. An Athlon XP 2000+ can get 53fps on OMG so this may be a good comparison.
It may be that the GMA graphics drivers are to blame. Intel never bothered to make fully featured (or fully functional) drivers for the PowerVR SGX545 chip in Windows. Some games run fine, some run slowly, some have major glitches, and some refuse to start. It seems like Xonotic works acceptably, but I've never had the chance to see what the SGX is truly capable of.

(03-15-2013, 04:12 AM)edh Wrote: Not specifically the hard drive as such. What's going to be happening there is that you'll be running out of RAM and the system starts paging to the hard disk. While Xonotic runs without slow downs under Linux with 512Mb RAM, Windows does not manage memory so well for games leading to slow downs while it pages in game. I've certainly seen this at 768Mb under Windows XP. You may have 2Gb RAM but Windows 7 is substantially heavier in RAM and some of that RAM is being used as video memory. What other software do you have running? Maybe you should take a look at memory usage on your system, clear out the system tray of all the unneccessary things and retry?

I have nothing at all running in the background. I close every application (including explorer.exe) with Task Manager, start Xonotic (also with Task Manager), and close Task Manager right before Xonotic runs. It doesn't make any noticeable difference.

(03-15-2013, 04:12 AM)edh Wrote: Those two maps you mention have some big distances and it's quite easy to have many players rendered on screen at once. This can be a big slow down. I'm not sure how the onboard graphics on your system may allocate video memory but you might want to take a look at how much is available. In my experience 128Mb is not sufficient to make high and above render in any satisfactory speed continuously as textures are constantly being swapped. Similarly 64Mb won't be satisfactory for lower settings either. 256Mb is fine for all but the highest settings with offset mapping enabled and more than 1Gb video memory is wasted on Xonotic.

I'm fairly certain the long draw distance is the problem. Is the memory the bottleneck, though? It could be that the GPU is just weak. Here are the specs, as correct as I know them to be.

4 unified shaders @ 400 MHz
2 texture mapping units @ 400 MHz
4 ROP's @ 200 MHz
6.4 GB/s memory bandwidth
1 GB max memory allocation
OpenGL 3.0 support (capable in HW of 3.2, but limited by drivers)
DirectX 9.0c support (capable of 10.1, but again limited by drivers)
Compare that to the Radeon 9100 IGP from 2003:

5 shaders (4 pixel, 1 vertex) @ 300 MHz
2 texture mapping units @ 300 MHz
2 ROP's @ 300 MHz
6.4 GB/s memory bandwidth
128 MB max memory
OpenGL 1.4 support
DirectX 8.1 support
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