Frame Rate Tests - September 19, 2015

EDIT:  All of these frame rate tests were done with, as I discovered, faulty Nvidia drivers.  If you revert to version 353.62 you get normal performance on the 2D menus.

 

Recently someone on the GOG.com forums mentioned that the Last Resort mod was causing all of his FPS issues.   I decided to test this out to see how much truth there was to this.

My other reason for testing out my frame rate is that I have recently have had a lot of stuttering while playing Swat 3 in Windows 7.   I am almost 100% certain this is caused by poor Nvidia drivers because in the past I had the same issue for a few months until Nvidia released a new driver.  When I use WineD3D to force Swat 3 to run with OpenGL I got a much better frame rate (or so it seemed). 

I should explain a little about my system I tested this on and my methodology of testing.

  • EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX 960 4GB RAM
  • 8GB Corsair RAM
  • Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 Motherboard
  • AMD-FX 4100 Quad Core, 3600 Mhz
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
  • Nvidia driver 355.82

I used the Mission B map (Gett's house) for all the tests in 3D.  No additional mods were activated. No additional officer AI added to the squad.  Using Swat 3's built in STATS command I viewed the framerate on both the 2D menus and in the 3D portion of the game once the map had launched.

Each time the map started up in Swat 3 it would take about 18 seconds for the frame rate to settle down.   I always waited until the FPS settled down before taking a reading to get accurate results.   I always recorded the numbers without moving the mouse so the camera was always at the same exact spot.  For the 2D measurement I always used the OPERATIONS screen.

Last Resort mod turned on - DirectX hardware rendering

2D Menu Frame Rate:

  • 800x600 - 6.0 fps
  • 1024x768 - 3.6 fps
  • 1280x1024 - 2.3 fps
  • 1440x900 - 2.1 fps

3D In Game Frame Rate:

  • 800x600 - 60.3 fps
  • 1024x768 - 60 fps
  • 1280x1024 - 30.4 fps
  • 1440x900 - 30.4 fps
  • 1980x1024 - 26 fps

 

Last Resort mod turned on - WineD3D (OpenGL wrapper)

2D Menu Frame Rate (fluctuated more):

  • 800x600 - 560 to 570 fps
  • 1024x768 - 506 to 510 fps
  • 1280x1024 - 398 to 395 fps
  • 1440x900 - 397 to 403 fps

3D In Game Frame Rate (fluctuated more):

  • 800x600 - 57-60 fps
  • 1024x768 - 51.9 to 52.9 fps
  • 1280x1024 - 46.5 to 47.1 fps
  • 1440x900 - 44.3 to 44.8 fps
  • 1980x1024 - 34.6 to 36.5 fps

 

I didn't bother posting any stats with the Last Resort mod turned off (vanilla Swat 3 in other words) because they were identical to when the mod is on.   The 800x600 2D menus had the exact same frame rate with the mod on or off.  3D performance wasn't affected by the mod being on or off either. It is possible though in the future once more textures are replaced in the various maps we may start seeing a difference on video cards with smaller amounts of RAM.

The Last Resort mod did cause a FPS reduction in the 2D menus as you increased the resolution.   In other words if you ran the 800x600 2D menus you did get a better frame rate than if you chose the largest 1440x900 2D menus.   This wasn't a problem when I used WineD3D because my frame rate was in the hundreds on the 2D menus! 

Conclusion:

The Last Resort mod is not the cause of the stuttering that people are having in Swat 3 with Windows 7, 8, and 10.   If you are already having frame rate troubles then choosing a higher resolution 2D menu in Swat 3 only makes the existing problem worse. 

With Windows 7 I believe the real problem is DirectX + Nvidia Drivers.   Windows 8 and 10 only emulates 16-bit colour mode and all older games that use Direct Draw are having frame rate issues from what I have read.   It isn't just Swat 3 having issues with the newer versions of Windows.

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