Replies: 16 (Who?), Viewed: 5416 times.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 13th Mar 2015 at 8:10 PM
Default Windowed/Fullscreen Performance
Hi,


I've read a couple of threads concerning Windowed mode or Fullscreen mode, but they were mostly about what were people's playing preference. I'm curious if anyone actually tested the performance differences? I've read people claiming fullscreen performs better while others claiming windowed is better. Is the result that much different on different systems? I would think the concept should be universal.

Recently I started playing Sims 2 again and realized there were some lag issues. Problem turned out to be both using the wrong GPU and also in windowed mode. This is when I started testing the two modes in Sims 2 and later Sims 3. I usually play in windowed mode, so it never even occurred to me there would be a performance difference. What I found out on my system is that in both TS2 and TS3, the fullscreen mode is approximately 10-15 FPS faster. That is a pretty big difference!

Anyone else having the same results? Or if you have the opposite, what exactly makes it different? I much prefer windowed mode because I multi-task, but losing 10-15 FPS is hard to accept.
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Theorist
#2 Old 13th Mar 2015 at 8:48 PM
That's a real bummer to hear especially for people on computer struggling to meet the requirements to play TS3. I usually play while screen sharing on a Skype call and holding down several conversations while also looking up guides, so I'm sad to hear windowed mode /also/ contributes to a performance loss on top of everything else. ~.~
Mad Poster
#3 Old 13th Mar 2015 at 9:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
Hi,


I've read a couple of threads concerning Windowed mode or Fullscreen mode, but they were mostly about what were people's playing preference. I'm curious if anyone actually tested the performance differences? I've read people claiming fullscreen performs better while others claiming windowed is better. Is the result that much different on different systems? I would think the concept should be universal.

Recently I started playing Sims 2 again and realized there were some lag issues. Problem turned out to be both using the wrong GPU and also in windowed mode. This is when I started testing the two modes in Sims 2 and later Sims 3. I usually play in windowed mode, so it never even occurred to me there would be a performance difference. What I found out on my system is that in both TS2 and TS3, the fullscreen mode is approximately 10-15 FPS faster. That is a pretty big difference!

Anyone else having the same results? Or if you have the opposite, what exactly makes it different? I much prefer windowed mode because I multi-task, but losing 10-15 FPS is hard to accept.


Once when this came up in another thread I tested it on my computer and fullscreen had better performance for me as well.
Test Subject
#4 Old 13th Mar 2015 at 10:28 PM
I notice no difference. I have to run 3booter with the fps limiter anyway just so I can play it without my GPU hogging up all of my CPU's processing power causing the game to lag terribly, so I get 30fps either way. :P

I'm pretty sure TS3 is what killed my HD 6850 a couple of years ago... before I found out about the fps limiter. =/
Field Researcher
#5 Old 13th Mar 2015 at 10:31 PM
I don't know about everyone else, but I found windowed mode actually helped performance a bit (although that might just be because I had other things to do while waiting for the game to load)
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#6 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 2:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BourgeoisBanana
I don't know about everyone else, but I found windowed mode actually helped performance a bit (although that might just be because I had other things to do while waiting for the game to load)


The thing is, I don't want this to become another "which one you prefer" thread. I'm really looking for actual data proving it is performing better. If windowed mode performs better on some systems, I want to know why. Is there something I can tweak to make my windowed mode run better. Right now it is really a hard for me to decide whether to give up my windowed mode for 10-15 FPS.

Since TS3 comes with its own FPS indicator, this should be easily testible (hehe I said testible ) for anyone if they wouldn't mind spending a little time.
Theorist
#7 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 9:44 AM
It says in one of the documents in one of the install folders that fullscreen performs better. Can't say I've noticed myself but if you want max performance it makes sense to use fullscreen

#BlairWitchPetition
TS3 NEEDS: TENNIS COURTS > BUSES > PIGS/SHEEP
Can't find stuff in build and buy mode? http://www.nexusmods.com/thesims3/mods/1/?
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#8 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 11:45 AM Last edited by nitromon : 14th Mar 2015 at 12:58 PM.
Thanks folks, I read up more about it and apparently it is true, fullscreen will give better FPS.

Just curious, how about triple buffering and vsync? I've always had those on, but decided to give it a go with it off. I'm not sure if it is just my imagination, but panning and scrolling seem to be smoother without vsync/TB, almost virtually no microstuttering. Strange thing is the FPS reading seems to be the same. Can anyone else confirm? Or is this all in my head?

Also, strangely the GPU temperature is 10 degrees higher without vsync/TB. But it might just be a fluke, I'll have to test this again to confirm.

EDIT - tested again

Ok, this is what I got, if someone can confirm that'll be great.

1) vsync/TB causes my game to microstutter on panning and scrolling for some reason. The FPS indicator doesn't help, it gives the same FPS either way but without VS/TB, the game is clearly scrolling at the correct FPS. With them on, it stutters as though it skips the frames to maintain the FPS.

2) Temperature increase, I can't confirm. It is usually around a steady 70 before, but now I've seen it gone as high as 80. However, it is currently at 71. The reason, I suspect, is from both fullscreen and vsync off, since the graphics is running better and smoother, I guess this is expected.

3) Also interesting to note, now the game is using less texture memory. Only about 500MB in comparison to almost double that at 800-900MB before with vsync/TB.

4) Still can't decide which mode to play in. I suppose I can always switch back and forth in between. But man... getting 40-50 FPS in ultra mode during a rain storm is freakin' sweet. But of course the FPS during the game continues to have massive drops b/c of the way it is designed, so is it the overall performance really that much different?
One Minute Ninja'd
#9 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 2:15 PM
Well, microstuttering is not unusual with v sync on. Not sure what chipset you use, but in the Nvidia driver there's an option for something called Adaptive v sync, which will still prevent runaway frame rates but reduce the microstuttering. I use it and am not bothered by any microstuttering during game play. I'm sure AMD/ATI has something similar, just not sure what it's called. And I would expect less texture memory being required if you turn off triple buffering.

As to temps, well, I can't help on that. That's dependent on too many unique factors specific to your specific video card, as well as the rest of your machine and how it's cooled. I do know that in my system, if I didn't use Adaptive v sync, I could get runaway frame rates in the hundreds, which really isn't cool. Literally.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#10 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 4:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskie227
Well, microstuttering is not unusual with v sync on. Not sure what chipset you use, but in the Nvidia driver there's an option for something called Adaptive v sync, which will still prevent runaway frame rates but reduce the microstuttering. I use it and am not bothered by any microstuttering during game play.


Yeah, I actually did that last time after you recommended it, but I didn't really notice any difference. Turning off vsync altogether seemed to be making a big difference on my system. I don't have issues with tearing, seems I probably don't need vsync on. I'm using FPS limiter instead.

I'm not sure how to describe the stuttering, if it is the same as your experience. On my system if I pan or scroll, it goes fast but there would be micro pauses where it skips frames to catch up to the panning. The FPS indicator doesn't catch these, so even though it says 40-50 FPS, it was just stuttering. Turning off the Vsync/TB actually still shows the same FPS, but the overall movement during panning is smooth. I don't know if it is also a little slower because it is smoother. It looks like... it is an actual photo and you are just scrolling across it seamlessly. I'm very excited, I've never seen my TS3 run like this before.

I thought it would be also interesting to note that in TS2, it was the exact opposite. TS2 in my game stutters during panning without vsync on and is smooth with vsync on. Also interesting is that TS2 runs horribly on windowed mode. Not only do you lose around 10-20 FPS, but when you pan, there are actual 1 sec pauses, dropping the FPS to 1-2.

So right now the only thing causes any type of lags in my TS3 is routing issues and so far that just can't be helped. Overwatch can reset those, but only after the issue already occurred. I can't think of any ways to resolve this since it varies from map to map.

If anyone here also play TS2, I don't want to start another thread in there since I don't really play TS2 that much, but seems like TS2 can't handle too many sims on a lot. Though TS2 doesn't have routing issues, since it is only 1 lot, but when increasing lot population beyond the preset limit of 8, the game dramatically slows down with tons of minipauses (I changed my default to 24 sims on a lot). I think there is no fix for this either, it is simply the game's limitation since it is a single core game. But if anyone knows anything I'm missing, please let me know.
One Minute Ninja'd
#11 Old 14th Mar 2015 at 5:52 PM
Hey, whatever works. Lets face it. There are a lot of variables with specific hardware configurations, and some things will work better under one specific environment than in another. What is your current FPS Limiter set for, 30 fps or 60 fps?
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#12 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 2:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskie227
Hey, whatever works. Lets face it. There are a lot of variables with specific hardware configurations, and some things will work better under one specific environment than in another. What is your current FPS Limiter set for, 30 fps or 60 fps?


I think theoretically setting it at 30 should be ideal because of how much FPS drop TS3 has and you want to lock it so the game has a consistent FPS. But those moments where you zoom in and idle the camera to get a full 60 FPS... is just so sweet. I think the angle in which you view the camera makes the most FPS difference, how far of the view background are in your camera.

Before when I had the game on windowed mode and vsync/TB, game maxed at 40 FPS and hovers around 20-30 FPS, so I've never actually seen the game at 60 FPS. Now that I have, I take it back... there IS a noticeable difference. I mean 25-30 FPS is more than playable, but 60 FPS gives the animation a sort of strange smoothness... sims are less robotic and more lifelike. It is a weird feeling.
One Minute Ninja'd
#13 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 3:00 AM
But, are you setting your limiter to 60 fps, AND getting 60 fps? I mean, the limiter only kicks in if you're going over the limit, to avoid excessive frame rates and "overdriving" your video card. But if you only get a max of 40 fps during actual game play, the limiter isn't doing anything. That's why I think I'm getting confused with what you're after.

Edit: To expand. I know most folks say 30 fps is all you need for smooth game play, but I've long noticed a real difference with 60 fps game play.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#14 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 7:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskie227
But, are you setting your limiter to 60 fps, AND getting 60 fps? I mean, the limiter only kicks in if you're going over the limit, to avoid excessive frame rates and "overdriving" your video card. But if you only get a max of 40 fps during actual game play, the limiter isn't doing anything. That's why I think I'm getting confused with what you're after.

Edit: To expand. I know most folks say 30 fps is all you need for smooth game play, but I've long noticed a real difference with 60 fps game play.


I guess theoretically I don't need a limiter at all. It is more just a precaution thing. The only time I see like 120 FPS etc.. is when I use fraps without vsync and it shows it during the loading screens. I don't think it should be a problem, but it is just a safety issue. The most I see in-game is 60 FPS.

Yeah, I just starting to notice the 60 FPS difference. Unfortunately it can't maintain it consistently through the game, at least not with my GPU. But I wonder even with a superior GPU, it still wouldn't be possible without at least a SSD drive. Anytime the game loads from the HDD when we pan across lots of buildings and it needs to switch the low-res shell with the actual hi-res lots, there'll be a dip in the FPS.

In TS2, the problem is not the buildings since we're playing 1 lot, but the game only uses 1 core and when there are too many sims on the lot, the CPU is stressed and this lags the game and drops the FPS significantly.
One Minute Ninja'd
#15 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 8:38 AM
I was able to maintain 60 fps before I had the SSD, off a hybrid HDD. But it does require a beefy video card, a fast CPU, and more than 4 GB RAM.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#16 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 8:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskie227
I was able to maintain 60 fps before I had the SSD, off a hybrid HDD. But it does require a beefy video card, a fast CPU, and more than 4 GB RAM.


Nice! I guess that gives me something to look forward to. This is one of those times I miss having a desktop where I can just swap out the GPU.
One Minute Ninja'd
#17 Old 15th Mar 2015 at 11:22 AM
Oh, I forgot you're using a laptop. Yeah, that's one of the drawbacks. While I do love being mobile, when it comes to gaming, you'll have to pry my full size desktop from my cold, dead hands.
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