As the title suggests, this will be a thread for people to share their experience with PC performance and FPS management in Warband and this mod specifically. Hopefully this will help those of us, who want to upgrade our machines specifically for this game, in order to be able to play it smoothly on large battle sizes. Getting the right parts is tricky, because often people with better and more expensive machines experience worse performance than those with older/cheaper hardware.
What I would like to ask of the community here is to post your PC specs and FPS of a 400 men custom battle in the following format:My PC specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom x4 965
GPU: AMD Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB
Windows 7 64bit
(This is the main info I want, but you can post other specs as well, if you wish.)My FPS:
I can run a 400 men custom battle on rev 101
on average at ~25 FPS (min. 22, max. 40.)
(For this test I tried to keep all the men on the screen at once as much as possible. The version of the revision is important, as different versions seem to have different performance on my rig with difference being as big as 50% drop between revision 101 and latter revisions.)
Some performance/crash prevention tips:1. Commenting out new_buffer_size.
2. Increasing render_buffer_size.
Some people report that their game stopped crashing or graphical glitches disappeared after commenting out new_buffer_size. To do this, open your Module folder (e.g. Program files\Warband\Modules\dev1257) and edit a file called "game_variables". Put a "#" before each line starting with "new_buffer_size", so that it looks like this:
#new_buffer_size_regular_ffp_static = 32768
#new_buffer_size_regular_ffp_dynamic = 32768
#new_buffer_size_regular_static = 131072
#new_buffer_size_regular_dynamic = 65536
#new_buffer_size_skinning_static = 131072
#new_buffer_size_skinning_dynamic = 65536
#new_buffer_size_normal_map_static = 131072
#new_buffer_size_normal_map_dynamic = 65536
#new_buffer_size_normal_map_skinning_static = 131072
#new_buffer_size_normal_map_skinning_dynamic = 65536
3. Adjusting Virtual memory.
Sometimes changing this setting stops stuttering or prevents crashes. Find your rgl_config file in C:\Users\[User Name]\Documents\Mount&Blade Warband and increase the "render_buffer_size" to 256 or 512.
4. Configuring launcher options.
Usually, if you have Windows 7 and at least 4GB of RAM I recommend not to change VM, because Windows 7 (and to a lesser extent Windows XP) is very good at managing the pagefile on its own. If however you have 2GB of RAM or even less and you're experiencing crashes, this might help you. In Win7: Control Panel -> System -> Advanced system settings -> On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings -> Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change. Click custom size and increase the Initial size value to around 1.5 times the size of your RAM and Maximum size value to around 3 times the size of your RAM. (The values are in Megabytes. 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes)
I would really recommend trying other fixes before tampering with VM because half of the time it can actually decrease the performance or cause stability issues. Whatever you do, do not disable the pagefile, it will cause weird behaviour within certain software and do not set it to huge values either. It is ideal to keep the pagefile on a separate drive (not just a partition).
5. Editing the amount of pre-rendered frames.
Some launcher options will prevent crashes at loading screen or increase performance. When you start Warband, click Configure in the launcher menu.
Use DirectX7 - this will give you a nice FPS boost, but the graphics will look worse.
Load textures on demand - if you're having frequent crashes, checking this option may help. If this option is checked, it loads the textures into your video-RAM whenever the game needs it during the course of battles. If it is unchecked - it loads all the textures at once at the beginning of the game/scene. If you don't have a dated video card, I would suggest keeping this on. Especially if your card is low on v-RAM. Otherwise, if you have over 1GB of v-RAM and/or an older generation video card, you might benefit from having this option off.
Max. Framerate - set this value to 60 - may help with stuttering in some cases. Unless your monitor has a refresh rate higher than 60, having this value anywhere above 60 is a waste of resources.
Enable Sound Variation - this used to cause performance issues and crashes for many people in the past - especially for those who had onboard audio. Might be fixed by know (I'm really not sure), but I have it disabled anyway. This option is supposed to randomly change the frequency of certain sound effects to make them sound more varied. Speaking of onboard audio, you might be surprised to hear this, but having a dedicated audio card in stead of using whatever your motherboard hardware has to offer, may decrease the CPU load, because dedicated audio cards usually have more powerful digital signal processors (DSP). Almost any card above 30$ will do the trick.
Force Single-Threading - for certain processors this option can actually improve performance, because Warband is not very well optimized for multi-core tasking. My old 2-core seems to fare better with this option off, though. If the game for some reason refuses to use all your cores despite having this option off (you can test this in Task Manager - Performance tab: Start Task manager, go back into Warband, play a battle, then switch to Task manager and check the graphs under CPU USage History), you can try this fix: Go to Processes tab in Task manager, find mb_warband.exe in the list, right-click it and click on Set Affinity, untick all cores except the first one (should be called Core 0) and click OK. Then click Set Affinity again and this time tick all cores. Warband should now use all your cores properly.
6. Using a background FPS booster.
This setting controls the number of frames the CPU prepares in advanced of being rendered by the GPU. This setting may give a nice FPS boost and decrease stuttering. The driver default (afaik) is 3, but you can set it to anything from 0 to 8. Experiment with this value. I have had positive effects when increasing this number to maximum value, but others have had better results with setting it to 0. Some people didn't see any difference at all. It's really that random.
For nVidia users: Open nVidia Control Panel, create a profile for Warband in "Manage 3D settings" section and adjust "Maximum pre-rendered frames" value.
For AMD users: Download RadeonPro and create a profile for Warband. On the right side under Advanced tab adjust "Flip Queue Size" value.
7. Disable Core Parking on Win7.
If you have a high-end CPU and you feel it's underperforming, give this little script a try. It will force your CPU to operate at its maximum frequency at all times, possibly increasing and balancing performance. This will probably have little to no effect on low-end CPUs. The original author of this script is YassirX from TWcenter forums, but here's a modified version in Skyrim Nexus: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/5695
Tips on upgrading hardware.
If you have a high-end CPU with 4 cores or more and you're experiencing loss of performance due to core parking, then try this fix. (You can check in Task Manager if Windows is disabling ("parking") any of your cores.)
1. Open Regedit.
2. Press Ctrl+F and paste in: 0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583
3. In this key find a value called "ValueMax" and open it. Change its value to 0.
4. Continue searching for more of these keys and repeat the process (I found 3 such keys in my registry).
5. Restart your PC.
Some people report better overall performance after applying this tweak.
In my experience this game is extremely CPU-intensive. Overclocking my 7850 (or on the flipsisde - increasing resolution of the game) has 0 impact
on the performance of the game. Playing 1000 troop battles with high and low graphics settings also has no FPS difference whatsoever. What this means is that the real bottleneck for me is the CPU.
As for RAM, it is perfectly enough with 4GB. I personally have never seen Warband take up more than ~3GB of RAM.
On the GPU side this game isn't very demanding, you can run this game on max settings with 3 year old video cards. Radeon HD 7750 for AMD fans and GTX 550 Ti for nVidia enthusiasts should be more than enough. If you have the opportunity, go for a card with more vRAM, because Warband can make good use of that extra memory on large battle sizes. 1GB of vRAM for my 7850 seems to be just fine, but 2GB wouldn't hurt.
It gets trickier with CPUs. There are people with high-end CPUs that can barely run this game on 200-300 battlesize, at the same time there are those who can run it with no lag with 3 years old processors. It seems there is no way to know but to test each and every CPU and see how it performs. As we know, Warband is not perfect for multicore CPUs, so 6 core processors are probably a bad choice. Personally, I would go for either an i3 3240 (a powerful 2 core CPU - in theory should be very effective for a game like Warband) or an i5-3570K (a 4 core CPU - after an over clock it gives amazing performance). If you have a motherboard that supports AMD processors and you do not want to switch to Intel, I can suggest AMD Phenom II x4 965 - with an over clock it's an incredible value for money (not perfect for Warband, though).
I have tested:
Stock AMD Athlon II x2 260 with about 800 troops on screen with ~5-10 FPS.
OC Intel i7 920 with about 800 troops on screen with ~25-30 FPS.
Stock AMD Phenom x4 965 with 400 men on screen with ~24 FPS.