Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Age of Conan - Performance and what it will cost ya

Recently I have made several shifts in hardware on my PC for Age of Conan gaming.

Installed currently I have the following gear as my main PC...

  • i5-720 OC'd to 3.6GHz on air
  • ATI 4890 1GB model video card
  • 4 GB DDR3-1600
  • Western Digital 32mb Cache 640GB 2 platter hard drives (2)
  • SB X-Fi PCI-Express sound card

As well, in the house I have...
  • E8400 OC'd to 3.2
  • Nvidia GTX 260 896mb
  • 4 Gigs DDR3 1333
  • E7300 2.66Ghz
  • ATI 4870 512mb
  • 4 Gigs DDR2 1066
So, a variety of systems.

As we all know, Age of Conan really runs like a dog at times, and at other times runs very well. My plan is to find out what sweet spots for settings work for each of these PC's. Several use different resolutions due to monitors (system 1 is on a 42" TV at 1360x768, 2nd system at 1650x1200 and 3rd at 1440x900), so I will also take that into account as well as drivers and more.

As a final note, released today, is the new ATI 5870 1GB card, and I have one on order. This may change the layout here a bit, so only time will tell in that respect...but, overall I wish to see how performance goes at various settings with that unit as well. Does the GPU make a difference?
The CPU does for sure...
(As a side note, here is a listing of how the various video cards are ranking with specs on the 5870 in comparison to other cards..and WOW it is nice..(Source)

I have found several "harsh" spots of the game that bring the framerates to their knees (and believe it or not...it is NOT in raids.) and I will be using those for my comparisons. Over the next few days I will post screens of FPS counters in game and what settings we are using here.

As a last bit of info, I want to also track how much these systems would cost for the regular player. I will be back with a post on how much these parts can be obtained for so that you can track if it is really worth it to purchase new parts and what you would need to be satisfied with AoC performance.

Hold tight as this will get interesting.

6 comments:

gordon said...

I bought a new PC last year for pretty much the sole purpose of playing AoC. I went from a Athlon XP 3800 (or something) with 2GB Ram and XP to a dual core E8400 with 4GB RAM, Vista 64 and a GeForce 8800. The difference was immense to say the least considering AoC barely ran on my old PC.

I found the performance on AoC to be pretty decent and I was usually clocking around 50-60FPS. That was until I tried DX10 this year on it :) That caused my framerate to half! Unforunately I'm a sucker for nice graphics though hehe.

How do you find the Core i5 performs? Is it a lot better than the E8400? How does it compare against the i7?

Jayedub said...

I upgraded my pc last year when AoC launched, my crossfire x1950 radeons just weren't cutting it. At that time I bought the 3870, which was the top card for about two weeks till the 4870's were released.

Right now I have the GTX 260 with the AMD 7750 BE. I get 35-50 fps on a real consistent basis. It will drop sometimes to around 25fps for a bit while running through Kemi or Tarantia, so I am pretty happy with the performance.

Unfortunately DX10 eats my system for breakfast in AoC, but I had a hard time telling the difference to for now I will stick with DX9. That is till I upgrade...

Tempest of News said...

Some notes...

First...the i5 walks all over my e8400 in clocks as well as speed. An on die PCi-e controller really boosts frames.

Second, I strictly run in DX10 due to the shadows issue in DX9...(I prefer the better shadows...)

What I hope to do is help everyone figure out the best way to run in DX10...as it is possible

Cheers

Jayedub said...

This shadow issue you talk about, is it something that you can describe, because I have been wondering if I am having an issue with shadows in the game.

Guess I can try and describe it; sometimes when standing still, shadows will flicker. The one that bothers me the most is when I am walking around in grassy areas(that's when I notice it), shadows will disappear in a certain range around my character. To be cleat it's only shadows cast on the grassy areas hope that made sense.

Scott said...

I'm very interested in these topics since I'm in the process of building a new box. I've got the 4890 you recommended sitting in the closet, just need to decide on a CPU and motherboard to go with it. I'm typically inclined to stick with AMD (haven't had an Intel in years) but since I'm starting from scratch I guess I could go either way this time.

Tempest of News said...

@Scott

Of note...seems some bottlenecks exists for certain cards and processors.
An article was posted somewhere showing that if you pair an Nvidia with an AMD chip and an ATI with an Intel in single card formats...they work better...

In so many words...AMD CPU for Nvidia, Intel for ATI

So, yea...stick around...you may be surprised.