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What's wrong with my rig? (Running multiple instances of EQ2)

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  • PC gaming
  • Video Games
Last response: in PC Gaming
July 13, 2010 2:06:56 PM

Currently i'm running a 22 and a 19 in wide screen off of a 4870 512mb ati gpu. I'm wanting to run 2 instances of eq2, one on each monitor, as well as ACT, Outlook, ie and anything else i feel like in the background. I'm doing this now, but i'm getting a bit of a hit on the graphics performance. on my 22 (1680x1050) i'm getting 15-30 fps, on the 19 (1440x900) i'm getting 20-50 fps. I'm running in Raid performance (ui: profitui video choice) on both instances of eq2. I'd like to hit 30 fps on two 24 in monitors running 1920x1080 running at a higher graphics quality, and i didn't know what it'd take to do that. In my current system (motherboard) i can not upgrade to two graphics cards (assuming i could somehow assign 1 game to each card...rather then using crossfire...which i'm not sure you can do).

I've heard people talk about running at highest quality on their computers...and while i can do that on one monitor, on two it runs pretty badly. Being a convert from fps's (first person shooters), i like my fps (frames per sec) to be high, lag drives me crazy. So, my 4870, has 512mb onboard... Is the gpu onboard ram possibly the limitation, or is the gpu processor a limitation? Or is my only option to buy a new motherboard dual+ 2.0 pci-e slot board and throw in a second ati card?

Right now, 1 instance of the game will use up to 1.8 gb of ram and up to 1.5 cores during special instances. Typically the game runs about 750-900 mb and 1.1-1.2 cores. You would think that running two instances would then double the maxes of both of those... However it doesn't. The ram stays about right, but the cpu usage drops way out. The cpu usage will peg out about 1 core on whichever i'm using, then the other drops to about half a core. Additionally, "ACT" runs in the background at all times, which eats up to 1 core and up to 2 gb of ram depending on how much data has been pumped in to it. ACT is a database program which keeps track of everything that goes on in one of my EQ2 windows and provides some additional functionality. Most of the time ACT uses less then 10% of a core and under 300 mb of ram.

I'm about to upgrade to Win 7 64, which has better multithreading functionality, but i'm not really sure it's going to be my savior in this case.

Specs:

q6600 @ 3.0ghz (quad processor, oc'd from 2.4 to 3.0)
8gb of ram running at 1000 mhz
xp 64
4870 512mb
10k c: drive
raid 5 7.2k (4 hd's) D: drive (running 2 instances of eq2 from D atm)

More about : wrong rig running multiple instances eq2

July 13, 2010 5:17:03 PM

May have found some interesting info...Supposedly eq2 was written so that it resets itself constantly to CPU 0, so when you run multiple everquest2.exe's they all fight for the same cpu...><

There's a program somewhere that allows you to force a given program to a specific core/cpu(s). I have tried changing it manually, but as eq constantly resets itself, manually = fail.
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July 13, 2010 5:44:10 PM

Eq2 is cpu hungry, overclocking your cpu more should help. Also drop the res on one of the monitors in case the gpu is maxed. gl
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July 13, 2010 7:13:34 PM

Yea oc'ing my cpu will help some, but i've already got it at 3 ghz from the default 2.4...i might be able to get it to 3.2 or 3.4 (on air), but i'd have to crank up the voltage...
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July 13, 2010 7:50:47 PM

I blame it on the system, a dual-monitor setup is much more stressful then a single monitor setup, either upgrade your CPU and Video Card so your aging system is able to handle the load or limit the resolution on the first monitor.
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July 13, 2010 8:00:03 PM

Aye i could upgrade the video card...but it's more a question of what is it maxing out on the video card...The more screen size you use, the more textures/v ram it uses, so is 512 mb not enough...should i go to 1gb? Mb... The cpu is plenty, as you see its a quad and i'm not maxing it out by any means... Ram is fine... hd setup is above avg... What it really comes down to...is whether its a onboard ram (gpu) issue, or just a problem where the OS/game isn't prioritizing the game correctly. And from what people are saying in another forum, its at least partially the priority issue. Now it may very well be that more video ram would do even more for the game then getting it properly prioritized...But i won't know until i have a gpu with more ram to try out.

The game itself is really old, and when running 1 instance uses about 20% of the resources of the 4870 (according to gpu-z). It's really a cpu limited game.
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July 13, 2010 8:03:52 PM

A "for instance" is this: EQ 2 came out when the ati 1xxx series was popular...and now i'm trying to run it with the high end 4xxx series gpu heh. ;-) The 4xxx should be overkill, both in v ram and in gpu pwr. Hell i ran this on a 128 mb gpu when it first came out hehe.

Edit: Another interesting side note: I bought a amd nf4 setup back in the day and threw 2 6800 GT's in it, and my fps went down in EQ2 lol. CPU limited ftf.
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July 13, 2010 8:10:48 PM

The game is very CPU intensive, try launching both instances set the first instance of EQ2 to use only Core 0, do the same for the second instance and make it use Core 1 affinty.

Check the performance, then try adding the affinity to core 2 for the first instance and core 3 for the second instance.

So

EQ2-1 Core 0 and Core 2
EQ2-2 Core 1 and Core 3

Keep in mind FPS isn't a big issue in MMO/MMORPG's, most people can operate at 15 - 20 FPS as the FPS has very little to do with skill / performance in these types of games. (Ping / Latency is a large factor though)

PS: The affinity is set from the task manager, Control + Alt + Delete and right click on the process you want to adjust the affinity for.

PPS: Longshot, try updating the GPU Drivers and dropping the OC to base clocks and see if it changes too, overall I have a feeling it's just an aging CPU paired with a game that I don't believe has multi-threaded support.
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July 13, 2010 8:16:13 PM

The game has some* multithreaded support for when it does very specific things. Rarely will you see it use more then 1.3 cores or so. The affinity thing is actually a very good idea, however Sony has managed to shut that down. It automatically resets the affinity to cpu0 for the main process every 3-5 seconds.

However there are a couple of programs out there designed to force that setting (and free), i'm going to try one of them later today. (Core Affinity Resident x64)
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