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BF2: new dog doesn't want to learn old tricks.

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July 20, 2009 4:53:29 PM

Okay, first of all, Battlefield 2 is 4 years old now, but still a blast to play. Naturally, therefore, I was only too happy to run it on my new rig, whose specs are as follows:
Phenom X4 9600 @2.3GHz
4GB DDR2 1066 RAM
WD Caviar 640GB HDD
XFX Radeon HD 4850 1GB DDR3
Corsair 450W PSU with 33A +12V
Windows XP x64

Problem: performance is dismal. Not only that, it doesn't seem to depend on the game settings - all high with 8xAA works the same as it does with eye candy turned off - averaging around 40fps, meaning that when there is a lot of action it goes down into the 20s.

Why is it that my machine whose capabilities vastly exceed anything even conceived of at the time of this game's making is having such a tough time? It runs modern games fine. TF2? Crank it up. Bioshock? Maxed out, not a hitch. COD4? Puh-leez.

Before anyone even mentions the word "driver", I'll say that I have tried the following Catalyst versions:
8.6 with 4800 hotfix
8.7 beta
9.2-based DNA release
9.6

I've got a clean slate with a fresh Windows install. Suggest away.

EDIT: Mystery solved. If you're having this problem and have a Phenom I, go into your BIOS and look for a setting having to do with a TLB patch. Turn the patch off. There is also a program out there that does this, but I think it must be run on every boot. Thank you THers for making me suspicious of my Phenom.

More about : bf2 dog learn tricks

July 20, 2009 7:05:43 PM

Quick update: just tried Catalyst 8.12. No DICE (see what I did there?).

Either it's not a driver issue or it's stemming from something all Catalyst versions since at least 8.12 have in common.
July 20, 2009 8:43:06 PM

Just a heads up, do you have the lastest patch (BF2) have you tried overclocking your 9600??? 2.3 GHZ is kinda low even if its a quad. I would recommend you up that 9600 to at least 2.8GHZ due to the fact that BF2 uses ALOT more CPU than the average game. Comparing CoD4 to BF2 is like comparing CS to Crysis, again 2.3Ghz is low IMO....
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2009 8:44:40 PM

the phenom 9600 is not a strong cpu and thats what you are seeing as the limitation
[ which isnt about gfx quality ]

The game will only be using one of the phenoms 4 cores and they all run quite slow. What mb do you have ? It may be possible to fit a more game friendly cpu
July 20, 2009 8:54:54 PM

The 9600 is fine as long as he can get it to at least 2.8, if not then its time to upgrade...
July 20, 2009 10:33:35 PM

Heh... I highly doubt that will happen. In tests others have done the Agena wouldn't even boot at 2.4GHz.

However, I can't help but be skeptical about the conclusion you guys have reached. I remember seeing a benchmark where they compared BF2 on a stock P4 with one underclocked to 1.0GHz, and the performance loss was almost nil. Not only that, but BF2 runs better on my Athlon XP at 1.833GHz with 1.00GB DDR400 and a 7600GS and on my laptop with a C2D at 1.8GHz and an 8400M GS than on the Phenom machine. BF2 is notoriously RAM-dependent, but not CPU-dependent in my experience.

However it is certainly a possibility that I can't count out. Clock speeds certainly are not the only indicator of overall processor strength. And if we're talking bottlenecks, it certainly ain't the 4850 or the RAM.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2009 10:57:20 PM

the problem with the 9600 is that there was an error in the design process . The cache on the cpu cant be used so the cpu cache is effectively shifted to the RAM and that hits performance hard
The TLB error in these cpu's is pretty much what nearly bankrupted AMD

Phenom 1's with XX50 serials have had this issue fixed , but they are still not great overclockers .

There isnt a problem with ATI drivers [ that Im aware of ] so I dont think thats your problem

Unless you have somehow limited the pci-e bandwidth in BIOS the bottleneck is most likely to be cpu


What monitor and resolution are you using and how are you connecting gfx card to monitor ?
what is your motherboard ?
July 20, 2009 11:01:52 PM

Monitor is a good ole VGA CRT running at 1152x854 connected to the 4850 the usual way, through the DVI output on the back of it, albeit through an adapter dongle of course.

Mobo is a Gigabyte MA770-UD3, which supports AM3, so if the Phenom is proving to be the problem I might just move up to a Phenom II 720 if I can get the cash.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2009 11:14:00 PM

Ive just re-read your first post , and now I think Im wrong about it being your cpu.

Sorry , but I completely missed that other later games run fine .
That suggests that DX8 games might not play well with DX10

EDIT: I searched on google
"bf2 dx10 "

you are not alone
July 20, 2009 11:30:13 PM

Abuse Team Robot said:
Monitor is a good ole VGA CRT running at 1152x854 connected to the 4850 the usual way, through the DVI output on the back of it, albeit through an adapter dongle of course.

Mobo is a Gigabyte MA770-UD3, which supports AM3, so if the Phenom is proving to be the problem I might just move up to a Phenom II 720 if I can get the cash.


I would suggest you at least save up between 102.99 and 119.99 and you can choose between these two CPU's :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

both will run BF2 flawless and you can overclock them for even more horsepower......


July 21, 2009 12:25:07 AM

Looks like there will be no need! It was the processor - I found a feature in my BIOS that turned off the performance-choking TLB patch for the Phenoms, and now with 8X AA and 16X AF on all high my framerate reaches 90 at lowest!

Protip, AMD: don't rush your products to the market. Yes, quad-core, woohoo. Yippee skippee. Too bad it's defective out of the box.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2009 12:59:48 AM

Abuse Team Robot said:
Looks like there will be no need! It was the processor - I found a feature in my BIOS that turned off the performance-choking TLB patch for the Phenoms, and now with 8X AA and 16X AF on all high my framerate reaches 90 at lowest!

Protip, AMD: don't rush your products to the market. Yes, quad-core, woohoo. Yippee skippee. Too bad it's defective out of the box.


without the tlb patch your system can randomly crash .

If that starts happening at least you know why and how to fix it
ie new cpu
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!