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Why Titanfall's Install Requires 48 GB: Uncompressed Audio

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 82 comments

Titanfall has finally landed, and eats up around 48 GB of HDD space.

Want to know why the just-released Titanfall shooter is such a hefty install on the PC? Blame it on the lower-end machines. The Xbox One version of Titanfall is a mere 17 GB, but the PC version eats up around 48 GB of hard drive space, 35 GB of which is all uncompressed audio so that lower-end machines aren't bogged down with decompressing audio.

"We have audio we either download or install from the disc, then we uncompress it," said Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker. "We probably could have had audio decompress off disc but we were a little worried about min spec and the fact that a two-core machine would dedicate a huge chunk of one core to just decompressing audio."

"So... it's almost all audio... On a higher PC it wouldn't be an issue," he added. "On a medium or moderate PC, it wouldn't be an issue, it's that on a two-core [machine] with where our min spec is, we couldn't dedicate those resources to audio."

As a refresher, here are the minimum specs:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
  • Processor: AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: at least 50 GB
  • Graphics card: Radeon HD 4770 with 512 VRAM or GeForce 8800GT with 512 VRAM
  • DirectX: DirectX 11

In addition to the hefty install, the Titanfall Facebook page reports that both the PC and Xbox One versions of the game received a patch for server stability. Obviously, EA and Microsoft don't want another SimCity and Battlefield 4 launch on their hands.

"We're aware that some users may have experienced early issues on PC and Xbox One. We've just pushed a patch that's now recovering servers quickly," the post reads. "Players will load into Private Lobbies much faster and we're continuing to monitor. Thanks for sticking with us on launch night, we appreciate your support!"

Recently, EA South Africa announced that it would not release Titanfall in that region due to poor Internet performance rates. However, an article by Engadget suggests that because Microsoft doesn't have Azure data centers in South Africa, Respawn could not guarantee the quality of the experience. Titanfall depends on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.

"One of the really nice things about it is that it isn't my problem, right?" said Respawn engineer Jon Shiring. "We just say [to Microsoft], here are our estimates, aim for more than that, plan for problems and make sure there are more than enough servers available -- they'll know the whole time that they need to bring more servers online."

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    salgado18 , March 12, 2014 10:20 AM
    Why not uncompress on level loading? Why not let the user decide if they want to uncompress at all? Or even let the user choose to decompress at reduced quality? Why not leave it compressed, but make an option to uncompress all audio in the options (or external config program, if there is one)? If the game downloads the assets from a patcher (like most online games do), why not let the user choose if he wants high-quality audio, or lower quality to reduce download and install size? So many options when, I think, at the current tech, many people don't have HD at least of 1TB or have an SSD of at most 256GB.
  • 19 Hide
    takeshi7 , March 12, 2014 10:20 AM
    They should have at least added the option to install compressed files to save disk space. 35GB just for audio is ridiculous.
  • 10 Hide
    Martell1977 , March 12, 2014 12:35 PM
    How difficult is it to make a smarter install package? I mean, seriously, just have the installer check the system, dual core = install package A, 3+ core = install package B. If I can run a script on systemrequirementslab.com, to see if I meet the requirements, why not have an installer that gets the same info and use it intelligently. I'm sure this isn't the only game that will have this issue.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    warezme , March 12, 2014 10:04 AM
    That's nothing, Skyrim Online beta won't even install if you C: drive doesn't have at least 60GB free space. The files are over 50GB.
  • 9 Hide
    burkhartmj , March 12, 2014 10:08 AM
    I find it a problem that these guys are okay with their game being larger than the amount of free space on a 64GB SSD [probably the most common size in use] with nothing but Windows installed. Even on my 256GB SSD I can't say I'm fine with a single game taking up a 5th of that just for audio.
  • 10 Hide
    Shin-san , March 12, 2014 10:12 AM
    That's weird. I have had dual-core machines in the past, and compressed audio hardly ever taxed the CPU. Then again, some people might appreciate the uncompressed audio
  • 5 Hide
    mauller07 , March 12, 2014 10:13 AM
    Should have used Flac instead of LPCM Wav.
  • 24 Hide
    salgado18 , March 12, 2014 10:20 AM
    Why not uncompress on level loading? Why not let the user decide if they want to uncompress at all? Or even let the user choose to decompress at reduced quality? Why not leave it compressed, but make an option to uncompress all audio in the options (or external config program, if there is one)? If the game downloads the assets from a patcher (like most online games do), why not let the user choose if he wants high-quality audio, or lower quality to reduce download and install size? So many options when, I think, at the current tech, many people don't have HD at least of 1TB or have an SSD of at most 256GB.
  • 19 Hide
    takeshi7 , March 12, 2014 10:20 AM
    They should have at least added the option to install compressed files to save disk space. 35GB just for audio is ridiculous.
  • 3 Hide
    rmpumper , March 12, 2014 10:23 AM
    This alone is a reason not to buy the game.
  • 4 Hide
    segio526 , March 12, 2014 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    Should have used Flac instead of LPCM Wav.
    FLAC still needs to decompressed, it's basically a zipped wav which is why it's smaller yet lossless. It should be more taxing on a CPU than MP3.
  • -8 Hide
    CraigN , March 12, 2014 10:37 AM
    For the cost of the game, you could buy a 1TB hard drive and install it fairly easily.Yes, I realize some people's budgets are constrained, but it's not like this information hasn't been out for a couple weeks now
  • 5 Hide
    kenh536 , March 12, 2014 10:47 AM
    This makes me sad... I hope more games don't do this. It would take literally 4-5 days straight downloading just to get one game on my connection. Ridiculous.
  • 3 Hide
    Traciatim , March 12, 2014 10:55 AM
    Why not tell people they can compress the game audio files using NTFS compression and have them take up less space if they want to? Better yet... find the offending files in the install and make it a guide. It would probably make it take half the space and most modern CPUs are so fast that the decompression wouldn't even be noticed in game performance.
  • 10 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , March 12, 2014 10:55 AM
    Quote:
    Why not uncompress on level loading? Why not let the user decide if they want to uncompress at all? Or even let the user choose to decompress at reduced quality? ....
    Quality control. The way game studios do things now is make every change to the games until the very last minute. Every little and seemingly easy change has to undergo strict quality control and testing. Unfortunately, the installation process is almost always put last which means they don't get alot of time to sort it out. They made a calculated decision to just make the game easier to play on lower end systems and didn't give themselves enough time to test multiple install methods. A shame it works this way really, but not unusual in the least.
  • 6 Hide
    burkhartmj , March 12, 2014 11:01 AM
    Quote:
    For the cost of the game, you could buy a 1TB hard drive and install it fairly easily.Yes, I realize some people's budgets are constrained, but it's not like this information hasn't been out for a couple weeks now


    This is an application we're talking about here. Unless the install process is incredibly robust, it's going to install the audio files with the rest of the system files for the game. If you're relying on an SSD for system files, the 40GB of uncompressed audio are going there whether you like it or not. Until 512GB and 1TB SSD's are affordable, this game size is outright absurd.

    At least other games like Skyrim and Crysis let you choose if you want the game to have a particularly large footprint by breaking out things like high texture packs into separate optional files. Even then, you're still talking around 15-20GB vs 50GB.
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 12, 2014 11:10 AM
    I wonder if it's 48 GB on all PCs or just lower end ones.
  • 7 Hide
    Nolonar , March 12, 2014 11:12 AM
    Quote:
    Should have used Flac instead of LPCM Wav.
    If you read the article, you'd know the uncompressed audio isn't meant to increase audio quality, but to decrease decompression overhead.

    In any case, this is stupid. They could've made it an option, where people can "store decompressed audio for better performance", rather than force over 3 times the necessary space onto everybody.
  • 5 Hide
    Optimus_Toaster , March 12, 2014 11:19 AM
    It's not that bad, HDD space isn't exactly costly anymore and if you want the game on an SSD you can junction the 35GB of audio onto a HDD and leave the rest of the game files on an SSD.Finally the audio is super compressed when you download the game so you don't have to download 50GB.
  • -6 Hide
    whimseh , March 12, 2014 11:27 AM
    But.. you shouldn't even have Titanfall if you have a toaster PC.
  • 7 Hide
    Au_equus , March 12, 2014 12:18 PM
    Quote:
    I wonder if it's 48 GB on all PCs or just lower end ones.


    all of them.
  • -9 Hide
    nebun , March 12, 2014 12:23 PM
    such stupidity...if you can't afford to purchase a gamming rig or build one then you don't deserve to play the game....like it or not, it's the truth.....anyone can build a decent gaming machine these days.
  • 10 Hide
    Martell1977 , March 12, 2014 12:35 PM
    How difficult is it to make a smarter install package? I mean, seriously, just have the installer check the system, dual core = install package A, 3+ core = install package B. If I can run a script on systemrequirementslab.com, to see if I meet the requirements, why not have an installer that gets the same info and use it intelligently. I'm sure this isn't the only game that will have this issue.
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