What's your FPS? Needs some thoughts on why my game might be dragging like hell.

hi everyone, I’m trying to debug my game and get the frame rate up. I’m trying to isolate where I’m losing frame rate. I know the bottleneck is in rendering but I’m not sure why. I can also see while shuffling through different view modes (i.e. Lit and UnLit) that there is a big drop in fps when I’m in Lit vs UnLit, yes obvious that there should be a hit, but why is it dramatic? Right now I average between 10-17fps depending on where I am and what level.

Some of the steps I’ve taken to speed up my game is to group my modular objects, and re-import them to cut down by about ten fold the geometry calls.
I’ve put in LOD models for large models, and use low res textures progressively as I go down the LOD chain. 1024, 512, 256, 64 for the really far stuff.
I model pretty lightly to begin with, trying to keep things clean and simple as much as possible.

When just doing a benchmark test on a clean default game I’m not in stellar areas to begin with. So it only goes down from here. Essentially this is with the default UE4 sky and square mesh that comes in default level load.

fps 36
ms 24

My question is whether I’m suffering here because

1 ) My computer is sucky? 2009 Mac Pro 2.66 Quad Core with 32GB Ram and an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB.

2 ) Or is it that I should be running a build of my game and stop testing my speed with the editor up (Note I close everything else running, and yes the content browser as well).

3 ) Some unknown reason that I can’t seem to fathom so far as I’ve cleaned up a great deal.

I know i’m not simply trying to make a flat pinball type game, but i’m NOT going for Call of Duty level of imagery either, and yet no matter what I do to optimize, I seem to drop down incredibly quickly in frame rate, and it’s making me depressed, and pretty anxious at this point that all my efforts are going for naught and this is going to fall apart because no matter what I cannot get that FPS down.

I tried to post images here but for some reason can’t upload anything today here. So I put them on my website instead.

Know that I am looking at this doc on performance. I’m looking for thoughts beyond that. has anyone gone through this? Does anyone think this is computer related? I feel like I’m trying to fix all the big hits (and have even tested by toggling off my texture maps to no avail).

thanks for insights or thoughts.

Pretty much.

The gpu is comparable to a 550ti desktop.

CPU should be okay (I believe it’s a Xeon 3500 so it’s comparable to an i7 920).

can you elaborate? What are you using? What is your average fps? What is the fps when just running a default scene? I’m looking for real information please.

And please don’t use this thread as a platform to bash Apple systems.

I run Unreal demos like Elemental Tech demo quite smoothly with an i3 and a 670.

The fps in preview window is variable but it’s extremely smooth aswell.

I asked some days ago a question, how to use integrated devtools for performance testing, but no answer.
There are many options to test stuff.
For your scene i would test lightimpact.
You can get a scene very quick to unplayable with (moving) lights.
I tested it with an actor with lights(flashlight), spawned per keypress, to check limit and i was wondering how big the impact was.

Make sure to mess with the post FX, like screen space reflections/motion blur/depth of field/ambient occlusion/anti-aliasing

Can anyone actually give me an FPS count? I appreciate some of the specifics about your processors, although knowing what the ghz rate would be helpful too. For instance the new Mac Pro is a quad core with 3.4 ghz processors and some other things that help speed up the system as well.

But i’ll give you another example of my confusion here. I saw someone who posted about his plugin which combines objects real time, he reported that his plugin (which only worked on instances of the same object btw) that his fps speeds were around 70 fps, which i’ve actually NEVER seen, not even in a brand new scene so that begs the question what are people seeing? Granted I add a certain amount of detail to my work, but it’s all smoke and mirrors, textures and shadows and I’ve worked hard to lower the impact on the engine.

Additionally though, I wonder should I be running on the hottest system I can get? If I develop on the fastest system and can clock an fps at 45 or something, then i may be in the dark when the average joe tries my game out and finds they cannot run it at all (which btw there are demos by Epic that I cannot run at all).

Here are my specifics again : 2009 Mac Pro 2.66 Quad Core with 32GB Ram and an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB.

Additionally I’m running my game off of a solid state 1 Tb drive, not a spinning disk and I keep all the work on my main boot up drive, I don’t work off of other hard drives.

I will tell you all that one thing I found is that my FPS drops exponentially if I have one mere shadow out of whack. Also I started to use the Unreal Merge (beta) tool, and that has not been working out for me. It gives me loads of shadow errors, and I feel like this could be another sink, so I’ve been replacing them with my own Maya merged objects that are clean.

I’m slightly confused, you are getting an FPS of 36 in just a blank project with the map with a Sky Sphere?

My specs:

i7 4790K 4.0 GHz CPU
GTX 980 Ti GPU
24GB 1866 MHz RAM

Without the unnecessary luxuries my rig has it is worth about $1400. I get an FPS of 220+ in a blank project with the default level, and about an average of 30 FPS while running the Kite Demo

Holeee…*****. You’re confused because my fps on a blank project is so slow, and i’m confused because yours is so bloody high. You heard me right, I get 36 fps on a blank project.

I’m going to test this out on my Windows laptop but I suspect it isn’t better, although it’s a newer i7 system, i abandoned it because it was so sluggish to work on making games, upped the ram on my mac, and things started cruising.

I’m guessing this has something to do with the graphics card. I have to look up how yours compares to mine, which is the best i could get for this Mac Pro (2009 model).

I think though this could be very illuminating if more people share their computer specs, and fps on a default nothin’ game.

and I’m feeling very depressed by this… seriously.

  1. Get a PC. The Windows OS is just better then a Macs OS, I wont go into specifics, but Mac Books run Windows 10, 8.1, and I think windows 7 better then they run Mac OS. Also use a destop, not a laptop. There’s just no arguements here. A desktop is bigger, more powerful, has more screen space, etc… Its just better in every way.

Saying that yes, your computer sucks and nothing can change that
i’ll tell what I recommend for building a game.(note this is low end minium specs)
Intel i5 core that runs at 3 Ghz or more.
960+ for 1080p game design. 980Ti for 4k development. with atleast 2GBs of HDDR 5.
RAM is 8gb to 16gb.(you don’t need more unless your making a movie, like lets say a Youtuber or Sony) Get DDR3 or 4… It really doesn’t matter which right now, yes DDR4 is more powerful, but its also more expensive.
If you had a PC Desktop I’d recomend just changing the core, motherboard, and graphics card, a £400 update… but since it isn’t your looking at a £15000 Mac. >>>

Otherwise Is the list of everything you need to make your own pc at a much lower price.

You should get +100 frames on a basic level.
A general rule of thumb though is making a video game is more expensive to the computer then gaming. If you can’t play the game on your rig… you can’t make the game either.

coincidentally I’m making a game for dyslexic kids… my son is dyslexic. But I tell ya, I’m feeling pretty low tonight. For starters, I’m tired of upgrading to new systems. I have so much equipment, and i’m finding the equipment I have isn’t suitable to making games in UE4, making me question my decision to leave Unity in the dust. It seems to me every time i buy a Windows system the system dies within 16 months of buying it, so I have a hard time leaving the Mac paradigm again and testing those waters.

However, It also begs the question, even if I finish this game how would it possibly run on average joe’s computer for kids who aren’t serious gamers with flashy computers. If these games can only run on 3.5 ghz quad cores or 8 cores or whatever, then how can we expect end users to actually run them?

i’m running at the mouth. If I drank, i’d have a drink.


Well, you mentioned to not use this thread for bashing Apple systems, but I just need to tell you this one thing. In another thread, someone was asking about PC vs Mac for UE4, so I decided to do a little bit of research. I ended up finding some benchmarks for the maxed out Mac pro (~$9000). It turns out that in Cinebench (OpenGL), the Mac Pro gets about 75 fps, while my rig gets about 110 fps. For the CPU test, the Mac Pro got about 1450 score, while my rig got about 900 (I’m not surprised, my CPU is proportionally my weakest component). Even if the benchmark results were largely innacurate on the Mac, it still costs 5x as much as my PC. Keep in mind that the Mac Pro used in these benchmarks is the best product as Apple sells, and costs about $9000, while my custom built rig costed me about $1500. I’ll assume your Mac costs nowhere near that of the Mac Pro, so if you are wondering why the performance is so bad, hopefully what I just said makes sense.

My rig is way overshooting it for simple game development, and is capable of developing the next GTA game for all it cares. As long as you aren’t doing anything open-world or too graphically intensive, a custom built $800 - $1000 PC would be more than enough and would last you several years. Comparatively if you wanted a laptop instead of a PC that price would hop up to around $1100 - $1400 for the same performance.

As for performance for your end users, you could easily cap the FPS at 24, 30, 60, etc. in order to keep the game looking smooth, or just lower scalability settings.

I don’t think of this as Mac bashing, I find Mac far more reliable than PCs, but they are so expensive, and have always been so expensive in comparison to PCs, it feels manipulative and somewhat criminal. You aren’t supposed to put extra memory or non-apple memory in your system (i do of course) and you aren’t supposed to let people non-mac install things (i do it myself). My system is not a cheap system and it’s not wimpy, except when it comes to game development especially in terms of next gen software like UE4.

But it is depressing. My Mac is a Mac Pro. So yes, it is expensive, and i have a 30" Apple monitor (which I wouldn’t replace) and a 20" Apple monitor and my Cintiq. So i’m no stranger to putting money into my setup - but it feels like the timeline for putting money into new setups gets shorter and shorter, and with Apple far more expensive, and still having caps on what it can do as you point out. It’s absolutely true, even pushed to the max my system would still not be good enough, it’s just throwing money away.

I’ve spent loads of money on my setup over the years (don’t get me started on software costs).

@Finn do not feeled depressed about Jamendxman3 , he is master grade in hardware depressing stuff!

I have almost the same build as Jamendxman3 (except regular superclocked gtx 980) and I seems like I’m capped at 120 fps. How do you get to 220+?

I have very good fps on my gtx 760ti too and had very good performance on my gtx 670 before too!!! The 760ti isn’t an expensive card!

FYI, I have a windows 10, Asus Radeon EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/A(buy it 6 years ago), z87-A motherboardand, i5-3.40GHZ, 16 ram DDR3 2400, ssd hard drive. Nothing spectacular.
I get the capped 120 fps in empty level.

For the same price, because, 3000$ Laptop is better that a 500$ destop. :rolleyes:, Money is the only point in get performance.

I’ve recently jumped ship from an iMac 27" (late 2013, Core i5) to a custom built gaming PC as the iMac simply cannot be used with UE4. It was fine with Unity, however there are other tools that stretch it too, like Substance Painter.

I hate Windows; it’s cr@p compared to OSX, however my only other choice is to build a Hackintosh PC and I cannot be bothered with the additional effort involved in maintaining it (I’ve done it in the past). So back to Windows I go :frowning:

Incidentally I paid £870, including VAT for i5 6600K, 16GB 2133MHz RAM, GTX 960 4GB and a 480GB SSD. Looking at the previous posts in this thread, this should run UE4 very well.

Playing with the scalability settings this morning, it’s a bit depressing :

Setting everything to the lowest setting I can get as high as 26 fps in the slow area of my game. It doesn’t feel jerky, but it’s not stellar either.

Also researching another computer, I know many of you guys just build them yourselves, but Dammit Jim I’m an artist not a doctor.

I build too much stuff in my daily life, furniture, barns, the whole place after the flood. I don’t have it in me to build my computer too. I just want to get in my studio and be creative in the short amount of time before my family wakes up for the day and on the few days I have studio time to myself.

Looking at the systems I know were dependable when I worked at Sony Imageworks. I can’t even remember what we used at R&H anymore, how sad is that.

God I hate Windows systems, (can anyone actually find the UDK executable for instance with the newer Windows?). But I feel like digging up Steve Jobs and kicking his butt.

Yeah, UE4 is just a monster, designed for high-end AAA games. In my experience a Unity game with mid-quality graphics will run about as fast as a UE4 prototype with all graphics settings off or as low as possible. I have a 3.4GHz i5, no graphics card (i.e, the on-board Intel 4000 chip), and way more RAM than I need. I get 50fps in the “empty” level. Obviously not a “serious gamer” computer, but then again, I can run Skyrim on low settings and look over a vast landscape at 35-60 fps, or run Dark Souls just fine at 30+.

On the lowest settings you get a minimum of 26fps? That doesn’t seem totally hopeless to be honest. What do you get in unlit mode? If you want it to run on an average Joe computer you’ll have to strip down the graphics as much as possible. Just an idea, maybe look into the graphics guidelines for developing UE4 mobile games?

On the other hand, building your own computer is not hard at all (though it won’t help average people run your game). It takes about the same skill level as putting together Ikea furniture. And Windows really isn’t that bad! I’ve been running mine for 2 years now with no issues (after my macbook crashed completely on an update). And if you have a 1TB SSD, well . . . you can buy almost half of a decent PC for the price of that.