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  • [AAR] The importance of CPU

    So since the Arma 3 dropped I have been using the same old 6-7 years old custom built PC to play it. There was always a feeling of lag since the beginning for me. I would put up with it as BI made improvements and fixes. I would hope that patches would improve my performance.

    Whenever the missions were a bit more complex, I would have the feeling of lag more and more. Compared to other players I knew they were getting much better performance than me as they enjoyed these missions which were complex in nature and full of custom scripts and all that, while I would dread them. The latest one we tried was the insurg. That mission had all sort of scripts running.

    So this limitation of my own PC shaped my approach to gameplay, and mission development. I was becoming increasingly extreme on sticking to a minimalist approach when it came to mission design and mission choices. The series which was developed with this in mind was the series that came with Motorized, Inf, AirCav series. Nothing in there was extra when they first came out. The AO is as small as possible and the enemy number is minimal enough to give an ok challenge. Even revive script was seen as extra luxury for me so the originals had no revive at all. I did not like Liberation, as in my mind it overcomplicated and included unnecessary (in my mind) extras. Even my own series which I have been importing, the enemy assault, soon dropped out of favor as no matter how minimal I wanted to make it, I always had a feeling of lag.

    My graphics settings were the absolute minimum, trying to get the best FPS I can. I made sure to add scripts which would allow FPS saving functions like the 'grass disable' in CHVD. I favored the smaller missions and specifically those I made with minimalism in mind. For me, those were decently playable. A few months back I realized how much different experience that others have while watching somebody's gameplay video.
    Fast forward it, and I had a chance and necessity to upgrade. I chose a motherboard which was compatible with my existing RAMs and can take my current 6 year old video card. With that motherboard I had a chance to upgrade the CPU also.

    The old CPU was Dual Core Athlon II 3.0Ghz
    The new CPU is Quad Core FX 4.2 Ghz

    Now this new CPU is not the latest and the greatest and is an aging one in the AMD lineup. But what a difference does it make. I only upgraded the CPU and the Motherboard (total $100) which can support it nothing else. Same 6 year old RAMs, same 6 -7 year old video card.

    Now loading the editor and switching between mission files is so much faster. I played a couple of sessions so far with TG. Pandora Insurgency plays smooth as butter. I am on a bit higher view distance and higher graphics. Noticing the leaves falling while in a firefight in a forest is a new thing for me. And even a heavily scripted mission like the Hearts and Minds runs so much better with all kinds of mods. I avoided missions like Invade and Annex, King of Hill and chalked them up to being overly stuffed with custom and poorly coded junk.

    But in fact it was just that my CPU could not handle all that is Arma. I think my stance that was minimalism will change as I get used this newly found power, in terms of mission dev and gameplay. I also wanted to write all this for those who are chugging along with their aging rigs in an effort to share and connect.


  • #2
    It was the same for me, I had used the amd 965 BE for around 5 years but switched to a new intel cpu last year and it improved both with low and high settings, but sometimes I get capped by the server so changing settings won't matter. I had also changed Graphics card a few years back which allows you to turn on a few more Graphics option to ultra setting which only puts strain on the video card not the CPU (ambient occlusion and whatever else), but generally most important options uses up the CPU/RAM (object quality, anti-aliasing, view distance, shadows (both gpu/cpu), grass)

    I still love playing something simple like AirCav missions but we do need a little more complicated missions like pandora insurgency too or else we won't get new players in :)
    - Current ArmA Pathfinder

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    • #3
      B, Your post gives me hope! I too have a PC that struggles with Arma. I am about to embark on a new journey, I am tired of buying cookie cutter PC's. My current is only 2 years old and struggles to get 25 fps on even the simplest of missions with fairly low settings. I knew it wasn't a high-end PC but I was very dissatisfied. The funny thing is mine has a FX 8core and an r7 290? If I remember right, so I wouldn't think it would suck this bad. Maybe this shows the importance of part selection.
      Anyway down the path of PC building I go hopefully to join Xorilliz in the skies with a few miles of view distance!
      On a side note it has been mentioned that an SSD can really help. For those that have one do you have just the game on it or all mods as well?
      May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.
      -- Gen. George S. Patton


      |TG189th| Cody

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      • #4
        Cody, have you tried turning your setting UP a bit? Some players report that it puts more load on your GPU (which should be fine) and puts some stress off your CPU. That helped in my case.

        Also: NDA on Ryzen falls with today. might want to be on a look out ;)

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        • #5
          Think most of us with SSD's run the OS on one and games on another. I also have a HD for data such as doc's pictures etc. When I first put windows on an SSD when I turned the computer on or off it loaded and unloaded so fast I thought I'd broke something. Have been running an i5 and upgraded the GPU to a Nvidia 970. My latest acquisition is a Dell 2k monitor that includes Nividia G-Sync. I now can run the video settings much higher without loss in FPS. I know an i7 and more ram would improve performance but I'm happy with what I have.

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          • #6
            I can relate to this post entirely. I too have an already aged (much like yours truly) machine. A 775 chipset (Intel Core 2 Duo, E7400 2.8Ghz Overclocked to 3.4Ghz, sadly my 4.0Ghz was no longer stable), An updated GPU (750ti), albeit aged too.
            Historically, with ARMA series. The CPU was king, end of. Also noticed during those years of trying to squeeze very drop of performance out of the machine. I've learned that once the clock speed broke the 3.0Ghz barrier the game ran much better/smoother.
            Also adding an SSD made a whole world of difference as well. This is a must for any gamers or video editors out there.The IO speed is important indeed.
            Whilst I have no plan of upgrading my current PC to a more updated modern-ish kit. I am on the lookout for old 775 chips to bump my current with minimal financial effort. As well as adding more RAM (DDR2 what?!).
            So if you guys have any ideas where I can source a CPU worth the purchase (considering my previous statement), and RAM. That would be awesome!

            TLDR: Buy SSD, Get better CPU, Win.

            TGU Instructor · TG Pathfinder

            Former TGU Dean · Former ARMA Admin · Former Irregulars Officer

            "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

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            • #7
              LowSpeedHighDrag Got a Core 2 Quad Q9950 lying around (somehwere...). Not sure if I have some DDR2 too. Dunno how much shipment from Austria to your place costs, but I can check if I can find it for you.

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              • #8
                SSD using SATA or M.2 which is better?
                May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.
                -- Gen. George S. Patton


                |TG189th| Cody

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                • #9
                  M.2 is much faster than SATA. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/29770...rformance.html)

                  I switched from SATA SSD to M.2 and the difference is noticeable.

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                  • #10
                    M.2 is not always faster. M.2 is the "port" that is used. If the M.2 is wired over SATA lanes, you basically get the same speeds (about 500/500 Mbit/s read and write).
                    Modern M.2 are wired via PCIe and can reach 2500/2000 Mbit/s read and write and above. You can check your Mainboard configuration in the manual or on the website and see which M.2 is for you.

                    Installing your OS on the drive will lower the speed a bit. In case of M.2 PCIe it is 200 Mbit/s slower compared to Windows installed on a separate drive (that really doesn't make any difference then on benchmarks though).

                    You will not "feel" the difference between SATA and PCIe btw. The "clickiness" and quick reaction of a SSD comes with both configurations.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bedamichl View Post
                      LowSpeedHighDrag Got a Core 2 Quad Q9950 lying around (somehwere...). Not sure if I have some DDR2 too. Dunno how much shipment from Austria to your place costs, but I can check if I can find it for you.
                      I'm in UK, I will pay for shipping actually. :)

                      TGU Instructor · TG Pathfinder

                      Former TGU Dean · Former ARMA Admin · Former Irregulars Officer

                      "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

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