Diablo® III

Agent process, spiky FPS and 9400M

Thought I'd post this one small thing I've learned about improving FPS in certain situations. I have noticed on several occasions that my FPS becomes very spiky. This can happen in areas where my FPS might be in general very bad to begin with (say around 10) or as good as it gets for me, (about 30). What I mean by 'spiky' is that FPS will quickly alternate between whatever my normal FPS is at the time, and a much much lower number. In an area where I am generally able to move at a decent speed (not slow motion), when this happens I cycle between normal and slow motion.

Each time this happens, Activity Monitor has shown a process named 'Agent' running, taking a very small amount of CPU, but still more than any process other than D3. I don't know what Agent does, but hunting on the forums shows it does have something to do with D3.

I have taken to killing this process through Activity Monitor. Each time, this has resulted in my FPS spikes going away, and FPS returning to whatever the steady state is for the area I'm in.

I hope this information is useful to someone!

It's entirely possible 'Agent' is important and I shouldn't be killing it. So use at your own risk ;)
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I think it's safe to kill the Agent process, because it's a part of Diablo III Launcher app. And I think it should close itself when you press "Play". But for some reason, it doesn't.

This process is also the cause of my FPS problems. Killing it after the game is launched, resolves my FPS problems.

EDIT: The "Agent" doesn't get terminated even if you just quit the Launcher without pressing the "Play" button. So, I'm pretty sure, the process is absolutely useless for the game itself and it's safe to kill it.

P.S. Please, fix it, Blizz.
Edited by Markus#2413 on 5/28/2012 12:32 AM PDT
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Wow! Thanks.

These spikes started happening after the launcher was updated, so this all makes sense.
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Support Forum Agent
Agent I believe requires to be active during game play. It only closes when you exit the game.
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MVP - Technical Support
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Think of Agent as a client proxy, for modifying game files as an external process, because the game isn't going to modify it's own files.

Agent is required to be open but is supposed to be pretty much in an idle/wait status, if it's using a lot of cpu something is wrong. Either that, OR, your gamei s not fully downloaded, in which case agent will have tasks to do as it's used by streaming mode or caching files. In other words, you hit play before it was complete with either, or something is wrong with your files. I'd suggest some basic trouble shooting steps in this case, like deleting and rebuilding cache files, or waiting for game to be 100% up to date before hitting play.

Alternatively, sometimes agent might just lockup or break, if it's using all cpu then you def need to kill it and let it relaunch.
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This process is also the cause of my FPS problems. Killing it after the game is launched, resolves my FPS problems.


Just to be clear, Agent certainly doesn't cause my FPS problems. I still have very low FPS in many areas of the game. But it does seem to occasionally cause FPS spikes.

Agent I believe requires to be active during game play. It only closes when you exit the game.


It may be necessary for something, but when I kill it, the game still seems to work just fine.

Agent is required to be open but is supposed to be pretty much in an idle/wait status, if it's using a lot of cpu something is wrong. Either that, OR, your gamei s not fully downloaded, in which case agent will have tasks to do as it's used by streaming mode or caching files.


It's actually just using a very small amount of CPU (around 3%), yet does seem to be correlated with FPS spikes for me. My game client is fully downloaded. My assumption is file i/o is causing the problems, not CPU. Although I've tailed the agent log when this happens and it doesn't seem to be doing anything unusual.
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Agent uses 5-8% on my MBP late 2011.
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Wow, thank you, OP. Closing Agent solved my intermittent framerate issues here too, on a 9600M GT in a 2008/2009 MBP.

Usually, my system spends about seven seconds at a comfortable 40-60fps followed by about three seconds of as low as 5-20fps. Continually. Standing still in a small cleared room or cellar. Even at minimum resolution and eye candy. Regardless of SMC/PRAM reset or any of things tried and discussed on this thread:

Edit: here's the correct thread-
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5152407826

I wouldn't assume all the people on that thread (including those with multiple Apple machines and installs) have corrupt game files or pushed play before 100%. I know I didn't, and I've tried starting from scratch as well.

When I force quit Agent, the slideshow rhythm ends. Activity Monitor doesn't show Agent eating more than 5% CPU here either. I have an Intel SSD so I'm skeptical of background i/o having such an impact on game performance. WoW and SC2 don't seem to have this problem, even on patch day. It may not make sense but it is repeatable. Will FRAPS and post vid if necessary.
Edited by protocall#1766 on 5/28/2012 2:32 PM PDT
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Glad to hear a few others are seeing similar improvements. And protocol, I can only dream of 40-60 fps.
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So if my client is 100%, then I launch the game is the Agent closed? When I did option command and escape I don't see it running in game. If not any directions on how to close it?
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Support Forum Agent
Thanks for the feedback about this. I will send this up to the appropriate teams for review.
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05/28/2012 03:21 PMPosted by MADCOW
So if my client is 100%, then I launch the game is the Agent closed? When I did option command and escape I don't see it running in game. If not any directions on how to close it?


Agent appears to run whenever you are playing. Cmd+tab or otherwise minimize the game, start Activity Monitor, and Force Quit the process named Agent.
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Just to reiterate folks, it runs for a reason, so force quitting it may be doing some damage I'm unaware of. Use at your own risk. And it will not increase your baseline FPS. But if you're having intermittent FPS drops, killing it may (or may not) help. Good luck.
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Support Forum Agent
Just to gather more information about this and send this up, can y'all post your system information?

Obtaining System Information
    1. Hold the 'Option' Key and choose System Profiler/Information from the Apple Menu.

    2. Copy the information from the following sections:
  • Hardware (remove the Serial Number line)
  • Graphics/Displays
  • Software (remove the Computer Name and User Name lines)
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System information, as requested:

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,4
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.53 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP53.00AC.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.49f2
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Type: GPU
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0863
Revision ID: 0x00b1
ROM Revision: 3448
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes

System Software Overview:

System Version: Mac OS X 10.7.4 (11E53)
Kernel Version: Darwin 11.4.0
Boot Volume: Macintosh HD
Boot Mode: Normal
Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled
64-bit Kernel and Extensions: Yes
Time since boot: 1 day2:08
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I have an 8600m GT in my MBP and I just tried killing the Agent after signing in to D3 and my FPS spikes are even worse than before.

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro3,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP31.0070.B07
SMC Version (system): 1.16f11
Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-001B63A47884
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT:

Chipset Model: GeForce 8600M GT
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 128 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0407
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3175
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected

System Software Overview:

System Version: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (10K549)
Kernel Version: Darwin 10.8.0
Boot Volume: Macintosh HD.
Boot Mode: Normal
Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled
64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No
Time since boot: 2 days 8:28
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Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP51.007E.B05
SMC Version (system): 1.41f2

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 512 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0647
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3437
gMux Version: 1.7.3
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes

System Version: Mac OS X 10.7.4 (11E53)
Kernel Version: Darwin 11.4.0
Boot Volume: ssd
Boot Mode: Normal
Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled
64-bit Kernel and Extensions: Yes
Time since boot: 4:52
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Isn't Agent some anti botting/spam program that's built in to D3? I believe it monitors gameplay somehow and reports back to Blizzard servers. I think it also monitors what else is running on your computer and let's Blizzard know if you might be running external bots. Or was that called Warden?
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Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MB51.007D.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.40f2
Hardware UUID: 7D2FD06C-FB3F-5AEA-82F3-199D34054234
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Type: GPU
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0863
Revision ID: 0x00b1
ROM Revision: 3385
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected

System Software Overview:

System Version: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (10K549)
Kernel Version: Darwin 10.8.0
Boot Volume: Hard Drive
Boot Mode: Normal
Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled
64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No
Time since boot: 10:55
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My game was running OK (15 FPS in sewers & oasis, 30 most other places)> I began experiencing this choppy FPS problem. One thing I tried was to make the Applications/Diablo III folder private for Spotlight. If the "Agent" process or something else is frequently writing files then Spotlight will have to keep re-indexing these while you are playing, and this could explain both the slowdown and the correlation with the Agent process.

You can make the Diablo III folder private in System Preferences > Spotlight. Click on the "Privacy" tab, click the "+" and navigate to the Applications/Diablo III folder and click "choose."

Good luck!
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