Official Camera Stutter 4.0.3/a thread (Mac)

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85 Human Rogue
9315
At this point it honestly is seeming to be random. Just tried to log-in since the errors earlier, and about 25 seconds after entering the fans kicked in. iSTAT says 5674rpm, and they pretty much stay around this until I close the came.

Most of the time though, I'll log in, and the fans will not increase in speed. I'll look at iSTAT and they'll never go over 2010rpm. It may have to do with plugging into my monitor, not sure why that would affect this at all, though.
90 Blood Elf Warlock
18590
I'm not quite sure my current experience is related to this topic or I should start a new thread, but this week I started noticing quite a bit of stuttering and/or delay in certain situations. Most noticeably right after killing any mob there will be a quick stutter when it dies as well as when I dismount and my pet bar pops up. I've also noticed that if I go to loot a corpse right as it dies (with auto-loot enabled), the loot window pops up but it doesn't actually auto loot, something I've never experienced before. If I wait a second then loot, it works fine. I've noticed that quick turns in certain areas of the game are producing a brief pause / stutter effect as well which I haven't noticed previously. It almost feels as if there is a really slight bit of communication lag all of the sudden, however my latency and fps haven't changed (normally around 17-19 ms and between 40-60 fps depending on location or raid situation). The usual permissions reset, cache clear, SMC reset, and Disk Utility repair do not seem to correct the stutter for me.
Edited by Keari on 4/8/2011 4:43 PM PDT
I just had a thought about this.

To recap: the root cause of problem is that the client is limited to 2GB of RAM at any one time, and the texture cache has been given a small size hard-cap in the 4.x client to stop it from crashing. This texture cache is too small for running on the highest quality settings, so data has to be swapped in and out of the RAM cache from the hard disk, causing the stutter effect.
Correct me if I'm wrong.

So what if we were to circumvent the problem by creating a RAM disk? We could copy the MPQ files that contain texture data to the RAM disk and then link them from their original locations. This would mean the textures would always be in RAM, the game swapping them into and out of the cache would be lightning fast and the stutter would be gone? Maybe? At least for those of us with too much RAM to spare? :D
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6120
I just had a thought about this.

To recap: the root cause of problem is that the client is limited to 2GB of RAM at any one time, and the texture cache has been given a small size hard-cap in the 4.x client to stop it from crashing. This texture cache is too small for running on the highest quality settings, so data has to be swapped in and out of the RAM cache from the hard disk, causing the stutter effect.
Correct me if I'm wrong.

So what if we were to circumvent the problem by creating a RAM disk? We could copy the MPQ files that contain texture data to the RAM disk and then link them from their original locations. This would mean the textures would always be in RAM, the game swapping them into and out of the cache would be lightning fast and the stutter would be gone? Maybe? At least for those of us with too much RAM to spare? :D


The problem isn't RAM. It's swapping from in and out of VRAM. I run off an SSD. It's the next best thing to extended VRAM, and I still get massive stutter. It's the whole "dump and reload" problem that causes this issue. Having a RAM disk won't solve that because you're still dumping and reloading constantly, thus the stutter remains. And for 99.9% of the playerbase, a RAM disk is not only not feasible, it's an impossibility. You'd need to cache ALL of the game in RAM for it to be effective, and sitting at 35 GB on average (you can thank the new streaming model and its god awful "cache" system for that), only those on server type computers like the Mac Pro can even have that much RAM.

Opening up the app to PAE would allow the texture cache to be set to 512 MB or even 1024 MB, making stutter almost assuredly minimal, if not gone. Driver fixes help a bit, but the overreaching problem of "dump and reload" needs to be addressed before it goes away and becomes like it is on the Windows client: smooth.
I was pretty sure that the problem was system RAM, not VRAM. Otherwise, why would the problem have only started in the 4.x client?
In my experience, the 3.x client took as much RAM as it needed, which meant that there was never a stutter problem, but loading so many high res textures into RAM would cause crashes eventually. These were invariably an assertion error when getting stuff into/out of the texture cache when the 2GB limit was exceeded.

I agree requiring an abundance of RAM for a RAM disk is not much of a fix, but 99% of Mac users don't have good enough systems to play on Ultra quality and experience this problem anyway. :) Usually it's the Mac Pro/5870 owners who *do* have the silly amounts of triple channel RAM in their systems.
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6120
The 3.x client had the exact same limitations on VRAM caching as the 4.x client on the OS X side. It was the Windows side that increased cache allotment capability, and the LAA extension flag on Windows is only accessible via a (sanctioned by Microsoft) very specific method for which there is no equivalant in OS X.

04/08/2011 11:51 PMPosted by Deathlance
I was pretty sure that the problem was system RAM, not VRAM. Otherwise, why would the problem have only started in the 4.x client?


The reason the problem started with the 4.x client is simple: 3.x's "ultra" settings were based on older OpenGL code and had lower thresholds than do our current Ultra settings. The current Ultra settings place a huge strain on the asynchronous data offload functions in OS X (cache swapping to/from VRAM) because on our client, only textures in the field of view (FoV) are kept active while those no longer in FoV are dumped, and if you turn quickly, they must be reloaded into VRAM from their hardfile source (the MPQs). The PTR client lessens this effect to a modest degree from what I can see, but it is still very much prevelant, so I'm guessing the client is only allowing maybe 128 MB of texture cache at the most. Had Blizzard enabled PAE (Physical Address Extension) capability, normally "auto-on" in OS X built apps by default, the client could cache as much textures as VRAM could hold. In the case of Mac video cards, that's 1 GB (1024 MB), a far cry from the 64 MB Live limit, and still very much larger (8x) than the 128 MB limit I'm surmising the PTR client has.

Don't get me wrong - the PTR does nave noticeable gains in performance, but it's still nowhere near the fluidity of the 3.x client. One other thing to keep in mind: I used to run Ultra settings for nearly everything other than ground clutter in 3.x on a Radeon HD3870. I'm currently running a Radeon HD5870 in the same machine and can't do Ultra in the 4.x client, despite being two full generations separated from the previous card, faster VRAM, twice the VRAM, and a more up to date OS version. That's pretty telling right there.

I know the devs are still working on this actively. I just wish they'd let us try a PAE enabled PTR client with an allowable texture cache of 1024 MB, if for no other purpose than to test whether or not that could fix this issue by itself. The Live client dies hard at 2 GB. There's nothing the user can do to extend that RAM table - on Ultra settings, you will reach 2 GB in the new zones and the client will simply die on you. We really need access to PAE if we're going to ultimately solve this, since the tools available to us in a cramped 2 GB RAM limited environment are simply too lacking. You can only squeeze so much juice out of a tiny lemon before the pulp clogs up your glass. We need a bigger lemon from which to make our lemonade.
04/09/2011 12:40 AMPosted by Tiapriestess
I know the devs are still working on this actively. I just wish they'd let us try a PAE enabled PTR client with an allowable texture cache of 1024 MB, if for no other purpose than to test whether or not that could fix this issue by itself. The Live client dies hard at 2 GB. There's nothing the user can do to extend that RAM table - on Ultra settings, you will reach 2 GB in the new zones and the client will simply die on you. We really need access to PAE if we're going to ultimately solve this, since the tools available to us in a cramped 2 GB RAM limited environment are simply too lacking. You can only squeeze so much juice out of a tiny lemon before the pulp clogs up your glass. We need a bigger lemon from which to make our lemonade.


I see that the PTR client is now pushing 10.6.7. Unfortunately, everything after 10.6.3, where I settled after having to restore after a disk failure, causes flicker in certain combinations of accelerated apps and sometimes causes GUI lockup.

Blizz, please make the PTR client stop whining about 10.6.3 every time I launch it. I'm not going to a later release until Apple fixes the nVidia graphics bugs they introduced in 10.6.4.
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6120
Have you tried the updated nVidia drivers from nVidia's site itself? Other than the quadro bugs, they are generally better than Apple's own drivers.

Usually...
Have you tried the updated nVidia drivers from nVidia's site itself? Other than the quadro bugs, they are generally better than Apple's own drivers.

Usually...


Where should I be looking? When I use the selector on the nVidia web site, it offers nothing, not even a beta, for 10.6 with an 8800 GS.
90 Goblin Priest
13785

Where should I be looking? When I use the selector on the nVidia web site, it offers nothing, not even a beta, for 10.6 with an 8800 GS.


http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3740
Blizzard Employee
I see that the PTR client is now pushing 10.6.7. Unfortunately, everything after 10.6.3, where I settled after having to restore after a disk failure, causes flicker in certain combinations of accelerated apps and sometimes causes GUI lockup.

Blizz, please make the PTR client stop whining about 10.6.3 every time I launch it. I'm not going to a later release until Apple fixes the nVidia graphics bugs they introduced in 10.6.4.


Please update to 10.6.7, we do not support 10.6.3. What driver bugs you're referring to?
- Technical Support
90 Human Warrior
18600
Shaker, your issue has apsolutely nothing to do with stutter, this thread is almost t cap as it is, only 8 more posts after this one. please take off topic discussion of other issues elsewhere. in facrt this thread has a LOT of off topic issues in it. just cause it's gotten blue responses doesn't mean you should jump in and talk about something else trying to fish for a response, they will answer new threads too if constructed well enough.

Please update to 10.6.7, we do not support 10.6.3. What driver bugs you're referring to?


I've said it many times and been told I'm off-topic wherever I say it. 10.6.4 and later introduce bugs in nVidia drivers, at least for my hardware, that lead to flicker when I run WoW together with something else using acceleration, and sometimes I get a full GUI lockup. 10.6.3 is the latest release that does not exhibit this symptom. I have told Blizzard and been told I'm off-topic. I've told Apple and been ignored.

This is not a heat problem.

10.6.7 has this bug. I will not install it again.

Edit: The update in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3740 will not install on my iMac with 10.6.7 active.

If my comments are _that_ off-topic, then please delete them and I will just suffer with 10.6.3 until I replace this computer, whenever that is.
Edited by Shaker on 4/11/2011 2:39 PM PDT
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6120
Seeing as we're about to hit the thread cap, and this issue is still unresolved, I'm going to ask now while there is space, for the CMs to activate the cap extension for this thread so we don't have to make another one to clutter up the forums. That will also save TonyM from having to add yet another link into his sticky archive thread.
Blizzard Employee
Shaker, you're off topic because you posted in this thread, just start a new one.
Support Forum Agent
I am seeing if we can get the cap lifted for this tread. If we can't then I will try to find some alternatives solutions to this. I'm still keeping tracks mmkay?

EDIT: Couldn't get it lifted so I created a second thread:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2369680128

They will both be sticked for your convenience. And I swear of someone just post on one of the remaining threads in before lock, this sheep will go on a zombie rampage LOL. But serious, please don't.
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Horses aren't as scary anyways.
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Edited by TonyM on 4/12/2011 10:13 AM PDT
90 Draenei Warrior
16395
In before the zombie rampage!

Oh wait no, here it comes...

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9403/zombierampage.png
Edited by Phine on 4/14/2011 5:36 AM PDT
Support Forum Agent
:) I'll allow it this time because it was in good taste lol.
________________________________________________
Mac Tech Support for Baaaaahlizzard Entertainment
If you can't find it here, contact a rep direct :http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/contact.html
http://www.surveymk.com/s/RF8K3KG ---- Rate my Baaaaalue Posts. Haala at your sheep!
I'm one of the four sheep of the apocalypse.
BRAAAAAAIIIINNNSSSS!
90 Goblin Warlock
9590
are there any plans to up the amount of ram allowed for wow on macs? That would help with the stutter quite a bit imo.
04/15/2011 09:04 PMPosted by Scosche
are there any plans to up the amount of ram allowed for wow on macs? That would help with the stutter quite a bit imo.


That is infinitely more complicated than you think. The fact that WoW is a 32-bit app means it can't use more than 4GB of RAM, and even then, there are limits set by both Windows and OS X that prevent a single app from using more than 2GB simply to reserve space for caching and other OS-specific functions.

To allocate any more RAM to WoW would require a complete rewrite of WoW to 64-bit. Which would be a massive undertaking, and require YEARS of work. It won't happen in Cata. Heck, it might never happen.

One of the reasons Windows is in better shape is because Direct X has calls and features that offload the work to other parts of the system (like the GPU) that OpenGL and/or other parts of OS X that the OS doesn't have equivalents to.
Edited by Stormtides on 4/16/2011 12:11 AM PDT
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