Official Camera Stutter, Part 2 (Mac)

- Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
22135
just get lion, problem solved. it's clear the problem was on apples end all along. opengl is what the bottleneck was. i really don't think they can do more then they did in 4.2 to work around that, asside from writing their own version of gl and graphics drivers from ground up to replace the broken ones in 10.6. 80% of vram is a lot for wow, i haven't even attempted to run 2 wows at same time since 4.2, i wonder if it'd even work or how it'd react to two wows trying to use 80%.

as for a custom vram api, I doubt it would get approved unless windows guys wanted it too. cannot deviate from the game apis from mac to windows clients.
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Blizzard Employee
Where can we see the CPU/RAM usage?

For your request about VRAM usage, we already have this feature but only for internal builds. The designers don't want you to test the game, they want you to play the game. So I doubt they will approve this.

We will verify the zones that you mentioned, can you confirm that you're using a 5870 with 1GB VRAM and 10.6.8?

Also, we never unload textures from RAM unless you change zone. So if there's a situation where textures are swapped constantly, it would be between the RAM and the VRAM, no disk access involved.
Edited by S4d1k on 7/7/2011 10:55 AM PDT
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90 Human Priest
6220
07/07/2011 10:00 AMPosted by Omegal
as for a custom vram api, I doubt it would get approved unless windows guys wanted it too. cannot deviate from the game apis from mac to windows clients.


Actually on this they could "deviate" from one platform to the next, just as they do between DX11 and OpenGL. VRAM is assigned differently in Windows than in OS X. Not that it's going to happen - would likely be an immense waste of time and effort on Blizzard's part for a minimal (as in number of players affected) gain.

07/07/2011 10:51 AMPosted by S4d1k
Also, we never unload textures from RAM unless you change zone. So if there's a situation where textures are swapped constantly, it would be between the RAM and the VRAM, no disk access involved.


Probably wouldn't matter much in terms of disk or RAM in my case - I'm running off an SSD. Even in the millisecond range those milliseconds wouldn't add up to many seconds of pause. I can verify that yes I'm am running 10.6.8, as I bedgrudgingly updated despite using a network printer (IP sharing, and yes, I too got hit with the dreaded IP Printing bug and can now no longer access my network printer until Apple fixes their gaff). I'm also running a 5870 w/ 1 GB VRAM, and the card doesn't get very hot since my fans are set to run at 1000 RPM during WoW via SMCFanControl (this is also mainly so that the card's own fan never has to rev up, as it sounds god awful at high revs).

07/07/2011 10:00 AMPosted by Omegal
just get lion, problem solved. it's clear the problem was on apples end all along. opengl is what the bottleneck was.


The only thing keeping me from using Lion yet is the mouse cursor bug. It's greatly reduced from what it was for regular KB/mouse combo users, but since my physical limitation of my right arm and pain in my left wrist when playing via keyboard forces me to be a sort of "controller/click" guy (which I do very well outside of PvP where I am dagger fodder), the cursor bug would affect me far more drastically than you since my abilities are clicked as well as me turning with the mouse rapidly when needed, thus many many more opportunities to get the nasty failure of the cursor to update properly. If not for that I'd already be on Lion as I have hardly any Rosetta dependent programs.

07/07/2011 10:51 AMPosted by S4d1k
For your request about VRAM usage, we already have this feature but only for internal builds. The designers don't want you to test the game, they want you to play the game. So I doubt they will approve this.


I'm not sure why they'd object. All it is doing is displaying how much VRAM is in use. That's pretty standard fare there. I'm not asking for the toggle CVAR like I was before, just a display that lets me know if I'm approaching a situation where I'm going to be pretty much guaranteed a texture swap so I can be prepared for it and not get blindsided by it at an inopportune time. Having that info would also help me determine whether or not I'm having a genuine "filled up so I had to dump it to get more" texture issue or some other oddity.

As for the CPU/RAM usage, I believe addons have access to this info, so it is indeed in Live clients. So it isn't unreasonable to want to see how much VRAM I'm using, especially if I'm going to have Triple Buffering enabled (which I prefer since I'm a) using vSync and b) on an LCD display).

:)

One final note: My previous post wasn't a complaint - do note I'm sticking with Ultra view settings. I've never before since 4.0.1 launched been able to play on Ultra at all. It was just that bad. It's just "bad" now instead of UberBad™, which means it's playable in most locations (except Zangarmarsh, which is a lost cause except under Lion once its cursor bug is fixed).

Edit: I may have to revert to 10.6.7. There is a crippling bug in which apps that make use of the digital audio port on a Mac (such as my Mac Pro) will not release it upon closing. No amount of changing preferences, nuking preferences or logging in/out fixes it. I have to fully reboot to get my audio back. Until I do so, my RX-A3000 shows "Decoder Off", despite the Digital Out being selected. After watching a DVD in DVD Player, which uses the Digital Out (Encoded Audio), the DA port is locked and cannot be accessed by anything other than DVD Player itself until a reboot.

It would seem that 10.6.8 is more detrimental than even I was aware of (I didn't notice this until now because today is the first time I've watched a DVD since updating and I play WoW without sound since its spell effects are...well, let's just say Final Fantasy 4-6 have better spell sound effects).

This just ain't my week. Finally get some improvement in the stutter area and I have to revert because of two crippling bugs.

Joy.
Edited by Tiapriestess on 7/8/2011 7:37 AM PDT
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- Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
22135
http://www.wowpedia.org/World_of_Warcraft_API#Script_Profiling_Functions

the apis available to client, I have used the cpu and memory profiling before.
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Blizzard Employee
Tia, we did reproduced your issue with your config but other video cards of the same gen are not having the issue. Also, 10.7 fixes the issue. Since we won't get another update for 10.6, your only option is to upgrade to 10.7. That's the Mac user life.
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90 Human Priest
6220
07/08/2011 10:46 AMPosted by S4d1k
Tia, we did reproduced your issue with your config but other video cards of the same gen are not having the issue. Also, 10.7 fixes the issue. Since we won't get another update for 10.6, your only option is to upgrade to 10.7. That's the Mac user life.


No sweat. You guys did your best and the work does show, even if we're not at 100%. I do appreciate it. :)

Just sucks I have to revert to a "not current" OS because of totally crippling audio bugs.
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100 Human Warrior
10570
I've also noticed some unexpected improvement upgrading from 4GB to 6GB of RAM, too, though I often have Mail, Safai and Teamspeak running in the background.
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85 Draenei Hunter
0
just get lion, problem solved. it's clear the problem was on apples end all along. opengl is what the bottleneck was. i really don't think they can do more then they did in 4.2 to work around that, asside from writing their own version of gl and graphics drivers from ground up to replace the broken ones in 10.6. 80% of vram is a lot for wow, i haven't even attempted to run 2 wows at same time since 4.2, i wonder if it'd even work or how it'd react to two wows trying to use 80%.

as for a custom vram api, I doubt it would get approved unless windows guys wanted it too. cannot deviate from the game apis from mac to windows clients.


The switch to K64 as the default kernel definitely helps in 10.7. The below does a better job than I can explaining the benefits of K64.

In contrast, while 32-bit versions of Linux and Mac OS X give each application its own full 4GB of virtual memory, those addresses share (overlap with) those used by the kernel's own 4GB space. That means the CPU's TLB can't maintain its cached addresses because there's no way distinguish between the two.

Every time the virtual memory system moves between the two address spaces, it has to flush the CPU's TLB. Every 32-bit system call flushes the TLB twice, repeatedly setting the cache back to zero and negating any of the performance it was designed to enable. On Windows, this only happens when the system switches between applications, because each application splits its virtual memory space with the kernel (above).*

Under the 64-bit Mac OS X Leopard, 64-bit apps get a massive virtual memory allocation that breaks out of the 4GB box. This allows 64-bit apps to occupy high address spaces while the kernel uses its own low addresses. Without any shared address overlap, the TLB doesn't need to be flushed and can therefore function as intended. That potential windfall isn't yet fully realized because Leopard's kernel and most Mac apps are still 32-bit (below left).

Snow Leopard will deliver both a 64-bit kernel and a full set of 64-bit bundled apps, erasing the entire TLB flush issue because the new kernel won't have to share any address space, even when running 32-bit apps (below right). This will benefit all 64-bit Mac users with a Core 2 CPU or better, even those lacking a Santa Rosa platform-style chipset, as being able to run 64-bit code and virtual memory is not tied to the amount of addressable system RAM.


OpenGL was one of those areas that OS X was slower on due to the engineering decisions to fully virtualize the memory for all processes.
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- Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
22135
you could use 64 bit kernel in 10.6.8 and that didn't make any difference to stutter, i highly suspect that's irrelevent to the improvements in lion and more in line with opengl improvements.

that paragraph isn't even a new feature of 10.7 that was 10.6 that improved the 64 bit kernel mode. i ran 64 bit kernel from day 1 on 10.6.x too.
Edited by Omegal on 7/13/2011 3:39 PM PDT
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Upgraded to Lion today, the stutter is GONE. I am absolutely astonished by how much better WoW is running. It refuses to go below 60 fps no matter what I do, and there is absolutely zero stutter.
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90 Human Priest
6220
I wish I could use my Lion install. But USB Overdrive is borked so neither my controller nor my mouse work, and having to swipe my mouse several times just to get halfway across the screen is not a pleasant (or viable) way to navigate through the OS, let alone play a game.

I'm gonna have to wait until USB OD gets an update before I can use Lion. Shame, considering everything I'm hearing about WoW's performance there.
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90 Human Priest
6220
OK, I got USB OD working. Oddly enough just the act of exporting all my preferences from within 10.6.8 (but strangely enough not importing them from within Lion) solved that issue and I have full control of my controller and proper mouse speed.

WoW's definitely much much more playable on Ultra than in SL. Overall framerates are actually slightly lower, but I've said before I'd be willing to take a slight overall FPS dip in return for no real stutter and Lion's delivering on that.

There is however a noticeable lag when turning with the mouse, and this is with Hardware cursor on, decrease input lag off (checking that option made no difference). It's not unplayable, but it feels "off". I think part of this has to do with how that blasted Spaces/Mission Control POS works. It's interfering with how WoW intercepts mouse polling.

I have a request for the Mac WoW team: Do not implement full screen mode for WoW (Apple's version of it). Doing so will almost certainly break any and all real mouse control and introduce lag which will make the game unplayable by any means.

The core UI of Lion feels more accelerated by the GPU than SL does, but the lagtime when opening an app due to how the "spaces" switch around is rather annoying and I can't find a way to turn it off. For this reason, Apple's full screen mode is not a viable option for WoW.

There is still an issue with the game pausing about every 20 seconds and just locking up momentarily, however. This feels to me like the garbage collection issue WoW had at the beginning of TBC when the devs at that time were tweaking this routine so addons weren't drastically affecting gameplay/framerates. The effect is a hair less in Lion than it is in SL, but because the controls lock up during this pause, it's still a very big impediment to good gaming.

I'm going to low level format my 40 GB SSD and move my games off it until I can acquire a new Vertex 3 SSD to boot WoW from so I can make my 60 GB OCZ Summit my Lion boot drive. I have 1.3 GB of free space left on that 40 GB SSD thanks to a useless recovery partition. Looks like I'll need to do the rigamorale of installing Lion onto a fresh HD and just cloning the Lion partition directly to the SSD so I can be without the obnoxious and unneded (thanks to my three tier backup system) recovery partition.

I will say this: I had less problems transitioning from OS 9 to OS X my first time than I am having with Snow Leopard to Lion. The user experience of the new OS is not a good one in the least, no thanks to it being an overgrown iOS. Sadly Apple isn't going to change directions until Jobs is gone.
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12 Tauren Paladin
30
With lion you can probally close this thread.
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98 Goblin Warlock
9795
I installed Lion today and it fixed my camera stutter and other graphics issues.
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80 Blood Elf Hunter
0
Yeah Tia I am not a fan of this full screen thing that Apple has made. The one time i used it, my computer just buckled and had to be hard restart.

Was quit comical thou. So far I am content with WoW and Lion.


I have fixed the user library showing.


Only issue to fix now is to make the applications folder work like it did before so i don't have to hold down Open Apple (old school terminology ftw?) key to move files.
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90 Human Priest
6220
I'm going to tentatively flag this as RESOLVED, with caveat.

The caveat is that currently mouse input is lagging moderately to severely (.16-.50 seconds) depending on your current maximum possible framerate (by current max possible I mean the max that the CPU/GPU can render in your current environment). That means 60 FPS = no input lag. 40 FPS = minor lag possible, cursor lockup bug (Omegal) possible. 30 FPS = .16-.20 second input lag for all mouse input (click or turn). ≤20 FPS 0.5 second input lag for all mouse input.

As such, the tenative part of the first line in this post is because if Blizzard has to adjust something with regard to the mouse that affects the stuttering again, then this will become unresolved once more.

I've done a sticky request on Omegal's mouse lag thread so it's up here alongside this one. Once that issue is resolved and it is determined there is no negative impact on camera functions then this thread's issue will be considered fully resolved.
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- Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
22135
my bug is not something blizz can do a single thing about that's an apple bug slated to be resolved in 10.7.1 (hopefully). apple acknowledged it's their bug.
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90 Human Priest
6220
07/22/2011 09:45 AMPosted by Omegal
my bug is not something blizz can do a single thing about that's an apple bug slated to be resolved in 10.7.1 (hopefully). apple acknowledged it's their bug.


BTW how do you check on the status of a bug submitted by a person other than you? BugReporter only lets me access my own bug submissions. I've not figured out how to do a search for a list of submitted bugs in any way shape or form. Perhaps I'm missing something?
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85 Dwarf Shaman
3775
Upgraded to Lion and from 4GB RAM to 8GB. One of the two, or a combination of both, fixed the stutter issue for me. I've had no other issues.
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- Technical Support
100 Human Warrior
22135
my bug is not something blizz can do a single thing about that's an apple bug slated to be resolved in 10.7.1 (hopefully). apple acknowledged it's their bug.


BTW how do you check on the status of a bug submitted by a person other than you? BugReporter only lets me access my own bug submissions. I've not figured out how to do a search for a list of submitted bugs in any way shape or form. Perhaps I'm missing something?


I submitted the original bug. I filed it on radar same time i reported it to blizz, then gave them the bugID i used for original report. But i'm still the original filer of bug. I just nudged blizz for a little backing on the issue so apple would be more attentive to it. Apple more inclined to respond to a blizz dev report then some random report from Omega. It helps to get backing :)
Edited by Omegal on 7/23/2011 12:18 PM PDT
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