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Old 05-09-2010, 07:18 AM   #1
sophie.cox
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Sleep - what does it do?

I have downloaded the latest beta 11f and I'm using it as a screen saver and general stress reliever. I'm delighted with it - it just gets better and better!

For the first time, I'm actually taking notice of what the stats are saying in the top left hand corner, and I see that the Sleep function can be adjusted with the up and down arrows. But what is this actually for? Can I improve the quality of the MA3 display?

I'm using a 3 year old Dell laptop hooked up to a 22" HD LCD television as a monitor, and the quality of the display is just fine. Marine Aquarium looks stunning on it - the colours are amazing.

Thank you, Jim, for the continued work you do which is giving pleasure and relaxation to so many.

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:39 AM   #2
Jim Sachs
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The Sleep function adjusts the time between animation frames. Each frame requires that the entire 3D world is re-created from polygon coordinates and textrures, then that frame is sent to the monitor. Some computers are so powerful that they can generate hundreds of frames per second, but most monitors can only display about 60 frames per second. Any frames that are generated between monitor refreshes are thrown away and never displayed, but they contribute to power consumption and heat in the CPU and GPU. So it's best to adjust the Sleep timer so that the frame rate roughly matches the monitor refresh rate.

Note: The computer is not actually sleeping (idle) between frames. It's working on any other tasks that might be on the multitasking list. If other tasks seem to be slowing down when the Aquarium is running, increasing the Aquarium's Sleep time will speed up the others.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, Jim.

This may be a more complicated question than it sounds, but is there a default or optimum setting for the sleep figure? I've fiddled about with it now, so I can't remember what it was set to.

I haven't noticed anything particular happening when I change the setting. At the moment, it's set to 10.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:59 PM   #4
feldon34
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The ideal Sleep setting is the highest number, while the animation of the fish and the Aquarium are still smooth.

When Sleep is set to 0, your computer is working as hard as it possibly can to generate frames of animation, possibly generating hundreds of frames of animation you don't even see.

By increasing the Sleep amount, you are 'giving your computer a break' and allowing it to generate less frames of animation. If, with a setting of 10, you still have smooth animation, then that's where I would leave it.

If you press the "S" key, you can bring up a display in the upper left corner that shows you several pieces of information including the number of frames per second of animation being produced. If that number is over 40, you'll typically have smooth animation. Press the "S" key again to hide this data readout.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:11 AM   #5
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Originally posted by sophie.cox:
This may be a more complicated question than it sounds, but is there a default or optimum setting for the sleep figure? I've fiddled about with it now, so I can't remember what it was set to.  
Good question, and probably only Jim knows what the default is. Or somebody who does a fresh install and looks.

It would be helpful if Jim's explanation of the sleep setting was added to the documentation, along with the default value.

CTRL-R is supposed to do "Reset all to default settings" - but it doesn't seem to work for "Sleep".

That's probably a bug that should be fixed?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:29 AM   #6
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The default value of 'Sleep' is 10. This should be bumped up if you have wicked high frame rates as per that little stats panel at the top left of the screen, but if you have frame rates around 60fps then leave it as is. If you have lower frame rates than that then you can start bumping the 'Sleep' value down a bit.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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Right, default is 10.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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The sleep setting itself in not the important factor in the equation. The important factor is to use the settings to get your fps to manageable levels so you don't fry your hardware.

If that's a sleep setting of 10 or 30 it's irrelevant, just that it is accomplished.

Use the sleep tool to get your fps to a level of between 40 and 60 depending on your personal tastes.

It would be helpful if Jim's explanation of the sleep setting was added to the documentation, along with the default value.
If you take time to read the FAQ you will see that it is already explained here on the forum. Including it in software documentation might be useful or not following the 1000 monkeys and 1000 years viewpoint.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Jav400:
Use the sleep tool to get your fps to a level of between 40 and 60 depending on your personal tastes.

...

If you take time to read the FAQ you will see that it is already explained here on the forum. Including it in software documentation might be useful or not ...  
Interesting that the FAQ says 50-70

But the operative question might be what percentage of the purchasers of MA3 are members of this forum?

Yes, few people would read the documentation if it were available. But I'm betting that more people would read the documentation, than will read the FAQ here. And having two sources would reach even more people who might have questions about that setting.

Footnote: with regard to "sleep" - the FAQ on SereneScreen http://www.serenescreen.com/product/...3/info/faq.php isn't very close to being helpful - and isn't informative at all.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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It would seem to me that both sets of "FAQs" should be updated.

Serene Screen's website regarding MA should be reflecting Windows 7 now.

Maybe we need another thread with recommended changes to these?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:49 PM   #11
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I believe a compatibility note about the Aquarium working with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions will be added to the site soon. One of the top 10 support e-mails is "Is the Aquarium compatible with Windows 7?" or "Will the Aquarium run on 64-bit?"
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:36 AM   #12
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An example - the Installation Instructions, which now reflect Vista, should also show Windows 7 screens.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:37 AM   #13
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One little nitpick. Under will MA3 run on my laptop, for ATI it says it will only run with Rage Mobility graphics. Doesn't mention Radeon at all, which I think replaced Rage about 6 years ago.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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Originally posted by Nicki:
One little nitpick. Under will MA3 run on my laptop, for ATI it says it will only run with Rage Mobility graphics. Doesn't mention Radeon at all, which I think replaced Rage about 6 years ago.  
Just for clarity (you knew this, but others might not)

That's the SereneScreen FAQ. The one on this forum doesn't say anything about laptops.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #15
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That is indeed correct Dale. My bad.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #16
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The one on this board was last updated:

Last edited by feldon34; 11-10-2008 at 02:29 PM.

The Serene Screen FAQ page does mention Windows 7, but otherwise, it should be updated somewhat, too as it focuses more on Vista than it does the current OS (W7).
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:12 AM   #17
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SereneScreen.com is in the process of getting some minor updates and tweaks sooner, and then a complete revamp later on.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #18
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Right, default is 10.  
How difficult would it be to change this default?

On my system, 10 gives a frame rate of 111 fps. I get about 62 fps if I change this to 17. I'm wondering if most new systems wouldn't be closer to 50 - 70 fps with a default of 15?

Maybe a thread just asking current users what Sleep setting they are using to get 50 - 70 fps would be helpful?
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #19
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With sleep set at 10 I get 65-83 fps. This is with no AA, AF or Vsync. It all looks fine to me, no really noticeable jaggies or any tearing at all. Generally I set sleep to 21 for an even 50 fps. My graphics are a fairly modest ATi Radeon Xpress 200M.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:04 PM   #20
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Raising the number would make the Aquarium run slow and jerky on the older machines out there. It's better to allow the speed-demons to slow down than to require the older folks to do anything special just to see the program run normally.
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