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Old 03-11-2004, 10:01 AM   #161
drfish
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Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. For clarification though, the bottleneck isn't my video card or CPU, it's the 250fps limit, right?

Edit:
Originally posted by Edgar
...I myself found that it is better to set the FPS limit ON at about 2-3 fps less than the highest framerate the system can run. This way you get as close to max FPS as before but with much less CPU usage.
That's what I wanted to try, but can't because of the slider not going high enough... So yeah, I'm with Morgan on that one...
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:22 AM   #162
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DrFish,

At VSync on, the bottleneck is technically DirectX but I say video card because it is in the render portion.

Basically the video card is using up all the extra time waiting for the Vertical blank.

Your system is definitely not even maxed out by the MA2-MD screensaver.

jleslie,

Specially when running on window mode and using the computer at the same time, setting Limit FPS on at a low setting will at least let you work still.
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:29 AM   #163
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Lets see if you follow this reasoning!

Limit frame rate = On ...... 25/26fps, ... 80+% CPU Usage.

Limit frame rate = Off ..... 31/32fps, ... 80+% CPU Usage

All other settings being equal. .......... Now which one would you chose?

(Note! - The above figures are using the version supplied by Edgar)

surfer, Jim, Michael, etc! - I fully appreciate the reason for having it 'On' - My point is, shouldn't it be made clear that it may be detrimental to have it 'On' - if you do NOT have a super fast CPU ?

And the software HAS made the judgement for me, - by defaulting to 'On'
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:52 AM   #164
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Originally posted by Edgar
jleslie,

I myself found that it is better to set the FPS limit ON at about 2-3 fps less than the highest framerate the system can run. This way you get as close to max FPS as before but with much less CPU usage.
Absolutely. I've confirmed this myself. I've almost wondered if the Aquarium shouldn't have an automated test "Find ideal FPS limit" where it runs at full bore and takes an average of the FPS and then sets the FPS limit 2-3 below that.

Feature creep!!!
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:53 AM   #165
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Originally posted by cjmaddy
Lets see if you follow this reasoning!

Limit frame rate = On ...... 25/26fps, ... 80+% CPU Usage.

Limit frame rate = Off ..... 31/32fps, ... 80+% CPU Usage

All other settings being equal. .......... Now which one would you chose?
I would choose to properly use the Limit Frame Rate feature.

Based on the FPS you are getting, you should set Limit frame rate to 22. Then CPU% should be 10-15%.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:05 AM   #166
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Cliff - a couple of things to bear in mind. First, your situation is unusual. Most machines don't notice the difference whether Limit is on if they are already maxing out at only 30 fps.

Secondly, it's all about avoiding customer-service calls. Someone whose machine locks up from an overheating video card will call or email Prolific, while someone whose Aquarium is running a few fps slow will not.

The amount of email for our tiny crew to handle is already extremely high. There are a lot of copies of the Aquarium out there. A very small percentage actually paid for it, but that doesn't stop the rest from expecting customer support. A conservative estimate might be 20 million copies. If 1 person in 1000 has a machine overheat, that's 20,000 emails.

So that's why we try to default everything not to the position which will make the most people happy, but the fewest people mad. (Hopefully avoiding lynch mobs and other unpleasantness.)
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:07 AM   #167
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Sounds like they default it to on so as not to unnecessarily heat up super fast CPUs...

Logically [Ha!], I'd hope that anyone that wanted better performace from a low end CPU would uncheck anything that said "limit" without being told they needed to. For a long time now we've known that limit FPS took off a few more frames than it was set to.

Semi-seriously, who needs a readme.txt when they can just come here anyway??? I mean, the developers post here, sometimes within minutes of questions being asked... <font size="1">Not to mention us helpful fans...</font> I'd rather have that for support than a readme myself... Kudos!

Edit: See what I mean? Two posts by Morgan and one by Jim during the time it took me to post this message after replying!
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:13 PM   #168
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We aim to please.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:15 PM   #169
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In this case I would quote from a movie. "The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one." While everyone, especially Jim, has always worked diligently to make sure that older systems have a chance to run the aquarium, that cannot be the target audience. You have to go with the majority. In this case, technology marches on, and I would guess that there are way more people out there using 1Ghz+ machines and faster video cards than there are using the obverse. So I would choose default settings that reflect this situation.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #170
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Jim,
Nice points, and logically stated, - as always! - But unfortunately that doesn't change the facts of what I am getting!

drfish,
Of course, we here on this forum are the lucky ones, with lots of help on hand. - But it's those 20 million punters Jim refers to, sending emails, that deserve to have some form of instructions explaining the settings. That's the point I don't seem to be able to get across!

Morgan, OK! .....

Limit frame rate to 22...... 80-% CPU Usage
Limit frame rate to 12 ..... ~50% CPU Usage
Limit frame rate to 5 ...... ~25% CPU Usage

I think I'm going to stick with ..... Limit frame rate = Off ..... 31/32fps, ... 80+% CPU Usage

After all, 1.1wide has been causing no apparent problems ..... ~31fps ..... 100% constant CPU Usage
..... and it's been running for years ........ It makes you think!

So, ...... what do you want/expect me to do? - Have no opinion, or slavishly do what you say, without question?
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:47 PM   #171
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I totally agree with you, like I said above I was only being semi-serious... Of course, any of those 20 million users out there are welcome here as well (preferably the ones who paid for it).

Also, 100% CPU usage is no big deal for me, as most of you know, every CPU I can get my hands on runs maxed out all the time... The only reason I care at all about how much the aquarium uses is because I would like to run it at the same time as my protein folding... This was not possible with eariler versions (though both SSA and the folding@home client ran at idle priority, SSA somehow stole all CPU power), but with MA2 I can set my FPS limit at 62 or so, use a tiny amount of my CPU, and leave the rest for number crunching.

BTW, since MA2MD my HTPC now runs the widescreen version full time again (though the TV isn't always on) which makes our living room a much nicer place to be.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:19 PM   #172
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Cliff -

Yes - I agree that Limit = OFF is the best solution for you.

I also agree that a readme page built into the program is a great idea, and hope that Prolific implements it some day.
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:18 PM   #173
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Should I delete MA 2.0 before I install MA 2.01 ( to avoid any conflicts ), will the same code work or do I need a new one ? I looked at the thread , and didn't find any info. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:04 AM   #174
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Yes, delete the old version if you are going to continue using MA-MD which includes the widescreen version.
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:04 PM   #175
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Jim,
Whatever you did to this new version, it is quite nice. Colors all seem more vibrant, and somehow everything looks even more realistic. I'm now back to using MA almost exclusively as my screensaver of choice. I can hardly wait until there is a 3D background. It is also nice to finally know how to get the starfish on the glass.

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Old 03-19-2004, 08:51 PM   #176
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Klyntun,

tich tor ang prosper t'hy'la
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:27 PM   #177
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We need a smilie with the Vulcan peace sign (just for us trekkies).
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:19 PM   #178
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If a start in Windowed mode the SS doesn't stay on top, I have to press F twice to go full screen and back to a window before it will stay on top.
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:50 PM   #179
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thanks again jim, new workover of fishies is great. a week after they came out earlier i stopped using them. i have a very low end system and learned a couple of updates ago that setting fps 2-3 under than what i get keeps tank running smoother when it is on for a while. i have several older versions on my machine (because i like the way the fishes move and react with each other better), although i use new version mostly. i was wondering if i took last version, not this one off, will the fishpicker still work. as it is now i can put starfish where i want on ma 2 and cycle different tank set-ups. i have lost about 4fps in ma 2, but will tinker with it to try to get them back...lol....and yes i love the setting at .95000 for wide screen ....that's all i use now..lol
bob
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Old 03-28-2004, 01:24 PM   #180
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Big Grin I've lost all my MAs!

I've been doing some housekeeping on my computer, deleting and removing old programs. I removed the earlier versions of MA, and then found out that the current version no longer works. I tried entering my keycode, but the prompt said it was an old keycode and might not work (pretty self-evident!). I removed what was left of that program, redownloaded the new one, and get the same prompt. Help! I was really loving the new version!
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