Thursday, November 5th 2015

Black Ops III: 12 GB RAM and GTX 980 Ti Not Enough

This year's installment to the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops III, has just hit stores, and is predictably flying off shelves. As with every ceremonial annual release, Black Ops III raises the visual presentation standards for the franchise. There is, however, one hitch with the way the game deals with system memory amounts as high as 12 GB and video memory amounts as high as 8 GB. This hitch could possibly be the reason behind the stuttering issues many users are reporting.

In our first play-through of the game with its highest possible settings on our personal gaming machines - equipped with a 2560 x 1600 pixels display, Core i7 "Haswell" quad-core CPU, 12 GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, NVIDIA's latest Black Ops III Game Ready driver 385.87, and Windows 7 64-bit to top it all off, we noticed that the game was running out of memory. Taking a peek at Task Manager revealed that in "Ultra" settings (and 2560 x 1600 resolution), the game was maxing out memory usage within our 12 GB, not counting the 1.5-2 GB used up by the OS and essential lightweight tasks (such as antivirus).
We also noticed game crashes as little as 10 seconds into gameplay, on a machine with 8 GB of system memory and a GTX 980 Ti.

What's even more interesting is its video memory behavior. The GTX 980 Ti, with its 6 GB video memory, was developing a noticeable stutter. This stutter disappeared on the GTX TITAN X, with its 12 GB video memory, in which memory load shot up from maxed out 6 GB on the GTX 980 Ti, to 8.4 GB on the video memory. What's more, system memory usage dropped with the GTX TITAN X, down to 8.3 GB.
On Steam Forums, users report performance issues that don't necessarily point at low FPS (frames per second), but stuttering, especially at high settings. Perhaps the game needs better memory management. Once we installed 16 GB RAM in the system, the game ran buttery-smooth with our GTX 980 Ti.
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168 Comments on Black Ops III: 12 GB RAM and GTX 980 Ti Not Enough

#76
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
rtwjunkie said:
Sorry, I couldn't wait for my "I told you so" as soon as I read the first post. And I'm on record in these forums for the last year advising people 8GB is not "enough" anymore.
Regardless of how badly coded it is, do people really expect VRAM use to stay under 4GB forever? It didn't stay under 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB, so why should this be any different. Even if everything is cleaned up, the question is not if it will fill 8GB or 12GB of VRAM but rather will it still exceed 4GB of VRAM. I suspect in the next year or two we'll see more and more titles use more and more VRAM now that it's becoming more common. Just as more games are eating up more system memory and push usage past 8GB.
Dieinafire said:
The only reason you need that much ram is your using heavy AA and Supersampling
AA doesn't tend to increase memory usage by huge amount as it's really just post-processing the already rendered frame since it happens after rasterization. Resolution and the quality and quantity of textures would have a bigger impact on memory usage.
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#77
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
@Aquinus I noticed you were saying VRAM throughout....were you meaning RAM on the larger numbers?

This game actually is a double-edged sword. Based on W1z and bta comments, it seemed to take however much VRAM was presented to it, so I suspect 4GB VRAM cards will still be ok.

The other edge of the sword was the actual amount of system RAM needed, which is what I was commenting on.
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#78
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
rtwjunkie said:
@Aquinus I noticed you were saying VRAM throughout....were you meaning RAM on the larger numbers?

This game actually is a double-edged sword. Based on W1z and bta comments, it seemed to take however much VRAM was presented to it, so I suspect 4GB VRAM cards will still be ok.

The other edge of the sword was the actual amount of system RAM needed, which is what I was commenting on.
Both, it's unrealistic to expect one to grow and the other not to. All memory is the same, if you use more than you have, performance starts suffering very quickly. It's why I hate swap space and the page file. If I can't run everything in memory, then I need to upgrade is the way I look at it. I'm not one to close everything I have open just because I want to play a game and I don't want swap space to hide that fact from me. :p
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#79
mab1376
Aquinus said:
Both, it's unrealistic to expect one to grow and the other not to. All memory is the same, if you use more than you have, performance starts suffering very quickly. It's why I hate swap space and the page file. If I can't run everything in memory, then I need to upgrade is the way I look at it. I'm not one to close everything I have open just because I want to play a game and I don't want swap space to hide that fact from me. :p
+1 to that, i have 18gb of ram, and my next pc will probably be 24gb since i build one every 4-5 years.
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#80
ThE_MaD_ShOt
kiddagoat said:
Console kiddies will gobble this up as always as that's the bigger market... but still... this series just needs to go away for awhile to give itself time to reinvent. They are just snagging and grabbing from other titles now.
Jborg said:
consoles always do well with the kidz)
If you have a Ps3 or xbox360 you not going to be to happy when you find out you got a severely cut down version.

The last generation (Xbox 360 + PS3) versions of Black Ops III will not contain...

1. DLC Support (No Map Packs/DLC Weapons/New Specalists/Zombie Maps, etc.
2. Ground War
3. Paintshop (Camo Creator/Editor)
4. Campaign Mode

Just though I would add that.
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#81
flmatter
so I wonder how well it will run on a 4k monitor? 16gb of system ram and a r9 390 with 8gb.
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#82
AlwaysHope
Aquinus said:
Both, it's unrealistic to expect one to grow and the other not to. All memory is the same, if you use more than you have, performance starts suffering very quickly. It's why I hate swap space and the page file. If I can't run everything in memory, then I need to upgrade is the way I look at it. I'm not one to close everything I have open just because I want to play a game and I don't want swap space to hide that fact from me. :p
Have to agree with this... +1, besides that, RAM is so cheap these days anyway..
Posted on Reply
#83
arbiter
iSkylaker said:
You couldn't be more wrong with that statement, Ultra doesn't necessarily means having x8 of MSAA, which is what taxes the most the performance of a game when you setup the "Ultra" preset of a game. I'm pretty sure the sample quality isn't part of a developer goal when targeting the final visual results in a video game, anything above x2 MSAA, heck even above any post-processing Anti Aliasing technique is pretty much a complement for more sharpness in the image.
Yea probably could use ultra preset on a 4 or 6gb card if turned off AA which generally high and ultra presets do use them. I personally don't care about jagged edges since i don't rarely standing around looking at them. Its only those things I don't barely notice in the game.
Posted on Reply
#84
Uplink10
RejZoR said:
But in all honesty, while Crysis is still super demanding, it looked spectacular at time and is in a way still a benchmark for visual fidelity. Mostly because it's SO old but looks like it was released a year or two ago...
I played all three Crysis games with low-end graphic cards and games all worked great and looked stunning. Crysis series should be as an example as it can be played on a different range of systems and it looks relatively great in all of them.

Aquinus said:
It's why I hate swap space and the page file. If I can't run everything in memory, then I need to upgrade is the way I look at it.
Windows has a lot to do with that, I have 8 GB of RAM and when I am using only 3 GB or 4 GB I keep seeing hard faults which is kind of weird since there is so much RAM available this should not be happening .

Maybe Windows is also guilty for this, a while back I was getting "Close programs to prevent information loss" constantly after leaving Firefox or some other program open for a few hours. I was getting this on Windows 8.1 but it never happened to me on Windows 7, well expect when I formated external USB drive and explorer started eating all the memory because of the memory leak (Thank you Microsucks for not fixing that, idiots).
Posted on Reply
#85
Tsukiyomi91
Gonna run this game on High @ 1080p & see if it still eats VRAM & system RAM or not.
Posted on Reply
#86
Xzibit
Tsukiyomi91 said:
Gonna run this game on High @ 1080p & see if it still eats VRAM & system RAM or not.
Well if your on a 970 Nvidia recommends sticking to 1080p @ high settings

Nvidia
However said:
For Black Ops III, we're recommending the GeForce GTX 970, which will enable you to experience the fast-paced shooter at 60 FPS at 1920x1080, at a high level of detail.
All the recommended GPUs @ Resolution are for HIGH SETTINGS. They aren't recommending anything past that.
Posted on Reply
#87
Slizzo
64K said:
There were two different developers for those games published by Activision. The developer Treyarch spent a couple of years making Black Ops 3.
They actually had 3 years to develop the game, as there are now 3 developers making Call of Duty games.
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#88
Easo
"Optimisation".
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#89
Ikaruga
I'm really confused what is happening in the thread.

1, Any decent application or operating system will use as much free resources as it can if it makes things faster. This is the same story as 2GB vs 4GB video cards, where a game uses 3GB on a 4GB card runs 99.9% the same as on a 2GB video card.

2, this game might have a "simple" memory leak bug, so drawing conclusions without proof is questionable perhaps.

personal opinion: The last time COD was good was the time when it ran on idtech.
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#90
SNM
In short, I can not play this title on my rig.....well I love CoD BO series...
Posted on Reply
#91
RejZoR
Hell, even original Far Cry is
Xzibit said:
Well if your on a 970 Nvidia recommends sticking to 1080p @ high settings







All the recommended GPUs @ Resolution are for HIGH SETTINGS. They aren't recommending anything past that.
Screw "high" setting. I always use the highest one. Which i think is Very High or Ultra...
Posted on Reply
#92
hapkiman
Sounds like poor coding/optimization, and memory leaking.
Posted on Reply
#93
SIGSEGV
another crappy games story. well. it's meant to be played, isn't it ? lol
Posted on Reply
#94
Xzibit
hapkiman said:
Sounds like poor coding/optimization, and memory leaking.


Final benchmarks should be available soon for a comparison.
Posted on Reply
#96
Vlada011
Only rear smart people saw trap in days when new GTX980Ti customers laugh to TITAN X owners because for 300$ less get similar performance.
TITAN X will be useful long time after 980Ti become limited with video memory.
This is special bad for people who plan to buy first one card and later when price drop and second card.
On autumn 2016 GTX980Ti owners will be in same position as GTX780Ti owners now.
Worse thing to tell someone who buy so expensive card is disable filter or disable this because they use most video memory.
People who pay 600-700$ don't want to do such things. At the end when some time pass 980Ti owners will be sorry because they didn't saved 200-250$ more for TITAN X. Special who pay custom GTX980Ti. Off course Fury X will become stronger card than GTX980Ti for several months when NVIDIA launch Pascal and maybe even strong as TITAN X. Same as R9-290X become better than Kepler in some situation even if that was obvious inferior card on launch date.
NVIDIA don't want any more as AMD to constantly improve performance of their most expensive cards and someone who pay 1000 euro for card to install driver after 2 years and see improvement in new games. No, NVIDIA improve performance now only 12 months, after new series show up there are good indication that even try to sabotage performance of older cards and AMD who constantly improve suddenly have similar performance.
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#97
john_
So, only 390/X and Titan X have enough VRAM for this one?
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#98
vega22
any plans for rerunning the tests with amd gpu for comparison?
Posted on Reply
#99
las
TheDeeGee said:
Didn't know the CoD Series was still a thing.
So you didnt know the best selling games were still a thing? Strange.
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#100
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Uplink10 said:
Windows has a lot to do with that, I have 8 GB of RAM and when I am using only 3 GB or 4 GB I keep seeing hard faults which is kind of weird since there is so much RAM available this should not be happening .

Maybe Windows is also guilty for this, a while back I was getting "Close programs to prevent information loss" constantly after leaving Firefox or some other program open for a few hours. I was getting this on Windows 8.1 but it never happened to me on Windows 7, well expect when I formated external USB drive and explorer started eating all the memory because of the memory leak (Thank you Microsucks for not fixing that, idiots).
A hard fault is any time the "page file" is accessed. So you can be idling and Windows will decide to take stuff out of memory to make more room. You can disabled the page file and still get hard faults, the difference is that the hard faults aren't accessing a real drive but, rather essentially a ram disk instead of a real disk.

You don't need to fill system memory in Windows for it to start hard faulting, it just does it a lot more often when you start running out of space. Another reason why I run without a page file.
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