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

#126
Uplink10
rtwjunkie said:
You are ignoring that games progress. Nothing stands still in the gaming world. Gaming, more than anything has consistently forced the advancement of computer parts to bigger, better, faster as requirements increase.

It's a constantly moving finish line, and the natural evolution of things. It's unrealistic to think or hope that requirements will stand still.
Programs should consume resources in a smart ways and because they need to. Just take a look at textures, distributors do not compress textures to lower piracy, it isn't working. Why would they make COD to eat up all the RAM, so the consumers will buy more/costlier components? Time will tell, but till it does I suggest people turn to better coded games on PC like Witcher 3.
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#127
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Uplink10 said:
Programs should consume resources in a smart ways and because they need to. Just take a look at textures, distributors do not compress textures to lower piracy, it isn't working. Why would they make COD to eat up all the RAM, so the consumers will buy more/costlier components? Time will tell, but till it does I suggest people turn to better coded games on PC like Witcher 3.
First I agree with you that people should go play a better game, like The Witcher 3. But that's not the issue.

Look back on the history of gaming. There have always been games that pushed the envelope, and thus pushed the advancement of hardware. I am all for any game that pushes that envelope. Others will follow suit, and I am glad. Otherwise, hardware would stagnate where it is.

Forward thinking has gotten us where we are today, and I don't wish to see it stop there.
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#128
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Uplink10 said:
I suggest people turn to better coded games on PC like Witcher 3.
Failworks? O rly? There are a lot of things I would called Witcher 3. A great game, a lot of fun, looks pretty good, but, I wouldn't call it the pinnacle of well coded games. It has its issues like many others.
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#129
Pill Monster
We should all go back to playing board games imho...

Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit...very stable without crashes or bugs....lag, glitches etc.. :p




Shihabyooo said:
IIRC Windows' been doing similar stuff since XP and Vista (Prefetcher and Superfetch, respectively), and I can't count the times I had to disable the latter because it was screwing up the system.

You are right. Running a game from ram is better, but that still wouldn't justify caching data for segments that won't be needed for minutes/hours to come, or ones that aren't needed any more. What matters is what's being displayed now and what will be in the very near future (for the game), in other words: what the game "needs". Then it's simply a matter of balancing when to cache newer data and when to scrub older ones.
Superfetch and Prefetch cache programs iirc,
But windows caches regardless, look in TM at the cache amount, it's mostly made up of memory mapped files, files on the HDD...lots of system32 files, and pics, documents muusic....all that stuff.
But that's caching...

WDDM and DX are being developed to unify GPU and CPU memory, virtually or otherwise. Similar to consoles and hUMA. Early stages atm.

There's also a bit of hype here imo, I realised when testin W10....what differnce does it make to a gamer if 16GB of RAM is used or 16GB of VRAM???? U stll need more lol

So personally I don't see the advantage of unified memory in WDDM 2.0...:P







Shihabyooo said:

I'll take your word for now. My experience with programming hasn't reached d3d yet >_>
Oh me either, lol I mainly skip the code stuff (exept for the errors which are handy). But theres a lot of plain english material documenting how DX works in relation to the OS, makes for interesting reading imho.

Maybe I gave u the wrong link...
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#130
64K
rtwjunkie said:
First I agree with you that people should go play a better game, like The Witcher 3. But that's not the issue.

Look back on the history of gaming. There have always been games that pushed the envelope, and thus pushed the advancement of hardware. I am all for any game that pushes that envelope. Others will follow suit, and I am glad. Otherwise, hardware would stagnate where it is.

Forward thinking has gotten us where we are today, and I don't wish to see it stop there.
I don't know @rtwjunkie. There have been games that pushed the PC game envelope in the past versus the consoles leftovers slop. There are reasons that publishers think we are idiots.
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#131
Uplink10
rtwjunkie said:
Look back on the history of gaming. There have always been games that pushed the envelope, and thus pushed the advancement of hardware. I am all for any game that pushes that envelope. Others will follow suit, and I am glad. Otherwise, hardware would stagnate where it is.
Most of the games aren't so resource hungry and they still look great but whar does COD:BO3 offer to justify its greediness?

Aquinus said:
Failworks? O rly? There are a lot of things I would called Witcher 3. A great game, a lot of fun, looks pretty good, but, I wouldn't call it the pinnacle of well coded games. It has its issues like many others.
Not perfect example, I meant VRAM usage.
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#132
deemon
RejZoR said:
Because if those are the specs, not many people can actually run that. I mean, I have 32GB RAM so I don't care, but graphic card is still "just" 4GB (GTX 980). If you want to target the broadest target public, you can't have specs like this. Or it has to look like nothing we've seen to date. Frankly, I doubt that will be the case...
noone said you have to play the game with maximum textures. That's why they gave us game settings, so you can SET things right for your hardware. Simple really. I am quite sure you can play this game with 2GB VRAM also with low textures and 1080p.
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#133
hat237
just memory leak no need to worry it will be fine
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#134
RejZoR
deemon said:
noone said you have to play the game with maximum textures. That's why they gave us game settings, so you can SET things right for your hardware. Simple really. I am quite sure you can play this game with 2GB VRAM also with low textures and 1080p.
Playing games at anything less is unacceptable for me. Also, why is game not DX12 ready?
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#135
natr0n
Call Of Disaster : Blatantly Optimized
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#136
so11ex
I see no point to upgrade 8 to 16 Gb system ram and look for 8-12Gb video cards... Im not a CoD series fan, I have tried maybe half of the games from this game series. To be honest I got the game just to check is it really THAT BAD optimised...

My rig: i7 4770k / iChill 4gb 980 from innovision /8(4*2)GB 1866 ram/SSD Plextor m5s

game settings: 1080p, ultra textures, high (not ultra) shadows, all the rest set on max/ultra, smaa 2x (cinema) - running almost perfect! video ram load 3-4Gb (Gpuz) system ram load 6.3-7/8 (taskmgr)

Overall perfomance - solid 60FPS with decreases to 53-55 on sometimes. No problems, no crashes, sometimes microstutter occurs at that time FPS goes 53-55 (I guess RAM issue when game reads something from SSD) but I cant say its badly freezing. I guess If I will set textures to "high" instead of ultra there would be no problems at all....
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#138
laszlo
fck them ;they develop new games with hardware producers money just to force us to buy their shitty new stuff to force the upgrade

a lame conspiration from their side
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#139
Vayra86
rtwjunkie said:
First I agree with you that people should go play a better game, like The Witcher 3. But that's not the issue.

Look back on the history of gaming. There have always been games that pushed the envelope, and thus pushed the advancement of hardware. I am all for any game that pushes that envelope. Others will follow suit, and I am glad. Otherwise, hardware would stagnate where it is.

Forward thinking has gotten us where we are today, and I don't wish to see it stop there.
But CoD:Blops3 taxing systems like it does today is not about pushing any envelope in terms of graphical fidelity. None. Whatsoever. Textures are stale and washed out, built for lower resolutions, 90% of the game graphics is post processing junk. You compare this to TW3, how can you defend these system requirements if you keep the two games side by side?

If this game pushes any envelope, it is merely the envelope of how badly can you fuck up a console port and how much of a cash grab can you make the product itself. Bad coding is the ultimate example of laziness, because there are tons of games that do it better, and there are tons of games that look better too.

If these developers did any forward thinking themselves, they would have considered better optimization of PC quality settings. I don't really get where you're coming from with this argument at all actually. Even a blind man can see this game has nothing groundbreaking to offer, and I honestly don't get how you can justify the current sys requirements for this game. Not in the least because CoD:Ghosts had similar memory ridiculousness and we all know Treyarch is the second rate developer for this series.

Last but not least, a console port is and has never been about forward thinking or pushing envelopes. They are built for the lowest common denominator. CoD has never pushed envelopes. IW/Treyarch have never pushed envelopes. We have had 7 years of standstill because of these console games. Get real...
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#140
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
@Vayra86 I'm not defending the game. Perhaps I'm being misunderstood, because there have been precisely 3 good CoD games: CoD, Cod 2, and CoD 4- MW.

My point is simply the number of people butt-hurt in general because System requirements are increasing. It is simply not realistic to think games and hardware should stagnate forever. If people had always thought that way, we would still be riding horse and buggy.

EDIT: Remember, everyone started complaining on here as soon as they read real world requirements from the TPU staff, which was before anyone had a copy to find out it is a pile of dung.
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#141
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
rtwjunkie said:
My point is simply the number of people butt-hurt in general because System requirements are increasing. It is simply not realistic to think games and hardware should stagnate forever. If people had always thought that way, we would still be riding horse and buggy.
...or I would still be using my old handy Radeon 9200 and a netburst Celeron. Simple fact is this one:
rtwjunkie said:
It is simply not realistic to think games and hardware should stagnate forever.
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#142
Vayra86
rtwjunkie said:
@Vayra86 I'm not defending the game. Perhaps I'm being misunderstood, because there have been precisely 3 good CoD games: CoD, Cod 2, and CoD 4- MW.

My point is simply the numver of people butt-hurt in general because System requirements are increasing. It is simply no realistic to think games and hardware should stagNate forever. If people had always thought that way, we would still be riding horse and buggy.
If you look objectively at games, I understand completely why people are butt-hurt. The vast majority of these releases are console ports running on an HD7870 equivalent GPU as the baseline. You simply cannot defend that a PC with hardware that is at least 30% faster cannot run that on higher settings. Evidenced by the small amount of games that do get released with proper coding and optimization, like GTA V. Case in point, this thread, which is only about top end hardware running a mediocre game. You mentioned it yourself, TW3, a great example of a game that uses the hardware well and has understandable performance hits from different kinds of graphics settings - nobody is complaining about 30-40 fps in that game and rightly so, people aren't that stupid.
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#143
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Vayra86 said:
You mentioned it yourself, TW3, a great example of a game that uses the hardware well and has understandable performance hits from different kinds of graphics settings - nobody is complaining about 30-40 fps in that game and rightly so, people aren't that stupid.
I wouldn't call TW3 that stable and for how much VRAM it uses and how it looks, I would actually expect it to run better. Farcry 4, another games that isn't the best of coded games but, it looked great and ran smoothly in surround on my machine, using almost 4GB of VRAM all the while. You run TW3 in surround and it sucks beyond belief (all the while, around 2GB VRAM used.) There have also been instances where despite a frame rate cap, TW3 will consume 100% of my GPU even though it's running at a flat 60FPS, almost like it's just throwing away extra rendered frames. Either way, people should stop using TW3 as an example of a good game because 3D performance for what the game is, is crap. The only reason why TW3 is good is because the game itself doesn't blow. I can deal with poor performance if the game is good but, most won't care if a game looks good if everything else about it is crap.

So if we're talking about just the rendering engine and not the game itself, TW3 is actually pretty mediocre in comparison. It caters to GPUs that have a lot of pixel pumping power because a lot of it is effects, not texturing.
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#144
Vayra86
Aquinus said:
I wouldn't call TW3 that stable and for how much VRAM it uses and how it looks, I would actually expect it to run better. Farcry 4, another games that isn't the best of coded games but, it looked great and ran smoothly in surround on my machine, using almost 4GB of VRAM all the while. You run TW3 in surround and it sucks beyond belief (all the while, around 2GB VRAM used.) There have also been instances where despite a frame rate cap, TW3 will consume 100% of my GPU even though it's running at a flat 60FPS, almost like it's just throwing away extra rendered frames. Either way, people should stop using TW3 as an example of a good game because 3D performance for what the game is, is crap. The only reason why TW3 is good is because the game itself doesn't blow. I can deal with poor performance if the game is good but, most won't care if a game looks good if everything else about it is crap.

So if we're talking about just the rendering engine and not the game itself, TW3 is actually pretty mediocre in comparison. It caters to GPUs that have a lot of pixel pumping power because a lot of it is effects, not texturing.
Meh, I respectfully disagree on that. The game has a lot of interesting elements that you don't see too much elsewhere, and are tied into graphics/performance. Speedtree is an example of this coupled with the royal view distance. But it is also a game that (and this is mostly what I was alluding to) takes performance hits from higher settings that a user can understand. All the quality settings are actually working, they all add something, and they all incur a performance hit without introducing weird amounts of stutter if the resources are there. And to top it off, it does so without requiring a boatload of system/VRAM. Note, all of this is excluding Hairworks from the story.

The other example I pointed out, GTA V, is similar. If we cant agree on TW3 and talk about a game that is well optimized, let's take that one then. A great example because it is also very transparent in terms of VRAM usage in the options menu. CoD is miles away from this, and thát is what people see.
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#145
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Vayra86 said:
A great example because it is also very transparent in terms of VRAM usage in the options menu.
I don't have GTA V so I can't speak for experience but, if my memory serves me correctly, that game uses extra VRAM for caching so it could very well be just like TW3 in that respect, so I wouldn't go making any assumptions to that end.

I've played TW3 maxed out without Hairworks. In fact I didn't find Hairworks to impact performance by all that much, I feel that it's just a slow engine for what it is doing. I don't have GTA V so I can't talking about it but, there was a discussion several months ago about how it appeared that GTA V was caching stuff in VRAM if it was available and wasn't reflective of how much memory is being actively used at any given time.

I don't want to go too far into that but, my simple point is that it's not realistic for games to regress while still getting better and I honestly don't think GTA V looks better than TW3 or Farcry 4 judging from screenshots I've seen.
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#146
64K
If it's loading up RAM just because it's there then no problem. If it's loading up RAM and the engine has to start using storage because the RAM is loaded with unnecessary data then that's not ok. That's why the game stutters. The following isn't about RAM but it seems that their game engine wastes resources anyway. Take a look at this concerning VRAM usage


Crysis 3 using 2 GB max and COD Advanced Warfare using 7.3 GB

This game is running on new gen consoles that only have 8 GB RAM total where 4-5 GB is available for the game. I understand that PC gamers always need better hardware to run the same game as on a console but this much? 12 GB RAM? This game isn't breaking new ground for PCs. It's just sloppy coding.
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#147
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
64K said:
If it's loading up RAM just because it's there then no problem. If it's loading up RAM and the engine has to start using storage because the RAM is loaded with unnecessary data then that's not ok. That's why the game stutters. The following isn't about RAM but it seems that their game engine wastes resources anyway. Take a look at this concerning VRAM usage


Crysis 3 using 2 GB max and COD Advanced Warfare using 7.3 GB

This game is running on new gen consoles that only have 8 GB RAM total where 4-5 GB is available for the game. I understand that PC gamers always need better hardware to run the same game as on a console but this much? 12 GB RAM? This game isn't breaking new ground for PCs. It's just sloppy coding.
You may have some valid points from what I've read by users. However, if you'll note in my edit from above that I did earlier, people started thier outcry about higher requirements BEFORE anyone had the game after the TPU staff put forth the real-world requirements. Think about that a second and let it digest.

People were butt-hurt in general about hardware requirements increasing. That kind of backward thinking will allow consoles to have more performance than the PC eventually if everyone starts expecting that hardware requirements will never increase.

Backward thinking like that did not get us such massively improved PC's in the last 15 years.
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#148
64K
rtwjunkie said:
You may have some valid points from what I've read by users. However, if you'll note in my edit from above that I did earlier, people started thier outcry about higher requirements BEFORE anyone had the game after the TPU staff put forth the real-world requirements. Think about that a second and let it digest.

People were butt-hurt in general about hardware requirements increasing. That kind of backward thinking will allow consoles to have more performance than the PC eventually if everyone starts expecting that hardware requirements will never increase.

Backward thinking like that did not get us such massively improved PC's in the last 15 years.
If people are bitching about games in general taking too much resources and having to upgrade then I don't agree with them. PC gaming is a never ending upgrade kind of hobby. That's a fact and it can get pretty expensive if you want the highest settings.

If they're bitching because this particular game requires 12 GB RAM when it's just another COD that uses the same engine as before then I agree with them. I think the game probably has a memory leak and Treyarch will probably fix it eventually or whatever is causing this game to require 12 GB RAM.
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#149
Vayra86
rtwjunkie said:
You may have some valid points from what I've read by users. However, if you'll note in my edit from above that I did earlier, people started thier outcry about higher requirements BEFORE anyone had the game after the TPU staff put forth the real-world requirements. Think about that a second and let it digest.

People were butt-hurt in general about hardware requirements increasing. That kind of backward thinking will allow consoles to have more performance than the PC eventually if everyone starts expecting that hardware requirements will never increase.

Backward thinking like that did not get us such massively improved PC's in the last 15 years.
Oh I agree on that. We should also be careful not to jump on the bandwagon too quickly, but in the case of CoD, where there's smoke, there's fire. Even more so, because CoD is one of the (Many) reasons PC games have *not* seen themselves improve vastly over the past console generation. We have just had one of the longest periods of standstill, and todays' console grunt is hardly anything to write home about.
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#150
Pill Monster
Aquinus said:
I don't have GTA V so I can't speak for experience but, if my memory serves me correctly, that game uses extra VRAM for caching so it could very well be just like TW3 in that respect, so I wouldn't go making any assumptions to that end.

I've played TW3 maxed out without Hairworks. In fact I didn't find Hairworks to impact performance by all that much, I feel that it's just a slow engine for what it is doing. I don't have GTA V so I can't talking about it but, there was a discussion several months ago about how it appeared that GTA V was caching stuff in VRAM if it was available and wasn't reflective of how much memory is being actively used at any given time.
Yeah prior to W10 memory could be allocated even if not in use, beginning with W10 (I think it's 10, u can look it up) any VRAM not actively in use with data residing in it must be given up so other apps can use it, = Memory Reclaim.
More of a Windows Memory/Driver Management problem than application afaik..

Affects games DX 11< onward.
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