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Arkham Knight PC tech-talk: settings, performance etc


Mortis
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Yeah, it does rather smack of the fact that they know there's something wrong with it, but just trying to get rid of all the keys (and there's obviously no mention on the product page about the PC issues). Christ, you can even get the Premium Edition with the season pass for £20! Maybe that's what their solution will be, upgrade everyone to the season pass and give people who bought the full version a voucher or something.

I'm not totally convinced they'll manage to fix it 100%, so think I'd rather get a refund if possible rather than wait around for some unknown amount of time now, and buy the console version instead.

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Apparently the split RAM architecture on PC's is a problem - memory on modern consoles can basically be treated like a big bucket to chuck all your stuff in, but PC has main memory and discrete memory on the graphics card.

When you get stuttering from smoke effects, and textures not loading fast enough, that's from the data not being present on the GPU memory and having to be loaded in.

Kind of ironic, last gen the PS3's split RAM architecture was cited as a major pain in the arse.

Changing the memory allocation to suit the split RAM is no small task, it will be an absolute nightmare to get working.

Even systems with more VRAM available than the consoles have available for non OS tasks are having the issue. It seems to be an issue with old data not being cleared out properly. Even the 12GB Titan X has the problem if you play long enough.

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Does anyone have any insight into why this is proving so difficult to port to PC. Are there PC bottlenecks that just aren't an issue on the consoles?

Things like stuttering seem related to a long standing Achilles' heel of the standard PC setup, the fact the GPU is attached to the rest of the system via a rather slow bus, something which I pointed out ages ago as being a potential problem and something the console designs have taken care of. It's a big enough problem that Nvidia have already announced a replacement to the PCIe bus with a proprietary solution in the form of NVlink. It's like having to drive a Ferrarri through a major city compared to doing it on a test track, your gimping the performance if you need to constantly fetch data across that slow bus, hence the ever increasing VRAM requirements.

I'm sure before this game came out, people would have been overly confident that the PC could just bruteforce a mere UE3 engine game as they did to every X360 UE3 game, but those UE3 games were only designed for machines with less of everything.

If console-first games ever decide to use GPGPU massively, that could cause similar problems as currently, you need to copy the working data to VRAM before doing stuff to it on PC and then copy it back to system RAM, not the case for the consoles, but that probably only applies to PS4 exclusives anyway, as the X1 has less spare compute capacity in the first place.

If AMD ever make a version of their HSA for PC which isn't crippled by the use of DDR3 RAM, that'd make life a lot easier for people porting these sorts of games to PC, as that is the same basic layout as the consoles, just much more gimped.

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The problem is the terrible port, not the bus. Even if you have massive amounts of VRAM the issue will occur eventually as the engine fills the memory pool up with shit. Luckily random internet people are better at sorting this out than the shitty devs responsible for the port. http://steamcommunity.com/app/208650/discussions/0/523890046870624615/

If the problem was the bus due to data streaming then the consoles would be even worse off as they have a smaller pool of memory and much slower IO than most PC's.

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As usual I've ended up beating the game before they've pulled their fingers out and released a patch. Oh well, at least the game should be in a better state by the time the DLC is out, I'm just glad I paid less than £25 for the bundle.

So, let's say this gets fixed. What are the chances of some nice mods further down the line? I'd love one that allowed you to take down the Riddler without having to do every single Riddler trophy/puzzle.

Also, cockpot/in-car cam for the batmobile would be amazing.

I only discovered that there was a bumper-cam yesterday.

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I'd be amazed if you actually had no issues whatsoever. I'm playing it and enjoying it, and it's all perfectly stable and even 60fps for some stretches, but performance overall is definitely not what I'd expect on this card. The Witcher 3 by comparison will happily run at a stable 60fps maxed out!

I haven't suffered many of the more serious issues though, at least since the missing effects were patched in. There's been no stuttering, and I've only noticed the texture loading issue once. It still runs better than it does on the PS4 too, so it's not like I'm suffering with it but I know it should be running better than it is.

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The problem is the terrible port, not the bus. Even if you have massive amounts of VRAM the issue will occur eventually as the engine fills the memory pool up with shit. Luckily random internet people are better at sorting this out than the shitty devs responsible for the port. http://steamcommunity.com/app/208650/discussions/0/523890046870624615/

If the problem was the bus due to data streaming then the consoles would be even worse off as they have a smaller pool of memory and much slower IO than most PC's.

The consoles both have way faster access to their main system memory than the PC does via PCIe, look up the numbers. Why else do you need so much VRAM if you could just fetch any extra data from main system RAM without incurring a performance penalty? The X1 only has 32MB of superfast eSRAM, still enough to render 900p/1080p at 30fps games.

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That data still has to be loaded into a small pool, the console CPUs have very limited bandwidth to main system memory. Texture data still has to be loaded from store into memory, wether that is into the consoles shared pool or a PCs dedicated one makes little difference if your dedicated pool is big enough, and on 6GB cards it certainly is. The issue with this game is no matter how much vram you have the engine will fill it with shite eventually and you will get stutterering as it gets confused over what should have been flushed a while back. Given that you can remedy these issues with customisation of the unreal engine config files just proves the port was put together by imbeciles.

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An internal email sent to [Australian games shop chain] EB Games staff members claims that, according to Warner, the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight will not be fixed until spring.

EB Games has already removed all PC versions of the game from stores but — as a result of this news — now intends to send all PC copies of the game back to Warner.

“As previously advised,” read an internal EB Games email, “we have stopped sales of Batman: Arkham Knight PC while Warner and Rocksteady work on addressing performance issues with the game. The latest information from Warner is that the updates won’t be available until spring. Due to this we have made the difficult decision to recall all PC stock from stores to return to the vendor until an acceptable solution is released.”

“Spring” is vague, and refers to Australian spring which is only two months away, but the delay on a fix has been deemed significant enough for EB Games to return all stock back to Warner locally. That in itself, seems telling.

Rocksteady has released a small fix for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight, but none of the major performance issues have been addressed. Sales of the game are still suspended on Steam.

We’ve contacted Warner locally, and will update if they respond with an official statement.

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2015/07/16/batman-arkham-knight-wont-be-fixed-on-pc-for-months-claims-leaked-email

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It shows the poor technical state of the PC version if it's going to take 3-4 months in all to bring it up to the level it should be.

I'm annoyed at not being able to play it due to the constant freezing, crashes to desktop and general texture loading I get on my 970 but if having to wait till September means It runs well it's a delay I can live with.

Maybe next time WB will just delay the PC port if its broken instead of pushing it out the door and hoping no one notices.

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Yeah, the August patch is meant to fix "many" of the issues they listed a while ago, but they haven't specified what issues in particular those will be. It won't be the final patch though, and the game still won't be re-released until some time in the Autumn.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah the same nvidia that released a video showing off the wonderful tech in the game running at 60 FPS a week or 2 before release. The same tech that drags the game to single digit framerates and in some cases didn't even work properly in the game at launch.

I'll believe it when I see it.

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