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Improve performance

jonpaul
jonpaul
✭✭✭
Hi all, my wife is playing on her Mac mini and I was wondering if there are any options to improving her performance. On a normal night of playing her fps are normally in the red with her settings turned to nearly the lowest, playable level. These are her specs:

Mac mini 2011
2.5 Ghz Intel core I5
4GB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 6630M (256 MB)
Mac OSX Lion 10.7.5

I know that her Mac is not the greatest gaming machine on the planet, but we have always been on a fairly even playing field in other games. Now my PC is blowing her Mac away. All I'm asking is if there is a way to improve her gaming experience. We are able to quest and do things, but her lag slows her down some. If it's just a "deal with it" type of situation I would not be upset or surprised, but maybe there is something we can do to tweak her performance level and get her back in the green :)

Thanks all!!
WAR EAGLE
I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments. -Jim Morrison
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    jonpaul wrote: »
    Hi all, my wife is playing on her Mac mini and I was wondering if there are any options to improving her performance. On a normal night of playing her fps are normally in the red with her settings turned to nearly the lowest, playable level. These are her specs:

    Mac mini 2011
    2.5 Ghz Intel core I5
    4GB RAM
    AMD Radeon HD 6630M (256 MB)
    Mac OSX Lion 10.7.5

    I know that her Mac is not the greatest gaming machine on the planet, but we have always been on a fairly even playing field in other games. Now my PC is blowing her Mac away. All I'm asking is if there is a way to improve her gaming experience. We are able to quest and do things, but her lag slows her down some. If it's just a "deal with it" type of situation I would not be upset or surprised, but maybe there is something we can do to tweak her performance level and get her back in the green :)

    Thanks all!!
    Unfortunately the 256MB graphics card is the real problem and less than the system requirements. So, it 'may' work but with everything Lowest I suspect. Also it is limited by the installed RAM. Upgrading that might help a bit but it's hard to know for sure how much. Also, the CPU may be struggling depending on what activity.

    ESO is optimised well really for low end computers but with such a lack of VRAM it will cause the problems unfortunately. A PC may get away with it with more optimised and updated drivers and D3D9.
  • jonpaul
    jonpaul
    ✭✭✭
    Is a mini something that can be upgraded at all? It would seem not but once again, I'm a PC guy and know very little about Mac. Thanks though for insight!
    WAR EAGLE
    I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments. -Jim Morrison
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    jonpaul wrote: »
    Is a mini something that can be upgraded at all? It would seem not but once again, I'm a PC guy and know very little about Mac. Thanks though for insight!
    Not the GPU as it's integrated as are most Mac which use mobile graphics cards generally for energy efficiency and heat reduction.

    You can upgrade the memory easily enough. Check this Apple article on how to do it here.
  • PrinceBoru
    PrinceBoru
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    Hey I play with the same mid-2011 Mac mini.
    I have replaced the spindle drive with a 6G SSD, and I've 8gb ram.
    The SSD made an unbelievable difference.
    My graphic settings are low, but I am still in awe of the scenery.
    Upgrading is probably not the answer you sought, but my mini post-upgrades is making ESO not just playable, but enjoyable.
    It ain't easy being green.
  • jareogunprb18_ESO
    jareogunprb18_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    lol don't bother, except you buy the new mac pro. Theres no hope for playing this game, I play with a top of the range retina MBP. I can barely play on my thunderbolt screen with no lag and epicly bad FPS unless I drop the resolution and play in a tiny window. And even when I do play on my rMBP directly, I lag and have to suffer through the blurry 1400*900 conversion. Ridiculous!

    Zenimax screwed us, cancelled my 180 day sub today because I couldn't "take it no more". If they fix it before the sub officially runs out, ill be back. If not well, "it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all".

    Nothing is worse than wasted potential.

    Cheers. Hope this helps any potential players.
    Edited by jareogunprb18_ESO on June 10, 2014 1:47PM
  • Yandros
    Yandros
    ✭✭
    @jareogunprb18_ESO: Strange. I play on a 27" iMac (2013 version) with MAX resolution set at full screen. I have everything up on High except Shadows and water reflections (they are both at medium). I have over 20 Addons. I play PvP and PvE. I suffer the memory leak issues like every other Mac player, and get dropped to desktop after 4 or 5 hours of PvE play... and I have to regularly log out and back in during PvP play (or face an inconvenient drop), however my game is rarely ever laggy and my FPS is nearly always over 50 in PvE and 35 - 45 in PvP

    With each patch things keep improving.

    I am not sure what you have that's so different to my setup (beyond the actual machine) but with a retina MBP you should have a higher spec than I have.

    You certainly do not need to have a Mac Pro to play this game. I can even get a decent FPS and graphic setup (everything on Medium) running on a 2010 24" iMac a my friend logs into that one with his account when he comes around.

  • UncleArkie
    UncleArkie
    Soul Shriven
    Hey @jareogunprb18_ESO‌
    Are you using the MBP's retina screen as a 2nd monitor? It eats power like you wouldn't believe and needs far more oomph than your thunderbolt display, making the MPB - Retina a really bad choice for gaming with a 2nd display. You can however put the MPB's screen to sleep, it helps a little, the 2nd thing you can do is clam the lappy, that turns off the whole internal display section so it don't use any graphics resources at all and you should see an increased frame rate.

    That said I play on my 17" last gen MBP and I have no issues with using just the laptop display, but that's not retina so I don't have to drive a million pixels more, if you do play on your lappys screen I suggest that you down sample to 1900x1200, also if you are not afraid of doing a little upgrading that solid-state drive will change your world, I just got a 500 gig one on sale and gained 20 fps. Mechanical hard drives are only 5200 spin drives so they are a big performance inhibitor on MBP's.
    Edited by UncleArkie on June 11, 2014 9:46AM
  • jareogunprb18_ESO
    jareogunprb18_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    @UncleArkie I use my thunderbolt display with my rMBP shut. Also the rMBP comes with solid state drives.
    Its pretty much impossible for me to keep playing because my 9 FPS on medium settings is just mind-blowing.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions guys.
  • seaef
    seaef
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Increase your memory. VRAM is determined by how much RAM you have installed.

    4M = 256 VRAM
    8M = 512 VRAM
    16M = 1024 VRAM

    EDIT: Oh wait, never mind. You have one of those crappy dedicated graphics cards in your mini.

    I have:

    Mac mini late-2012
    2.5 Ghz Intel core I7
    16GB RAM
    Intel HD 4000 (1024 MB)
    Mac OSX Mavericks 10.9.3

    35 fps on average, a little less in towns. All settings on medium except textures on high and shadows on low.

    Buy a new mini? :\
    Edited by seaef on June 11, 2014 1:08PM
    "The Illuminati are very achievement focused. It's like Xbox - only everything is hardcore."
    - Kirsten Geary
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    lol don't bother, except you buy the new mac pro. Theres no hope for playing this game, I play with a top of the range retina MBP. I can barely play on my thunderbolt screen with no lag and epicly bad FPS unless I drop the resolution and play in a tiny window. And even when I do play on my rMBP directly, I lag and have to suffer through the blurry 1400*900 conversion. Ridiculous!

    Zenimax screwed us, cancelled my 180 day sub today because I couldn't "take it no more". If they fix it before the sub officially runs out, ill be back. If not well, "it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all".

    Nothing is worse than wasted potential.

    Cheers. Hope this helps any potential players.
    Have you reset your PRAM? Do you have the discrete graphics card? If so ensure that it is being used not the integrated Intel one rather than the better one.

    Make sure the better discrete card is being used by deselecting Automatic Graphics Switching in Energy Saver preferences, instructions on this page. Confirm that it is using the better card via Get Info.

    There is some other issue/s with your MBP to have these issues beyond the Mac client. On first generation MBP there were and still are some firmware issues. As others have said, it plays fine generally on the MBP (with integrated GPU it will require lower settings)
    Edited by Moonraker on June 12, 2014 2:08PM
  • Seedier
    Seedier
    ✭✭
    I can certainly feel for those with poor performance. The kicker is that this game was meant to be a native mac game, but certainly performance is on par with other ciderised games (eg GW2), only with a lot more crashing. As per usual, mac gamers are sadly second class citizens, but i'm sure ZOS are acutely aware they can get away with that.

    I've now sadly given up on the mac client. I finally relented and am running this on bootcamp with Win 7, with the game actually installed on an external firewire drive. Even so, I'm enjoying higher resolution, higher frame rates, with practically no crashing. The whole point was to avoid the hassle of rebooting into bootcamp, but as i'm crashing every 45-60 mins, requiring a reboot as it doesn't have the decency to drop me to the desktop, i might as well just reboot the once and play the game as intended. Not to mention not having to drop the graphics settings ridiculously to get a decent frame rate.

    Still, it leaves a bad taste in my my mouth...
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Seedier wrote: »
    I can certainly feel for those with poor performance. The kicker is that this game was meant to be a native mac game, but certainly performance is on par with other ciderised games (eg GW2), only with a lot more crashing. As per usual, mac gamers are sadly second class citizens, but i'm sure ZOS are acutely aware they can get away with that.
    Rubbish. Plenty of players report that the Mac client runs and plays fine. A lot better than Cider ports certainly. The memory crash is an annoying bug that does cause crashes and needs to be fixed. But performance wise, it is on par with the PC client.

    You had issues based on a computer running the minimum spec. and that will always tax a game and will mean you play within the constraints that brings. Running it via Bootcamp may give some better performance due to better drivers etc. but it's not going to make huge differences. As previously stated there looks to be some other issue effecting your install.
    I've now sadly given up on the mac client. I finally relented and am running this on bootcamp with Win 7, with the game actually installed on an external firewire drive. Even so, I'm enjoying higher resolution, higher frame rates, with practically no crashing. The whole point was to avoid the hassle of rebooting into bootcamp, but as i'm crashing every 45-60 mins, requiring a reboot as it doesn't have the decency to drop me to the desktop, i might as well just reboot the once and play the game as intended. Not to mention not having to drop the graphics settings ridiculously to get a decent frame rate.
    If it works for you that's great. But making wide sweeping statements which are patently wrong doesn't help get your point across.

    In the end the remaining memory issue does impact play of ESO via the Mac client, especially in PvP. It's up to players whether that issue is enough to make the decision to either chose a Bootcamp option or cancel their sub. Hopefully there are further improvements and fixes to come for this issue. Apart from that, both MC & PC client run much the same in the majority of cases.
  • LavaDrop
    LavaDrop
    HA! @Seedier, go and buy one of those Ciderized games and then tell us how those perform. Like GW2 or EVE online. Those are not only Ciderized but their ports suck, big time. When one of the most popular topics on your franchise's forums is how to make a Wineskin wrapper that increases performance 50%, you know your company's programmers suck.

    If you're running on minimum specs, expect overall bad performance.
    BTW, I bet GW2 runs much much worse on minimum specs than TESO does on minimum specs.
    Edited by LavaDrop on June 21, 2014 10:42PM
  • Seedier
    Seedier
    ✭✭
    I didn't realise i was starting a flame war @Moonraker‌ and @LavaDrop‌ , but thank you for your sentiments.
    I am talking about entry level hardware. FYI i have purchased ciderised games and on the same setup i get very similar performance, but as you state i'm on the lower end of the mac hardware here. @LavaDrop‌, i can assure you GW2 runs beautifully, although of course it's had more time to mature.

    It doesn't exactly take a genius to figure out that the differences on high end machines would be minimal. Playing this on the lower end machines makes the differences more pronounced. On this level machine, it's not "rubbish" that the PC client runs better than the mac client.

    And you can't explain the lack of memory leaks and crashes on the PC client with 'drivers'. If i go an hour on the mac without a crash requiring a reboot, i count my lucky stars. I can play for hours on bootcamp without a problem.

    Again, to re-iterate, i am not talking about frame rates, I'm not talking about graphics quality or anything else that can be attributed to the spec of my machine; I'm talking about the app trying to allocate memory and it crashing with an unhandled exception, and doing it so badly it takes down my entire machine. This only happens on the mac client on my setup (and before you mention it, i regularly check memory, filesystem, and scan the drive for defective blocks with TechTool 7).

    Just so we're clear, i have put up with this and tried to make it work since beta. I paid premium price to support mac development and have been really keen for this to work, but at this stage i would advise anyone on an entry level mac to consider bootcamp.

    I'm sure the experience running it on an i7 machine is different but actually my trusty macbook pro runs beautifully otherwise (not only for games; i regulary use the machine for 3D medical reconstructions) and really don't see the justification in upgrading just to play a game.
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    No ones flaming just responding to your wide sweeping statement which just doesn't reflect the experience from most posts here and my own personal experience.

    No one's saying difference with PC is other than the memory issue which is well known Mac specific issue (though PC client does have memory issues it doesn't crash in the same way) You specifically said;
    certainly performance is on par with other ciderised games
    Which is wrong , pure and simple. You may find it on your specific Mac for some reason we don't understand from previous posts here but it is just not the case.

    Understand that 'performance' = frame rates not memory crashes.
    I'm talking about the app trying to allocate memory and it crashing with an unhandled exception, and doing it so badly it takes down my entire machine. This only happens on the mac client on my setup (and before you mention it, i regularly check memory, filesystem, and scan the drive for defective blocks with TechTool 7).
    Again you talk about a crash that very few others have experienced with the Mac client on low as well as high end Macs. Check the forums if you want. If your Mac is hard crashing and can't be correctly quit even using the recommended method from Apple i.e.
    Force Quit

    Press Command-Option-Esc to Force Quit an application. it that does not work then try this which usually works even in Fulscreen mode.

    If you cannot switch from the unresponsive app, press Command-Option-Shift-Esc for three seconds to force it to quit. This key combination tells OS X to force quit the frontmost app.

    source: Apple Support kb
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3411Command-Option-Shift-Esc for three seconds

    then it is something else which must be another contributing issue.

    In the end if you don't find it acceptable then it's totally understandable to cancel etc. But don't expect others to stand back while you make exaggerated statements beyond your own experiences on you particular Mac.
  • Seedier
    Seedier
    ✭✭
    @Moonraker‌ you seem to take offence to my post; the summary of of my post is that the game plays better with the PC client than the Mac client on my system, which is at the low end but well within the advertised minimum specs. I suspect this goes beyond 'my particular Mac' as other have posted similar comments (and yes, i've read your responses to them too).

    At some point it becomes condascending when you start quoting things like how to force quite, or to assume i haven't read the forums. When i say hard crash i mean than even cmd-opt-shift-esc doesn't work (ie it requires a force reboot). And looking at the forums, i'm not the only one that has experienced that.

    I have gone out of my way to try and make this work. Not only have i zero'd the hard drive to treat any potential defective blocks and done a fresh install of OSX Mavericks, I've also re-downloaded and re-installed the game and keep regular monitoring with TechTool Pro 7. There are no hardware issues. Nevertheless performance (i.e. straight up frame rate) is still worse on the Mac and the rate of crashing on my system is significantly worse with the Mac client (i've yet to crash with the Windows client, no PVP though). And that's with all settings set to lowest possible. On the plus side, my laptop works even better with the fresh install (outside the game that is).

    You and others have a better system than me, and you don't have the problems I'm experiencing. Good for you. However, as i'm well within the advertised minimum spec, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a better experience than the one provided.

    While it would be nice if ZOS could provide PC-Mac parity for us on low end machines, i don't see that being a priority for them. My post was to highlight that you don't have to stop playing if you're on a low end mac (within the advertised minimum specs) and you can get a decent gaming experience in bootcamp. Is that an 'exaggerated statement'?

    This isn't intended as an insult or a statement to promote PC over mac client. The PC client has issues as well; But my gameplay is now limited by a sore ass rather than a crashed Mac.
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Bottomline is that you stated:
    The kicker is that this game was meant to be a native mac game, but certainly performance is on par with other ciderised games (eg GW2), only with a lot more crashing. As per usual, mac gamers are sadly second class citizens, but i'm sure ZOS are acutely aware they can get away with that.
    Which is patently incorrect and why others have pulled you up on it.

    I already said that of course if it doesn't perform for you on your Mac then all your observations are quite valid. But it's not what you said there.
    While it would be nice if ZOS could provide PC-Mac parity for us on low end machines, i don't see that being a priority for them. My post was to highlight that you don't have to stop playing if you're on a low end mac (within the advertised minimum specs) and you can get a decent gaming experience in bootcamp. Is that an 'exaggerated statement'?

    This is not just high end Macs. I find it equally on a 6 year old iMac with 512MB minimum specification graphics card. Others use 2006 Mac Pro or on a Mac Mini , MacBook Air etc. It doesn't require Bootcamp for this for most players.

    Again you seem to feel that lower end Macs are not a priority based on your own experience. Given that ESO clients both PC & Mac were intentionally developed and optimised to run older (up to five year old computers was their stated aim) and lower end computers doesn't tally with your statement.

    You and a very small number of posters have experienced hard crashes of the actual Mac when the Mac client crashes. That is not the experience of most players which tends to indicate some other issue at play also.

    No one is arguing that the Mac client does not have a specific memory issue. it remains an issue that needs fixing. It still remains however, despite that, a well crafted native Mac client which otherwise runs and performs as well as the PC client for the most part.
    Edited by Moonraker on June 23, 2014 2:55PM
  • Seedier
    Seedier
    ✭✭
    Whatever dude. I'm simply saying if it don't work well enough on your low end mac, try bootcamp because chances are it will work well. Or are you saying that you're getting exactly the same performance on both mac/win on your 6 year old machine?

    Actually what spoils it for me isn't "performance", it's crashes. It runs decently when it runs. And FWIW, i prefer the look of it on my mac - i find the windows graphics too sharp and shiny, but maybe that's just the resolution. But it crashes oh so predictably. And the crashes, for me at least, force me to not regard it as a well crafted mac app, in spite how much i want to love it. But that's that's just me.
  • Moonraker
    Moonraker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Seedier wrote: »
    Whatever dude. I'm simply saying if it don't work well enough on your low end mac, try bootcamp because chances are it will work well. Or are you saying that you're getting exactly the same performance on both mac/win on your 6 year old machine?
    The difference in performance on either of the Macs is marginal in testing. Yes.
    Actually what spoils it for me isn't "performance", it's crashes. It runs decently when it runs. And FWIW, i prefer the look of it on my mac - i find the windows graphics too sharp and shiny, but maybe that's just the resolution. But it crashes oh so predictably. And the crashes, for me at least, force me to not regard it as a well crafted mac app, in spite how much i want to love it. But that's that's just me.
    Now that you express your actual point without the hyperbole in your original post, I agree with what you say here.

    Edited by Moonraker on June 24, 2014 1:38AM
  • jonpaul
    jonpaul
    ✭✭✭

    So if I may poke my head back into my thread, I have read up on most of the discussions and all I really need to ask is if it would, in fact, benefit us if I upgraded my wife's memory even with the "crappy integrated graphics card". Her normal performance is about 25-30 fps (mostly in the red) and has NO more crashing issues so that isn't an issue.

    I'll try to poke back in here now and then to see what you guys think and then you can get back to your discussion. ;)
    WAR EAGLE
    I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments. -Jim Morrison
  • Seedier
    Seedier
    ✭✭
    I upgraded my RAM from 4 to 8 Gb (the max for the laptop) and did not see an appreciable increase in FPS. That was only achieved by reducing all graphics settings and screen resolution; however with the latest update it seems to ignore the reduction in screen resolution, but with those settings i was getting up to 60 fps in dungeons and 30-35 in open PVE. My graphics card was nVidia 512 Mb, not sure how that would compare against your integrated graphics card.
  • tttopperub17_ESO
    jonpaul wrote: »
    So if I may poke my head back into my thread, I have read up on most of the discussions and all I really need to ask is if it would, in fact, benefit us if I upgraded my wife's memory even with the "crappy integrated graphics card". Her normal performance is about 25-30 fps (mostly in the red) and has NO more crashing issues so that isn't an issue.

    I'll try to poke back in here now and then to see what you guys think and then you can get back to your discussion. ;)

    IMO a RAM upgrade can't hurt. I was limping along on 6 GB of RAM and running anything, for instance a browser, along with ESO usually crashed the game, or it ran so slowly it might as well have. I upgraded my RAM on my 2010 Mac Pro Quad-core (single CPU) and my ESO game experience improved dramatically. No more glitchy lag in cities and it suddenly became a lot easier to lockpick :) I use that as a measure of my lag that is independent of city crowds, or big battles.

    I would assume if you add at least an extra 4 GB to your wife's mini, some of the lag might improve. I believe you already have the better graphics card that shipped with that mini http://support.apple.com/kb/SP632 If you look around there are some 16.0 GB upgrade kits spec'd for that system, although you might need to verify your model identifier number to see if it will take the 16 GB upgrade.

    I don't usually post links to retailers in public forums, if you would like more information PM me. I don't work for any of these retailers, FYI, so it is just my personal opinion.

    Edited by tttopperub17_ESO on June 24, 2014 11:25PM
  • LavaDrop
    LavaDrop
    Hi @jonpaul‌ sorry to hijack your original topic. Unfortunately for your wife's particular MacMini, there's nothing you can do. Extra RAM might help overall, but it's not going to improve TESO's performance. You see, the integrated cards from AMD don't scale with system RAM, unlike the integrated cards from Intel (4 GB=384 MB VRAM, 8 GB=512 MB VRAM, [16 GB=1 GB VRAM intel hd4000 or newer]). I'm sorry but there's nothing to do except buying new hardware.
  • jonpaul
    jonpaul
    ✭✭✭
    Oh well, not the news I wanted to hear but sometimes the truth hurts. :)
    WAR EAGLE
    I see myself as an intelligent, sensitive human, with the soul of a clown which forces me to blow it at the most important moments. -Jim Morrison
  • tttopperub17_ESO
    jonpaul wrote: »
    Oh well, not the news I wanted to hear but sometimes the truth hurts. :)

    You will probably want to look closely into what else you want to use that Mini for. I'm hearing that Yosemite is going want 6 GB of RAM for best performance with 8 GB being better. I'd hazard that 8 GB should be considered a minimum for playing online games now with Mavericks, even though they will run on less.

    So you might want to figure out how big a pile of cash you want to spend and then look into upgrades, future software requirements, bench scores and other performance measures. Then add it all up and see if that pile of cash would be better spent on an upgraded Mac.

    I hate to admit it, but Mac upgrade cycles are getting shorter. :(

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