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mikedoty

DirectDraw performance dilemma

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Update (3/13) - Problem Solved ______________________________________ This was a bad mistake on my part not related to DirectDraw. I had been writing to a file (using ofstream) each frame, debug information for during development that I ought to have taken out. Still, it had no negative effect on most computers; with a pretty full hard drive, though, my friend's computer apparently slowed down a lot with significant disk access. I'm leaving the original post unedited in case anyone else has similar problems; then, perhaps they can see that even if it seems like it's the graphics or something, they'll realize it could be anything else too. ______________________________________ This is a weird situation I have. I have two applications, both of which use DirectDraw, both of which are in 800x600x16 resolution at the same monitor's refresh rate. So, settings-wise, they are the same. They're both based on tile engines. #1 has 40x30 tiles (16*16 each), and #2 has 26x18 tiles (32*32 each). The point I'm making is that in almost every way, the applications are the same. The Main Differences #1 is a full fledged game. It included libraries for Winsock, Wininet, and ShellAPI in addition to your typical libraries. #2 is a simple platformer that does not originally include these libraries. Now, here's the problem. On almost every machine game #1 is played on, everything works great. It gets 75FPS and everything is great. (It's a simple application that would probably perform beautifully on our old 400.) However, a friend of mine has a computer that does not game #1 very well. He gets about 30FPS, far below the desired rate. When he runs game #2, however, he gets the desired frame rate (75 FPS). His video card is a GeForce FX 5200. I read in a couple places that some nVidia drivers can really hurt DirectDraw performance, but he has tried a couple of older drivers that have not changed the performance. (It is conceivable that if he tried 10 others, 1 of them could work, you never know.) However, if it's a driver problem, then I would expect game #2 to also suffer in its frame rate. As I stated, however, it shows no slowdown effects; it runs at a fine framerate. Here are some things I have tried to fix this situation:
  • Recompile Game #2 to link to the Winsock, Wininet and ShellAPI libraries. This should any variable in which libraries they use. (No gain.)
  • Comment out every line of code except the frame rate display, clear backbuffer, draw FPS on screen, and flip. (Gained maybe 3FPS, so 33FPS in the end.)
  • Explicitly call surfaces to be created in video memory (along with primary surface and backbuffer). I really thought this would work. (No gain.)
  • Remove joystick support from Game #1 completely. (No gain.)
  • Disable audio in Game #1. (Game #2 has no audio, I didn't mention that.) (No gain.) I simply cannot think of what to try next. Game #1, while running poorly on his main computer, does run just fine on his alternate, at-home computer. I would really appreciate any suggestions you can offer me. Edit (3/13 @ 1:05 P.M.) - I dug out our old p2 400 (16 MB gfx card, TnT2 or something I think) to test the game, and it does indeed run fine (75 FPS). [Edited by - mikedoty on March 13, 2006 9:24:24 PM]

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