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Vortez

35Gb for audio, are you kidding me?

71 posts in this topic

So, i was browsing the net yesterday when i found this news. I dunno why(i don't anticipate the game or know anything about it) but this outraged the programmer in me. For those who don't know, that's the issue.

 

 

 

Over on the Xbox One, the installation is only about 20GB. So, why the disparity in size — is it the high-res textures? A lack of optimization? No, it’s all thanks to roughly 35GB of uncompressed audio.

...

The game’s minimum CPU requirement is a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and that simply isn’t enough horsepower to run the game and decompress audio at the same time

 

Right... And i am king arthur prince of camelot...

 

Seriously tho, this doesn't make any sense. First of all, audio never been a bottleneck in any game i've ever played since 1995 and the invention of sound cards. Also, why 99% of the peoples have to pay this massive price for the ones who don't have a decent cpu? (Again, how is the sound the bottleneck, and not graphics, humm?) Think about it, 35gb of uncompressed audio equal roughly 3gb of compressed audio, that's 32gb less on your drive right there. Then, there the fact that the audio files contain ALL languages, you can't just chose to install the english ones or the french ones, and that's another thing that drive me nut.

 

Most peoples that leaved comments said that with today's price of hard drive memory, that's nothing, but they are missing the point, the point is that it could be 1-2gb instead of 35gb, and that this space is a total waste that could be used for other things.

 

The compagny that made this game show a total disrespect of their consumers, and i hope this thrend will not get adopted by others company as well.

 

What do you think?

 

EDIT: crap, i meant to post in the lounge... sorry about that

Edited by Vortez
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Yes, if that's the reason its asinine. Decoding a few ogg or mp3 files isn't going to be that big a burden on the CPU. And even if it were, there's no reason it couldn't be done during loading.

 

A much more likely reason, methinks, is that the Xbox One has co-processors which can stream and route data without CPU intervention, and also has co-processors to decompress popular compressed formats including, for sure, JPEG and LZW, and probably mp3 as well. My guess would be that the Xbox One version of the software takes advantage of this to stream compressed audio directly to the mixer, decompressing it at the same time, and that they didn't take the time to really change how this works to be more suitable for the PC -- it sounds like the did the minimum work of creating a kind of shim to do the streaming, and that the PC, of course, doesn't have hardware to decompress it. That would mean they couldn't decompress the audio during loading screens, because its too built into the game, and I suppose if they would be decompressing a lot of audio streams, and their min-spec processor represented significantly-higher potential install base by keeping it just that much lower, then you could make a business case for such a decision -- but it really is just laziness that they didn't consider PC audio from the ground up to begin with.

Edited by Ravyne
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Wait... Streaming 35Gb of audio from a regular HDD is supposed to be faster than decompressing it on the fly on the CPU!?

 

It's like I'm not living in the same world as those guys.

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A much more likely reason, methinks, is that the Xbox One has co-processors which can stream and route data without CPU intervention, and also has co-processors to decompress popular compressed formats including, for sure, JPEG and LZW, and probably mp3 as well.

 

IGN - Respawn Explains Titanfall's 48GB PC Install

 


Speaking to Eurogamer, lead engineer Richard Baker explained that the data takes up so much more space on PC as it's designed to work with lower end machines. In contrast, the Xbox One version of the game is roughly 17GB as there's audio decode built into the hardware.

 


"So... it's almost all audio... On a higher PC it wouldn't be an issue. On a medium or moderate PC, it wouldn't be an issue, it's that on a two-core [machine] with where our min spec is, we couldn't dedicate those resources to audio," he concluded.

 

So the install is huge to make the minimum specs so low, or so they say.

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I bought the PC disc (DVD) version because Dell had a giftcard deal... I had no idea, but I'll post pictures when it comes in next week, that's like 11 DVDs.

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I bought the PC disc (DVD) version because Dell had a giftcard deal... I had no idea, but I'll post pictures when it comes in next week, that's like 11 DVDs.

 

Ironically, it does sound like it is compressed on the install disc.  So think of the install as an optimization, saving the CPU effort during game play.

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It's a brute force lazy way of making the game playable on the largest number of machines couple with playing audio at a fidelity that is just downright stupid.

 

That said, the game is a collection of WTF design decisions.

 

The campaign mode is insanely stupid...  the story gets in the way ( literally ) of the game, drowning out audio queues with confusing audio commentary.  Most mindnumbingly though, it's the complete lack of a matchmaker.  My first match in campaign mode was me at Level 1, and 4 other Level 1 - 5 players, against 6 players all over level 20.

 

So, we start down a man, with no weapon upgrades against a team composed entirely of experienced vets.  This pretty much poisoned my opinion of the game from this point on.

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I bought the PC disc (DVD) version because Dell had a giftcard deal... I had no idea, but I'll post pictures when it comes in next week, that's like 11 DVDs.

 

Ironically, it does sound like it is compressed on the install disc.  So think of the install as an optimization, saving the CPU effort during game play.

 

 

This.

 

Really all they needed was an install option "I have a modern PC, dont install uncompressed audio" check box and problem solved.  This reeks of a last minute "oh shit" hack job.

 

EDIT: Oh, and wrong forum.

Edited by Serapth
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It's interesting. I know our game's (Angry Birds Go!) load times at boot are because of sound decompression. I think it's nice that they've considered lower spec PCs, but these days dual-core PCs are rare amongst gamers. If anyone was serious about gaming I'd imagine they'd have upgraded to at least quad a long time ago. 

 

Plus lets face it; if someone is playing on a dual-core processor, chances are their PC is old and the storage space isn't fantastic. It's a bizarre solution, but admirable nonetheless :)

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Most of the gamer kiddies will be playing this with the ear-buds that came with their iPod, so I see no reason to use high quality audio in the first place.

My HD is about 400 gb, why would I want 1/8 of it to be filled with one game?

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Oh, and on the topic of stupid game design, how stupid is this...

 

First, there is obviously the fact that the matchmaker doesnt do shit, so you get horribly lobsided teams.  Plus there is no accounting for 6 friends playing together vs a bunch of soloists... but thats common to all dude-bro games.

 

 

What kills me is...

 

You jump in to the campaign at level 1, you get put in the Militia side.  You complete that campagin, then start the other side of the conflict.

 

This means by default, all level 1s are ALWAYS on one side of the battle.

 

Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

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Uhm... 28GB are roughly 44 hours of non-stop CD-quality audio. I find that hard to believe.

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Uhm... 28GB are roughly 44 hours of non-stop CD-quality audio. I find that hard to believe.


Yes and CD audio is stereo, meaning only two channels.

This audio is 7.1 uncompressed and I believe >44khz ( God knows why ). That is many times larger than CD audio
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It's interesting. I know our game's (Angry Birds Go!) load times at boot are because of sound decompression. I think it's nice that they've considered lower spec PCs, but these days dual-core PCs are rare amongst gamers. If anyone was serious about gaming I'd imagine they'd have upgraded to at least quad a long time ago.

 

So true.

 


Yes, if that's the reason its asinine. Decoding a few ogg or mp3 files isn't going to be that big a burden on the CPU. And even if it were, there's no reason it couldn't be done during loading.

A much more likely reason, methinks, is that the Xbox One has co-processors which can stream and route data without CPU intervention, and also has co-processors to decompress popular compressed formats including, for sure, JPEG and LZW, and probably mp3 as well. My guess would be that the Xbox One version of the software takes advantage of this to stream compressed audio directly to the mixer, decompressing it at the same time, and that they didn't take the time to really change how this works to be more suitable for the PC -- it sounds like the did the minimum work of creating a kind of shim to do the streaming, and that the PC, of course, doesn't have hardware to decompress it. That would mean they couldn't decompress the audio during loading screens, because its too built into the game, and I suppose if they would be decompressing a lot of audio streams, and their min-spec processor represented significantly-higher potential install base by keeping it just that much lower, then you could make a business case for such a decision -- but it really is just laziness that they didn't consider PC audio from the ground up to begin with.

 

What about sound cards? Aren't they hardware to decode sound? (Edit: Thinking about it, It's true that they don't do the decoding part in hardware tho)

 

Plus, i have an old dual core athlon 5000+, and listening to mp3 while playing a game dosn't matter at all, that take like 2-3% of my cpu max...

Edited by Vortez
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This audio is 7.1 uncompressed and I believe >44khz ( God knows why ). That is many times larger than CD audio

 

I don't see 7.1 mentioned in the article. Aren't those surround effects calculated in the 3d sound engine from mono samples?

Also anything higher than 44khz doesn't really make any sense unless you are doing some extreme pitch bending.

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This audio is 7.1 uncompressed and I believe >44khz ( God knows why ). That is many times larger than CD audio

 

I don't see 7.1 mentioned in the article. Aren't those surround effects calculated in the 3d sound engine from mono samples?

Also anything higher than 44khz doesn't really make any sense unless you are doing some extreme pitch bending.

 

 

Are you sure? I though cd audio quality was 44.1 khz

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Are you sure? I though cd audio quality was 44.1 khz

 

My bad. 44.1khz tongue.png

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This audio is 7.1 uncompressed and I believe >44khz ( God knows why ). That is many times larger than CD audio

 
I don't see 7.1 mentioned in the article. Aren't those surround effects calculated in the 3d sound engine from mono samples?
Also anything higher than 44khz doesn't really make any sense unless you are doing some extreme pitch bending.

It was a different article. That said, the game is DTS HD ( says so on the box :) ), which is up to 7.1 channels as well as 96khz. Why it's 96khz when that's wayyyy past what a human can distinguish... Beats me.

Not that it excuses anything, but it does explain the size. If it's uncompressed it's most like PCM, which means encoding size ( 2 bytes for 44khz ) times encoding rate ( 44000 ) times number of channels ( 7 ) per second of audio!
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Are you sure? I though cd audio quality was 44.1 khz

 

My bad. 44.1khz tongue.png

 

 

Lol sorry i misread your post, i though you said 44 khz was way higher than cd quality rolleyes.gif

Edited by Vortez
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Why it's 96khz when that's wayyyy past what a human can distinguish... Beats me.

You need twice the sampling rate to represent a frequency. So thats why most common audio is 44.1Khz, it translates to a range from 0Hz to 22Khz. Higher sampling rate might not give you much in term of frequencies but its probably good for any sort of audio effect since it will be inherently more precise (you have twice the data to compute from).

 

IIRC, there are also some "side effects" that can manifest in the lower frequency ranges when you resample the audio, so 96Khz might get you a "cleaner" audio in the audible range. But I'm not sure, it's been a while since I delved into sound engineering :D

 

That said, AFAIK 96Khz is used for audio production, not for end user stuff. My hearing is crap so I wouldn't notice if it was a 128Kbps MP3 anyway.

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What about sound cards? Aren't they hardware to decode sound? (Edit: Thinking about it, It's true that they don't do the decoding part in hardware tho)
 
Plus, i have an old dual core athlon 5000+, and listening to mp3 while playing a game dosn't matter at all, that take like 2-3% of my cpu max...

 

PC sound cards today, under Windows, are just about the fancy discrete/analog components that are on-board, and how well isolated they are from the EMI bouncing around inside the computer -- I think there are a few vendors left pushing their DSP hardware, but for the most part Windows does its own sound decode and mixing, and the days of the SoundBlaster-style audio processing card are long gone. (Myself, because my PC is a small mini-ITX board with only room for a discrete GPU, I actually just run my motherboards digital audio out into an amplifier, which gives good, clean sound.)

 

Its probably not an issue of decoding a background track or two. The Xbox co-processor has enough bandwidth to decode and shuffle data around faster than it can come off the disk. I imagine they're streaming compressed audio for background music and dialog/cut-scene audio directly from disc, and sound effects from a RAM-based cache, but still compressed. Its probably only the audio mixing buffers themselves that are raw audio data.

Edited by Ravyne
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