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The 2 gig wall from 32 bit games & Civ 6

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Larsenex, May 11, 2016.

  1. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    not really.

    there are no 32 bit CPUs for consumers anymore (unless you're a sucker).

    which means there's zero reason to be stuck on win 32bit. (unless you made a bad choice).

    supporting people with horribly out of date hardware is more costly than just saying "it's 2016, 64bit is what we're doing".

    though, that says nothing about multi-core or multi-threading or Dx version, etc etc. which are more important factors.

    just that it's unreasonable to assume the game would be 32bit only.
     
  2. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    Sure. My point was - how the game is built is developer problem. For us, the end result in terms of performance and compatibility is the only thing what matters. And neither 64-bit, multithreading or higher DX version automatically means better performance or stability.
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Keeping versions limited is likely to help stability, fewer opportunities for mistakes.

    No sense capping capabilities with very dated 32bit. 64 bit doesn't guarantee a big performance increase, but there's no good reason to guarantee an archaic cap on performance by designing for 32bit.

    I'm hoping this is the first main-line civ game in over 10 years that doesn't have serious UI issues. IV and V had different problems (IV's moving buttons (!) and input blocks, V's inconsistent input buffering/forced cycling/wrong UI on release, weird pathing alterations mid-stream for both).

    I don't know the extent 64 bit will help, but hopefully at least turn times will be decent, something neither predecessor managed on "recommended" specs (IE if you spent 10 hours on a game, on "recommended" specs 15-20% of your time was spent waiting on turns if going to late game).
     
  4. Vic_Adams

    Vic_Adams Chieftain

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    Its on the stardock forums. Specific link (you may need an account there to access):
    http://forums.galciv3.com/474109/page/5/#3617136

    The post was made last December. About three-fourths of the way down, he mentions "GalCiv III remains the first and only 4th generate 4X. All the other games out there are still 3rd generation (32-bit, DirectX 9c, single core design)."
     
  5. Zenstrive

    Zenstrive Ocean King

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    64 bit would be nice if the maps can go very very big. I hope we can have that since a city would take lots of tiles, and hopefully movement points would be adjusted; each units should have at least 4 movement points.
     
  6. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    Do you know you can configure your OS to allow up to 3 Gigabytes of addressable memory?
    For your current game, that could help. You have to tell it to boot that way, I don't remember the specific details.
     
  7. anandus

    anandus Errorist

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    Cities are the same size as in Civ 5.

    Regarding big maps: That's only nice if the turn times have been improved and optimized.
    What use is a bigger map if you need to wait 5 minutes between turns?
     
  8. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    You can do that, but the application itself can only address 32-bit memory space.
     
  9. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    and well, given the 1000's of renderable items on the current CivV maps, if they keep it the same (extra birds, playful foxes, etc) then bigger maps = bigger render requirement... which promptly limits the size of the maps wrt min specs.
     
  10. kirbdog

    kirbdog King

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    Regardless of the FUD spread in this thread regarding designing a game to be optimized with multi-threading (particularly for the most CPU-intensive operation in Civ, called "End of Turn"), so that those threads can be balanced over multiple cores, I still hope that an engine that is being built from the ground up for Civilization 6 would take the extra effort required to do so. Not only would this allow desktops with multiple cores to spend less time processing between turns (an obvious benefit)... but it also might allow one or more of the developers to argue for justifying spending a little more CPU power on tasks like AI (if someone at the company decides to advocate for that feature), whether on release or for subsequent expansions.
     
  11. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    The precise percentage of 64-bit Windows on Steam (among all Windows machines, and according to the most recent Hardware Survey) is 88.35%, across all versions. So it's approaching 90%, and will likely hit 90% by the end of the year. The remaining 10% may justify having a 32-bit binary for those potential customers, but IMO it does not justify going only 32-bit, especially for a game with a 5-6 year shelf life.

    Multithreading is more difficult than single-threading, but it's also certainly possible to do it without threading errors. It does take some design consideration of how you will do the multithreading, as well as some thought by the programmer. But if you are going into the task with a mindset to make it multithreaded, and have some prior experience with it, you can get it reliably correct. Given that Firaxis was a pioneer of AMD's Vulkan API, they clearly have some programming chops, so my hope is that that extends beyond graphics APIs and they are up to the challenge with multithreading as well.

    I'm also hoping they're allocating more resources to AI than they have traditionally; IIRC Civ3 had one AI programmer. Not sure how many Civ4 had, but the community made significant improvements to the Civ4 AI (which Firaxis partially incorporated into BTS), and the Civ5 AI was worse than the Civ4 AI - although part of that may have been due to 1UPT issues. Regardless, I think it's an area that should be a focus in strategy games, and AI performance is part of that equation. While not the only reason I've switched mostly to Paradox games, I have to admit the lack of waiting for AI is really nice once you get used to it.

    True, synchronization does have an overhead cost, and if done poorly can be a net decrease in performance. But it can also be kept pretty minimal, and depending on what you're doing, you may be able to use lockless multithreading - such as if your threads are analyzing some of the same data, but not modifying any of the same data (storing their results in separate locations, perhaps to be aggregated by a short-running single thread later if need be). I used this approach in my Civ3 editor to speed up its data processing with minimal overhead - only thread creation - and without a possibility of race conditions/etc. due to the design.

    I have had cases where multithreading didn't yield much benefit, such as when it wound up being the case that I was limited much more by disk I/O than CPU resources. But I think Firaxis has some significant opportunities here.

    This is perhaps the most obvious approach Firaxis could use. They may also be able to break down the AI calculations into sections, such as calculating unit/city decisions more locally and in parallel rather than in sequence. Stardock has proven it can be done, and done well.

    That's a very good point, and a good reason why a move to 64-bit should be accompanied by parallelizing the AI.

    I think you're referring to the difference between concurrency and parallelism. Essentially we're saying we want a parallelized AI, and that the concurrency between the graphics and the Civ5 serial AI isn't really enough.

    Multithreading (whether concurrency or parallismism) is necessary for multicore support though - although an application without them will still run fine on a multicore CPU.

    Interesting piece, but I didn't see him specifically say Civ6 would be 64-bit, rather that, "Eventually, everyone will have to move to 4th generation". While Stardock's decisions imply that if they were designing Civ6, it would be 64-bit, that doesn't necessarily mean Firaxis will agree that it is time to move Civ to what Stardock considers 4th generation.
     
  12. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    64 bit and threading are completely separate concerns.

    64 bit really only impacts the maximum size usable. So with a 64-bit engine, you could have larger maps, more civs, more units. But it will not be faster.

    Multi-core/multi-threaded support is for performance. The key point to how useful it is is how much computation power can be parrarelized. I do not know how much of the civ engine would be helped by it.

    They both can cause stability issues, but if done right should not pose large problems, and would be benefits overall if done properly.
     
  13. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    For reference here are the original specs for vanilla Civ5 (from the retail box)

    Minimum: Windows XP/Vista/7 DX 9 ; Core 2 Duo 1.8 ghz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 ghz; 2GB RAM; 8 GB HDD. Graphics:256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 7900 GS or better, or Core i3 or better integrated graphics

    Recommended: Windows XP/Vista/7 DX 11 1.8 Ghz Quad Core CPU; 4GB RAM; 8GB HDD.
    512MB ATi 4800 series or 512 MB nVidia 9800 series

    Back to Civ6
    I have a GTX 970 so i should be ok for DX12 support right?
     
  14. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    Yes, and 32 bit is 4 Gbytes. We used that a lot for CATIA (mechanical CAD program) before 64bits systems were available.
     
  15. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Ah right, I misread you. You can go up to 3GB with PAE or whichever workaround is the most modern these days. But it isn't really a thing for the engine to factor into the scheme of things?

    I don't know how much CiV on larger maps uses, to be honest.
     
  16. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    yes and sort of.

    yes, because I'm pretty sure that GPU architecture was on the list of 'dx 12 compliant' cards for NVidia.

    sort of because NVidia has a hardware issue wrt to concurrent processing in the hardware. but it still basically works albeit with some serious performance hits compared to AMD cards on Dx12.
     
  17. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    For reference, Beyond Earth dropped DX9 (even though it was on the same engine) and replaced that line with the minimum specs for DX11.

    Microsoft's web site should have the min spec for DX12, but if your machine came with Windows 10 preinstalled you should definitely be ok.
    However, it is highly likely that DX11 will be okay for Civ VI, because DX12 requires Windows 10 and it's highly likely that 2K wants to be able to sell games to those that have Windows 8.
     
  18. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    I have a GTX 960 and I am curious as well. If not hopefully I can use DX11 until I upgrade.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_900_series Yeah our cards will be supported. Then I can just upgrade which will be around $300 if I guess right.
     
  19. eris

    eris King

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    64 bit addressing is what you need for unreasonably large datasets, like an insane level map in GalCiv III. I don't think Civ VI looks like that amount of spaces and units and information. So, it is much more likely to want multi-thread for parallel processing of core functions and AI players, if they follow the Stardock model of background AI. We don't know that yet, and would be speculating. Given the general problem with turn times, especially so with Civ 5, we can only hope they have figured out how to leverage that capacity on the wilder rigs out there. Even medium rigs can benefit greatly from proper load distribution.

    Given what looks like simplified graphics, dedicating CPU power to a really good AI would go a long way to soothing a lot of fans. I would be one of those.
     
  20. need my speed

    need my speed Rex Omnium Imperarium

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    Or Windows 7. I refuse to upgrade to a newer OS, despite having a high-end PC. I believe tehre are quite many who're holding on to Windows 7.
     

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