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Raising Process Priority for the UO Client

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Llewen, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I'm wondering if anyone has tried this and has any opinions on it? I am trying it, in the hopes of improving the match between a player's real location and their location as displayed by the client, as I am finding it challenging closing with moving player characters on my characters that use melee weapons.

    I know that sometimes raising process priority can actually hurt an application's performance, and sometimes lowering the process priority can improve performance. Does anyone have any experience with this in UO?

    For those who don't know what I am talking about, each processor in your computer can only process one command at a time. The operating system assigns priorities to processes. A process is not exactly the same as a program because one program can have multiple processes. A process is like a linear forums thread, a string of linked commands - if I am not describing this well, please forgive me, I am self taught and my knowledge of technical terms is a bit shaky at times.

    The operating system assigns priorities to processes, and the processor processes commands from those processes based on their priority (I think I might deserve an award for the most uses of the word "process" in one sentence... :) ). So, for example, in Windows, a process with "high" priority would have it's commands processed before a process with "normal" priority.

    You can use batch scripts to start up programs with different priorities, or they can be set by the programmers that code the programs, or you can hit ctrl-alt-del and right click on the program in the list of processes, and change the priority that way - this is the only way I know of to do this with UO if you are using UOAssist. For the most part with Windows, each program will have one process.
     
  2. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    That part I did not understand.

    I guess you're talking about the 2D client?

    I'm pretty sure that changing process priorities won't change UO performance. The 2D client is a very old software built for computers that were on the market 10 years ago. This software cannot utilize the power of high-end computers. You could plug 4 processors into a machine and have 8 GB RAM, and still UO would run choppy. It has nothing to do with computer performance, process priorities and CPU power.
     
  3. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
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    It can help a little with the 2D client if you are running other things in the background. With KR I find it doesn't make as much of a difference, but on a multi core processor setting the processor affinity (the core # that the process runs on) does help.
     
  4. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Yes I am talking about the 2D client. I'll try to explain myself better. I ping over 80 to my shard server, which isn't great, and what I find is, when player characters start moving, it is really hard for my dexxers to "close" with them, by "close" I mean get close enough to be able to actually be in combat with them.

    I have tried "leading" my targets by trying to run slightly ahead of them if they aren't running in a straight line, but I'm not having much luck with this. I was hoping that by raising the process priority I the difference between the player characters' real locations, and their locations as displayed in my client, might be lessened.

    I know this sort of thing works, for example, with Half-Life servers. You can improve hit registration for your clients, and the general responsiveness of the server by raising the process priority for the server. I assume that raising it for your client would also help, although I haven't felt the need to try that.

    But I am clearly "feeling the need" for UO. It's a bit frustrating to get someone's character down to 25% health or lower, then have them start walking in a circle (not even running), and be unable to get close enough to them to take a swing at them because of the screwy differences between their real position, and their position as displayed by my 2D client.
     
  5. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
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    Unfortunately raising the process priority won't make up for bad ping times. It really only helps in situations where you have limited CPU power.
     
  6. Salty Pete

    Salty Pete Guest


    Have you played around with the uo.cfg at all?

    http://uo.stratics.com/content/misc/cfg.shtml
     
  7. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
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    It can not hurt you. I would set it at Real Time Priority.

    BUT

    I also dont think you will notice any significant improvement.

    I will assume your running XP service pack 2+

    If you have not done this, then this may help far more.

    As a generalization the greatest (after a bad anti-virus checker, meaning it is activly constantly scanning (as in temporarily blocking execution)), The Virtual Memory system is your enemy.

    Microsoft in its infinite wisdom, will page all kinds of stuff in and out even though you have 200% more real memory than is being used/required.

    You can not turn this off and have XP run for any significant amount of time (shame on you Microsoft).

    BUT

    You can go out, get a 4GB Compact Flash or SD (with ready boots/rated high performance), USB Stick with Ready Boost etc, stick it into a dedicated (not required) USB2 Port->Controller. Then DELETE/DISABLE all other paging files on other drives. Then set you paging to be ONLY on the inserted device.

    XP will now use this as a pageing device, but not as usual. It will actually do things differently and more in line with how Vista does Ready Boost.

    The above will help, and may help a LOT depending on the speed of the drive(s) and activity your page files are stored on.

    One thing you will notice is that a page file will NOT be created on the inserted device and there will NOT be apparent space used. This is OK :)
     
  8. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
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    Flash is a lot faster for read operations but much slower for write operations. You're better off using a dedicated high speed disk for paging, but that is expensive.
     
  9. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
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    I am not saying your wrong BUT it is debatable.

    The argument for the VISTA Ready Boost is the device has NO head movement, Rotational Delay or Head Settle time.

    Most of the current CF/SD/USB2.0 Sticks that are either Ready Boost OR High Speed Rated CLAIM (as in it is only a claim) the Read/write speeds are the same (or extremely close to each other. Some are claiming 40MB per second Read/Write Times.
     
  10. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
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    Like I said, it's only a valid point if you use a very high quality high speed hard drive. The drives that are in most consumer machines are of mediocre speed, and using Flash for swap makes sense in those cases.

    I was a systems enginner for many, many years and the general rule of thumb for virtual memory is to use the most used partition on the least used physical drive, and to use very high speed drives if one wants the very best performance.

    We aren't really disagreeing :)
     
  11. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
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    I agree we are on the same page and in agreement.

    I have always used the formula of use a Fixed Head device(s) with the least used devices being given priority. These are systems that ... wont end up in a Home environment.

    While I no longer stay on top of this as I use to (I started losing interest when the drive manufactures stopped publishing (as in easy to get) the REAL specs on the platters, heads and actuators) as ... (ha ha) debates lost the ability to provide conclusive evidence and turned to the "It is Intuitively Obvious ... to any moron ..."

    BUT

    I do keep seeing reports that the Flash + Hard Drive is engaged and soon to be married.

    Do you have any information on this?

    I think the last thing I saw was that the Flash provides a Fixed Platter "concept" ideal for pageing/high performance needs, while the Hard Drive provides bulk.

    The Linux people were all over that in a drop dead hart beat. Microsoft was non responsive to the committee ....

    BUT Microsoft's unwillingness to allow XP to run in Real Address Mode vs Virtual Address Mode is an unseen and untalked about problem for any PC user that wants the absolute best performance for their game etc. Shame on them as the real need for Virtual Storage has dried up and died years ago, at least from the Home PC perspective.

    Job's would be well advised to have Apples newer OS's be ran in Real Address Mode and take full advantage of the lower cost memory and ... well ... noticeably improve the performance of their Mac's.
     
  12. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    I am absolutely convinced that neither better hardware nor process priorities will help you solve this problem.

    Due to your slight delays in your connection (response times from the UO server) the real position of a fast moving character can always slightly differ from the position where you see him on your screen. I actually have a ping of over 200 and I find it hard to hit moving characters with my melee fighter, too. You could solve this only by either getting a better connection or moving to a server standing closer to you.
     
  13. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I live in Eastern Canada, I have the best broadband connection money can buy where I live, and the East Coast servers are the closest physically to my location. I play Catskills. So I really have no options as far as that goes.

    I'm not convinced raising process priority will help me, although I do think it helps the servers I run, so you never know, it might help me as well. The verdict is still out, I haven't done a lot of pvp'ing where I would be able to notice the difference since I started upping the process priority. I'll post back with results when I have something concrete to report.