Replies: 20 (Who?), Viewed: 1301 times.
Forum Resident
Original Poster
#1 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 8:15 AM
Default The speed of loading CAST patterns is tied to the system clock.
Just for fun, I tried speedhacking the game. It lets the game think the system clock is going way faster than it's supposed to.

Here's what it looks like on normal speed.

And on a ridiculous 500x multiplier, loading CAST patterns became a lot more bearable.


If the game really was using all of its CPU power, then there should be no difference. It wasn't the first time entering CAST when I recorded both gifs, too.
Am I an idiot and this is commonly known, or does nobody really know about this?
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Inventor
#2 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 8:56 AM Last edited by Naus Allien : 10th Aug 2020 at 9:35 AM.
The way CASt loads patterns is really weird. It's almost like it has to dynamically generate the thumbnails everytime it loads. I don't understand how it can be tied to your system's clock speed. That doesn't make any sense to me. But I can tell by your GIF it's not the only thing affected by the change in speed.

On my new PC (Ryzen 5 3600X CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200 Mhz, GTX 1060 6GB GPU, Samsung Evo SSD), I can USE the patterns INSTANTLY, way before the game actually loads the thumbnails for them. It has definitely improved my experience using Create-A-Style tenfold. I'm still using the same GPU and SSD, I was using two months ago, but my new CPU and way faster RAM seem to finally do the trick and allow me to use Create-A-Style the way I always wanted, even if the game still takes a while to load the thumbnails. It has also practically eliminated the lag I used to experience dragging the design from one object to another.



EDIT: And this is how fast it works on objects. I'm quite shook it runs so well. I was not expecting that. The fact I can change the pattern of an object instantly before all the thumbnails load is great. And there's practically no lag when dragging the design from one object to another. That has always been such a massive issue.



EDIT 2: Okay, one more time. This time I try to use it as fast as possible to test its responsiveness. Good Lord, I never thought the Create-A-Style tool would run like this. I cannot believe it.
Mad Poster
#3 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 12:44 PM
Interesting... if such a value exists in the game engine, I wonder if it’s utilized as some sort of throttle, maybe as a expectation that TS3 would have overpowered the computers of the day it was running on?
Scholar
#4 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 3:15 PM
Naus Allien - your video's make me jealous. I could never use CaS that quickly. It doesn't look like you have any custom or saved patterns. Wonder if that makes any difference in performance?
Mad Poster
#5 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 4:09 PM Last edited by nitromon : 10th Aug 2020 at 5:08 PM.
Oh, you're using speed hack from Cheat Engine? So I'm guessing TS3 has an internal system clock, but I think you are correct, it shouldn't affect pattern loading. Maybe someone can mod it, so it only affects it during CAS?

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Inventor
#6 Old 10th Aug 2020 at 9:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatyFernlily
Naus Allien - your video's make me jealous. I could never use CaS that quickly. It doesn't look like you have any custom or saved patterns. Wonder if that makes any difference in performance?


I just tested with every pattern by Simlicious (610 in total) and it didn't affect performance at all. It took longer for the game to load the thumbnails of a given category, but I could still use it immediately without having to wait for the thumbnails to load. I wouldn't play with that many patterns any way, but it's good to know I can add a good amount of patterns without affecting perormance.
Mad Poster
#7 Old 11th Aug 2020 at 2:01 AM
I just explained this problem to some non-Sims players and they were like "how can they be this bad at programming holy shit" so I think we've found a real specimen of EA's craftsmanship here.

Hypocrisy is only okay if I do it.
( Join my dumb Discord server if you're into the whole procrastination thing. But like, maybe tomorrow. )
Theorist
#8 Old 11th Aug 2020 at 3:48 AM
I have not played in a while and need to check this, but as I recall, my patterns have always loaded well, but when I have custom CC in CAS that is when they can load slow as molasses.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 11th Aug 2020 at 5:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisylee
I have not played in a while and need to check this, but as I recall, my patterns have always loaded well, but when I have custom CC in CAS that is when they can load slow as molasses.


hmmm the only thing difference is custom cc's thumbnail is stored on in your user folder. So I assume ur game is on ssd, but user folder on hdd?

Mine is the opposite, my user folder is on ramdisk so it loads faster than the game on hdd

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Theorist
#10 Old 11th Aug 2020 at 8:10 AM
I just looked. On this laptop C is miniscule so the game is in D which is HDD. CC is in Docs on C which is SSD. Do not remember now but that was the only way to set it up and get it to run when I installed on this thing. The tiny C is a major PITA IMO. I now have to use an external drive just to install a Windows update.
Mad Poster
#11 Old 14th Aug 2020 at 3:07 PM
Proofs once again TS3 elements can work just fine if you pick the right computer to play it on. I'll use Naul's videos for posting reference.

P.S. Sorry for my bad english.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 14th Aug 2020 at 4:40 PM Last edited by nitromon : 12th Sep 2020 at 7:46 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SneakyWingPhoenix
Proofs once again TS3 elements can work just fine if you pick the right computer to play it on. I'll use Naul's videos for posting reference.


It works fine depending on your setting and tolerance. Nobody with 5400/7200 HDD can get that kind of CAST/CAS response or texture loading, but some people are ok with that. After seeing his videos, I finally opted to get a mSATA 32GB just enough to put TS3 on it. It's 8 yrs old, but so is my laptop and it is the only one they guarantee will work.

But what the OP is showing us is that the display of the thumbnails in the CAST/CAS is hindered by programming, restricted to show at a certain rate despite how fast your SSD and CPU is. By using a speed hack, he was able to speed it up dramatically so it loads based on hardware capability. If someone can actually make a mod that does this for CAS/CAST that would be fabulous.

I'm still waiting for someone with 64GB RAM that would put the whole game on a ramdisk and see how that performs. That will give us a true performance not hindered by hardware loading at all, though SSD today are quite impressive, perhaps they've caught up to the CPU advancement.

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 15th Aug 2020 at 12:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
I'm still waiting for someone with 64GB RAM that would put the whole game on a ramdisk and see how that performs.


Damn it...literally, this is the only time I have ever regretted having a fallout with my dad. You couldn't pay me to play kiss up just so I can get the chance to steal his ram sticks or his entire desktop, though.

Oh c'mon. There better be a point to all this stress I'm under.
Mad Poster
#14 Old 15th Aug 2020 at 1:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCheshire
Damn it...literally, this is the only time I have ever regretted having a fallout with my dad. You couldn't pay me to play kiss up just so I can get the chance to steal his ram sticks or his entire desktop, though.


I haven't been keeping up, is this only possible with desktops? I got my laptop 12 years ago and it lets me put 16GB on it, but later I read my cpu could handle max of 32GB, just the laptop mobo won't.

I'm guessing now 32GB is the max for laptops?

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Theorist
#15 Old 16th Aug 2020 at 8:40 AM
I just played a little while for the first time in ages and my game loads the patterns fast enough that there is no problem for me. In all fairness though, I do have just a few CC ones in the game now. This is on my laptop. And I just recolored a few things and had no lag in CASt thank goodness.
Scholar
#16 Old 17th Aug 2020 at 2:45 AM
For me the CASt patterns load fast in CAS. I agree that having a SSD makes a lot of difference here.
But when using the CASt pattern tool in build mode, it can become very slow at times. It always starts out fast but at some point (I still don't know what triggers this), it just starts to lag to an unworkable slowdown when moving the pattern tool around. This stays the same until i switch back to live and then back to build mode.
Mad Poster
#17 Old 12th Sep 2020 at 7:39 PM
Well, being very impressed by Naus' videos, I finally got a mSATA and put TS3 on it.... and.... nothing changed, no improvement.

Why?

I forgot I'm using eBoostr, which loads all the thumbnails and essentials of TS3 directly into RAM, so I already have most of the commonly used game files on RAM. My cast/cas pattern load is close to his video, but still, there's always a pause/lag when switching from different types. What I'm most disappointed is I cannot drag the pattern from cas on to a furniture seamlessly like in his video, there'll always be a slight delay before the furniture takes the patterns. It's small, but it is noticeable.

I think at this point, my 8 yr old i7 is just outdated, the ssd/hdd is no longer the slowing factor, but the CPU is. I'm quite surprised b/c I thought the cpu is still good for this era.

So far the mSATA made a dramatic difference in TS2 though, since that game uses little ram and constantly loads from HDD and I didn't have it eBoostred in the cache. Too bad I don't play this game regularly.

Another disappointment, non-TS3 related, is that I have a lot of older games zipped up on my HDD and I unzip them to the ramdisk to play. I was hoping SSD would make the unzipping faster, however it didn't improve the time at all since it is again CPU related. I unzipped a few of them on the SSD and just copy them to the ramdisk instead and that's super fast. Then I realize, why? Why not just play them off the SSD? The whole point of zipping them and unzipping to ramdisk was to save space, some of them are compressed 50%. If I am just copying them unzipped, they hold the original size anyways.

So I was wondering if anyone here can offer me some suggestions to use my 128GB SSD? I know that is smaller than what most people would get, but honestly? I got it for TS3 and now it seems like it doesn't really improve it anyways. I'll keep TS3 on there still, but I don't seem to have much use for the rest of the space. I mean, I thought of migrating some of my programs on there to load faster, but seriously, how fast do we need MS Word to load? Most of any program loads superfasst anyways, TS3 seems to be the only program I have that requires sustained loading.

Also, can anyone tell me for SSD.... is it better to say run Warcraft 3 on the SSD or copy the whole game from SSD to ramdisk and play? I know writing is bad for SSD, but reading should all be the same right? If I copy the game to ramdisk, it means each time I run it, it will copy the whole thing 1.75GB. If I run it off the SSD, it may not read all the files every time, though some files will be read multiple times. If it makes no difference in the read, then I'm thinking, like the HDD, copy the files to ramdisk, then letting the drive go idle to save energy and less on usage.

What do you guys think?

(btw, to my mSATA post, turns out HP and eBay screwed me over by making me think it is more complicated than it is. Generally any mSATA III 6gb/s will work with the mSATA III port. The lower the amperage the better b/c less energy use and less heat)

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Inventor
#18 Old 12th Sep 2020 at 8:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromon
Well, being very impressed by Naus' videos, I finally got a mSATA and put TS3 on it.... and.... nothing changed, no improvement.

Why?

I forgot I'm using eBoostr, which loads all the thumbnails and essentials of TS3 directly into RAM, so I already have most of the commonly used game files on RAM. My cast/cas pattern load is close to his video, but still, there's always a pause/lag when switching from different types. What I'm most disappointed is I cannot drag the pattern from cas on to a furniture seamlessly like in his video, there'll always be a slight delay before the furniture takes the patterns. It's small, but it is noticeable.

I think at this point, my 8 yr old i7 is just outdated, the ssd/hdd is no longer the slowing factor, but the CPU is. I'm quite surprised b/c I thought the cpu is still good for this era.


Yes, at that point the CPU is bottlenecking performance. Think of the way Create-A-Style works. The game has to dynamically generate the textures of our objects reading a bunch of data from an XML-type file:

For example:


So the game has to read all that information and piece everything together on the fly: patterns, colors, tiling, rotation, stencils, the location of multiplier, specular and RGB masks, and the data for every patterns. It takes a lot of computational power to process so much data, composite the texture, load it into VRAM and store them in the cache files (not sure which of these two does first). So no matter how fast the game can read all the necessary files, it still needs to piece everything together and create the texture. I'm still using the same SSD I was using in July, but it's my CPU what's making a difference now, which proves CPU performance is also really important when it comes to CASt.

PS: I find it RAM disks pointless if you have an SSD.
Mad Poster
#19 Old 12th Sep 2020 at 9:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naus Allien
PS: I find it RAM disks pointless if you have an SSD.


Well if your CPU is outdoing the SSD, you might still consider a ramdisk for the user files. In the benchmark test, ramdisk is still way faster than SSD in comparison. However, I'm still a little careful with SSD and the ramdisk is good in sense you don't have to worry about writing. So I put my temp files on there and also the TS3 user folder contains the cache files which are constantly being written. I'm actually quite OCD, I put practically anything temp/cache on the ramdisk such as Chrome/Firefox temp files, any log files, etc... Trying to reduce HDD usage, especially writing, as much as possible.

But mostly b/c my system will never use the full 16GB, I'm just having extra ram sitting there so might as well put it to work. So I prefer to put games on there and even movies when I use them to let the HDD idle. So instead of letting the HDD run for 2 hrs watching a movie, I copy it and just let it run on the ramdisk. In battery mode, it extends the battery usage since it uses very little power. It's really helpful when I travel back in the days when the airplanes didn't provide the standard power outlets for economy.

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Inventor
#20 Old 16th Sep 2020 at 3:53 PM
Blah, blah inside


Fox-Lambert (A)RL
hiatus 'till the life run again in the normal-abnormal way
favorite quote: "When ElaineNualla is posting..I always read..Nutella. I am sorry" by Rosebine
self-claimed "lower-spec simmer"
Mad Poster
#21 Old 16th Sep 2020 at 6:19 PM Last edited by nitromon : 16th Sep 2020 at 6:33 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineNualla
"Technically" babbling M.2 type of the SSD should (with expression on "should") use no more energy than normal RAM, even less in the passive cycles, while still typical SATA SSD will always use ofc. more.


That's some nice info, thanks. But this one is weird b/c it is actually just the opposite. Typical M.2 2280 SATA I could find uses about 1A or 3.3W. My current mSATA uses 0.65A, hella sweet. But a NVMe M.2 2280 typically uses 2.7-2.8A, runs around 9-10W. That's why they can get extremely hot and designed to thermal throttle. I actually luckily found one that is hopefully the new standard for the NVMe which is DRAM-less and uses HMB, reducing the power consumption by almost 1/2. The problem with this is that it greatly reduces performance and are categorized as entry level or budget NVMe. Still they're a lot faster than SATA M.2.

Not only that, because HMB is new, most companies don't implement it well. The only one I found which did it well was Mushkin, which was raved in many reviews as #1 in energy efficiency per performance cost. I got a "Mushkin Enhanced Helix-L M.2 2280 250GB PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe 1.3 3D TLC" for my dad's laptop and it uses max active power of only 4.5W, or 1.36A which is comparative to SATAs. However, in the actual test run, the average energy use was only 2.15W, or 0.65A.

https://www.tomshardware.com/review...elix-l-nvme-ssd

Now energy usage is important for another reason, heating. In laptops, especially ultra thing ones, you cannot use a heatsink on the M.2 because of the vertical clearance. Some you might be able to use the 3mm heatsink, but most of them you can't. Also using a heatsink only dissappate the heat into your whole laptop making the whole thing hotter. On the mSATA, I originally got 1.5A, it heats up hot! I have a 1A right now, China brand, and it gets warm but not hot. And of course, my 0.65A, it stays cool even in high load.

---

Now the question is, is a NVMe worth it over a SATA III these days? I'm not entirely sure after reading a lot of debates going on.

1) they cost practically the same right now, with NVMe slightly more.
2) Most NVMe runs at 9-10W, the energy cost and heating vs the performance boost. However, if it gets too hot, it will throttle, so you lose all that extra speed anyways.
3) TLC is the standard for NVMe and it reduces the write cycles considerably, but is that even an issue these days with the large 500GB-1TB SSD and the current firmware that will spread the writing evenly through the whole stick?
4) And again, is the speed really that worth it for normal use? So your web browser opens 2 seconds faster. I mean, for specific apps, such as TS3, it will make a difference. But then again, like in my case, it doesn't b/c my whole system is old so even the mSATA didn't really change my performance at all since I have most of the important TS3 latency files already cached in the RAM through eBoostr.

Sequential read/write is approx 5 times faster than SATA SSD and that itself is 5 times faster than HDD, but unless you're copying around 5GB files like FRAP files, again it is not something most people will do in normal application to require the increase in heat and reduction in write cycles.

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
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