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Ron C

Tower!3D Pro: New “Better” Graphics Card Drastically Slowed Down the Game

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I had to replace my 1 GB AMD Radeon HD 6570 graphics card.  I purchased and installed a 2 GB Radeon HD 5450 graphics card including downloading its drivers.  The game was loading and running OK with the previous 6570 card loading the game fairly fast and the game clock losing about 4 seconds per minute (which was acceptable considering my system).  However, after installing the new 5450 card the game took over twice as long to load especially at and after 63% complete (seemed like 81% took forever).  I started the game using my existing game set up including RT, RC and my airport specific “.txt” files.  I then decided to clean the registry using @WildCard’s registry resetting tool.  After that didn’t help I totally uninstalled T3DP and then reinstalled it.  I then tried to load and run the game just using the game’s basic defaults (no RT or RC) – no change still took forever to load and a super slow game clock.  The in-game Advanced Graphics Settings I used were “moderate” texture resolution, shadow quality “off”, “FXAA” antialising and no boxes checked on the right side with blooming “off”.  I tried running PHL at 13:00 at 100%.  It took about 3 minutes and 30 seconds of real time to run 1 minute on the game clock; also aircraft movements and the center mouse wheel camera panning were very jerky.  I increased the game speed and it took to “x4” before the game clock got faster than the real time clock and everything was still moving jerky (only faster).  Disabling my Avast anti-virus had no effect.   Also, as far as I know the same background processes were running as before I installed the new video card and all other visible windows were closed.

I have an older 2.8 GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Processor, 8.0GB ram, my now Radeon HD 5450 2GB DDR3 video card (replacing the 1 GB  6570 video card) and Windows 10 Home (64 bit) Version 1903 (build 18362.836) O/S.

My situation doesn’t make much logical since to me (with my knowledge) since it appears that the only thing that changed from before was adding an extra 1 GB of vram with the new card.  It also seems to me that since I now meet the recommended requirements for the game, except for being 0.2 GHz short of the recommended 3.0 GHz processor speed that the game should work at least as well as it did before the new card, if not better (more vram).  Also, everything else on my computer appears to be working as it did before I changed video cards including my other games of which most are older and have less minimum system requirements that T3DP.  I’ve also attached the output log from the above short (real time) PHL session in case it may be helpful.

I’m not the most literate when it comes to computer inter-workings or hardware, so I don’t know if there was something else I should have done after changing out the video cards.  Please try not to get too technical if possible, but I do need this issue resolved, so any help you would greatly be appreciated.

Also, sorry for a long post, but I wanted to try to explain everything at once and anticipate any questions anyone might have for me.  I also see that Fred Johnson had a graphics related post today, but I didn’t want to hijack his thread.
 

output_log.txt

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Neither card is current tech nor well reviewed as gaming GPUs.

Did you completely remove, clean, the old card's drivers before installing the new card's drivers?

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If I take GPUBoss.com's overview (just as a little hint), the ratings for the HD 6570 vs. HD 5450 are:

Passmark: 759 vs. 231
Fire Strike Factor (FutureMark): 7.24 vs. 1.98
Sky Diver Factor (FutureMark): 67.1 vs. 19.5
Cloud Gate Factor (FutureMark): 8.5 vs. 3.56
Passmark Direct Compute: 423 vs. 83

That's because the HD 5450 has a lower memory clock speed (400 MHz vs. 900 MHz), half the memory bus width (64 vs. 128 bit), and a 4 times lower memory bandwidth (6.4 GB/s vs. 28.8 GB/s).

You even bought an older graphics card (HD 5450 was released in 02/10, HD 6750 in 04/11).

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As others have said the cards are older and it appears the replacement is even older and lower performing which likely points to the bulk of the performance hits. 

Other areas that may show are some airports are less optimized than others.  And this can really show depending on the drivers.  Depending on which driver release I am running on my card I see gains or loss.  In my case the hardware is way over kill for this game but the drivers and optimizations can impact things.

Can try some other driver releases but using something like DDU to ensure a clean install between the two cards is a good idea. 

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Thank you for your replies.  I was afraid it might be something like that.  As I said I’m not the most literate on hardware tech, compatibility or issues like this. However, it sounds like to me that you all are saying that I need a different video card.  However, here’s my dilemma, I’m saving my pennies for a new computer, but it will be awhile yet before I can get it so I need to keep using this computer and want to still be able to continue to run a playable TD3P.  Therefore, I needed an inexpensive as possible video card to use as a stop gap measure until I get a new computer (guess I should have asked for help first; oh well, live and learn). 

4 hours ago, scoobflight said:

Did you completely remove, clean, the old card's drivers before installing the new card's drivers?

No (I can’t anticipate all the possible questions). Not sure how to do that (I don’t know how to find or identify the old driver files).  I assumed that the new card drivers would supersede the old card.   I did download the drivers from AMD including AMD Catalyst-15.7.1-Win 10-64 bit.  Also, somehow I also got a Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020-20.7.2 MimmalSetup-200714 file folder in my “C” drive AMD folder.  The only other folder I have in the AMD file is A WU-CCC2 folder.

4 hours ago, DeltaVII said:

If I take GPUBoss.com's overview (just as a little hint), the ratings for the HD 6570 vs. HD 5450 are:

Thanks for your input.  A lot of it I don’t understand or know what it is (limited knowledge), however, I’m getting an education.

2 hours ago, Ripskin said:

As others have said the cards are older and it appears the replacement is even older and lower performing which likely points to the bulk of the performance hits.

Thanks for your input.  Not sure what DDU is but assume it is a variation of DDR (not quite sure what that is either).

You guys probably along with @EliGrim and @WildCard (if they reply) are definitely a lot more knowledgeable on this subject than I am; therefore, I’d really appreciate any suggestions (specific product, type or specs) you may have for an inexpensive video card that will produce at least the same T3DP game results as my HD 6750 card did.  At the moment I would prefer 2 GB card (but that may be just over kill/not necessary for my system) but can settle for 1 GB card since that is what I originally had and if that will work the best for my older system along with weighing the cost trade off vs performance between the 1 GB vs 2 GB card.  In addition, at the moment I’m not planning on getting any other graphic intensive games or other similar type programs before I get a new computer.

One last question that maybe I should have asked first is would a 2 GB card make that much of a difference vs a 1 GB card in the overall performance of T3DP with my current system?

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1 hour ago, Ron C said:

One last question that maybe I should have asked first is would a 2 GB card make that much of a difference vs a 1 GB card in the overall performance of T3DP with my current system?

The RAM alone doesn't say much, just like the number of doors on a car doesn't say a lot about the performance on a quarter mile. A Radeon HD 6570 with 2 GB is better than a Radeon HD 6570 with 1 GB, but that's all. I know it's a bit overwhelming, but usually the first number in the type designator is the chip generation, and as a general rule, earlier generations mean a downgrade in performance. (Except with AMD's RX cards, because they went from 3-digit to 4-digit designators for the new generation.)

A graphics card that today costs hundreds of dollars won't help you, either, because then your bottleneck is the rest of the system. Unless you intend to buy the new computer without a graphics card and install the one you buy now - in that case you definitely want to buy the one you intend for the new computer. If you just want to get T!3D back to normal on your old computer you, unfortunately, will need a better graphics card. I took a glance at Steve Bezos' moneymaker, and an AMD RX 550 with 2 GB (that's AMD's next generation following the "HD" cards) is around $60, with 4 GB around $100, and a cheap RX 560 with 4 GB is around $120. Those would be graphics cards strictly for your old computer.

Early last year I had to switch my old graphics card, too. I don't remember exactly which one it was, but I think it was a Radeon HD 7870 with 2 GB (which was pretty okay at the time I bought the computer, around 2013 or 2014) that T!3D just burnt through with demand for performance. (Oooookay, it didn't help that I forgot to clean the ventilators.)
I had to make a decision and bought a RX 560 with 4 GB. It's good enough to run the game properly. And it was cheap enough to not ruin my budget for my new computer which is due within the next weeks (with a new graphics card - the RX 560 will go back to the box and be stored as a reserve, just in case).

I'd say: before you buy a new card, it wouldn't hurt to ask this forum for opinions about the model you're eying. Deal?

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Memory isn't the only question ... performance is a dynamic between CPU speed (speed of the main computer processor), bus (how fast the computer can talk to its components), system memory & speed, GPU speed and GPU memory & speed.  In general the faster the CPU/GPU/bus/memory the better the computer can render the game.  But some faster components have slower architecture (ie, how the small bits of the chips are arranged) meaning they compute slowly when compared to a more efficient slower chip.

Having more memory helps ... to a point where there is no bottleneck with the CPU/GPU/bus speed/architecture.

In general the more you spend the better (usually).  You bought a very cheap GPU and therefore have slow performance.  Adding to this you bought an GPU a generation older than the one it replaced.

(I've tried to write the above in simple terms and therefore using a broad brush to explain a complex subject.)

 

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I'll also simplify things a bit too and use a single number to show the difference between the cards using Passmark's benchmark score.
The higher the better. Prices are based on a very quick search and are in USD, you may be able to find better prices.

  • 180      Radeon HD 5450            $25
  • 499      Radeon HD 6570            $50
  • 1113    Radeon HD 5750            $80
  • 3632    Radeon RX 560               $130
  • 6431    GeForce GTX 1050 Ti    $140

Comparison on Passmark website
As you can see, the numbering for Radeon's HD cards is weird, with the 5750 performing twice as well as the 6570. The HD 5750 was my previous video card, the GTX 1050 Ti is my current one. Also, for an extra $10 the 1050 Ti performs nearly twice as fast as the RX 560, so it's a good idea to compare price/performance before buying and decide if it's worth spending that extra $10.
You can also look up nearly any other existing video card on the site for a comparison, the G3D Mark number is the important one for gaming.

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18 hours ago, Ron C said:

Thanks for your input.  Not sure what DDU is but assume it is a variation of DDR (not quite sure what that is either).

You guys probably along with @EliGrim and @WildCard (if they reply) are definitely a lot more knowledgeable on this subject than I am; therefore, I’d really appreciate any suggestions (specific product, type or specs) you may have for an inexpensive video card that will produce at least the same T3DP game results as my HD 6750 card did.  At the moment I would prefer 2 GB card (but that may be just over kill/not necessary for my system) but can settle for 1 GB card since that is what I originally had and if that will work the best for my older system along with weighing the cost trade off vs performance between the 1 GB vs 2 GB card.  In addition, at the moment I’m not planning on getting any other graphic intensive games or other similar type programs before I get a new computer.

One last question that maybe I should have asked first is would a 2 GB card make that much of a difference vs a 1 GB card in the overall performance of T3DP with my current system?

DDU / DDR should be Display Driver Utility or Display Driver Remover or something along those lines.  Good tool that cleans off all display drivers other than windows defaults so you can do a nice fresh install. Upgrades within a family of cards don't necessarily require it.  Same with swapping brands but it is best to clean things out and avoid conflicts.

You said that you were not planning on getting other intensive games or other programs until you get a new computer. 
Depending on the age of your current system vs your upgrade path it "Can" be beneficial to upgrade the card now and move it to the new computer down the road depending on how far down the road that is. 

If you're just looking to ride the wave as it were for a little while pick up another 6570.  If you need more life then shoot for a 5750 based on Wildcard's posted data. 

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RipSkin, thanks for your reply.  In fact you just answered the question I’m going to ask the rest of you experts in a post that I was preparing to everyone asking to help me make my final decision.  As my below post basically states I want to be an “on the cheap” as possible wave rider for now.  I can survive with my overall system for now as long as I can get T3DP playable again.  I want to keep the wave at the same height for the least amount of cost (my current budget and 300 watt power supply will not allow me to buy the graphic card I would need/want for my new computer).  It could be up to a year (depending on my financial situation) before I actually can get another computer.  Hopefully by then we will also know what the recommended system requirements will be for the new Tower XX as I want to make sure my new computer will meet them.  As you can probably tell, I don’t buy a computer very often; I’ve had this one for 8 years.  

20 hours ago, DeltaVII said:

I'd say: before you buy a new card, it wouldn't hurt to ask this forum for opinions about the model you're eying. Deal?

I think I see what you are saying.  There are many factors to consider and how they interface with each other (starting to get above my novice level of understanding).  As cost is starting to become an issue for me, I only want to buy a card that will be the most cost effective to meet my current needs.  I’ll get another new graphics card when I get my new computer.

20 hours ago, scoobflight said:

(I've tried to write the above in simple terms and therefore using a broad brush to explain a complex subject.)

“Broad brush” approach is good.  Thank you for the explanation.

13 hours ago, WildCard said:

Comparison on Passmark website
As you can see, the numbering for Radeon's HD cards is weird, with the 5750 performing twice as well as the 6570. The HD 5750 was my previous video card, the GTX 1050 Ti is my current one. Also, for an extra $10 the 1050 Ti performs nearly twice as fast as the RX 560, so it's a good idea to compare price/performance before buying and decide if it's worth spending that extra $10.
You can also look up nearly any other existing video card on the site for a comparison, the G3D Mark number is the important one for gaming

Thanks for your reply and info.

The replies I’ve received so far have been helpful and informative.  However, there is one other limiting factor I failed to recognize in choosing a new card, my computer only has a 300 watt power supply and I don’t want to put any more money into the computer than I have to.  I’m not a gamer.  I use my computer primarily for personal use and some older games, so T3DP is probably the most intense system resources user my computer has.  I started researching some options however; my head was starting to spin (getting lost and confused) being a novice when it comes to comparing cards and which one would be the most cost effective on a limited budget to meet my current needs. 

Also, the more I researched the more I see my 300 watt power supply becoming a problem (a very limiting factor).  How hard and fast of a rule is the graphics card manufacturer’s specified power supply requirements (i.e. what criteria do they use: a formula, a high conservative number just to play it safe, a rule of thumb, assumptions based on the kind of systems that normally would use that video card) since they don’t know what kind of system you have or its total power requirements (less their graphics card)?

I like this forum as I believe its primary purpose is to provide a platform to exchange information and provide some guidance in solving problems/issues with the provider not actually doing a lot of the work for you (which makes since).  However, in this case, I really would appreciate a little more help in helping me make my final graphic card decision.  So I guess my question is if you were in my shoes what card(s) would you get/consider keeping in mind that: the previous 1 GB HD 6570 card was meeting my current computing needs (don’t see me really needing much of anything else extra in the near future); T3DP to be able to run in a playable mode (having great graphics is not a high priority for me right now, so 1 GB or 2 GB of vram is probably OK for now); only a 300 watt power supply; this is just going to be a short stop gap measure (not a long term solution) until I get enough saved up for a new computer; don’t want to put any more money than absolutely necessary into this computer: and being on a somewhat limited budget.  (Well maybe I’m asking you to do a little of the work for me in making my decision, if you would so kind; I just want to make sure I get the right card this time that will meet my current needs without over spending).  You guys know a lot more about this subject than I do so I value your suggestions/inputs a lot. 
Ripskin again thank you for your suggestion; however my power supply may be a limiting factor, from what I found the 5750 could require 450 watts and the HD 6750 (my previous card) require 350 watts (go figure).

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Wattage is important to consider in building a computer to ensure you budget enough for the maximum that you could draw.  However while your 6750 could use 350 watts for most things it wont be near that number.  If it was pulling down more than your PSU could supply the system would lock up / reboot.  

Your PSU likely has a higher peak rating that allows it to give a bit of extra power for short bursts if the card ramps up for a moment.  Tower 3D does not have a lot of graphical needs, mostly just poor optimizations impacting FPS. 

If you can based on your post I would pick up your old card again and plan out your next build well :)

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Thank you for your explanation on wattage (I sort of thought it might be something like that).  I’ve done more research while waiting for replies to my last post.  I’m starting to lean very heavily towards a Radeon 2GB RX 550.  The recommended or required (depending whose tech specs you are looking at) power supply is 400 watts.  According to what I researched I think my AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Processor uses about 125-135 watts TDP.  The other components in my computer that require power (as far as my limited knowledge goes) are the computer’s two standard case cooling fans (came with computer), the power supply’s fan, my DVD drive and maybe some other small power using incidental components.

In researching some prices I found that I can get a Sapphire RX 550 for less than $10.00 more than a 2GB HD 6750.  I’ve attached a short spreadsheet comparing the two cards based on my still somewhat limited knowledge research.  I’m assuming that outside of the power requirements that the RX 550 should perform well with my system including running T3DP better than my previous HD 6750 card.  I also understand that there is a potential for some potential performance bottlenecks due to my overall older system.

I’ve also noticed that different manufactures can have different power requirements (PSU &TBP) for the same video card.  Is there a reason for this or are the ones with the higher power values just trying to ensure users won’t encounter a potential power related problem where the manufacturer could maybe be considered at fault?

I really would appreciate your thoughts about RX 550 and me using it or if there is even a better option out there for around $60 (however, not on eBay).  I'd also really appreciate the opinions and/or suggestions of anyone else who replies to this post.  

HD 6750 vs RX 550.xlsx

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I used to have a 1090T from that CPU series and I am pretty sure it was a 125 TDP.  Your case fans will draw power albeit not too much and not necessarily from the same rail that the other parts do (12v, 5v 3.3v) but the PSU can only send so much power out overall, and so much down each rail (rating sticker usually on the side of the PSU).  

I doubt that you are sustaining a full CPU load while in Tower3D so it wont be at max power.  Your hard drives, GPU and other parts are pulling some power down but when not in use most things don't use too much. 

Its like buying stock on margin though as if something in the background kicks off it can max the budget and cause issues (reboot / hard lock). 

Manufacturers can do a lot with the cards once they get chips from the makers (AMD / NVidia).  Usually they start with a "reference" design based upon what the chip makers put out.  Larger, typically blower style coolers (though the last RTX series from Nvidia did not use blowers).  Each manufacturer may make some tweaks to their version but its still based upon the reference design.  After a few months they will come out with their own custom cards.  These can be smaller, larger, dial up the power requirements, add more (or remove) fans as well as come with over clocks out of the box.  Typically if the card requires more power then they have turned something up or added a fan or something that adds to it.  In some cases they are just being more conservative with their requirements to ensure fewer problems. 

From your excel file the 550 looks good and if its a bit cheaper than the older card it should tide you over.  Check out the label on your PSU and verify what ratings it has (if its a pre-built computer it may not have a sticker or its hidden on a side not easy to get at).  The newer card would run into some CPU bottlenecks most likely but as it is newer it may use more power to run the improved architecture and processing systems against the game.  Just depends on what it can do against the old one for the same power requirement.  If they are both rated for the same peak requirement it should be okay but again, not a lot of room to play with unfortunately :) 

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Thank you again for your time in providing me more information/education.  Not sure what you mean by “rail” or what “ratings” you are talking about.  I have a pre-built HP computer with a 300 watt Bestec power supply (model number ATX0300D5WC B).  The label on the PSU’s side says the max output is 300 watts.  It also says “+5V & +3.3V 175W MAX” and “+5V &+12V 268W MAX”.  Are these the “rails” you are talking about?  Also, I may not have explained it that well but the RX 550 card will cost a little bit more than the HD 6750.

I gather from what are you saying (this is not to put you on the spot) is that the RX 550 should work OK for me (with some potential processing bottlenecks due to my older system) including producing a playable T3DP.  However, there also may not be too much leeway for variations in power usage when running T3DP.  So it sounds like the bottom line would be if I want to give the RX550 a try and to play it safe power usage wise is to make sure that no other additional background programs (outside of those that already may be continuously in use) or other active programs are running while running T3DP.  However, will having a couple file folders and/or text files just being open while the game is running have any effect on the computer’s power consumption?

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Yeah the different voltage rails go to different components in the computer.  That is not a lot of power to play with. Being a pre-built HP system they may have put a weaker 6750 or a customized version in that uses less power. 

File folders and browsers wont typically spike a power issue unless they are pulling cycles off the CPU for refreshing or something graphical.  Once they load into the memory the HDD wont be needed until you change folders or do something with the file and that usage is pretty minimal power wise.  Just sustaining all the components. 

So the versions of the 550 / 6750 you pulled on the spreadsheet may have been different variants.  As there are a number out there.  

550 on the left 6750 on the right:

image.png.824a57f0b15090305b90ab6e624e58f2.png

Power listing for the 550 is less than the 6750.  More efficient card targeted for budget builds. 

On Newegg there is an ASRock 550 for 90 dollars and a TDP rating of 75 Watts.  But it has 3 modes of Silent, Default & Gaming that change the clock speed and will change the power consumption up to 75 Watts.  

Not knowing exactly what 6750 model is in your PC now (Can pull it with GPUZ but not super critical) I cant say what its wattage is but it is likely more than the 550 I linked would be pulling so I believe you will be fine if it falls in that range. 

XFX and some others are on Newegg with similar mini PC models.  If you go for the larger cards they will jump the power requirement but for total system power they will recommend 350 + power supplies. 

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Thanks again for your time and info.  I guess I’m going to go for the RX 550.  I checked three different tech spec sources for the Sapphire Pulse RX 550 (the card I’ll be getting) power requirements getting various results: 50 watts (CNET); 65 watts (techpowerup); and <65 watts (Sapphire, the manufacturer’s web site).  From this I’m assuming that 65 watts should be the cards’ peak (maximum) power consumption at any given time.

I’m also going to pull the HD 5450 card and send it back (I have 30 day free return).  However, the RX 550 from the vendor is out of stock until Aug 22 with an estimated delivery date to me around the first few days of Sep.  My HD 6750 card still works but the cooling fan is getting ready to go (very wobbly and makes a lot of racket, gets very annoying after a while).  I was trying to be pro-active by getting a new card (the HD 5450) to avoid suffering T3DP downtime waiting to find and get a replacement card if/when the fan fails.  So here hopes the fan will hold on (literally) for another month.  According to my base computer specs (HP Pavilion Elite 510Y) there is also an integrated ATI (mobility) Radeon 4200 video card that has never been used (can’t use it if another graphics card is plugged into PCIe slot).  I’m assuming in a worst case scenario that the 4200 card  should keep me going on limited basis (DVI and VGA sockets, 512 MB vram and 500 Mhz core speed); but definitely not T3DP.  However, would the 4200 card’s 500 Mhz core clock speed be fast enough to run a playable Tower 2011 since it has less graphic requirements?  My computer’s 8 GB ram and 2.8 GHz processing speed and the 4200 card provide over the minimum Tower 2011 system requirements, but then so did the HD 5450 card for T3DP except for the slow core clock speed making the game unplayable.   

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