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So, this is going to be a journey, and I ask that you're patient with me.
Here's a little backstory so that you understand where I'm coming from.

I just finished playing 85 hours of Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
For those who are unaware, the game is essentially an open-world turn-based RPG, and the world is extremely detailed. The character detail is fantastic with all characters in the world being very large, and in busier areas, there are sometimes something like 30 or 40 random NPCs just walking their way through the streets who are all just as detailed as your characters. There are also a lot of nice effects and cool touches like shadows playing realistically with the environment, different lighting effects from multiple angles, haze wafting up from the heat on the ground, accurate reflections from pools of water, smoke and smog drifting through the city, traffic moving around you through the street, people visible through windows going about their day inside of buildings, and extremely flashy attacks with tons of particles.

My aging rig was able to play it on High settings and maintain a fantastic framerate, and it only chugged in one area in the entire game where there's a huge view from near the top of a building where the entire city is displayed.

To add to this, I should mention that I played DOS2 completely maxed out on Ultra settings with never so much as a hiccup. (Sure, it's older now, but I figured it was worth adding to provide some sort of baseline.)



I mention all of this because I fail to understand why while playing BG3, I can't go above Medium settings with a few of the bells and whistles turned on without bottoming out to about 15 fps, and I'm essentially stuck playing on the Low setting with all additional options either turned off or at their lowest possible setting while still running into a fair bit of chop with the game looking absolutely hideous, approaching N64 levels of detail. This even happens in areas that aren't busy, and places like the goblin camp or busy cutscenes basically turning the game into a slide show.



Now, I don't know pretty much anything about how engines work, or what the optimization is like, and I understand that my system is getting up there in age, but can anyone please help me understand why it is that I can play such a robustly detailed and busy game, and I'm able to march along at full speed without any issues, but a game like BG3 that's primarily taking place in large open areas where a tiny portion of the world is visible on your screen at any given time due to the isometric view is struggling to run well enough to be legitimately worth playing?

Clearly, a grand majority of people aren't having issues with this since the technical section of the forums aren't exactly flooded with complaints about problems with performance, so I'm either forced to assume that everyone has a monster PC, or that they just happen to be lucky to have a setup where it's not enough of an issue to matter.

Are my issues a result of the early access process and will eventually get cleared up as the kinks get worked out of this new (and seemingly bloated) engine? Just exactly how much will optimization help, and when does that typically take place during the development process?

I feel somewhat left out in the rain here because I've played too long for a Steam refund, with almost 90% of my time being stuck trying to adjust different settings in different combinations to provide a smooth experience. Yes, I understand that it's not Larian's fault that my PC is tired and I'm too poor to upgrade it to play their game, but it's confusing to me how an engine could be so poorly-optimized that it's stuttering on a game with what appears to have half the detail of a newer game that I just breezed through on a High setting.

Can a game (or I guess engine in this case) be optimized dramatically between the EA process and a retail release? Can I expect this to not just get "kinda" better but substantially better? Or did I just pay $60 for a set of files to sit on my computer?


I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
So, this is going to be a journey, and I ask that you're patient with me.
Here's a little backstory so that you understand where I'm coming from.

I mention all of this because I fail to understand why while playing BG3, I can't go above Medium settings with a few of the bells and whistles turned on without bottoming out to about 15 fps, and I'm essentially stuck playing on the Low setting with all additional options either turned off or at their lowest possible setting while still running into a fair bit of chop with the game looking absolutely hideous, approaching N64 levels of detail. This even happens in areas that aren't busy, and places like the goblin camp or busy cutscenes basically turning the game into a slide show.

What are your specs?

Originally Posted by Tzelanit
Now, I don't know pretty much anything about how engines work, or what the optimization is like, and I understand that my system is getting up there in age, but can anyone please help me understand why it is that I can play such a robustly detailed and busy game, and I'm able to march along at full speed without any issues, but a game like BG3 that's primarily taking place in large open areas where a tiny portion of the world is visible on your screen at any given time due to the isometric view is struggling to run well enough to be legitimately worth playing?

Clearly, a grand majority of people aren't having issues with this since the technical section of the forums aren't exactly flooded with complaints about problems with performance, so I'm either forced to assume that everyone has a monster PC, or that they just happen to be lucky to have a setup where it's not enough of an issue to matter.


Can a game (or I guess engine in this case) be optimized dramatically between the EA process and a retail release? Can I expect this to not just get "kinda" better but substantially better? Or did I just pay $60 for a set of files to sit on my computer?

Optimization is always an ongoing process in EA games. I am also playing Valheim, and while my rig has no problem with this game - everyone gets stuttering on that one which is a known optimization issue. So short answer yes, but honestly your specs make a huge difference. There are particular weaknesses that are easy to correct which may be causing the problem.


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
So, this is going to be a journey, and I ask that you're patient with me.
Here's a little backstory so that you understand where I'm coming from.

I mention all of this because I fail to understand why while playing BG3, I can't go above Medium settings with a few of the bells and whistles turned on without bottoming out to about 15 fps, and I'm essentially stuck playing on the Low setting with all additional options either turned off or at their lowest possible setting while still running into a fair bit of chop with the game looking absolutely hideous, approaching N64 levels of detail. This even happens in areas that aren't busy, and places like the goblin camp or busy cutscenes basically turning the game into a slide show.

What are your specs?

Essentially ancient and below what they should be, I'm sure. I figured that since DOS2 was running on Ultra and most newer games were running on High that it wasn't going to be an issue, I bought the game out of excitement because I was finally getting to play a new Baldur's Gate entry after having fallen in love with the first two when I was a teen 20 years ago. Obviously my fault and I should have read the requirements, but I don't have the money or the means to do anything about that now. So I'm just looking for hope that my woes will mostly get cleared up by many patches and a full release. Specs are as follows:

Radeon RX560
AMD FX 6300 six-core 3.5 GHz
12 GB RAM (I had 8 but stuck 2 2GB sticks in there that I had laying around because I figured more is better, and it seems to have helped?)


Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
Now, I don't know pretty much anything about how engines work, or what the optimization is like, and I understand that my system is getting up there in age, but can anyone please help me understand why it is that I can play such a robustly detailed and busy game, and I'm able to march along at full speed without any issues, but a game like BG3 that's primarily taking place in large open areas where a tiny portion of the world is visible on your screen at any given time due to the isometric view is struggling to run well enough to be legitimately worth playing?

Clearly, a grand majority of people aren't having issues with this since the technical section of the forums aren't exactly flooded with complaints about problems with performance, so I'm either forced to assume that everyone has a monster PC, or that they just happen to be lucky to have a setup where it's not enough of an issue to matter.


Can a game (or I guess engine in this case) be optimized dramatically between the EA process and a retail release? Can I expect this to not just get "kinda" better but substantially better? Or did I just pay $60 for a set of files to sit on my computer?

Optimization is always an ongoing process in EA games. I am also playing Valheim, and while my rig has no problem with this game - everyone gets stuttering on that one which is a known optimization issue. So short answer yes, but honestly your specs make a huge difference. There are particular weaknesses that are easy to correct which may be causing the problem.

Oddly enough, my rig has zero issues with Valheim too, which appear to be unusual from what I've read. As a matter of fact, the only recent games I've had issues with are BG3 and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, but I expected to struggle with that one because it appears to be far more... visually dense? than not only BG3 but a lot of other games in general.

I kinda feel bad turning this into a technical thread since I know that this is the general section, as I was more curious about what the optimization process is like and what I could expect than troubleshooting my specific issues, lol. I hope the mods will understand though.

Last edited by Tzelanit; 14/05/21 04:15 AM.

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Essentially ancient and below what they should be, I'm sure. I figured that since DOS2 was running on Ultra and most newer games were running on High that it wasn't going to be an issue, I bought the game out of excitement because I was finally getting to play a new Baldur's Gate entry after having fallen in love with the first two when I was a teen 20 years ago. Obviously my fault and I should have read the requirements, but I don't have the money or the means to do anything about that now. So I'm just looking for hope that my woes will mostly get cleared up by many patches and a full release. Specs are as follows:

Radeon RX560
AMD FX 6300 six-core 3.5 GHz
12 GB RAM (I had 8 but stuck 2 2GB sticks in there that I had laying around because I figured more is better, and it seems to have helped?)

Ok, there is the problem. Your Mobo and card are solid, your RAM is the problem.

You want 16GB of ram for BG3 - we have seen the issue before with 8GB not being quite enough even though it is listed as minimum.

But the problem is compounded because you are not running your ram as dual channel 4 x 4 would be what you want, as 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 can cause some slowdown especially if you are dealing with different types of RAM. Ideal RAM is same type, spec, model, brand across the board with no deviation.

The recommended specs for BG3 is 16GB ram. See below:

CPU: Intel i7 4770k / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
RAM: 16 GB
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
VIDEO CARD: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB / AMD RX580
PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
FREE DISK SPACE: 150 GB
DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 3072 MB

Last edited by Blackheifer; 14/05/21 04:27 AM.

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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Quote
Essentially ancient and below what they should be, I'm sure. I figured that since DOS2 was running on Ultra and most newer games were running on High that it wasn't going to be an issue, I bought the game out of excitement because I was finally getting to play a new Baldur's Gate entry after having fallen in love with the first two when I was a teen 20 years ago. Obviously my fault and I should have read the requirements, but I don't have the money or the means to do anything about that now. So I'm just looking for hope that my woes will mostly get cleared up by many patches and a full release. Specs are as follows:

Radeon RX560
AMD FX 6300 six-core 3.5 GHz
12 GB RAM (I had 8 but stuck 2 2GB sticks in there that I had laying around because I figured more is better, and it seems to have helped?)

Ok, there is the problem. Your Mobo and card are solid, your RAM is the problem.

You want 16GB of ram for BG3 - we have seen the issue before with 8GB not being quite enough even though it is listed as minimum.

But the problem is compounded because you are not running your ram as dual channel 4 x 4 would be what you want, as 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 can cause some slowdown especially if you are dealing with different types of RAM. Ideal RAM is same type, spec, model, brand across the board with no deviation.

I wish I understood what that means and what kind of RAM I should buy. I don't really know what fits into those slots and what doesn't. What's the easiest way to determine what kind of RAM my computer can use? The only thing I know how to do is insert the sticks, but I'm assuming there are all different types that may not fit. I will literally place an order tonight for new RAM if it would correct the issue but I don't know what to look for. Sorry to bother you with this, but you've given me hope and this is my first real crack at correcting this because I can afford RAM! lol


I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
I wish I understood what that means and what kind of RAM I should buy. I don't really know what fits into those slots and what doesn't. What's the easiest way to determine what kind of RAM my computer can use? The only thing I know how to do is insert the sticks, but I'm assuming there are all different types that may not fit. I will literally place an order tonight for new RAM if it would correct the issue but I don't know what to look for. Sorry to bother you with this, but you've given me hope and this is my first real crack at correcting this because I can afford RAM! lol

RAM is quite an expensive component so rather than buying it as a stopgap measure I would be inclined to replace the entire MB/CPU/RAM unless that really is absolutely infeasible for the foreseeable future. But I admit I speak as someone who invariably goes "how much?!! Yikes!" every time I need to contemplate doing just that.

Be very careful when buying RAM, too: just because it'll fit into a given motherboard it doesn't mean it'll worth well (or at all). Some manufacturers (I normally buy from established brands like Kingston, Crucial, Corsair etc, though someone more au fait with contemporary PC hardware can probably give more up-to-date recommendations) have online databases where you can check the compatibility with specific motherboard model numbers. Speaking as someone who had endless problems with one particular MB where the memory "should" have worked which turned out to not be as uncommon a problem as I'd thought...


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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
I wish I understood what that means and what kind of RAM I should buy. I don't really know what fits into those slots and what doesn't. What's the easiest way to determine what kind of RAM my computer can use? The only thing I know how to do is insert the sticks, but I'm assuming there are all different types that may not fit. I will literally place an order tonight for new RAM if it would correct the issue but I don't know what to look for. Sorry to bother you with this, but you've given me hope and this is my first real crack at correcting this because I can afford RAM! lol


Ok, so I would need to know what you currently have in there. I think you are DDR3- 1600mhz - 2 x 4Gb would get you to 16GB. However, unless you want to buy entirely new RAM your existing Brand and type (speed in MHZ) would be needed.

Or you can have Crucial scan your system and tell you the best ram for you.

https://www.crucial.com/store/systemscanner

Last edited by Blackheifer; 14/05/21 04:50 AM.

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To better understand what's going on I wrote the below. My experience has been RAM tends to fix slowdown with BG3.

So just for comparison I host Multiplayer games a lot and I run 32 GB of RAM. I almost never have crashes or slowdowns even after 6-8 hours of playing.

It may help to know I built my system around running this game in particular, and knowing it would be in EA.

To start with we need to talk about something called "Memory leaks" - a Memory leak is when a program utilizes a piece of your RAM to do something - create a graphic, animation, or calculate something - and then doesn't put that memory back when its done. So that bit of memory is not being used, but it has not been released back into the system, so the system thinks it is unavailable.

In a perfectly optimized game the system would always return all memory once it is finished with it, or store any relevant data on the hard drive. In EA games - with developers on deadlines memory leaks and the process of fixing them gets kicked down the road.

As your system starts to run low on memory your OS then will take a chunk of the Hard Drive and use that as a kind of jury-rigged form of RAM called a "swap file". Swap-files are pure poop. This is where your slowdown will happen since the "pipe" to the swap file is a lot slower and smaller than the pipe that goes to your RAM. So it slows everything down and increases the likelihood of a crash occurring due to the actual RAM and the SWAP file being out of sync with each other.

And that's why you need all the RAM for this game.


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
I wish I understood what that means and what kind of RAM I should buy. I don't really know what fits into those slots and what doesn't. What's the easiest way to determine what kind of RAM my computer can use? The only thing I know how to do is insert the sticks, but I'm assuming there are all different types that may not fit. I will literally place an order tonight for new RAM if it would correct the issue but I don't know what to look for. Sorry to bother you with this, but you've given me hope and this is my first real crack at correcting this because I can afford RAM! lol


Ok, so I would need to know what you currently have in there. I think you are DDR3- 1600mhz - 2 x 4Gb would get you to 16GB. However, unless you want to buy entirely new RAM your existing Brand and type (speed in MHZ) would be needed.

Or you can have Crucial scan your system and tell you the best ram for you.

https://www.crucial.com/store/systemscanner

I'm not sure what's currently in there since I can't crack it open right now, but the crucial site was coming up with an error when I ran the program.
Looking on the crucial site manually after finding out my motherboard information, it says that I have the following (some of which I was able to verify after stumbling across a manual for my motherboard online):

240-pin DDR3 DIMM Banking:
4 (2 banks of 2)

Max Unbuffered DDR3 SDRAM:
16GB

My speed seems to be 1333MHz as indicated by the Performance tab in Task Manager, but I'm not sure if that's just reading the current situation or if it just interprets the maximum.


Since it says that I can have 16GB max, that's what I'd like to do. So should I just shop based on that information and look for 2 8 sticks, or should I get 1 16 stick? Or is this a 4 4 situation?

Thank you for all of this help by the way. I'm so close to solving this issue that's being plaguing me and I'm really grateful.

Last edited by Tzelanit; 14/05/21 05:21 AM.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
[quote=Blackheifer][quote=Tzelanit]

240-pin DDR3 DIMM Banking:
4 (2 banks of 2)

Max Unbuffered DDR3 SDRAM:
16GB

My speed seems to be 1333MHz as indicated by the Performance tab in Task Manager, but I'm not sure if that's just reading the current situation or if it just interprets the maximum.


Since it says that I can have 16GB max, that's what I'd like to do. So should I just shop based on that information and look for 2 8 sticks, or should I get 1 16 stick? Or is this a 4 4 situation?

Thank you for all of this help by the way. I'm so close to solving this issue that's being plaguing me and I'm really grateful.

No problem. So you have to do dual channel which means you need either 2 x 8Gb (I recommend this) or 2 x 4GB (to add to what you currently have). Your RAM has to be installed in identical pairs always.


If you go 2 x 8GB you are tossing your old RAM completely.

I recommend a brand like Corsair if you have a choice btw.

Last edited by Blackheifer; 14/05/21 05:23 AM.

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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
[quote=Blackheifer][quote=Tzelanit]

240-pin DDR3 DIMM Banking:
4 (2 banks of 2)

Max Unbuffered DDR3 SDRAM:
16GB

My speed seems to be 1333MHz as indicated by the Performance tab in Task Manager, but I'm not sure if that's just reading the current situation or if it just interprets the maximum.


Since it says that I can have 16GB max, that's what I'd like to do. So should I just shop based on that information and look for 2 8 sticks, or should I get 1 16 stick? Or is this a 4 4 situation?

Thank you for all of this help by the way. I'm so close to solving this issue that's being plaguing me and I'm really grateful.

No problem. So you have to do dual channel which means you need either 2 x 8Gb (I recommend this) or 2 x 4GB (to add to what you currently have). Your RAM has to be installed in identical pairs always.

So 2 x 8GB it is then! And I think I recall hearing that you should only put RAM in either the 1st and 3rd, or 2nd and 4th slots? So when I install these, should I just put them in the 1st and 3rd? Is that true?

Edit:
Looks like it's the 1st and the 3rd if I'm reading the manual correctly.


Edit:
After looking around everywhere and price-shopping, I've made a purchase!
Corsair XMS3 — 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1333MHz C9 Memory Kit.

It's just $94.99 direct from Corsair. Newegg is asking twice that, and both Amazon and Ebay are more expensive, and I like the idea of getting an item direct from a manufacturer in the event that there's an issue.
This is going to change a lot for me. I've been depressed and moping about thinking that I'd need a new PC for months to play this, so if this simple solution smooths out the experience, I'll be thrilled.
Again, I can't thank you enough for the help. Thank you for taking the time to teach me. You're the best.

I'll be back after I get it to obnoxiously bump this to update you and thank you again, lol.

Last edited by Tzelanit; 14/05/21 06:03 AM.

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Not a problem. Let me know how it works out, but also see below.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


BG3 - just started, uses 6GB out of the gate. Typically your OS uses another 2GB, discord and steam use half a Gig each.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and this is 30 minutes in - its eaten another half gig. We have not even gotten to any big fights yet, which will eat another full gig when they happen.

Overall I am using just under half of my total 32GB memory right now - but I also have a lot of other stuff open.

All this gets cleaned up during Optimization but for Developers its not a huge deal short term because they are working on super upgraded rigs with about 10 times the RAM of most mere mortals. laugh


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It is EA. Optimisation is always one of the last thing to do, and especially a game with this complexity will need a lot of work to be efficient.

How good will it be when 1.0 hits? I don't know, on my old laptop Divinity: Original Sin2 was a rough experience until the Definite Edition hit (and the optimisation that Larian had to do, to make the game run on consoles).

As to "Why can I run game X and not this?" Even ignoring fact that BG3 is unfinished, there is the matter of how complex the game is. Didn't play Like a Dragon, but in Yakuza's most of "the world" is uninteractable window dressing. Same as Assassin's Creed game - a lot of visual flair, but not actually many things to keep track of. Hitman, however, has been always more demanding as it runs the simulation of every NPC in the world - for example on my laptop I did notice major FPS dips when I raised an alarm and NPCs were becoming more active. Where BG3 lies in this "visual flair or simulation" chart, I have no clue.

Still, if you are worrying about running the game, I would wait at least till 1.0 is released. At this time it is anyone's guess where will the game end up. Devs most likely have estimates and hopes only.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
Clearly, a grand majority of people aren't having issues with this since the technical section of the forums aren't exactly flooded with complaints about problems with performance, so I'm either forced to assume that everyone has a monster PC, or that they just happen to be lucky to have a setup where it's not enough of an issue to matter.

Discussing with people on Twitch streams would lead you to a different conclusion.
I am in love with the graphics the game delivers but I also think many other games deliver rich(er) environments for lesser resources. EA is not an excuse for everything but in this case, it would make full sense for Larian to heavily monitor/log their engine behaviour thus degrading its performance while doing so.

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Suddenly I'm glad I put another 8 GB of ram into my PC for VMs lol

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Update: Got my new RAM from Corsair today and... wow. I actually feel awful about how much trash I've been talking about the game out of frustration because it was running so poorly for me.
It's still not perfect because my rig is a bit on the older side, but it's perfectly serviceable now and exponentially smoother.
Just a touch miffed about the fact that the minimum recommended specs were really inaccurate in my case, but it's early access and there's a long way to go, I suppose.
I'm sure that further optimization will smooth things out even more as we go along.

So here's a general apology to anyone that I've irritated with my negativity over the last few months.

I also want to thank Blackheifer and Vometia for their input on this post, Blackheifer in particular for putting in the time to talk me through the entire process and find a solution that's perfect for me.


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OMG, that's awesome! Once you've had some time to play the single player we should hang out and do a multiplayer.

We meet up for groups on the Larian discord.
https://discord.gg/larianstudios

Its such a fun experience. I am taking a little break waiting for the next patch but I would be down for a game still.


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Uh oh ...

Minimum Spec:
CPU: Intel i7 4770k / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
RAM: 16 GB
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
VIDEO CARD: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB / AMD RX580


Argyle:
Intel i5-2400 CPU @ 3.10 GHz
RAM: 16 GB
Windows 10, 64 bit
Intel HD Graphics


Well, maybe Larian has some magic tricks up their sleeves that will help me out. BG III is turn-based, after all.

Last edited by Argyle; 17/05/21 11:04 PM.

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