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haaX

Retina resolution and performance

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Hi guys,

Why is FM so resource intensive when you are playing with retina mode on?

FM is not particuarly graphics intensive, so the difference in performance between retina mode on and off is baffling. And I'm not talking about when playing matches, but just displaying menus, the calendar animations while loading menus, going through different screens, etc. One should think processing the game would be the most CPU intensive task, but just displaying screens makes my computer go crazy when the retina mode option is on. Playing matches is actually not that big of a problem.

Turning off the retina option makes the game run perfect - albeit far from as crisp as in retina mode!

My conclusion is thus that it has something to do with how FM renders its interface, not the actual game processing.

Being so incredible resource intensive is a huge drawback in terms of heat and battery usage - and even though FM requires a lot of battery, it's even more power hungry when retina mode is activated.

Is this a known issue and are you guys working to solve it?

Thanks for a fantastic game, by the way!

Best regards,

haaX

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Retina-enabled programs are much more intensive than the standard display applications, it's just how it works. 

To provide an analogy, an image you've saved at 150x150 will take up much less resources than one at 300x300. On a retina screen, you're talking about millions more pixels of detail for a crisp display so this is why more resources are used.

It's not really to do with the way FM renders its interface I'm afraid. You will get better performance on higher-end hardware, though so your mileage will vary depending on your system specifications.

Thanks.

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On 8/9/2016 at 12:48, Lucas Weatherby said:

Retina-enabled programs are much more intensive than the standard display applications, it's just how it works. 

To provide an analogy, an image you've saved at 150x150 will take up much less resources than one at 300x300. On a retina screen, you're talking about millions more pixels of detail for a crisp display so this is why more resources are used.

Hi Lucas,

thanks for your reply! I'm not entirely convinced though :-)

Most standard applications on even the 12" Mac handles retina well. Crisp and sweet. What sets FM apart from standard applications is not the interface but the amount of processing in the background. If you look away from the match engine, in terms of retina performance there are no fundamental differences between FM and e.g. Adobe Creative suite; FM is displaying text and numbers. FM could've been a website. There are loads of websites that are much more graphics intensive than FM, that has no performance issues. 

So "it's just the way it works", well - that's wrong. But it being difficult (and thus expensive) to optimize FM for retina, that is another question.

Since you're using the analogy about an image at a defined pixel size - if FM is using loads and loads of bitmaps, it has to have one set of bitmaps for standard displays and one higher resolution bitmaps for FM, of course performance will suffer. Badly. To follow up with the website analogy - if you'd built a webpage with lots of heavy high resolution graphics, the website would not only be slow to load it would put heavy load on both the cpu and gpu. 

Hence my initial point. There has to be something with how you render FM on desktop that makes performance suffer badly. It could be using loads of high resolution bitmaps. Or it could be something else.

I would guess you have no problems with retina iPads and FM Touch? That's maybe because you've built FM Touch with retina in mind from the start, whilst the engine for FM - even though probably most parts of the game has been rewritten and refactored over the years - is over 10 years old. So it's understandable that performance suffers, but it's not just "because it is retina".

The resolution on the MacBook 12" is 2304x1440 whilst it's 2048x1536 on the iPad Mini and 2732x2048 on the iPad Pro.

Cheers

 

 

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How well some hardware handles Retina will be down to the hardware. 

You've just mentioned the 12" MacBook, which is the least powered of all the Apple laptop hardware, and just isn't designed for games or even Adobe Creative Suite really. It's much more suited for web browsing, organising photos, documents.

The hardware is generally underpowered with regards to its processor so it will have extra difficulty running something as intensive as FM. Lots and Lots of data and intensive operations compared to something like a webpage, I'm afraid. 

As software advances between versions then it'll place even more demands on particular pieces of  hardware. Those with Retina screens will feel the strain more so than on a standard resolution monitor - much less pixels to push around and render.

There is no other suggestion for you than to use different hardware, the game's minimum specifications are for 1024*768 resolution, and the 12" MacBook doesn't reach the minimum spec for the processor. So there will be some performance issues to expect because your using hardware that doesn't meet the minimum specification overall to play the game. 

Hope that helps.

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On 8/28/2016 at 16:23, Lucas Weatherby said:

The hardware is generally underpowered with regards to its processor so it will have extra difficulty running something as intensive as FM. Lots and Lots of data and intensive operations compared to something like a webpage, I'm afraid. 

As software advances between versions then it'll place even more demands on particular pieces of  hardware. Those with Retina screens will feel the strain more so than on a standard resolution monitor - much less pixels to push around and render.

There is no other suggestion for you than to use different hardware, the game's minimum specifications are for 1024*768 resolution, and the 12" MacBook doesn't reach the minimum spec for the processor. So there will be some performance issues to expect because your using hardware that doesn't meet the minimum specification overall to play the game. 

Hey Lucas.

I think it's really cool that you guys over at SI Games is having a close relation to your customers (and fans), and that you guys do customer service through these forums and the FM community at large. Taking care of the community is something you've been great at for years, and I was myself a part of it in terms of being a webmaster on a fansite.

But Lucas, you're either not reading what am I writing, or you just don't get my question.  I have no issues what so ever running Football Manager 2016 on my MacBook 12" when retina mode is disabled - so your "advice" to buy a new computer to run FM is just wrong. FM is fully playable on the MacBook 12", just don't play with a large database and disable retina mode. 

Nor do I need your patronising lectures on hardware specifications and what I can use my computer for or not. I work with software development, so I'm up to speed on both the hardware and software side of this question, thank you very much for your thoughtfulness though.

 

In terms of my question you aren't close to actually answering it. You really should forward this thread to the developers - if you want to improve the game for all Mac users. I would anyway guess your devs already are onto this. At least I hope so!

Facts:

  • Data crunching is the same whether retina mode is enabled or not
  • Opening a menu or switching a screen is not an heavy operation
  • Enabling retina mode vastly increases the power and resource consumption of the entire system even when the game is idle (not processing data)
  • Disabling retina mode vastly decreases the power and resource consumption
  • Other applications (like a website or the Adobe Creative Suite or whatever) renders applications in retina with a breeze

Hence:

  • FM is a complex and resource intensive game, but the dramatic changes in performance seen by enabling/disabling retina mode isolates the issue to retina mode itself, and points to performance issues with retina mode
  • An unoptimized retina mode creates poor user experiences, FM16 in retina mode
    • is unplayable for MacBook 12" users
    • use way more power and resources for any other MacBook Pro user (whilst still being playable)
    • increase heating and increase power consumption
    • gives a player on the go less hours to play for whatever computer they're using

Question:

  • SI has invented their own way to render the FM interface (which differs to standard applications on Os X).
  • This engine has poor performance when running in retina mode (I'm guessing because FM renders bitmap gfx, not vector gfx), i.e. increased load on the system = heating, power drain
  • Are you working on improving/optimising the retina mode support?

Looking forward to getting an answer on my actual question. Thanks.

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

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The SI staff rarely visit the forums for the older versions, so if you wish to continue this, I suggest that you send Lucas a PM

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