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8-bit textures = 30% faster for GT4!??
#1
I've read the guide entry (8-bit textures requires more processing but reduces load on the GFX card RAM), but I didn't expect a 30% speed difference with GT4, which is notoriously slow to emulate with Pcsx2.

My system is about the recommended settings for Pcsx2 (E8400@3GHz, 4G RAM, XP32/SP3), and my GFX card (GTX260+ 896MB) is relatively on the higher end, and not too low on RAM, yet allowing 8-bit textures can give so much speed gain. It's amazing.

I tried this option on few games, here's my preliminary result (only GT4 was tested extensively both in replay and gameplay):

GT4 (replay full lap in various settings and hacks): faster 30%, even more at hi-res
GT3 (replay 20s): faster 15%
SoTC (opening cut-scene, 20s): no difference
MGS3 (cut-scene, 20s): no difference
MGS2 (cut-scene, 20s): slower 20%

Another thing I noticed with GT4 is that with 8-bit textures I can go from native resolution to x3, with almost no speed loss (1-2%), but without 8-bit textures it looses about 10% speed at x3 resolution on my system.

Here are representative results from GT4, calculated using pcsx2bench (consistency at about 1%):

GT4 full lap replay, Allow 8 bit textures: CHECKED
>pcsx2bench.exe -nokey -bench150
Quote:pcsx2bench version 0.1RC3 (type pcsx2bench -help for info)

PCSX2 0.9.7.3876m (svn) Oct 5 2010
Benchmark: 150.0 PS2 secs, Target FPS: 59.94, FPS threshold: 58.1
Run time: 114.9s, Avg speed: 130.69%

Acceptable speed on 100.00% of PS2-time
----------------------------------
Good FPS Average: 79.31 (61.33-104.29)
Good EE Average: 97.77 (90-100)
Good GS Average: 69.69 (52-94)

Slow speed on 0.00% of PS2-time
----------------------------------
< No measurments collected >

Usable speed: ---> pcsx2bench rating: 100.0 <---

GT4 full lap replay, Allow 8 bit textures: UN-CHECKED
>pcsx2bench.exe -nokey -bench150
Quote:pcsx2bench version 0.1RC3 (type pcsx2bench -help for info)

PCSX2 0.9.7.3876m (svn) Oct 5 2010
Benchmark: 150.0 PS2 secs, Target FPS: 59.94, FPS threshold: 58.1
Run time: 145.7s, Avg speed: 102.96%

Acceptable speed on 56.46% of PS2-time
----------------------------------
Good FPS Average: 69.31 (58.3-86.31)
Good EE Average: 90.85 (66-100)
Good GS Average: 92.20 (80-100)

Slow speed on 43.54% of PS2-time
----------------------------------
Slow FPS Average: 54.66 (46.63-58.13)
Slow EE Average: 83.88 (74-98)
Slow GS Average: 93.91 (89-100)

Usable speed: ---> pcsx2bench rating: 93.2 <---

It can be seen that when 8-bit textures are disabled on this specific replay, the GS has a much higher load than when it's enabled, while with EE it's pretty much the opposite.

I imagine that with weaker GFX cards the gains can even be higher. It struck me because I always had in mind that this 8-bit textures thingy is for relatively weak GFX cards, so I always kept it unchecked, but it's clearly not the case, and great gain can be achieved by ticking this box.

Nice.
[i7-3630qm/gt650m-2G/Win-7] [i7-4500u/R.HD8850m/Win-8.1] [2010-MBA/OSX-10.9.x]. Scroll smoothly with SmoothWheel for Firefox.
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#2
Makes sense I guess since the game was GPU memory hungry, If you can play it decently with that processor at 3.0Ghz then maybe an i7 at dual 2.5Ghz could pull it off(architecture gain) maybe not "quite" as good.

I never played GT4 but sounds popular so I'll buy for 2-3 quid or something.
CPU: i9 20Ghz 40-core
GPU: GTX 129000 in Octo-SLI
RAM: 64GB DDREKT69
Monitor: 800x600 15" CRT
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#3
Just a quick update about another 'side effect' of this 8-bit textures thingy: less GSdx related crashes. Gran Turismo 3 would crash randomly quite a lot at x2 resolution (once every few minutes, when changing screens/camera/etc - not while driving) without 8-bit textures, and GT4 would crash less frequently, but still. I've tested both yesterday and today with 8-bit textures, and in few hours none of them crashed even once! at the same x2 resolution.

I assume the compressed textures use less memory, and therefore GSdx problematic memory management is less harmful.

I'd say that makes GT3/4 very playable at free-runs/time-trials (still slower FPS when many cars on track) on my system, with mostly 100% speed during play, and no crashes. Yay!
[i7-3630qm/gt650m-2G/Win-7] [i7-4500u/R.HD8850m/Win-8.1] [2010-MBA/OSX-10.9.x]. Scroll smoothly with SmoothWheel for Firefox.
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