Performance Improvement (tsw 2 Vs. Tsw 2020)

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Zigg, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. Zigg

    Zigg Member

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    I figured with the release of Rush Hour and the update to Unreal Engine 4.26, it would be interesting to look back at TSW 2020 (UE 4.16) and see just how far we have come in terms of performance. Spoiler alert: surprisingly far!

    The test was conducted on SFJ in the F40PH service starting at 11:59 from San Francisco. Vanilla Ultra settings were used, meaning no engine.ini settings, with 50% screen percentage to remove the GPU from the equation. Bear in mind that the results may vary depending on how powerful your CPU is. The one used for this test is a Ryzen 9 5900X non-overclocked. Also, bear in mind that this test was performed on static scenes and therefore only hints at the overall improvement if one did a service run from end-to-end.

    Starting with TSW 2.
    Interior, 124 FPS

    [​IMG]

    Exterior, 81 FPS


    [​IMG]

    Now let's take a look at TSW 2020.
    Interior, 84 FPS


    [​IMG]

    Exterior, 51 FPS

    [​IMG]

    The results show an improvement of about 50% in the interior view and a staggering 60% in the exterior view, where many more things are being drawn. This is an absolutely incredible improvement in less than 2 years. One consequence of this uplift in performance is that many more trains can be on the screen at once at the same target FPS, which DTG can take advantage of for future routes to dramatically improve liveliness. One can clearly see this in action on the new Boston Sprinter route.

    I also similarly did a test on SPG, comparing UE 4.23 with 4.26 when it was released on Epic in July and found an improvement of about 25%. This was using the AC4400 on the service X792 - Westbound helper. That means part of the 50-60% improvement between UE 4.16 and 4.26 can be attributed to 4.23.

    Performance improvements can be hard to notice depending on the bottleneck in your system, what settings you run the game at, and which engine.ini settings you use. On consoles, for example, this will only be noticeable through how busy a route is and not necessarily through FPS. This is why developers in general never give any performance metrics and just say "Improved rendering thread efficiency" etc. Hopefully, this post will make more people aware of just how far CPU performance has come, even if the 50-60% improvement I got might be closer to 30% on your particular system.

    Amidst all the complaints I come across, I think it is important to highlight the improvements from time to time as well, and this is a big one!

    /Zigg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  2. Teflon490

    Teflon490 Member

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    Thanks for this interesting comparison. But I wonder if I am missing something - by writing the above, do you imply that density of AI traffic is dynamically adjusted by how much resources the engine has?
     
  3. Thorgred

    Thorgred Member

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    Zigg what hardware is that running on
     
  4. Zigg

    Zigg Member

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    No, I realise now I was a bit unclear, my bad! I meant for future routes, DTG can make use of the extra headroom given by 4.26 (25% in this case, going from 4.23), to make more dense timetables with more trains visible at the same time on screen. I think Boston Sprinter has the most moving trains visible on-screen simultaneously than any previous route, but I might be wrong.
     
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  5. Zigg

    Zigg Member

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    Good point, I should have listed the rest other than just the CPU (Ryzen 9 5900X). However, keep in mind that you can achieve similar results with a much lower-end GPU (just not at the same resolution), as long as your CPU is up to the task. GPU is an RTX 3080 and RAM is 2x16 GB DDR4 @ 3200 MHz (dual channel).
     
  6. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    An interesting comparison and good to know that the engine changes have gone in the right direction. 4.26 opened the door to DLSS which hopefully is being looked at in order to further increase the fps.

    I can't help comparing this to a reference game in terms of graphics quality, Red dead redemption 2.
    I play the game with ultra settings and just a few features such as water quality set a notch below the maximum level. On ultra-wide 1440p resolution, I get an 80 fps average in the benchmark (DLSS on, balanced). I have an RTX 3070 and a Ryzen 5 3600 with 2x8 GB dual-channel memory.

    Comparing the level of details in both games, I would say there is definitely room for improvement in TSW. Possibly this time next year we will get another big leap forward via the annual update. If you also look at the increased number of passengers and trains coming in Rush hour, the fps gain could be lost quickly to process the extra polygons which makes DLSS and further optimization a continuous focus.
     
  7. Zigg

    Zigg Member

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    Not a bad comparison there, I have also played RDR2 and the graphics are far superior, for almost the same performance. Rockstar is a much, much larger company so this is expected. The biggest gripes for me in TSW 2 regarding graphics are clouds/skybox, shadow draw distance (distance field shadows are a step in the right direction but not a full solution) and night lighting (light sources). If these three are improved, I honestly think the game will look good enough for me.

    In terms of a DLSS implementation, I would love to see this as you would be able to crank engine.ini settings which affect the GPU without losing much visual fidelity. It would also fix the issues with antialiasing as TAA and FXAA have their issues. I do think moving the game to DX12 is more important than DLSS though, as the potential CPU performance improvement is enormous. I ran the same test I mentioned in my post when comparing UE 4.23 and 4.26, except this time with DX12, and it showed a 130% improvement in 4.23.
     
  8. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    I was reading the other day that some devs found that you can update the DLSS libraries manually by simply replacing the game files used for this purpose. They were looking at this due to the fact that sometimes game developers need a long time to update them once better versions are available. This does produce artifacts though and can tamper negatively with anti-cheat systems in games if you replace files so it's more like a "for science" feature. I'm saying this as there could be an issue between DLSS and manually changing the setup of the engine.ini file.

    I am only playing the game in DX12 mode as well. So far so good. I have asked Matt on his stream the past Wednesday about DX12. He mentioned Xbox already uses it and they have looked into it for PC but we don't know more in regards to why on this platform it did not make it yet into production. Luckily we have the override option in the meantime.

    In my opinion, optimizing the engine to the max in regards to graphics should come first. The engine is the skeleton and if you attach the muscles and skin (DLSS, RTX) while the basis is not solid enough you can generate issues.

    In case you haven't got the updated sky mod from londonmidland, go check it out as it is now compatible with the new version of the game. He also posted some other features he found for nighttime lighting which returned some really good results.

    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/th...ynamic-cloud-visuals.40175/page-4#post-356207
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/i-found-a-hidden-night-lighting-feature.43306/
     
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