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AMD user, Verdict on Shader Cache?
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SlackerITGuy
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Default AMD user, Verdict on Shader Cache? - 08-07-2014, 05:51 | posts: 277

As an AMD user, when NVIDIA introduced Shader Cache with the 337.88 set, I was extremely interested in how it was going to work...

So after a couple of months since release, what do you NVIDIA users think? are you guys using it? does it make a difference?.

In theory it sounds kinda cool.

Thanks!
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 09:11 | posts: 78

I think that AMD have same Shader Cache feature, but doesn't presented it like Nvidia.
At least in atiumdag.dll, driver read some setting named "ShaderCacheEnabled".
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 14:13 | posts: 15

It hasn't messed anything up for me that I can see. I also don't see any significant reduction in loading time or increased gameplay performance from it. OTOH, the cache eats up around 120MB in my user temp folder.

I give the shader cache feature a "Meh". Perhaps people whose machines have slow CPUs would notice the benefits, but I certainly don't on my machine.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 14:32 | posts: 2,086

It helps on more CPU intensive games and load times. It's not the greatest gift to gaming or anything like that but it's better than not having it.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 20:31 | posts: 518 | Location: Wales

The only thing i noticed is that you can't delete the bugger from it's temp local.

I hate that. They could of at least put it in one of the NV folders or something.

That temp folder fills up kinda quick and the NV folder always sits in the middle, making it a pain to remove all content pretty quickly.

That's the only thing i noticed.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 20:38 | posts: 8,088 | Location: Urban`Jungle

I use ccleaner and set to exclude this nvtemp folder and it still deletes the rest np




OT I have it enabled, so far I stumbled on 1-2 games that didnt like it, otherwise it seems to load faster and less hitching and more fps by certain cpu bound games (all apis dx9, dx10 & dx11).

Im not sure is it from higher vertex index buffers and more draw call buffers, but this magic r337+ driver did some magic in general here..

Last edited by -Tj-; 08-07-2014 at 20:40.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 20:51 | posts: 124

In Battlefield Bad Company 2 DX11, having Shader Cache enabled results in a measurable decrease in in-game stuttering/temporary FPS drops. It also drastically reduces the time it takes for the game to become smooth after loading into a map, especially on the larger and more destructible maps. With Shader Cache on, the game is smooth immediately, while with it off it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes (!) for my GPU to come out of 2D clocks and regain normal FPS while the shaders are compiling.

Bad Company 2 is the only game I have that seems to be affected so much by Shader Cache. Everything else is unaffected as far as I can tell.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 23:11 | posts: 277

Awesome, thanks for the replies guys, NVIDIA sure is on the bleeding edge when it comes to introducing new features driver-side, AMD's only advantage is Mantle (which is beyond awesome, made BF4 completely robust performance wise on 64 player maps).

I will definitely consider going back to NVIDIA on my next GPU purchase.

Last edited by SlackerITGuy; 08-07-2014 at 23:14.
   
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Default 08-07-2014, 23:24 | posts: 124

FYI it sounds like Mantle does the same thing: http://techreport.com/review/25683/d...d-mantle-api/2

Quote:
That brings us to monolithic pipelines. To paraphrase Johan Andersson, Mantle rolls all of the various shader stages that make up the graphics pipeline into a single object. Above, I've added the slide from Andersson's keynote, since it's somewhat more enlightening than the one used by Riguer and Bennett in their presentation.

In short, monolithic pipelines help avoid draw-time shader compilation—a problem that, as I mentioned earlier, can make games stutter. Here's how Bennett sums it up:

In the current implementations, draw-time validation that the driver does is super expensive. Since you can vary all your shaders in state independently, we spend a lot of time at draw deciding what hardware commands we should write. By compiling the pipeline up front, binding the pipeline is lightning fast in comparison.
Second, by compiling this up front, you give us the opportunity to spend some cycles to improve the GPU performance. If we know everything you're doing in the whole pipeline, we can optimize that. And . . . with the draw-time validation models, sometimes you'll bind a new state, call draw, and that draw will have an inexplicably high CPU cost. Maybe the driver had to kick off a shader compile in the background, and that's going to impact you. [There are] no surprises with Mantle.

Mantle doesn't just help prevent shader compilation from occurring mid-game. It can also prevent shaders from being recompiled each time the game is launched. According to Riguer, recompilation can account for a "lot of the startup time," but with Mantle, "the shader compilation is a lot more predictable, and we give you the ability to save and load very quickly and easily a complete compiled shader pipeline, which should virtually eliminate all the loading time that stems from shader compilation."
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 06:49 | posts: 277

Quote:
Originally Posted by octiceps View Post
FYI it sounds like Mantle does the same thing: http://techreport.com/review/25683/d...d-mantle-api/2
I actually didn't know that thanks!.

And yes Mantle is pretty epic, I didn't know what absolutely smooth gameplay was like until DICE updated Battlefield 4 with the Mantle renderer. Exceeded my expectations.

Going back to mediocre optimized DirectX 11 games is a hard pill to shallow now.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 07:07 | posts: 87

The shader cache in Source engine games actually sucks, i realized tht if you disable this option in those games (even titanfall), you gain a great fps boost, fot example in modded tf2 maps like vs saxton hale modes the game losses like20 fps or more, without it the game it's stable and no fps loss.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 07:10 | posts: 124

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyGenio View Post
The shader cache in Source engine games actually sucks, i realized tht if you disable this option in those games (even titanfall), you gain a great fps boost, fot example in modded tf2 maps like vs saxton hale modes the game losses like20 fps or more, without it the game it's stable and no fps loss.
I thought Shader Cache only works for DX10/11 games? Does it write anything to the NV_Cache folder for DX9 games such as TF2 for you? It doesn't for me. I know Titanfall is on modified DX11 Source Engine.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:03 | posts: 7,534 | Location: Sunny Scotland

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerITGuy View Post
Going back to mediocre optimized DirectX 11 games is a hard pill to shallow now.
lol really, bf4 is ok but it ain't all that, and how about mantle on 60hz vs dx11 on 144hz or g sync, you see, always positives and negatives in everything, for some shader cache is good for others not. no biggie, just like mantle and it's two game support list.
   
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octiceps
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:07 | posts: 124

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLI-756 View Post
lol really, bf4 is ok but it ain't all that, and how about mantle on 60hz vs dx11 on 144hz or g sync, you see, always positives and negatives in everything, for some shader cache is good for others not. no biggie, just like mantle and it's two game support list.
Mantle can't do 144 FPS/Hz? Never heard of that. Probably just BF4 being a CPU-bound game makes it hard to maintain 100+ FPS consistently. Lack of G-Sync is a given but there will be Adaptive-Sync monitors eventually.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:09 | posts: 7,534 | Location: Sunny Scotland

Quote:
Originally Posted by octiceps View Post
Mantle can't do 144 FPS/Hz? Never heard of that. Probably just BF4 being a CPU-bound game makes it hard to maintain 100+ FPS consistently. Lack of G-Sync is a given but there will be Adaptive-Sync monitors eventually.
no, you missed the point, the fella was sayin mantle was like smoothest thing ever and I was sayin I bet dx11 is smoother using 120 /144hz monitor than mantle on a 60 /75hz one.
comprende?
also different types of 'smooth' there's the smooth a fast cpu gives you, and the smooth a fast gpu gives also.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:10 | posts: 124

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLI-756 View Post
no, you missed the point, the fella was sayin mantle was like smoothest thing ever and I was sayin I bet dx11 is smoother using 120 /144hz monitor than mantle on a 60 /75hz one.
comprende?
What about Mantle on a 120/144 Hz monitor?

I think OP was referring to Mantle's much tighter frame times compared to DX11. And ofc the FPS boost.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:11 | posts: 7,534 | Location: Sunny Scotland

nevermind, i'm going to pub don't wait up.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 08:12 | posts: 124

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLI-756 View Post
nevermind, i'm going to pub don't wait up.
Grab me a pint will ya?
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 15:41 | posts: 8,088 | Location: Urban`Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by octiceps View Post
I thought Shader Cache only works for DX10/11 games? Does it write anything to the NV_Cache folder for DX9 games such as TF2 for you? It doesn't for me. I know Titanfall is on modified DX11 Source Engine.
Well halfway, titanFall is dx11 though.. TF2 is DX9e?


I heard about TitanFall running worse though, I didnt test TF2 with off - this game is still a bit weird here, can have occasional stutters here and there.. Maybe its just this shader cache glitching it, will test later tonight.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 22:53 | posts: 87

Quote:
Originally Posted by octiceps View Post
I thought Shader Cache only works for DX10/11 games? Does it write anything to the NV_Cache folder for DX9 games such as TF2 for you? It doesn't for me. I know Titanfall is on modified DX11 Source Engine.
Well For me it creates files for every D3D app, even for Windows Explorer and VMWARE workstation 3d apps, i donīt really know how itīs working and i have 3 folder who are created automatically every time shader cache is enabled.

1. C:\Temp\Nvidia\ComputeCache (i really donīt know if this one counts)
2. C:\Windows\Temp\Nvidia Corporation\NV_Cache
3. C:\User\Username\appdata\Local\Temp\Nvidia Corporation\NV_Cache



for example those files canīt be deleted because in one folder the files are used by Windows Explorer, in the other are used by dwm.exe

Hereīs a test with SFM using Sujin map (a very heavy map for source games)

SFM with shader cache ON i got 5-to 10 fps (see the fps in the right lower corner of the screen)



SFM with shader cache OFF i got 40 to 54 fps (see the fps in the right lower corner of the screen)



Edit: Yes indeed, it doesnīt create anything for dx9 games, i have tested again with source games but for some reason i got fps boost in Tf2 (only in vsh mods) and SFM disabling shader cache, i really donīt know why this is happening. Nothing happens with other games like CS:GO, L4D2, Portal and other DX9 source game

Last edited by CrazyGenio; 08-08-2014 at 23:31.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 23:24 | posts: 124

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyGenio View Post
1. C:\Temp\Nvidia\ComputeCache
I don't think this is for Shader Cache as it was there before Shader Cache was added to Nvidia's drivers. It gets created for me in the root of C:\ whenever I run 3DMark 11. I'm guessing it has something to do with OpenCL and DirectCompute in the Physics and Combined tests. There is another one at %APPDATA%\Roaming\NVIDIA\ComputeCache\.

Last edited by octiceps; 08-09-2014 at 00:00.
   
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Default 08-08-2014, 23:29 | posts: 87

Well Nevermind me, i tested again SFM with another TF2 map called Castle siegue, and i got 1-2 fps first time i launched it even with shader cache off, maybe itīs a tf2 and sfm because they are using a very old source engine so i think itīs just a coincidence when i got more fps just when i diable shader cache, so nevermind.

Last edited by CrazyGenio; 08-08-2014 at 23:48.
   
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Default 08-09-2014, 05:19 | posts: 124

LOL never underestimate the power of a placebo. With that said, Bad Company 2 does tangibly benefit from Shader Cache enabled, at least for me. I've tested it too many times to be convinced otherwise.
   
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Default 08-09-2014, 06:12 | posts: 277

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLI-756 View Post
lol really, bf4 is ok but it ain't all that, and how about mantle on 60hz vs dx11 on 144hz or g sync, you see, always positives and negatives in everything, for some shader cache is good for others not. no biggie, just like mantle and it's two game support list.
Not to go down this road but...

Mantle has seen a very similar adoption rate vs DirectX 10 and/or DirectX 11, just saying....

And your comparison doesn't really hold up IMO mate, if Mantle was limited to 60Hz then you would have a point.

What I was referring to:

- Tighter frame times in Mantle.
- Performance stays robust even after lots of stuff going on the screen. On DirectX performance and GPU usage tanks when the CPU has to deal with lots of draw calls, that doesn't happen in Mantle.
   
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Default 08-09-2014, 06:49 | posts: 3,530 | Location: USA

Its not the miracle driver feature alot people made it out to be. in some cases it help others it does not and in some he hurts.

For Instance Nvidia said up to 70% gains most people focus on the 70% gains and completely ignored the "up to" part. you could get any where from 0% gain to 70% depending on your system and many other things.

Mileage on how much it helps depends on how cpu limited you are in some games. Cause it ment to help cpu limited games and Min FPS imo. It helps yes how much depends, it wont save battle built game engines though.

Last edited by tsunami231; 08-09-2014 at 06:54.
   
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