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Thread: SolVBE 1.2b release (performance opts)

  1. #1
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Finland

    SolVBE 1.2b release (performance opts)

    Available at:

    Sources at:

    - Tons of new options, mostly for tweaking performance

    For those who have performance options, try to lower the display update refresh rate first. As before, please report your successes or failures..

    Oh, I just ran through TN. =)

    older releases follow..
    -- 8< -- 8< --
    Available at:

    Sources at:

    - Commandline options to toggle the behavior of some (possibly) troublesome options off.
    - Small bugfixes that may or may not have any effect.

    If you had problems with 1.0b (or if you have problems with 1.1b), please report if this version helps (or not), and which options you used.

    For "tn freezes at startup", I recommend trying things in the following order:

    1. SolVBE -t0
    (disable high freq timer)

    2. SolVBE -v1
    (disable vrc emulation)

    3. SolVBE -m8
    (move mouse from irq12 to timer)

    4. SolVBE -t0 -m8 -v0
    (same as the alpha versions, ie. no tweak mode support, mouse in timer, no high freq timer)
    Last edited by Sol_HSA; 12th Mar 2004 at 17:22.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Sol_HSA, thanks for the speedy update.

    Tried this last night. I ran it with all the different combinations of switches.

    The game won't run and gives the same garbled display unless the "-v1" switch is used.

    When the "-v1" switch is used and the game runs, the gameplay is *extremely* choppy unless the "-m8" switch is used. This makes the game respond at normal speed for ~30 second intervals, but then the game will freeze for ~3 seconds before resuming. It seems to do this continually - play then freeze, play then freeze, etc. Without the "-m8" switch the game is too choppy to play.

    I made sure to shut down all background programs I could - anti-virus software, scanner software, pop-up blocker, etc. No difference in performance, either with or without the "-m8" switch. Actually, shutting these down didn't seem to have an effect on the game's performance at all.

    As far as I can tell the "-t0" switch seems to make no difference to the games behavior. Also, running it with the "-t0 -m8 -v0" combo you describe seems to make no difference either - gameplay is still choppy, though the game will run.

    I hope this enough information to help you pin this down. If I left anything out, please let me know.

    Keep up the good work!!

  3. #3
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Finland
    Yep. I originally thought that the highperformancecounter might be problematic on some systems, but the actual reason is much more simple: I'm developing on a too fast machine. =)

    The next version will have bunch of performance options that should help somewhat.

  4. #4
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Finland
    ..and if someone has had trouble downloading the 11b, it's because I wrote the links in a too lazy way:

    Binaries available at:

    Sources at: matters.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Awesome! I'm messing with it now.

    I'll post back in a day or two after I've experimented around a bit. Thanks again Sol!

  6. #6
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2004

    i tested the new release and it works even without -v1. great. performance isn't that good, but i didn't test all the optons yet. so maybe i find the secret switch to make it playable on my machine
    the vesa and graphics part is pretty stable. i testet some other games like blood, realms of the haunting, normality, cyclones and dune. the only problem remaining is, apart from performance, that the mouse is not usable in blood, roth/normality and cyclones and probably some other games. it's not that it isn't working at all, but in roth i can only move the diagonally. weird. in blood looking up and down doesn't work. without mouselook enabled it is somewhat playable. the image filtering rocks.
    best regards

  7. #7
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: Canada
    Well, on the plus side, it runs; this is more than I've accomplished using the same techniques as worked to get Shock (mostly) working. gr_set_mode no longer complains.
    On the other hand, it's very, very slow. Not merely choppy (which it is, as well), but actually running more slowly than normal, or so it seems. I've been fiddling around with the command line flags, to no avail; anyone else hit upon a combination that seems to work well?

  8. #8
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Location: London, UK
    Sol_HSA FYI,

    Tried it - I get past the intro, startup screen, and then when the game goes to the "cabin quarters" screen and thereafter, it's like the fade-ins and outs for all screens (e.g. loadout) take ages and ages, and then when you finally get to the game screen it basically freezes. The midi music is also really slow.

    The smoothing looks yummy though - can you get it to work with 320x400
    (i.e. +hires mode)?

    Asus TUSL2-C mobo
    Tualatin PIII Celeron 1.4
    512 RAM
    GeForce FX5200 PCI
    Soundblaster Live!

  9. #9
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Finland
    I've found that SolVBE generally only works on fast machines (eg. 2.6GHz+). As I don't have any problems with it, I really don't have much incentive to continue developing it. I've also given out the source, so anyone who wants can pick up from where I left off.

    320x400 mode works with SolVBE, but unfortunately Terra Nova uses said mode in the most stupid way possible: they're using it as a linear, single-buffered mode, requiring bank switching after every single pixel. Since SolVBE can't detect which pixel was modified, it needs to copy 64k of data both ways on each bank switch, which comes down to about 300GB/s if 20FPS is desired. Anyway, the tweak mode in terra nova seems to be somewhat unstable.

    More tech. info etc. can be found at

  10. #10
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: London, UK
    I have this game working in DOSBox in hires 320x400 mode, tried the SolVBE, but although it looked great in 16 bit colour, it was very choppy and slow, which was a shame! If anyone has got it going good can you tell me what is the best settings for SolVBE and I will try again!

    Was amazed at how good the graphics looked in 320x400 and the sunlight seemed so natural and lifelike - quite amazing for 1997! It is a brilliant game all around, but it's tricky getting the lips to synch in the movies when characters are talking!

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