BZFlag Beta Build 2.0.3b17

News and info about current and upcoming releases of the game client and server.
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JeffM
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BZFlag Beta Build 2.0.3b17

Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:44 am

Today we have 2.0.3b17.

Windows Installer

Pentium II+ optimised version ( should be faster on any real computer )
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzflag-2.0.3b17+.exe

Regular compatable version ( what you are used to )
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzflag-2.0.3b17.exe

(requires DirectX 7+)

All current builds for 2.0.x will always be at http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/

Linux and mac folk can, as always, build from anonymous cvs (unless it's broken); see http://sourceforge.net/cvs/?group_id=3248 to download, and read the README for build instructions.

Please report any issues you have with this build, even if you think we already know about them! Issues that aren't reported aren't likely to be fixed before release.

This build fixes a huge bug with the server where things like BAN would not work on windows. Also ban now uses the durration as an optional paramater like it used to on all OSs. The file download update has been cleaned up to show the number of files downloading. And the hud border now is transperant when the hud is.

Thanks for your feedback.
Last edited by JeffM on Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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^nightmare^
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Post by ^nightmare^ » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:53 am

I thought the banned worked, i could /ban on norang... anyways, thanks! :D
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JeffM
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Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:54 am

ok, also have a difrent request for this one.

we are testing a windows build with some more optimisations that we'd like people to try.

so if you are willing could you try. this build.
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzflag-2.0.3b17+.exe
It will only work on a pentium 2 or better CPU. It "should" run faster then the other build. Please let us know how it works for you. Is it faster? slower? the same? crash more? less? anything.

Thanks.

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^nightmare^
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Post by ^nightmare^ » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:57 am

wo, i got on spirals and it seemed alot smoother. What is the pulsation depth though?
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Post by RPG » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:34 am

How'd you do it JeffM?

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Post by Mangix » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:52 am

i got 2 bugs mainly with the installer

1:when i said yes to the msgbox to view the readme, it asked me to accept the agreement and install again. i didnt cause i dont need to

2:when i uninstall BZFlag, the quick launch icon remains so i have to remove it manually. it's annoying -_-

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Post by Tropican8 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:21 am

Optimized BZFlag..I'm glad the day has come. Could extremely processor specific builds be made eventually? I don't know why, but it makes me and my geek friends feel really special to get AMD64 and Pentium 4 specific builds of programs.

What's done to optimize these builds? MMX instructions I'm assuming. Could SSE and SSE2 be possible? How much of a boost would there be?

Not quite a formal test, but FPS between this build and 2.0.2 jumped from 12FPS to 23FPS on island hopping. I don't know if this is due to other speed enhancements in CVS though.

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Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:14 am

I turned on some more optimisations in the compiler.
The old release builds were optimised, just for what was called a "blended" system. This is more specific.
This is a test for a general release, so we don't go whole hog, as everyone has to use it, if we go for it.
A p4 build won't run/will run like crap on a P3, so this just one step up from the min.. I don't know if we'd want to do specific builds as that would posibly confuse end users

The best tests would be people running B16 and comparing it to B17. 2.0.3 has a lot of changes from 2.0.2 so it's not fair to compare the optimisations between it and that old version.

VC7.1 dosn't have AMD64 specific optimisations. VC 8 may, but it's still in beta so I haven't done the work to make BZ build in it yet.

I have done a P4+ full blown optimiation build. It kinda runs iffy on my
Athalon XP, but I can post it as a test if anyone wants.

The installer bugs will be fixed at some point.

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Post by H0ley » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:23 am

I've been lurking around and would like to compare your P4 optimisation version. Was wondering... since a lot of people are buying laptops rather than desktops now a days, could there be a version optimisationed to the Pentium M/Centrino class processors?
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Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:40 am

no, they don't get THAT processor specific on windows. The sub variants of CPU, like Pentium M and Centrino, don't have any difrent instruction sets that a program can use, they just do things difrently in the guts of the cpu to get difrent effects then a desktop CPU ( like saving power ).

I am building a P4/Athalon SSE2 optimised build that I will post. This will basicly be the maxiumum optimisation that the windows stock compiler can do automaticly.

This will require a P4 or an AMD Athalon XP or better.
This does incolude Pentium M, Centrino, AMD 64, Semperon, and other mondern processor variants, I belive.

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Post by ^nightmare^ » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:29 pm

What is the pulsation depth though?
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Post by DTRemenak » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:36 pm

Pentium M/Centrino (same processor, different chipset) is basically P3 architecture, with an SSE2 unit added on and a bunch of power management improvements. P4-optimized builds will run quite poorly on Pentium M, while a P3-optimized build will be about as good as you can get.

SSE2 will likely not help bzflag at all, it uses mostly single-precision float arithmetic, and SSE2 is pretty much double-precision extenstions for SSE. So the P4 optimized build will have one advantage: it's built in a way that takes advantage of the P4's pipeline branch prediction algorithms. It should improve cpu-bound performance on P4s pretty well, but will not help any other procs (err, other than P4-based celerons).

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Post by BIYA » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:30 pm

The test version up there did'nt help me out that well. I was on babel with atleast 25+ players and was getting 35FPS. I seen a slight increase in the fps when I went to a empty server and was getting 75+FPS when its normaly 70-.

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Post by RPG » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:32 pm

BIYA what processor do you have?

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Post by BIYA » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:41 pm

P42.5ghz I've had it for 2 years :D same with the mem and the hd

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Post by Tropican8 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:45 pm

DTRemenak wrote:Pentium M/Centrino (same processor, different chipset) is basically P3 architecture, with an SSE2 unit added on and a bunch of power management improvements. P4-optimized builds will run quite poorly on Pentium M, while a P3-optimized build will be about as good as you can get.).
It is also worth noting that P3/P-M and AMD processors take advantage of almost the exact same optimizations. So only 1 build with have to be made for them.
DTRemenak wrote:SSE2 will likely not help bzflag at all, it uses mostly single-precision float arithmetic, and SSE2 is pretty much double-precision extenstions for SSE. So the P4 optimized build will have one advantage: it's built in a way that takes advantage of the P4's pipeline branch prediction algorithms. It should improve cpu-bound performance on P4s pretty well, but will not help any other procs (err, other than P4-based celerons).
True, the P4 has a poor floating point unit, therefore its the only one that gets a speed boost from SSE2. This means we need three compiles made so far: Generic (What you guys do currently), AMD/P3 (SSE), and P4 (SSE2). Also does someone have ICL 8.1? For the P4 build it gives a pretty good performace boost. Do NOT use it to compile for AMD though, it detects the processor as not an intel one and disables certain optimizations (sneaky intel). Perhaps rather than building betas three times (at the current pace that's almost daily), only stable versions should be optimized.

Also once tested will the used compiler flags be posted somewhere?

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Post by huw » Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:55 pm

I think the build is definetly faster. I am getting a higher framerate. 8)

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Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:09 pm

the build up there dosn't have any SSE on it.

SSE2 crashes like a horible pig.

I'll be doing a SSE one at some point.

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Post by AlliedArmour » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:01 pm

I got the newest b17+ and it only uses GDI Generic. Why doesn't it use my Radeon 9250? On my normal settings, IH gets 0fps. That's not right by a long shot.

Just downloaded b17 and it's just as bad, using GDI Generic. What's wrong?

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Post by AlliedArmour » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:17 pm

Beg pardon! My mistake. Discovered that a failed standby earlier made a mess. Restarted and they all work. But none of the b17 version give any performace increase. FPS is always a average of 30fps. 2.02 and both b17's.

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Post by TD-Linux » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:44 pm

Are these optimizations included 'ON' in the makefile with the CVS Linux version of BZFlag? Or are these optimizations only for Windows? I would like to see my 600mhz Athlon get more than 15fps at 320x240 someday, even with texturing and lighting off.

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Post by AlliedArmour » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:45 pm

What's the rest of your specs TD?

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Post by JeffM » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:58 pm

TD-Linux
this is a windows only thing. linux does it's own optimisatons, I belive it is based on your OS and build syste, but at least it does some ( -O2 maybe ).


I have built a P4 and P2/3 SSE versions for testing

for P4s and AMD Athalons XPs or better
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzfla ... p4_sse.exe

for P2/ P3 and older AMD chips
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzfla ... p2_sse.exe

Please give them a whirl

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Post by wiz » Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:06 am

JeffM2501 wrote:for P2/ P3 and older AMD chips
http://my.bzflag.org/builds/2.0.x/bzfla ... p2_sse.exe

Please give them a whirl
I tried this version and I get a crash upon launch. I get the "bzflag.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close, please tell microsoft about this problem" error dialog. I'm not sure what information about the crash I can provide, but my system is an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.0 GHz, Radeon 7500 AIW, WinXP SP1.

2.0.3b17+ runs fine for me.

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Post by AlliedArmour » Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:13 am

I tried the P4(As my Celeron D is based off the P4 Prescott) and there was no performance increase.

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