Call of Duty: Black Ops III Plagued by Performance Problems

Call of Duty: Black Ops III has finally been released and early reports suggest it’s a technical mess on PC. A large number of the Steam Reviews describe the latest COD entry as “unoptimized” which struggles to achieve a smooth frame-rate. Unfortunately, it seems the game is marred by stuttering, sudden frame drops and micro-stutter. Even on top-tier hardware, the performance is atrocious and should be avoided until patches are released to help rectify these major problems:

The general consensus is remarkably similar to early testing conducted by TechPowerUp which indicates the game utilizes a ridiculous amount of system memory and VRAM. During their initial benchmarks, a GTX 980 Ti was monitored and almost used 6GB VRAM under load, and system RAM reached a maximum utilization of 12GB. Even more concerning, when the GPU was swapped with a Titan X, the engine started to increase the VRAM usage up to 8GB. Apparently, the game runs much smoother on a GTX Titan X compared to the 980 TI which can only be a result of memory differences.

This is extremely disappointing as a spokesperson prior to release discussed improved mouse controls, a GPU bound-engine and low CPU overheads. Clearly, this isn’t an accurate reflection as people are experiencing major problems on lower threaded CPUs. An official statement reads:

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the perfect example of why you should be very suspicious when pre-ordering video games.

AMD Releases Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta Driver With Memory Leak Fix

AMD has released the latest Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta driver which offers enhanced optimization for the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront Beta and Fable Legends preview. The 15.9.1 update also implements a wide array of other tweaks including an essential fix to address the memory leak issue. In the last driver version, re-sizing any browser would cause the memory utilization to spike to 100%. Here is a complete rundown of the changes in the latest Beta:

Performance Optimizations

    • Star Wars: Battlefront Beta – Performance and quality optimizations
    • Fable Legends : Includes the latest DirectX® 12 optimizations for the Fable Legends: Benchmark

Resolved Issues:

    • [77609] A video memory leak can occur when browser and other windows are resized
    • [59474] Diablo 3 crashes in the Act 2 Desolate Sands area of the game
    • [59081] The AMD Catalyst Control Center ‘update’ option fails to download the latest driver
    • [58800] Dragon Age: Inquisition may crash if launched in Mantle mode
    • [58781] The DirectX® Diagnostic tool does not report DirectX® 12 available on supported products
    • [58677] World of Warships may crash on some AMD Radeon HD5000 and HD6000 series products
    • [58646] Assassin’s Creed® Unity may experience minor frame stutter when AMD CrossFire mode is enabled
    • [58485] Anti Aliasing settings not being retained after changes are applied
    • [58450] Some BENQ 144hz Freesync monitors may lose the signal while uninstalling the driver
    • [58495] DiRT Rally crashes during gameplay and benchmarking when launched in DirectX® 11 mode on some BENQ 144HZ Freesync monitors

Known Issues:

    • [57189] GTA V crashes on some AMD Radeon R9 390X GPU’s
    • [76899] Star Wars: Battlefront Bata –  Flickering may be experience if AMD Crossfire is enabled
    • [56099] Corruption may occur in DiRT Rally with CMAA enabled with Portrait SLS and AMD CrossFire mode enabled
    • [59792] A black screen may be encountered on bootup on Windows 10 systems. The system will ultimately continue to the Windows login screen.
    • [76930] Intermittent playback issues with Cyberlink PoweDVD when connecting to a 3D display with an HDMI cable
    • [76924] A TDR error may be experienced while toggling between minimized and maximized mode while viewing 4K Youtube content
    • [59475] Elite: Dangerous – poor performance may be experienced in SuperCruise mode
    • [59298] Final Fantasy XIV – Heavensward may crash when run in DirectX 11® mode and borderless window mode
    • [58870] Some applications may fail to launch on some Mobility platforms when launched in High Performance mode
    • [425417] Windows 10 driver installation may halt on some systems with an AMD 990FX chipset and AMD CrossFire enabled
    • [58506] Mad Max – Color corruption is observed when Alt+Ctrl+Del is pressed followed by the Escape key

To download the latest Beta driver please navigate to this link.

Google Tests Tab Suspension in Desktop Chrome

For those that are always up to a lot, having many browser tabs open is pretty common. Right now for instance, I have 61 open in Chrome right now, eating up about 6GB of my precious ram. Doubtless there are days where I have more those with less but even with my low of 40ish tabs, Chrome is my main memory hog. I’m not using all the tabs at once, but Chrome currently sees fit to have everything running at 100% whether or not I am on it or not. That is all set to change as the nightly builds of Chrome seem set on adding a feature known as Tab Discarding and Reloading.

Tab Discarding and Reloading will let Chrome unload what it deems less necessary and important tabs. Don’t worry about your tabs constantly reloading as you switch back and forth like on mobile as Chrome will only discard a tab when it is in a memory constraint scenario. The tabs are not moved to swap so each time you do reload a tab, you will require an internet connection. On the plus side, your position in the tab and any text you have does appear to be saved.

In order to try out the feature, you can get onto the nightly build of Chrome and enable the flag under chrome://flags/#enable-tab-discarding. To check out the order your tabs would drop, you can visit chrome://discards. If the Chrome feature is anything like the Chromium OS implementation, the drop order should be the same as below. What do you think about Chrome trying to use less memory by discarding tabs or do you think actually using less memory be a better solution?

  1. Internal pages like new tab page, bookmarks, etc.
  2. Tabs selected a long time ago
  3. Tabs selected recently
  4. Tabs playing audio
  5. Apps running in a window
  6. Pinned tabs
  7. The selected tab