The not so hot upgrade

Preparing for war, I was reminded that I had been really slack in keeping my EVE client settings up to date, particularly on my Alts and over on my Laptop. Today I decided to rectify that.

I logged in my Main and Main Alt side by side, opened up the Escape Menu and clicked on Display & Graphics. I was going to go through every setting, read the tool tip, experiment if need be, and ensure both accounts were in the end set up the same.

But then I was immediately distracted.

If you have multiple Graphic Cards, you can configure which one you want each EVE client to run on.

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It seems to be a dynamic setting – it moves the client across to the selected GPU once you hit apply, without a restart.

Unlike most of the EVE client settings however, this particular one doesn’t seem to be saved per account. If you change the setting for one account, the next account you log in with gets the same setting. For this reason – having to manually adjust them every time you play, I haven’t bothered with it.

I’ve had some issues for a while now with my old dual GeForce GTX 680’s. The first is performance – I can get stuttering when dual boxing on the non-active EVE client, and I’ve had to lower settings in DDO and World of Warships to get them to run more smoothly. The second are temperatures – particularly with summer in full swing down here in Australia. If my Study is cool the main GPU tends to run between 83 and 85 Degrees (Celsius) when under load. That is however starting to head towards 90 if the Study starts to get warm – forcing me to turn on the Air-Con earlier than when I might personally have needed it.

So instead of going through all the Client settings, I got stuck on playing around with this Display Adapter selection option.

I did some unscientific testing.

Idle: GPU0 49-52 Degrees, GPU1 49-52 Degrees
One EVE Client: GPU0 82-83 Degrees, GPU1 50-52 Degrees
Two EVE Clients same GPU: GPU0 85 Degrees, GPU1 52-54 Degrees
Two EVE Clients separate GPU: GPU0 82-84 Degrees, GPU1 82-84 Degrees

I could see both GPU were being used just by the temperature readings, but I couldn’t say either client was particularly more responsive.  While I did not notice any stuttering, I don’t notice that all the time anyway.  I now had two GPU running hot instead of one with otherwise inconclusive results.

At this point my wife came into my Study and asked if we could take the kids up into the hills to try out some new gourmet milkshakes, so my EVE Client setting updates were delayed by a couple hours.

When I got back to my Study I was immediately distracted again by researching new Graphic card options. A couple hours later and a trip out in heavy rain, I was back in my study with two new Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB graphics cards.

They reviewed well for their performance verse price, ran on game mode at 1594 Mhz / 1809 MHz boost (against 1006 / 1058 MHz on the 860s) and had 6GB GDDR5 memory (against 4GB). They did not however support SLI, were on paper a fair bit behind the 1070 and 1080’s, and if it wasn’t for needing a certain mix of connections for my 4-screen setup (and wanting options to expand or upgrade it down the track), I might have otherwise gone for one higher spec card instead.

I removed the old 680 Graphic cards, plugged in the new 1060’s, and booted. Well – I tried too, but the Motherboard got stuck on a non-descriptive error code.

I had my suspicions on what the issue was, so out came the new Graphics Cards and I booted up ok using the on-board graphics and one of my monitors. Given the age of my Desktop, I started by updating the Motherboard BIOS.

I then rebooted and the motherboard was stuck on another non-descriptive error code, suggesting an issue with the new BIOS. I then did a hard reboot (should have done that the first time) and thankfully the desktop started correctly.

One of the new Graphic Cards was then reinstalled and the Desktop booted. The boot performance however was very slow and there were NVIDIA related errors.

I then spent a while mucking around with the NVIDIA software, which wouldn’t upgrade, uninstall or install properly. After manually removing services, registry entries and some DLL files, I finally managed to clear out the old software and configuration, and start afresh with a new install. That seemed to resolve the issue and the boot performance.

The second new Graphic Card was reinstalled, and aside arranging the four-screen layout correctly, all now worked.

I was finally able to log back into EVE.

I repeated my unscientific testing.

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Idle: GPU0 46-49 Degrees, GPU1 46-49 Degrees
One EVE Client: GPU0 60-64 Degrees, GPU1 46-52 Degrees
Two EVE Clients same GPU: GPU0 65-67 Degrees, GPU1 52-53 Degrees
Two EVE Clients separate GPU: GPU0 65-67 Degrees, GPU1 53-56 Degrees

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Running the EVE clients on separate GPU no longer appears to make any meaningful difference, so I will go back to ignoring that setting.  While the EVE clients seem to be running smoother, it will take more than an hour of running about to confirm that.  Mostly I am just really pleased with how much cooler the GPU operate.  The temperatures can get into the low 70’s when docked in stations and zoomed in on your ship, but overall the improvement was unexpectedly good.

Success of sorts.

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A curse sitting in station as I test out performance / temps.

Now it is too late in the evening to go back to try to organise my EVE Client settings.  Maybe tomorrow – if I don’t find something else to procrastinate on.

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