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Wed 30 May 2012, 9:00

Warhammer* 40,000*: Dawn of War II*: Retribution* Performance case study


Warhammer* 40,000*: Dawn of War II*: Retribution* Performance case study

by Relic Entertainment and Intel Corporation

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Download Warhammer* 40,000*: Dawn of War II*: Retribution* Performance case study [PDF 1.8MB]

Abstract

During the development of Warhammer* 40,000*: Dawn of War* II: Retribution*, engineers from Relic Entertainment and Intel Corporation analyzed the game for performance on mainstream PCs. We used a PC with a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® HD Graphics 3000. At the time, Retribution was GPU-bound on that system. This case study describes the steps we took to find and speed up the most time-consuming areas of the game. Looking at the GPU workload, the pixel shaders for the terrain took more time than any other parts of the frame, so we experimented to find the best ways to speed up the terrain. We tried several techniques: clamping the maximum MIP level, removing ‘texkill’, eliminating overdraw of the pixels under the game’s HUD, and reducing texture sampling. After studying the terrain shaders in detail, they were improved by adding a threshold test to avoid certain texture loads. After this change, Retribution now runs 1.4x faster at the target resolution and quality settings on the test machine.

 

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