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Various Performance Tweaks Benchmarked


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I've wanted to do a large test like this for a while to see how each tweak or overclocked component contributes to the final "Maximum Performance" results. Some interesting and surprising results all said and told. The way i've tested everything is as follows. All results have a "Max Performance" table always on top. Below that are the results from disabling or removing 1 individual tweak or overclocked component, to see what impact they have compared to running all tweaks. On the left is an overall difference table that adds up all the results from a data category like "average framerate" while doing the same for the other table and then comparing the difference.


The 1 exception is the custom windows ISO install, this is just my usual benching methods without some of the rest of the tweaks, It's also done in A19.0 instead of 19.5 since i started these tests after i had already wiped the vanilla windows 10 install. I could have reinstalled vanilla windows 10 and retested and simply wiped again and installed the custom image. However i can't remember exactly everything i had installed and how every single thing was configured. So since i wouldn't be able to have them set up identically program and configuration wise anyway, i've opted to save 16 hours and do pretty much the same comparison but in a19.0.


My Other 7DTD Benchmarks



Benchmark Notes & Disclaimers




1. These figures should be taken as ball park figures and not absolute values.
7DTD is a very difficult game to benchmark accurately. It's in alpha and sometimes does weird things. Also some things are difficult to account for such as the AI, they will behave differently and spawn differently every run, which leads to #2.

2. What's controlled for and what's not
I haven't controlled for driver versions & windows versions. My goal was just to get "close enough" results instead of 100% accurate as possible. That said i have controlled for memory leaks, restarting the game after every run. Time of day is reset from the console after every run. When changing resolution i changed ingame before shutting down then validated with the unity screen selector on next launch. No zombies/animals where killed so areas weren't "cleared" until x amount of days, to insure that on following runs they would respawn (Although i can't do much if zombies kill animals or vise versa etc). I only did 1 pass on each test, however any result that didn't look right or didn't make sense was discarded and retested.


3. 1 system isn't enough to draw definitive conclusions for every configuration. The conclusions found here may or may not apply to your own systems, these results are only really comparable if you have similar hardware. But they will however give an idea of where the current performance is at with the hardware that was tested.


4. It's Alpha

Any update could change any conclusions drawn from these tests. Also as a work in progress things are always improving and getting worse, by the time 7DTD goes gold these results with be obsolete and invalid. Things are always changing in alpha.


5. Console Options used
all tests are run with increased view distance (sg optionsgfxviewdistance 12). 

6. Tests on different resolutions were done on monitors native aspect ratio
16:9 Resolutions were tested on an Asus PB287Q 4K 3840x2160 60HZ Monitor
21:9 Resolution was tested on an LG 38GL950G 3840x1600 175Hz Monitor


7. The benchmark Run
I've been using the same run since A14 for all tests, you can find more details on the exact run in my a15 benchmarks i did ages ago Here


System Tested



CPU AMD R9 3950x
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme
Ram G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4 3600Mhz CL16-19-19-39
Storage 1 Save Data
1TB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD
Storage 2 Game Data 2TB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD
GPU MSI Suprim X RTX 3090 24GB


System Overclock Notes


[Gaming Profile V2]

CPU: Vcore: 1.45V
CCD 0: CCX 0: 45.50 
CCD 0: CCX 1: 44.50 

SMT: Disabled

Ram: Stock: Default JEDEC(2133Mhz) , Overclock: XMP Enabled (3600Mhz)    
GPU Core:+160 Mem:+550      
GPU Bios Flashed with a 500 Watt Power Target   


Tested With 2 Video Settings


"Ultra Settings 1"
"Ultra Settings 2"1147888752_ultrasettings2.thumb.png.e2da3c45a09a0cd6cdce4ad6c4e069cd.png "Lower Settings 1"1505245770_lowersettings1.thumb.png.0a2a2d68375cdb6aaf112e8b1b4d60ca.png "Lower Settings 2"1147888752_ultrasettings2.thumb.png.e2da3c45a09a0cd6cdce4ad6c4e069cd.png


Full Stock VS All Tweaks

The first results are comparing a full stock config to running all the tested tweaks. As usual the original excel files are available Here. The other tested tweaks are as follows:
- Custom Windows ISO (A19.0)
- Assigning Affinity (Limiting the game to use only certain CPU Cores) (A19.5)
- Having Background Programs Open (A19.5)
- CPU Overclock Disabled (A19.5)
- GPU Overclock Disabled (A19.5)
- Setting the GPU to prefer max performance (A19.5)
- Ram OC Disabled (A19.5)

A19.5 Ultra Settings

A19.5 Lower Settings




With Ultra setting we see an uplift of over +130% for the average and +100% for the 0.1% lows , Lower setting saw nearly 90% and 60%. This is quite literally double performance, no shelling out for new hardware, no game optimisations , no cheating lowering settings or resolution. Anyone can apply these tweaks, most of them are really simple and take very little time to apply yourself. However it's not all roses, some tweaks as you'll see do very little. However i've included them as they only apply if you have similar hardware. Depending on what exact hardware you have they might make no difference here, but could help substantially for your system. I'll go into more detail on these cases in each of the tweaks conclusions. For now this demonstrates spending some time tweaking and messing around is definitely well worth it. I'd go as far as say if your fortunate enough to land yourself some current gen high end hardware with the current shortages and scalping, you owe it to yourself to spend some time so you get the most out of your system.





Custom Windows ISO

A19.0 Ultra Settings



A19.0 Lower Settings




At first glance we don't see much change at all here. Best case overclocked is up to +5% 0.1% lows, however looking at the all core stock results 0.1% lows are nearly +30% this would definitely be worth it, that's nearly as good as the changes we saw going from a19.0 to a19.5. The reason it helps at stock is this tweak will increase CPU performance in windows which is always running in the background (Unless you're running Linux) It can do this when you create a custom install image for windows 10, by removing windows features you don't use or want (looking at you windows telemetry and cortana, toodles! XD) When things are configured optimally + an overclock it doesn't help much in this case. The 3950x is a relatively recent and powerful CPU. However if you're running a older chip this could drastically improve your experience. If you want to find out more about how to do this yourself i'll leave a link to a video tutorial. In that guide you can either use his preconfigured ISO or skip half way and you can make your own based on your needs. I'd recommend you make your own since other pre-made ones may cut features you want to use.


Assigning CPU Affinity 


A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings





+5-15% is a nice bump but not all that amazing or is it? The 3950x has 16 core 32 threads, in this test virtual threads were disabled and half the cores disabled. So it was configures as 8 cores 8 threads. 7DTD like 4 true cores nothing more nothing less, i've covered this in my first a19 results. The more threads and cores you have the worse 7DTD will perform, so if you have more than 4 threads (preferably true cores not virtual ones) this tweak is pretty much mandatory, in my other benchmarks previously discussed we did test stock and overclocked with all 32 threads available to 7DTD and the performance improvements going from 32 threads to 8 alone were huge. This was done in the bios limiting the cores and disabling virtual threads, however you don't need to ever set foot in the bios to apply this tweak. It can be done with simple windows shortcuts, works with and without EAC. If you want to make your own here is a guide or you can use mine:
For 4+ core CPU's WITH virtual threads (AMD: SMT Intel: HT) - Download

For 4+ core CPU's WITHOUT virtual threads (AMD: SMT Intel: HT) - Download


Background Programs Open Benchmarks



A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings





The background apps in this case were:

-Password Manager App
-Corsairs ICUE
-Logitechs Gaming Hub
-Hardware Info 64

- + About a dozen windows services


It's also worth noting that these apps were also set with affinity on the other 4 cores not used by 7dtd. Doing this isn't as good as not having them running at all since they will still share other aspects of the CPU like the Cache. However these are apps i normal always have running, so i used the same method as discussed on the previous benchmarks to assign them cores not used by the main 4 threads to see if it would limit the performance impact of having them open. While having them open even with affinity still has an impact as we can see, it does show that if you must have background apps open, it's worth assigning them to other cores if you have extra cores to spare. Windows has a "startup folder" that open all shortcuts within on startup. So you would just create your shortcuts to use cores not used by 7dtd and dump them in that folder and they will open on startup with affinity without you having to do anything. The only annoyance i've found is opening them this way, opens them into the main window instead of opening in the system tray like a normal "run on startup"


CPU Overclock Benchmarks



A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings





Like Affinity this is another improvement but it's important to note, these are results you can expect from modern overclocked CPU's. Modern CPU's are already running pretty close to there maximum potential out of the factory. If you have an older CPU however this is a different story, i have a old i5 4670k base clock is 3.4Ghz and boost 3.8Ghz what that means is 95% of the time it will run at 3.4 only lightly threaded workloads will see the boost clock and only for a short time under stock conditions. However this chip can hit 4.6ghz overclocked on all cores, that's a huge difference. TLDR recent CPUS Look at the above results and decide if it's worth it, Older CPU's Crank that clock ;) Overclocking will be done differently based on your CPU and motherboards bios, if you google guides on your exact chip and board you should be able to find what you need.


GPU Overclock Benchmarks


A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings





Here is our first case of "makes no difference" However i wouldn't discount it, in this case the 3090 is too overpowered even at stock for the 3950x to keep it fed, even under ideal conditions. If you're running an older GPU or you often see GPU usage over 90-95% then an overclock is something that can improve performance in that case. For me however I'm going to run it at stock and stop wasting all that electricity XD There are different tools used to overclock the GPU google is your friend here ;)


 Setting The GPU To Prefer Max Performance Benchmarks



A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings




Yet another case of no improvements and yet another case of "However" If your system is severely CPU Bottlenecked and your GPU is always jumping up and down in clockspeed to adjust to the load, it's worth giving it a try. Normally i wouldn't recommend doing this as it would burn electricity for no benefit, but if you want to try it you can enable in in your GPU's control panel. For Nvidia it's Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings > Add (Find or browse to 7DTD's exe) > Power Management



Ram Overclock Benchmarks



A19.5 Ultra Settings


A19.5 Lower Settings




Now we see a very nice improvement +15-25% across the board. The keen eyed among you may notice "my overclock" is actually enabling the ram's XMP profile not applying a custom OC, this is because i wasn't able to push my ram any more than the XMP profile speeds since i'm populating all 4 of my motherboards slots, XMP is the best i can do here and since XMP is outside of official spec it's technically an overclock ;). This is also another case of "your mileage may vary" AMD Ryzen chips benefit massively from fast ram up to a point. They have to be kept 1:1 with the CPU's infinity fabric bus speed, meaning for 3000 series 1:1 ram speeds max out at about 3777MHZ. It's possible to go higher, but then it's not 1:1 and you get a performance penalty, so not worth it IMO. Intel CPU's on the other hand don't benefit as much from faster ram, but can support higher speed ram without worrying about 1:1 issues (11th gen does have Gear Ratios which are the same idea)


Now the good and bad news about applying this yourself. Good news if your sticks have an XMP Profile, it's 1 setting you enable in your bios and it's enabled. Now the bad news part, if your system is a prebuilt that doesn't have ram with XMP. It may still be possible to overclock but if it's your standard dell affair i wouldn't count on it. More bad news if you can overclock, ram overclocking is much more complicated than cpu or gpu overclocks, there are dozens of timing and voltages to adjust and it's a testing nightmare. So make sure XMP is enabled, if your sticks don't have it and your on Intel i wouldn't worry about it. If on AMD Ryzen your options are buying new sticks with XMP profiles or attempting a manual oc, again google will be your best friend here.



Edited by Naz (see edit history)
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