X-box Mode
Testing by : GreatGold
Report By:Rocky
Published : 11th January 2002
Feedback : Here


Introduction

Within the options.xml file there is an intriguing "XBOX MODE" statement, that is set to FALSE. Some gamers have claimed that setting the XBox mode to TRUE improves the frame rate, one modder even included it in the Readme file for his mod.

On the other hand, Red Storm have stated that the variable was never implemented, altering XBOX can have no effect. The exact quote is

"The value read in has absolutely no effect. It is never assigned to a variable in the program. The only thing we can surmise is that someone edits the file, but saves it in a format that the program can't read. When that happens, everything reverts to the default values, and a clean version of the file is written out, thereby removing all previous options settings." Jeff RSE

Testing the Theory

Undeterred some gamers ever hungry for more FPS, some went about testing their theory. Great Gold was one of the first to publish his results, which are summarised below.

 
Average FPS
Highest FPS
Xbox False
Xbox True
Xbox False
Xbox True
Graphics Low
14
18
22
32
Graphics Med
10
15
22
32
Graphics High
8
10
22
32

The full test results including the test specification and method are listed at the foot of the article.

Conclusion

What the test set out to do was achieve a set of results that could be replicated, under a controlled set of variables. As far as is possible within a game, I think this was achieved, and the results show improvements in Frame Rates, across the board, significantly in most cases.

What this test does not take into account is the Placebo Effect, correctly pointed out in the GR.com discussion. In order to carry out a test where the results are not subconsciously weighed in favour of the testers preferred results, the test would have to be carried out "blind". That would require having two options.xml files, identical apart from the XBOX value, one would be set at TRUE, the other at FALSE. Someone other then the tester would then select one of the options.xml files and place it in the GR folder. Then the tester could launch GR and start recording results.

That's a fair bit of organising for something that Red Storm have categorically stated has no effect on the game at all. Nevertheless, I am sure some determined Ghost Recon fan will get down to business, if you do, mail me the full results - preferably using the same system shown here, and I'll append it to this report.

 

Full Testing and Results Information

Test Machine Specs
500Mhz Celeron, 128 RAM, no video card other than the generic Compaq Presario chipset, 12X DVD, basically your average calculator.

The Test
For the all tests, the computer was rebooted each time. Ghost Recon was started directly, with no other applications opened first. A clean installation with no mods activated was used. All tests were run in the Training Facility and lasted for approximately 5 minutes.

Full Results

TEST 1 WITH XBOX=FALSE:

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON LOW at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 14 FPS when averaged. The high was 22 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 8 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON MEDIUM at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 10 FPS when averaged. The high was 22 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 6 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON HIGH at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 8 FPS when averaged. The high was 22 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 2 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

TEST TWO WITH XBOX=TRUE:

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON LOW at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 18 FPS when averaged. The high was 32 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 8 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON MEDIUM at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 15 FPS when averaged. The high was 32 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 6 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

ALL GRAPHICS SETTINGS ON HIGH at 1024x768x16 with compressed textures. No shadows.
Approximately 10 FPS when averaged. The high was 32 FPS when looking at the sky, to a low of 2 FPS when running around like a crazed maniac and firing.

 


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