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deeds

Get CPU/GPU usage under control, please

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Sometime during the 1.6 cycle, performance starting taking a hit, and then the energy used increasing. Now it's such that in 1.7.x the backgrounded Affinity Designer is causing other apps to run slower, MacBook to run hotter and the energy information to be showing that it's a significant user of energy, whilst in the background. 

 

When in the foreground, zooming and panning is less than the stellar best that I saw in the versions prior to 1.6. And CPU and GPU are getting flogged.

 

2018 MacBook Pro with the 560X.

 

 

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On 9/28/2019 at 12:34 PM, Tourmaline said:

??? I run the software on Windows but it never maxed out the gpu or cpu. It runs smooth.

Same here. Never had any performance-problems with neither of the three software programs of Affinity on Windows and from 1.6.4 to 1.7.3. Always running smooth, no matter what (big) file I'm working on and on different systems. Even with just standard 8GB of ram and with or without nvidea card.

 


 

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3 hours ago, deeds said:

Same here. My microwave works great in winter, and my fridge is amazing in summer.

Instead of mac, buy a real computer, a Windows computer, no problems...:D:ph34r::71_smiling_imp:

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This is where the problem stems from: the inability to comprehend that someone might be using more than one app to do more than one thing, and that Affinity Designer might be part of a workflow rather than the centre of the universe. Ergo, Affinity doesn't think anyone will mind if they overuse resources whilst backgrounded. They probably can't even imagine their apps ever being backgrounded. Except to monitor the responses to their feeding photos on instagram.

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4 hours ago, deeds said:

This is where the problem stems from: the inability to comprehend that someone might be using more than one app to do more than one thing, and that Affinity Designer might be part of a workflow rather than the centre of the universe. Ergo, Affinity doesn't think anyone will mind if they overuse resources whilst backgrounded. They probably can't even imagine their apps ever being backgrounded. Except to monitor the responses to their feeding photos on instagram.

Have you got some screenshots or videos that could help identify the problems? What were you doing at the time (before putting the app in the background)? Is it a specific document, or all documents? 

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All documents, even absolutely trivial ones, with nothing more than an image in a layer, prepping to do work, create these background performance issues.

 

Even if that is the only document open, this is occurring. 

 

It's noticeable because I'm using Unity to make a game, and Affinity Designer to make some of the graphical elements. There is nothing elegant about the code of Unity. It's a full blown CPU and GPU hog, in editor, play mode and standalone builds. When these are running, and AD is backgrounded, I can feel the slowdown in my game caused by AD's demands. Closing the AD app, restores performance.

 

With the improvements in Safari, I'm no longer able to open enough tabs with enough advertising noise to create this kind of background slowdown, it used too do this kind of thing. Opera still does, particularly if a few sites with heavy advertising are open, like Anandtech or similarly horribly coded pages.

 

And the battery and energy indicators in MacOS are showing the high usage of AD... almost exclusively, even when it is backgrounded, and Unity is in the foreground, and Rider is in the background (another app notorious for using background processes), AD is the one that's singled out as being the worst offender, because it is. In the terminal, it's constantly flogging away, and using energy in both CPU and GPU, whilst backgrounded....

 

I suspect it's the GPU flogging that's creating the energy problems, heat and noticeable slowdowns in Unity when AD is in the background.

 

When in the foreground, AD is a quite enthusiastic, but I can forgive that, despite the heat, because it seems to be returning (latest update) to the kind of performance I was accustomed to prior to 1.5+  THANK YOU!

 

But this background usage is completely odd, I think. 

 

Here's a screenshot of my window layout, fullscreen. This is how I usually work. This might be part of the issue. I don't run traditional resolutions. Am using a resolution setter to run at the truly native resolution of the screen: 2880 x 1800. 

 

This was previously a cause for the crashing when dropping down the fonts list bug, so I imagine there's all sorts of different things going on with drawing of the screen and panels.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 12.03.40 pm.jpg

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btw, there's this in the box below, saying attachments can be 2 GB,  I think it's meaning to say 2MB...

 

683280435_ScreenShot2019-10-04at12_15_15pm.thumb.jpg.af90db7b4d6ac112a6ff70107a0fb1fc.jpg

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11 hours ago, deeds said:

btw, there's this in the box below, saying attachments can be 2 GB,  I think it's meaning to say 2MB... 

  

683280435_ScreenShot2019-10-04at12_15_15pm.thumb.jpg.af90db7b4d6ac112a6ff70107a0fb1fc.jpg

IIRC it's just Invision Board message just showing how much free space is left for attachments.

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On 10/3/2019 at 5:50 PM, deeds said:

This is where the problem stems from: the inability to comprehend that someone might be using more than one app to do more than one thing, and that Affinity Designer might be part of a workflow rather than the centre of the universe. Ergo, Affinity doesn't think anyone will mind if they overuse resources whilst backgrounded. They probably can't even imagine their apps ever being backgrounded. Except to monitor the responses to their feeding photos on instagram.

I can run 3 programs simulataniously without any problems, so?

 

I can comprehend that you got a problem.

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11 hours ago, Tourmaline said:

I can run 3 programs simulataniously without any problems, so?

 

I can comprehend that you got a problem.

Backgrounded, static drawing apps, when run fullscreen, should not be using ANY processing or GPU power. Ever.

There's no excuse for this. The app is not dynamic, not animated, not live, not being accessed, not otherwise monitoring files, and is backgrounded, fullscreen, on a single screen setup.

If you don't know why this is important, how this can be important, what types of workflows rely on this kind of behaviour or are otherwise disinterested in getting the most consistent performance when working, don't let any of this bother you, move along and find something pertinent to your interests and understandings.

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7 hours ago, deeds said:

Backgrounded, static drawing apps, when run fullscreen, should not be using ANY processing or GPU power. Ever.

There's no excuse for this. The app is not dynamic, not animated, not live, not being accessed, not otherwise monitoring files, and is backgrounded, fullscreen, on a single screen setup.

If you don't know why this is important, how this can be important, what types of workflows rely on this kind of behaviour or are otherwise disinterested in getting the most consistent performance when working, don't let any of this bother you, move along and find something pertinent to your interests and understandings.

Don't act like you know more then a developer/designer.

Not every workflow is the same and I don't have any problems. Either you change your workflow or deal with it.

Not every user fault is a designer/developer flaw.

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1 hour ago, Tourmaline said:

Don't act like you know more then a developer/designer.

Not doing that. In the case of you, it's not an act.

My main issue, with folks like you, is the needless injection of yourself into something that has nothing to do with you, your choice of operating system or workflow.

Yet you still presume to know I'm wrong.

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22 hours ago, deeds said:

Not doing that. In the case of you, it's not an act.

My main issue, with folks like you, is the needless injection of yourself into something that has nothing to do with you, your choice of operating system or workflow.

Yet you still presume to know I'm wrong.

Yes, I presume, since no other has this problem.

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On 10/4/2019 at 3:45 AM, deeds said:

btw, there's this in the box below, saying attachments can be 2 GB,  I think it's meaning to say 2MB...

 

683280435_ScreenShot2019-10-04at12_15_15pm.thumb.jpg.af90db7b4d6ac112a6ff70107a0fb1fc.jpg

A mere 2 MB would be next to useless most of the time! It’s telling you that you currently have a total of almost 2 GB available across all posts.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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16 hours ago, Alfred said:

A mere 2 MB would be next to useless most of the time! It’s telling you that you currently have a total of almost 2 GB available across all posts.

Try adding a file larger than 2MB. It will fail.

This is a common size limitation for forum attachments. 

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18 hours ago, Tourmaline said:

Yes, I presume, since no other has this problem.

From a sample size of two. You and me. Genius.

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Hi deeds,

Can I check what you've got set in 'Preferences'->'Performance'->'Display'? I'm using 'OpenGL' (which is the default) and I have 'Enable Metal compute acceleration' enabled (again, the default if your Mac supports it). I am running a 2018 MacBook Pro, 6 core i9 with Radeon Pro 560X GPU and I run these apps (Designer, Photo and Publisher) all open, all day along with many other apps - my Mac is not running hot, not using excessive battery and is not showing any adverse effects from having the apps open.

As an example, here is my Activity Monitor from a moment ago - both Designer and Publisher are running but inactive...

Screenshot 2019-10-07 at 10.27.05.png

As you can see, neither application is preventing the system from sleep (so they are not rampantly generating messages or poking things to refresh) and they both support App Nap, so are playing nicely with timers. The only thing I can think of that may be affecting you is that you'll note they both state 'Requires High Perf GPU' which is because they are allowed to use the Radeon GPU. If you don't want this, you can choose the option 'Preferences'->'Performance'->'Use only integrated GPU' which will force the hardware display to run only on the integrated Intel GPU which will be more than adequate for the view requirements.

I'm not saying there's nothing we could do to improve things, but I'm saying that a good first step will be to check your preference options and see how it affects the behaviour you're observing. It is true to say that I'm not experiencing the problems you describe, but I've also not got your software, nor am I undertaking your workflow, so there may be something to investigate.

Just to add, lets please keep all comments on-topic and about the software, not personal comments or attacks - that goes for everyone :) 

Many thanks,

Matt

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4 hours ago, deeds said:

Try adding a file larger than 2MB. It will fail.

This is a common size limitation for forum attachments. 

Even Serif’s CommunityPlus site supporting their ‘legacy’ applications allows attachments of up to 20 MB. My impression is that there are different limits for some users here, but attachments bigger than 2 MB are clearly possible or @v_kyr wouldn’t have been able to attach a 2.9 MB file (‘xmas_trees.afdesign’) to this post:

 


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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3 hours ago, MattP said:

I'm using 'OpenGL' (which is the default) and I have 'Enable Metal compute acceleration' enabled (again, the default if your Mac supports it)

All same.

 

 things to note:

 

1.Using native resolution 2880x1800

2. Forced GPU on, via graphics switching being off in energy saver preferences

3. CPU is not being flogged by Affinity Designer when it's backgrounded...

4. Energy usage of Affinity Designer is often outpacing Unity and Rider when backgrounded, fullscreen.

 

IOW: it's flogging the GPU, I presume, or doing something with the CPU that the Activity Monitor isn't monitoring

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When I set my preferences to 'Use only integrated GPU' I don't even see the Affinity apps appearing on the 'Using Significant Energy' area of the battery dropdown... Have you tried this option?

Edited to say: I believe the 'energy usage' you're seeing is as a result of the fact that the app is keeping the full GPU 'alive' due to the hardware render surface requesting this... If you use the integrated GPU (as per the option I mentioned) I see basically no usage at all...

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On 10/8/2019 at 12:44 AM, MattP said:

When I set my preferences to 'Use only integrated GPU' I don't even see the Affinity apps appearing on the 'Using Significant Energy' area of the battery dropdown... Have you tried this option?

Edited to say: I believe the 'energy usage' you're seeing is as a result of the fact that the app is keeping the full GPU 'alive' due to the hardware render surface requesting this... If you use the integrated GPU (as per the option I mentioned) I see basically no usage at all...

I'm developing a game with Unity. It's open in the background when I'm working in AD, and AD is in the background when I'm working with Unity.

Unity doesn't require the use of the discreet GPU, but it would be folly to develop without it on all the time for performance consistency of testing and iterative development.  This isn't an uncommon need. Most everyone doing 3D and animation or other high end graphics forces the GPU on, since things like AE, Premiere, FinalCut, Logic, Maya, Modo etc... all like it to be there, all the time. And they all manage to rest it, and not chew energy when they're in the background.

 

So not only have I not tested turning it off,, I don't want to work like that. I am asking that (when backgrounded) AD get itself under control, and let go of the GPU and whatever CPU usage it's doing, so that Unity can run as it does when Maya, Modo or AE are backgrounded.

 

It's annoying to be constantly closing and reopening AD to get consistent performance out of Unity play testing. I don't need to do this with the other mentioned apps. Once AD starts using excess energy in the background, Unity's play mode frame rate halves, and I have to close AD to get it back up to smoothness. 

 

None of the other apps mentioned show up as using significant energy when backgrounded. Only Affinity Designer. Closing the others doesn't improve Unity performance, closing Affinity Designer does, and closing AD also improves performance of these other apps, too. It's not nearly as black and white noticeable in the other apps, but it is noticeable. 

 

 

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Errr, I'm not asking you not to use your discreet GPU for everything on your machine - I'm asking you to try to use the setting in Affinity Designer to just use the low-power (integrated) GPU and see if it gets rid of your problem. Your discreet GPU will carry on working just fine in any other applications... If you could let me know what your results are that's all I'm asking. As I said, it's in the Affinity Designer -> Preferences -> Performance tab and it's labeled as "Use only integrated GPU". It only affects how Affinity Designer requests a hardware surface from the OS and it will have no other knock-on effects for your other programs.

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Yes. I get that... but what's the point of having Affinity Designer run like a slideshow?

Performance was one of AD's true advantages. But increasingly less so.

So I've leaped over that, to the next point... that every other creative app has managed to utilise the GPU in Macs without going berserk in the background.

Because of the next three points:

1. I've already pretty much isolated it to the GPU that Affinity is somehow flogging in the background

2. I can't run Affinity Designer in Metal Mode without it being slower than it is in OpenGL

3. AD is already showing regressions in performance over the last few versions, that are significant

 

If you're tempted to go one step further, and suggest users utilise the integrated GPU for running AD rather than getting it to sing on a Mac... that's something I'd really rather you never considered, and would greatly prefer that some effort be put into getting the gains possible from actually using Metal in the best ways possible.

And, yes... having switched to integrated and leaving a basic test file open, with no effects and limited shapes that now runs like a slideshow, AD is no longer using huge amounts of energy when backgrounded.. So yes, you can assume there's something wrong with how you're backgrounding AD when in OpenGL mode on the discreet GPU.

However, now Unity crashes on entering Play mode, every single time. So there's now some conflict going on in terms of (probably) memory access for GPU versus integrated GPU.

Great Performance in Discrete GPU, Metal mode, please.

 

 

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