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  1. #1

    Default Single machine 10-boxing survey/speculation

    For starters (as would be hinted by the post in screenshots) i've started dabbling in 10boxing. Since I can't resist raf I'm at least 2 months from getting serious about leveling my off team, so it will be awhile before i've got a single set of 85s=p. In the meantime I am playing around with it, logging all 10 in for fun and flying around getting discovery xp and such. So, some performance issues I've noticed:

    Unless I'm waay high up my CPU stays at 100% utilization. In dal/sw my FPS is pretty bad and very jerky. Playable, but not fun. (Contrasted with 6 instances, it screams, no lag at all.) So not sure whats causing the FPS hit. It may or may not be related to the CPU utilization. CPU is pretty high with 6 too, but not 100% constantly. My ram is never full; sofar the most i've seen is 11.9 Gigs used. (this is without closing Firefox or any applications at all, so is not all wow. ) Considering its out of 16, that seems like its going to be plenty for the immediate future. My 3d card is a bit harder to gauge...according to catalyst its at 70 or so percent activity...but playing around in inner space and capping the frame rates of the dps at 10 (they are small anyway) when in bg and the healers/off tank at 20 was a drastic performance improvement...lag in Dalaran went away entirely. (well, its tolerable at 20-25 or so fps for the viewpoint. ) Sitting at the main bank/ah in Stormwind is like 6-10 fps tho. Playable, as long as all i have to do is navigate through the area, and not pleasant at all. Its incredibly crowded 24/7 tho, and probably more characters than will ever be on the screen at once, unless I raid a capital city or something...

    I can always run 4 hardware on my old slave machines later for when I want to do serious stuff on all 10; it'd be nice to do them all on one machine tho. Anyone else done it/doing it, and got any tips or thoughts? My 3d card is pretty beastly, but could probably get a bit more mileage by backing off of the eyefinity 6 thing, but dang its nice looking hehe. Maybe i'll grab another and crossfire it; though this may or may not help matters. And upgrading to a 8 core next year or so wouldn't hurt matters. (As pure speculation, anyone thought about using a server mobo and getting several cpus? Kinda a radical idea, i suppose. but according to perf mon each wow has about 55 threads going, not sure why; addons probably. ) Backing off that 100% CPU util would not hurt at all. Strangely as part of my debugging process i've been culling addons and considering stripping down to nothing, but simply disabling all addons and logging in didn't seem to have a great impact; though disabling gatherer on non-harvesters seemed to have a bit of an impact.)

    Mostly I'd just like to hear from anyone else with experience 10boxing on one machine. Like I said I got plenty of workarounds=0. 5 perfectly good machines in the corner, atleast one of which can comfortably run 2-3 instances.

    System specs:
    Amd 1090T,
    16 gb ddr3 1333
    sapphire Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6 edition,
    OCZ Agility 90 gig ssd (wow and windows on it)
    Mobo is an ASRock 890FX delux 3.
    other miscellanea: using ISboxer and dynamically turning down clip plane/settings on slaves on switch.)

  2. #2


    I run 9 - 10 on my machine

    Intel Core i7 930 @ 2.8GHz
    Asus P6X58D-E Motherboard
    x2 nVidia GTS 250
    12GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator RAM
    EVE Online Get Ships. Train Skills.

  3. #3


    What do ya do with em? any fps drops around lots of people? PVP? PVE? (I mean, what are the limits of what ya can do with 10 on that machine=0, if any) How are ya using the 3d cards, i.e. hooked to different monitors w/ wow windows on each? Also kinda curious, do you ever get to 100% utilization?

    Interestingly, changing it from 5 extended desktops to 1 display group (3x2 configuration) yielded another performance boost; in fact my processor even managed to get down to 95% once while watching people be generally crazy outside the bank. (Still wouldn't say performance was great, but it wasn't 6 FPS either...) . 3d card activity went down quite a bit as well. I dunno if this is a fluke or not, guess I'll find out. Before ya wonder why i bought an eyefinity card and was running em in extended desktop mode, my monitors were mounted ind different orientations, and its an utter pain to unmount them, rotate them, and remount them by yourself. I actually finally took that step so I could see sc2 in all its glory. (As an aside, I'm unsure if I like playing a RTS at that resolution, hehe. It does look really nice, though.)

    An aside that took me a few minutes to figure out, is because I don't have wide screen monitors, when I tunred them into a display group my 'composite monitor' was wide my instances of wow had a distorted aspect ratio when forced into the 1280x1024 size by ISBoxer...except one, who was set to windowed mode, as opposed to windowed (full screen). Switching them all to Windowed mode fixed it. yay. The funny thing, is i had never paid attention to that setting before =p. lol.

  4. #4


    Quite a bit on info on this (rather old) thread :

    You might also want to implement a FPS saving strategy on your slave clients by implementing something like that :

    Even though this might not be useful since your bottleneck is probably more on the CPU than GPU?

  5. #5


    Would probably see better performance if you switched to Intel.
    If you could afford it, maybe even go with a 2 socket MB and get a pair of quad core i7 procs.

    Intel > AMD for WoW Cataclysm

    But if you want to save money, I'd suggest using some of your old machines to run some slaves.

    Also hope you're using Windows 7, since you have an SSD.
    Last edited by Bollwerk : 12-23-2010 at 03:33 PM

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Ishar View Post
    What do ya do with em? any fps drops around lots of people? PVP? PVE? (I mean, what are the limits of what ya can do with 10 on that machine=0, if any) How are ya using the 3d cards, i.e. hooked to different monitors w/ wow windows on each? Also kinda curious, do you ever get to 100% utilization?
    It gets a little bad when I'm in high concentrations of players, but otherwise it runs great. I'm also running 4 monitors - 2 on each card.
    EVE Online Get Ships. Train Skills.

  7. #7


    Got mine running pretty good now (combination of frame capping + the performance boost that I suspect has to do with overhead managing extended desktops that I no longer have now that windows is treating my 6 monitors like one big monitor, more or less; though the decrease in GPU activity would indicate some decreased load on the GPU as a result of the same.) Except in gobs of players. eg, SW bank hehe.

    I actually read the your thread fef and implemented it. Its a fairly awesome thread, and I was aluding to that in the last line of my first post, but perhaps not too clearly. It was kinda a mixed bag, trade off between switching speed and the min settings. I'm still trying to find a happy medium between slave clip plane and switching speed; also I tend to look at some slaves windows, particularly my healers, to keep an eye on my casters during fights, since I lead from my tank. Capping the FPS of the minimized slaves a bit lower had a drastic impact on performance too; I wonder if it wasn't partly GPU issues. I was sort of abusing the 5870's expected use by runing 6 monitors in extended desktop mode. And I believe this might have lead to some additional CPU overhead as well?

    That thread looks really familiar...I'll have to reread it.

    I'm not doing anything WRT purchasing components in the immediate future, tho I might get a high end cooler and tinker with OC'ing it. Kinda a forward looking thing. I dunno, I think its somewhat up for debate....for sure Intel has the performance crown...and I concede the findings of that report, but its important to keep in mind that a comparison of a single wow instance on a 1090T and a single wow instance on a quad i7 is not really a fair comparison point for what we do. (5-10 instances of wow is a significantly different beast.) I honestly went with AMD because I felt that more physical cores were better than throughput for my application; and couldn't justify the expense of a 980.

    Currently I'm leaning towards thinking that going with a multi-processor mobo in the future might be a pretty good idea for this sort of thing, even if its a server-based board as long as it supports 3d card goodness. As a programmer, I'm sure I could take advantage of N cores, so having a ridiculous amount of physical processors just excites me, bleh.

    And yes, I'm running windows 7. Moved temp folders and the page file to another hard drive. Firefox is also installed on another drive.

  8. #8


    Please keep up posted about your progress. Running 10 is still a very tempting idea to me. Especially since I heard Santa is going to bring me a 5870 to replace my 4870. Faster, and double the RAM. Tempting indeed.

  9. #9


    I did a full write up on stuffs for 5 or 10 boxing at my website with best spots to buy.

    28 BoXXoR RoXXoR Website
    28 Box SOLO Nalak 4m26s! Ilevel 522! GM 970 Member Guild! Multiboxing Since Mid 2001!

  10. #10


    Torn between creating a new thread or just updating this one with progress. Hmm. Will reply to this one instead; since its the same subject.

    Holy cow RAF is rough. I now have 42 or so new level 60s though, and raf is over. Main 'team' is 84/83 and finishing up Deepholm. I found questing as a 10 man pack slower than a 5 man pack but quicker than doing 5 then 5. (if more stressful because of follow issues.) A lot of quests have mechanics that you can get credit on all 10 at once, the primary ones that do not are kill quests (for us, travel time to and from kill area is usually greater than the kill time, so this isn't a great burden. And face-melting is even faster with 10...) and well, collection quests. but they suck always anyway. With two paladins i can usually control who gets credit just by using avenging shield. And its an excuse to use all 10 at once. I've also been having fun beating up BC-era raids. Gonna start in on WOTLK raids once i get to 85. Not that 10 is reallly necessary for any of that; but its fun.

    Performance wise, SW sucks. but overall its not so bad, even with 10. PVP is kinda rough (At least AV was rather laggy, but playable)...but I think that might be addon issues. (I have an addition. A very bad thing for a 10-in-one boxer.) Honestly one mis-behaving addon can bring this setup to its knees. already had that issue once hehe. (well, when its misbehaving x 10 and your system is near-the-wall performance wise anyway). Definitely playable.

    One strange issue I had is that I bought one of those fancy nic cards (the thought was that even a 1 or 2% reduction in CPU usage is a good thing when your at 100% cpu usage all the time in populated areas hehe) but it lead to a random hard-freeze issue. I think I'll take my hat in hand and go ask the manufacturer if they have any clue. (Its a once every 3-4 days freeze, so really hard to debug. took me awhile to associate it with the NIC card since it takes so long to show up...) Not helped by the whole raf-second-job thing, LOL.

    Just a quick update. I'll take some screenshots of the insanity and up them later, maybe.

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