Performance issue making app unusable [see follow up thread with solution]

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Post  dav65 on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 5:37 pm

Expresii worked once for me. First I tired the store version (performance made it unusable), then tried the desktop version from the  website. This worked the first time I opened it but now I opened it again an the performance is as bad as the store version.
Im using a surface book 2 15 highest spec available
Whenever expresii is running and the pen is brought near it the gpu (nvidia gtx 1060) jumps to 100% usage.

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Post  Admin on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 6:13 pm

Thanks for letting me know.  But to be fare, it could be Windows' or graphics driver's issue if you find it extremely slow. One other user reported on his Surface Book 2, checking the "run this program in win8 compatible" box in properties for Expresii makes it fast again. Then with a Windows Update he did in mid Dec 2018, Expresii became slow again. It's possible that Microsoft did sth that is out of my control that makes Expresii run slow. Since you're also on Surface, I wonder if the issue is on their own hardware only. We have a local animation studio running Expresii everyday and they are on normal desktop PC's and they don't have such an issue. I did borrow a Surface Book 2 in mid 2018 when I made demo videos and it was running well back then. I notice there's a new review at the MS Store saying the same thing as you do in this thread. If that's you I hope if later you find out it's not my issue, please update your rating for Expresii, as a low rating due to other's issue is unfair for me.
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Post  dav65 on Wed 30 Jan 2019, 12:12 am

I should add that its not just ordinary slow (fps wise). it hangs only when im doing a stroke. when I dont move the pen then everything is fine (pressure, tilt) but as soon as I start to move it it hangs and doesn't register any input. sometimes it does but only every few seconds or so and then it connects the points it registered with a brush stroke. I discovered that the performance gets noticeably better when I disable high dpi. So its not a problem with the OS rather than the app. Also I wont update the review if the app is just unusable with standard settings. that's not unfair for you, it just reflects the flexibility (or lack there of) of the app. if it cant work on a wide variety of machines then its just not suited for windows.

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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 1:21 pm

What you described seems to be the situation of using an integrated GPU - it's slow already and if you further need it to render with high-DPI, it would crawl miserably, likely due to the system needing to swap memory if the allocated video RAM is not enough. Could you please confirm if you have chosen nvidia GPU for use with Expresii in Nvidia Optimus? You can verify the Expresii gets the nvidia GPU by going into the System Info of Expresii (http://www.expresii.com/support.html).

Given what you described, I won't jump to the conclusion saying it's the app's problem. It's the OS / driver that does the resources allocation. When bad performance happens, there are many parts that could contribute to it. Expresii does have scaling-back when we found we're on weaker hardware (e.g. use lower rendering refresh rate, or use less Undo buffer if we can detect the available video RAM). I just tested my 5-year-old GTX 750 Ti card with 2GB RAM, and it can still handle 4k screen with high DPI support (a bit slow but not unusably slow) with default settings. I expect a 1050, a few generations down the road, to handle 4k high DPI fine, although the 1050 on a Surface Book 2 is could be a bit slower mobile version. And even better if with 1060. FYI, Expresii just asks the system for memory buffer enough for its working set, not pre-allocating memory more than what it needs.

As far as I know, MS has been working on Game video recording (as part of their Game Mode endeavor) as new feature in the Windows Creators Update. This is traditionally what you would do with Nvidia or AMD's own driver/tool. If MS inadequately reserve too much video RAM for their video recording for example, it's possible to affect GPU-critical applications. Of course, I'm not saying that *IS* the culprit. It takes thorough testing to really tell. FYI, the Game Mode that MS added in their Windows Update never worked for Expresii. They are supposed to be able to detect if an app is likely a game but it just never worked for Expresii.

For the record, did MS mess things up with their Windows Updates before? Definitely. I'm trying to get hold of an Surface Book 2, but in the mean time, I can't do any further investigation just yet.

And like you said, Expresii worked fine once for you. If you ask me, it seems more likely it's the system resources allocation that is messed up. In Expresii, I can't think of anything I did that could slow down the app so much when running it after the first time. Some other applications e.g. may build a database of e.g. the image collection of your entire harddrive, and if not handled well, the more times you run the app, the slower it could get.
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 8:14 pm

Please go to this thread for further discussion: http://expresii.forumotion.net/t252-surface-book-2-solutions
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