Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Memory Leak

Yesterday was full of slips of memory.

Firstly, Fleur forgot to tell me until I dropped her off at school that she was staying late for a Parent/Teacher evening.

I forgot that Time Commanders was on and forgot to tell her that the time she wanted me to pick her up at clashed with it.

Fleur forgot that she *never* finishes on time at these Parents evenings, and that her estimated finishing time of 6.45pm was about 45 minutes too optimistic (and coincidentally, the precise length of Time Commanders).

I forgot that I'd forgotten that I'd missed Time Commanders, so when Fleur told me she was sorry I had, I was really rather annoyed. So annoyed, in fact that I had to spend the rest of the evening playing Knights Of The Old Republic up until midnight.

The only downside of that was that the slowdown I described yesterday is getting almost intolerable, particularly in the area transitions, where things slow down to a crawl, you try to move and suddenly you're halfway across the map. A quick bit of research this morning and I find the problem is being caused by - wait for it - MEMORY LEAKS!

Unsurprisingly, there's a patch already (duly downloaded and will be installed tonight) which apparently fixes the worst of them, and I've also found a hint that will help prevent these slowdowns. Using a memory manager (one of which I have handy from an old PCF coverdisk) to free up memory once it gets below a certain level will sort out these problems. I was a bit disgusted, because despite my machine being over 2 years old, it's hardly geriatric, and still surpasses the recommended requirements for the game in every respect.

However, if there are memory leaks in the game, it doesn't matter how much memory you have, or how fast a processor you have, as the leak just eats up all your system resources - which explains the performance problems. I have to admit I expected better from Bioware - normally they're pretty good when it comes to performance optimisation, but hey, this is why we have patches, I suppose.

Expect a report back tomorrow on the success (or not) of the patch and memory manager workaround.

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