First results from the 4.7.0 survey

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First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:51 am

Since I'll be on vacation for the upcoming week I'll have to make this post a little early. Unfortunately this means that the numbers for Linux and macOS are not really usable yet. Please take those with a grain of salt!

Roughly 1300 users have reported by now, here's the first preliminary results, in parentheses the numbers from 4.2.0 with roughly 2000 users:

85% (79%) use Vulkan compatible hardware.
5.6% (11%) use hardware which can run OpenGL with all features enabled but cannot run Vulkan.
9.1% (10.6%) use legacy hardware which requires fallback solutions in the renderer and only has limited support for some features.

1% (1.3%) use a real 32 bit system.

75% (69%) use a system with 4 CPU cores and more - among the Vulkan compatible systems this is 82% (no change).

Currently Linux sits at 4%, macOS at 1.7%, but like I said, these are not representative yet.

Some of these numbers came as a surprise.
On the one hand the number of early generation Vulkan compatible cards has nearly completely disappeared and so has the number of late generation pre-Vulkan cards, but the amount of really old stuff had only marginally declined.

Interestingly, the situation with CPU cores has not changed much at the low end. At the high end we are starting to see that many systems now come with 8 or even 16 cores, but the low end is virtually unchanged. So essentially we have the same situation as with graphics hardware - a large, fast moving group that frequently updates their systems and a slowly declining group of holdouts with old systems.

Last, but not least, Windows 10 currently has a user share of 82%, up from 75%. But keep in mind that Linux and Mac numbers are still underrepresented. Once these are on the level that's to be expected this is likely to go back to roughly 75% again.

All this combined looks like there is a certain group of users which desperately holds on to their extremely outdated systems while everybody around them is updating their computers.
If this trend continues we may soon have a situation where the overwhelming majority of users has a system supporting modern render APIs but the remaining part of the user base cannot even use the OpenGL renderer with all features enabled. I am not sure yet how such a situation may play out - hopefully it gets mitigated by Windows 11 forcing a lot of users to upgrade and flood the second hand market with their Windows-11-incompatible systems, which then in return may drive out more of the truly ancient ones.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Enjay » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:22 pm

The very old machines not really declining isn't too much of a surprise IMO. At the time of the last survey, those machines were already very out-dated. So many of the users could well have been the "meh, it works, I don't see a need to change it" type. So, from their perspective, perhaps little has changed. Their already out of date machine is still out of date, but still works so they still don't see the need to change.

Maybe.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby drfrag » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:29 pm

For me it's not a surprise, i live in a poor country. May be they don't have the money to upgrade, the guys who had the money did. With the pandemic, lack of chips and increasing prices i don't think the situation will get any better in the short term.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:34 pm

Enjay wrote:The very old machines not really declining isn't too much of a surprise IMO. At the time of the last survey, those machines were already very out-dated. So many of the users could well have been the "meh, it works, I don't see a need to change it" type. So, from their perspective, perhaps little has changed. Their already out of date machine is still out of date, but still works so they still don't see the need to change.

Maybe.


Yeah, that's very likely. Until the time comes that supporting their clunkers with the same code as the latest and greatest stops working -and that will happen if the gap widens ever more.

And then it doesn't matter if it's still 5% or 10%, if support becomes prohibitive, either by blocking future advancements or dropped toolchain support, the game will be over. Maybe it's time for another LZDoom then... :twisted:

One thing's certain, though. 4.7.1 will be the last build supporting 32 bit. 1% is nowhere near close enough to warrant this added work. Strangely enough, there's also 2.5% of users running the 32 bit on a 64 bit system. Makes me wonder what they expect from that...

@drfrag: While I fully understand the money situation, the irony here often is that trying to keep such truly, truly old computers alive will add more secondary costs than purchasing a modest upgrade would, be it either for loss of productivity, higher energy consumtion or the stress being induced by a poorly performing computer.

Like I said, my hope is that the release of Windows 11 will increase the supply of cheap, retired systems with better specs that'll allow people with limited finances to upgrade their specs without having to invest amounts of money they cannot afford.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Marisa Kirisame » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:39 pm

Not surprised by the uncertainty of the Linux numbers. AUR package is still not updated. :3:
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby fakemai » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:54 pm

Regarding 32-bit on 64-bit systems, that's likely just ignorance. In one of the earlier surveys I linked that article from the Dolphin emulator blog about when they discontinued 32-bit. They had a multitude of reasons, but a big one was that even though running a 32-bit version is a serious handicap, nearly double the true 32-bit users were downloading that version.

Enjay wrote:The very old machines not really declining isn't too much of a surprise IMO. At the time of the last survey, those machines were already very out-dated. So many of the users could well have been the "meh, it works, I don't see a need to change it" type. So, from their perspective, perhaps little has changed. Their already out of date machine is still out of date, but still works so they still don't see the need to change.

Maybe.

I won't get into why I run such an old system, but I can explain this somewhat. GZDoom's actual requirements vary a lot and are largely about what add-ons you run on it and configuration than intrinsic requirements for a more powerful system, and if anything those have varied. Support for my ancient system came back with this version where for a while I was dependent on LZDoom or older versions, and the JIT core was a major performance improvement for mods that were previously unplayable when that came out.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:21 pm

Ok so far, but the end result here will be that as time goes by your system will get ever further removed from the development baseline, so sooner or later something may stop working without any of us being able to do something about it. Remember: XP was dropped when Visual Studio stopped supporting it. The same may happen again in some fashion, especially now that Windows 11 requires modern DX12/Vulkan hardware to even start.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Rachael » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:22 pm

AFAIK, the survey code in 32-bit GZDoom versions is able to detect both if the processor even supports 64-bit (but the OS itself is 32-bit), and whether or not the operating system is actually running as 64-bit (running GZDoom transparently via SYSWOW64). So if you do the survey on a 64-bit machine with a 32-bit version of GZDoom, it will have a different value than if you use the correct binary on a pure 32-bit or 64-bit system.

The benchmark suite I released a couple weeks ago detects this also - it will detect if SYSWOW64 set an environment variable to reveal the true system architecture (yes, it's possible to run it using 32-bit cmd.exe but that's mainly for testing, some people also use 32-bit explorer.exe for their shell for compatibility with older shell hooks and that will also cause it to run the 32-bit version), and it also will print your processor's characteristics into the system profile printout.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:44 pm

Indeed. And surely, just like with previous surveys the number of 64 bit systems running the 32 bit EXE is 2.5x higher than true 32 bit systems.

There's also one interesting thing I only noticed after compiling the numbers from the first post:

Roughly 1/3 of those 'ancient' systems is Radeons capable of GL 4.5 but with somewhat outdated drivers. After reassigning those to the proper categories the numbers even themselves out a bit to 7/7.5%.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Redneckerz » Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:45 am

I am in the 11% bracket. Can run the full OpenGL spec, just not Vulkan (My Intel HD4600 is just a hair too old for that). Then again its a huge upgrade on what i had (Which couldn't run GZ at all, but it would have run now using the GLES renderer)

Even so, GZ runs pretty swell with a mix of settings.

drfrag wrote:For me it's not a surprise, i live in a poor country. May be they don't have the money to upgrade, the guys who had the money did. With the pandemic, lack of chips and increasing prices i don't think the situation will get any better in the short term.

I just had the luck of working at a place where they ditch these perfectly still adequate systems, so i just asked and i was allowed to take it in and upgraded it with some new components and maxed out the RAM. (16 GB).

But i get where you are coming from. Components can be near unobtainium in some countries.

Graf Zahl wrote:One thing's certain, though. 4.7.1 will be the last build supporting 32 bit. 1% is nowhere near close enough to warrant this added work. Strangely enough, there's also 2.5% of users running the 32 bit on a 64 bit system. Makes me wonder what they expect from that...

Ignorance, or have some ignorant sidekick do the upgrade for them. There is a user on DW who has this exact problem and he detests it.

Luckily, if its Windows 10, you can actually mid-upgrade to 64 bit and it does not even have to cost anything, as long as you use a pendrive.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Rachael » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:05 am

What... what? Windows 10 can finally do cross-architecture upgrades? If that's true - it's about time. Only took them 35 years.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Apeirogon » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:44 am

Graf Zahl wrote:Remember: XP was dropped when Visual Studio stopped supporting it

You mean "modern Visual Studio has stop compiling XP compatible programs"?
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby drfrag » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:45 am

It was supported until 2017 which i still use but anyway the toolset was not optimal and some mods stopped working. That's why i dropped it even in LZDoom, 3.87c was the last version running on it (with the appropiate openal32.dll, i even released a patch).
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:15 pm

XP support had been a crutch since VS2015, requiring use of an older toolset (outdated CRT, mainly) and VS 2019 fully dropped it. You can still use the VS2017 XP toolset, but that's an outdated compiler not supporting the latest C++ features.
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Re: First results from the 4.7.0 survey

Postby Apeirogon » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:49 am

To clarify, CRT in this context is a "C RunTime", not "Cathode Ray Tube". Visual Studio still support it, I hope/think.
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