Intel XDK new build system (CW16 test results)

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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:49 am

Guys! Some good news.

Last days I was in contact with Paul F. (Intel) from Intel XDK's forum. I recieved the opportunity to test their new build system (CLI 5.4.1 + CW16) which will come out soon. I've made many tests and here are the results of what is comming from Intel.

testing device: Samsung Galaxy S4 (Quad-core 1.9 GHz, 2GB RAM)
It's not the newest and not the oldest smartphone. Good for testing.

testing app: Zombie Annihilation
It's my game which I plan to release soon. The game is really demanding (mean the resources) as for a mobile game. Most of the time there are hundreads of objects on the screen which are overlapping each other. There is a lot of collissions. So both CPU and GPU are taken to the limit and therefore It's pretty easy to see any performance change with this app.

Tests
Current IntelXDK build system setup is Cordova CLI 5.1.1 and Crosswalk 15.
I have tested the app with various new build system setups:
  • Cordova CLI 5.1.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter enabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.1.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter disabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.1.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist disabled and --show-fps-counter disabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter enabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter disabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 15 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist disabled and --show-fps-counter disabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 16 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter enabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 16 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist enabled and --show-fps-counter disabled
  • Cordova CLI 5.4.1 and Crosswalk 16 with --ignore-gpu-blacklist disabled and --show-fps-counter disabled

Actually --show-fps-counter option doesn't really matter at the end because it is used only for testing, but I wanted to highlight this because there was a huge surprise related to that.

Tests results
Option --ignore-gpu-blacklist was enabled by default in CLI 4.1.1. It is recommended to always enable it for each build with CLI 5.1.1, since CLI 5.1.1 is not setting it by default. Check HERE for more details.
During my tests I didn't notice any difference for the same setup with this option enabled or disabeled. But I saw somewere on the forum that people were recieving a big FPS boost after settign it on. It depends on the GPU you have on board. So after all it should be enabled, but did not impact tests on SGS4.

CLI 5.1.1, CW15
FPS: 10-20 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 40-55 with --show-fps-counter disabled


CLI 5.4.1, CW15
FPS: 10-20 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 43-58 with --show-fps-counter disabled


CLI 5.4.1, CW16
FPS: 45-57 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 51-62 with --show-fps-counter disabled (not really sure why FPS meter shows counter as over 60 sometimes, but it does)


The FPS values I presented have quite big range, but it's because my app have more and less complex (for CPU) moments during gameplay. If 300 enemies are just moving then it's a "light" moment for CPU, but once they start to overlap a lot and machinegun bullets and rockets join the action then there is also a lot of collisions to count and CPU is taken to the limit.
Sometimes FPS with all builds dropped even to around 30, but usually only for a second or less, so I didn't count that to the average.


Wrap up
New CLI (5.4.1) already give some performance boost, but new Crosswalk seems to be a kind of revolution. If I'm not mistaking this will be the first Crosswalk update which actually improves performance. Before, the performance was worse with each new CW release. Crosswalk 16 will clearly give a boost for Android development with C2 and Intel XDK. It looks like the CW16 performance is even better than Canvas+ (but obviously still adds about 20MB to the APK).

However Intel's new build system with CLI 5.4.1 and CW16 is not officially released yet. They're still working on it. As I've mentioned at the beginning it's gonna come out soon. I'm hoping for (maximum) mid March, this is the approx. time I can hold with my game release.

New build system will also have the minSdkVersion bug fixed.

I will keep on testing tomorrow on higher levels of the game (even more CPU demanding). Will keep you updated if I notice something worth to be added.
Last edited by BackendFreak on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:42 am

@BackendFreak - Thanks for sharing @BackendFreak . Now I don't have to move to Cocoon.IO anymore XD
The Things you can create is only limited by your imagination. If you don't have the skills then use your motivation as a natural force to exceed all expectations. Chadori RebornXD
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:17 am

any news about iOS performance?
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:59 am

BackendFreak wrote:but obviously still adds about 20MB to the APK


Only if they would fix that make apk smaller :(
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:50 am

llfstudios wrote:any news about iOS performance?

No sorry. I was testing only Crosswalk builds.
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:51 am

hothead wrote:
BackendFreak wrote:but obviously still adds about 20MB to the APK


Only if they would fix that make apk smaller :(


There's nothing to be fixed. The extra size is the size of the embeded Crosswalk.
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:52 am

Finally a good news!

I had talk to Paul about the crosswalk update and the possibility that fix the current problems. It is a relief to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks a lot @BackendFreak

PS: Did you mean "--ignore-gpu-blacklist" instead "--show-fps-counter" in the information below, right? (moreover, if you have disabled the counter, how to know the FPS :) )

BackendFreak wrote:CLI 5.1.1, CW15
FPS: 10-20 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 40-55 with --show-fps-counter disabled


CLI 5.4.1, CW15
FPS: 10-20 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 43-58 with --show-fps-counter disabled


CLI 5.4.1, CW16
FPS: 45-57 with --show-fps-counter enabled

FPS: 51-62 with --show-fps-counter disabled (not really sure why FPS meter shows counter as over 60 sometimes, but it does)



@chadorireborn: It was my first thought too. :D
Last edited by RBuster on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:11 am

BackendFreak wrote:
hothead wrote:
BackendFreak wrote:but obviously still adds about 20MB to the APK


Only if they would fix that make apk smaller :(


There's nothing to be fixed. The extra size is the size of the embeded Crosswalk.


I think I read somewhere that crosswalk is already included in newer versions of android (from 5.0), could be wrong though. This would mean that in the future it will not be needed inside the apk = smaller apk size.
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:34 am

Thanks for sharing @BackendFreak
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Post » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:21 pm

RBuster wrote:PS: Did you mean "--ignore-gpu-blacklist" instead "--show-fps-counter" in the information below, right? (moreover, if you have disabled the counter, how to know the FPS :) )


No. I meant --show-fps-counter. It does some pretty heavy measurements every tick so it gives additional load to the CPU and I wanted to highlight that CW16 manage to handle it (together with my app) about 3-4 times better than CW15.

As I wrote before --ignore-gpu-blacklist didn't have an impact on tests in my case so I did not write the distinct test results for this option, it would be simply redundant.

EDIT: I have my own FPS counter built in the app.
Last edited by BackendFreak on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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