## Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.
uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

For instance, if you have an Assembler 3 and you want to have 3 "Productivity Module 3"s in it, adding an "Efficiency 3" module to the 4th slot makes the machine less efficient than adding a "Speed 3" module instead! This is rather counter-intuitive.

Or, if you have a single Assembler 3 filled with Prod3s, and then you're surrounding it by Beacons, it's always more efficient to put Speed3s in the Beacons. It's actually more efficient to remove Beacons than to put Efficiency 3 modules in them. This perhaps makes more sense because of large power usage of the Beacons.

Here's the math:

For the single Assembler 3 with no Beacons. With 3x Productivity3s and 1x Efficiency3, the crafting speed is 0.6875, productivity is +30%, and power consumption is 0.609 MW. So (assuming a recipe takes 1s to complete) you're getting 0.6875 * 130% / 0.609 = 1.47 items per second per megawatt. With 3x Productivity3s and 1x Speed3, the crafting speed is 1.3125, productivity is +30% and power consumption is 0.860 MW, so you're getting 1.3125 * 130% / 0.860 = 1.98 items per second per megawatt. That's 35% more efficient!

For the case of a single Assembler 3 filled with Prod3s and unlimited beacons around it, it's a little more complicated. You end up with the efficiency function of 1.75 * (0.5 * s + 0.4) / (0.48 * (s + e) + 0.21 * max(0.2, 0.7 * s - 0.5 * e + 4.2) ), where "s" is the number of beacons you decided to fill with 2x speed3 modules, and "e" is the number of beacons you filled with efficiency3 modules. I can't be bothered to do proper analysis on this, but it turns out that generally it's best not to add any efficiency modules ever (in this scenario of course).

Frightning
Filter Inserter
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:27 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Hence why Eff3s are nigh useless. (Eff1 and even Eff2 have limited uses before end game). The only use I know of that seems worthwhile for Eff3s is in Assem3s with 1xSpd3+3xEff3 for maximum energy efficiency (13.(3)% of base energy cost per item made, better than 20% min consumption, thanks to the speed up from the Spd3 module). Of course, by the time you're building enough stuff to make tier 3 modules expense seem practical, you're probably not gonna care about energy consumption much and value productivity FAR more (hence the alternating rows beaconized setups being the usual choice).

Sometimes I wonder if the solution to the module situation is just to remove Production modules (or Beacons....or perhaps both).

hale42
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:26 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Doesn't it depend on the building that you are covering with the beacon?
assembler 3's are pretty cheap power wise but I think you can get a decent benefit if you cover electric smelters.
awhile ago i was thinking about making the eff. mods effect the beacon they are in (not other beacons however)

Frightning
Filter Inserter
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:27 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

hale42 wrote:Doesn't it depend on the building that you are covering with the beacon?
assembler 3's are pretty cheap power wise but I think you can get a decent benefit if you cover electric smelters.
awhile ago i was thinking about making the eff. mods effect the beacon they are in (not other beacons however)
beacons are never worth using Eff modules in, in part because the beacons themselves consume lots of energy, but also because the main benefit of using beacons is so you can exploit the interaction between productivity modules (in the assembly machine 3) and speed modules (in the beacons) to negate the main downside of the prod modules: their speed reduction.

Assem3s actually consume more power than electric furnaces (210kW v 180kW). Best building to use Eff modules in, in terms of power savings/module is the Oil refinery (420kW, also 3 slots, so Eff1 is ideal here, as 3xEff1=-90%, which works out to -80% in practice because of minimum 20% of base energy use; the first two eff1s save u 126kW each, with the 3rd saving only 84kW).

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

It doesn't have so much to do with how much power a thing uses as it does with how many module slots it has.

Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.

With Oil Refineries, if you have 2x Prod3 modules in it already, it's still more efficient to add a Speed3 than an Eff3! Exactly same story with Electric Mining Drills.

This makes some statements on the wiki not always 100% correct - https://wiki.factorio.com/Module#Usage_tips. "Efficiency modules also completely lack downsides, so filling all unnecessary module slots with Efficiency modules if possible is recommended. " - their biggest downside is they take up a module slot which could be taken by a speed module instead - and they cost the same as the speed module. Therefore it is NOT recommended to add a 3rd or 4th Efficiency module to a slot when you have Productivity modules in there already - it's way better to add a Speed module instead. "Electric mining drills create 9 units of pollution with no efficiency modules and 1.8 with 3 basic ones" - that is true, but it's also worth noting that an Electric Mining Drill with 2x Prod3 creates 1.05 * 120% * 0.35 / 28.08 = 0.016 iron/copper/coal ore per second per unit of pollution (with no Mining Productivity researched), and adding an Eff3 boosts it only to 0.019 rather than the 0.021 that a Speed3 could achieve.

It's also not super-intuitive, so as a balancing improvement I'd suggest making Eff3s more... efficient ;-) Not sure how exactly, but the formulas would probably need some tweaking. I'm afraid the simplest way would be to remove this integration between Prods and Speeds - Prod should probably MULTIPLY the slowdown in speed rather than SUBTRACT it from the bonus which can then be re-added by Speeds.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Actually the "3rd or 4th Efficiency module" part of my post is not quite true either - it is OK when you have a building with 3 slots and have 2 Prod3s in it, but if you have a 4-slot building such as Assem3 with only 2 Prod3s, and want to increase efficiency, then adding 2 Eff3s look better than 2 Speed3s. It's all quite fragile, you have to be careful what you say ;-)
Last edited by uukgoblin on Tue May 01, 2018 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1639
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.
Nothing above an Eff1 module makes sense. The main value for using efficiency modules is to reduce energy demand, pollution and biter evolution. Eff1's are great because the energy is given when it matters most. Comparing the Eff1's energy reduction and total cost makes it highly competitive when compared to its other pollution reducing partner- the solar panel. There is a very good synergy between Eff1's and Solar panels as they both play separate but major rules in building a lean eco friendly base.

Eff2's are basically useless. Eff2's are overwhelmingly more expensive than solar power and in a direct eco comparison you should always build more solar or Eff1 instead of ever upgrading to Eff2. Technically they can squeeze an extra ounce of pollution reduction from pump jacks but you'll probably produce more pollution to build the modules than the extra 10% they save. Eff3's are absolute garbage. Any tangible benefit or saved resource an Eff3 can achieve is utterly and completely outclassed by the resource increase from productivity modules.

The value of eff modules is based on how much energy flows through it and nothing in the game world uses enough energy to really justify a heavy investment. Only the rocket silo demands a few MW of power, but once again the resources saved with eff modules can not compete with the bonus resources given by prod modules.

Unfortunately there is no way to use eff/speed/prod modules in other aspects of the game world. No weapons or turrets or vehicles can be modified by modules. But even if they could I think you'd see a situation where players lean overwhelmingly towards one type of module instead of really picking and choosing for the situation. The armor module system is much better in giving a decent variety of reasons to choose one configuration over another.

TLDR: Try out efficiency modules in the early to mid game. You might be pleasantly surprised, especially if you play long causal games and have issues with biters. Otherwise every pro drifts into using speed/prod for a very good reason.
This makes some statements on the wiki not always 100% correct -
Don't like it? Fix it! Well. Unless an editor unfixes it. That's always a thing.

Koub
Global Moderator
Posts: 5489
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

There are quite a few topics with tests and math on modules :

viewtopic.php?f=134&t=5705
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41475
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53485
viewtopic.php?f=208&t=7052

Actually, if you search, there are tens of topics about modules, their math, etc... I just picked some significative topics amongst them.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

bobucles wrote:
Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.
Nothing above an Eff1 module makes sense.
I meant specifically that adding an Eff module to a Furnace will (probably) always make it more efficient than adding a Speed module.

I haven't played as much, but I'm not sure I agree with your statement... If you have plenty of resources (so don't care about productivity), I believe Eff2s at least can make sense, for instance in furnaces... two of those boost it up from 2.2 "speed units" per pollution up to 11.1, which is quite a lot I think. Eff3s... yeah they're probably not as good as they hit the -80% limit quite quickly. Not sure, maybe together with Speed modules they could help save space while still allowing some eco-friendliness? Probably not so much. How about an Assem3 with 3x Eff3s and 1x Speed3? That's 1.875 / 0.36 = 5.2 "speed units" per unit of pollution, which looks pretty good at first glance.

As for resource costs of the modules, well, I always think of it as an investment - the longer you use the module, the less relevant it becomes. This thinking can go wrong on short games indeed. I haven't done the math ;-)
bobucles wrote:
This makes some statements on the wiki not always 100% correct -
Don't like it? Fix it! Well. Unless an editor unfixes it. That's always a thing.
I.. OK, I'll think about it! Not sure exactly how to do it though. Also wanted to make sure I've not made a mistake somewhere.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Koub wrote:There are quite a few topics with tests and math on modules :

viewtopic.php?f=134&t=5705
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41475
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53485
viewtopic.php?f=208&t=7052

Actually, if you search, there are tens of topics about modules, their math, etc... I just picked some significative topics amongst them.
Thanks for searching! None of these actually seems to touch the subject of Efficiency modules much though, right? Sure, people don't use them a lot, but I always assumed that was because they didn't care about eco-friendliness. Especially given that the wiki speaks so highly of them. I actually made a Green Circuit factory design totally wrong assuming efficiency works differently than it does. (And I didn't even use any Effs in the design: my thinking was that, because the energy increase is always higher than speed increase in Speed modules, if you don't care about space it's always more efficient to have more buildings with fewer modules. Turns out it's not the case, Speed modules together with Productivity increase the efficiency extremely well).

I believe this pitfall of Speeds being more efficient than Effs in some cases needs a big red warning somewhere, and totally deserves its own thread.

Koub
Global Moderator
Posts: 5489
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

uukgoblin wrote:
Koub wrote:There are quite a few topics with tests and math on modules :

viewtopic.php?f=134&t=5705
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41475
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53485
viewtopic.php?f=208&t=7052

Actually, if you search, there are tens of topics about modules, their math, etc... I just picked some significative topics amongst them.
Thanks for searching! None of these actually seems to touch the subject of Efficiency modules much though, right?
Right (yeah, just for the 1st word )
Here you are with a topic about furnaces (electric vs steel), and the benefits of Eff modules, wrapped in a poll : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=51805. Most of what I see discussed nowadays on modules has some sort of familiar flavour to me. Not that I really mind, I just want the past contributions to the debate keep being useful ^^.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Koub wrote: Here you are with a topic about furnaces (electric vs steel), and the benefits of Eff modules, wrapped in a poll : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=51805.
Oh wow, yeah, that's a great example of Efficiencies being sometimes useful. Electric furnaces don't actually work with my examples because they only have 2 slots available for modules, so you can't put as many Productivities... So yeah, they're a potentially good target.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Actually, another place where using eff3 modules can make sense is for assemblers 3 which are producing recipes which cannot use productivity modules. It appears you get the highest efficiency when using 3x eff3 + 1x speed3 and no beacons. But there may exist an even better setup, I haven't actually checked all the possibilities yet.

Frightning
Filter Inserter
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:27 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

uukgoblin wrote:Actually, another place where using eff3 modules can make sense is for assemblers 3 which are producing recipes which cannot use productivity modules. It appears you get the highest efficiency when using 3x eff3 + 1x speed3 and no beacons. But there may exist an even better setup, I haven't actually checked all the possibilities yet.
You're correct though. I can already tell you that the 3xEff3+1xSpd3 is the most energy efficient setup in the game (for 4-slot buildings; namely assem3 and rocket silo), producing items (at 1.5x base speed) for 13.(3)% of their normal energy cost from the given building. All other setups have higher energy cost per item produced (Beacons are always a big energy cost, their main value is in leveraging spd+prod interaction for maximum value). This is also the only reasonable use cause for Eff3 because 2xEff2 is already the maximum -80% energy cost, and is vastly cheaper than 2xEff3. For a 3 module building, trying to exploit an 2xEff3+1xSpd setup never beats the 20% cost/item mark of 3xEff1 (which despite wasting -10% energy cost reduction, is still cheaper than 2xEff2), the 2xEff3+1xSpdx type setups:
Spd1 gives 43.75% energy cost/item at 1.2 speed
Spd2 gives 46.(153846)% energy cost/item at 1.3 speed
Spd3 gives 46.(6)% energy cost/item at 1.5 speed
...are too energy intensive to be competitive with 3xEff1 (and much more expensive to boot).

dood
Filter Inserter
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:36 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Well, duh.
That's because the percentages get added, not multiplied.

As soon as you start using beacons, you have officially foregone energy efficiency anyway and it's all about effectivity at that point so this doesn't matter.

Aeternus
Filter Inserter
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:10 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

uukgoblin wrote:It doesn't have so much to do with how much power a thing uses as it does with how many module slots it has.

Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.
Plain boosted by modules, 2x Eff2 = 80% reduction, which is the cap. Eff3 as far as I can tell -never- makes sense, unless you do something like 2x eff3, 1x speed3 in electrical mines. But by the time you're dropping tier 3 mods in mines, you're usually not short on electrical power, so... why bother?

It's a shame that the power requirement changes from the modules/beacons are additive rather then multiply. Think about it - that'd give the Prod/Speed crew pause.
Example: Assembler 3 with 4 Production modules (+320% energy consumption, so energy*4.2) affected by 2 speed beacons (+140% energy consumption, so energy *2.4). Currently that adds to energy *5.6. If we multiplied the factors instead we'd get: 4.2*2.4=10.08. Multiplying that with an efficiency beacon would halve that, which -would- be useful.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

dood wrote: As soon as you start using beacons, you have officially foregone energy efficiency anyway and it's all about effectivity at that point so this doesn't matter.
Nope! If you use prod3 modules in buildings, then adding beacons does improve energy efficiency. EDIT: sometimes.
Last edited by uukgoblin on Thu May 03, 2018 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uukgoblin
Inserter
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:43 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Aeternus wrote:
uukgoblin wrote:Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.
Eff3 as far as I can tell -never- makes sense
Ahh yes, of course, it's much better to put Eff2 in furnaces than Eff3. What I meant there by "always makes sense" was that there's not enough slots for the weirdness of this thread to occur, i.e. if you have a Prod module in a furnace, then adding an Efficiency module will actually improve efficiency by more than a Speed module would. So I was thinking of a case with one Prod3 and one Eff3.
Aeternus wrote: But by the time you're dropping tier 3 mods in mines, you're usually not short on electrical power, so... why bother?
Well, I want to produce as efficient a design as possible. I don't care about space, because it's infinite, I don't care about initial cost, as it'll disappear over time. I care about productivity a lot, and so the only last thing to care about after you put all the Prod modules in is power/pollution efficiency. That's why I bother calculating the best beacon layout now :-)
Aeternus wrote: It's a shame that the power requirement changes from the modules/beacons are additive rather then multiply.
Yeah, the way it's done it accounts for all sorts of weirdness. But also gives me plenty of things to optimize so it is kinda fun ;-D

Frightning
Filter Inserter
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:27 pm
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

uukgoblin wrote:
Aeternus wrote:
uukgoblin wrote:Furnaces seem immune from this issue as they only have 2 slots, so Eff3s will actually (probably) always make sense in them.
Eff3 as far as I can tell -never- makes sense
Ahh yes, of course, it's much better to put Eff2 in furnaces than Eff3. What I meant there by "always makes sense" was that there's not enough slots for the weirdness of this thread to occur, i.e. if you have a Prod module in a furnace, then adding an Efficiency module will actually improve efficiency by more than a Speed module would. So I was thinking of a case with one Prod3 and one Eff3.
~snip~
Indeed:
1xProd3+1xEff3: (1+0.8-0.5)/(1.1*(1-0.15))=1.(390374331510821) times base energy per item
1xProd3+1xSpd3:=(1+0.8+0.7)/(1.1*(1-0.15+0.5))=1.(683501) times base energy per item
However, Prod modules are honestly not really worth without beacons unless the material being used by the machine is actually scarce and hence stretching the available supply of that material is valuable (only relevant to maps set to starvation settings for one or more raw resources).

Aeternus
Filter Inserter
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:10 am
Contact:

### Re: Speed modules are sometimes more efficient than Efficiencies

Frightning wrote:However, Prod modules are honestly not really worth without beacons unless the material being used by the machine is actually scarce and hence stretching the available supply of that material is valuable (only relevant to maps set to starvation settings for one or more raw resources).
Or if you wish to reduce the strain on your logistics by having to supply less materials on the input side to get the same output. This is why I prefer prodmods in smelters -> 16.6% less ore needed -> Fewer ore trains -> Less congestion on the rail grid.

### Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users