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FFX Used to Work...
#1
Hello all,

I recently installed this emulator on my laptop and last night it ran fairly well. I had consistent frame rates that didn't drop below 30 (with a limit of 50) while playing FFX. I had it running at 80-100% most of the time. This morning when I went to play it and booted the game up, I can't seem to get any speeds above 20% (about 13 FPS). I didn't change any settings between last night and this morning, so does anyone know why it would suddenly stop working?

I have tried the following:
- Reinstalling PCSX2 0.9.6 (even tried the beta version at one point)
- Using different plugin settings
- Using speed hacks
- Restarting my computer.
- Shutting down everything in the background.

I noticed my CPU would run at approximately 40% last night, and now it has gone up to 60% with the decreased frame rate today. There is nothing else significant running in the background that was not running last night (though even then I could still browse the internet while it was running with no problems).

If anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Blayze

Relevant PC (laptop) specs:
- 1.86 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor (I know it's slow for this but it did run fine at one time, so I am not sure if this is an issue!)
- NVidia GeForce 8600M GT w/ DirectX10
- 2.0 Gb Memory
- Windows Vista Home Premium
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#2
Plugin power cord back, please ;-). Usually CPU drop in notebooks have 2 causes: battery on or CPU overheat. BTW, when you spoke about 40% CPU, did you mention GSDX values, or system load values?
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#3
Make sure your battery is on high performance and not on power saver/balanced.
Laptop Rig:

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3 gb DDR2-800 RAM
256mb ATI HD 3430
Windows Vista Buisness 32-Bit

Desktop Rig:

P4 HT @ 3.0Ghz
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256mb ATI X1300
Windows XP Pro 32-Bit
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#4
The percent values I gave were the GSDX values at the top of the emulator screen.

My power cord is always plugged in and the computer is always on highest performance. Like I mentioned in the post, nothing was changed, and the computer was just turned on (and things were not updating in the background) so it was not overheated. If it was a heat issue I think it would have presented itself the first time I played, after the computer had been on all day, and after an hour or so of constant playing.

I also tried multiple times throughout the morning to run the emulator with the same result. Both before and after reinstalling it.
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#5
When's the last time you performed come cleanup operations on your laptop? Clearing out temp files, defragging hard drive, etc
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#6
This definitely sounds like a typical laptop SpeedStep issue. Your leptop's CPU decided to throttle itself to 1/2th it's default mhz. All laptops will do this, and they don't always do it with any pre-defined pattern (ie, they sometimes behave erratically).

Some laptops (like IBM Thinkpads) allow you to turn off SpeedStep in the bios -- but be warned it can and will shorten the life of your machine. Many others don't even allow you to turn it off. Solution: Laptops still don't make great gaming machines. Get a desktop if you want high performance gaming or PS2 emulation.
Jake Stine (Air) - Programmer - PCSX2 Dev Team
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#7
(05-04-2009, 09:55 PM)Air Wrote: This definitely sounds like a typical laptop SpeedStep issue.

where can that actually be found. I haven't been able to find anything similar in my acer laptop (monocore, I don't use it for pcsx2)
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#8
Quote:When's the last time you performed come cleanup operations on your laptop? Clearing out temp files, defragging hard drive, etc

Just a few days ago. I keep this thing pretty well maintained.

Quote:This definitely sounds like a typical laptop SpeedStep issue. Your leptop's CPU decided to throttle itself to 1/2th it's default mhz. All laptops will do this, and they don't always do it with any pre-defined pattern (ie, they sometimes behave erratically).

I am not sure what really caused it, but I just tried it again (the laptop has been on all day) and it is running fine again. From my understanding of SpeedStep it's only supposed to kick on when it is running on batteries, but I will just keep this in mind for the future. It could have been a SpeedStep problem, or something completely different.

Thanks you guys for your help, hopefully this helps someone else in the future.
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#9
did you have it on a bed or material surface? remember you need to keep laptops on a hard surface so air can vent underneath, else it will overheat
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#10
(05-04-2009, 10:28 PM)Blayze Wrote:
Quote:This definitely sounds like a typical laptop SpeedStep issue. Your leptop's CPU decided to throttle itself to 1/2th it's default mhz. All laptops will do this, and they don't always do it with any pre-defined pattern (ie, they sometimes behave erratically).

I am not sure what really caused it, but I just tried it again (the laptop has been on all day) and it is running fine again. From my understanding of SpeedStep it's only supposed to kick on when it is running on batteries, but I will just keep this in mind for the future. It could have been a SpeedStep problem, or something completely different.

I'll give you a 97% certainty factor that it's SpeedStep, or some equivalent power/heat saving mechanism in your laptop. Like I said, they're notoriously inconsistent. Or well, they tend to be consistently over-aggressive and are known to throttle your cpu down for no especially good reason for long periods. We've had people complain of symptoms identical to yours dozens of times over the past 6 months -- many of them on desktop machines which should have no heat or power issues -- and in every case SpeedStep and/or other heat/power management schemes were the problem.

Note: SpeedStep in specific seems to be especially bad at gauging CPU loads on dual and quad core CPUs. Most of our complaints have been duals and quads. If I turn SpeedStep on for my C2Q for example, Pcsx2 always just runs slow, since SpeedStep decides that 50% cpu load isn't enough to merit upping the mhz. Speedstep on my P4 laptop however almost never interferes with Pcsx2 performance.
Jake Stine (Air) - Programmer - PCSX2 Dev Team
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