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Loading causes heavy stuttering
#1
I google searched and searched and searched and found nothing on this subject.

Basically, whether I use my actual game discs in my DVD drive or I use the ISO's ripped to my hard drive, there is this lull in loading data when the game expects it to be buffering in the background, and it causes the disc to be accessed suddenly which in turn makes any game lag out and cause audio stretch until the data is loaded.

This is extremely annoying and I need to find a way to fix it. I have tried defragging and even putting the file on my SSD, nothing fixes it.

Anyone got any tips?
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#2
During the gameplay ? With disc, the game is going to have those "lagged out" moments but I believe ISO should eliminate most of those.

Care to give your specs and the games you are trying to play. Sharing your settings could also help.
Excl Note to self: learn to write shorter posts
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#3
Alright, forgot I didn't have my specs in my signature like I usually do on most forums. It's updated now. Also, my settings are completely default. I didn't change anything. Used the default plugins on the latest SVN and only configured my Xbox controller with the Pad plugin. Nothing else.

The lag is much less annoying in gameplay but it is still there. Like for instance when a new enemy I haven't met yet appears on screen, it lags while loading him in. Or if I use a new weapon, when I go to shoot it and it has to load the sound, it lags out for a brief moment. We're talking 1 second lag spikes where the visuals freeze and the audio timestretches pretty nastily. And I've had it running FMV cutscenes and my speakers cranked so I can hear when it stutters to load, and I stare at my cases HDD activity LED and every single time, the lag happens then just a splitsecond later the HDD activity LED gets lit up solid while it loads, then another second later the LED is gone and the cutscene is back to normal.

Clearly this is an issue of the emulator loading data at the last possible moment and not having it ready for the game when it is needed. I just am baffled at how my slim PS2 can load data off a freaking DVD in time yet my 7200rpm HDD or hell my 400MB/sec SSD with 0.1ms latency can't manage to read data in time to prevent stutters.

Is there anything I can do to eliminate these loading/streaming stutters? It occurs in every single game I have and it is driving me crazy. It ruins what is otherwise a perfect emulated experience. As for why I don't use my PS2, I'd rather have all my games backed up on my PC and be playable on here instead of relying on digging out my old system and worrying about it eventually dying. This is future proofing old games and that's awesome.


Anyways thanks for any help anyone can provide. I'm just perplexed that this isn't widely discussed and known as it's affected every version of PCSX2 that I've had going back years ago.
CPU: i7 3770k 4.6Ghz 1.24v CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 Push/Pull GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Mobo: ASRock z77 Extreme4 RAM: G-Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB PSU: BFG Tech EX-1200W Case: Coolermaster HAF X O/S: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
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#4
Well, I have the same problem, and I found out the root of it: the hard drive. Having this sort of thing on an SSD drive is really weird. But who knows, maybe it is the HDD's fault.

My first suggestion: start the game, launch the Task Manager - Performance tab - Performance monitor. Then go to the Disk tab and look for your ISO's path in the File section. Watch out for the Latency section. It should not exceed 1-15 ms.

The second one: place your game ISO on a flash stick and run it from there.

The third one would definitely show you whether this is the HDD that is causing the stuttering: download a program that can create virtual partitions in RAM (I suggest SoftPerfect RAM Disk, since it's free), create such a partition and copy your game's ISO to it Then see if you still exhibit stutters.

As far as I can say, this is not the emu's fault.
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#5
With your specs this shouldn't be a issue. Of course you seem to know that. What game are you playing. Iread twice but I may have skipped over it. I have been awake for like 2 days.
Although this rarely happens anymore these days. It kind of sounds like a hardware conflict or there is a lag somewhere in your system. It could just be Windows 8.1... Do you get lags in any other games and not just PCSX2? I know I will get flak for this. Try emulating another system like a gamecube game. If you own a game.
Also what version of the program are you using? There are builds that were not built properly.
MOBO - ASUS Maximus VII Hero
CPU - Intel i7 4790k 4.4GHZ
RAM - 16 Gigs DDR3 2133mhz
HDD - 3 500 Gig SSD 1 3 TB 7200 RPM
GPU - EVGA Nvidia GTX 1070 SC
OS- Windows 10.
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#6
This is a re-occurring issue over multiple builds going back at least 4 years, probably since the day I used PCSX2. It happens in virtually all games I own, both from the disc in my DVD drive and from the ISO on my hard drive. It happened on my Intel Q6600 system, it happened on my AMD Phenom II x6 system and it's happening now still on my i7 3770k system. I've also been through several generations of videocards from the 9800 GTX to my current GTX 780, and even an AMD card as well the HD 5870, and it never changed throughout all of these increments. I also used to experience this back on Windows Vista, Windows 7 Ultimate, and still now on Windows 8.1

It does not occur in other emulators like Dolphin or Project 64. None of my other games such as Battlefield 4, Minecraft, etc, exhibit this same stuttering. I am confident I know what the issue is, my problem is I have no idea how to alleviate it.

I am 99% sure I've tried the RAM disk method a long time ago, circa 2010, and it didn't actually fix my problem. I can try again I suppose, but I am not optimistic of it actually fixing it.

What I want to know is, why does the PS2 have the ability to preemptively stream in data that needs loading before it is needed, so that there is a smooth transition in accessing new data, yet my blazing fast system waits until the last possible moment to access the disk and gather the data for processing, causing a horrendous frame-rate drop and audio timestretch distortion. Very frustrating.
CPU: i7 3770k 4.6Ghz 1.24v CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 Push/Pull GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Mobo: ASRock z77 Extreme4 RAM: G-Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB PSU: BFG Tech EX-1200W Case: Coolermaster HAF X O/S: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
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#7
(10-17-2014, 12:08 AM)DaRkL3AD3R Wrote: What I want to know is, why does the PS2 have the ability to preemptively stream in data that needs loading before it is needed, so that there is a smooth transition in accessing new data, yet my blazing fast system waits until the last possible moment to access the disk
Well, most simple answer would be: because it is not implemented in pcsx2... But I actually don't know.

(10-17-2014, 12:08 AM)DaRkL3AD3R Wrote: causing a [...] audio timestretch distortion. Very frustrating.
Setting output mode to async mix instead of timestretch will reduce the audible effect. Often this is the more annoying part of the lag.

I am wondering why Blyss isn't involved yet. He had a similar issue with FFX which was later revealed by rama to be stuff that is loaded into the VU('s). So it is not actual file access but content preparation that is causing this lag. Maybe you just see the same effect.You can clarify this as already stated using a RAMDISK. The fast access time should either eliminate this problem or not. And then you get your answer.
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#8
Well as per your suggestion I changed audio timing to async mix and I can safely say this is cured about 99% of the stutter. It's nearly imperceptible now. It has also had the added effect of making the game sound better when frame-rate is below 60. I'm playing through my Metal Gear Solid series before 5 comes out, and on the PS2 games now. I am dipping below 60 quite often and with the timestretch it sounded awful. Constant slowmotion audio and the stutter on load, bad. Now with the async mix, it's like I'm playing it on my console again.
CPU: i7 3770k 4.6Ghz 1.24v CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 Push/Pull GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Mobo: ASRock z77 Extreme4 RAM: G-Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB PSU: BFG Tech EX-1200W Case: Coolermaster HAF X O/S: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
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#9
From your report that it's happened on multiple machines and games, I'm pretty sure you tend to configure a setting on your machines that causes this behaviour. That might be something like a manual driver option override or maybe you're using those Intel sata drivers that somehow trigger this on my machine as well, idk.
In most games this should not happen with default settings (SPU2-X latency) but the problem is there, of course.
Since PCSX2 is not really a PS2, it often has to stall when it needs to do things asap that the real console doesn't have to do.
No emulator has really fixed this. It is an inherent problem of emulation.
What we can do is try to mask it or try to avoid it by various measures, and we do most of these things already.
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