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Shadow of the Colossus, some questions...
#1
I just recently got my hands on the original PS2 version and am running the game almost flawlessly on my PC (I7 2600 @ 3.4 Ghz, GTX 560 Ti), full emulation speed nearly all the time regardless of the location or colossus (only those "videos" and load transistions tend to drop for a second) with 3x resolution.

EE speedhack is set to 1, VU cycle steal to 1 (gave me a massive speed boost) and MTVU on (which is not recomended with SotC but still turning it off drops my performance considerably. Explain that ?)


First, I readed some old threads saying that they wanted to avoid using VU cycle steal (is that the proper name ? Im using the finnish version of PCSX2) because it drops the real performance down and makes things like animation look much more choppy but Im not seeing this side effect. Will setting it to 2 make things worse or better performance wise ?

Secondly, I have heard that SotC can run true 60 FPS but several old forum posts that I have come across seem to disagree. What is the truth ? Apparently SotC has some sort of adaptive frame limit which can allow for variety of different FPS "caps' but I dont understand how that works if we are running the game on a virtual PS2 with the emulator which should (in theory) mimic PS2's HW.

3rd question: does changing to progressive scan mode change anything resolution wise if Im already running 3x resolution ?



TL;DR My machine can run SotC pretty damn well, can I somehow get the game running @ 60 FPS ?
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#2
(01-23-2014, 12:05 AM)Thewonderboy Wrote: I just recently got my hands on the original PS2 version and am running the game almost flawlessly on my PC (I7 2600 @ 3.4 Ghz, GTX 560 Ti), full emulation speed nearly all the time regardless of the location or colossus (only those "videos" and load transistions tend to drop for a second) with 3x resolution.

EE speedhack is set to 1, VU cycle steal to 1 (gave me a massive speed boost) and MTVU on (which is not recomended with SotC but still turning it off drops my performance considerably. Explain that ?)


First, I readed some old threads saying that they wanted to avoid using VU cycle steal (is that the proper name ? Im using the finnish version of PCSX2) because it drops the real performance down and makes things like animation look much more choppy but Im not seeing this side effect. Will setting it to 2 make things worse or better performance wise ?

Secondly, I have heard that SotC can run true 60 FPS but several old forum posts that I have come across seem to disagree. What is the truth ? Apparently SotC has some sort of adaptive frame limit which can allow for variety of different FPS "caps' but I dont understand how that works if we are running the game on a virtual PS2 with the emulator which should (in theory) mimic PS2's HW.

3rd question: does changing to progressive scan mode change anything resolution wise if Im already running 3x resolution ?



TL;DR My machine can run SotC pretty damn well, can I somehow get the game running @ 60 FPS ?

Vu Cycle Stealing causes glitches in a lot of games but this game really likes it. I think you could even set it to 2.
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#3
FIrst I recommend not using the EE cycle rate hack on SotC. Second Vu Cycle Stealing isn't normally recommended because it can cause false fps readings. In the case of SotC it give a major framerate boost. So set it 2 and you will still be fine. Game like Ratchet and Clank hate it though. Just leave it at interlaced for now.

SotC does have an adaptive frame rate. I'm guessing because some parts would run really slowly on the ps2 if it wasn't there. I could be wrong though so the best person to answer that would be one of the devs
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#4
(01-23-2014, 12:14 AM)Nobbs66 Wrote: FIrst I recommend not using the EE cycle rate hack on SotC. Second Vu Cycle Stealing isn't normally recommended because it can cause false fps readings. In the case of SotC it give a major framerate boost. So set it 2 and you will still be fine. Game like Ratchet and Clank hate it though. Just leave it at interlaced for now.

SotC does have an adaptive frame rate. I'm guessing because some parts would run really slowly on the ps2 if it wasn't there. I could be wrong though so the best person to answer that would be one of the devs

I think you're right, I believe reading that SotC always runs at 50 or 59.94FPS (depending on region) but the 3D engine itself will only render frames as fast as the PS2 HW is capable of (sometimes having dips as low as around 25FPS on a real PS2). AFAIK that's how it works but not sure either.
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#5
yes, that is correct. SotC has a weird way of handling the graphics, it seems to constantly throw data at the VU's to try and render as much as humanly possible, probably to get the most it can out of the PS2, however in emulation, this only serves to slow things down, so by adding cycle stealing, we are cutting down how much work the VU's do, thus increasing the framerate. Because the game just hammers the VU's with loads of data to get the most out of it we can, we don't suffer any graphical loss.
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#6
(01-23-2014, 12:14 AM)Nobbs66 Wrote: FIrst I recommend not using the EE cycle rate hack on SotC. Second Vu Cycle Stealing isn't normally recommended because it can cause false fps readings. In the case of SotC it give a major framerate boost. So set it 2 and you will still be fine. Game like Ratchet and Clank hate it though. Just leave it at interlaced for now.

SotC does have an adaptive frame rate. I'm guessing because some parts would run really slowly on the ps2 if it wasn't there. I could be wrong though so the best person to answer that would be one of the devs

The default for EE cycle rate is 1 I think, so its not on.

Does the interlaced/progressive change anything at all ? PC screens and all new TVs are progressive scan so wouldnt that be better ?

(01-23-2014, 03:21 AM)pablocrossa Wrote: I think you're right, I believe reading that SotC always runs at 50 or 59.94FPS (depending on region) but the 3D engine itself will only render frames as fast as the PS2 HW is capable of (sometimes having dips as low as around 25FPS on a real PS2). AFAIK that's how it works but not sure either.

Oh, its running much slower on the PS2 Rolleyes the default is 30 FPS ofcourse but most of the time its running 20-25 FPS and quite often it tends to drop somewhere around 15 FPS. I think sometimes the game tends to run extraordinarily smooth which I guess is when the machine actually can run the game at 60 FPS for a brief second (usually right after the colossi statue has been destroyed and the camera shows the wall while moving back to wader)


(01-23-2014, 03:24 AM)refraction Wrote: yes, that is correct. SotC has a weird way of handling the graphics, it seems to constantly throw data at the VU's to try and render as much as humanly possible, probably to get the most it can out of the PS2, however in emulation, this only serves to slow things down, so by adding cycle stealing, we are cutting down how much work the VU's do, thus increasing the framerate. Because the game just hammers the VU's with loads of data to get the most out of it we can, we don't suffer any graphical loss.

I think I get what you are saying...

Im trying to blandly visualize it here but its probably not going to be factually correct (or how it happens within the code)

So normally the game sends centrain amount of data to the VU unit.

[C] [C] [C] [C]

And when user enables cycle stealing the emulator nabs some of these cycles ?

[C] [] [C] []

Now in SotC's case the game notices that theres potential performance/space left so it continues bombarding the VU unit with completely new data. Like...

[C] [[C]] [C[ [[C]]


So this also means that more VU Cycle stealing you perform, the better in game FPS you can potentially gain ? Did I get it right ?


Also, I dont know much about PS2s HW but I guess VU unit handles polygons/vertices so games that are higher poly stress the VU unit even more. SotC IMO doesnt have much high poly objects so I guess its easy on the VU unit too while something like Ratchet and Clank has lots of round shapes (which dislikes VU cycle stealing)


Alright, last thing. How is MTVU supposed to hinder the performance during SotC emulation ? The wiki page recomends disabling it
http://wiki.pcsx2.net/index.php/Shadow_of_the_Colossus

Thanks.
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#7
In a nutshell, yes, that is correct Smile More Processing = Lower FPS, but as the game is designed to render as much as possible with plenty of headroom for slowdowns on the original hardware, we can skip a load of it.
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#8
So I decided to make an status update after some experimenting.

For me, VU cycle steal off seems pretty smooth but the emulation speed is barely "normal" speed with very occasional dips to 40's. VU cycle steal at 1 gives me the best performance with much smoother FPS than PS2 ever provided but Im sure its still not 60fps, I see increase in smoothness when I take the frame limiter off and move my camera slowly (emulation FPS jumping to 70-90's, my monitor is only 60hz) but still with limiter on its smoother than 30 FPS and it stays like that for most of the time. VU cycle stealing at 2 makes the performance reminds much more of PS2's performance with very jumpy FPS (15 -> 20 -> 30 -> 60). VU cycle steal at 3 is steady (steadier than original ps2) but it newer tips above 30 FPS and sometimes tends to drop to lower FPS caps.


*All these are estimations and assumptions that the FPS caps are 15, 20, 30 and 60 FPS which I believe are the caps for the adaptive V-sync used in some of the PS3 games, not sure though Glare


It shouldnt matter this much but Im using the PAL version of SotC. It has minor differences when compared to NTSC release though.
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