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Tales of Abyss Framerate Drops
#1
Hey everyone first time poster and i'm hoping I can find some answers.

I recently downloaded PCSX2 1.0 to play through Tales of Abyss. So far i've played for about 10 hours with minor problems(Ghosting here and there usually after skits). I've searched around and found solutions to most of these problems but one in particular I can't find.

My problem is that when playing the game will randomly drop about 7 frames, from 59/60 down to 52/51. When I remove framelimiting my frames run between 160-200 so i'm not sure if it's my system or something I'm missing in the emulation setup. I've included my system below. I pretty much have left everything as default except for changes from Native Resolution to 3X and turning Speedhacks both on and off to see if I get different results but I still get random frame drops.

When the frames drop I get terrible crackling in the sound which is why i'm posting, some battles and some random conversations crackle and it gets a bit annoying. If I close down PCSX2 and restart it I can hear the same conversation without any frame loss and no crackling. If anyone has played through the game without these problems I'd love some feedback, or if this is just one of the quirks of an Emulator then i'll happily play without a fix.

**Quick Note** Thought I'd mention that i can run it up to 6x resolution and I still run pretty consistently at 60FPS with 7 or so Framedrops but I changed off of that due to some bad ghosting. Tried it on Native and got the same problem where I get random frame drops.

Using Tales of Abyss ISO created from IMGBURN.

My System:
I7 2600k Overclocked to 4.2Ghz
GTX 680 SLI (Have tried disabling SLI with no success)
16 Gb Ram


If I left anything out please let me know and I'll try to update.

Thanks to anyone who reads and double thanks to anyone with any suggestions!!
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#2
Tried to turn off all speedhacks? While they're very compatible, it's still possible they will cause minor stuff like that and MTvu generally should be OFF if you don't need it as it can cause more serious problems with synchronization, decrease stability of savestates etc.(and you should hardly ever need it on such cpu>.>).
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#3
(06-23-2013, 11:36 PM)miseru99 Wrote: Tried to turn off all speedhacks? While they're very compatible, it's still possible they will cause minor stuff like that and MTvu generally should be OFF if you don't need it as it can cause more serious problems with synchronization, decrease stability of savestates etc.(and you should hardly ever need it on such cpu>.>).

I did turn off the enable all speed hacks check box but it seemed to run the same =(
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#4
The strange thing is that I don't remember any "terrible crackling sound" and I certainly did had slowdowns while playing that game simply from running it at weaker ~ amd cpu(mostly if not only, on the world map;p). Either something changed in emulation(I played the game around 0.9.9 version, before even MTvu was added), or the problem is related to your system.

Maybe try setting SPU2-X synchronization mode to Async-Mix, or mess a bit with sound latency? It can help with the crackling, even if the fps inconsistency stays, 7 fps of difference is hardly noticeable anyway.
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#5
(06-24-2013, 12:10 AM)miseru99 Wrote: The strange thing is that I don't remember any "terrible crackling sound" and I certainly did had slowdowns while playing that game simply from running it at weaker ~ amd cpu(mostly if not only, on the world map;p). Either something changed in emulation(I played the game around 0.9.9 version, before even MTvu was added), or the problem is related to your system.

Maybe try setting SPU2-X synchronization mode to Async-Mix, or mess a bit with sound latency? It can help with the crackling, even if the fps inconsistency stays, 7 fps of difference is hardly noticeable anyway.

Yeah the 7 FPS change doesn't bother me cause I can't really notice it but the sound certainly does cause problems. The sound is set to sync with fps so I tried the A sync but got some weird reverb in the menu screens. Thanks for the suggestions!

Also just too clarify the crackling sounds occur when the frames drop and in conversations it isn't crackling as much as it's dialogue speeding up as of to catch up or slight skipping. In battles it's crackling but it could be the same speeding up/skipping just harder to distinguish.
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#6
If you get some weird reverb, maybe try turning it off by "Disable effects processing". Oh and I now remembered something, the default sound module is Xaudio2, I use it nowadays too, but back when I was playing TOA, Xaudio2 was causing random crashes for me and I for sure had Direct Sound selected as a sound module. You might try it just in case.
Xaudio2 is considered best, but in most games the quality difference is none for most people and in some cases it might be even the opposite;p.
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#7
You've a similar system to myself (profile page). I've had no problems with ToTA. Try creating an Nvidia profile for PCSX2. I find Nvidia Inspector to be best for this, generally, but you can also do it from the Nvidia control panel. Ensure your card's power profile is set to max performance, and you're in single display compatibility.

Also, try using the GSdx version I've attached below, for this game. It has been tweaked, and patched specifically for Tales of the Abyss, by KrossX.

Go to the plugin options -> select GSdx32-SSE2(ToTA). Hit apply, then configure.

Keep the resolution at multiples of the game's native res (ie. don't use a custom res), I recommend 3/4xNative, this game doesn't like the internal res too high. Check 'Enable HW Hacks' and then hit configure. Find 'Half-pixel Offset' and check the box, then click OK.

Now your back to the main GSdx config dialog, you may want to add 5 Extra Rendering threads, for software mode. Seeing as I seen you had 0 in the screen you provided.

Regarding Audio, I was using Catmull rom interpolation, Xaudio2, and AsyncMix. Had no problems.

Lastly, I'd recommend, going into PCSX2's Config->Emulation Settings-> and check the 'Preset' checkbox on the lower left of the dialog, and select Safest, then hit apply.

If you're still having problems after that, I'd recommend trying a different SVN of PCSX2, and retest.
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#8
Thanks for the replies guys! Really appreciate the suggestions. I downloaded a new SVN and changed to the AsyncMX and the reverb in the menus seems to be gone. I was still getting frame drops but the sound now just goes straight through and doesn't skip or get distorted. I ended up using the GSdx that came with the latest SVN version and that seemed to work well, I also changed to the Preset 1 which seems to make the game overall more stable.

The odd thing is the frame drops only seemed to occur the first time I loaded a zone in the emulator. If I shutdown the Emulator and opened it back up the zone loaded fine without framedrops, if I restarted my computer and then loaded the zone the frame drops came back. I was thinking maybe it was something to do with my Hard Drive caching so I switched over to a second SSD but experienced the same problems. I switched to my standard HDD and the problems went away and I thought I was good, however I just tried it on the SSD again and the problem wasn't there, so I may just be getting lucky.

Anyways, thanks again for the suggestions, even if the frame drops continue occasionally the sound seems to be a lot better!

Thanks again!
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