Am I doin' it wrong?
I am probably going to get ripped a new bunghole for this, even though I am usually VERY good about thoroughly searching for answers before I ask a question.

However, I have been running in to issues with some games that I am certain should not be an issue running.

Before I get to that, allow me to post my specs:
AMD P2 955 (3.2qc)
12gb DDR3 1600 Ram
Raedon HD 6950 (2gb version)
Win7 x64

Just did a fresh install of Windows about 3 months ago, so I know all my drivers and whatnot are up to date.

I have used .96 and .97, all but 2 games worked flawlessly (SotC and MGS3, the 2 most demanding games for the PS2). However, I have been having speed issues with Dark Cloud 2, Tales of Legendia, Wild Arms 4, Gran Turismo 4, Final Fantasy 12, and Need for Speed Underground 2.

I tried speedhacks once for SotC, and it worked partially. Did not care for how it affected the game whatsoever, and have been highly hesitant to use them for any other game.

I have just installed .98 and will see if I still have speed issues with these listed games, however are these games commonly known to have speed issues? If so, what are the recommended non-game-breaking fixes I can attempt?

PS: This is my first post on a forum EVER in 9 years that did not contain a single curse word. Just realized that.

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Dark cloud 2, Wild arms 4 and FFXII should be running without a problem.
Tales of Legendia will only run nicely in software mode in GSdx (F9 while playing).
Gran Turismo 4, you will need to use faster settings (supervu, clamps set to none, speedhacks)
No idea about need for speed underground 2.

What are your PCSX2 settings? Plugin settings? What do the EE/GS% numbers in the window say when you get slowdowns in Dark cloud, wild arms, ffxii?
Core i5 3570k -- Geforce GTX 670  --  Windows 7 x64
Need For Speed Underground 2 is one of those that needs software rendering. Rather demanding, IIRC. Much like Tales of Legendia or Gran Turismo 4.
Need for Speed Underground 2 I am not too worried about. I have not played it in ages, and never really cared for any NFS Game on the PS 2 since Most Wanted. Plus, I have Shift 2 occupying my time as far as the NFS series go.

My current PCSX2 settings are as follows:
EE/IOP: All Default, Clamping @ Full
VUs: All Default, Clamping @ Extra + Preserve Sign
GS: All Default
Speedhacks: Off

Screen Size: I usually manually adjust it depending on the game, however its set to 2x Native.
GSdx 4600 (sse2 one), DX10/11 Hardware

I am still working on recopying all my PS2 games, so I will be able to give more accurate information when that is complete; however if I recall correctly my fps would drop down to about 15, extremely choppy audio, EE% is usually around 95 - 100%, and GS% is down towards 40%.

Compared to Culdcept (100% stable, 60 FPS), my EE% is around 65% and my GS% is around 30%.
Disgaea 1 & 2 have similar EE/GS% as Culdcept, and are also 100% stable @ 60 FPS.
Quote:EE/IOP: All Default, Clamping @ Full
VUs: All Default, Clamping @ Extra + Preserve Sign

Probably why you're getting problems, set the clamps to normal and try some speedhacks.
Core i5 3570k -- Geforce GTX 670  --  Windows 7 x64
I shall return these to their original settings, dreadfully enable speedhacks, and change to DX10/11 Software. Loading Tales of Legendia right now.

Edit: What should I set the EE speedhack to? And is the mVU Block Hack worth enabling?

Also: I have noticed occasionally when I am fiddling with the plugin settings, I will get an error message saying the plugins did not load properly and that PCSX2 may not run correctly. I stop any emulation before I tinker with settings. Completely restarting PCSX2 resolves the error message.

Update: With the EE Speedhack @ 2, the intro scene to Tales is slightly faster (and I can see the title screen!), FPS is at 22 (was around 12), Audio is still choppy, EE% is 40ish, GS% is 100%.
During the opening battle, FPS dropped down to 14, and was extremely disheartening trying to fight in 'slo-mo'.
As I said before tales of legendia will only run nice in Software mode, even then you may have to turn on frameskip (shift+f4) to get decent speed.
Core i5 3570k -- Geforce GTX 670  --  Windows 7 x64
I did change it to software, didn't think to enable frameskip.

Also: Is 2 rendering threads the proper setting? I chose 2 because I have a quad-core, figured a 2/2 split would be fine. Would I notice any difference in performance switching it to 1 or 3?
Try 2 or 3 threads, see if you get any speed difference (without frameskip that is).
Core i5 3570k -- Geforce GTX 670  --  Windows 7 x64

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