Dark Cloud 2: unstable speed
Hello everyone

I'm trying to run Dark Cloud 2 as close to 100% possible. Here are my specs:

CPU AMD Athlon II X3 445
Graphics Card 1024MB GeForce GTS 250
RAM 4 Gb
Windows 7 64-bit SP1

The PCSX2 version I'm running is 0.9.9. Attached, my settings. Yes, I have some speed hacks enabled, as I've been playing FFXII International 100% speed under these settings.

What happens with Dark Cloud 2 really isn't slow speed, but rather slow 'moments'. Of course I barely started the game, but there are certain times it goes really sluggish, around 40-50 FPS, then it goes back to 60 FPS, which is normal. Usually when there's a lot going on on the screen, it gets slow.

Is there a way to play it 100% speed under my specs? I was optimistic, since I believe (but could be wrong, don't hate) FFXII is a lot more specs intensive than this game and I can play it fine under these very same settings.

In conclusion, what are the recommended settings for Dark Cloud 2 under my specs to play the game 100% speed? Or as close as I can get to that?

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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What EE/GS/VU % shows when you get the slowdown?
(10-31-2011, 12:32 AM)miseru99 Wrote: What EE/GS/VU % shows when you get the slowdown?

How can I check this?
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It's in the title bar of the window that renders the game. Just run it without going into fullscreen and you'll see EE/GS/UI/VU % near fps and other things. UI% doesn't matter at all;P, but any of the rest reaching 100% shows how the game is limited on your system(if none reach 100% it's usually gpu's fault).
Ok, I took some shots of three separate times I get the slowdowns. They're attached.

If any part of my specs is really the problem, I'd like advice on how to upgrade it to full advantage. Since, actually, I really can't play games like FFXII or Okami without speed hacks...

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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GS is reaching really high in those, EE being a bit after, soo it seems to be on the edge of cpu limitation. You could also try using native res or custom between native and x2 in GSdx config to check if the speed will not increase a bit, as nothing really hit 100% on those screenshots yet, soo maybe it's gpu limited first. Also you could check "allow 8 bit textures" and see if it's not a bit faster. through it could also kill fps instead improving it;P. But once that GS% or EE% hits 100% you're cpu limited anyway, X3 445 should easily go to around @3.6ghz, or more which would probably help to get full speed, through OC is always risky if you don't know what you're doing. GS limitation is the worst one as there's not much you can do with config to speed it up.

Other thing to try would be setting turbo speed at 100% and using frameskip only with turbo option. And toggle turbo(with TAB key) for those limited scenes. It would be a bit choppy if not even glitchy, but at least maybe a bit faster.
Hm, just tried using native resolution, not that much of an improvement. Instead of getting 40-50 FPS on those critical situations, I now get 45-55. Now, I've been advised on several occasions to upgrade my CPU, as it was, and I quote them, bottlenecking my GPU card. My card is not that great either, I think, but I'd like it to run on total power. I'm also a user of Dolphin and have had a number of unpleasant surprises on the system specs department when using that piece of software as well. So, it all sums up to me upgrading something, so, should it be the CPU? Or the GPU?
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For emulation, mainly CPU, but you'll get much better results per same clock speed with new intel cpu's, soo getting even some i3 or better, i5 would be great, even locked one if you don't plan to OC will perform great and that's both in pcsx2 and dolphin. Through that also mean changing mobo which additionally to not-soo-low intel prices sums a bit. Just don't even think about getting Bulldozer as they're slower in emulation that you currently have.

GPU is pretty average but still nice, unless you want some higher upscaling, then something like GTX460/HD5770 would be nice for full hd in most games. But if you can go with native or something between native and x2(at smaller displays even 720x720 custom can look really nice at times) it shouldn't be much of limitation at least in most games.

Check first post in this thread:
And you will see how well different cpu's perform. Ofc in each game fps are different, also it was in software mode, soo all fps in that list are pretty low, but this generally show which cpu's are better and you can compare to what you have now. Phenom II vs Athlon II at same clock is pretty much same in pcsx2 soo your 445 is around same as this one:
47.69 FPS - SLUS 20672 - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - 3.2 GHz Stock- Ryner Lute
Only like 2 OC AMD cpu's got over 60fps in this test;P that should speak for itself.
Actually, the GTS 250 is a pretty close equivalent to the HD 5770.

On your CPU situation; Have you considered overclocking?
I have OC'd a similar processor, and providing your mobo has the options, I'd figure yours would do 3.4-3.6Ghz easy (on stock voltage and cooling). That should be about right for your needs here, too.

If you're gonna buy a new CPU, I'd say go for the Intel Core i series, for sure.
There isn't much faster AMD processors out there then what you've got.
I guess it's true, I confused naming seeing it has problems in x2 native at times in above title:]. HD5770 has just slightly faster clocks, through also double effective memory speed. Wonder if just that would win over GTX460 which actually seem to have slower clocks, or faster memory would win in pcsx2? Probably depends on the game and scene. >.>

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