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FFX minor slowdown when scene changes
#1
So yeah, I recently started a playthrough of FFX. It looks and runs excellent, except for one little thing. It's not a major issue, but it kind of annoys me since it's one step from perfect.

The issue is whenever the scene changes or new content loads, there is a slowdown for about .5 seconds. I know I've read threads on here mentioning it before, but I can't remember a fix.

You all should know my computer specs, if not they are in my profile.

My non default settings are:

3x PS2 resolution
MSAA 8x
Anisotropic Filtering 16x
Skipdraw = 1
MTVU: enabled

I tried turning everything to default of course, but that made no difference.

I'm using my build, PCSX2 1.3.0 17, May, 2014. I'm playing from ISO.

Oh also, I tried enable fast CDVD and that had no effect. It's also worth nothing that I don't get any slowdowns in the usual places(Demi, summons, etc), even with the hefty settings I'm using.

Again I say it's not a major thing, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd be happy, because then it would be perfect. If not, I'll just set Async audio and live with it.
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Gaming: Intel i7 3770k @ 4.2Ghz | R9 290 | 16GB RAM | 480GB(240GB+240GB RAID0) SSD | 3 TB HDD | 1 TB HDD | 500GB HDD
Server: AMD FX 6300 @ 4.4Ghz | GTX 670 | 16GB RAM | 240GB SSD | 320GB HDD
PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ

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#2
You can try using async spu2 to fix the audio side of the issue.
The problem could be CDVD related but I'm not sure.
Please try the new compressed reader by creating a .gz of your iso.
#3
(05-21-2014, 10:35 PM)rama Wrote: Please try the new compressed reader by creating a .gz of your iso.

Okay, will do!
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Gaming: Intel i7 3770k @ 4.2Ghz | R9 290 | 16GB RAM | 480GB(240GB+240GB RAID0) SSD | 3 TB HDD | 1 TB HDD | 500GB HDD
Server: AMD FX 6300 @ 4.4Ghz | GTX 670 | 16GB RAM | 240GB SSD | 320GB HDD
PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ
#4
rama and avih were talking about this in another thread. They said that seek times of HDDs are the problem (and fragmentation). Possible solutions: put the ISOs in a SSD, make the emulator load the entire ISO in RAM (developer side), or using RAMDisk.

The new compression method seemed to help greatly the first time it scanned the compressed ISO to create the index file. Everything loaded instantly, but after rebooting the PC, it went back to normal (I guess part of the ISO was in RAM or something after being scanned). In general, now loading times are better than with an uncompressed ISO, but still not near perfection.
CPU: Intel Core i7 7700k @ 5GHz
GPU: Gainward GTX 1080 GLH
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 5
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4 3866MHz 16GB CL18
Monitor: Dell S2716DG
OS: Windows 10
#5
Yeah I was thinking it might have to do with what they were talking about in the dolphin thread actually.
[Image: vwah44]
Gaming: Intel i7 3770k @ 4.2Ghz | R9 290 | 16GB RAM | 480GB(240GB+240GB RAID0) SSD | 3 TB HDD | 1 TB HDD | 500GB HDD
Server: AMD FX 6300 @ 4.4Ghz | GTX 670 | 16GB RAM | 240GB SSD | 320GB HDD
PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ
#6
I would try something a bit more simple, why don't you turn of MSAA and see if that does anything. If not, then go with a defrag where you store your PS2 games or compress it to .gzip like Rama said.
#7
(05-21-2014, 11:32 PM)Bigbenn01 Wrote: I would try something a bit more simple, why don't you turn of MSAA and see if that does anything. If not, then go with a defrag where you store your PS2 games or compress it to .gzip like Rama said.


(05-21-2014, 10:29 PM)Blyss Sarania Wrote: I tried turning everything to default of course, but that made no difference.

Hard drive is 0% fragmented. It's also defragmented weekly by the Windows scheduler.

I tried the gzipped ISO and if anything it was slightly worse. Certainly not better.

I decided to just set async audio and live with it. It's actually such a minor slowdown my eyes don't really notice it, only my ears.
[Image: vwah44]
Gaming: Intel i7 3770k @ 4.2Ghz | R9 290 | 16GB RAM | 480GB(240GB+240GB RAID0) SSD | 3 TB HDD | 1 TB HDD | 500GB HDD
Server: AMD FX 6300 @ 4.4Ghz | GTX 670 | 16GB RAM | 240GB SSD | 320GB HDD
PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ
#8
This is not necessarily disk access issue. Read ahead might help there, but only _if_ the the reason for the slowdown is disk access (which is not necessarily the case - it could certainly be VU recompilation of new "units", for instance), and _if_ the data being loaded from the disk is straight ahead of the data already being read just before (which is probably almost never the case with scene changes - which is highly likely to start reading from a "new" and unexpected location on the disk).

Bottom line, I would guess that this is VU recompilation more than anything else. But it's still a guess, and I don't have this game to try myself.

If you want to test if it's a disk access issue, you could use a ram drive(*). You have 8G ram, so you could afford the experiment: set ram drive to 5G, copy your ISO to the ram drive, and point PCSX2 to load the ISO from the ram drive.

If you still get those slowdowns, then it's completely unrelated to disk access and no read ahead would help.

While you're at it, you could also try to compress the iso to gz and then copy it to the ram drive, and then see how much decompression affects the game when the disk access is instant - compared to uncompressed iso at the ramdrive.

The gzip iso reader will almost never be faster than reading uncompressed image for the simple fact that it uses more cpu - for decompression, except if your disk is very fragmented, or for the first time you play the game after reboot - and then it depends mostly of the fragmentation of the gz file compared to the uncompressed file. But after you play it once, the OS will probably keep the parts you accessed in its own ram cache, so if you play the same parts again - it should suffer less from disk access issues. The case where gzip would be faster is with lots of fragmentation, because the gzip will have less disk access because the file is smaller and it fetches less data from the actual disk compared to uncompressed.


* While there are many ram disk tools, I really like and recommend the tiny, simple, and open source ImDisk, or its slightly easier to use "wrapper" ImDisk Toolkit (the "toolkit" already includes ImDisk in one download).
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#9
Yeah I thought about the ramdisk idea. I will give that a go tomorrow and report back.
[Image: vwah44]
Gaming: Intel i7 3770k @ 4.2Ghz | R9 290 | 16GB RAM | 480GB(240GB+240GB RAID0) SSD | 3 TB HDD | 1 TB HDD | 500GB HDD
Server: AMD FX 6300 @ 4.4Ghz | GTX 670 | 16GB RAM | 240GB SSD | 320GB HDD
PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ
#10
Ramdisk is a good test Smile




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