General set of ideal optimizations for PCSX2 ... ?
Have been having fun playing PCSX2 after having (legally) dumped my PS2's BIOS. In playing the three PS2 games that I have so far (Fire Pro Wrestling, Shadow of the Colossus, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater), I've found that it's sometimes best to configure PCSX2 for each individual game that's played on it (and is occasionally the only option to work with, depending on one's own PC configuration and specifications). But after a while, this constant back-and-forth between different settings can get to be a pain.

Now, I've read the PCSX2 guide, and have a rough idea of how to make it all work (i.e. using the speed hacks and such), but I was wondering if there's an universally agreed-on set of guidelines or standards by which a gamer can set their PCSX2 configuration to, and just forget about it. I know this question probably doesn't apply to those few who have very high-end PCs, but what about the rest of us who have respectable (but not as high-end) setups? I have a PC that isn't extremely high-end, but somewhat future-proof for the time being.

If anyone could give me (and whoever else reads this thread, but is in the same predicament as me with their PC) a general idea of what a good, all-around configuration of PCSX2 would be, that'd be great. My PC's core specs are as follows: A) Phenom II x4 810 quad-core CPU (2.6 GHz), B) 4 GB of RAM, and C) an ATI Radeon 4670 (1 GB). My computer is able to get 60 FPS with default settings in Fire Pro Wrestling, and Shadow of Colossus is able to get up to 60 FPS with speed hacks (and a couple of other settings). Same goes for Metal Gear Solid 3, too. Thanks to all those who respond.

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My "default" settings which I usually try new games with are all recommended speed hacks checked, EE and VU stealing at 1 click, and clamp mode=none for both EE/VU. Also, sometimes I use superUV instead of microUV (still a bit faster than mUV, but mUV is more compatible and improving all the time while sUV is not..). GSdx settings at 2X resolution and Hardware rendering. If you have a really fast CPU, then checking 'allow 8 bit textures' might generally be faster than without it (it can reduce GS load but requires more of the CPU).

From there I try to get closer to default or even full defaults if I experience gliches (in gameplay or graphics), or increase EE/VU stealing if it plays slow for me. When judging slow, you can get some help by looking at the EE% and GS% during playback. If the GS is over 90% much of the time, you might need to reduce graphics settings and/or allow 8 bit textures. If the GS% is low, you can increase graphics settings. If the EE% is high, try superUV, more cycle stealing etc. On such case, reducing the graphics settings might not help much.

But generally speaking and as the safest method, one should probably start with the absolute defaults to make sure it plays reasonably well (regardless of speed), and from there increase graphics settings to make it look nicer, and enable hacks gradually to make it run faster, if it's slow, until you find the best balance for you on your system. If you're lucky, you might even find a perfect setup.

No silver bullet here I'm afraid.

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