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Input lag in PCSX2
#1
Video 
Hi!

Let me preface this by saying that I'm generally very sensitive to input lag. Like many others, competitive shooters and/or fighting games ruined me!
So, I'm experiencing some pretty significant input lag trying to play God Hand (which, if you're not familiar with it, is a game that can require precise timing and quick reaction). My own gut estimates put the delay at about 200ms, and trying my best to math it out, It's definitely somewhere between 170 and 200ms (Frame stepping through the 30fps recording below will show a delay of 5 to 6 frames).





I'm running on a i7-8700K (5-4.7GHz), a GTX 1080Ti and 16GB of 3200MHz DDR4 RAM. Looking at load graphs I've no reason to believe I'm hardware limited here.


Now after trying all sorts of things, looking online and with the help of the /r/emulation discord (Great lads by the way!) I've tried pretty much anything that came to anyone's mind, so here's a list that I'll try to make as exhaustive as I can, and update as I try new stuff. Feel free to respond with ideas here or message me on discord (Cafe#3216). None of those attempts made any change that I could perceive in the severity of the delay.
  • Disabling VSync in PCSX2 and forcing VSync and triple-buffering to be off in Nvidia panel.
  • Playing around with EE Cyclerate and VU Cycle Stealing sliders
  • Playing around with different speedhacks settings
  • Trying both keyboard and controller bindings
  • Trying all different input APIs, disabling second controller, and trying an alternative controller plugin (Pokopom's plugin instead LilyPad)
  • Trying every renderer, including the software ones
  • Reducing the audio plugin's buffer's length, and disabling the audio plugin altogether
  • Disabling frame-limiting to run the game at 700% speed to see if it would reduce the perceived lag (this implies to me that the input lag has nothing to do with rendering OR the game itself)
  • Rebooting
  • Using older versions of PCSX2 down to 1.0.0 (0.9.0 and below didn't work, and I didn't have the willpower at that point to really find out why)
  • Tried different BIOS versions
  • Probably quite a few other tests that were either just to humor the nice discord folks that gave me a hand or were redundant with previous ones.

As mentioned above, I've no reason to believe that the delay has anything to do with rendering, the emulation itself, the audio plugin or the game. There seems to be a very consistent buffering of my input at some level, and I can't tell where. I only tried another game on PCSX2 (Persona 4) and noticed similar if not worst lag. Other  emulators and native games generally run extremely smoothly whether in windowed of exclusive fullscreen mode.

If you yourself believe that you're not experiencing lag (or as severe lag) when playing God Hand, I would be extremely thankful if you could send me a similar video (with clear visual and audio cues), I've had people tell me they didn't experience any lag themselves, but I've just come to accept that most don't really realize it unless it suddenly goes away.


Thanks a lot for reading, and please don't hesitate to make any suggestion that I haven't tried before!
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#2
Well I have never played a game that needs precise milliseconds timming but when I try this PS2 program that allows you to test the inputs on the device you use to control pcsx2,I can't see any lag while using my wireless gamepad and the keyboard on my laptop

PCSX2=>CDVD=>No Disk=>System=>Run ELF=>open the file from the archive.
I don't have a way to show you but the moment I press a button(press and release it as fast as possible),I see that the program the input is registered immediatly.


Attached Files
.rar   padtest.rar (Size: 68,49 KB / Downloads: 7)
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#3
set maximum pre-rendered frames to 1 in the nvidia control panel
use the RTSS framelimiter that cames with msi afterburner

if you haven't done these yet, they'll reduce latency a bit
#StopRNG
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#4
For FPS limiting,I prefet nVidia Inspector...the RTSS limiter is making my cpu run constantly in turbo mode for some reason even if the game can be played easily on much older hardware(witcher 3 plays much better with the inspector limiter than with rtss(the inspector doesn't require to run to limit the speed,he is just changing drivers setttings))
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#5
(07-09-2018, 04:10 PM)vsub Wrote: Well I have never played a game that needs precise milliseconds timming but when I try this PS2 program that allows you to test the inputs on the device you use to control pcsx2,I can't see any lag while using my wireless gamepad and the keyboard on my laptop

PCSX2=>CDVD=>No Disk=>System=>Run ELF=>open the file from the archive.
I don't have a way to show you but the moment I press a button(press and release it as fast as possible),I see that the program the input is registered immediatly.

Most fighting game, competitive shooters, rhythm games, platformers and even racing games can require very precise timing, but here we're talking about delays comparable to the average human reaction time, and it doesn't feel good to have your reaction doubled for unknown reasons. You might have seen a lot of people hate on VSync because of the additional input lag. Regular double buffered VSync (provided you can reach the target frame-rate) will only cause an additional 16ms in the worst case scenario. That's only 16ms and yet it's still a deal breaker for many people who'd rather have visible screen tearing than the additional input lag. Here we're talking about an order of magnitude more than that. It's not as obvious on a controller as it is with a mouse, but it's still what I'd consider an extreme amount of input lag, and completely sabotages my enjoyment of any challenging games with a real time aspect to it. Again, that's just me, but the importance of responsiveness in video games is something we figured out more than 3 decades ago.

Anyway, thanks for that controller debugging binaryl!

(07-09-2018, 04:34 PM)dogen Wrote: set maximum pre-rendered frames to 1 in the nvidia control panel
use the RTSS framelimiter that cames with msi afterburner

if you haven't done these yet, they'll reduce latency a bit

I tried both, didn't have an impact :/



Here's another video (filmed in 60 fps this time). Once again I'm seeing a delay, so that really means that it's not the game's fault, which is great! I remember God Hand being reactive and fast-paced, I'm glad I'm not going crazy. In this video though the delay is very consistent and always of 8 frames, so it's closer to 140ms. I don't know if God Hand has a higher delay or if my estimation with the 30 fps video was a bit botched but this is still very significant.





Frame by frame view
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#6
Sorry for the double post, looks like updating my previous post made it disappear for a good 10 minutes.
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#7
disable desktop composition for pcsx2. also i saw one of your screenshots in discord and it looked like you changed the "virtual reality pre-rendered frames". make sure you do the normal one if you haven't.

also, you're limiting to 60 fps with RTSS right? That's always helped with latency a bit for me, unless I have vsync disabled.
#StopRNG
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#8
Also it depends on what Controller you use. Those 8bitdo Bluetooth wireless controllers add some input delay as well. Some one did a very similar study to what the video posted shows. I never noticed any noticeable input lag from any Emulator that I have used. The only time I every noticing any kind of input delay is playing an actual NES on an HDTV and the same went with the NES classic edition as well. I use a wired iBuffalo SNES style controller for my NES and SNES games and a wireless Xbox one controller for my modern PC games and a Wireless PS4 controller for any of my Sony based Consoles and never noticed any input lag of any kind on my PC. I playing Persona 3 FES currently and I have yet to notice any Input lag. In your case you are using an xbox-One controller. Not sure what the normal input acceptance would be for an Xbox-one controller Wired or Wireless for that matter.

Hmm Is your controller wired? It looks like it to me in that video you posted near the end.

Are you using a TV or a PC monitor? If you are using a TV have you tried enabling Game Mode and see if that helps or not?
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#9
(07-09-2018, 06:04 PM)fender178 Wrote: Also it depends on what Controller you use. Those 8bitdo Bluetooth wireless controllers add some input delay as well. Some one did a very similar study to what the video posted shows. I never noticed any noticeable input lag from any Emulator that I have used. The only time I every noticing any kind of input delay is playing an actual NES on an HDTV and the same went with the NES classic edition as well. I use a wired iBuffalo SNES style controller for my NES and SNES games and a wireless Xbox one controller for my modern PC games and a Wireless PS4 controller for any of my Sony based Consoles and never noticed any input lag of any kind on my PC. I playing Persona 3 FES currently and I have yet to notice any Input lag. In your case you are using an xbox-One controller.  Not sure what the normal input acceptance would be for an Xbox-one controller Wired or Wireless for that matter.

Hmm Is your controller wired? It looks like it to me in that video you posted near the end.

Are you using a TV or a PC monitor? If you are using a TV have you tried enabling Game Mode and see if that helps or not?
 

The controller is plugged in yeah, doesn't even have a battery, but I have exactly the same input lag with a keyboard anyway.

I played a bit of Persona 4 on emulator and while I did notice the input lag, it wasn't really obvious since afaict there's no timing/reaction sensitive part in that game.
I otherwise have no issue with latency playing other games outside of PCSX2, with or without that controller. I'm playing a high refreshrate screen. I assure you that this issue has nothing to do with my hardware, if I saw that latency outside of the emulator, it would be my first concern.

I want to believe that I'm the only one with that problem, but this seems to be a recurrent issue and I've witnessed way too many people struggle with extreme input lag on high latency TVs with more than a second of delay without realizing anything was wrong, while I'm sitting besides them and going insane. This isn't quite as bad clearly, but to me it still makes playing God Hand impossible at the moment...
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#10
Um pressing is so fast could also mean that there is no contact done(not enough presure for the controller\keyboard to register button press)
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