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Ratchet and Clank Games
#1
I'm currently playing Ratchet: Gladiator, but it becomes unbearable at times with how low the FPS goes. The other 3 games are bad, but Gladiator is by far the worst. It seems as though these games are heavily EE bottlenecked, as the EE is usually anywhere between 90-100% at all times, and slowdowns are at their worst when it does eventually reach 100%. Speedhacks seem to reduce the percentage, but give blatantly false FPS readings for these games and make them stutter badly.

However, I don't understand why the EE would be so bottlenecked. Is it because of the games? I've read that the games have some special mipmapping which is hard to emulate, but surely that would be VU related and not EE. Is it because of my machine?  Well, it seems as though the games run badly on machines with processors that are higher performance than mine. So is it because of the emulator itself? It sure seems that way.

Can anyone explain why these games are so difficult to emulate, or why they suffer so badly from the emulator's internal slowdowns?
Intel i5 4460 @ 3.20 GHz,
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#2
It's because the team that made the game understood the PS2 very well and utilized some "interesting" tricks to get as much perfromance from it as possible. Some of the things they did are hard to emulate properly without more procesing power

What settings are you using? Maybe we can find you a little more perfromance here and there to get you closer to where you want to be.
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#3
(08-04-2018, 04:25 PM)TkSilver Wrote: It's because the team that made the game understood the PS2 very well and utilized some "interesting" tricks to get as much perfromance from it as possible.  Some of the things they did are hard to emulate properly without more procesing power

What settings are you using?  Maybe we can find you a little more perfromance here and there to get you closer to where you want to be.
I sometimes alternate between EE Cyclerate 0 and -2, but the majority of the time I'll use Cyclerate 0, since -2 makes the games run even worse at times.

I use D3D11 HW and play at 4x native, but these games are 'easy' to run in terms of GPU requirements, since playing them at even 8x native doesn't slow them down. I only play them at 4x native since the stutters etc. seem more obvious to me at higher resolutions. I obviously have fast mipmapping enabled.

I don't know how I could find any more performance from these settings, as like you said, these games are difficult to emulate and I probably do need a more powerful processor. I wish there was a way to reduce the awful EE bottleneck in these games, since it's the EE which slows these games down, but there isn't.

However, I'm curious as to what 'interesting tricks' Insomniac used for these games. Could you expand on what tricks they used? I'm curious.
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#4
Here is a bit from an insomniac employee on SIMD (single instruction multiple data). I wont say he is the most entertaining speaker I have seen at GDC but the talk is an interesting peak at the design philosophy at Insomniac.
https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1022248/SI...-Games-How

Are all your other settings default? Safe preset or other? MTVU on or off?
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#5
(08-04-2018, 06:03 PM)TkSilver Wrote: Here is a bit from an insomniac employee on SIMD (single instruction multiple data).  I wont say he is the most entertaining speaker I have seen at GDC but the talk is an interesting peak at the design philosophy at Insomniac.
https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1022248/SI...-Games-How

Are all your other settings default?  Safe preset or other? MTVU on or off?

I don't use a preset, I just change the settings on the fly as I see fit. Saying that, I've been playing Gladiator for a bit longer now and I've changed my opinion - it's probably the best running R&C game out of the four.

Thanks for the link by the way, I will take a look.
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And some other gubbins that make things work.
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#6
I was playing Gladiator/Deadlocked a couple of weeks ago and I had trouble running it smoothly at first too. After messing up with my previous configuration and getting help from the forum I was able to run it fairly well but later on, when downloading and trying out the latest dev build at the time, I realized I actually didn't have to do any of that. All settings left at default, I just set my pc to optimal performance and I'm good to go, full fps.
My specs are:
Intel i5-8250U @ 1,6 GHz ( 3,4 GHz overclocked ) - pretty much equivalent to yours when overclocked -
Nvidia Geforce MX 150 - Weaker than yours in every way imaginable -
8GB RAM

All in all, I doubt the same wouldn't work on your side, just download the latest dev build if you haven't got it yet, let every setting at default if not the resolution you want, set yourself at optimal performance - alimentation mode - and it'll probably be just fine. I just started Ratchet & Clank 3 this morning and it works perfectly.

There is one thing that no one has been able to explain to me though. I have to get on optimal mode to have it run smoothly. If I'm not, It's still playable but a little bit sluggish, around 50 fps, rather than 60.
That said, my brother who is using my old PC I left him while he's gathering money to buy himself a new one, is able to run this same game on the old PCSX2 1.2.0 - which, for some reason, has disappeared from the download archives - at full fps, without any effort, with these specs :
Intel core i3-4030U @ 1.9 GHz
Intel HD Graphics Family
I still can't figure out why.
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#7
(08-05-2018, 06:13 PM)Snow Breath Wrote: I was playing Gladiator/Deadlocked a couple of weeks ago and I had trouble running it smoothly at first too. After messing up with my previous configuration and getting help from the forum I was able to run it fairly well but later on, when downloading and trying out the latest dev build at the time, I realized I actually didn't have to do any of that. All settings left at default, I just set my pc to optimal performance and I'm good to go, full fps.
My specs are:
Intel i5-8250U @ 1,6 GHz ( 3,4 GHz overclocked )  - pretty much equivalent to yours when overclocked -
Nvidia Geforce MX 150                                         - Weaker than yours in every way imaginable -
8GB RAM

All in all, I doubt the same wouldn't work on your side, just download the latest dev build if you haven't got it yet, let every setting at default if not the resolution you want, set yourself at optimal performance - alimentation mode - and it'll probably be just fine. I just started Ratchet & Clank 3 this morning and it works perfectly.

There is one thing that no one has been able to explain to me though. I have to get on optimal mode to have it run smoothly. If I'm not, It's still playable but a little bit sluggish, around 50 fps, rather than 60.
That said, my brother who is using my old PC I left him while he's gathering money to buy himself a new one, is able to run this same game on the old PCSX2 1.2.0 - which, for some reason, has disappeared from the download archives - at full fps, without any effort, with these specs :
Intel core i3-4030U @ 1.9 GHz
Intel HD Graphics Family
I still can't figure out why.

Gladiator runs at full speed ~99% of the time for me now. The only major slowdowns are when doing challenges in the Battledome. Other than that, I'll have only very minor slowdowns if there's a lot going on.

I don't think the slowdowns in the R&C games are definitely hardware related, but instead software related. They seem to be massively bottlenecked by how the EE is emulated on PCSX2. Having a more powerful processor might alleviate the slowdowns a bit, since obviously there's that extra processing headroom, but people still get slowdowns either way apparently.

The fact that your brother can run it at full speed on weaker hardware could all be to do with how the EE is emulated in 1.2.0 compared to the latest dev build. Who knows?
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And some other gubbins that make things work.
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#8
Reading your first message, I thought you were actually having trouble with slowdowns more than just minor ones once in a while, all good is it works well though. On my end, the only level where I'd get any kind of slowdown is the Endzone challenge when I was leveling my weapons but with the sheer number of simultaneous explosions and such, it was to be expected. Still not sluggish though, just felt a little bit stiff.

A while back after discussing the problem of these games with someone, I'm fairly sure I understood that the graphics issues were indeed software related as in how it interacts alongside the GPU but that on the other end, the slowdowns had nothing much to do with the software specifically. Yet again, it's been a while and I'm not knowledgeable in this field at all so we should probably wait for a developer's opinion.

I doubt they'd change the build so much in between versions that a game who was running smoothly with *****-level specs is now sluggish with mid-level ones, and that no one would realize and/or provide a fix or just any documentary on the matter at all. Well, I guess as you said, it'd be a better bet to ask someone who is "close" to the project.
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#9
(08-05-2018, 08:06 PM)Snow Breath Wrote: Reading your first message, I thought you were actually having trouble with slowdowns more than just minor ones once in a while, all good is it works well though. On my end, the only level where I'd get any kind of slowdown is the Endzone challenge when I was leveling my weapons but with the sheer number of simultaneous explosions and such, it was to be expected. Still not sluggish though, just felt a little bit stiff.

A while back after discussing the problem of these games with someone, I'm fairly sure I understood that the graphics issues were indeed software related as in how it interacts alongside the GPU but that on the other end, the slowdowns had nothing much to do with the software specifically. Yet again, it's been a while and I'm not knowledgeable in this field at all so we should probably wait for a developer's opinion.

I doubt they'd change the build so much in between versions that a game who was running smoothly with *****-level specs is now sluggish with mid-level ones, and that no one would realize and/or provide a fix or just any documentary on the matter at all. Well, I guess as you said, it'd be a better bet to ask someone who is "close" to the project.

Nah, yesterday I started playing Gladiator again after a while. The first section of the game had big slowdowns, but it's been fine ever since then. All R&C games run poorly on PCSX2, but as it stands, Gladiator runs the best by far (and if it matters, Todano on R&C 2 or Veldin on R&C 3 are tied for the worst runners).

All R&C games have had big problems being emulated, one of the major problems is the mipmapping going on in these games. That's why the textures are quite messed up if mipmapping isn't enabled. However, the fact that the EE mostly hovers between 90-100% utilisation implies the games are (heavily) EE bottlenecked, and so this further implies internal emulator slowdowns, especially if it doesn't seem to be mitigated with better processors.

Don't forget that 1.2.0 was released in February 2014, so anything could've been changed in that time. Case in point, WRC 4 used to actually boot a few versions ago, but now it doesn't boot at all, so obviously the software regressed in some way which now prevents it from booting. But of course, these are all speculative things I'm saying.
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And some other gubbins that make things work.
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#10
The R&C games running "poorly" isn't PCSX2's fault, they were very demanding on the real hardware and had to use various tricks/compromises as a result.

AFAIK, WRC4 always booted but had issues in-game.
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