Yet another Dragon Quest 8 performance thread
Hello!  Let me preface this thread by stating that I'm not overly concerned with how pretty the game is: I just want it to RUN with only -occasional- slowdown instead of the slowdown that's happening every thirty-or-so seconds.

I apologize for posting in someone else's thread earlier; many of the emulation forums I visit have a policy of maintaining only a single thread per game, and I just presumed it would be bad form if I posted yet another thread on this subject.  But, after some welcome guidance, I've posted my own woes in this one, and said woes doubly frustrate me because I somehow managed to get the game to run spectacularly with an inferior graphics card to the one I have now.  But, when the hard drive I had all my emulators and other junk saved on decided to give up the ghost, I lost whatever settings I had and I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the game to run well again.  The GPU is the only hardware I've changed since I last tried to play DQ8.

My system specs are:

OS:  Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
CPU:  AMD A10-5800K (4 cores at ~3.8Ghz each)
GPU:  AMD R9 380

I've fiddled around will the graphics settings in PCSX2 1.4.0 to no avail.  Here's a screenshot of what they are right now:

Here's a screenshot of what the top-of-the-window numbers look like when the action is grinding to a halt:

It's been happening frequently, but it only started recently.  I expect occasional slowdown, but up until today, it would happen only very infrequently, and typically only for a few seconds during cutscenes.  I've tried rebooting and fiddling with some of the settings, but I by no means know my way around PCSX2 the same way I do, say, NEStopia or ZSNES, so I was leery of trying to change too much because I'm not confident I could fix it if I broke it.

If I need to provide further information, I will do my best to come up with it.  I greatly appreciate any help you can offer!

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Update: I've fiddled around with the various speedhack settings and different combinations of GS, and so far, absolutely nothing has helped. Going full blast with speedhacks and turning the framelimiting to OFF had the best results, as the emulator was returning 90FPS which would bog down to 30FPS, which still wasn't that much of an improvement over the 20FPS I was getting with default settings.

This problem -just- started yesterday, too. I've been playing the game for a few days and had only the very occasional slowdown to 25FPS which would last for about five seconds before the game returned to normal speed, but all of a sudden, and without my changing a single setting, my speed dropped like a rock.
Well first off your on an AMD GPU don't use OpenGL use DirectX 11. That should give you a noticeable speedup.

Second even then your CPU is going to be the limiting factor here even using DX11 you're stilll looking at a CPU that's going to struggle with a lot of games.

Don't throw the speedhacks all the way up that's actually going to hurt you and give false FPS readings and DEFINITELY don't turn off frame limiting as running at 90FPS will actually make the game run a 150% speed meaning you're game will be running too fast.

Also DDR5 ram doesn't exist.
Ha! That's what I get for not proofreading my posts as thoroughly as I should. I certainly have DDR3 RAM; I have no idea what my mind was on when I was typing.

I've tried running DirectX11, but admittedly, I didn't stick with it for very long because of my mounting frustration, so I'll go back to that and see if I can tweak things to squeeze a bit more speed.

So, my CPU is my limiting factor? That does make sense, as even though it's been great for running games released in the past year, my (limited) understanding is that highly advanced emulators like PCSX2 are much more CPU-intensive. On the other hand, I'm further mystified because it's the same processor I had when I was playing DQ8 last year without anything I'd consider worthy of "problem" status. I guess I may need to look into upgrading the motherboard and CPU after all. I haven't had trouble with other PS2 games I have and would rather play on an emulator, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms X (not very intensive, I know) and both PS2 Castlevania games, but I understand that DQ8 is much more demanding.

I appreciate your help. I'll putter around a bit more and see if I can come up with framerate drops that are, at least, playable.
One last update, just in case someone who's looking for help might not have tried it yet (or, as I should have done, tried it -first-) and they're having similar problems to mine:

So, the game is running like a dream, now. In the way only a dunderhead can do it, I finally decided that I'd crack open my PC case and see if there was any physical problem, and indeed there was: dust. I have a Maine Coon cat whom I haven't had for all that long, so I tend to forget just how much more regularly I need to dust out my PC. Apparently, my CPU was getting too hot, as I've had this happen before with an older computer when I was trying to play Neverwinter Nights 2 and kept running into slowdown I'd never seen before.

So, yeah. Keeping a clean PC. Who would have guessed? Apparently me, because I needed a slap upside the head. Thank you to everyone who gave me direction on where to post and advice on how to speed up my game.

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