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Lordmonkus

BigBox Performance and How to Make it Better

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I see all these tuning performance suggestions, but the issue with BB's performance isn't tuning. BB just doesn't run very well. Personally the number one issue that should be on the Poll and should be worked on is the performance of the suite as a whole. There is no reason that my gaming rig should stutter with 480p videos and mid resolution art. I ran on much lower specs with HS and that was using flash at the time.

All the features are great and Jason is mad man coder, but the next version needs to have performance focused on.

Edited by quazl

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BigBox isn't running well for some users and unfortunately you happen to be one of them but it runs good for me on all of my HTPC's is there occasional hickups and slowdowns yeah there is lag some time but not on a consistent basis in my case. I understand your situation is frustrating but if there was a huge widespread performance issue wouldn't there be a lot more unhappy customers?

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1 minute ago, DOS76 said:

BigBox isn't running well for some users and unfortunately you happen to be one of them but it runs good for me on all of my HTPC's is there occasional hickups and slowdowns yeah there is lag some time but not on a consistent basis in my case. I understand your situation is frustrating but if there was a huge widespread performance issue wouldn't there be a lot more unhappy customers?

Many of us have stopped posting or given up hope, I would say.  I've moved back to emulation station, myself.  The latest Windows update improved performance for me for BB, but now there are even larger performance spikes every 15 seconds or so.

One reason I stopped posting here is because too many people say "it must be your system because mine works fine" or others just saying there is no problem.  This is niche software, so those who want it, really want it, not require it, so when it doesn't work as it should it's extremely frustrating. 

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I believe you and if mine didn't work I would be frustrated myself so I understand. There is always room for performance improvements so I have no issues with that being worked on my point is that it is hard to figure out what is only effecting a few dozen systems compared to the whole user base. Take for example with MS recent update to Windows 10 creator update people with old Nvidia drivers or anyone using MSI Afterburner were getting crashes when trying to use LB/BB so it could be anything that is causing the problem for you specifically a piece of software that is conflicting its pretty hard to nail down.

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Hi,

I am very happy with LB/BB, but I don't think anyone can really argue that performance is an issue though, because it is. The application does need to be improved on performance. I think Jason has been working on various aspects of this and seems to be putting real effort into this since he recently purchased a GPDWin just for this.

Hopefully enough improvements will be made to satisfy most users. I'm hopeful about it.

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32 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

I believe you and if mine didn't work I would be frustrated myself so I understand. There is always room for performance improvements so I have no issues with that being worked on my point is that it is hard to figure out what is only effecting a few dozen systems compared to the whole user base. Take for example with MS recent update to Windows 10 creator update people with old Nvidia drivers or anyone using MSI Afterburner were getting crashes when trying to use LB/BB so it could be anything that is causing the problem for you specifically a piece of software that is conflicting its pretty hard to nail down.

I appreciate you chiming in. My windows 7 and windows 10 installation of LB/BB are on very updated and tweaked hardware and software. Getting solid gaming performance is a good indicator of a well tuned machine.

Big Box and Launchbox's weakness is that it doesn't perform very smoothly and has a lot of stutters, hitches, and sluggish performance. This is with 10 games or with 10,000 games in the library. It is by and far the best solution out there when it comes to frontends, but it does have performance issues.

If this was cleaned up, then Launchbox will be the be all end all frontend.

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Jason has said that performance is on the short list of things to focus on in the upcoming releases.

I will just repeat myself here with what I said back in the first post in this thread:

For reference I have Launchbox setup on 2 systems and things run fine on both.

System one:
Windows 8.1
AMD 8350 @ 4 GHz
16 gigs ram
GTX 970 graphics card
2 TB Western Digital Red
10,000+ games

Launchbox runs perfectly smooth on this system with full settings and any theme view.

System two:
Windows 7
AMD Athlon 3800+ @ 2.4 GHz
2 gigs ram
Radeon 7850 (1 gig DDR5 vram)
Some generic 160 gig hard drive
2500+ games

This computer is an old Acer PC that was my parents before they upgraded and by todays standards is pretty much a toaster. Using all the tweaks I mentioned above I have Launchbox with the stock theme and text based lists running very smooth.

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It's also significantly unfair to compare Big Box to... any other front end? It's probably the most advanced front end in terms of it's back end, and has a single developer. Performance wasn't on the poll because it's always a concern, and something that is worked on little by little in almost every single beta.

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I've not tried the logging, but I do see this log setting in the settings.xml file:

<DebugLog>false</DebugLog>

Assuming you change to true for it.

 

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I don't know if this would be much help to @Jason Carr but I've notices a small bit of a trend googling the different CPU's and it seems that most of the CPU's that are having the most performance issues her all have 1mb of L2 Cache, which when split across four Cores really is only a quarter of a mb of L2 cache per core.  Take my computer its CPU is a lowly Dual core E7300 yet runs LaunchBox/BigBox flawlessly but yet it has 3mb of L2 Cache, which in essence is 1.5 mb of L2 cache split across 2 cores.  This is just an observation of course and i might be completely wrong.

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An observation I keep making is that people Intel K series CPU's are most often reporting the issues. That's not always the case, but it's a majority of cases. I'm debating on revamping my Google Poll for hardware with Jason's look over, and then post it in the weekly e-mail. I get the optics, XYZ game performs great on my machine, and this application doesn't. To be honest and fair, those AAA games have hundreds of thousands of dollars poured in to them, with paid developers and a paid QA team. I am a paid staff member, but my job roll hasn't really been QA. Maybe it could be going forward, but im already at max, and we certainly can't afford another developer. So, part of the issue is certainly our size and what we're trying to achieve. Big Box (and LB) is certainly much more complicated than anything else like it. I'm not trying to blow smoke or play things up, I see that as honestly true. Going back to AAA games, even they come out broken constantly and need patching, but they still have the money, time and resources behind them to do that swiftly. Steam, I would say, is a great comparison in terms of feature set and complexity, minus the store on our end. They still have the team and money though, and even Steam consistently has issues where you go to pay money to buy games. I will agree though, if the barrier to entry outright is money (at least for Big Box), you want to feel like you're getting your money's worth.

What I also meant by low powered options; Jason is wanting to make a low-fi version of LB and BB for low end machines, but I would be willing to bet that he figures out new and clever ways to enhance and improve LB and BB as a whole, not just for the low-fi version. We also need to try and figure out a common thread amongst everyone who has performance problems; Cut off a certain year or spec of PC (because too low and there would be no question as to why there is poor performance), and then take the pool and figure out whats what. Like Maddoc is seeing, and like I am seeing, L2 caches and K series CPU's. It's also hard trying to figure out who's system is running up to par, as in who keeps up with the maintenance of their software and hardware. I feel bad telling someone that the problem may be them, but it usually is, even if they didn't do it intentionally. LaunchBox isn't being shipped on it's own hardware that we can control, it's being shipped to a sandbox that can be as big or as little as the user has, with as many variables as possible. As with recent evidence, it can come down to something as little as a Windows update, what version your drivers are on, what's installed, whats running in the background, before we even get to whats actually wrong with LaunchBox. This post... isn't really directed at anyone I guess. I think you guys know most of that... but for others who don't, or for those who want another way to look at it from our point of view, there you go.

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I think if Jason wanted to, he could add a log setting for performance timing, which could timestamp all the performance related things LB/BB does. That would show exactly how much time each PC is taking to get through specific parts of the program. Just a thought...

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I talked to him about that before actually, a debugger, that would be a massive undertaking, but at a certain point I think we both agreed it would be needed.

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I'm not talking about running an actual debugger. I just mean to log stuff for performance analysis.

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Sure, I think we're still talking about the same thing. Debugger, logger; Something that will give stats at various levels when a user is having issues.

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Ok, but I wouldn't have thought logging some performance timings would be a "massive undertaking". I'm sure it would not be.

Edit: By the way, having something like that would also allow any tester to see if there is any performance regression on their box with new builds.

Edited by ckp

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Computer Specs
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Processor                               AMD A8-7650K Processor Unlocked Quad Core 3.3GHz Radeon R7 GPU
Memory                                  8GB DDR3
Graphics Card                       AMD Radeon R7 250 Graphics Card - 1GB DDR5
SSD                                         Crucial 120GB (OS ONLY)
HDD                                        Western Digital Blue 1TB - 7200RPM 3.5" HDD (all APPS and Programs)
OS                                           Windows 10 Home Premium 64-Bit (Creator Edition)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall my machine is fast and responsive Booting up in about 10 seconds from a cold boot.
LaunchBox and BigBox take about 30 seconds to show the UI. 
My Current Games count is 13808.
I am considering a clean install but the machine is used just for Games and pinball.  there aren't many third party just what's needed to run the games and most are ran on Secondary 1TB HDD (Mechanical).

Question / Troubleshooting:

What's the best way of Starting over?  I like to test the load time without anything.

Then add back each system and see how it impacts load time.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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1 minute ago, NJDave71 said:

Computer Specs
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Processor                               AMD A8-7650K Processor Unlocked Quad Core 3.3GHz Radeon R7 GPU
Memory                                  8GB DDR3
Graphics Card                       AMD Radeon R7 250 Graphics Card - 1GB DDR5
SSD                                         Crucial 120GB (OS ONLY)
HDD                                        Western Digital Blue 1TB - 7200RPM 3.5" HDD (all APPS and Programs)
OS                                           Windows 10 Home Premium 64-Bit (Creator Edition)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall my machine is fast and responsive Booting up in about 10 seconds from a cold boot.
LaunchBox and BigBox take about 30 seconds to show the UI. 
My Current Games count is 13808.
I am considering a clean install but the machine is used just for Games and pinball.  there aren't many third party just what's needed to run the games and most are ran on Secondary 1TB HDD (Mechanical).

Question / Troubleshooting:

What's the best way of Starting over?  I like to test the load time without anything.

Then add back each system and see how it impacts load time.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the best way is to install BB to a second location, i.e. Make a second installation.  Then you can launch that installation separately, and test as you want. 

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5 minutes ago, half-fast said:

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the best way is to install BB to a second location, i.e. Make a second installation.  Then you can launch that installation separately, and test as you want. 

So,  your suggestion to install Launchbox in it's own folder [LB TEST] leaving the original untouched?   How would the License be handled?

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