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Lordmonkus

BigBox Input Lag Investigation

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I am making this thread because there is a thread on /r/emulation where a few people are saying that BigBox has controller input lag issues in BigBox.

Personally I have not experienced this problem at all and in testing I cannot reproduce it, neither can the other mods. So what I am trying to do here is gather any information from people who are having this issue and have it all in one place to see if we can find a common thread in what may be causing this issue.

Please post with any relevant information you can such has system specs, operating system and any potential software that may be interfering (eg: anti virus, controller software such as xpadder).

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I just purchased one of the new ACEPC Nucs, https://www.amazon.com/ACEPC-Processor-Computer-Ethernet-Dua-Band/dp/B07C1N3W8S

I installed LB/BB on it a few nights ago and am almost finished configuring everything. The system came with Windows 10 Home and I don't have xpadder, but I am running a DualShock 4 using the DSWindows driver/setup to allow the DS4 to be seen as a 360 controller. I also have a 3rd party 360 clone controller that is natively seen in Windows 10 as a 360 controller.

I have noticed some input lag with this system. I am currently trying to track down if the issue is related to the Intel graphics drivers, the TV I have it connected to, the resolution of Windows and the refresh rate settings in all the OS/apps, or something else.

Finally, I am running LaunchBox 8.7 release version.

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1 hour ago, Lordmonkus said:

I am making this thread because there is a thread on /r/emulation where a few people are saying that BigBox has controller input lag issues in BigBox.

Personally I have not experienced this problem at all and in testing I cannot reproduce it, neither can the other mods. So what I am trying to do here is gather any information from people who are having this issue and have it all in one place to see if we can find a common thread in what may be causing this issue.

Please post with any relevant information you can such has system specs, operating system and any potential software that may be interfering (eg: anti virus, controller software such as xpadder).

Just a suggestion you might want to make sure people post how many games they have as well incase it's an issue that's related to people having so many games over x amount.

 

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I used to have more lag in BB, but it got better at some point this year. Since i didn`t see any performance improvements listed in patch notes (might have missed it) I suppose I changed something in my PC that made it better.
I still notice some delay at loading game info, especially images (video too, but that is kinda expected). the cursor changes fast but the image take another second or so to show, that gives the impression of lag. I suppose it`s a normal amount of time to find an image in the disk and load it, but it could be better if it was pre cached I guess.
Some other stuff that makes it feel laggy:

- selecting a platform and going back from game list to platform list takes ~2 seconds
- fluidity of animations (scrolling between games or emulators, sometimes looks like they run at 3fps)
- input is lost when you navigate too fast (put the cursor on some game that is not yet cached, press up 4 times fast, the cursor goes up only 2 games or so) - I guess this one happens because the UI freezes while loading image/video and doesn`t process the input.

I think it could be better if  the images were cached as textures on the gpu and files were loaded in a background thread (just guessing)

Anyways, I use a stock fx6300  with 8gb ddr3,
rx480 8gb,
2560x1080@75hz (tried 1920x1080@60hz too)
win10, latest drivers
xbox 360 wireless controller (no lag in games)
~12k games, 480p videos, everything in a 7200rpm (~80MB/s read HDD)
- no xpadder or antivirus
tried many themes, all with similar symptoms.

Thanks for looking into this.

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Just to be clear @Lordmonkus is talking about the input lag experienced by the controller when scrolling through game titles. Not lag you would experience in your system loading images or video files or transitioning from one platform to the next. 

See the video posted in this thread to understand what it is specifically targeting.

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I could be totally off on this but I was going through and reading everything from the other thread on this issue and it got me thinking. In the other thread @jasoncarr was talking about the way the software checks for controllers every 5 seconds and something I've noticed so far is that everyone is using windows 10 and either an xbox controller or a controller that is read as one. There's one other program that almost every windows 10 machine uses without people even thinking about it and that's the xbox app that's included with Windows 10.

I used my xbox 360 controller and scrolled through every game and platform I have on my system and never once even got the slightest bit of input lag, and the first thing I did when I installed Windows 10 was used powershell and removed every bit of bloatware Microsoft put on the system, including the xbox app because even when you're not using the app itself it still searches for a controller and inputs from one.

obviously there's no way to test this theory without other people being willing to temporarily removing the xbox app from their pc, but is it possible the checks from launchbox/big box and the xbox app are somehow conflicting with each other? After all it's not exactly like microsoft lists everything they change in their change logs and they are still doing the staggered updates so maybe something they've changed triggered/ made it worse?

Just a thought, sorry if this isn't helpful.

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@voicesinthedark Very interesting. I'll remove that app and do some tests later. I recall getting rid of that app on another Win 10 machine I have that is my Arcade dev box. It doesn't have any controller lag, now that I think of it.

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I may have to throw a small wrench in that XboxApp theory. 1 of my setups has the app on it and no controller lag. I will run some tests on the other setups to see if installing it initiates the lag. 

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2 hours ago, Retro808 said:

I may have to throw a small wrench in that XboxApp theory. 1 of my setups has the app on it and no controller lag. I will run some tests on the other setups to see if installing it initiates the lag. 

and that's with a controller that's recognized as an xbox controller (or is one) and not one only recognized as an HID?

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Alright, I was OP on reddit and the discussion got carried away toward this issue. My gripe with BigBox is not so much the LAG but rather the STUTTERS, which would more precisely describe the behavior. I've got this with controller or keyboard. I find that spinning the platform wheel or scrolling down the game list stutters for like half a second, enough to be clearly noticeable. Often, during that stutters, inputs will not register.

I'm running bare bone settings in BigBox default theme, no music, no video, no coverflow. I've got Launchbox, metadata and emulators of an SSD and the roms are on a HDD. I5 2500K, GTX 570, 8gb RAM.

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11 minutes ago, voicesinthedark said:

and that's with a controller that's recognized as an xbox controller (or is one) and not one only recognized as an HID?

With it recognized as xbox controller. It has no issues with any controller at all. 

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10 minutes ago, Iscariath said:

Alright, I was OP on reddit and the discussion got carried away toward this issue. My gripe with BigBox is not so much the LAG but rather the STUTTERS, which would more precisely describe the behavior. I've got this with controller or keyboard. I find that spinning the platform wheel or scrolling down the game list stutters for like half a second, enough to be clearly noticeable. Often, during that stutters, inputs will not register.

I'm running bare bone settings in BigBox default theme, no music, no video, no coverflow. I've got Launchbox, metadata and emulators of an SSD and the roms are on a HDD. I5 2500K, GTX 570, 8gb RAM.

For your specific case this sounds more like a hardware thing than an actual problem with input lag like the others are having. How many games do you have? 

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21 minutes ago, voicesinthedark said:

For your specific case this sounds more like a hardware thing than an actual problem with input lag like the others are having. How many games do you have? 

1300+ games on ~26 platforms.

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7 minutes ago, Iscariath said:

1300+ games on ~26 platforms.

With that few games i would lean towards a issue on your system with software conflicts or some such. Thats a very small amount of games really.

EDIT:

Especially if you are getting it with the keyboard also.

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48 minutes ago, Iscariath said:

Alright, I was OP on reddit and the discussion got carried away toward this issue. My gripe with BigBox is not so much the LAG but rather the STUTTERS, which would more precisely describe the behavior. I've got this with controller or keyboard. I find that spinning the platform wheel or scrolling down the game list stutters for like half a second, enough to be clearly noticeable. Often, during that stutters, inputs will not register.

I'm running bare bone settings in BigBox default theme, no music, no video, no coverflow. I've got Launchbox, metadata and emulators of an SSD and the roms are on a HDD. I5 2500K, GTX 570, 8gb RAM.

Have you tried it on LaunchBox to see if you're getting the same result or if it's something you're only getting on BigBox?

EDIT: GTX570 is an 8 year old card now and between windows 10, bigbox and other stuff you have going and if you have a slower rpm hdd it could just be that you're getting some stutter from one or more of those bottlenecking it.

Edited by voicesinthedark

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I agree. Typically the issue in reference occurs with just the controller. The users in the other threads did state that when reverting to keyboard inputs the lag was not present. 

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20 minutes ago, voicesinthedark said:

Have you tried it on LaunchBox to see if you're getting the same result or if it's something you're only getting on BigBox?

I have a much smoother experience with Launchbox, can't say I ever had that type of problem. I mean, not everything always loads instantly, which is not what I expect, but I never had that UI itself stutter in Launchbox. In Bigbox, it's as if when the program is loading an image or game info, it won't do anything until everything as been fully rendered. Precisely, in my Platforms list, I have vertical wheel 1 with logo, custom images for background (taken from Emulation Station) and Platform text info on the side with everything else turned off. In game list, I have text with details, game box cover and gameplay screenshot.

I don't know if it would do any good but would keeping images quantity to a minimum helps? Say I only download clear logos, boxart and gameplay screenshots and remove everything else?

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1 minute ago, Iscariath said:

I don't know if it would do any good but would keeping images quantity to a minimum helps? Say I only download clear logos, boxart and gameplay screenshots and remove everything else?

It shouldnt really matter as Bigbox is only loading the images it needs for the theme you are using, at least i assume that is the case. Speaking of which have you tried any other themes?

Try this one and see if your issues persist.

 

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@Iscariath I have a mini PC Acer Veriton with an i5-3337U 1.80GHz 8GB DDR3 500GB SATA and an intel HD 4000; not powerful at all. It has problems with some themes (stutter and slowness on artwork changes), but it works impeccable and  smooth with Cid's Unified theme (in all the views). I encourage you to test your set with that theme and see how it goes.

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