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DamnedRegisstrations

Big Box slow startup time

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Finally switched over from Hyperspin and got everything setup. I've a fairly large collection because I record vid sets for Circo and Emumovies.

I currently have 68 systems and around 54k games. That sounds huge but systems like Commodore 64 alone has around 9k games alone (no dupes). Big Box takes around 25 seconds everytime to load up where as HS started almost instantly.

I understand there's some caching going on as you load but is there anything I'm missing? Why such a long loading time for a frontend?

I've done all the troubleshooting steps I could find. Manually updated image caches. I have no playlists as I never used them, everything is clean and pretty tidy. Big Box works fine once loaded, no lag. I only use box, wheel and cart images with Unified theme. Launchbox is on my SSD which has plenty of free space still. PC specs are aging but still decent. If any other info is needed, I'll provide it.

i5 4670k 4.2ghz
8gb ram
GTX 1060
Samsung EVO SSD

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Heyyyy welcome!  Haven't seen that name in ages.  I think I have a start up video that lasts about 15 seconds maybe, and somehow it's perfectly timed for when bigbox starts up.  I don't even have close to that amount though.  That's frickin' huge.  I think there is a cache setting you can adjust, but I'm not sure what it was.  Someone else probably knows more. 

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Hey what's up, I remember your name too lol. I quit messing with artwork and HS stuff long ago and just focused on doing vids behind the scenes.

Yeah I tried a startup vid and that does cover it fine. I was just hoping there was some way to avoid the long loading time altogether. I don't think the ram cache setting exists anymore.

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Yeah, not sure if there's anything more you can do as far as optimizing.  I guess that might be one thing HS still has over LB.  How are you liking it though so far?

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Besides the loading time, I think it's great. I love finally having proper widescreen and controller support. It's also nice being able to use a theme that makes it just like HS without the quirks.

Only thing I don't like is how Unified relies on videos for platform themes. Especially since Circo and I have updated a lot of the system videos. Like for example the Unified GCE Vectrex theme uses an old video with messed up choppy audio, I redid that a while ago with a much better vid.

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Hey Damned, great to see you here :)

There are multiple reasons why Unified relies on platform videos. The main reason is that I did the Unified platform videos a long time before I even started with the Big Box theme so there was not much need to completely re-create them in the Big Box theming engine, which would have taken me countless of extra hours to get everything right.

If you have a list with updated system videos I could update the Unified videos with them as well.

 

As for your original question. The more games you have in your library the longer your start up times will be. 25 seconds for 54k games sounds pretty normal to me. The main difference between HyperSpin and Big Box is that HyperSpin only loads one XML at a time, so when you start HS it only loads the MainMenu.xml and when you enter a system it loads the XML file of this system.

Big Box on the other hand loads/caches everything at startup to provide cross-platform filters, searches, playlists or simple things like displaying the games count of a platform in the platform views.

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Hey great to see you too.

Yeah I see the process of making themes is a lot more difficult in LB since HS had a simple theme creating tool. Visual Studio is quite more complex to fiddle with.

I wish there was a way to even disable the search and filter features as I'd rather have a faster loading time but I understand if that's not something that'll be incorporated.

Here's a list of your vids I checked that need updating with the latest HQ system vids:

Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Atari Lynx
Bandai WonderSwan Color
Creatronic Mega Duck
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Famicom Disk System
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
Nintendo Game Boy Color
Nintendo Game Boy
Sega CD
Sega Master System
GCE Vectrex
Watara Supervision

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I'm experiencing a similar issue but I'm suspect that its related to recent releases of Launchbox. I've been running Big Box for approx. 6 months now and overall I've had a great experience, never had any choppiness like other users have posted and my startup time was seconds at most. As of recent (past 2 weeks) my startup time has reached unacceptable levels. I have a startup video that lasts about 15-20 sec. and now I get a black screen for another 47 sec. after while I wait for Big Box to start (I'll post a video when I get home this evening) Additionally after boot I have theme videos that play for each "Platform Category" which for me is Console/Handheld, Arcade, and Game Systems (Platforms). These videos play as you rotate the wheel. (I use Unified as well) however after the long wait Big Box skips the currently selected "Platform Category" video and randomly selects a sub-category ie. Nintendo WIi, etc...

 

From a numbers perspective I have a 3.9 GHZ i5, 16GB RAM, and a GTX 970. I have 120Gb SSD drive that boots Windows 7 64 and a 1Tb SSD drive that houses all my games. I have 4,987 games which really isn't that much. The machine rests in a dedicated cabinet and is only used for gaming.

 

2 things changed in the past 2 weeks, I upgraded from Launchbox 9.4 to 9.6 and then to 9.7 last night (to see if it fixed my problem which is didn't) and I added 6 new games with 1 new emulator (Teknoparrot 1.93 since it now supports Lindbergh on Win 7) Else everything is the same as when it worked really well.

 

Is there a way to downgrade back to 9.4 without messing anything up? @Jason Carr any other ideas to fix this? Anything change that could impact Big Box startup times from 9.5-9.7 releases?

 

As note, once booted everything works great, no choppiness whatsoever and flipping between genres, platforms, videos, transitions, etc.... is near flawless and loads in milliseconds.

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2 hours ago, bojo5150 said:

Is there a way to downgrade back to 9.4 without messing anything up?

Look in your \Launchbox\Updates folder, there are previous versions of installers in there.

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Startup times can vary based on what changed in previous launches. For example, if you've changed a bunch of playlists, then they will need to be re-cached on startup the next run (if they did not finish caching on the previous launch).

If you're seeing 1 minute startup times, then I'm guessing most likely things are caching, and you probably have a lot of playlists. Playlists are probably what affect long startup times the most.

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I have no playlists at all and I'm still hit with a 25 or so second startup time. I tried temporarily removing the ZX Spectrum and C64 databases just to test, and a couple seconds were shaved off. That's about it. Those 2 systems alone have around 15k games in my setup. Wonder if it's something else causing this delay.

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I do have a ton of playlists (somewhere around 50 or so) however I've only created 1 recently (Sega Lindbergh). Prior to this Big Box has always launched very quickly (immediately after startup video ended)

Jason, when you say "Caching" does Big Box re-cache each time it loads? (is there a way to tell it not to re-cache if no changes have been made?) Also, how would I know if its "Completed Caching" Do you have any input / advice on how to cache everything so that it loads faster the next time? Any way to force a full re-cache?

@LordmonkusIs there any downside / risk to downgrading to 9.4? I'm not sure I could handle any data loss at this point as I have tons of hours into this build! 🙂

 

Thanks everyone for the support!

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Any chance you can share the 9.4 installer so I can test it too? Maybe a mega.co.nz link or something?

Since I'm new to LB, I don't have any of the older versions available or know where to find them.

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1 hour ago, bojo5150 said:

Is there any downside / risk to downgrading to 9.4? I'm not sure I could handle any data loss at this point as I have tons of hours into this build!

You should be fine but of course i'm not responsible for anything that does go wrong if it did.

1 minute ago, DamnedRegisstrations said:

Any chance you can share the 9.4 installer so I can test it too? Maybe a mega.co.nz link or something?

If you need and older version please send an email to support@unbrokensoftware.com

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1 hour ago, DamnedRegisstrations said:

I have no playlists at all and I'm still hit with a 25 or so second startup time. I tried temporarily removing the ZX Spectrum and C64 databases just to test, and a couple seconds were shaved off. That's about it. Those 2 systems alone have around 15k games in my setup. Wonder if it's something else causing this delay.

25 seconds of a startup time with 54,000 games and your hardware seems about normal and expected. The CPU is the most likely bottleneck here. That CPU is around 6 years old, so that combined with that number of games unfortunately isn't going to result in a lightning fast startup time. I've optimized startup times many, many times in the past, and I'll probably optimize them again at some point, but eventually I do hit walls.

1 hour ago, bojo5150 said:

I do have a ton of playlists (somewhere around 50 or so) however I've only created 1 recently (Sega Lindbergh). Prior to this Big Box has always launched very quickly (immediately after startup video ended)

Jason, when you say "Caching" does Big Box re-cache each time it loads? (is there a way to tell it not to re-cache if no changes have been made?) Also, how would I know if its "Completed Caching" Do you have any input / advice on how to cache everything so that it loads faster the next time? Any way to force a full re-cache?

@LordmonkusIs there any downside / risk to downgrading to 9.4? I'm not sure I could handle any data loss at this point as I have tons of hours into this build! 🙂

Thanks everyone for the support!

Big Box should only be caching playlists that are changed, or have games that have changed, etc, which should happen automatically. There isn't currently a way to oversee this or force it, as it happens every time Big Box is started up. I never recommend downgrading, but it probably won't mess anything up. Keep in mind that the startup time helps to ensure that your experience inside of Big Box is a smooth one. Older versions may not perform as well.

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I had arround 43k games and bigbox startet after the 20+seconds intro. Now there are arround 49k games and it tooks 70-75 seconds to start!!!

I only filled up some sets, so that could not be the problem BUT (like bojo5150) I added TeknoParrot (Lindbergh, Namco ES3, Taito Type X, Sega RingWide/RingEdge).

After that the launchtime is very extreme.

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10 hours ago, pomod said:

I had arround 43k games and bigbox startet after the 20+seconds intro. Now there are arround 49k games and it tooks 70-75 seconds to start!!!

I only filled up some sets, so that could not be the problem BUT (like bojo5150) I added TeknoParrot (Lindbergh, Namco ES3, Taito Type X, Sega RingWide/RingEdge).

After that the launchtime is very extreme.

That doesn't sound normal; if you would, please zip up and PM me your LaunchBox\Data folder, and I'll see what's going on.

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