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Extremely high CPU usage (big box)


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CPU: i5 4670K OC 4.4

GPU: RTX 2060

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO

Hey, just got LaunchBox & EmuMovies premium and I'm just getting started. A bit saddening that I'm running into a problem rendering both useless, but whatever. I currently only have one game added as I set up the user interface. 

Problem is that after about 5-10 minutes fiddling around and traveling through different menus, my CPU usage skyrockets to 100% suddenly (seems to spike multiple times throughout the 5-10 minutes, but higher each time), causing my entire computer to hang until I can manage to get an escape input to go through, then the settings menu is usable but pretty choppy. 

I googled and saw people were mentioning image cache, so I force populated images in Big Box since that seems to help some people, but the problem persists. I'm lost. 

Edited by Goshyiyo
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Seems to be connected to videos playing. If I idle on the one game I have and let the video snapshot repeat, the CPU usage eventually creeps up to 100% or near it. I don't know how'd this play out if I was scrolling through games with new videos playing each time. I have no idea how to fix this, so if anyone could help I'd greatly appreciate it. 

I'd try changing the video engine to WMP but my system doesn't have it because I ripped it from my windows install (created a custom one) and the alternative ways of getting it haven't worked, so I believe my only option would be reinstalling windows, and that's a bitch. 

This doesn't happen if I let the video replay inside VLC alone. So it's definitely related to BigBox somehow, or it's using an old version or something. 

Edit: Added some more games, confirmed that it's related to the loading (or possibly also closing, not sure how BigBox deals with it exactly) of video playback. Small spikes each time until it eventually decides to shit itself. Loaded ~48 videos at once in VLC alone and my system only hung for a few seconds when closing them all, as opposed to long freezes in BigBox and videos being opened/closed at a much more moderate rate.  

Edit: Attached an image just to show what it looks like on a graph. This was as I scrolled through the games. Seems to get worse the longer the program is running. 

Screenshot_91.png

Edited by Goshyiyo
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4 hours ago, Retro808 said:

I will tag @Jason Carr

Thanks. I decided to install a custom version of windows that included WMP this time. Everything is running far more smoothly including scrolling between titles etc. My CPU usage doesn't exceed 30%.

So for me, this issue is resolved. It might be worth looking into but most users will be able to just switch to WMP. 

Edited by Goshyiyo
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Hi @Goshyiyo, first off, sorry to hear that you're running into those issues. This is an odd one, because it's not an issue that I've ever seen before, so it's probably somehow system-specific. I have some questions for you in order to help narrow down the problem:

  • Is the issue happening in LaunchBox, Big Box, or both?
  • What version of Windows are you running?
  • Do you have MSI Afterburner installed?
  • Do you have any anti-virus or other security software installed?
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17 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Hi @Goshyiyo, first off, sorry to hear that you're running into those issues. This is an odd one, because it's not an issue that I've ever seen before, so it's probably somehow system-specific. I have some questions for you in order to help narrow down the problem:

  • Is the issue happening in LaunchBox, Big Box, or both?
  • What version of Windows are you running?
  • Do you have MSI Afterburner installed?
  • Do you have any anti-virus or other security software installed?

1. I've mostly been configuring BigBox this entire time, but I just did a little bit of testing (a couple minutes) on Launchbox and managed to hit around 80% CPU usage with decreased system responsiveness. This is opposed to being at around 40% max with WMP. So far BigBox is the only one that managed to hang my system though. 

2. 1909, newest. 

3. I did on my old installation, currently no.

4. None. 

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In the case of Launchbox it was likely caching images, if you change image type, or use the size slider and the like Launchbox remakes the cache. You can see it doing so by a small bar at the very top of the window that fills from left to right. That hits the cpu hard while its doing the caching.

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It's possible that the brunt of the issues on your old installation were caused by MSI Afterburner. It's very poorly written software and has a nasty habit of significantly interfering and causing performance issues with .NET applications. So that could have been the main issue, but I can't say for certain.

As Neil stated, LaunchBox can use a significant amount of CPU usage while caching images (which will complete before too long), so that could be the reason for the CPU usage there.

Also, in Big Box, what theme are you running?

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13 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

It's possible that the brunt of the issues on your old installation were caused by MSI Afterburner. It's very poorly written software and has a nasty habit of significantly interfering and causing performance issues with .NET applications. So that could have been the main issue, but I can't say for certain.

As Neil stated, LaunchBox can use a significant amount of CPU usage while caching images (which will complete before too long), so that could be the reason for the CPU usage there.

Also, in Big Box, what theme are you running?

For Launchbox, the test I did was just cycling through videos. Caching wasn't a factor, but as I changed image types my CPU usage only managed to hit 30% or so. I only have 8 games imported. 

I doubt Afterburner was the issue, as I observed the same problem on my new install. I never had it running anyway. 

For BigBox, I tried multiple themes. I still encountered the issue on default, but CityHunter 2 is my main theme. 

It's definitely related to VLC and loading videos on the surface at least. If the videos aren't there, it doesn't happen. If I remove the background video in CityHunter, it delays the problem but it still happens. I literally observe the spikes happen every video that loads until eventually one loads and it skyrockets usage to 90-100%. It becomes more prone to this the longer I do it. On the other hand WMP is much more consistent. 

Edited by Goshyiyo
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Thanks, that helps. All I can figure at this point is that there's something strange going on between a particular driver you're using and our implementation of VLC. Have you tried updating your video drivers? Beyond that, it would be good to know the exact hardware you have so I can take note of it. Thanks again.

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13 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

Thanks, that helps. All I can figure at this point is that there's something strange going on between a particular driver you're using and our implementation of VLC. Have you tried updating your video drivers? Beyond that, it would be good to know the exact hardware you have so I can take note of it. Thanks again.

Yeah, sorry we couldn't pin down the issue exactly. 

I'm using the latest driver for my GPU (441.66)

Mobo: Z87-GD65
GPU: RTX 2060 
CPU: i5 4670K
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
RAM: 16GB G.Skill TridentX
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 
PSU: Not sure, some random 650W

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  • 4 months later...

i'm having this issue with a 9900k using 100% usage nearly every time launchbox launches for more than 15 seconds or so after launches... it also will happen sporadically for no reason when navigating the ui... it cant be image caching because it happens all the time...

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  • 1 year later...

some more data; this is me at the options menu in bigbox, nothing happening. bigbox running is somehow eating up 16 threads near 100%. 

would be great to get some debugging tools built into bigbox; maybe a way to start-stop a profile or something that we can share as I'm not sure how to go about investigating this or how to get the devs to help.

Screenshot 2021-05-03 190549.png

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Logs indicate you are force populating your image cache. That process will use as much CPU as it can to cache all your images as quickly as possible. To see large CPU use while performing that task is to be expected. CPU use being high isn't a bad thing, it means the software is utilizing your resources to the best of it's ability.

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One of the following options was checked which fires logic that verifies what media a game does or does not have and is the cause for your increased CPU usage:

Force populate image cache
Hide Games Missing Video
Hide Games Missing Box Front
Hide Games Missing Screenshot
Hide Games Missing Background
Hide Games Missing Clear Logo

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