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Lag in COLORFUL BigBox Theme


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Posted (edited)

I looked at your new video showing the options lag and I don't find that too bad on viewing but I'll compare that with mine today. What was interesting was that bottom flicker for some reason.

Edit: see my post below this one before continuing with this post. I'm hoping since you have MSI, you might have a service running on your box that interferes with WPF rendering.

Yeah I can do that, zip it up and upload it to google drive or something and PM me the link.

I have ~8500 games. Looks like you have 100,000+ games from your video. You mentioned earlier you tested without  your collection and it was fine until you added your collection back. Are you copying the db and swapping it or you doing an import? How many games did you import when you seen the lag again? As you have more games, the size of the xml files grow in the data folder. So as it gets bigger, the faster your SSD is the better. Unless you have an unused NVME m2 slot on your motherboard, testing another SSD wouldn't give you any conclusive results as you're too limited over sata3.  BTW, is your bios storage setting set to SATA3 mode, IDE Mode, or RAID mode? Should be SATA3 or Intel RAID over IDE (the default). If it's IDE, then changing that will improve your storage speeds but may temp break win10 booting up (google switching w10 from ide to sata for a easy fix).

I just thought of something else that Windows 10 recently introduced and I was reading about. Windows will now take exclusive fullscreen and run them borderless. Maybe there's a compat issue there with your GPU, read this article and try disabling it. Demystifying Fullscreen Optimizations | DirectX Developer Blog

Below are the instructions on how to disable Fullscreen Optimizations for a game. 

  1. Right Click on the Executable File (.exe) and Select Properties 
  2. Select the Compatibility Tab 
  3. Under Settings – Select “Disable Fullscreen Optimizations 
  4. Click Apply  

You can do that to the BigBox.exe file and see if that makes a difference, I highly doubt it, but it's something quick to test.

You got more ram then me, I doubt it's anything with your RAM as you would have issues elsewhere and not just some lag. Running memtest86+ for 10m should tell you if you have any bad ram. I've had a bad stick of ram that causes random slowness, severe IOWait, etc, so it's *possible* but not likely.

Did you happen to do any setting changes in the nvidia control panel? I think you already installed the latest with the clean install option ticked?

Quote

This Adapter is crucial for my setup, since without it, my TV sometimes loses the signal to my PC which makes the GPU driver crash. It's a super weird issue, I won't get into.

This is definitely weird  and not needed at all on my setup. Only time I ever had Nvidia GPU drivers crash was b/c of a bad game or my temps were at 100C for too long! I was already leaning towards the GPU possibly being the culprit b/c bigbox needs it. Colorful is more demanding than other themes, but you're not running this on a 10 year old machine. the 8700 and 1080 should more than handle it. Reviews say that adapter adds input lag, which could be some of the lag your seeing when going to options. The adapter seems to solve EDID negotiation issues, I doubt your card has the issue, likely that TV. Speaking of the TV, I think I already mentioned it but doubt it has anything to do with the tru "fake" motion crap, but many tvs have fake motion crap that interferes with anything other than motion video. If your tv has a PC hdmi port or a PC input option, try using that or switch from using that. I wouldn't use any PC Input on a TV as most of them assume PC = 20 year old VGA, not modern PC.

One thing you could try too is to disable your nvidia GPU, pull the power connectors or pull the card out of the slot. Plug your TV hdmi into the motherboard hdmi and test with just the intel iGPU on your system. That will at least rule out the GFX for sure, try not to use that adapter for this test.

I'll test your data folder and you test without your nvidia gpu installed. As for big box settings, I didn't change any of the animation settings or anything. I just enabled clear logos, platform videos, changed to my preferred theme views.

Edited by sevenalive
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Posted (edited)

One more thing to check, I think it could be it since it seems to be used in MSI stuff. Check out this thread. Basically look in services.msc and the task manager for Realtek Sonic Studio, Nahimic or NahimicOSD. Many asus rog and MSI software use Nahimic service and that has an issue where it messes with WPF rendering (which bigbox themes use). A person in that thread made a video that may look familiar to you? Since you have an MSI card, perhaps you got that service installed. The service stays installed even if you uninstalled the MSI software stuff. So please check your services and running processes, and the startup tab and review any 3rd party (non MS) stuff. It could also be another overlay type app (think steam overlay type things) that interfere with WPF rendering. it's also present in Realtek software.

BigBox Graphical Glitching v11.3-11.6 *Solved - Page 3* - Page 4 - Troubleshooting - LaunchBox Community Forums (launchbox-app.com)

Edited by sevenalive
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Posted (edited)

Have to write from my phone.

1. In don't have any of these services and or programs.Realtek Sonic Studio, Nahimic or NahimicOSD.

EDIT: To clarify, I have the onboard soundcard disabled in the bios. On a former install of windows I actually did have the drivers and Nahimic software installed (the name sounded familiar, but I never knew what they were for), but on my newest setup, I did not install any realtek related drivers and such.

2. My bios storage mode is ahci

3. I already tried disabling full screen optimizations.

4. The EDID Adapter fixes an issue with my TV, not my gpu. To make it short, apparently my TV has a problem when my gpu is connected to it, but I switch to a different hdmi on the TV, to play my switch. There needs to be a constant signal connection.

5. My gpu drivers are cleanly installed. I didn't change any settings. I also tried various settings, but nothing helped.

6. My TV runs in game mode. All things that could cause input lag are deactivated.

 

I will send you my data folder once I have access to my pc again.

EDIT:

I've sent you a private message. If you want you can also send me your data folder, so I could try it in my setup.

What I forgot to write before, referring to: 

"You mentioned earlier you tested without  your collection and it was fine until you added your collection back. Are you copying the db and swapping it or you doing an import? How many games did you import when you seen the lag again?"

I did not reimport anything into Launchbox through the importer. I just copied my entire data folder back in. All in all that's almost 190.000 entries. Ridiculous, I know, but a large chunk of those are from computer systems which sometimes have a huge amount of roms. Over 70.000 entries are from the Flashpoint ultimate collection alone.

Anyway, I don't know at which point the lag "returns", I just know that if I import 1 game per platform category (for testing purposes), there is no lag, but with my full collection, there is lag. Once again, only in Colorful, not in any other theme.

Edited by SiriusVI
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Posted (edited)

1. But did you verify that yourself with task manager and services.msc? It won't show up in the start menu, most of the time it's a system service running in the background. So please just verify that you checked services.msc and task manager for anything running that could be it. Those aren't the only apps/services that interfere with WPF. So it could be something else installed on the machine that's doing it. So I would take note of the 3rd party stuff running on your system and start googling to see if it interferes with WPF. Since Windows Update installs driver updates now, it could very well be installed but you just don't know unless you check for it.

This does appear to be the WPF rendering issue where a 3rd party app or service is interfering causing performance issues. Colorful is more taxing than some other themes, so it makes sense that you would notice it more on colorful and not on other themes.

6. I'm sure that helps, but there's nothing you can do about that adapter lag. From the amazon reviews, it seems pretty bad. Regardless, it's not input lag that causing a rendering performance issue, but keep in mind you do have some input lag you can't get rid of with that adapter.

Have you tried copying your entire LaunchBox folder on a portable SSD and run bigbox on a friends comparable computer?

I'll try your data folder soon when I have a chance. 

 

 

Edited by sevenalive
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, sevenalive said:

1. But did you verify that yourself with task manager and services.msc? It won't show up in the start menu, most of the time it's a system service running in the background. So please just verify that you checked services.msc and task manager for anything running that could be it. Those aren't the only apps/services that interfere with WPF. So it could be something else installed on the machine that's doing it. So I would take note of the 3rd party stuff running on your system and start googling to see if it interferes with WPF. Since Windows Update installs driver updates now, it could very well be installed but you just don't know unless you check for it.

This does appear to be the WPF rendering issue where a 3rd party app or service is interfering causing performance issues. Colorful is more taxing than some other themes, so it makes sense that you would notice it more on colorful and not on other themes.

6. I'm sure that helps, but there's nothing you can do about that adapter lag. From the amazon reviews, it seems pretty bad. Regardless, it's not input lag that causing a rendering performance issue, but keep in mind you do have some input lag you can't get rid of with that adapter.

Have you tried copying your entire LaunchBox folder on a portable SSD and run bigbox on a friends comparable computer?

I'll try your data folder soon when I have a chance. 

 

 

Hello again,

1. I've checked in msconfig, the task manager and the services menu. These services are not there. I've tried googling which third party program might interfere with WPF rendering, but it felt like googling a symptom you have with the intention of finding out what disease might cause it, haha. That's never successful. What I tried instead is disabling all non microsoft services in msconfig and rebooting. That didn't work as well.

2. I've also read that hardware acceleration might be causing trouble with WPF, so I disabled it in the display options, but that didn't work either.

3. I don't know what you refer to when you say that the EDID adapter causes lag. I've never experienced any kind of lag with it, be it in gaming, streaming or watching Blu-rays. And I am very sensitive when it comes to lagging. I cannot watch a movie if video and audio aren't in sync. And don't get me started about input lag. I used to use steam link, which has a minimal, but noticeable amount of input lag, especially noticeable when playing platformers, like Super Mario World. Again, it was minimal, but enough for my sensitive self to be bothered by it so much that I eventually resorted to a direct HDMI connection.

4. I think I could take my Launchbox to friend's PC, although I don't know anyone living near me who has a similarly beefy PC as me.

EDIT:

5. I also tried disabling Nvidia Geforce ingame overlay, since I read somewhere that overlays in general might cause rendering issues. But again, no luck.

Edited by SiriusVI
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Posted (edited)

So I'm testing your data folder. I just renamed mine and copied yours over. I didn't edit the xmls to point to my games drive as I don't think it would matter. Keep in mind I will not have many of the images and videos for games and platforms like you. 

With your data, it plays my platform videos but I'm missing tons of your images. Now that being said. Big Box took a long time to launch on my pc and it's using almost 4gb of ram. Big box usually launches almost instantly where I don't need the splash (so I disable it). With your data I see the splash for minutes before it launches the UI. So definitely there's a startup performance penalty the more games/platforms you have. I did see some small stutter when I first went to the platforms and categories and then it cleared up, maybe it was caching stuff. I did test your data folder 3 times, and restarted big box a few times. Performance was fine. Every once and a while it does stutter an animation on the wipe animation when selecting a platform. Seems almost random. It freeze once on a platform I don't have, so there's no videos or images. I'm guessing since I don't have the paths defined in the xml, it tried to find something and failed, which took a bit and caused a freeze. 

I checked this wipe stutter against with my data folder and I notice it too but doesn't happen as often with my data. So hopefully this stutter with the wipe animation can be fixed by @viking. I also noticed that the GB has color banding from the gradient around the device on my oled tv, could that be tweaked too @viking?

Overall everything ran smooth, slightly worse than my data folder but nowhere near like your video. Scrolling the wheels and going to options was stutter free. The only stutter I notice was the wipe animation and I'm sure that's an easy tweak to the timing or easing or something. It happens in the same spot (about a 3rd from the right), so I think that's just a programmatic tweak to speed up the wipe or make it more performant. 

 

Edited by sevenalive
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Thanks you so much for testing.

The fact that you don't have my images is not the issue here, since I didn't have images on my test setup for launchbox as well and the lag was still there.

The long startup is definitely related to the number of games and playlists you have in your setup. That's just something I have to live with. There is no fix for that.

I should clarify that the lags only occur when scrolling through the platform categories. When scrolling through platforms colorful is smooth.

That said, scrolling through platform categories in your video was much much smoother than on my machine.

So... I'm out of ideas again... I now tried just about everything I could... I don't have the skills to troubleshoot this issue systematically and the trial and error approach has not generated any viable solutions for me so far. The 2TB SSD was not cheap so I don't see myself replacing it anytime soon, also because I don't think it's the issue here.

I guess I'll have to wait for when I will eventually buy a completely new PC. But that won't happen for at least another 3 to 4 years.

 

Regardless, I thank you so much for your help so far. Do you have any more suggestions for me? I'm out of ideas.

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Hey @SiriusVI. Seems like you've done quite a lot to try and solve your colorful theme conundrum.

Here's my 2c on how you can try and troubleshoot further. This probably works best if you can create a copy of your existing LaunchBox folder.

  • First, you'll want to remove any LaunchBox plugins, just remove that variable altogether (all files within the LAUNCHBOX\Plugins folder).
  • Test and see if that helps any (don't think it will but it's good to check).
  • Then, start removing playlists from LaunchBox, one by one, and then platforms, testing in-between until you get to a point where the theme is finally functioning properly.

This will, at the very least, give you some more info you can work with.

Just know that the colorful theme was built using a special themer plugin, which is used to accomplish certain theming functionality. It could potentially be this plugin that's conflicting with either other plugins that you may have used (or are using) to build your particular library. I'm just not entirely sure how.

Good luck. Hope this, at the very least, gives you some more insight as to your issue.

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I unfortunately am out of ideas too.

I would recommend that you try to clean up those platforms and categories b/c I spotted a few duplicates and redundancies, nothing major. For example there's a "Games" platform that has 2-3 games in it.

You certainly do have one of the most biggest setup's I've seen and BigBox on my machine definitely handled it from what I could tell.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, faeran said:

Hey @SiriusVI. Seems like you've done quite a lot to try and solve your colorful theme conundrum.

Here's my 2c on how you can try and troubleshoot further. This probably works best if you can create a copy of your existing LaunchBox folder.

  • First, you'll want to remove any LaunchBox plugins, just remove that variable altogether (all files within the LAUNCHBOX\Plugins folder).
  • Test and see if that helps any (don't think it will but it's good to check).
  • Then, start removing playlists from LaunchBox, one by one, and then platforms, testing in-between until you get to a point where the theme is finally functioning properly.

This will, at the very least, give you some more info you can work with.

Just know that the colorful theme was built using a special themer plugin, which is used to accomplish certain theming functionality. It could potentially be this plugin that's conflicting with either other plugins that you may have used (or are using) to build your particular library. I'm just not entirely sure how.

Good luck. Hope this, at the very least, gives you some more insight as to your issue.

Tanks for jumping in,

unfortunately I tried your plugin suggestion already and it didn't fix the problem. I will try removing stuff and see if that helps.

7 hours ago, sevenalive said:

I unfortunately am out of ideas too.

I would recommend that you try to clean up those platforms and categories b/c I spotted a few duplicates and redundancies, nothing major. For example there's a "Games" platform that has 2-3 games in it.

You certainly do have one of the most biggest setup's I've seen and BigBox on my machine definitely handled it from what I could tell.

Thank you for your continued support. Bummer that we couldn't figure out a solution. The "Games" Platform is from C64 Dreams, As far as I can see there are more than 2 or 3 games in it, though. It should contain 2500 games, in fact.

Edited by SiriusVI
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Posted (edited)
On 6/3/2021 at 4:06 AM, sevenalive said:

I unfortunately am out of ideas too.

I would recommend that you try to clean up those platforms and categories b/c I spotted a few duplicates and redundancies, nothing major. For example there's a "Games" platform that has 2-3 games in it.

You certainly do have one of the most biggest setup's I've seen and BigBox on my machine definitely handled it from what I could tell.

 

On 6/2/2021 at 6:26 PM, faeran said:

Hey @SiriusVI. Seems like you've done quite a lot to try and solve your colorful theme conundrum.

Here's my 2c on how you can try and troubleshoot further. This probably works best if you can create a copy of your existing LaunchBox folder.

  • First, you'll want to remove any LaunchBox plugins, just remove that variable altogether (all files within the LAUNCHBOX\Plugins folder).
  • Test and see if that helps any (don't think it will but it's good to check).
  • Then, start removing playlists from LaunchBox, one by one, and then platforms, testing in-between until you get to a point where the theme is finally functioning properly.

This will, at the very least, give you some more info you can work with.

Just know that the colorful theme was built using a special themer plugin, which is used to accomplish certain theming functionality. It could potentially be this plugin that's conflicting with either other plugins that you may have used (or are using) to build your particular library. I'm just not entirely sure how.

Good luck. Hope this, at the very least, gives you some more insight as to your issue.

Something else I noticed. While CPU and GPU load are pretty normal when using BigBox, BigBox does use over 20GB of Ram. Ram use is continuously climbing . Is that normal?

image.thumb.png.3cc7af6810b7f2639e4629936257f646.png

 

image.thumb.png.f229db1d13923fe53b1db5e8845bdd44.png

 

After a certain amount of time, it seems that ram use dips down again:

image.thumb.png.ce264824152efeb1819e7f37d11df404.png

Edited by SiriusVI
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I did notice that RAM was climbing with your data on my system, it does seems like there could be a memory leak somewhere.  On my system with your dataset, I was pushing 4GB of ram it was eating more. I think it stabilized for me, but I honestly didn't look at the ram usage closely enough to see if it for sure did. Did you run "Force fill platform/game image wheel caches"? I wonder if it's building a cache that is eating that ram in the background.

My data causes 938MB of ram for the 8500 games, it's holding steady. Then I scrolled and changed platforms and it climbed to 1327MB then fell to 1200Mb after even more scrolling. After being Idle for a while it's at 910MB now.

BigBox must be pre-loading-caching stuff as it runs, so images and video are super quick and responsive. The sheer number of items that you have would require lots of ram. @Jason Carr can better provide an explanation of what Big Box does in the background.

One other difference is I don't have any playlists and I think you had tons, try removing the playlist folder and the cache files and see if that does anything. Maybe BigBox preloads playlists or not, IDK.

 

For each test, monitor ram and evaluate UI performance,

Test 1: Rename the Data\Playlists folder to Playlists.bak or something then launch big box

Test 2: Rename your Images folder

Test 3: Rename both images and video

The idea here is to see if media play a part in the RAM and to see if playlists affect RAM or UI performance

Edited by sevenalive
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, sevenalive said:

I did notice that RAM was climbing with your data on my system, it does seems like there could be a memory leak somewhere.  On my system with your dataset, I was pushing 4GB of ram it was eating more. I think it stabilized for me, but I honestly didn't look at the ram usage closely enough to see if it for sure did. Did you run "Force fill platform/game image wheel caches"? I wonder if it's building a cache that is eating that ram in the background.

My data causes 938MB of ram for the 8500 games, it's holding steady. Then I scrolled and changed platforms and it climbed to 1327MB then fell to 1200Mb after even more scrolling. After being Idle for a while it's at 910MB now.

BigBox must be pre-loading-caching stuff as it runs, so images and video are super quick and responsive. The sheer number of items that you have would require lots of ram. @Jason Carr can better provide an explanation of what Big Box does in the background.

One other difference is I don't have any playlists and I think you had tons, try removing the playlist folder and the cache files and see if that does anything. Maybe BigBox preloads playlists or not, IDK.

 

For each test, monitor ram and evaluate UI performance,

Test 1: Rename the Data\Playlists folder to Playlists.bak or something then launch big box

Test 2: Rename your Images folder

Test 3: Rename both images and video

The idea here is to see if media play a part in the RAM and to see if playlists affect RAM or UI performance

So I've deleted the ListCache.xml in the Data folder, which seems to have sped up my setup a little. It's still laggy, but much less than before.

Removing all Playlists smoothed out the setup to a point where I'd consider the performance smooth enough. But the benefits of using playlists outweighs the benefits of using Colorful, no matter how beautiful the theme is. 

Besides, my setup ran smoothly on your machine, so the problem must be somewhere else.

I'll try renaming the image directories later, but I doubt that's the problem, because I didn't use any images in my Launchbox Testsetup on my other SSD.

EDIT:

Scratch that, after a few reboots of BigBox, the lag returns, I guess after Listcache finished it's processes.

Earlier today, I also opened up my PC and dd a little RAm readjustment. I was using 4 Ram Sticks (2x Corsair + 2 x G.Skill). I know that you shouldn't mix brands, but I was careful that all the values are compatible. In fact I never had problems using these 2 together. I removed the G.Skill anyway to try if that solved my problem. It didn't. Now I'm running 32GB of Ram instead of the former 48 GB of ram.
I'm wondering if I should put the G.Skill back in or if I shuuld leave them out, just in case there were issues which I just wasn't aware of. I don't know, yet.

Anyway, long story short, my issue still isn't fixed.

Edited by SiriusVI
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