[GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

7/9/2016 2:36:30 PM
Def
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[GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

Hi,

i did use Cultris II, FRAPS and FRAFS to determine whatever is an issue to sudden lag / FPS / frametime Drops.
Found out, that for my case, Audio Playback was the problem. Also there is some lag if you have a nVidia GPU
​or a slow CPU with switching Core Clock. For a AMD GPU follow this https://community.amd.com/thread/176003
Please only play in Fullscreen Mode. The FRAPS measurement did show that it's an advantage of frametimes over whole 30ms.

For the Audio Playback issue just dont use WASAPI, Kernel Streaming / ASIO4ALL
Everything that would exclusively play Audio, will also have buffer times of 100ms that will Result in frequently 1 FPS Drops.
Which are the cause of misdrops, because if you lose 1 FPS for a short amount in Cultris II, the Keyboard command will also be issued the lost amount of FPS/frametime, 100ms

For that nVidia GPU issue, you just have to disable power saving for the GPU using PowerMizer Switch https://nvworld.ru/utilities/pmswitch/ You should disable PowerMizer with that utility

It will let the GPU operate at 100% clock speed and drains more energy. It is highly recommended to use a Power Supply connected to the Notebook while doing this.
If you want to use your Notebook without Power Supply then Enable PowerMizer with the posted tool again for lessen energy drain.

For slow CPU there is a problem too:

Assuming having low capability of multi-tasking, processing speed of CPU will differ because of power saving features.
Assuming we have a 2000mhz dual core CPU.

XX% CPU Load = > Lower: Lower processing speed, higher:higher processing speed
The Core clock will go like this:
10%, 900mhz
​30%, 1200mhz
​50%, 1400 mhz
70% 1600 mhz
​​90-100% 2000 mhz

This technique is called Power State / Speedstep.
What basically happens here is now that Cultris II will get unconstant processing.
To solve this problem, simply choose High Performance under Windows Energy Profiles.
You also have to choose Minimium CPU Load (100%) Maximum CPU Load(100%)
Please disable all Power Saving features you find here too.

Im not active playing Cultris II anymore, but for anyone, it should be a great help.
There was a lot of effort needed to determine that even Audio Playback in exclusive mode can be a hindrance.

Please appreciate it.


Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

7/9/2016 3:34:54 PM
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

Hi Def,

I have the exact opposite specs to you (AMD CPU and GPU) and play in window mode. I came across some strange input lag today. Not sure if the lag is related to window mode. I've always used it and it has been fine most of the time. Will see if I can get some evidence later.

7/9/2016 3:42:53 PM
Def
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

Please use http://www.fraps.com and use Benchmark mode. For default the Hotkey is F11.
You need to run Cultris II and just open Training, choose max amounts of opponents and play while Benchmarking is active.
This way you also can determine if it's just you, or the Server/Internet Connection
If it's neither one of them, it's very likely your input devices.

You need to check FPS, Frametimes and MinMaxAVG
Just turn it on and play until you had that input lag again.
Then just Open FRAFS and drag the frametimes file into the FRAFS Window.

Save the Report/Graph as a image and post it here. I will have a look.

The Graph is made in windowed mode, except even MUCH better frametimes in Full Screen Mode
For me it happened to be around 0.5 ms or similiar.

Your Setup in windowed Mode is good if you have a Graph like this:


 

7/12/2016 2:17:48 PM
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

FFA windowed (about 5 players total)

This session didn't have much lag.

Training windowed (max bots)

Training full screen (max bots)

7/12/2016 4:16:28 PM
Def
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

1.
​Your first result wasn't good enough, you shouldn't have even 0,1% of time FPS Drop to 29 FPS. If you had a tournament or something it would be a disadvantage.
This can also can happen if the GPU isnt at 100% of the GPU CLOCK. Im actually not sure how you can deactivate the AMD GPU ULPS.
The big spike at the end is just the terminated - benchmark logging.

2.
Absolute unbearable, the bigger spikes indicate a wrong setting with your sound card or to slow processing.
Literally you get slowed down and have to fix issues each moment.
Do you have an integrated GPU? Maybe it's driver related. When i did DPC Latency measurements, i found out that the integrated Intel iGPU driver was faster than my nVidia Driver (from latency perspective)

3.
Still not good enough. I could not live with that.
Maybe it's a good idea to Post your specs here.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please check to have these settings checked
https://i.gyazo.com/57e46b190c79407005b39bac19df29f3.png
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You should also consider shutting down unnecessary services and do some system maintenance.
Here is a good non-bloated Software to do exactly that thing for free.

Most likely the lag in Cultris II is caused playing back BASS samples.

Because you only can mute and not disable it completely, you must compensate it.
I found that out when i modded Cultris II sound files once.
After you Drop, 4 samples of audio have to play back. Since you can hear other players hard drop sound, lags get worse since your PC has to playback these sounds time critical. 

It would be interesting to test it without another default - sound device. For me, the internal sound card Chip does happen to process the Sound faster. Somehow there is less time to communicate with it. If my external Sound Card is set to the 

Default Device, Cultris II is muted, but still plays back Sound. It would make lag.

Since i want to hear Music while Playing i did is the following:

Mediaplayer Classic HC Default Audio Device

If you tend to browse while you playing Cultris II, you need to completely deactivate Hardware acceleration in your Browser.
Hardware acceleration takes some buffer from the filesystem which causes Page faults in the Swap file which causes a to big amount of latency.

I dont know if Opera has a option to change the Default Audio Renderer. So there will be no Tone in my specific test-setup.
Which is nice, since i dont want to hear tone from a Browser while hearing music.

http://www.iobit.com/de/advancedsystemcare.php

Guidance for setting it up

https://sendvid.com/km85ufd3

You can also try to Bench each time after making changes to track down the issue.
This is what i did a very long time to determine the possible causes.

 

7/13/2016 8:01:01 AM
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

What happens if you set audio level to 0 (like I do)? Is the audio still processed by the sound card? Does it help to reduce lag spikes?

7/13/2016 9:16:10 AM
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Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

Here are my benchmarks. I play on a 15.6 inch laptop which is about 5 years old (Intel HD 3000 graphics, I don't use Nvidia card because of overheating issues). In Cultris 2, I have to use a longer repeat delay than I am used from some other singleplayer games (Cultris repeat delay = 4.5, Nullpomino DAS = 5), otherwise I would suffer from misdrops (pieces sliding unintentionally to the walls). I didn't reach 60 FPS when playing with 9 bots or on online play. Initially, I forgot to turn off swooshes. I also didn't close my browser; no tab was open though. Normally, I play in windowed mode and with swooshes turned off.

fullscreen 640x360 training 1 bot

windowed 512 x 288 training 1 bot

windowed 512 x 288 training 9 bots swooshes on

windowed 512 x 288 training 9 bots swooshes off

windowed 512 x 288 online 5 opponents

(2 games played, those 2 lag spikes happened when I was already dead)

Afterwards, I closed Cultris 2 and my browser and let my laptop cool off a little. The following 2 tests are repitions of previous tests

windowed 512x288 training 1 bot

windowed 51 x 288 online 4 opponents

(3 games played, I died halfway during the first game)

7/13/2016 12:33:33 PM
Def
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Total Posts 65

Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

It also could be the cause of Antivirus Software.
You could try without. At the moment, i dont use any real-time Antivirus software. Only On Demand.
On the other hand, there was never a threat found on my system.
Im very carefully and upload suspicious files to a online virus scanner.

Interesting. You also can look whats about your DPC Latency and which drivers causes more lag.
Also it shows if youre PC is supporting time critical applications or not. You can see it in real time.
http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

Here is my result: https://gyazo.com/936dbba6172bcdc1e338c69f0f376e5b
The last graph is about page faults which you can ignore.

You should disable all devices you dont need at the device manager.

1. Looks upgradable. I guess you have a power saving plan active.
As small update, please try https://bitsum.com/parkcontrol/
Its a tool that let you disable Core Parking which just dont let the CPU sleep. 
It also creates a Power Saving Plan which is already optimized for High Performance.

If a Core is in sleep, it takes some time to wake up.

2. Almost not noticable (frametime lag)

3. Not good.

What i suggest you is using your nVidia GPU. You can change to a specific power state.

http://download.pcgameshardware.de/asset/binaries/2016/04/nvidiaInspector.zip

small Guidance https://sendvid.com/i29tdkrc

The higher the number, the less should be the power consumption / Heat.
You can fix the clock at startup, try using a Power State which does not occurr to overheat for you.
Fixed Clocks will result in less lag. And since it is a stronger GPU it should increase the FPS too.

Even though the Sound is all muted, the CPU still has to process the Sound samples.

Here is some Graph from me. I dont know why, but after some driver update, it got some worse.
But it is still fine. The shown spike did occurr when i was dead.
I guess its the (internal) Cultris II switch from 60 to 120 FPS for Input processing.
 

1280x768 windowed, swooshes off, 10 Player FFA


I didn't posted my Specs somewhere. Should Post them. Here they are.
 
Operating System: Windows 10 64 bit
CPU:Intel i7 2600k @default clock with disabled C3/C6 C1e Power states in BIOS
GPU:nVidia GTX 770
Motherboard:GA-Z77X-UD3H
RAM: 16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
Storage: 128GB 840 EVO SSD
No ​Optical drive
 

7/13/2016 8:01:39 PM
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Total Posts 516

Re: [GUIDE] Mystery drop fix regarding Cultris II

Sorry for the trouble. I wasn't really looking for advices (because I plan to buy a new laptop and I doubt the problem with my current laptop could be fixed), I just wanted to post some data when Cultris has too high requirements for your computer (a more extreme case would be z2sam who could increase his BPM by 20 by reducing resolution to 320 x 200).

What i suggest you is using your nVidia GPU. You can change to a specific power state.

http://download.pcgameshardware.de/asset/binaries/2016/04/nvidiaInspector.zip

I will have a look at the link. I doubt anything can be done. I once renewed thermal paste but didn't help much. I guess my laptop is just a bit ill-designed regarding overheating (it's a Samsung - one can't even buy Samsung laptops anymore nowadays). That said some plastics is broken off where the air comes out.

Even though the Sound is all muted, the CPU still has to process the Sound samples.

I thought so because the music track keeps going on if you mute it and turn it on again.

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