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chrono cross problems (sound/performance related)

2323 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  hushypushy
Hello all,

I'm new to the emulation scene, so first, hello to everyone and a warm thanks already to whomever might be able to help me out with the problems I'm experiencing with Chrono Cross.

Details as follows:

Regardless what GPU plugin I use, I get sound problems when the game changes its backgrounds (basically, as soon as you walk from one scene into the next one). I was able to narrow down the causes by trying different plugins (mostly Pete's ones, either D3d/OGL,2.0) and am experiencing those short sound problems with all of them. I have made the best experience with Kazuya's Soft GPU plugin - one; I find is amazing on how well it tackles performance - in short, this would be the perfect plugin for my problems - IF - it wouldn't crash. Kazuya's GPU crashes are predictable, either when you enter the menu and select "status" or during certain real-time rendered cutscenes (not sure though, because it crashes, I'm not sure what kind of "scenes" those were). Anyway, having made the best progress with soft-gpu's, the best one, Pete's one, isn't without flaws, unfortunately. Pete's one, while flawless in stability with the game, however has some serious performance issues in where it often maxes out the CPU to 100% without apparent reasons, but on a regular basis. When this happens, sound starts to cripple causing artefacts - something I find most annoying.

To tackle this problem, I have tried almost each and every plugin config possibility of both soft GPUs (Kazuya's to solve the crashing, on Pete's to solve the performance issue), also each with ePSXe 152 and 160 version, different sound configs (I'm using the Eternal Plugin) - unfortunately with no luck.

Can anyone help me either

a.) resolve the crashing issue with Kazuya's Soft GPU (any version, I've tried all recent ones)


b.) resolve the performance issues of Pete's Soft GPU


c.) solve the sound problems when switching scenes in either the OGL or D3D based plugins

My computers stats are:

- P4 2.6 GHz
- 512 MB RAM
- ATi Radeo 9200 SE (128MB)

The most recent config I've used with Pete's Soft GPU:

Plugin: P.E.Op.S. Soft Driver 1.1.16
Author: Pete Bernert and the P.E.Op.S. team

- 640x480 Window mode
Stretch mode: 2
Dither mode: 0

- FPS limit: on
- Frame skipping: off
- FPS limit: 60

- Scanlines: disabled
- Game fixes: on [00000001]

Thanks in advance for any help!

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what sound plugin are you using? if you really want to use a soft plugin, you should use Peops, and for sound, try Eternal 1.41 or Pete's Dsound. upgrade your soundcard drivers if possible.
With your graphic card, and considering this game features polygonal characters, you should use pete's opengl 1.75 plugin. If not, stick with PEOPs. Use either ePSXe 1.5.2, or 1.6.0, but with the latter you need to add the commandline argument "-noauto" when starting the emu . Also, make sure to enable the 'odd/even bit hack' special fix (and the special fixes, that's 2 checkboxes, do not forget neither). In eternal, try confugring it to spuasync - smooth.

Oh, btw, when using directx it's common the max the cpu usage, so there's nothing you can do to lower it.
hushypushy, I-Chan:

thanks for the advice - am now trying out Peops with Pete's Dsound (v.1.9). Scene transitions are okay, but using a different SPU plugin doesn't necessarely solve the issues with Peops maxing out on a regular basis. Anyway, regardless of the Peops maxing out, if the SPU plugin can play the game music without producing artefacts, I'm all okay.

To the results: Pete's DSound (v.1.9) seems to be working fine with the game, however - this SPU seems to be running the CPU at 100% all the time (something I have experienced with the Eternal 1.41 plugin when switching from SPUasync/Wait to either Timer or Thread.

Is there anyway to do this? Since the SPU is running the CPU at maximum all the time, keyboard input lag is apparent as well as regular slowdowns while playing (probably at those points when PEOPs goes for that 100% peak).

The config of Pete's DSound is as follows:

Mode: 2 (use SPUasync)
Volume: 1 (medium)
Reverb: 2 (PSX reverb, best quality)
Interpolation: 2 (Gaussian interpolation)

XA music, enabled are:
[x] enable XA playing

Misc, enabled are:
[x] SPU IRQ - wait for CPU action


Hmm. :-/

I'll try out Pete's DSound with the OpenGL 1.75 and 2.0 GPU plugins and see if the scene transitions cause any sound artefacts. If it works, all seems to be okay, although I'd prefer to use a softbased GPU as the ATi9200SE seems to be too slow to render some of the effects when going into battle (opposed to the softbased GPUs which run them fine).

I'll be back once I've tried other config settings.
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ePSXe is supposed to run the CPU at 100% so you don't need to worry about it ;). The game isn't having slowdowns due to that. Try disabling the SPU IRQ option in the sound plugin.

are you sure about that ePSXe is supposed to run the CPU 100%? When I switch back to the Eternal SPU plugin and the SPUasync / Wait mode, CPU hovers around 30% in Kazuya's soft GPU or any of Pete's D3d/OGL plugins quite nicely (or a very unconstant 50% to 70% with P.E.OP.s with some 100% peaks at regular intervals). This makes it quite obvious to me that the 100% maxing out is very sound dependant. Seeing that even the keyboard has lag because of this, can't this be changed at all?

BTW; Unchecked the SPU IRQ option - what does this option do anyway? Didn't hear any difference, nor does it seem to change anything either....

Any other SPU plugins worth checking out? I've tried all of Pete's SPUs (from version 1.5 up to 1.9, but finally stuck with 1.8 as I'm having the best results with this one together with the OpenGlide 2.0 GPU plugin).

Thanks in advance...
If your P4 has Hyper-Threading, I'm not surprised it does that. I don't remember being able to ever get my dad's P4 2.6 to hit 100% in the Windows Task Manager (people say it's a bug with Windows). On every computer I've used ePSXe on (which all have lacked HT), the CPU is always at 100%, from the start of emulation to the very end.
no hyperthreading :-/

Perhaps for the fun of it... try disabling the SPU plugin and see if the CPU drops. Surely I can't be the only one who can use ePSXe without maxing out the CPU (and no, it's not a bug in the task manager - I can tell if the CPU that the CPU is hitting its limit, as keyboard starts to lag and other tasks in the background slow down significantly or to a complete halt).
I just tried using P.E.Op.S. soft plugin with the 3 sound checkboxes disabled in the sound config window (no null sound plugin) and I was quite surprised. It didn't constantly hold at 100% like every other time I've used ePSXe with the Task Manager open, then again it wasn't at the levels of, say, 1964. Oddly enough, it used more CPU power with the framelimiter on than with it off, as shown in the picture (really jagged part is with the limiter off, the flatter parts are with it on). And as for the "bug", it only happens with HT.

Edit: Note that those loads were during an MDEC, not actual gameplay :p.
alrighty, I think I may have found a solution to my problem:

I am now using Pete's OpenGL 2.0 plugin together with Pete's DSound SPU (v. 1.8). I'm surprised to see that my OpenGL 2.0 seem to run the blur effects fine and doesn't slow down when entering a battle. The SPU plugin, while still using all 100% of CPU resources, doesn't seem to hick up at all - at least in the short 10 minutes I was able to test it.

Thanks a lot for the help - if it weren't for those, I'd probably would still be using the Eternal SPU plugin or ditched the Emulation of Chrono Cross all togehter.

Pete's OGL2 plugin doesn't do as much hardware framebuffer rendering I think so that's probably why it runs those parts better.
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