Author Topic: Lagging issues with TD2  (Read 4764 times)

Spaceman Spiff

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Lagging issues with TD2
« on: February 26, 2006, 10:59:43 AM »
Ran my first game with TD2 yesterday and had some big problems.  The clock kept lagging sometimes only updating every 2 or 3 seconds.  Sometimes it would lag for 30-40 seconds or even a couple minutes.  I also had problems going between screens, especially trying to knock players out.  I eventually crashed and had to resume with TD1.3.  My computer is a 2.1 GHz with 256MB, so I think it should be plenty good enough.  I only have 9 players in the db at this time and the only other program I had open with TD2 was Excel.  Any ideas?  I really like what I see so far in TD2, but if I can't get the clock to work normally it does me no good.

Thanks for any help or ideas.

Spaceman Spiff

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 05:43:04 PM »
Any ideas at all?  Anyone?

TimDugan

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Corey Cooper

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 10:15:36 AM »
Sorry for not replying sooner.  That problem here is there is virtually no way to diagnose this issue.  Given how unique it appears to be, I would say it's far more likely that the configuration of your machine is what is causing the clock to "lag", rather than some problem with the software itself.  To be honest, 256MB is *not* a lot of memory, not for Windows XP anyway.  I find that my desktop PC running Windows XP, which has virtually no background processes running (I'm anal about that stuff), doing absolutely nothing typically consumes 170 to 200 MB.  If I had only 256MB, that leaves only roughly 56MB of physical memory to play with.  When I check out other people's PCs, I find they have installed so much crap that they have forgotten about, their typical memory footprint is in the 300 to 500MB range.  And that makes a PC with 256MB of memory crawl.

So, what else is installed and running?  You might be surprised.  Go to http://www.iamnotageek.com and download Hijack This.  Run it, then analyze the results using the site (there's a page where you can paste your results from Hijack This and it will analyze them for you).  Even though this is usually for finding what spyware/etc you may have installed, it's great for just seeing what other crap is running on your machine.

MooseWizard

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2006, 11:16:50 AM »
Another great cleanup tool is Microsoft's Antispyware.  Actually, it's just been rename to Microsoft Defender.  You can get it here:  http://www.microsoft.com/antispyware

Spyware/Adware/Malware junk is the biggest thief of computer resources.  Earthlink recently figured that 70% of all home users have some form of this junk on their computer.
The man, the myth, the moose!

Spaceman Spiff

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2006, 10:40:35 AM »
Thanks guys.  I'll have to do a little more work I think.  I ran some spyware checkers and got rid of a couple things that had cropped up, but I think the main culprit may be the memory.  I had similar issues on my desktop trying to run Civ4 until I tripled the memory.  Been awhile since I've upgraded my machines!

Don't know if this will help with any diagnosis or not.  After doing a clean of the system I ran TD2 again.  It ran just fine for all of Level 1 until it got to the 1 minute warning.  I had custom sound in for the 1 min. warning.  After playing that, I started getting the jumping and lagging clock.  It played the custom sound for level end, but by the time level2 got going, it was lag city.  Took probably 30-40 seconds before the clock first updated in level 2.

Corey Cooper

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2006, 12:15:05 PM »
Actually, that's much more useful information.  That leads to an idea that it may in fact be a memory issue.  The TD uses Windows Media Player to play sounds.  As a matter of fact, it uses up to 5 instances of WMP at one time, so that sounds may overlap.  Because the TD doesn't really know any details about the sounds you are playing (other than the filename; it doesn't know, for example, how long the sound will play), it rotates using more than one instance of WMP.  I'm not certain how WMP handles having more than one player running at the same time.  It could be that they all share resources, and so it probably wouldn't have a huge effect on memory footprint.  It could also be that they all have their own memory requirements, and as each new sound plays in your tournament, the memory footprint is getting bigger and bigger.

So, by the time you got to level 2, and the clocked stopped updating for 30-40 seconds, it would be interesting to know if your machine was thrashing (continuously swapping memory back and forth to/from disk).  Was the hard light basically "on" the whole time?

ScottBroker

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2006, 12:38:15 PM »
Not sure,

Corey, I forgot to telly you , I had a huge problem last tourney, not sure if TD was to blame, but my whol;e laptop froze, and I had to go into the task mgr and end processes.  Was about to throw in the towel, and reboot :o and it came back, thank G-D.  It would have been a nightmare.  Does the autobackup, keep up to date copies in the event of a crash like I almost had?????

Spaceman Spiff

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2006, 08:20:12 PM »
Actually, that's much more useful information.  That leads to an idea that it may in fact be a memory issue.  The TD uses Windows Media Player to play sounds.  As a matter of fact, it uses up to 5 instances of WMP at one time, so that sounds may overlap.  Because the TD doesn't really know any details about the sounds you are playing (other than the filename; it doesn't know, for example, how long the sound will play), it rotates using more than one instance of WMP.  I'm not certain how WMP handles having more than one player running at the same time.  It could be that they all share resources, and so it probably wouldn't have a huge effect on memory footprint.  It could also be that they all have their own memory requirements, and as each new sound plays in your tournament, the memory footprint is getting bigger and bigger.

So, by the time you got to level 2, and the clocked stopped updating for 30-40 seconds, it would be interesting to know if your machine was thrashing (continuously swapping memory back and forth to/from disk).  Was the hard light basically "on" the whole time?

No, the hard drive was pretty quiet other than a flicker every couple of seconds it seemed.  Now when it got to the point where it basically crashed, it was going nuts.

Tried a couple more experiments tonight and I'm not sure what to make of it.  One thing I think I noticed is with the layout.  I had one of the default layouts going and when the lagging started it seemed to get better when I got rid of the fields for the system time and the chip display.  So I did a trial where I started without those and with and without my custom sounds.  Everything seemed to run just fine.  So then I went back to the previous layout showing the system time, chips, and with my custom sounds.  When I ran that game, I got the lagging again.

Not sure what it all means, but hopefully that will help.

Corey Cooper

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 10:00:02 PM »
Not sure,

Corey, I forgot to telly you , I had a huge problem last tourney, not sure if TD was to blame, but my whol;e laptop froze, and I had to go into the task mgr and end processes.  Was about to throw in the towel, and reboot :o and it came back, thank G-D.  It would have been a nightmare.  Does the autobackup, keep up to date copies in the event of a crash like I almost had?????

Depends on your Preferences.  On the Preferences tab, you can set if and how often the TD auto-saves the tournament.

When you check the auto-save checkbox, if you have not saved your tournament already, the TD will force you to do so.  After that, it will save the tournament per your preferences.  When it auto-saves, it takes the currently saved tournament file and renames it, adding the current time and date, then it saves the current tournament.  So, if your tournament was named "myTourney.tdt", here's what you'd have:

After the first save:

myTourney.tdt

Next, you check Auto-save.  After the first auto-save period passes, the TD will automatically save the tournament and rename the original:

myTourney.tdt
myTourney.tdt.20050306-142246

The one with the date is actually the first save, renamed at the time included in the filename.  myTourney.tdt is the most recently saved.  If your auto-save was set to every 10 minutes, then after another 10 minutes you'd have:

myTourney.tdt
myTourney.tdt.20050306-142246
myTourney.tdt.20050306-143246

This is all, by the way, if and only if you have the "Make backups when saving tournaments" preference on.  Otherwise, it will simply save over the currently saved copy at each auto-save period.



Spaceman Spiff

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Re: Lagging issues with TD2
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2006, 04:05:46 PM »
Update:

Added 512 MB to the laptop although I had to take out a 128 to do it, so I'm effectively at 640 MB.  Everything seemed to work fine at my most recent 16 person game.