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Author Topic: RatRefresh - Automated EDID updater for MAME and others - no more LCD tearing  (Read 6414 times)

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Rataplan626

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Metalhammer, I think it's fairly safe to 'underclock' your LCD. Most LCD's I know are 60 or 75Hz native, and pretty much all arcades are just over 60 but mostly range from 55-60Hz in my experience. As long as the LCD syncs to it it's safe as far as I can tell. Setting it to a higher rate than it was designed for would theoretically strain the display a bit more, but all my monitors just give a 'input out of range' message as soon as I yank it up too much.
The 'stability' question I'm not sure about what you mean. If you set a refreshrate to 59.59, your videocard will send 59.59 frames a second, not more, not less. These devices all have very accurate frequency generators and I have so far not seen any issues. When I set my display to an 'odd' resolution, it just stays there and works.
Hardware dependent is not as much of the issue as software is. You will need a driver that supports EDID override. Now NVidia and AMD already do, Intel does and is currently implementing that on multiple driver branches. So the chances are yours already supports it, if mot the beta driver might work out. On my system I still run the beta driver although I believe by now the final version with EDID support is out.

Another part is the monitor itself. My screen work from about 49 - 64Hz from the top of my head, others might do more or less. But practically all games I play work with something between 55-61Hz.

Metalhammer

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Hi Rataplan,

I agree my question about stability was not so clear  ;)
I mainly meant if you can keep you screen at a custom resolution for some time without keeping handy an extinguisher  :P

On the cabinet I'll have a Fujitsu Scenicview B19-5 with a n NV Gtx 1050 while at the moment I can play with a Gtx 460 and an old Samsung (cannot remember the model!)  ;)

I did today few test on my rig (the proper one I use daily) and I set some custom resolution even though Nvidia panel don't allow you to use fractions for the refresh rate.
The outcome was absolutely disappointing since I tried to come as close as possible to the game refresh rate but tearing started to appear and was pretty terrible  :-[

For example Double Dragon (running @57.44Hz) when viewed at 57Hz looked way worse than at 60Hz  ???
... I really hope the decimals will be able to do the trick otherwise my enthusiasm will go straight through the drain  :angry:

Take care and speak to you soon  :)

I'll keep you posted !

Rataplan626

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Now that's exactly where EDID overrides come in. Usually the custom resolution settings from the graphics card vendors themselves only allow for integers for refreshrate, but an EDID override steers on a specific pixelclock which enables you to get a very specific refreshrate. So you could use CRU to set the exact refreshrate (with decimals). Or just use RatRefresh of course ;)

Also, to get the best results, use syncrefresh 1 and disable vsync in your mame.ini. That makes the game sync to the refreshrate rather than the other way around, which keeps everything smooth as butter even if the set refreshrate is off by 0.01 Hz or something. With regular vsync you would then skip a frame every so many frames.

Metalhammer

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Ok, so if I got it right,  I need to use synch to monitor refresh rate and triple buffer together, right ? ... if so, it's my actual config already  ;)

One thing I didn't (probably) get: RatRefresh forces a specific resolution into the register/CRU and then turns it into the current one ?
In other words, do I need to use CRU in order to be able to set a specific refresh rate or can I simply run RatRefresh and it will take care of everything ?

If the latter, what about passing the tool a not supported resolution ? Will windows black screen and will I need to boot in safe mode  :( ?

Cheers  :)

Rataplan626

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If refreshrate matches and sync refresh is on I'd not enable triple buffering as it just generates a little overhead then.

You can supply a -min and -max switch with minimum and maximum refrrshrates for your setup. If the requested rate is beyond the tool just quits (or sets 60Hz, I'm not sure at the moment). I tested it by using ratrefresh from command line, setting rates until my monitor stopped syncing to the signal. Of course it's black screen than. But you press up or f3 to get the previous command back on the prompt, delete the last so many characters with backspace and just type in another refresh rate. You could always boot in vga-mode but thats too cumbersome in my opinion.

For now you need CRU one time to get the proper registry key for your monitor. After that you'll only need RatRefresh. I think the opening post is very complete. Read that again and just try - really you'll enjoy your games much more!

I currently have a testversion ready where you can query the system, it'll reply with the detected monitors, and then you can just pass the display name to the tool and it'll work the rest out. But there's a few bug I'll first have to work out.

Metalhammer

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Thanks RatRefresh, I'll follow your hint and read the initial post once more  ;)

One question which popped up recently in my mind: if I'm not mistaking, RatRefresh overwrites the 'main' refresh rate in the registry so it can set that one up, according to the game you want to play.
Doing so I imagine you're going to write again and again over the same disk sector  :-\ ... if so, do you think this could be an issue, especially with SSD  :-[ ?

Thanks !

Rataplan626

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Registry doesn't work that way, it's more of a database and (at least up to win 7) it's mostly append that it does. That's why the registry sometimes grows extremely big while the actual content isn't that big.
Your SSD is safe. SSD does TRIM which does exactly prevent what you say. It makes sure if you write a million times to sector / block 1 those writes are spread out over the disk. An SSD holds like a making table containing all logical blocks and the actual physical blocks where a logical block correctly resides. In theory every block on your SSD will get the same amount of writes. Google for SSD TRIM. Also look at this:
http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead Of course nothing will live forever, but a typical SSD will outlive your pc anyway.


Why so scared of everything?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 04:10:17 am by Rataplan626 »

Metalhammer

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[...]
Why so scared of everything?
You should know the old way of saying "better safe than sorry"  :P

Thanks Rataplan for the insight into SSD writes and all the assistance ;)

I believe no one (or very few) got the real potential of what you're trying to do here or maybe simply people is too 'coarse' to appreciate that  ;)

Keep up with the good job ! ... I plan to do more extensive testing and report back.

A question: do you think there could be differences between VGA and DVI connections ?
I'm asking this since I'm currently using VGA and I'd like to avoid finding different results when I'll switch to DVI  :-\

Cheers   :)

Rataplan626

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I've never tested on VGA, the only machine I have with still VGA on it is a very old Asus netbook, crappiest thing ever. But please report!

Metalhammer

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Unfortunately the monitor I was going to use passed away this morning  :angry:

As such I had to 'kidnap' another one from my mom's house and ... surprise: that one despite being a quite "recent" LG LCD, doesn't have a DVI port  :banghead:

I'll try to go ahead anyway and see what happens ... I'll keep you posted  ;)

Metalhammer

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Ok, so let's start with my report but I can anticipate I still have no good news  :(

First of all, there were no entries in my windows registry about "EDID", "EDID_OVERRIDE" or something even slightly similar.
There was one key named 'properties' (under display section of course  ;)) which didn't allow me to read its values no matter what change I tried to made to its security settings  :angry:

Eventually, after spending some time on the web, I managed to find a tool NVIDIA suggested in order to get display EDID value (Monitor Asset Manager).
After running that and playing around with 'export', 'save', etc ... I managed to have EDID entries created into the registry and accessible to me  ;)

Anyway this again was quite different than what you depicted into the initial post since the key name was 'properties' and inside there were no '0' or '1' subkeys but just 'EDID' one.
I used that one (after making other adjustments!) and RatRefresh seemed to lilke it !

When I ran the tool, I saw the monitor changing resolution (a low one like 640x480), then changing immediately back to the one I was using.
Output of the command line was the following:

C:\Users\Metalhammer\Desktop\RatRefresh>RatRefresh.exe -edidfile edid.txt -refresh 57.44
Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\DISPLAY\GSM56B8\5&2c2b7b9d&0&12345678&01&00\Device Parameters
Value EDID
WantedRefreshRate 57,44
HexCurrentPixelClock 2ea5
CurrentPixelClock 11941
HexHorizontalResolution 0690
HorizontalResolution 1680
HexverticalResolution 041a
VerticalResolution 1050
HexHorizontalBlankingPixels 00a0
HorizontalBlankingPixels 160
HexVerticalBlankingLines 001e
VerticalBlankingLines 30
TotalHorizontalResolution 1840
TotalVerticalResolution 1080
CalculatedPixelClock 11414
HexCalculatedPixelClock 2c96
ReversedEdidHexCalculatedPixelClock 962c
TotalChecksum 9033
Checksum 183
HexChecksum b7

Unfortunately I didn't find any tool to check if the monitor refresh rate had really changed !

I tried to run MAME games with that refresh rate but results were absolutely disappointing: together with the micro stuttering I got also tearing !
I tried to disable/enable triple buffering but difference was not huge (disabling it made the situation worse though).

Since in the registry I found two EDID entries, as if I had two monitors (like your 0 and 1 entries I presume), I tried also to use the 'other' display key (just in case) and while if I run the RatRefresh twice on the 1st I got the message 'refresh already set', if I run the 2nd I see the same resolution swap but never get the message.

I also noticed in CRU that 2nd display has the only resolution/refresh rate set to whatever I set it to while primary always stays to 60Hz.

I'm sure now that unless I have a way to check whether monitor is 'really' using the refresh rate I ask it to use, there will be no progress  :banghead:

Are you 100% sure MAME games, using this tool, don't show anymore the slightest amount of tearing and micro stuttering  :-[?

Cheers  :)

Rataplan626

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No, Device Parameters is not the key you need. You need the EDID override key. So yes it still tries to write to the read-only key you supplied, and restarts the videodriver which is why the screen 'flashes'. But also it's obvious tearing isn't gone as you do NOT actually change refresh rates with that key. I don't know how to make the manual easier to understand as it's already step by step. But here's my guess: you did NOT set a custom resolution with CRU first. In the current version of RatRefresh you will still need to do that.

So start CRU, and create a custom resolution with the native resolution of your monitor, and for example 59Hz or something like that. As soon as you apply that, in the registry under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\DISPLAY" the monitor you created that resolution for should have an EDID override key. Underneath that there is probably a 0 and 1 value, usually you should use 0. That key, including 0 (or 1 if that's the active screen) and it should work.

Also, if the resolution is finally set, again I'd advice NOT to use triple buffer and/or waitvsync, but only syncrefresh. I have just tried it on a machine with a NVidia GPU and it works perfectly fine. I'd really advice you to thourougly read the opening post and work through it step by step.

The next version will allow to just select a displaydevice and the tool will read the EDID and create the appropriate override key. But for now, you'll need to go through all the hassle (but only once). If it still doesn't work, please report with a screenshot of your display registry key with all keys you have access to expanded, and the output of RatRefresh. I'm sure we can get it to work :) We could also do a Teamviewer session, as I really want to help you to get good results. :cheers:

Metalhammer

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[...]
The next version will allow to just select a displaydevice and the tool will read the EDID and create the appropriate override key. But for now, you'll need to go through all the hassle (but only once). If it still doesn't work, please report with a screenshot of your display registry key with all keys you have access to expanded, and the output of RatRefresh. I'm sure we can get it to work :) We could also do a Teamviewer session, as I really want to help you to get good results. :cheers:
Man, you're gr8  :)

I cannot thank you enough for the assistance in this  ;) really appreciated   :cheers:
... if eventually we'll make it, I'll ask you a photo of yours in order to build a statue and put it next to the cabinet  :lol

I'm now going to try again, following your new advice, and report  8)

Metalhammer

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Guys this was thought to be a long post and ideed it was  :-\
... unfortunatelly, after writing for half an hour, I got logged out and I lost everything  :banghead: !!!!

Let's try to start from scratch, but I'm not sure I'll remember everything.

First of all: we made it  8) !!! ... thanks to RataPlan kind assistance I got what I was doing wrong  ;)

In few words, the resolution I put inside CRU, was my monitor native one (1600x1024@60Hz) and Windows/CRU was not picking it up as a real
custom one and, as such, it was not adding the EDID_OVERRIDE key inside the registry.

Adding a more 'exotic' refresh rate (59.59Hz) made the trick  ;) !

After configuring everything as Rataplan suggested, I prepared myself to enter the truth test: running a game with a non 60Hz refresh !

I used Ghost 'n Goblins as my benchmark since this was one of the main reasons for embarking into this 'refresh rate' adventure !
Unfortunatelly results were good but not what I was expecting (slightly better that running @60Hz though)  ???.

What I mean with poor results ?
I mean that the scrolling is not 'smooth' but a bit 'jerky' ... not excessively but still something noticeable  :-\.

Now how can I know there isn't something wrong in my procedure and this is the reason for the disappointing results ?
Just because many, many games are now really close to perfection as never before, no matter how hard I played with the MAME settings  :o!

... here I must thank really much RataPlan for the hard work and I won't quit stressing how this guy didn't (so far) receive the attention and
gratitude he deserves  :applaud:!

How well now Neo-Geo games run, how smooth are Mortal Kombat side scrolling portraits (the ones of the characters when you insert coin)  :applaud:!

So what about GnG  ????

To be honest I got few ideas about it which I'd like to share with you; according to my opinion there could be three reasons:

- my LCD doesn't like/pick up the 59.59Hz refresh rate
- MAME GnG driver is not optimized (other games behave similarly while others are simply perfect)
- the original arcade was exclty the same but I never noticed it (I was 8 at the time!)

To rule out the first one, I ask you the favor to do a test:

could you please run Gng (bootleg @59.59Hz) and compare it to Black Tiger (bootleg @60.00Hz) ?
Have a close look at the background: in GnG, tombstones or the far mountains for example, don't move smoothly while in Black Tiger everything is silk smooth !

Since I'm still stuck in finding a way to check my 'real' monitor refresh rate, I did some research and find a little tool, presented inside this same forum.

The tool is FreqTest and you can find it here:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,135230.0.html

Is it reliable ? Can I succesfully check if my panel took the refresh rate I put inside RatRefresh ?

Now for the to do part  ;):

I noticed, as RataPlan himself said in the beginning, that my MAME frontend (FEEL), whenever I switch refresh rate, crashes (it goes black screen eventually crashing in a couple of minutes)  :'(.

Now, if there's no way to prevent this behavior, I'm scr**d  :timebomb: !!!

Indeed, it won't be feasible, inside a cabinet to manually start/stop applications.

Please tell me there's a solution since I cannot believe we went so far just to surrender now to evil windows events  :cry: !!!

One last thought:

I tried the same procedure on a laptop with Intel graphics; I managed to get the EDID_OVERRIDE key and to run RatRefresh but, according to the tool above (and also to various web based testers) I'm still at 60Hz ! ... obviously I tried mame, just in case, and results were trash (same as without RatRefresh), confirming I'm still at 60Hz  :badmood:.

I'm afraid there's not so much to do with my portable rig since probably the vendor locked something to prevent users tampering around with video settings !

I'll leave you alone guys for the moment, hoping that when I'll come back, someone will have really good news for the front end issue  :notworthy:!

Don't forget I still have some room, on the left of the cabinet, for a second statue (the one on the right is already booked for RataPlan's) :lol

Cheers  ;) !

Rataplan626

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I don't know that tool but ran it after running ratrefresh for Ghosts 'n Goblins (which is in fact in my favorite list in my frontend). Results:


It seems to show the value a bit less as it is (or should be) but at least it's not far off the 59.59. Now Ghosts 'n Goblins is not a good game to test this with, as it has 'native' jerky scrolling. It skips a step every 4 or 5 vertical lines or so when playing the game. When the map is shown at the beginning of a level or when you lost a life the scrolling should actually be smooth.
The game I tested most of the tool with is The New Zealand Story, tnzs. It runs at 59.150 Hz from the top of my head and has full screen smooth scrolling which makes it easy to see if it works or not. If the refreshrate is off you will most probably see vertical jags when you are walking left or right, which will completely vanish with the correct settings and vsync or syncrefresh (as said I prefer syncrefresh but still vsync or triple buffer should be ok as well). Indeed games like Metal Slug should be fine to test as well, although Metal Slug and especially Metal Slug 2 are known for some slowdowns when a lot of sprites are on screen. But that's another thing :) Also if I'm correct Metal Slug srolls with 2 pixels wide at a time, so maybe it's not THAT smooth. But again that's a game-thing, what RatRefresh should do is takeaway the tearing, which is a refresh-rate thing independent of the game you are emulating.

I'm still working to get it to work without having to restart the videodriver but despite all suggestions of the people above, that's unfortunately not how it works and I'm afraid there are vendor or even driver specific calls needed to get that working. I'm currently trying to get things working through the ChangeDisplaySettingsEx API but so far it's the same as everything else - it works as soon as the display driver is restarted, but before that it won't pickup the just-created new resolution.

Laptop: My own Lenovo ultrabook has an Intel 4000 or something like that integrated and a 60Hz panel. However, I can change refreshrates of that panel up to about 120Hz actually which is quite insane :) In fact Lenovo has a tool that brings down the refreshrate to 48Hz in order to save some battery. When that option is enabled if I remember correctly it will be 48Hz no matter what I do - Lenovo probably has an even more direct way to change that refresh rate. But with that option disabled I can freely change the refreshrate and it works perfectly fine otherwise.

Metalhammer

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Now Ghosts 'n Goblins is not a good game to test this with, as it has 'native' jerky scrolling. It skips a step every 4 or 5 vertical lines or so when playing the game. When the map is shown at the beginning of a level or when you lost a life the scrolling should actually be smooth.
I knew it, I knew it  :angry:
... so basically also the original arcade behaves like this  :-\ !?

I'm still working to get it to work without having to restart the videodriver but despite all suggestions of the people above, that's unfortunately not how it works and I'm afraid there are vendor or even driver specific calls needed to get that working. I'm currently trying to get things working through the ChangeDisplaySettingsEx API but so far it's the same as everything else - it works as soon as the display driver is restarted, but before that it won't pickup the just-created new resolution.
So at the moment, there's no way to avoid any frontend to crash  :cry: ?
(btw also MAME crashes as soon as you change the refresh rate  :'()

... any hope in having Microsoft developers look into this  :-[ ?

Man, I cannot believe we are stuck at this point after all your efforts ... now that finally I saw the light I need to go back into the darkness  :banghead:


Metalhammer

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Rataplan, what about the following idea ? Do you think is doable  ;) ?

- we know we need to use a FE to run our emulators
- we have the ability to pass parameters to RatRefresh whenever we need to run a specific game (mainly rom name)
- we know FE crashes as soon as RatRefresh restarts the video driver in order to have the change take effect  :'(

And if we(you :P) change RatRefresh to:

- accept some more parameters to:
                                                                1) know what emulator we want to run the game from (ie. path of MAME exe)
                                                                2) know the emulator command line and parameters (basically the rom name)
                                                                3) know the front end (FE exe path)

We could:

- pass RatReftesh the game name which will trigger the refresh rate change
- as soon as RatRefresh is finished with the task it could (somehow) kill the FE and launch MAME with the selected rom (*)
- upon MAME exiting, RatRefresh could start again the FE

... as far as I know, the FE shouldn't keep any state from MAME (but the last selected game) which could prevent it from working correctly once restarted by RatRefresh  :-\

Maybe a RatRefresh .ini could also be useful to avoid passing too many parameters (mainly lenghty paths) and easily change stuff.

What do you think  :-\ ?

(*) we could also think about a way to ask the FE to exit as soon as it's finished passing RatRefresh the parameters it needs ! It will be RatRefresh which will take care of monitoring MAME process and spawn the FE back as soon as it exits  ;)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 09:54:51 am by Metalhammer »

Rataplan626

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Oh that's easy to do, and could even be done from a simple batch-file which you could start from your FE in stead of MAME64.exe. However, people might get other issues like a 'front-end startup animation' everything you quit a game and such. For now I still want to invest time in getting it to work the way it should rather than creating workarounds. Because I wanted to keep the tool versatile I did not create a standard ini file, but made it to for example specify an edid file, so you can simply pass another edid file if you have a second screen. But that's all gonna change anyway.

If you want your FE to quit and restart, make a simple batch file of it. Your FE starts MAME with parameters (ie ROM name) which you can fetch in a batch file with %1, %2, %3 and so on, each representing one parameter passed from the FE. From the top of my head you could try something like:

taskkill.exe /fi:frontend.exe (modify that to your FE executable)
ratrefresh /edidfile edid.txt /file refreshrates.txt /get %1;mame
mame64 %1
frontend.exe

Actually I have something like that in my own cab now, and it works but it's not ideal by any (of my) means.

Metalhammer

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Obviously I agree with your way of seeing things and that RatRefresh should be working as it is ;)

While you find a suitable and definitive solution, just to avoid not taking advantage of your great job, I'll go for the workaround we just discussed  :)

Thanks mate  :)

Metalhammer

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Rataplan, I'd like to ask you something quick:

I'm trying to parse a Mame.xml file with the nice tool you worte (MameXMLParser) anyway, despite it saying 'file written' I get absolutely nothing in my directory  ???

I tried running it with admin privileges, running it in a different folder but all to no good  :-\

Any idea on this  :-\ ?

Fixed: it was my Antivirus preventing it from writing to the disk :angry: ... funny thing is that last time I tried, it worked fine :banghead:
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 04:59:09 am by Metalhammer »

Metalhammer

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Since I'm confident I piled up now some nice experience with RatRefresh, I'd like to share with you my two cents  ;)

In few words, for whoever could come across this thread and just skip to the last post, I can summarize it as follows:

This tool rocks, period  ;)

It allows to adapt the monitor refresh rate to game's own giving you the definitive experience of arcade emulation (I'm using MAME mainly) on a modern PC and LCD screen. Indeed also when you enable all the tearing fixes inside MAME (synch to monitor refresh and triple buffering) you'll still have stuttering coming from the refresh rate differences  :-[

Pro:
- games run smooth and tear/stutter free as never before  :applaud:

Cons:
- the driver reset crashes the FE in use  :'(

Obviously Rataplan is already working hard to find a suitable solution and I'm really eager to see what he will come up with  ;)

Good job Rataplan !


nipsmg

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Hey Rataplan,

I'm wondering if it might be worthwhile to have a conversation with some of the FE authors out there (Launchbox, Attract-Mode) and see if they can support handling a graphics device handle loss, and go grab a new device   handle on resume.

Instead of attempting to attack this from your end in, it might make sense to petition for support for this tool from the FE authors themselves.

I REALLY want to use this tool, but the majority of the people who will be using the cab are not tech savvy in any way and will be unable to deal with an FE crash.

Rataplan626

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Rataplan626: I got advanced mode working in IntelAddCustomMode. I don't think it's adding the decimal part of the refresh rate but give it a try anyway and let me know your results.

You can cut/paste this command line:
Code: [Select]
IntelAddCustomMode.exe mode=adv verbose=true hactive=1920 hfrontporch=48 hbackporch=80 hsyncwidth=32 vactive=1200 vfrontporch=3 vbackporch=26 vsyncwidth=6 vscanrate=59.150

Hi Headkaze, I totally missed that post, sorry for that. I hope you are still reading this. I've redownloaded your tool but it does not accept decimals:

C:\Users\Rataplan_\Desktop\IntelAddCustomMode>IntelAddCustomMode.exe mode=adv verbose=true hactive=1920 hfrontporch=48 hbackporch=80 hsyncwidth=32 vactive=1200 vfrontporch=3 vbackporch=26 vsyncwidth=6 vscanrate=59.150
dwColor             : 32
bScanType           : 0
dwHActive           : 1920
dwHFrontPorch       : 48
dwHBackPorch        : 80
dwHSyncWidth        : 32
bHSyncPolarity      : 0
dwHScanRate         : 74410,7
dwVActive           : 1200
dwVFrontPorch       : 3
dwVBackPorch        : 26
dwVSyncWidth        : 6
bVSyncPolarity      : 0
dwVScanRate         : 59150
dwHTotal            : 2080
dwVTotal            : 1258
dwPixelClock        : 154774,256
bIsValid            : 0
Setting DELL U2412M (256) to 1920 x 1200 59150 Hz. Success

It says it sets to 59150Hz which could be a cosmetic bug, but the screen does NOT go blank and the actual refreshrate does not change. I test that with setting my display to 60Hz, then run your tool and then play The New Zealand Story (tnzs), I always test with that as it has a full moving screen pixel by pixel at 59.150. At 60Hz it gives tearing. After running the tool with the given commandline it still running at 60Hz.

But it doesn't seem to work with integer refreshrates either on my system. When I set it to 55Hz for example, it accepts it, the screen goes blank for a second as it would do from Intel panel itself, but yet it still runs at the same refreshrate as before. Also it does not show as a custom resolution in the intel panel which I expected it would do (but I could be wrong).



Rataplan626

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Hey Rataplan,

I'm wondering if it might be worthwhile to have a conversation with some of the FE authors out there (Launchbox, Attract-Mode) and see if they can support handling a graphics device handle loss, and go grab a new device   handle on resume.

Instead of attempting to attack this from your end in, it might make sense to petition for support for this tool from the FE authors themselves.

I REALLY want to use this tool, but the majority of the people who will be using the cab are not tech savvy in any way and will be unable to deal with an FE crash.

Well I think it's not feasible to just 'fix' that in the FE. If you are using a device which driver is stopped, well I can imaging your software goes berzerk. I still want to try to fix that though, so a fix is not needed on FE side. By the way, I use AttractMode myself, and I kill it in a batch file which fires when I select a game. It then starts RatRefresh, starts the emu, and after the emulator quits, it starts AttractMode again. Attractmode happens to remember the last played game even if it was brutally killed. So for now, for me, that's a little workaround which still automates everything completely. But being a technician, I don't like workarounds, I want fixes :)

nipsmg

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I started talking with the AttractMode guys over on their github.  They suggested looking at the "ResFix" plugin to compensate.  Any experience with that?

Metalhammer

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[...]
By the way, I use AttractMode myself, and I kill it in a batch file which fires when I select a game. It then starts RatRefresh, starts the emu, and after the emulator quits, it starts AttractMode again. Attractmode happens to remember the last played game even if it was brutally killed. So for now, for me, that's a little workaround which still automates everything completely. But being a technician, I don't like workarounds, I want fixes :)
This indeed is the same procedure I ended up with (thanks to Rataplan for support) for a different FE (Feel)  ;)
... the only difference is that, instead of 'killing' the process, I ask it to close  :P

While Rataplan works at a possible fix, this is the only workaround I found which allows me to use this tool in an automatic and almost transparent way.

Personally I strongly believe the benefits far outpass the hassle of going through the procedure of fine tuning the batch/script file  :)

nipsmg

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I might have to set this up in a couple weeks when I get back from vacation.  Would either of you mind sharing your batch files?

Metalhammer

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No problem Nipsmg, send me a pm when you'll be back and I'll send you my script  ;)

Not sure it could be an issue with the real thing (mame cabinet) but I'll report what I experienced on my test rig (a simple PC with mame, FE and Ratrefresh stuff to play/experiment around):

- over here I use the FE in windowed mode
- 90% of times I leave other windows open (ex. notepad or simply folders), after mame quits and script reopens the FE, I get a Windows Explorer process crash  :-\
- around 40% of the times, again when mame quits and FE respawns, I loose focus on it: I can see the FE window in the application bar blinking but the open window doesn't respond to commands until I click on it  :-\

As I said, I'm not sure the above could be an issue when FE is in fullscreen mode and no other windows are open (as should happen on a dedicated mame cabinet) anyway, it won't be bad to learn something if you have any good idea/hint on the subject ;)

Cheers  :)

nipsmg

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would using something like crt_emudriver and vmmaker be a potential vector for attacking this problem?  Or are they completely unrelated?

http://geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi/forum/viewtopic.php?id=295


Metalhammer

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would using something like crt_emudriver and vmmaker be a potential vector for attacking this problem?  Or are they completely unrelated?

http://geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi/forum/viewtopic.php?id=295
Do you mean using a CRT instead of an LCD  ;) ?

Rataplan626

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would using something like crt_emudriver and vmmaker be a potential vector for attacking this problem?  Or are they completely unrelated?

http://geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi/forum/viewtopic.php?id=295

I've never worked with CRTEmu, but I do know it only works on ATI cards. They are somehow related, in the sense that they edit EDID information and use that so set specific resolutions / refresh rates. I don't have any ATI cards myself so I can't test.

But, as stated before so far the issue is that we need to restart the videodriver in order for it to pickup the just-edited EDID values. It's with CRU, and any other tool I've seen so far. I've asked people to confirm they can change to just set custom resolution and refreshrate without restarting the videodriver, but no-one has proven me that yet. The only way I know how to do that is to use the manufacturers control panel. NVidia can pickup custom resolutions without restarting the videodriver, and Intel can as well. But that would mean I'd have to talk to driver-specific DLLs and functions, which might change in any or every driver release, which makes it extremely error-prone especially with Windows 10 were there's little control in updates for average Joe.
My test-systems  as well as my cab runs on Intel GPU. The custom resolutions set with the Intel control panel goes to a completely different registry part, and does not use the default EDID override keys and values. Also when I manually put that registry in, it doesn't pick it up either (until a driver restart). So that means the Intel panel triggers a function which makes it pick up the custom resolutions, which was already clear to me as the screen goes black for a second when you apply them from the panel. The difference is though that using the Intel panel, even when it blanks the screen it does NOT reset the displaydriver, which means that graphic applications like the frontend don't loose their display ports and keep working.

Still looking for a generic solution for this. But I've got some very busy weeks in my company, so I've had very little time to work on it. On the other hand, tools like CRU and other tools can as far as I am aware NOT pickup new resolutions with a reboot or reset of the display driver either. Which sort of means I I wonder if it's possible at all.

headkaze

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Also it does not show as a custom resolution in the intel panel which I expected it would do (but I could be wrong).

I'll have a look when I get a chance. Thanks for the feedback.

BTW Have you tried calling "devcon restart =display" instead of using disable/enable?

And what about reload.zip?

Quote
It just sets GPU scaling to whatever the current setting is for each monitor, which seems to be enough to reload the overrides.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 04:58:27 am by headkaze »

Metalhammer

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Hi Headkaze,

could you please share some details about the mysterious 'reload.zip' file you attached  ::) ?

... I'm pretty curious  ::)

Thanks !

Rataplan626

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Also it does not show as a custom resolution in the intel panel which I expected it would do (but I could be wrong).

I'll have a look when I get a chance. Thanks for the feedback.

BTW Have you tried calling "devcon restart =display" instead of using disable/enable?

And what about reload.zip?

Quote
It just sets GPU scaling to whatever the current setting is for each monitor, which seems to be enough to reload the overrides.

Headkaze, a million thanks for your help and interest. Devcon restart does the same as disable and restart. In fact I do use restart in my tool, but that still disabled and enabled the driver. The reload.exe seems interesting. Unfortunately it fails with 'Failed to load atiadlxx.dll' which makes me  believe it's only for ATI/AMD cards. Still, I'll see if I can find anything in that direction for NVidia / Intel as well.

Sorry for the late reply again, somethings wrong with the notifications for some reason.

headkaze

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Here is the source to the IntelAddCustomMode utility (IntelAddCustomMode1.1_Source.zip).

It was working for me (both Basic and Advanced) so I'm not sure why it isn't for you. Either way I don't think this tool will allow us to use non-integer refresh rates.

pulp25

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Fantastic Software.

I use it with a Nvidia 1030 and a Viewsonic 2365wp (Fv : 50 75 Hz) IPS 1080P

I configure .bat for emuloader frontend to test it with mame and all is ok with all filter on (GLSL).

R-Type 55khz -> smooth
Mortal Kombat 55khz -> smooth
Neo-Geo KOF 2000 59.x khz -> wall scrooling smooth

Negative point : The EDID process (windows sound for new device manager [can't cut sample], restarting driver) but it work
                        The Response Time of the LCD Viewsonic 2365wp

Thanks
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 06:20:49 am by pulp25 »

  
 

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