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Author Topic: Frame Delay Settings  (Read 1428 times)

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Cowslanlr

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Frame Delay Settings
« on: July 20, 2019, 11:47:27 am »
I am having some trouble understanding how to properly determine what frame delay settings to use. Right now I have tried a few games with frame delay set to 9 and everything seems to be running just as smooth as when I have frame delay set to 0. My concern is that I had read in another thread in this forum:
If -fd is set too high it will miss the sync pulse causing an additional frame of lag. In theory, if -fd is set so high that the sync pulse is consistently missed for each frame, it will appear to run perfectly smooth, despite the added latency.
(Link)

So, with this in mind, how can I determine if I have the proper frame delay settings for my machine or if I have it set too high and everything just appears to be running as it should?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 12:00:35 pm by Cowslanlr »

buttersoft

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 08:05:40 pm »
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133194.msg1648384.html#msg1648384

Note that the commandline in the quoted area is correct save that you want the -nothrottle parameter as well, and that logging must be done from a cmd prompt commandline can cannot be run from a shortcut or frontend.

If you get frame delay wrong the game will usually have a very noticeable tic in it - applied to audio, video and also the input and feel of the game while playing.

I think we need to add this one to the FAQ, if it hasn't been mentioned...
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 09:00:48 pm by buttersoft »

Cowslanlr

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 10:21:17 pm »
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133194.msg1648384.html#msg1648384

Note that the commandline in the quoted area is correct save that you want the -nothrottle parameter as well, and that logging must be done from a cmd prompt commandline can cannot be run from a shortcut or frontend.

If you get frame delay wrong the game will usually have a very noticeable tic in it - applied to audio, video and also the input and feel of the game while playing.

I think we need to add this one to the FAQ, if it hasn't been mentioned...

So, I had a hard time following some of that info but, if I am understanding this correctly if my average game speed is around 250% unthrottled, then the the proper setting for frame delay should be around 2?

buttersoft

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 08:12:33 pm »
yyy...ess. Remembering that if the game has an average speed of ~250% but you can watch it dip to, say 150% at times during gameplay, you want to get frame delay for 150%.

It's important to test settings are you apply them. And to remember down the line that if one of your games develops a hiccup to come and try lowering the frame delay. Windows updates can have interesting effects :)

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 02:02:35 am »
Honestly I just play and adjust the slider until it feels right. Then if adjustments are needed (vsync_offset if tearing appears) I adapt from there either creating a dedicated .ini and/or reducing frame_delay 1 step if that doesn't work well-enough.

I often wonder though if some games can't deal with the higher frame_delay settings I'd want (like 7, 8, 9) because the game's properties are the limiting factor, or because my CPU is bottlenecking, or because something else I'm not aware of.
That, isn't clear for me yet.
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Cowslanlr

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 10:40:13 am »
If you get frame delay wrong the game will usually have a very noticeable tic in it - applied to audio, video and also the input and feel of the game while playing.

It's important to test settings are you apply them.

Honestly I just play and adjust the slider until it feels right.

I am still at a loss here... I am not sure how to test the settings when, as I mentioned, I do not noticed any difference between running a game with frame delay 0 and frame delay 9. The game seems to run perfectly fine no matter what settings I use. But, I know there must be something I am missing because according to everything I have read, there is no way my computer should be powerful enough to run with frame delay 9. The average speed I get for most games unthrottled is only about 250%.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 01:37:56 pm by Cowslanlr »

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 11:02:37 am »
You should at least post a log, otherwise I doubt anyone will be able to help you see cleared in this. \_(ツ)_/
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Cowslanlr

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 12:03:49 pm »
You should at least post a log, otherwise I doubt anyone will be able to help you see cleared in this. \_(ツ)_/

I am attaching an error.log file for Armed Police Batrider running with frame delay 9. I had to chance the extension to ".txt" in order to upload the file.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 12:20:06 pm »
that's not it.

bring out a command prompt and type for instance;

mame64.exe -v batrider > batrider.txt

the game will start, leave it running a moment until at least the attract mode

after that you'll find a batrider.log which you'll find in the main folder, convert ot txt and post
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

Cowslanlr

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 12:29:36 pm »
that's not it.

bring out a command prompt and type for instance;

mame64.exe -v batrider > batrider.txt

the game will start, leave it running a moment until at least the attract mode

after that you'll find a batrider.log which you'll find in the main folder, convert ot txt and post

I realized that was not the proper log a minute after posting it. Just generated the proper log file and am attaching it to this post.

cyb

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 04:23:33 pm »
Since you're using 120hz refresh, triplebuffer is activated, which is incompatible with frame delay. See this post for more info:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,157113.msg1650732.html#msg1650732

Cowslanlr

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 11:50:37 pm »
Since you're using 120hz refresh, triplebuffer is activated, which is incompatible with frame delay. See this post for more info:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,157113.msg1650732.html#msg1650732

Ooooooh, okay! Thank you so much, this information is very helpful. That explains why I wasn't noticing any difference while using frame delay.

buttersoft

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2019, 08:45:15 pm »
lol, that explains it, thanks cyb

cyb

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2019, 04:23:00 pm »
No problem guys. I found that forum post when trying to figure out why I was having the same issue on my VGA monitor.

This is why we need a wiki/faq...imagine if this forum and the backups somehow got wiped out! There's so much knowledge here... :-\

lettuce

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 05:28:26 pm »
does frame delay setting work if your using a GSync monitor??

digitron

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2019, 01:25:49 pm »
Is there a way to enable auto frame delay so that it always goes to the max 100% right before it recognizes frame drops so that you don't have to set it every single rom?
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schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2019, 02:06:19 pm »
IIRC Calamity has design ideas for that but we have to give the man time.  ;)
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digitron

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2019, 02:09:57 pm »
IIRC Calamity has design ideas for that but we have to give the man time.  ;)

Good to know! Thanks =)
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Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2019, 05:49:51 am »
Hey there folks,
quick question about this feature.

When you determine the best frame delay value for a specific game and set it, which of these options should be turned on/off to achieve the best results:
Vertical Sync
Keep Aspect Ratio
Sync game to vertical sync <- I can't remember the exact name of the feature; in the video settings when mame is running, it's the one before vsync.

I just run into a bit of a problem trying to play Battle Garegga. the input lag is way too high and it's throwing me off.
I'm running the latest groovymame on a windows 10 machine connected to an arcade monitor doing 240p.

In case someone already has some optimized settings for Raizing games, by all mean, send your knowledge my way :D
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 05:58:21 am by Mantrox »

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2019, 09:26:52 am »
You don't have to touch the 'vertical sync' setting, leave it on 0

Instead in Groovy there is a setting called 'autosync' which should be left on 1

Now read below:


By default all games that are 2Hz away from 60Hz (lower than 58Hz) will be automatically handled by 'triplebuffer' (though faster than in baseline MAME)
This is intended to conserve the correct speed and avoid too great acceleration when 60 is forced by autosync.
In such cases the 'frame_delay' feature is disabled, and the scrollings aren't smooth.

So IF you still prefer sub-58Hz to be forced to 60 and therefore 'frame_delay' to work, you can increase the 'sync_refresh_tolerance' setting.
Default is 2 (Hz), if you set for instance 2.5 then more games will be included in the smooth & frame_delay appliable group (like the 1gen Cave games and I believe the Raizing too)
You can increase sync_refresh_tolerance further to include more games (3, 3.5, 4, etc) if you wish.


PS: if you're running on a properly set up Groovy with a compatible AMD gpu and CRT_Emudriver though, you shouldn't need to do this anyway, since all games should be running at their actual real refresh rate and speed, in which case there is no need for Groovy to force to 60, and logically the sync_refresh_tolerance setting isn't needed.
So you problem could be elsewhere, dunno.
Post a LOG and a copy of your mame.ini  ;)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 09:35:08 am by schmerzkaufen »
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Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2019, 11:24:11 am »
I'm not 100% sure my setup is correctly configurated.
I'll try to post a log later today.

I do have an AMD gpu running CRT_Emudriver with the modes installed.
But there are so many combinations of settings that have knock on effects, that i'm not sure if everything is 100% correct.

Currently i am trying to ascertain if running Garegga or any Raizing game that uses the same driver can be run in Groovymame without tearing and input lag. That's the main objective.
What i noticed yesterday for example was that the faster ships in the game are almost uncontrolable, on the groovy setup, but when i changed immediately to the ps4 version, the difference in lag was very noticeable.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 11:29:37 am by Mantrox »

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2019, 01:38:25 pm »
Garegga has about 3 frames of natural lag iirc, but that one you can't touch, Groovy can only eliminate the additional lag that's running on top.

i.e

MAME (official) BGFX -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 5fr = 8 frames
MAME (official) d3d -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 3fr = 6 frames

Groovy BGFX -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 3fr = 6 frames
Groovy d3d9ex (default) -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 2fr = 5 frames
Groovy d3d9ex w/ frame_delay 1 -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 1fr = 4 frames
Groovy d3d9ex w/ frame_delay 5 -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 0.5fr = 3.5 frames
Groovy d3d9ex w/ frame_delay 9 -> bgaregga 3fr + vsync 1.6ms = 3 frames + 1.6 miliseconds (1/10th of a frame)

frame_delay 9 often requires a powerful PC, and sometimes it's not even the best setting for the right input timing.
but you can surely get somewhere around 7~8 and that'll hardly make a difference, in any case that's way under 1 frame of lag.

Of course, that works only if the Groovy config is all fine. ^^

EDIT: tearing too, there is none if set up correctly, there's the vsync_offset for that when you see some.
Groovy is basically flawless with the proper setup and settings, and as far as official mame's drivers/emulation is, of course.

(I mean maybe MAMEdev reverse-engineered and coded that driver wrong, making it lag more than the actual pcb, but you would have to prove it with direct measurements from that very pcb...otherwise they will tell you they have no reason not to trust their own code)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 05:35:57 am by schmerzkaufen »
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Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 04:25:18 am »
Thanks for the detailed reply.
There's a noticeable improvement.
I will still try to post the log just to make sure i'm not missing something obvious though.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2019, 05:10:57 am »
Yep! Always good to post a log, and a copy of the mame.ini along too !  8)
I use a .bat script someone here gave me and add delay so it begins to 'record' during the attract mode.

Some FREE BONUS RANT ;D about the 'garegga' trio of games lag since this is an ages old popular topic; I read that it's irregular, in MAME sometimes the ship reacts on the 4th frame, sometimes on the 3rd.
Which means it oscillates between 2~3 frames of delay, and that's how it is on the real hardware too afaik.
Why so is not confirmed but theorized that instead of a late polling case, it could be because the games program itself seems to use a buffer for sprites which cause that additional frame to be present and delay the moment the ship's effectively seen reacting by the player.
Other games on that pcb hardware are not affected, but they're all graphically lighter ones.
Have to admit I struggle to remember other pure 2D games (not polys w/ prerendered gfx or modern 2Dengine) displaying a similiar or greater amount of simultaneously animated sprites on screen, so we could forgive Raizing for using that 'trick'.
Some argue that it's MAME's fault because allegedly mamedev used that same method to sync sprites with the backgrounds in some if not most drivers (that was the logic behind ShmupMAME hacks), but what I think I understand is that sometimes it's really mamedev - meaning an actual increase of delay compared to the real game on pcb could be a thing - and sometimes it's not, that's just how the game's developers made the game, and the 'garegga trio' of games looks like one of those cases, meaning the emulation in MAME is probably correct delay-wise.
Yet again, this is all matter that can only be 100% confirmed with hard pcb measurements, and confronting mamedev if results don't match MAME's.

PS: also I've always had that weird impression that when you activate the game's extras, or cheats in mame, a sprite layer loses sync, just like when you hack-kill the buffer.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 05:46:10 am by schmerzkaufen »
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Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2019, 06:07:33 am »
Here's the mame.ini i currently use.

I'm playing this on a Windows 10 machine with a 3.4Ghz i3 and 4GB of ram with an ATI card which i can't recall right now (probably has around 5/6 years).
The PC is connected to a SEGA New Net City cabinet.
Monitor is connected directly with its VGA plug.
Controls are connected with a JVS-PAC.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:17:25 am by Mantrox »

Recapnation

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2019, 06:48:32 am »
You have this:

resolution                320x240

...so, unless you're only emulating Eighting games or pieces under that mode, you're not doing it well (assuming you're not defining that in per-game INIs). Also, isn't your monitor tri-frequency? Why using just a 15-kHz CRT range?

Which guide have you followed for GM?

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2019, 07:31:13 am »
No log ? ^^ it's really useful. (note for the future that Calamity only helps people who post a log)


Adding my 2c then leaving it to the pros;

- No need to specify video d3d, groovy uses d3d9ex by default so leav on auto.
I could be wrong but I think it's better like that, in the past I've experienced issues/crash after writing d3d unnecessarily.

- You should definitely turn filter off when on a CRT.

- Setting frame_delay directly in the mame.ini works but isn't recommended, because each game might require slightly different levels for optimal adjusment.
Well, if you have only the three 'garegga series' games in your romset at the moment, they probably all work fine with 7, yeah...
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 07:35:54 am by schmerzkaufen »
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Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2019, 10:41:23 am »
You have this:

resolution                320x240

...so, unless you're only emulating Eighting games or pieces under that mode, you're not doing it well (assuming you're not defining that in per-game INIs). Also, isn't your monitor tri-frequency? Why using just a 15-kHz CRT range?

Which guide have you followed for GM?
I followed a mix of the latest thread here and an older guide from 2015; but i didn't dig in too deep, since there are some parts that get too confusing.

I put a fixed resolution on the file because, since i am playing on an arcade monitor i don't want to risk starting a game by mistake, that tries to output a resolution that's out of range; since i believe feeding the chassis a weird resolution can eventually damage it; even though switchres might prevent that.

Another reason is i have the PC hooked up to the cab with a JVS-PAC, which requires me to turn on the monitor/cab, before i run groovy, otherwise the controls won't work.
Since i have to turn it on before i run the emulator i want to prevent the resolution from jumping from one to the other too frequently as it might stress the chassis.

The way i have it setup now, windows boots up in 240p and i just click on mame and go.
I would like to add that i have no technical knowledge as to why or if changing resolutions too frequently might damage the chassis, but since arcade monitors are scarce and expensive, i want to keep mine as healthy as i can for as long as possible.

No log ? ^^ it's really useful. (note for the future that Calamity only helps people who post a log)


Adding my 2c then leaving it to the pros;

- No need to specify video d3d, groovy uses d3d9ex by default so leav on auto.
I could be wrong but I think it's better like that, in the past I've experienced issues/crash after writing d3d unnecessarily.

- You should definitely turn filter off when on a CRT.

- Setting frame_delay directly in the mame.ini works but isn't recommended, because each game might require slightly different levels for optimal adjusment.
Well, if you have only the three 'garegga series' games in your romset at the moment, they probably all work fine with 7, yeah...

Thanks for the suggestions, i will post the log asap.

Recapnation

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2019, 12:17:30 pm »
I'm far from being a technician, but never ever read about video mode switching causing any harm at least within the specs and under similar horizontal freq. That is, with a tri-sync monitor, I'd avoid constant 480-I-to-480-P (15-kHz-to-31-kHz) switching if possible, but I'd never fear going from 256 x 240 to 384 x 224, or from 480-I to 240 lines, or using a super wide resolution such as 2560 x 240. Indeed, CRTs are made for this.

I have the intention to post an updated version of Eiusdemmodi's guide in a few hours, so, if you want to really take advantage of GM and your monitor, check that and well, then ask if you still feel the need.

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2019, 01:00:55 pm »
Indeed, switching resolutions within 15Khz shouldn't be a problem, it's just resolutions out of that frequency that i may switch to, by mistake; since i am not fully confident when fiddling about with groovymame.
I just set it to 240p so the whole environment is always at 240p and i don't have to worry about anything else.
It's more of a preventive measure than anything.

I'll check out the guide to improve my setup.
Thanks.

What i really need is to make a VGA to Scart cable and then i can do all my configuration and testing on a CRT that i'm not afraid of damaging.


« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 01:06:48 pm by Mantrox »

Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2019, 02:38:12 pm »
Finally got the log.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2019, 11:57:11 pm »
I'm not expert enough but something's not right, never seen one like this.

Guess you were using RetroArch before because this looks limited to a few fixed modes installed, while you should get any resolution and refresh exactly. Groovy w/ crt emudriver when working as intended is kind of like a superior variable refresh system for 15khz, you don't have to enter the resolutions nor lock to 60Hz: everything runs as the original pcb's do.
I think currently you're locking away like 99% of that setup's ability, and firmly-so since you're also locking the output to 240p60, so you probably need to set your monitor range differently and reinstall the modes normally, after that you'll be in heaven.

But you'll need an more expert person to tell you exactly what steps to walk from there (sorry i'm using a quite different setup myself so i might misguide)



PS: for later when you're done with that: for rotating always use the 'orientation' setting under the *Core Switchres Options* category, NOT the usual settings at *Core Rotation Options* (important)
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2019, 04:42:11 am »
Finally got the log.

Things you need to fix:

- You seem to have created a bgaregga.ini file. I believe you just copied and renamed mame.ini and changed the options you needed. This is incorrect in GM, because it blocks Switchres normal operation. For bgaregga.ini, just create a blank text file and *only* add the options that you need to modify. This apply to any other ini with higher priority than mame.ini: raster.ini, vertical.ini, driver.ini, etc. Once you fix this, -autosync will work again and it'll enable syncrefresh as required, and therefore frame delay will work.

- Never enable frame delay in mame.ini. Do it per-game (either in game.ini of from the ui).

- Never set the desktop to the same resolution you later want to use in-game (320x240 in your case). Doing this prevents GM from editing its refresh rate, it becomes read-only.

Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2019, 05:08:51 am »
Thank you for the analysis.

I'm gonna correct the setup as soon as i can.
One thing though, what resolution could i run my desktop at, that still is within 15Khz and allows for the switchres to change the refresh rate? Any resolution, other that 320x240 will work?
What i really want to prevent is switching from 15Khz to 24\31.

Mantrox

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2019, 04:55:18 pm »
Back again.
Deleted the bgaregga.ini and made a new one with just one line adjusting the frame_delay to 7.
Changed the desktop resolution to 336x240.

1 - The audio is slowing down briefly from time to time so i would assume its the frame_delay value thats not correct.
If it is something else, i don't know.

2 - If you see this video i recorded, since i don't have the desktop at the same resolution as the game anymore, when i start the game, the monitor flickers and does some loud noises which i don't like at all. These may just be my paranoia, of losing my arcade monitor, speaking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gWMKPiwSw&feature=youtu.be

3 - When the game starts, in the mame splash screens, the rotation is not correct, i must have a wrong setting somewhere.
I put the rotation option ON, on the switchres settings, and turned it off in the core rotation.
The game orientation is still correct in the video since i changed it in the game while running, in the tab menu.

As it's running now, if i can correct the sound slowdown, it's very snappy; pretty much perfect.
I just don't like the monitor squeak noises.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Frame Delay Settings
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2019, 02:03:06 pm »
Still doesn't look right. It seems to fall back to 60Hz mode anyway, for some reason.

Sorry but this is beyond my understanding.


EDIT post-scriptum; one last thing I forgot to mention is that to turn filter off for good, you have to do it from the vertical.ini and/or horizont.ini
Just write 'filter   0' in there and you're done.
Don't ask me why but like many settings, that doesn't really work directly from the mame.ini

Yes, MAME is a complete unintuitive mess, and it sure doesn't help people get started with Groovy. Just don't get discouraged. :P
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 06:01:54 am by schmerzkaufen »
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15