I've been playing Zone of the Enders on PCSX2 and frequently the audio will slow down for a bit. Is there any way to fix this?

  • Does the pitch drop when it slows down, or is there stuttering? Or neither and it's just drawn-out? – Matthew Read Feb 9 '16 at 3:26
  • @MatthewRead It is slow and drawn out. Voices become deeper because of the slow down. – DutchOven Feb 9 '16 at 4:17

I'd tell you to look here, except that none of those answers go into just how much work it is to get an emulator running smoothly (on less than stellar hardware. If you're complaining about only getting 35+ fps... then go away ;)

  • Try every audio option ONE AT A TIME and note performance (do not ignore the 'one at a time' rule).

  • Repeat this with the video settings (the audio will stutter if the CPU gets bogged down. While it's unlikely that your GPU is the bottle neck, being that it's an emulator, absolutely everything has to go through the CPU).

  • Continue repeating both of the above with different plugins until it works well enough that it's playable (unless you've an i7 processor, sometimes playable is as good as it's ever going to get).

IIRC, it took me 10+ hours to get FFXII running acceptably. For reference (ignoring my old HDD score of 5.7) my Windows Experience Index average is 6.9 and my processor name doesn't start with an i.

Loading time is the killer, because when I say one at a time, I mean (it!) close PCSX2, re-open it, and change ONE thing and then boot the game again and load a save. It's the only way to be sure that everything you've done has increased performance rather then being a detriment and that whatever you've changed has actually taken effect.

Increasing performance in an emulator is complete trail and error; an experiment that requires an unassailable control group (the one thing rule) and a whole lotta patience.


My experience is mostly summed up by Mazura -- you keep trying one thing at a time until you see improvements -- but I have 2 things to add to that:

  • This will be obvious to most people who have spent more than a few minutes tinkering with PCSX2's settings, but on Windows you can see the framerate displayed in the title bar of the game window. This is a handy approximation of how well the game is performing, and in my experience so far, audio performance problems are usually connected to video / general emulation performance problems, not isolated.
  • If you have a modern gaming PC that is struggling with 12-year-old PS2 games, you likely have plenty computing power, it just isn't being allocated correctly. So there's a chance that a single counterintuitive setting will make a 500% difference in performance. This is what I found; I changed the VU0 setting to "Interpreter" and suddenly performance was perfectly smooth, even when I ramped up all of the graphics settings to near their max and switched to 4x native resolution.

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