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hawkfanz

MAME takes 20 seconds to start on first game

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I use rocketlauncher to start mame64 games in hyperspin but the first game on a fresh windows startup takes 20 seconds to start.  After closing this game the next game will open almost immediately. I know others have asked this question but I can’t find a solution. I have no anti-virus running, no windows defender, no rocketlauncher fades or bezels. I updated the mame64 version to the 209 no nag from 197 no nag with no change. Any help or suggestions would greatly be appreciated!!

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When you turn on the pc the first game will ALWAYS take a bit to launch in HS. 20 seconds is actually a bit too much. What hardware are you using?

The facts is Windows is still loading stuff when HS starts and the launch of the first game will be slow. Using an SSD for hyperspin and windows OS should make things better (40€ for a 256gb sata, not too pricey these days).
You can try one thing: set a 5 minute video intro to hyperspin and set HS to not skip it. While the video is playing windows should load all its stuff and the first launch should be faster. Always a bit slower than the second launch but it should not take 20 seconds.

If it is an HTPC set kodi as shell and launch hyperspin from advanced launcher

 

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Wow this was a huge help. I’ve always blamed Mame or rocketlauncher to be honest for this. I let the computer sit for 5 minutes and Mame started right up. In the past I would start the computer scroll through the games and pick one and it’d take a long time.  Now it seems to be narrowed to the windows startup. I really don’t have windows start any programs other than hyperspin right on the open. My computer isn’t great it’s a HP Compaq 8200 Elite SFF PC Intel Core i5 3.3GHz 8GB RAM 500GB HDD Windows 7 Pro.  Again thanks for the help.  Narrowing the cause is the main trouble.  Of course as I restarted several times my monitor decided to lose its typical rgb settings so I had to fix that back.  Always something to work on!  Thanks for the quick help!

 

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When windows shows the shell it is still loading stuff and starting services. On a cab's friend, running on a laptop, I had to set HS to not skip the introduction video because he was costantly skipping it and RL scripts were timed out as the pc was still busy.

An SSD should speed up startup and they are not pricey (sata is ok, obviously NVME on m.2 are MUCH faster). Someone reported problems with HS running from an SSD but in case you can install HS on the traditional HD and keep the OS on the SSD, in this case a 120gb is perfect.

The cpu should be a Intel Core i5-2500, it is still decent for a cab/HTPC despite its age

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Instead of shutting down, maybe try the hibernate option instead. It'll dump what's loaded into the RAM to the HDD, when the PC boots up again, it will load that back into the RAM again. Worth trying to see if it helps, obviously sometimes you'll need to do a proper restart when installing updates, drivers etc.

SSD upgrade from a HDD does make a world of difference for boot times, even on sata2. I don't think NVME will be a viable option, even if used with a PCI-E adapter, I seriously doubt the BIOS will allow booting from the drive...only to use it as storage. I have a pretty decent Gigabyte Z77 mobo and it too can't boot from PCI-E, unless I create a custom bios for it (which is a lot of faff!).

The OP is right, that small form factor HP PC is NOT great! If opened up, I think you'll find it has an odd motherboard and PSU. There's no 24 pin power connector and the sata drives take their power from a cable connected to the mobo, not the PSU. The CPU is actually being starved of power and although you could fit a half height GPU which takes it's power from the PCI-E slot, you're not really getting the full potential of the hardware sadly.

I do think an SSD upgrade can be justified. Although I'd suggest getting a reasonably large drive (500GB+) as you'll be able to reuse it down the road on another system.
 

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Here Kingston A400 240GB costs 30€, Kingston A400 480GB costs 56€. Prices seem to be falling. We're not talking about hi-end SSD but compared to 7200rpm the difference in boot time is HUGE. Too sad a 4TB traditional HD still costs >100€.

Yeah, that mobo probably does not have a m.2 and surely not a NVME m.2 slot. Many mobo simply don't boot from PCI-E adapter.

What would make a HUGE difference would be using "suspend to ram" but some system tends to keep fans and leds on while others tends to just keep power on ram. The problem is flash has memory leaking problems so the rig needs to be restarted time by time.

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Looking back I should have done more research than settling on the low end PC.  At the end of the day I mainly use it for Ms Pacman and Metal Slug but it's fast enough to run NFL Blitz and some simple PC games (Celeste, Pacman Championship, Cuphead, nothing crazy).  It's a 3-sided cocktail table so it works great for this setup.  This is actually the first time I've thought maybe the computer isn't fast enough.  Had to adjust a few games throttle in MAME but nothing on retroarch or steam.  

I've done some research on if the PC will boot on an SSD but doesn't look promising right now.  I'll definitely try the hibernate suggestion.  I hide all of the windows startup images and just see my custom arcade background with the spinning Pacman as a mouse while it finishes starting hyperspin right now and love it.  For now I'll probably eat the 20 seconds, see if I can take out some windows services out of the picture, maybe upgrade from 8 to 16gb of ram.  So far the standard video card is doing a great job too but that could definitely be upgraded down the road!  I've got two work PC with SSD as the boot and HDD as storage and love them.  SSD is really starting to get so affordable.

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Booting from a SATA SSD should not be a problem.

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Well man to be clear, your pc IS fast enough.  You are experiencing minor slow downs on the first game you launch after rebooting... A 20 second slowdown one time each boot isn't a big enough deal to upgrade any of the components imo.

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I agree adamg!  I could definitely get higher end for under $100 and a few hours of research and work but the 20 seconds just doesn't bother me that much to turn the computer on and let it sit for a few minutes to fix it.  If games had issues running this would be and entirely different discussion though.  I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some setting in rocketlauncher like bezels slowing it down or something (I only use MAME bezels).  This is my first cabinet I made a year ago and have loved it.  Gotta convince the wife for an upright cabinet with a gun and a wheel for the next one!

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1 hour ago, adamg said:

Well man to be clear, your pc IS fast enough.  You are experiencing minor slow downs on the first game you launch after rebooting... A 20 second slowdown one time each boot isn't a big enough deal to upgrade any of the components imo.

To be clear. That CPU is not reaching it's max rated clockspeed, it's throttled due to lack of power. As we know with emulation, clockspeed is king the higher the better. These SFF office PC's from HP and DELL are pretty naff.

Granted the OP's uses seem pretty basic, I've done more with a Shield TV android set top box. The beauty of using a PC is it can open up all sorts of possibilities. If he wants to focus on Arcade games more than consoles that's cool. Although there are other arcade systems like Atomiswave, Sega Naomi, Taito Type X, NesicaXlive, Sega's Ringedge, Ring wide and Lindbergh etc. etc. Then there's the modern PC games with arcade heritage, like Mortal Kombat and the Street fighter games.

If going to the trouble and expense to build a cabinet, personally I'd want my monies worth out of it. We all have to start somewhere though. Seems like the OP is pretty pleased with it so far, I look forward to hearing about his future projects.

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Take a look at windows updates on Windows 10.

I don't know what update has caused it, but i went back to before 1803 update and MAME emulator loads in a few seconds like it always used to.

Yet again it looks like an update on  Windows updates is stopping it loading instantly (nearly) and therefore now taking 20+ seconds to load.

I checked every MAME version, nonag,official, arcade64 etc and all are affected. But once i rolled back to 1803 or before they all load fine again.

So basically it's Windows not your computer.

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5 minutes ago, cataclysm67 said:

Take a look at windows updates on Windows 10.

I don't know what update has caused it, but i went back to before 1803 update and MAME emulator loads in a few seconds like it always used to.

Yet again it looks like an update on  Windows updates is stopping it loading instantly (nearly) and therefore now taking 20+ seconds to load.

I checked every MAME version, nonag,official, arcade64 etc and all are affected. But once i rolled back to 1803 or before they all load fine again.

So basically it's Windows not your computer.

Awesome info however the OP listed Windows 7 Pro as the OS dude

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24 minutes ago, cataclysm67 said:

Take a look at windows updates on Windows 10.

I don't know what update has caused it, but i went back to before 1803 update and MAME emulator loads in a few seconds like it always used to.

Yet again it looks like an update on  Windows updates is stopping it loading instantly (nearly) and therefore now taking 20+ seconds to load.

I checked every MAME version, nonag,official, arcade64 etc and all are affected. But once i rolled back to 1803 or before they all load fine again.

So basically it's Windows not your computer.

Thanks cataclysm67.  I saw a few threads on this kind of info which brought me here!  Unfortunately Honosuseri is right that I have Windows 7.  I'll keep looking for a workaround for this one

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1 hour ago, cataclysm67 said:

Take a look at windows updates on Windows 10.

I don't know what update has caused it, but i went back to before 1803 update and MAME emulator loads in a few seconds like it always used to.

Yet again it looks like an update on  Windows updates is stopping it loading instantly (nearly) and therefore now taking 20+ seconds to load.

I checked every MAME version, nonag,official, arcade64 etc and all are affected. But once i rolled back to 1803 or before they all load fine again.

So basically it's Windows not your computer.

My HTPC is running 10 enterprise 1809, will check it, I haven't noticed a big lag at the first launch but the HTPC uses Kodi as shell and advanced launcher to launch hyperspin and firefox. Remember that boots for one or 2 days are really slow after an update due windows doing optimization and other sh*t.

BTW, is it possibile that in 1809 you can't shell another software from windows registry nor group policies? I had to use Launcher4kodi.

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