Diablo® III

Very long loading time?

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Yep, the pattern I suspected is holding true for everybody, including somebody with 24 GB RAM. What happening is that as Diablo 3 reads the files, they are added to the file cache by the OS. This is in addition to the App memory taken by Diablo 3 itself. This is normal behaviour in Mavericks, as it will cache files into RAM in the most aggressive manner possible. But this has another side effect.

When the available RAM becomes less than 1 GB, the OS kicks in its memory compression algorithms. When it does this, it uses a spare core for the compression. It will cause some slowdown of its own, but is faster than using swap. On quad core systems, this is not much of an issue, but on dual core systems, which many of you have, it can put a severe strain on the throughput of the CPU as once both cores are activated, the turbo speed is reduced in order to prevent overheating. This causes a twofold issue of memory being compressed while simultaneously lowering your CPU speed.

Many of you are also showing swap being actively used due to the file cache filling all of your RAM and the OS not releasing the file cache because Diablo 3 is still requesting use of that cache (it's the active application and the file cache is comprised mostly of D3 files). With the inability to compress this memory in an efficient manner (or at all), the OS then resorts to using swap, which is dog slow even on an SSD.

Now, because loading a new zone requires reading into RAM and your RAM is already full from both file cache and app memory, as well as the OS itself, it's almost a guarantee that you're hitting memory compression, swap, or both while you are loading the new zone. With all of that going on, it's like the good ol' days when virtual memory was a wee baby and if it kicked in, you had yourself a hell of a slowdown.

S4d1k, you could probably reproduce this issue if you pared down to 4 GB RAM or less, especially on a dual core machine. You might also consider taking a look at the following post and then utilizing the info in the post linked after it to test out the Mavericks VM system's settings to see if any of them allow for smoother gameplay:

Initial info post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11580908123?page=3#48

Details on the VM system settings:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11580908123?page=4#64

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11580908123?page=4#65

Note to people posting in this thread: Do not attempt to use the information in the above two links. This is for testing purposes only by S4d1k and the QA team.

I strongly recommend revising the minimum system requirements to indicate that if you use Mavericks you need at least 6 GB RAM for optimal gameplay, preferrably 8 GB or more.
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Edited by TheTias#1192 on 3/31/2014 6:32 AM PDT
I would love a fix for this, loading into a new game takes about 50 seconds..and 3-4 times in ends with a disconect from server..so that adds another 50 seconds trying to load out back to the main menu :. while in a game load screens while in game are about 20-30 seconds.

Keep up the good work!
We have bootcamp installed on her Laptop, which apparently restricts amount of ram usable from 4 to 2. Yet we have much less crashes and load times are faster on Windows then on the Mac side. Ram maybe the issue, but I have a feeling there is more to it then just that. Not that it isn't the root issue, but perhaps something on Bliz's end.
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03/31/2014 10:50 AMPosted by Frostlocke
We have bootcamp installed on her Laptop, which apparently restricts amount of ram usable from 4 to 2. Yet we have much less crashes and load times are faster on Windows then on the Mac side. Ram maybe the issue, but I have a feeling there is more to it then just that. Not that it isn't the root issue, but perhaps something on Bliz's end.


Windows operates diffrently than OS X does. Despite being a 32-bit client, the app can access up to 3 GB RAM in OS X via the use of PAE (physical address extension). It can do so in Windows too, but only when forcibly made to, which I do not recommend.

Mavericks' memory management is much more agressive and complicated than any Windows memory management scheme in use currently and can easily account for long load times. It's meant as an energy/memory saving component, not a performance component.

As for the crashes, they are a separate issue and are being investigated thoroughly.
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Thanks Tias for the info we'll look into it.

Just a reminder, the minimum requirement for RAM is 4 GB.
Some people in this thread have only 2 GB. Upgrading to 4 GB would most likely improve FPS and loading times.

Since some people have a lot of RAM and have the issue we have to look at other reasons than disk swapping.
Edited by S4d1k on 3/31/2014 1:44 PM PDT
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03/31/2014 01:42 PMPosted by S4d1k
Since some people have a lot of RAM and have the issue we have to look at other reasons than disk swapping.


That's fine. :) Just remember that the person with 24 GB RAM also had a massively large file cache, leaving no free RAM. Nearly all of his RAM was taken and he had a good amount compressed. It is times like this when I wish Apple hadn't migrated the purge command to require root in order to be invoked. I used to use an Applescript applet that I coded myself to launch Terminal, invoke purge, then launch Diablo 3 via command line, quit Terminal 3 seconds after issuing the D3 launch command, and never had memory issues. Now I can't do that in Mavericks because you can't invoke purge unattended. :(

I know the minimum specified is 4 GB, but you should add to the system requirements page that the recommended minimum for Mavericks is 6 GB. All of the problem reports are on Mavericks, including the 24 GB iMac user, and all have compressed memory. If that compression happens while loading a level, you've got some serious performance degredation happening. Mavericks just wasn't meant for gaming - it was meant for memory/energy savings.
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Edited by TheTias#1192 on 4/9/2014 4:31 AM PDT
Im literally having EVERY issue that has been stated:

1. Flickering graphics

2. CRAZY load times (almost always an instant death when joining a party because by the time my game loads my guys is already dead)

3. Crashes every time I try to enter a rift

4. Now crashes every time I try to enter any game (party, by myself, story, or adventure)

5. Crashes every time I change a setting or do anything for that matter...

6. Now completely unplayable.

VERY annoying.
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Rebooting your machine will reset the disk swap file.
If you haven't rebooted your Mac for a while please try that.
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03/31/2014 02:06 PMPosted by Malhammer
Im literally having EVERY issue that has been stated:

1. Flickering graphics

2. CRAZY load times (almost always an instant death when joining a party because by the time my game loads my guys is already dead)

3. Crashes every time I try to enter a rift

4. Now crashes every time I try to enter any game (party, by myself, story, or adventure)

5. Crashes every time I change a setting or do anything for that matter...

6. Now completely unplayable.

VERY annoying.


We believe that these issues are all related except for the long loading times.
So, I've tried something that seems to bear out your hunch, TheTias.

I'm not inviting anyone to try it, and I actually won't post the details, I'll leave that to community's discretion. Disabling my compression has made it so that in the last 30 ports in a row, I have not been able to reproduce the issue. I usually repro at the 3rd, guaranteed.

Confirmed that my Compressed metric reads 0 bytes, and that ... the appropriate OS variable is set to the necessary value to disable memory compression.

TL;DR: My memory compression is disabled, and I cannot (yet) reproduce the issue. Both in solo games and multiplayer.

Further details:
Phys: 24.00GB
Used: 9.61GB
F.Cache: 3.15GB
Comp: 0
Swap: 0

We're definitely onto something.
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Compressed memory has been WoW's bane since 10.9, no surprise AT ALL it's D3's as well. It's nothing but a nightmare feature of 10.9.

Blizz should just ask for admin pw at game launch if it's on, and say "Do you want us to un$%@& your OS for you before you play?" :)
Edited by MysticalOS#1981 on 3/31/2014 2:19 PM PDT
Come to think of it, after just reading about how it's Mavericks trying to conserve energy, I definitely notice that the spots where my computer usually gets really hot when playing D3 don't get nearly as hot, and I don't hear the fan go on anymore like it used to occasionally after playing for a while.
Edited by Codeski#1328 on 3/31/2014 3:58 PM PDT
Since Mavericks is the problem, would switching back to mountain lion get rid of the long loading times? Is mountain lion even supported?
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Mountain Lion is supported, but unless you already have a fully working clone/backup of the old ML partition I wouldn't recommend going back to it unless absolutely necessary. If you can dual boot into it, you can give it a try that way though.
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I'd like to add that this isnt just a mac problem. I have another friend (pc user) who's loading time also got affected after the patch.

pre2.0 the game loads in less than 5sec using a 7200 rpm hdd. starting from pressing the resume/start button until I can move my char.

after the patch it now takes at least 17secs using the same hdd. I upgraded to a 120gb ssd but loading time is still 17sec +.
even teleporting has 2-3sec loading now. it used to be instant pre2.0.
I've set all settings to minimum but that didn't help.

My desktop has 16gb ram, i7 3.4ghz quad core, 120gb ssd.

ps. im using pc win7.


clean install of win7. d3 was copied from old hdd to the ssd
I do understand what you are saying Tias and S4d1k.

Just she could run Diablo 3 with minimal issues if any at all most days. Loot 2.0 comes out she has 2-3 crashes a day maybe, then RoS comes out and she can't play more then 10 minutes. If could simply be a coincidence and Mac OS X was updated to something unfriendly on the same day or around the same time, RoS could just require that much more memory usage. I would more so figure a RAM or memory issue in general would cause the game to lock up or be sent to desktop with error. In this case, after long loading time returns "Your connection has been lost: * (error)" then sent back to main menu, where she can try again. I'm obviously not a hardware expert, know even less about Mac. So I'm not trying to refute any information brought up, just feels like there is more to it.

I also am not sure why it's only displaying available 2GHz of ram when she has 4 that's an issue for us to figure out though, haha.

I'm pretty sure this isn't possible more of a question to tech, is it possible to "just" play Diablo 3 without RoS Before all this happens without buying another game on another account? When it was playable? Question isn't meant to be insulting, just so she can play something she paid for until issue can be resolved from getting a new pc or fix on Bliz's end.
Edited by Frostlocke#1708 on 3/31/2014 7:51 PM PDT
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03/31/2014 07:39 PMPosted by Frostlocke
I also am not sure why it's only displaying available 2GHz of ram when she has 4 that's an issue for us to figure out though, haha.


Under Windows, unless you are running a 64-bit version, it will only give you access to 2 GB of userspace RAM. The rest is reserved by the kernel and PCI bus addressing. You can force the use of the "3 GB switch" (large address aware) in Windows Professional, but it is unwise to do so in most cases on a 32-bit Windows system.

03/31/2014 07:39 PMPosted by Frostlocke
I'm pretty sure this isn't possible more of a question to tech, is it possible to "just" play Diablo 3 without RoS Before all this happens without buying another game on another account? When it was playable? Question isn't meant to be insulting, just so she can play something she paid for until issue can be resolved from getting a new pc or fix on Bliz's end.


It won't matter whether or not you're using RoS or D3v - the client is the same for both games. The only difference is a flag that lets the game know you are allowed to have access to the expansion-only content.
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03/31/2014 11:49 PMPosted by TheTias
03/31/2014 07:39 PMPosted by Frostlocke
I also am not sure why it's only displaying available 2GHz of ram when she has 4 that's an issue for us to figure out though, haha.


Under Windows, unless you are running a 64-bit version, it will only give you access to 2 GB of userspace RAM. The rest is reserved by the kernel and PCI bus addressing. You can force the use of the "3 GB switch" (large address aware) in Windows Professional, but it is unwise to do so in most cases on a 32-bit Windows system.


This part I actually know, I meant her Mac, not Windows. I wasn't clear sorry!

It won't matter whether or not you're using RoS or D3v - the client is the same for both games. The only difference is a flag that lets the game know you are allowed to have access to the expansion-only content.


That does make sense, unfortunate though. I hope they can resolve this for majority of Mac users experiencing this issue! (issue at hand, not the one I mentioned.)
Edited by Frostlocke#1708 on 4/1/2014 12:06 PM PDT
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So... I haven't updated my mac to mavericks, still running lion and have the long loading time issues. My specs are the same as the above users i5 4GB of RAM.
I'll state my machine specs as I'm also having long load times..

Now.. some might say.. oh it's a laptop its because of that.. No it's not..

Specs:
Intel i7 4700QM
8 GB ram 1600Mhz cl9
Nvidia GTX765M + Optimus (no issues with this)
2TB HDD (1TB+1TB in Raid0 striped 128kb) (both 7200rpm sata600)

The HDD speeds are almost equalling an SSD drive

And STILL I have long load times.. taking 10 seconds + easily

My PC has non existent loading times with only 1 1TB HDD 7200rpm sata 300
PC specs:

AMD Phenom II x6 1090T OCed to 4Ghz
8 GB ram 1600 cl9
GTx560TI (x2) SLI'd
1 TB 7200rpm sata300

Now I really wonder whats going on here that makes the loading time so long..

I'll do some more research myself, as I didn't really delve into it yet.. Just mentioning that also with better specs then others I still have the problem (I can almost say for certain it's not disk reading time due to the Raid0 and faster drives in my laptop)

edit:
The only real difference between both machines is the internet connection (wifi vs cable)

might be connection related?
I have a great network card in my laptop though dual band 2.4 + 5Ghz + ac support so I don't think it's the actual receiving wifi speed (and I have a 60Mbit down connection( with testing I'm able to reach 15 mbit total.. (might be the real problem after all?)))
Edited by Themperror#2709 on 4/1/2014 3:44 PM PDT
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