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Ridiculously long save and load time

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Technical Support' started by Lordevan83, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. jonnyp

    jonnyp Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Computer specs seem to have very little to do with loading times and the end of turn time on huge maps with many Civ's and city-states. People with i7 980X Hexacore overclocked to 4+Ghz, 12GB RAM and 2 Intel X-25 SSD in raid 0 have just as slow loading and end of turn times as me and I'm running on a 2 year old laptop with dual core E8500 @ 3,3 GHz, 4GB ram, 120GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD and a 9800M GTS.

    One of my savegames is only around 2 megabytes in size - huge map, marathon time, turn 621, most Civ's I've conquered, still a lot of city-states left on the map. It takes 3+ mins to load it with my SSD! Insane!

    Looking at what's going on with my CPU, HDD and RAM while loading it's just bizarre why it's taking so long to load. The two CPU cores are mostly idle, so is the SSD while the RAM usage slowly, very slowly, grows larger and larger until it's swallowed almost 2.5 GB of ram before it finally decides I can start playing. I don't understand why it takes so long to fill up the RAM and why it needs SO much of it!

    After the 2MB savegame is finally loaded and it's my turn, both my CPU cores are at 90% utilisation on average, eventhough I'm doing absolutely nothing, nothing else is happening on screen - the game is idle. When end of turn comes around my CPU usage goes down on average (!) and there doesn't seem to be anything happening with the CPU, SSD or RAM for long periods of time. I think it takes around 2-3 minutes between turns for me now on this savegame, where during most of that time there doesn't seem to be anything going on processing-wise in the game!

    Something is not right with this game, and I would not recommend anyone buying it, let alone upgrade their PCs for it because at the moment that would be a huge waste of money!

    The game seems to be terribly coded.
     
  2. bigredjeff

    bigredjeff Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    I second this. I have come expect more from the civ team and I hope heads roll for the lack of TLC the game has received. It's a travesty.

    I'm having the long loads and crashing sometimes on loading saves. Total bs.
     
  3. abtomat74

    abtomat74 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Take the advice I posted...never save. Let the game auto save after each round instead and only load the game from the desktop ONCE.

    I can quit, wait 2 seconds, click the exe and be loaded back up in less than 35 seconds, which we all know is much much quicker than what we've been experiencing with the bloated saves.
     
  4. code65536

    code65536 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Well, the problem isn't caused by the bloated savefile and the weird "201080 FINAL_RELEASE" string.

    I opened the savefile up in a hex editor and noticed that the 4 bytes preceding the strings was a 32-bit little endian integer with the length of the string sequence (in my case, this junk accounted for 16MB of my savefile). So I deleted all but one of the strings and updated the integer to reflect the new shortened sequence...

    ...and it didn't affect save/load times one bit. The new slimmer savefile did work, and subsequent saves were also smaller. But it had no effect whatsoever on the slow save/load speeds--so the save/load mechanism was at least ignoring this extra junk that had been injected.
     
  5. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    13,108
    Location:
    Arizona, USA (it's a dry heat)
    Is this issue with loading a save when Civ5 is already running, ie you're playing along and decide to go back to a previous save (or just save and load what was just saved) without exiting and restarting? It's an OO design, and I'd bet they have to throw away all the old objects and create new ones, which is going to throw a big load on the OS's memory manager. OO is both help and hindrance -- on the one hand the inherent characteristics of OO make the game infinitely moddable, but on the other hand making some aspects of the program efficient will require other aspects to be inefficient. And it's way more efficient to start with an empty heap than it is to discard objects and create new ones, so I'd actually expect (as a software engineering architect) the initial loads to be much faster than in-progress ones.
     
  6. Leettari

    Leettari Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    No difference on me in loading times.

    Whether I load a previous save while playing the same save or load a previous save from menu, it still will take the same amount of time.
    For the record, with same settings (Epic, Huge), my clearly smaller save (900 KB) loads swiftly enough regardless where I load it.

    EDIT: Even if I boot the game, my old save will load up somewhat faster but the bad apple one still struggles - big time.
     
  7. jaldaen

    jaldaen Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    467
    I'm having the same problem. The odd thing is that it doesn't happen every game (I've played 200-300+ turns without problems). So far the culprit games have been Aztecs (Deity Pangea), Catherine (Noble Earth), and now Elizabeth (Chieftan Archipelago)... all quick games. But I don't know if its civ, map, or game speed specific.
     
  8. SuperSmurf

    SuperSmurf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47
    And another satisfied customer here. I haven't had any problems in that department for one week, until now. I had a nice game going when out of a sudden the save times took almost as long as the 5 turns in between them. File size is closing in on 4 MB instead of the usual 1-1.5 MB (huge continents, marathon, 12/24 players, turn 110).

    I restarted it with the initial save file from 4000 BC (1 MB) and noticed it starts after 10 turns (file sizes double from turn 5 auto save (1.1 MB) to turn 10 (2.2 MB)).

    I have attached both as .rar. Still on patch .17 btw.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. VincentD

    VincentD Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Quebec City
    Don't really have new info here but since installing the 1.0.0.20 patch my save games load quite a bit slower. Processing time after each turn is still very slow even with my CPU (i7 940). Mind you that is playing in a Huge World Map with max AI players.

    i7 940
    6GB tri-channel DDR3
    EVGA 9800GT
    Vista 64-bit all updates applied.

    I havent tested if it changes anything in-game since right when I started I noticed the red patches of snow and sands were still on the ground which annoys the hell out of me!!! I also cannot plays in DX10 since the graphics glitches are averywhere.

    And it's not a problem about the card overheating either, they just don't seem to load. It's like the game is forcing my DX10 card to process DX11 instructions and my card just spits it out in the monitor like bad food...

    I'm having a fantastic time with the game to be honest, but they clearly had issues with their QA department or 2K Games forced them to realease this diamond without properly cutting it.
     
  10. jonnyp

    jonnyp Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Hi Dave, thanks for that but I've tried both ways and there's no difference in load times.

    EDIT: the horrible load and save times I can live with as I'm not doing that too often but the end of turn waiting times is a game breaking problem which doesn't seem to be related to system specs as the most powerful systems you can buy right now are exhibiting the same horrendous end of turn waiting times as lower spec'ed machines.

    I don't have that big of a problem with the new gameplay introduced in Civ 5 itself, it's still a very fun game until performance goes down the toilet although I do wish they hadn't dumbed it down to extent they have. However, I'm not going to play it until they optimize their code so that it's playable during late games because right now I don't want to spend half a day to play 10 turns...
     
  11. jaldaen

    jaldaen Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    467
    Yeah, it looks like my save/load times started to skyrocket after the 1.0.0.20 patch. I ended up having to scrap all my saves and cache and started a new game. This seemed to fix the problem for about 100+ turns, but the save/load times are starting to creep back up again.
     
  12. abtomat74

    abtomat74 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    If you save or load from within the game, the file size increases.

    Do not save or load from within the game.

    If your save files are over 1MB, too late. I just finished another game in the 1950's and my final auto save is just under 500kb. The entire game(quick) was done by loading once each time, fresh from desktop, no loading or saving from within the game.

    Do not load or save from within the game.

    If you do anything other than that procedure, you're save files will increase.
     
  13. NackteElfe

    NackteElfe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    CCAA
    So for loading you have to go back to windows and start the game again?

    I tried switching to the main menu, but still my save was just about 2mbs in the end of the game (long load times but not as bad as it was before.)
    Small world, 4 nations left in the End.
     
  14. Grat3fulH3ad

    Grat3fulH3ad Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
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    Location:
    ...Chicago.
    I am curious, how does one save while not being in the game? :confused:
     
  15. Leettari

    Leettari Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    I believe abtomat74 meant do not quicksave/manual save while in-game (in middle of a match) but rather configure autosave to save every turn (or however you want it to work) and let it do the job instead of manual saving.

    As pointed out earlier, if you hit F11 for a quicksave process or manually save in menu, your already screwed savefile will struggle big time in saving, unlike autosave which is automated and happens every time you hit next turn.

    I'm soon done with my save and I will do everything to not re-produce this on my next playthrough, so autosaving is working just fine on me now. I used to save and load a lot in the beginning, but I've found it to be quite unnecessary so once I load up the game freshly (start the game from desktop, load) I'll play for several hours until I'm done for the day and will quit without manually saving or loading.
     
  16. SuperSmurf

    SuperSmurf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47
    I don't think so. I have done it many times since the release, and I am doing it again (no problems so far in my current game (turn 256)). There is just this one game that went :crazyeye: .
     
  17. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    16,281
    Location:
    Canada
    Saving from ingame is fine, it's just loading from ingame (and then saving afterwards) that causes huge savefiles.

    600 turns into a marathon/huge map, my save file was just under 1MB.
     
  18. sbq

    sbq Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
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    Correction, it appears to be the act of loading a save game from within the game or from the main menu. If you save as much as you want, but only load after starting the game client up, the saves don't seem to increase in size very much. The going theory is that loading from within Civ V is causing this bloat, and when you save it gets put into the save file.

    I'm going to test this out by starting a new game and saving it twice at turn 0, and running 100 turns twice, once with no loading from within the game or main menu, and once with loading from within the game or main menu. I did a much smaller test and it seemed to be a correct thesis, when I only loaded after quitting the game and starting it back up again my saves didn't increase very much, but once I started loading from within the game the saves increased rapidly.
     
  19. abtomat74

    abtomat74 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
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    18
    My next game I will try your updated method of saving whenever, and not loading from any place other than fresh from desktop. But since I have auto saving for every round, I'm not sure I'll need to save anytime else.

    Honestly, it's the loading I want! For the new seeds.
    .
    .
    .
    Regardless, it's all about save file size. Once it hits 1MB+, it simply takes much longer than normal to load or save, including the time between rounds doing whichever method works best for us.
     
  20. kuwazome

    kuwazome Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    That final release crap is only added once you load/save in game, autosave doesn't add it. Guess its just a massive bug in the load/save system, probably why people are crashing and stuff when doing load/save in a game.
     

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