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Game "freeze" on new laptop


djr5899
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I don't have enough details as of yet to fully dig into troubleshooting/logs, but wanted to see if this is something that has occurred to others.

I purchased a new laptop over the weekend (ASUS ROG M16, Intel i7 CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU).  I loaded Steam and installed KSP, and I noticed something odd when playing the game.  I am getting small freezes during the game where I can still rotate the cameras, but the other functions do not seem to be working.  So far, I have noticed this in 2 instances:

  • When performing an EVA, I have seen this multiple times, but not every time.
  • I also had the issue happen to me under as I was setting up a landing trajectory.  Burning prograde, I reached desired trajectory, but could not shut off the engines by cutting the power (Z/X key).  Cameras worked when this happened, craft still moving.  Only lasted 2-3 seconds, but definitely more problematic to have something like this happen under thrust versus just out on an EVA.

Anyone seen something similar in the past?  Mods are very simple and the same that I had on my previous laptop ([x]Science, KER, Trajectories, a few flag packs, and dependency mods).

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1) How much RAM do you have and can you tell if the freezes occur after your machine has started swapping to virtual memory or not?  If your RAM has been consumed and the disk is being used as virtual memory it can definitely cause odd freezes while the required information is swapped into RAM.  Depending on the size of the craft and mods and what other programs you may run alongside KSP you might want the maximum amount of RAM your machine can take.  But generally, for early game suborbital craft 8G should be plenty.  But you can start swapping fairly soon with larger craft, more craft in the game, more mods, and either KSP or a mod having a memory leak.   If the problem gets worse the longer you play after a reboot then a memory leak could be indicated.  You can monitor the amount of available free memory and see for yourself what is what

2) You may also be seeing the mono/KSP/unity memory garbage collection process.  There is a mod that I can't remember the name of that will monitor the memory heap for the KSP process and will display when garbage collection is occuring (cleaning up old memory references etc).  If these correlate with the freezes then you know that is what is occurring.  More RAM can alleviate this.  I fuzzily recall the mod has "Heap" in the name so can be searched for in CKAN if you have that installed.

3) KSP.log in the ksp executable directory and Player.log wherever that ends up on your machine (you may have to search for it using FileManager on windows or if on Linux "find" or "locate" or similar).   If there is a consistent error that appears in the log when the freeze occurs, that can tell a lot; if not to you then to someone helping you.  Often times the message will include a hint to a particular mod or part or whether the error is happening in KSP or in the OS (like GPU issues)

4) Also, and this is more speculative, but I found that when I solved some overheating issues on my machine that it solved a lot of lag and freezes on my system.  Before you go down this path you can monitor your system temperatures and refer to info on the net and decide for yourself if there is a heat problem.  On my machine I think that the heat was creating more errors and retries on memory reads and writes or some other low level checksum/retry mechanism.  I don't really know.  I just know it really seemed to make a big difference.  New computers often ship with less than adequate heat sink grease/pads on the CPU and GPU; sad but true.  Reapplying new, higher quality, grease and "pads" is not trivial on many machines, especially laptops, but for most models and makes there are how to videos.  This is not for most people, but every town has people who make a living doing this kind of thing if it comes to it.  Pick someone with a good reputation and these people are often the ones who also post how to videos.  Some of the bad technique in some of those videos is why I suggest finding someone reputable.   It is way too big of a subject to get into here

5) Finally, it is hard to say a mod couldn't cause such behavior under some condition, so running a test game without any mods can be a good reality check to rule this out. Mods that can cause something like this are usually ones that have to periodically monitor resources or the state of the craft in Flight or Map view.  Editor oriented mods typically don't affect Flight or Map view.  After removing mods you can reintroduce the mods one by one until the problem occurs again.  Often mod issues are solved simply by reinstalling, and if not, often reinstalling KSP first can help, but checking log error messages, free RAM, and temps before doing any of this can be a lot more efficient

I am by no means an expert!  I know I probably missed something obvious here and probably made an incorrect statement somewhere and others will almost certainly let me know and I welcome it.  Wait for more input to this thead before doing anything involving a lot of effort.  Maybe look at the logs, temps, and RAM

I just thought of something else.  If you are approaching another craft, when it comes into "load" range, usually around 2.2km or so, the game will "freeze", engines burning, etc, as the other craft loads.  Don't be fooled by the engines burning during this freeze, it has no effect on the game as the entire physics engine is also frozen.  The sounds and stuff are just running on a loop until the freeze finishes.

Edited by darthgently
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I ended up returning the laptop.  I was able to just replace the SSD in my old laptop and, even though the new laptop was supposed to be better specs, it ran incredibly hot and seemed to have small "pauses" doing the simplest things, unrelated to the KSP issues I saw.

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14 hours ago, djr5899 said:

I ended up returning the laptop.  I was able to just replace the SSD in my old laptop and, even though the new laptop was supposed to be better specs, it ran incredibly hot and seemed to have small "pauses" doing the simplest things, unrelated to the KSP issues I saw.

Laptops are notorious for having heat issues, regardless of age.

They are also notorious for being hard to keep clean (even without cats).

However, they are designed to be able to run at full blast without overheating so the key is to figure out how to keep all air ducts open and free of dust (and cat hair)

 

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