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Is SSD caching screwing up my Civ 5 game?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm currently using SSD caching on my Z68 motherboard and I have this suspicion that it screws up the AI in my game.

In most games, there will be a few AI that never seem to get off the ground and build only a couple of cities even though the map I've chosen has a lot of land around them that have been unclaimed. Many times its not one of those "peaceful" civs that would prefer smaller empires.

I've tried validating files in Steam and it comes up with an error message that says the file will be reaquired. However, nothing happens and it will continue to show this error the next time I try to validate.

I've deleted the game and redownloaded it off Steam again and the fresh install still has problems.

This just may just be a Steam thing, but the game should still be"normal". I remember in one game I built too many wonders and at a point, the game wouldn't let me build the Apollo Project or Manhattan Project.

Now I can see how SSD caching can speed up my computer and its very obvious when I do certain things that the performance increase is there. The problem is that I think certain files are being accessed improperly.

Here's an example, with SSD caching on, Civ 5 will load fast. When it starts the intro video though, I repeatedly try to skip it by clicking my mouse and it will not skip it until a while later. With caching off, it responds much faster. It will still take a few seconds to skip but its much more faster and responsive.

I've also noticed how it can delay or screw up other programs. If I make the computer boot up skip that "RAID configuration" screen, my browsers will start to take longer to load. Not right away, but after a few bootups, it will begin to slow down. The moment I undo that setting and let the bootup screen come back, the browsers will go back to normal and load fast. This leads me to think that something in the cache can go wrong.

Additionally, I barely ever hear my hard drive make any sounds anymore with caching on. Its a WD black and they are noisy.

So there is some suspicion that sending data to the cache to use can result in some unpleasant surprises. I can only guess that it uses a "similar" file to process a new event. Like using file "A" to handle situation "1" even though it was suppose to use file "B". The result is file "A" producing the wrong result.
post #2 of 3
By the looks of things your SSD caching might have a problem, moreover since if you disable it everything is more "predictable". SSD caching should only act like a buffer, the rest should be taken care of by the Intel RST driver.
Test these 3 things:
1.Disable and remove the SSD cache from your computer. Time a reboot, a CIV5 and other programs' startup speed and write them down
2.Mount the SSD cache, enable SSD caching with the "Enhanced" mode and do the same tests a few times; no the the time of the 3rd test
3.Enable SSD caching with the "Maximised" mode and do the same tests a few times; no the the time of the 3rd test

At last compare the times - you should see that SSD caching improves load times. Also keep an eye out on any anomalies while testing. Aside from the mobo/SSD being faulty there is one thing that could cause problems: the SSD being too small. With caching enabled if the rig boots faster, the game loads faster, but at some points it reverts to being slow it just means that part wasn't cached (when you click the startup video).

AI being dumb has nothing to do w/ SSDs, it's the game's fault. If cache is on and the HDD is silent it's also normal, the HDD is shut down if unused since all needed data could be on the SSD - if caching works well this is exactly what should happen.
Centurion
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
PowerCase
400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
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Centurion
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
PowerCase
400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've played a couple of games with SSD caching off and I can say for sure that the AI is performing better. They are actually taking advantage of the free unclaimed land. Also, they seem to be behaving better too.

Guess no will know the exact truth until this kind of technology is better known.
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