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Author Topic: Why do games take so long to quit?  (Read 907 times)
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ScubaV
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« on: February 25, 2009, 08:56:50 PM »

Can anyone familiar with programming/hardware answer this?  Intuitively it seems that once you hit exit/escape/quit/whatever you should be instantly brought back to your OS.  I don't understand why it takes so long.  Valve games in particular seem really bad at this.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 10:02:05 PM »

How much RAM is in your PC?  I've seen issues like that on systems with 1GB of RAM that basically went away with 2GB or more. It seems like memory has been swapped out and when you quit it's more work for it to 'release' all of it from the page/swap file rather than pure RAM, hence the delay.
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ScubaV
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 10:03:00 PM »

I have 2gb RAM.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 10:05:30 PM »

OK. When you quit, is there alot of disk activity? Or is it where it takes a long time to slowly... erase... the... game... screen? Basically, what is the behaviour you're seeing while games are quitting?
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Turtle
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 10:29:32 PM »

What anti-virus software are you using too?  Sometimes the AV software will check every single HD write and read from a game, including when it quits.
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Huw the Poo
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 11:05:43 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on February 25, 2009, 10:02:05 PM

I've seen issues like that on systems with 1GB of RAM that basically went away with 2GB or more.

Yeah, I can't remember seeing long quit issues since I've been using 2 GB of RAM.
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morlac
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 03:31:18 AM »

Quote from: ScubaV on February 25, 2009, 08:56:50 PM

Can anyone familiar with programming/hardware answer this?  Intuitively it seems that once you hit exit/escape/quit/whatever you should be instantly brought back to your OS.  I don't understand why it takes so long.  Valve games in particular seem really bad at this.

Valve games are terrible at this.  Mine see mto crash on exit about 50% of the time, prolly steam related. 
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ScubaV
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 05:03:01 AM »

I don't run an anti-virus program so that's not it.  I just tested WoW and King's Bounty and both took less than 2 mississippi seconds to go from in-game to desktop.  I'll try to keep an eye on other games, but I guess it's Steam programs that are the big culprit.  Not surprisingly, I guess, since it's got a lot of other stupid crap that annoys me, and consumes more resources than just a game by itself.
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TiLT
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 05:27:12 AM »

The explanation is simple: When the game is running, it has to reserve the memory it needs so that other applications can't use it. A game usually has to reserve a lot of memory, often everything you have available and then some. Once the game needs more memory than you have available as RAM, it will start using the swap file on your HD as virtual RAM. This is slower, and will make the game feel slow too.

Once the game wants to quit, it needs to tell Windows that it doesn't need all these memory locations any more, or you'd get a memory leak (yup, that's how memory leaks work. They often happen when a programmer loses track of a memory assignment and can't find a way to release it). For a game using lots of memory, this process is pretty big. If all your reserved memory is in RAM, it should be quick though. If you're using virtual memory on the HD, things get a LOT more sluggish. You suddenly need to do a lot of HD lookups and small writes, which takes time.

Best remedy: Get more RAM.
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disarm
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 05:46:50 AM »

i think TiLT hit on the real answer...games cache information all over your computer, both in RAM and on the HD, during play.  when you exit a game, it takes time for the program to clean up after itself and remove all the data that it was using.  while the information stored in RAM can be cleared pretty quickly, clearing data from a HD takes longer and is most likely what is happening while your games is in the process of shutting down.  unfortunately, it's a necessary part of the process and there's not really much that you can do to speed things up.
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ScubaV
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 06:22:04 AM »

Hmm, so it's probably the fact that Steam itself and all associated programs (i.e. community stuff) have to run in addition to whatever game it is that's causing the problem.  Less RAM available for the game to use.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 05:09:53 PM »

Quote from: disarm on February 26, 2009, 05:46:50 AM

i think TiLT hit on the real answer...games cache information all over your computer, both in RAM and on the HD, during play.  when you exit a game, it takes time for the program to clean up after itself and remove all the data that it was using.  while the information stored in RAM can be cleared pretty quickly, clearing data from a HD takes longer and is most likely what is happening while your games is in the process of shutting down.  unfortunately, it's a necessary part of the process and there's not really much that you can do to speed things up.

That was in my first post.  icon_wink

Perhaps a good defrag is in order?
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