PS2ESDL iLink and Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme drive
[I figured I'd create a new thread now PS2EDSL has its own sub-forum, rather than bloat the huge main thread even more.]
I have tested PS2EDSL 0.821 with its iLink plugin and my 2TB Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme USB/Firewire/eSATA hard drive. Apart from no PS2 programs supporting >1TB partitions, this seems to work fine over Firewire. But while PS2ESDL can load the game list over USB, all the games I tested over USB hung at a black screen; see below. (The games load fine over USB with Open PS2 Loader.)
Performance via Firewire is significantly better than USB. Strangely, when I try loading games over USB now (with iLink cable disconnected), it seems most/all just hang with a black screen. Does that happen for anyone else with the games listed below? Maybe the iLink plugin loading breaks the USB-loading code somehow???
I've only tested a few games so far (on a SCPH-39003 console), but here's a summary:
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. This game usually has a lot of "stuttering" when you rotate the view or move through the world. There is still some stuttering running over iLink, but much less than with OPL/USB.
- Midway Arcade Treasures 3. Over iLink: seems to work fine, however the game complains about a corrupt memory card when trying to save. Over USB: hang at black screen.
- Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. Over iLink: seems to work fine. "Making of" video is almost stutter-free unlike when using OPL/USB. Hang at black screen with PS2ESDL/USB.
- Stolen. This one's interesting! It seems to work fine with PS2ESDL over iLink. Over USB however, it doesn't work with either Open PS2 Loader or PS2ESDL. In summary, Stolen compatibility looks like this:
PS2ESDL iLink: Works fine
PS2ESDL USB: Hangs at black screen.
OPL USB: Hangs at HIP Games logo animation (sound keeps looping)
OPL SMB/network: Works fine
- Vexx. Works fine, title screen FMV and trailer videos smooth. Once the console hung when I selected a trailer to play, but I couldn't repeat the issue. The game shows a message about no memory card detected initially, which doesn't appear loading with OPL/USB. The game can load and save games okay, it's just the initial message which is wrong. I'm using a non-Sony 64MB card.
After using PS2ESDL/iLink a little, I have some suggestions:
- The ability to choose which connection to use (USB or iLink) would be very useful. And maybe let the user choose the initial/default choice if both USB and iLink are connected. I'm not sure whether my drive works with both USB and iLink cables connected, but I think it might. With both cables connected, I ran PS2ESDL. It loaded the game list via USB (I think). I then unplugged the USB cable and PS2ESDL automatically loaded the game list via iLink. At the moment PS2ESDL always uses USB if there is a drive connected to USB, right?
- In-game reset is sorely needed. My drive spins down when the iLink connection is reset (which happens when you press the console reset button). So in between every game, resetting and running PS2ESDL again causes the drive to spin down then spin up again ⟹ unnecessary wear-and-tear on the drive.
- Some kind of benchmark feature would be good. Not just for showing the difference between USB and iLink transfer rates, but perhaps to differentiate between better and worse-performing USB drives/card readers etc. You could have two transfer rate tests, one reading 2048 bytes at a time, the other a larger amount, say 32KB. (For example, a particular card reader/memory card combination might have higher latency than others, so a benchmark could show that using that with OPL or PS2ESDL wouldn't be a good idea.)
My iLink-related wish list (not just for PS2ESDL):
- Would it be possible to develop a replacement USBD.IRX which supports both USB and iLink devices? Then it might be possible to get uLaunchELF to work with iLink drives.
- It's possible to network (TCP/IP) over Firewire. If support for that could be added to OPL, users could connect their PS2 to their PC with a Firewire cable and load games from a shared folder on the PC. No need to buy a network adapter for your fat PS2.