Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Aug 2017 22:31 UTC
Internet & Networking

Game downloads on PS4 have a reputation of being very slow, with many people reporting downloads being an order of magnitude faster on Steam or Xbox. This had long been on my list of things to look into, but at a pretty low priority. After all, the PS4 operating system is based on a reasonably modern FreeBSD (9.0), so there should not be any crippling issues in the TCP stack. The implication is that the problem is something boring, like an inadequately dimensioned CDN.

But then I heard that people were successfully using local HTTP proxies as a workaround. It should be pretty rare for that to actually help with download speeds, which made this sound like a much more interesting problem.

The detailed article contains tips to address the problem somewhat.

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Comment by cb88
by cb88 on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 03:52 UTC
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

I don't think most people care... I have a PS4. Horizon Zero dawn was pretty awesome....

I just set it to download the night before and it's there the next day even multiple titles often occasionally when I get them on sale. My PS4 is only a 100Mbit link... but it only sees about 50 of that since it's on WiFi anyway and frankly I don't care since it doesn't support 4k content anyway.

Also if you get right down two it... a PS4 is an order of magnitude slower than your average gamer PC if not more. The Jaguar cores are *really* slow even if there are 8 of them.

If they can implement a simple system to manage the network performance thats probably better than a complex one with subtle bugs... Suffice to say though the PS5 is much anticipated, I hope it has HBM3 + Navi + Zen 2 or 3 at least by the time it comes out and perhaps an SSD instead of HDD or perhaps an optional SSD to upgrade it to "Pro" level texures etc... since the new GPUs can apparently talk directly to an SSD over PCI-E now as in the Radeon SSG.

Edited 2017-08-22 03:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by cb88
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 13:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by cb88"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I have a PS4. Horizon Zero dawn was pretty awesome....

I just set it to download the night before and it's there the next day even multiple titles often occasionally when I get them on sale. My PS4 is only a 100Mbit link... but it only sees about 50 of that since it's on WiFi anyway and frankly I don't care since it doesn't support 4k content anyway.

Also if you get right down two it... a PS4 is an order of magnitude slower than your average gamer PC if not more. The Jaguar cores are *really* slow even if there are 8 of them.

If they can implement a simple system to manage the network performance thats probably better than a complex one with subtle bugs... Suffice to say though the PS5 is much anticipated, I hope it has HBM3 + Navi + Zen 2 or 3 at least by the time it comes out and perhaps an SSD instead of HDD or perhaps an optional SSD to upgrade it to "Pro" level texures etc... since the new GPUs can apparently talk directly to an SSD over PCI-E now as in the Radeon SSG.


I don't think most people care...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by cb88
by cb88 on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cb88"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

I'm glad you agree!

Reply Score: 2

Untested feature.
by Alfman on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 04:50 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

So in short, they designed this as a feature to throttle background downloads during games and streaming, but it was rushed and instead of using proper throttling mechanisms that set the TCP window dynamically based on the bytes per unit time, they took a huge shortcut and just hardcoded static TCP windows, as the author does a fine job of explaining.

Hard coding the TCP window results in way too much throttling on high latency links and doesn't do any throttling for the fastest links that have a high probability of consuming all the network resources. This flaw probably would have been discovered with more testing, but apparently it didn't get tested by other developers before it shipped and that was that.


A 7kB receive window will be absolutely crippling for any user. A 128kB window might be ok for users who have CDN servers very close by, or who don't have a particularly fast internet. For example at my location, a 128kB receive window would cap the downloads at about 35Mbp to 75Mbps depending on which CDN the DNS RNG happens to give me. The lowest two speed tiers for my ISP are 50Mbps and 200Mbps.


[Rant On]
Man, we're on a 30/5mbps right now, and we're two tiers higher than the lowest tier! Some might sneer at the 30mbps down, but it's the 5mbps up that really pains me. There promotional pricing for new subscribers isn't half bad, but existing subscribers really get screwed since they won't give us the advertised prices. If I were a governor I would push for a bill outlawing their shit. We just have so much corruption and there's no alternate broadband competition to walk away to.
[Rant Off]

Reply Score: 9

RE: Untested feature.
by zdzichu on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 05:36 UTC in reply to "Untested feature."
zdzichu Member since:
2006-11-07

Thank you, sir, for this TL;DR summary!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Untested feature.
by Lennie on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 09:29 UTC in reply to "Untested feature."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The other discussion is archived again, is there some other way I can reach you ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Untested feature.
by Alfman on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Untested feature."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

The other discussion is archived again, is there some other way I can reach you ?


I asked Thom to email you my info, I assume you registered with a valid email.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Untested feature.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 14:54 UTC in reply to "Untested feature."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Man, we're on a 30/5mbps right now, and we're two tiers higher than the lowest tier! Some might sneer at the 30mbps down, but it's the 5mbps up that really pains me.


Well, I'm on 12 Mbps down 1 up. So, rant not accepted.

Edited 2017-08-22 14:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Untested feature.
by ilovebeer on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Untested feature."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Jesus, man! I applaud your tolerance. Or have you murdered before?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Untested feature.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Untested feature."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Eh, after having lived with 28K modems, 12 Mbs isn't that bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Untested feature.
by cb88 on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 04:56 UTC in reply to "Untested feature."
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Note I'm on spectrum, and had 50/5 previously... I just asked. And they dropped my modem charge, and upgraded me to 100/10 (which is actually about 11-12 up in my case alot of the time), for the same price I was paying before.

Oh... look at that currently I'm 0.3down/5up in the real world... but what else is new.

Reply Score: 2

Gaming Consoles
by shinkou on Tue 22nd Aug 2017 13:41 UTC
shinkou
Member since:
2011-03-24

Like most of the people here, I don't care much about PS4's downloading speed since I usually leave it run overnight or whenever I'm not playing or using anything on it. However, I appreciate the guy cares enough to take time to write and share us the article. It is a very interesting read indeed. And I'm baffled by how sloppy things actually are under the hood... especially when it was a flagship product of a big global company.

Reply Score: 2

PS3 had the same issue...
by leech on Wed 23rd Aug 2017 05:54 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

The PS3 had a similar issue, which was fixed by a local proxy. Probably why I haven't really noticed on the PS4.

The problem isn't when you get a new game (yeah I had to leave mine on all night for Horizon: Zero Dawn as well). But when you're playing a game like Lego Dimensions and you can't play a new expansion right away because it starts downloading as soon as you place the character on the dimension pad.

That's probably the most annoying thing about slow downloads.

Reply Score: 2