X52 Pro HOTAS Hangs Windows

X52 Pro HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) is a decent quality piece of gaming equipment at its price point. It has a good finish, responds well, and is easily configurable. There are other premium HOTAS and stick products that are better, and you will pay for them… three times as much for a Thrustmaster Warthog and five times as much for a Virpil mongoose stick and throttle. VKBSim make fantastic sticks but some of us cannot justify $700 on just the stick (May 2020).

X52 Pro competes with X56 Rhino which emulates the A-10 split throttle HOTAS of the Warthog and has a more militaristic styling with switch protection rails and no screens on the base.

Some of us have found the X52 will hang windows at various times, particularly on shut-down or restart. This is caused by the LogiRegistryService.exe failing to respond to Windows commands. The error states the faulting module is ntdll.dll but that is the one giving the command and it doesn’t have a way to process the LogiRegistryService failing its part.

So, what do we do about it?

We disable the service. Based on its name Logitech doesn’t really need a report on what our computers are doing all the time and if it was serious it would make damned sure the software doing it would not cause user issues.

  1. Open Services. You can find this under settings, or open the Run box and type “services.msc”.
  2. Find Logitech Gaming Registry Service.

3. Disable the service. Left-click on the entry so it is selected (highlighted) and then right-click on it to bring options menu. Click on “Disable”. Alternatively can double-click on the service entry and it will bring up properties. Then click the Disable button.

Now that it done you know how to undo it if it fails for you. Test it out by shutting down or restarting your PC. Now it works as it should!

X52 Pro HOTAS Hangs Windows

PC Build Guide–The things they don’t tell you about RAM

There are lots of PC build guides out on the web. There are lots of things they do not tell you, too.

So what are these things?

Let’s break it down to the main one.

How to choose fast RAM.

Your CPU is the foundation of everything else. If it is slow the rest is slow. Get the fastest CPU you can afford. Less cores is okay unless you are using well optimised programs with extensible mult-threading.
What does that mean?
Can you software use all available threads? If yes, then lots of cores and threads will be fine. If no, then it won’t help much having a 16 core 32 thread CPU.

The first bottle-neck!

Between your CPU and RAM is the first bottleneck. This is overcome with "True Latency".

True latency is measure in nanoseconds for RAM. We want to get this under 10ns.

"But nanoseconds don’t matter. You won’t notice them!"

"We will when the difference is multiplied by a billion – which is the number of CPU cycles per second!"

The rule-of-thumb with RAM Is getting the best true latency for your dollar. Ideally this is under 10, or under 9.

How to figure out true latency.

The back-of-napkin calculation will be given but first we have to define some terms.

RAM speed is often referred to in MHz.

RAM CAS latency, or CL, is given in number of cycles. This is usually a value between 14 and 20.

So if we pick some ram it might have these attributes.

RAM_maker_X

3200Mhz
CAS (or CL) 16.

…and a bunch of other things we will ignore.

The steps

3200Mhz is the speed.

16 is the latency.

To figure true latency:

1) Divide speed by 2.

1600

2) Divide that by 100.

16

3) Divide CL by the figure at number 2.

4) If it’s equal to 1 then you get 10 nanoseconds.

Otherwise use this formula.

frequency/200 = a
cas = c
1/(a/c) = true latency

So here’s some examples:

3200 C14.

16/14 = ~1.14

1 / ~1/14

8.75 nanoseconds.

 

3600 C16

18/16 = 1.125

1/1.125

8.8888* nanoseconds

 

4200 C20

21/20 =  1.05

9.5 nanoseconds

PC Build Guide–The things they don’t tell you about RAM

Getting rid of NVidia entries in Manage 3D Settings

NVidia control panel can help solve issues and improve performance with 3D applications. However, it has some lazy bugs in it like graying out the “remove” application button in “Manage 3D settings”.

nvidia_remove

You do not need to download anything like random driver cleanup programs to get rid of this. You can do it with “regedit”.

Start up regedit.

Either click start and type “regedit” or go to the run box and put it in there.

Once you are in the Registry Editor be careful and do not delete anything unless you are sure. It will not prompt you to make sure an the wrong thing can ruins your Windows install.

Search (CTRL + F, or Edit… Search) for “NvCplAppNamesStored”.

It ought to be the only entry (see below):

nvidia_cleanup

The HKEY is below for power-users.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\NvCplAppNamesStore\

In the panel on the right, find what you do not want, select it (check it is the correct one) and press the delete key.

It’s gone.

Exit Registry Editor and exit NVidia Control Panel.

NVidia have kindly made the Control Panel restart automatically so you will not have to do it.

Check your Manage 3D Settings and the entry will be gone.

Getting rid of NVidia entries in Manage 3D Settings

Game design and player agency

Player agency, the ability to execute will, is key to game experiences. When a game forces something upon you, particularly something you can reasonably expect to be easily rid of, then it lessens the experience.

Some examples:
If you are forced to keep a bag of bait that you never want to use then it constantly gets in the way via your user-interface (UI). So a good game would allow the player to drop all pieces of the inventory. Removing gear ought not be done via standard play mode, eg. first-person shooting view. It is better done through an inventory screen so it’s not accidentally done in combat.

Control is agency

Automatic use of cover. I understand that this is a console gaming issue mostly but considering how console-ports retain this feature on PC it seems pertinent. Just put in the lean keys and let the player use cover.

Backpacks that you cannot drop. This is an old one. Sure you might lose your entire inventory yet it’s what soldiers do if they’re ambushed. Backpack can get you killed if it slows you down.

Unavailable items that show up all over fallen foes yet are not lootable. You’d just take it off the fallen and fix it, or cobble it together from the other fallen that have the same gear.

Over riding animations, uninterruptable effects, can sometimes be in games specifically to prevent player agency. A stun effect doesn’t need to lock out control when it could make your vision monochromatic and randomly skew your control sensitivity for a time.

There are methods to put in effects without removing player agency. Designers take heed.

Game design and player agency

Sound upgrade for PC

My audio commentary has a lot of background hiss. I suspect it is the onboard sound card gain method adding noise. So considering an upgrade to this sound card:

And, if required, this microphone.

The Zx has an excellent SNR of 116db. The microphone is a cardioid condenser so should highlight all the warm notes in my voice (or anyone else).  I like the brushed aluminium one; ideally in a shock mount with a pop filter/screen.

Sound upgrade for PC