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Auto-set processor affinity for Mass Effect 2 PC with MassAffinity, fix those load times

UPDATE: Version 0.2 is now available!

I caught wind of the fact Mass Effect 2 was causing PC users with dual-cores some grief, in the form of extremely long load times going between decks of the Normandy. Which is odd, as venturing into an entirely new planet loaded just dandy.

More than a few smart people figured out it had to do with the game’s processor affinity. Simply setting it to one core and then back to two cores fixed the problem. But having to do this every time you play ME2 sounds like a chore we could easily do without.

Hence, I coded up MassAffinity, a tiny app that takes the hard work out of it. Just place the app on your desktop (or somewhere else convenient), run it, select your ME2 directory, and hit “Run game”. After that, every time you double-click the MassAffinity app, it’ll automatically start ME2 and fix the issue.

No doubt this bug will get patched eventually, but for now, this should do the job. It should be noted this problem doesn’t affect everyone – it seems to be isolated to people running a certain combination of CPU and operating system. So, if you’re not experiencing long load times between decks, then this program is not for you.

If you ever need to change the directory, you can run the app with the “/config” switch, or run the “SetupMassAffinity.cmd” file that comes with the program.

Any questions or feedback, just leave a comment. Otherwise, enjoy! Thanks goes out to my brother, Chris, for testing the application.

Download MassAffinity v0.1

PS. If you like zombie games, be sure to check out Zafehouse and Zafehouse 2, my little side projects.

~ by Logan on February 6, 2010.

41 Responses to “Auto-set processor affinity for Mass Effect 2 PC with MassAffinity, fix those load times”

  1. [...] core, which of course is going to impede performance elsewhere in the multi-threaded game. Now Playwrite offers a small utility called Mass Affinity to work around this problem, as when it is used to [...]

  2. [...] Source: playwrite-blog.net [...]

  3. Well… i can’t get it working. It says to give root folder. Ok I have my game: D:\INST\Mass Effect 2\
    I’ve tried to choose D:\INST\ and D:\INST\Mass Effect 2\
    No succes.

  4. Hello Karl,

    Hmm, that’s no good. Is it that the game won’t load, or that it tells you it can’t find the Mass Effect 2 executable?

    Basically, the program takes the directory you select, and then looks in a folder called “Binaries” for MassEffect2.exe. Let me know if your directory structure is different and I’ll see what I can do.

  5. You are brilliant. It cut my load times from roughly 60s to perhaps 4s without affecting performance elsewhere. oO

  6. [...] MassAffinity. – if you’ve got questions or feedback about the app, head over to Playwrite to leave [...]

  7. This is an awesome little program that has tremendously decreased my loading times. Thank you kindly for share this with us!

  8. Works awesomely. THANKSYOU!

  9. Hello Logan, I usually don’t have problems with such apps as I am rather older PC user, I still remember DOS 6.x ;] Yes, I know that this APP is looking for binary folder. It says that can’t find executable and I shall not choose Binaries folder. Strange.

  10. Hmm, game reinstalled and it works. Windows will never stop amazing me. Thanks for this app, very usefull. Cheers.

  11. Hey Karl, glad you were able to sort the problem out. :)

  12. Works well, thanks.

  13. A lot of people have renamed their masseffect2.exe to something else like UT3.exe to get AntiAliasing working with nhancer. I’m guessing this program won’t work if that is the case.

  14. Thanks for the heads-up DataSchmuck. I’ll modify the program to allow a custom name for the executable. If none is set, it’ll use the default.

  15. [...] can download and use the Mass Affinity fix tool from Playwire, or wait for BioWare to take the matter into their [...]

  16. [...] MassAffinity has done an extreme amount of pleasuring in the last 24 hours, which hopefully means a lot of happy Mass Effect 2 [...]

  17. [...] Chyba v Mass Effect 2 s dlouhým načítáním levelů opravena. Tento problém se týkal majitelů vícejádrových procesorů a stával se při načítání jednotlivých palub Normandie. Problém byl v přidělování priority procesů jednotlivým jádrům, kdy hráč pro normální chod musel manuálně tyto priority zapínat a vypínat při každém hraní. Utilitka zvaná Mass Affinity 0.1 tento problém opravuje. Stahujte zde. [...]

  18. [...] Follow this link [...]

  19. Works great. Thank you so much.

  20. Thank you! Much better now!

  21. Aces. Thanks a bunch!

  22. [...] = 250; google_ad_height = 250; Filed under: Downloads, RPG, Mass Effect Series, Tools Mass Effect 2 is a terrific game on the PC. Let’s get that out of the way. But for folks who [...]

  23. [...] See the original post: Playwrite: Auto-set processor affinity for Mass Effect 2 PC with … [...]

  24. hm my problem was the programm FRAPS, deactivated it, loading times decreased like 80% :D
    gonna try this with FRAPS

  25. Didn’t work for me on my steam install, I’m afraid…..

  26. Heh, there’s no need to be afraid JimBob.

    I don’t have a Steam version of Mass Effect 2 to test the program with. What I can do is modify the program to run a shortcut to ME2 created by Steam and the apply the workaround to the game when it loads.

    I’ll do some investigating. First thing to do is find out what the Steam App ID is for ME2.

  27. Alternate fix.
    Works in Win 7 Ultimate… Apparantly same as XP cmd fix.
    Using cmd with altering shortcut.

    cmd window will show for a brief moment. then disappear.

    http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/8061/me2affinity.jpg

    Target should state:
    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C start /affinity 2 MassEffect2.exe

    ^ Choose either affinity 1 or 2 = either cpu 0 or 1 respectively

    Start in should state:
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2\Binaries”
    Or where your MassEffect2.exe is located

  28. @templeth: From what I can tell, your alternate fix leaves Mass Effect 2 running on a single core, which will decrease performance. MassAffinity only temporarily puts ME2 on a single core (about half a second) before returning it to two cores. This is enough to fix the problem, and means ME2 takes advantage of both cores during play.

    Appreciate the suggestion though, especially if MassAffinity isn’t working for some (such as users running the game through Steam).

  29. [...] emphasised the fixes that relate to CPUs. While none of them explicitly state that the slow dual-core loading times (that MassAffinity nicely addresses) have been rectified, it’s not entirely insane to think [...]

  30. Wow great job! Bioware should pay you for this, before the game was getting more and more annoying because of the loading times! Thanks lot

  31. The Steam appid for Mass Effect 2 is 24980

    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe” -applaunch 24980
    is what my shortcut says.

    Hint. Hint.

  32. Well, I wish I had tried this some time ago–I tried Mass Affinity 0.2 and it works great with the Steam version of ME2. Only issue I have now is that it pops up a notification every time I run it, telling me that I can change the path to ME2 manually.

  33. How do i get this to work with mods that require the game to be started though the mod. Like Texmod.exe for texture modification. If there is a way please email me @ prudii@yahoo.com

  34. [...] Note: I’m sure Raven will get round to fixing this fairly soon… but then, I thought the same thing about Mass Effect 2′s processor affinity problems. [...]

  35. Thanks again for this awesome app. It is truly remarkable that 6 months later we dual core people still need to use this!

    I want to also mention that this is necessary for the game “The Last Remnant” by Square-Enix which also suffers from the dual core problem, but seemingly more randomly. I use version 2 and simply rename TLR.exe to MassEffect2.exe in order for the utility to accept the “The Last Remnant” directory as the install dir. Anyway, this is a life saver for both games!!!

  36. hi,
    would releasing the source code as well be out of the question? thanks :)

  37. Hi Logan

    Thanks so much for an awesome application! Thoroughly enjoyed ME2!
    I have a question – can we use this same app to run other games that we experience similar problems?
    Say Fifa 11 and COD Black Ops? They suffer from the exact issue and its highly irritating because my PC should handle these games well.
    Please let me know! Tx

  38. Does this work with other UE3 engine games too ? The last Remnant have the exact same problem.

  39. i keep trying but the app tells me it can’t find my folder, instead it tells me to select it, and not the Binaries directory. been selecting everything i could and nothing works :(

  40. thank you very very much for this my problem was if my pc would be running for more than an hour load time would increase and the game auto sets process priority to “below normal” hope this would fix it though im running Amd Athlon x2 with win7 ultimate 32bit!!

  41. I can’t start the app. I download it,start it and it says mass affinity stopped working. What should I do ?

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