Rockstar has, today, pushed out an update to GTA 5 owners that aims to speed up loading times for the notoriously sluggish online portion of the game. The update is in response to the findings of a coder, called t0st, who found that while loading, the game was running a number of checks for in-game items and doing so on only one processor core. This created the five minute or more wait to get into the game. We wrote about t0st’s discovery a few weeks ago, which makes this a lightning quick fix by Rockstar.
The update follows t0st updating his blog post yesterday explaining that they had spoken to Rockstar and that a fix was underway. We didn’t expect it to land so quickly, but T3 has taken some time out of the work day to boot up GTA 5 and we’ve seen a loading time of roughly 2 minutes 40 seconds on a Ryzen 5 2600 and Nvidia Titan Xp with 16GB of DDR4 RAM (not a high-end machine, by modern standards). Your mileage will vary, but single core clock speed will be a big factor in online load times. In our test case, this represents very nearly a 50% improvement.
T0st also confirmed that Rockstar was paying a $10,000 bug bounty for the find. Usually these payouts are for people who find major security holes that either allow cheating, or potentially make the game unsafe for people who play. In this case though, Rockstar clearly felt some sort of reward was necessary and we are absolutely thrilled that it has paid when it could have quietly fixed the issue without mentioning it.
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GTA 5 Online’s loading times have been an issue for some time and are deeply annoying for those of us that play the game regularly. T0st felt the same way, so took a detailed look at what was happening when the game loaded. They discovered code inefficiencies that were causing the game code to check and recheck more than 60,000 entries in a game file one by one.
People playing the game on CPUs with lower clock speeds were likely to have seen worse load times than those with faster individual core clocks. Games are very often quite poorly optimised for multi-core use, so it’s not surprising that this operation took a lot of time and held up load times. Perhaps in the future we’ll see better multi core gaming results, but this has been an issue for some time and it doesn’t feel like it’s getting a whole lot better.
Source: PC Gamer