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SentaiBrad

Emulation - Computer Hardware and Accuracy

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So there have been a lot of talks about which type of PC is great for emulation, where can my compromise be, what is emulation accuracy and a whole lot other questions. I thought it would be a good idea to share some information with everyone if you feel like doing some light reading. I pretty much agree with these two pages and have actually said as much in the forums (like AMD vs Intel), but it's all fairly well written and I trust the information on Emulation General 100%. This wiki is an invaluable source of information. http://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/Computer_specs http://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/Emulation_Accuracy

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If the new AMD Zen gives me 6-8 cores with haswell level IPC for cheap, I will buy it. But right now nothing beats intel CPUs for emulation, even with the small generational improvements, every new generation gets better at emulation benchmarks.

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Yea being the same Ghz or Generation doesn't make them equal. Not that AMD CPU's are inherently bad I will admit (thought my Wife and I had the most problems with AMD hardware honestly), but you can save a decent amount of money. My new Intel CPU has been... amazing. HEVC video conversion is actually achievable for me now.

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Yup, very good read there for people who are new to emulation. Intel is definitely the better CPU choice for emulation but AMD can do it just fine. You may need to throw some extra raw CPU power at it to make up the difference though.

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I have an intel cpu, but I'm always gonna root for the underdog, competition is good for us as consumers. Go Team Red xD

Edited by AGEE1981

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I spent a lot of time fighting the good fight, using AMD CPUs, ATI graphics, and a linux OS. 

After banging my head against the wall a ton, I now use intel CPUs, nvidia GPUs, and windows exclusively. I don't think there is much of a comparison really, that is THE platform for accurate and fast emulation. 

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Emulation is certainly achievable in Linux and Android, and I would certainly call it better than emulating in Mac, but Windows is certainly the best place to be in that regard. I have a personal affinity towards Intel and Nvidia, I think it's the best combination and worth the money, but AMD does work for some people.

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7 minutes ago, SentaiBrad said:

Emulation is certainly achievable in Linux and Android, and I would certainly call it better than emulating in Mac, but Windows is certainly the best place to be in that regard. I have a personal affinity towards Intel and Nvidia, I think it's the best combination and worth the money, but AMD does work for some people.

To elaborate further, the issue with linux and android is really just the availability of good software, and issues with the linux binaries being out of sync or lacking a lot of features available in the windows version. Performance is usually similar though because most emulators are so dependent on opengl. 

I haven't experimented with Ryzen CPUs, my last enthusiast AMD cpu was a thuban six core back in the 2011. Until recently AMD has always generally lagged in performance., but Ryzen looks to be very usable for emulation. Based on the dolphin benchmarks I have seen, intel CPUs are substantially faster still, but it is not like Ryzen will hold you back much. 

The worst experiences I have had is with AMD GPUS. Performance and stability are a real problem, because for years and years ATI and AMD have just not put the time and development into their opengl drivers that they need too. AMD graphics cards for me, in everything but AAA pc games, have consistently and massively underperformed and often have had bugs not present on Nvidia GPUs... to the point that I have now sworn of ATI graphics cards for good. I'll likely never buy from the red team ever gain, and for emulation in particular, I don't recommend anyone else does either. 

Edited by mothergoose729

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2 minutes ago, markinsand said:

this link is dead...

I am looking to get a new computer to run my system... any suggestions would be appreciated.

First of all welcome to the community. :) 

Secondly we would need more information, like budget, form factor, what systems you are looking to emulate etc.

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14 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

First of all welcome to the community. :) 

Secondly we would need more information, like budget, form factor, what systems you are looking to emulate etc.

I was just about to edit my post with more info...

Thanks for the welcome... I look forward to getting up and running...

im an old man (41) trying to keep up with all this technology that I used to be  able to keep up with...but due to work, kids, coaching my kids etc... on and on... time is short to say the least...

I purchased an Xtension arcade console (love it) and am using an AMD powered Win 10 PC and its HORRIBLE, its a used computer from an office environment so I have no idea what the user has running on it etc... slow to load just a POS....

I have Big Box and that is super slow as well ... I have all the NES and Genesis roms... and MAME... however MAME arcade games won't launch for me within LaunchBox... (another story)...

So... long answer short i'm looking to run this PC as a MAME emulator to play arcade games...

From what I gather Intel is the way to go... as for a budget ... pretty sure my wife will not be happy if I spend more than $400-500 on a PC... 

Edited by markinsand

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2 minutes ago, markinsand said:

im an old man (41)

lol, I just turned 40, so I feel your pain. :) 

400-500 is a decent budget for the systems you are looking to emulate. Normally I would recommend a i5 or better when building a system, but if you are just emulating up to 16bit systems and MAME then you could get away with a i3, I would say 8Gb of ram also. I would also through in a cheap graphics card, this will help if you want to use shaders on the systems you emulate.

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23 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

lol, I just turned 40, so I feel your pain. :) 

400-500 is a decent budget for the systems you are looking to emulate. Normally I would recommend a i5 or better when building a system, but if you are just emulating up to 16bit systems and MAME then you could get away with a i3, I would say 8Gb of ram also. I would also through in a cheap graphics card, this will help if you want to use shaders on the systems you emulate.

thanks for the info... I'll try for an i5 with 16Gb to play it safe.... any suggestions on a brand?  Building one is probably not an option for me.

 

What does shaders mean? ha

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2 minutes ago, markinsand said:

thanks for the info... I'll try for an i5 with 16Gb to play it safe.... any suggestions on a brand?  Building one is probably not an option for me.

 

What does shaders mean? ha

I'm not sure on pre built brands to be honest with you, I would just build it myself its very easy these days. If you are going for a i5 with 16GB I feel that will come in over your budget, as of course you will need a motherboard as well (and that's assuming you already have a ssd/hdd and a windows license).

4 minutes ago, markinsand said:

What does shaders mean? ha

Shaders are effects that can be added to certain emulators that effect the image you see on screen. As we already established I am a old fart like you, so I grew up playing games on crt TV's, so I like to emulate that look on the games I emulate, but this requires extra power, nothing much but often more than the cpu can provide by itself (as its also emulating the game of course), that's why I suggested throwing in a cheap gpu. For reference here is a shot of me playing f-zero on a snes emulator, notice how the screen looks curved and has scanlines just like a old crt TV, that's a shader, and the image around the game screen is a bezel and needs no extra power (its just a image).

Hope that info helps you. :)

 

Screenshot (212).png

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12 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

I'm not sure on pre built brands to be honest with you, I would just build it myself its very easy these days. If you are going for a i5 with 16GB I feel that will come in over your budget, as of course you will need a motherboard as well (and that's assuming you already have a ssd/hdd and a windows license).

Shaders are effects that can be added to certain emulators that effect the image you see on screen. As we already established I am a old fart like you, so I grew up playing games on crt TV's, so I like to emulate that look on the games I emulate, but this requires extra power, nothing much but often more than the cpu can provide by itself (as its also emulating the game of course), that's why I suggested throwing in a cheap gpu. For reference here is a shot of me playing f-zero on a snes emulator, notice how the screen looks curved and has scanlines just like a old crt TV, that's a shader, and the image around the game screen is a bezel and needs no extra power (its just a image).

Hope that info helps you. :)

 

 

you've been very kind and helpful thank you so much.  

if i build one, best place to purchase hardware items?

ahhhh you're hardcore with the shaders... 

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8 minutes ago, markinsand said:

if i build one, best place to purchase hardware items?

Where are you in the world?

8 minutes ago, markinsand said:

ahhhh you're hardcore with the shaders... 

I like the games to look how I remember them back in the day, not "how they were" but how I remember them, playing on a 14inch crt on mostly pal systems. :) 

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1 hour ago, markinsand said:

I have Big Box and that is super slow as well

Sorry you edited your post after I replied. :) 

Bigbox is also something that can benefit from a gpu, even a cheap one, as it has to display a lot of images quickly, if you are just searching for something to play.

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