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I need a core recommendation (for Retroarch) or Emulators version for my Emulation Configuration that I'm building. I'm looking for the best emulator / core with a focus on accuracy and performance (who does not?). I'm going to use Windows 10 Pro x64 as OS because I'm stuck on it because of my work where I can not get the same productivity on another platform.
I know which emulator each system uses, what I want is a recommendation of the best version of the same available, example, at the moment I use for my MAME games the core "mame2003_libretro" but I do not know to say which is the best option at the moment, if it really is the best option is to use MAME 2003 or use another version of it and download another set of roms (which is not a problem), And I'd like to make it clear that I'm not stuck just to Retroarch as a platform, as long as it's the best option I do not mind using emulators Stand Alone.
I would like your help for the following platforms:

Snes -

Nes -

Game Boy Advance -

Game Boy Color -

Game Boy -

Nintendo 64 -

Game Cube? -

Master System -

Mega Drive/Genesis -

Sega Saturn -

Sega Dreamcast -

Sega Naomi -

Sony PlayStation -

Sony PlayStation 2 -

Sony PSP -


Neo Geo -

I was not going to ask for a recommendation for Game Cube, since I use it with Dolphin along with my Nintendo Wii collection and I really like it, however I use Dolphin in Game Cube more for convenience because I never got to use another emulator so I can not say if Dolphin is really the best option, in case there is another.:S

As much as I have asked for recommendation of all these platforms to some that I have already tested several emulators / Cores and I already have an idea of what is probably the best at the moment, but this only for Snes and PlayStation, the other platforms I limited myself to the first "good" emulator I could find.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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On 12/18/2017 at 2:51 PM, CoOlokey said:

focus on accuracy and performance

Generally speaking the two are mutually exclusive but I will go through the list and give you my thoughts and suggestions.

SNES - Snes9x for speed and is quite good for 99% of the games you would ever want to play. BSnes Balanced is more accurate but will require more CPU power. Higan is the most accurate and up to date but will require a hefty CPU to power it. My personal choice lately has been Snes9x even though I have the CPU to drive BSnes and Higan because I can push the frame delay much higher which reduces input latency.

NES - Mesen core in Retroarch, near 100% accuracy.

Gameboy Advance - The best option here is the mGBA core.

Gameboy / Gameboy Color - Sameboy is supposed to be the most accurate core but the Gambatte core is great as well.

Nintendo 64 - Use the Mupen64plus core. The Parallel core is more accurate especially when you factor in the AngryLion plugin but it drives up the CPU requirement by quite a lot.

Master System / Genesis - The GenesisGX Plus core is the clear choice here, it handles both along with the Sega CD and SG-1000 with near perfection.

Sega Saturn - The Retroarch Mednafen / Beetle core is very good but seems to require a bit more CPU over the stand alone version of Mednafen.

Sega Dreamcast - Stand alone emulators are your best bet here, Demul is the most accurate while NullDC is faster. (Update: Redream is another great choice here, simple to setup but lacking WinCE game support as of this post)
Update: The Flycast core in Retroarch is now my recommended way of emulating Dreamcast.

Sega Naomi - I don't emulate this at all but I am fairly certain Demul handles it.

Sony Playstation - The Beetle / Mednafen software core is great but if you want to do some internal resolution scaling and take advantage of the PGXP features to get rid of texture and polygon wobble the hardware core is the only way to go.
Update: Duckstation or the RA version Swanstation is equally good. Both are excellent and no real issues with either.

Sony Playstation 2 - Only one choice here, PCSX2 stand alone.

Sony PSP - The Retroarch core has gotten updated recently and is much better than it was in the past but I still suggest the stand alone version of PPSSPP.

Arcade - Mame, either the Retroarch core or stand alone are perfectly fine. Use the version that matches your rom set version.

NeoGeo - Mame or the FBA core in Retroarch are perfectly fine.

Gamecube / Wii - While there is a Retroarch core of Dolphin stick with the stand alone for it.

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1 hour ago, Lordmonkus said:

Generally speaking the two are mutually exclusive but I will go through the list and give you my thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you very much for the quick reply.

Indeed Accuracy and Performance do not always go hand in hand (even more in this area), I had not pasted my signature in the forum yet but I think that should come up with this reply the configuration of my Setup.

Currently I'm using Higan for Snes, although I'm only playing Megaman X and the result of it is very good and it is stable at 60FPS so I think my CPU should be working because when I saw this Core they recommended something above of 3.0Ghz, and was worried about the results.

I will use your recommendation of Cores and Emulators, because I was really lost with so many options I wanted a solid base, so in the future I would go back to testing the various types of emulators because I think I was a little badly accustomed using Retropie as central Emulation since it gives you literally 95% of things at hand.

One last question, is it really better for me to continue with MAME 2003 as my option for Arcade, even though I might get another Rom Set? I ask this because I intend to have an almost fixed collection of Roms for MAME I currently have the Rom Set 0.78 (but of course if I use MAME 2003 9_9) where I'm going to take the games I want in the middle of that mess and just keep they.

And finally I forgot to mention that I have a broken English9_9.



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It's generally best to try and match your version of Mame to the rom set you are using. Later versions of Mame can require different roms due to changes in emulation accuracy or better dumps. You don't necessarily need to have an exact match but sometimes it can make a big difference. For example not too long ago there was a change in the Capcom CPS2 roms and the emulation, there was an encryption chip on the boards that finally got cracked and the roms were updated to include these and the newer versions of Mame looks for these encryption key files.

Higan is a great emulator, no question about it and if you can run it perfectly fine then by all means use it. I could use it if I wanted to but I chose to go back to using Snes9x for its speed which allows me to use the freed up CPU power to reduce input latency. It's a personal choice and trade off thing, I don't mind sacrificing some of the extreme accuracy for better performance and input latency.

Your English is perfectly fine :) in fact it's probably better than most native English speakers here on the forums sometimes lol.

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56 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

I use the Desmume stand alone emulator but there is also the RA core for Desmume and MelonDS I've never really tried MelonDS so don't know how it is just know it exists.

Thx for the reply.

I tested the Desmume core and it works fine, but I saw that it had high resolution options, I tried and liked what I saw, though it was super slow.
However searching the web I saw a version of Desmune stand alone apparently created by a Japanese that has the same resolution result but totally smooth. I found the link below, I download the first and last version.
I tested too the MelonDS, it's very simple but works, however no Resolution Options so far, and need Bios Files, not that it's a bad thing, but MelonDS is still in development contrary to Desmune, who knows someday.
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Could we perhaps make a version of this topic a sticky? One that would take the general concensus and give a concise list of what emulator out of all the gazillion versions is the be all end all at this time for each system? Also I was thinking the other day why is this idea not included in the GamesDB part of this site, which I been using quite a lot lately?!?! lol



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I should add, with the Mesen core that the CPU requirements compared to FCEUMM and Nestopia are higher and if you plan on using any of the HD packs it's higher again.  Was just doing some testing with the MegaMan HD pack and I had to lower the frame delay setting down to 5 where as without the HD pack my frame delay was set to 9.

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I think stickey-ing (sp?) this topic is a great idea. I have asked and answered this question on many boards myself. It's great that launchbox suggests an emulator when  importing a system but the "Best" is constantly changing. This is subjective BUT you have a great list for now. I also think that settings that really improve these emulators or unique features can help people decide what's best for them. For example, just booting up Beetle HW isn't great. Once you go into the settings and experiment with PGXP and the resolution you realize how great of a core you've got(which I see you mentioned).

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The mercury versions emulate specific chips that came in the cartridges to add certain functions to games, (think starfox, mario Kart) the standard versions you need to provide those chip dumps yourself. As for the performance, balanced, accuracy they are just that, if you have a powerful system then accurate would be the best version, but it needs a high clocked cpu, balanced is nearly as accurate but uses less cpu, and performance is again less accurate than the other two but uses less cpu than the others.

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Higan - Latest and most up the date version and the most accurate but very CPU intensive. Requires extra chip dumps to work properly.

BSnes - This is what Higan used to be called and is based on an older version of code but is very accurate. Accuracy is more accurate while balanced is slightly less accurate (not noticeable) but requires less CPU power. Also requires special chip dumps to work properly.

BSnes Mercury - These are essentially the same as BSnes cores but removes the requirement of the special chip dumps, it emulates them internally rather than using actual chip dumps. It also allows for overclocking of the Super FX chip so you can run games like Start Fox faster.

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Is there any performance difference in providing the chip dumps yourself over the Mercury version?

Also anyone know about the emulator Mupen64? Someone recommended Mupen64++ and I see there is also a Mupen64plus that hasn't been updated in quite a long time(although there are commits added to the github page of Mupen64plus). What is the difference between the two? Which would you recommend?

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