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setting up hdd for launchbox/retroarch


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hi everyone.

I've ordered a 2tb hdd which should arrive soon. I was wondering if anyone could give me some help on setting things up.

1) the hdd is brand new so if i connect this it should automatically be seen as D drive yes? I only have C currently and no DVD drive.

2) i already asked before about getting retroarch and launchbox to work together and was given some advice but which emulators do NOT work with retroarch? Is it just dolphin and demul or is it pssp as well?

3) retroarch has emulators (cores) u download manually via the menu correct? Can anyone give me a list of the best cores/emulators i should be downloading to run which systems. Like what should i use for mame/mega drive/ n64 etc.

4) if i install retroarch and have launchbox as the main base but retroarch opens when i play a snes game (example) then IF i update launchbox to the latest version will everything get messed up?

5) for emulators i cant use retroarch with (demul) how do i set up launchbox to open the games for it? Ie when i click on sonic adventure in launchbox how do i organise it so that demul opens up to run it.

6) i heard some emulators require a bios??? Can anyone explain this to me a little more as i heard some emulators DON'T come with them and i have to manually search for them?

7) if i had an emulator such as pcpsx2 how do i apply the settings to run on ALL the games? Ie- if i set 1 game to run on settings i choose how do i apply it so that ALL the games will run on the same settings?



Edited by PowerCooker
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1) Yes

2) There are dolphin and ppsspp cores for retroarch, dolphin I wouldn't use as its no where near up to par with the standalone version. PPSSPP is OK at the moment and is not far off the standalone now after it was ignored for a long long time. Demul is still the best choice for Dreamcast, the reicast cores have just been updated in retroarch but are considered beta and flat out crash retroarch for me currently.

3) That depends greatly on your system specs and how accurate or fast you want the emulation, they are often exclusive accuracy Vs speed depending on your specs.

4) No, you wont see retroarch unless you want to, launchbox will launch it straight to the game, but all the retroarch features are still there in the GUI if you want them.

5) Just add it as a emulator either when you import the system it will ask you what emulator you want to use or add it in Tools/manage emulators.

6) Correct most CD systems and up require a bios, this is the software that launches when you turn a console on, so for PS1 for example that has that sound and shows the Sony logo, that's the bios it is needed for games to work and is copyrighted  so its never included with emulators and we can not link it for you, you will need to find it yourself, just google console name bios and im sure you will find something. ;) 

7) You set the emulator options from the emulator itself for the most part, set the settings you want and that's what works when its loaded. There are ways to add settings for individual games, but that's a discussion for another time.

Hope that helps, any further questions feel free to ask.

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1 yes if no other drives dvd or removable are plugged in then D should be the 1st letter it adds.
2 Dolphin Citra PPSSPP and Desmume are all stand alone emulators that I use instead of the RA cores for whatever reason. You can always try those cores along with the stand alones and see which you actually prefer. Demul has no core but I do recommend it over any of the RA cores for Dreamcast.
3 MAME and things like FBA have years next to them for older cores the latest up to date ones are just the name which ones you want to use will depend on your ROM set. Some cores will depend upon your system specs which emulators will be best to use.
4 Updating the emulator or LB shouldn't effect anything as long as your paths don't change. Definitely updating LB should never effect your emulators working.
5 Demul needs specific setup in LB there are tons of posts and tutorial that explain everything you need to know
6 Yes some need bios and you do need to find them on your own even certain systems in RA will require bios files to be put in the systems folder of RA
7 for PCSX2 you will find that you can't run all games on the same settings some will need special settings.

I see Neil already answered as I was typing this so hopefully I don't bore you with a bunch of redundant information


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ok right heres where shit might get a little complicated

as ive said in the past I already own a 2tb hdd drive with launchbox on it and all the emulators and everything else. Now I have x2 gaming pcs and that's on my downstairs pc. I plan to add this empty drive to the pc upstairs and install retroarch and launchbox on it and do everything myself manually.

I got my last 2tb hdd drive another person and I think hes stopped doing them now. So I'm kinda stuck on my own.

I'm looking at changing things on this drive myself and wont waste time adding tons of games I wont play for whatever reason but I ASSUME (here comes the tricky bit) ------I SHOULD be able to copy the emulators folder from my downstairs pc - install launchbox onto this new drive - then drag that onto the emulators folder made in launchbox and it should load up dolphin and demul all ok?

I want to try and get the best performance I can as ive a good graphics card and everything else.

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i have a gtx970 and 8gb ram on the pc upstairs. I also have a good processor as well. My downstairs pc has a 970 and plays everything i have thrown at it.

does retroarch have emulators for am model2 and 3 boards? Or is that another separate emulators i need to run



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Model  3 and Model 2 are not emulated in RA at this time.

Some of the best cores for certain systems are
Higans or BSNES accuracy SNES
Mesen NES
SameBoy GB and GBC
Sega Genesis Plus GX which is every thing Sega before 32X (32x will require Picodrive core)
MAME will depend on your ROMset
a lot of the other stuff only has one core so hope that helps if you have any specific questions about any system just ask for ones I may have left out.

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err what do u mean about mame? It's usually just a zip file for the roms u download isn't it? 

is there a different way of setting up mame? Do i have to download something else because i heard some mame games require a type of file that their missing? Some type of image file or something?


also wasn't snesx9 or whatever its called meant to have been the best emulator for snes?


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In RetroArch there are a few different MAME cores depending on what roms you have will determine which version of the core you want to use.

SNES9x is fine but Higans and BSNES are cycle accurate to the SNES so they are technically better.

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2 hours ago, PowerCooker said:

can anyone tell me what the best cores are to use in retroarch for each system then?


2 hours ago, PowerCooker said:

also do i need a bios or mednafen for retroarch or will it download what it needs to work itself?

You will need to supply your own bios for any emulator that requires it.

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nope, not if you just grab random roms off the internet. MAME use a versioning system and generally the romset version has to match the emulator version. my romset is the current 0.198 so I use the current 0.198 version of MAME with it. If you don't know what your roms version are you will find that some just wont work with the current MAME, its likely that most old Capcom games will straight up not work with the current MAME.

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MAME releases new roms every month and they will be doing so again in 5 days on Wednesday of next week. Sometimes ROMs that are already in MAME will get revised as either new dumps will come out are a new version is picked to be the parent leaving them to change the name of the old parent to reflect its a different version its all a little complicated at times but things can change and that will break ROMs from time to time. As Neil mentioned some time ago now all Capcom CPS 2 ROMs added a qsound file to it so any versions older than those revisions certainly won't work any longer in MAME.

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I would suggest next Wednesday when MAME 0.199 comes out you head over to Pleasuredome.uk.org and get the latest set and the same with going to the official MAME site and getting the latest emulator then at least you will know what you have for next time you may decide to update your roms (if you ever decide to)


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well as i said before, my current 2tb hdd with launchbox i got from someone else and everything was already pre-installed.

I'm getting a new hdd abd am putting that on my pc upstairs. I plan to put retroarch/launchbox on that myself but this will be completely new to me.

considering the different versions of mame and how they work i was thinking i could go on my current hdd and copy files over to a spare external hdd and then drag what i need onto the new hdd.

however the mame roms don't appear in the roms folder with all the others like N64 ect. Hence why i asked if usually the roms for mame are in their own folder in the mame emulator folder itself.



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