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G22

Mame confusion

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Hi Launchboxers!

I'm using the merged Mame 0.213 set and I'm thinking of updating to the latest non-merged set. There's some confusion and many different informations out there. Information that I suspect to be outdated are probably misleading me. So I'm making this topic because different informations about the same thing said inverse. If you can answer these questions, I should be good to go back on building the most complete arcade build.

  1. What's best between merged or non-merged for LB?
  2. It's best to have a non-merged set for Demul (naomi1, naomi2, atomiswave, hikaru, cavecv1000 and gaelco).
  3. If I download the non-merged set I don't need the (machines-bios-devices) pack too right? http://prntscr.com/puen11
  4. Is this outdated? 
  5. What's the difference between Naomi and Naomi GD?
  6. What's the difference between Naomi 2 and Naomi 2 GD?
  7. When scraping for example 'Sega Model 2' should I choose Arcade or Sega Model 2 or run both? Why all arcade games aren't scraping under Arcade? Are there plans on merging and updating the database. I think it would be much more easier like this.

Thanks for helping me!

Edited by G22

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1 It no longer matters

2 I have a split set it works fine

3 If you have any of the fullsets you don't need the bios pack

4 Yes but still works for most things

5 Naomi GD games requires CHD files also

6 same as 5

7 ?

  • Like 1

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Hi @DOS76 and thank you for your quick reply!

4. I'll update them then and add them to my Github so anyone can contribute.

7. I've found that some arcade games that uses an emulator other than Mame have it's own scraping section with more metadata/artwork than it can be found when scraping as Arcade. I wonder why there are separate sections for example Sega Naomi instead of only having everything under Arcade in the games database. Hope this makes more sense.

8. New question: It seems that less games (like bootlegs) have been imported in "Additional Apps" using a merge set. Is it possible that a non-merged set results in more games in Launchbox? I know duplicates all should be under "Additional Apps" page of a game but seems like I'm missing some.

Thanks a lot for helping, really appreciated!

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7 I understood the question I just put the question mark because I don't know any definitive answers to them.

8 split and non-merged should get you the same results as non-merged has the same amount of files as split it just contains extra files as the clones all also contain the roms from the parent

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On #1

  • Merged places children, parents, clones, various regions and needed ROM files into one zip file for each game.  A merged set is ~64 GB (roms only, no CHDs). 
  • Split set takes middle approach with the parent containing needed files to run and the other versions (clones, etc) as separate archives. Those children archives only contain the "different" files versus the parent (i.e., common files remain with the parent).  A split set is ~66 GB.  So a split set will have a separate archive for each game but saves space by not duplicating a bunch of common files. 
  • Un-merged makes all versions of the game as standalone with all needed components in each archive for each parent and clone.  An unmerged set is ~119 GB , lots of duplication.  In theory, a merged zip file can be moved around and not have to worry about if it will have all the needed files from the parent.  So if doing pruning from main set (say to move from a NAS a few games to your cabinet setup) that can be an advantage.  But in my opinion, the size of drives these days makes that less of an issue.  With an unmerged set you still pay a penalty somewhere to maintain 2 times the size of a split or merged set. 

Mame and LB are smart enough to not care which is used as long as the tool used did what it was supposed to when generating each set.  Some other (or older) front ends had hard time with merged sets.  So if looking at older info, they may say use Split or unmerged. Personally, I use a split set since balances all things (size, able to visually see each clone as separate archive). But that is just preference.  For LB you should be seeing the same clones regardless unless the merged set isn't correct or there was an import issue (i.e., didn't use Fullset import feature). 

On #7, those arcade systems were major hardware groupings that some prefer to keep as separate platforms. In some cases, it was due to different emulators beyond MAME, or that MAME couldn't originally emulate the system across all games (i.e., Taito X). Or the case of SNK Neo Geo MVS where that system was both an arcade and home system at various points.  Some of those reasons have evolved I suspect with more robust front ends like LB and playlists added as feature (not the case originally) but some still prefer they are separate platforms. 

Similar on the PC side.  ScummVM is a platform in DB, but really it is an emulator of DOS/Windows games, so you will see the games listed in the DOS/Windows entries as well as in ScummVM platforms.  Admittedly, I use ScummVM as a platform in my setup since have different art.  So ultimately boils down to preference and if prefer to use playlists then can ignore the subsystems and just use the main parent (i.e., Arcade) and ignore the others. 

 

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A non-merged set MAY not contain device files either.

ClrMAMEPro will not add these to game rom sets. You will have to maintain these yourself. I have a separate DEVICES folder and just add that as a rom path in MAME along with the roms folder.

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that makes no sense if the non-merged games which are supposed to contain all files that the game needs to run how could they not have the device files included. @Lordmonkus @neil9000you both have non merged set can either of you add any clarity on this?

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Non-merged does not need any extra files. They are all standalone roms in their own right.

 

And clrmamepro WILL build non-merged perfectly. As i have done this multiple times.

 

I personally use a Split set, still allows the roms to some degree to be stand-alone if accompanied by the Bios set as well as thats only around 200meg, Non-merged personally is just a waste of space and pretty pointless. Split achieves nearly the same along with the  bios folder and comes with out the 50gig space loss.

Should add, Merged and Split DO require the bios pack.

Edited by MadK9

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@MadK9thanks for chiming in I thought that was how it worked but as I don't have any actual experience using non-merged I didn't want to just say it was flat out wrong.

If you use split you shouldn't need the bios and device set either as all those files are included in a full set.

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1 hour ago, DOS76 said:

@MadK9thanks for chiming in I thought that was how it worked but as I don't have any actual experience using non-merged I didn't want to just say it was flat out wrong.

Are people sure these sets weren’t built with earlier versions of ClrMamePro?

According to Roman of ClrMamePro they aren’t included:

https://www.emulab.it/forum/index.php?topic=4188.0

Edit: I’m talking about device files, not BIOS files just to be clear.

Edited by Headrush69

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I don't know about with CLRMAMEPro I know that from the description from within in MAME in a non-merged set the ROMs should be self contained if they didn't include the device files when they are needed then the whole concept of them wouldn't make any sense. Basically if what you are saying is true then either a that description right there is a lie or b CLRMAMEPro is coded incorrectly and doesn't work the way the people from MAME intend a non-merged set to work.image.thumb.png.d97f3dd749a610e9f6c4c64688662aca.png

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I agree with what you are saying about usefulness but read the last section that is cut off about device sets....  it says you need device sets as well.
 

Originally device sets were considered roms, but that changed at some point with Mame, so they used to be complete sets. 

From Mame doc you posted “as such You’ll also need the device set as well as any needed for the game”

Edit: You can manually add the device sets to game roms, just don’t assume ClrMamePro makes what we use to know as a complete non-merged set. 

Edited by Headrush69

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yeah the bios section also says you need bios they are just explaining the different sets. " A non-merged set is one that contains absolutely everything necessary for a given game to run in one ZIP file. " This line says that they are included and from what I understand they are and until someone shows me zip of a file from the non-merged set downloaded from PleasureDome that doesn't include it to prove me wrong I'm going to stand by my statement that they are already included.

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1 minute ago, DOS76 said:

until someone shows me zip of a file from the non-merged set downloaded from PleasureDome that doesn't include it to prove me wrong I'm going to stand by my statement that they are already included.

That's a different argument, It's very likely that the non-merged set on PleasureDome includes the device sets in each rom.

The OP said they had a complete merged set already. I'm just trying to point that if they use ClrMamePro (which I believe is the most popular MAME rom manager), to rebuild their set to a Non-Merged set, they will be missing files.

To verify, I just rebuilt the set for Galaga from a complete 0.214 set and sure enough namco51 and namco54 device files are not included.

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Then it seems CLR-MAME Pro is flawed and doesn't work correctly and the developers should probably fix it so it works as intended.

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6 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

Then it seems CLR-MAME Pro is flawed and doesn't work correctly and the developers should probably fix it so it works as intended.

That would be nice but doesn't sound like it will happen. Since a real non-merged set isn't that popular anyways and even the MAME team don't recommend it, he's not overly interested.

Just one of those quirks that could drive someone crazy (yours included), wondering why their non-merged set wasn't working right even when your set looked complete. 😀

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Lets clear this up a little. Most people get their mame fix from pleasure dome, and as such have most of the work done for them. So they just need to pick the set they want, and use the bios set if they want to use merged or split. PD has a Bios set, which again is normal, but they don't do a device set.

No with Mame itself if you output a dat or use -listxml and use that against a PD set of files, it will just bug out and most probably break the set. Using their own XML's that are posted every last wednesday of the month (if mame is updated by then) and you can use them against the rom sets to build a FULL working set of Merged, Split or Non-Merged.

Device sets, i have not seen a device set for going on probably 10years, and tbh, even using the term now, will add another level of frustration for people that havn't been around Mame long, or even know how to use clrmamepro properly.

So while you may be correct in pointing out about the device files, i think you are living a little back in time, as most place on the net that drop mame roms all use the PD versions.  

Using the term complete set of non-merged is still correct imho.

clrmamepro is not broken at all, its what info you give it and what addpaths you give it when rebuilding. And as most use some form of PD rom set, then it will work, but if you don't and you dont have the device set, then ofc it will fail.

So while everyone here is correct, i think that since mame is now more 'mainstream' than it was back in the old 'u' update era, a full set = a full set nothing else needed to play. 

I also build my own sets here, and have never run into the issue of a device missing, but then i make sure i always have upadated mame roms, and to be clear, i don't get my roms from PD, i use other places, but i do use their dats/xmls as they are always complete and 100%. 

 

NB: Had to go check, PD's own Bios set also includes the Device set. And don't be fooled, the Non-Merged set is still very popular.

Edited by MadK9

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Let me clear this up even more since there is some bad information being passed here you do not need the bios set with split merged or non-merged. I don't ever download the bios set I can play any game that requires a bios same with devices all of those files are included in your set if you have a bios set then they are duplicated in your MAME full set check and compare I guarantee you will see I'm correct in this. The bios set that comes from PD also contains the devices look at the name of the set it is called bios-devices.

image.png.ff7fd0aade1187b59a2e0a4671584f14.png

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lol I see I should have read all the way through the post for the edit on the bios-device thing.

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According to latest Mame 0.215 release forum topic the only set that contains all bios and devices is the non-merged set. 

Quote

split:

A split set is one where the parent set contains all of the normal data it should, and the clone sets contain only what has changed as compared to the parent set. This saves some space, but isn’t quite as efficient as a merged set.

The clone sets can't operate without their parent set.

Remark: The parent and clones in split sets DO NOT include BIOS or DEVICE files - they are separate files within the set (An example would be 100lions (No BIOS in the parent) and Galaga (No device file in the parent) - This is per MAME design

 

merged:

A merged set takes the parent set and one or more clone sets and puts them all inside the parent set’s storage. To use the existing Pac-Man example, combining the Puckman, Midway Pac-Man (USA) sets, along with various bootleg versions– and combining it all into PUCKMAN.ZIP, would be making a merged set.

Remark: The parent games in a merged set DO NOT include BIOS or DEVICE files - they are separate files within the set (An example would be 100lions (No BIOS in the parent) and Galaga (No device file in the parent) - This is per MAME design

 

non-merged:

A non-merged set is one that contains absolutely everything necessary for a given game to run in one ZIP file.

Remark: Even though Non-Merged games -normally- DO NOT include BIOS or DEVICE files within the game, in the case of the PD non-merged set we DO include these within the game, which ensures that every single game can be copied and ran as individual game without the need of any extra files. This makes a set like this ideal for splitting up on a per-game-basis.

The non-merged set is ideal for those people that work on Arcade PCBs as ALL roms/devices/bios files are contained within the game. This set is also great for those that for instance create their own arcade cabinets and want to copy only very specific games to their PC/Rapsberry/Other, the game.zip file contain all the files needed, no more searching for the dependent parent files, BIOS files, device files - just copy galaga.zip and you are set.

Pick individual games from this set if you are not intending to download a complete ROM set.

 

4 hours ago, MadK9 said:

Non-merged personally is just a waste of space and pretty pointless.

Since Demul can't point a different folder for bios and roms some people like me that stores Arcade roms in Games/Arcade and bios in Emulators/Mame/roms to have roms and bios separated may have an issue with Demul. But still non-merged may not be the best as you'll loose 50gb of disk space. You could probably use a non-merged or split set with the bios in the Games/Arcade folder and save 50gb.

4 hours ago, sundogak said:

For LB you should be seeing the same clones regardless unless the merged set isn't correct or there was an import issue (i.e., didn't use Fullset import feature).

I think I found what makes me think that there were missing roms in my merge set. I've found a romset of Sega Model 3 which is basically roms pulled out of a Mame set. So I compared them to my roms and found no other versions zips because they're of course in the merge zip. So I went into LB and click on that particular rom and checked under "Additional Apps" and they weren't there. Then I thought I was missing stuff. Since I used the importer and told him to not import "not working" roms I understand that what I think it's missing it's in reality broken games.

BTW if anyone knows how I could put different paths for bios and roms in Demul before I move all my bios files in "Games/Arcade", which I would prefer not to.

Thanks a lot for helping me, great discussion!

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