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Author Topic: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)  (Read 2112 times)

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kujina

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Hello all

My current PC (core2duo) and software (XP x64, GM 1.48) dates back from the first half of 2013.

I'm in the process of putting together a new computer (Intel G3258) and the old PC will go into a second cabinet.

I have already been doing some reading here and on geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi but I have a some questions on the best setup for a cabinet with an arcade monitor.

1. Windows 7 is now a more optimal platform, as it supports newer hardware? Are there any downsides?

2. Super Resolutions - for those seeking authentic image quality what is the impact of the following in practice and why are potential visible artifacts worth it?
Quote
Due to the nature of CRT technology, the results with the super resolutions method are in most cases virtually the same as when generating the native modes. Nevertheless, some visible artifacts may appear in scrolling games due to non-integer horizontal scaling. These are usually hard to notice, but...

3. The best Mame version? I see that Direct3D 9ex has been dropped since SwitchRes v0.016 alpha1 and it seems that Direct3D 9ex reduces frame delay without having to find the best frame delay setting.

Thats all I'm scratching my head over at the moment and I'd appreciate anyone taking the time to answer.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 08:45:11 pm by kujina »

haynor666

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 02:42:45 am »
Quote
Windows 7 is now a more optimal platform, as it supports newer hardware? Are there any downsides?

It supports Radeon HD5xxx serie and newer while XP only up to HD4xxx.
The only downsides are:
- slow resolution switching (when comparing to XP)
- needs positive sync in modelines for HD4xxx and older when using interlaced resolutions (5xxx and newer works fine)
- blurry interlaced picture with HD5xxx and newer (though some people might like it)
- needs to be switched into test mode (though watermark it's easy to remove)

Quote
The best Mame version? I see that Direct3D 9ex has been dropped since SwitchRes v0.016 alpha1 and it seems that Direct3D 9ex reduces frame delay without having to find the best frame delay setting.

Currently I'm using groovymame 171 and it works very good on XP. After some tests of groovymame 178,179 You might consider version 179 as it looks to be working also very good.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 12:14:45 pm by haynor666 »

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 08:12:02 pm »
- blurry interlaced picture with HD5xxx and newer (though some people might like it)

That's not a helpful way of describing the phenomenon. The 5000-series cards and above have flicker-filtering, and the higher-end in each series the card is, the heavier that filtering seems to be - though that might need confirmation. They also deliver much brighter colours in general as you go upward. BUT, the heavier the flicker-filtering of the card, the more the individual pixels are blurred. This means a 240p picture is also blurred slightly. However, it will make a 480i picture look much clearer because some sets flicker like crazy, though some are almost ok. So the pixels are smeared a bit, but the lack of flicker means you can actually see them.

It's worth checking out whether you'll be using a lot of 480i, and how much flicker your CRT has. I use 480i a lot (Grid, outrun2, model2, supermodel, demul) and my PVM-2730's flicker really terribly. My 6870 and 6950 are amazing, really colourful and clear with almost no flicker, whereas a sapphire 4890 was flickery and halfway dull. My 4350 was really dull though, so it's better than that. I also have a 20" arcade tube with a 1983 chassis that hardly flickers at all, but the amount of blurring produced at 240p by the flicker-filter isn't too bad, and the upgraded colours are so nice I'm probably not going back.

In both the above examples the tubes are relatively low TVL though, so on tubes with a finer dot-pitch (higher clarity tubes like on later PVMs or mb later Nanaos) the blurring effect might be more noticeable.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 09:45:27 pm by buttersoft »

m.andrade1

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 08:56:19 pm »
Hello haynor666
Did you see any particular improvment on 0179 besides 0178, i did something like you, was using 0169 on win xp 32, and lately i'm testing the 0178, do you think 0179 worth the update?
Thanks Marcos

kujina

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 11:36:28 pm »
They also deliver much brighter colours in general as you go upward.

How does a HD 5450 card fare? I've got a MTC9000A monitor.

- slow resolution switching (when comparing to XP) Can anybody explain how slow?

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016, 12:16:15 am »
How does a HD 5450 card fare? I've got a MTC9000A monitor.

Part experience, part anecdote: I've heard a guy who went from a 4350 to a 5450 say the flickering was reduced; he didn't mention the colours, and I didn't know enough at the time to ask. He didn't mention the 240p blur either, but maybe he didn't notice.

Remember, if all you want is 240p that mode doesn't flicker, so the filter does nothing but add blur.

EDIT: no idea about the monitor either, you'll have to try it.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 12:27:33 am by buttersoft »

Calamity

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2016, 07:49:07 am »
@buttersoft, in my experience progressive modes ("240p") are NOT filtered at all by HD 5000+ cards. I'm a bit surprised by your report. Why would you need flicker reduction for progressive modes which don't flicker anyway?

With regards to the OP's question, and in order to complete haynor666's points (which are a bit biased since he decided to stick with XP), I'll add:

- As long as you choose a genuine "W7-ready" card (HD 5000+), the only issue that matters in practice is slow mode switching, and it only matters for games which switch resolutions during game. There are some workarounds to this issue that I've explanained already, being the most drastic one to disable dynamic resolution switching for those games.

There are some pros on the W7 side however that are being ignored:

- Newer hardware support.

- DX11 support, which might not be necessary for MAME yet but certainly for some emulators, and was the main reason for people pushing to add support for W7+

- The possibility to add new resolutions without rebooting, something really convenient that's not possible on XP. GroovyMAME is not exploiting this feature yet but it might be doing it in the future. VMMaker already uses it.

- Super cool EDID emulation. The end of monitor detection issues.

- The fact that XP support will be dropped by MAME in an indeterminate but certain future.

- etc.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

haynor666

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 02:41:17 pm »
Kujina ask about downsides of windows 7x64 so I give him my answer.

Currently I'm indeed on XP because I have still some problems with like with Cave PC game Deathsmiles II (problems with U360 stick).
Windows 7x64 is of course better because additionally:
-mame is faster versus XP x32 even XP x64 (and that matters on some game like Ibara or Muchi Muchi Pork)
- ability to use nicely multi monitor support (possible on XP but very problematic)

About that filtering, I never experience filtering on progressive modes at all using HD5450.
Also I never experience any colours/display improvement HD 5450 vs HD4350 or XP x32 vs 7x64 and I really don't believe it.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 02:53:44 pm by haynor666 »

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2016, 01:01:45 am »
Also I never experience any colours/display improvement HD 5450 vs HD4350 or XP x32 vs 7x64 and I really don't believe it.

Doesn't matter if you believe it or not. Neither of those cards is high-end enough to make any difference anyway. The difference for me going from a 4350 to a 6870 was massive. Like i'd given the early 80's tube a big rejuv, but it's permanent. I suppose i could've had a bad 4350, but jumping from a 4890 to a 6950 on another cab also gave slightly better colours, though the difference there wasn't huge, and *might* have been my interpretation due to the flicker filter. I really don't think so though.

And TBH I'm not certain about the filtering on progressive modes. I reckon it's there though, as the higher end cards i've used that have the filtering don't seem to be quite as sharp at 240p. It's not a huge difference, but i'm certain it's there. Might be card-specific though.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 03:41:56 am by buttersoft »

MonkeyJug

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2016, 06:52:59 am »
What about hardware?

What CPU is the current sweetspot?

Recapnation

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2016, 10:11:36 am »
@buttersoft, in my experience progressive modes ("240p") are NOT filtered at all by HD 5000+ cards. I'm a bit surprised by your report. Why would you need flicker reduction for progressive modes which don't flicker anyway?

Are we sure the card acknowledges these modes as progressive at this level? No clue how or when the card decides it's outputting a progressive mode, but if "240-P" is still understood as "480-I" at some point in the process, it'd make sense that the filter is being called. (?)




2. Super Resolutions - for those seeking authentic image quality what is the impact of the following in practice and why are potential visible artifacts worth it?
Quote
Due to the nature of CRT technology, the results with the super resolutions method are in most cases virtually the same as when generating the native modes. Nevertheless, some visible artifacts may appear in scrolling games due to non-integer horizontal scaling. These are usually hard to notice, but...


Low impact even for those, but there are visible artifacts in some situations which always are hard to notice (it'll depend on one's eyes; I couldn't get a friend of mine to see them in a proper test when they were quite evident for me), hence it may be worth ignoring this and go with an all-around super resolutions approach. It should always be the first approach, anyhow.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 10:16:24 am by Recapnation »

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2016, 01:00:20 am »
Are we sure the card acknowledges these modes as progressive at this level? No clue how or when the card decides it's outputting a progressive mode, but if "240-P" is still understood as "480-I" at some point in the process, it'd make sense that the filter is being called. (?)

I thought I'd written this, but apparently only thought it. I actually assumed at first that the filtering wouldn't affect digital displays, so it was just permanently on. But if that's not the case maybe it's a 15kHz issue of some sort, and card thinks any mode under a certain h-scan threshold *must* be interlaced.

haynor666

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 08:40:27 am »
Also I never experience any colours/display improvement HD 5450 vs HD4350 or XP x32 vs 7x64 and I really don't believe it.

Doesn't matter if you believe it or not. Neither of those cards is high-end enough to make any difference anyway. The difference for me going from a 4350 to a 6870 was massive. Like i'd given the early 80's tube a big rejuv, but it's permanent. I suppose i could've had a bad 4350, but jumping from a 4890 to a 6950 on another cab also gave slightly better colours, though the difference there wasn't huge, and *might* have been my interpretation due to the flicker filter. I really don't think so though.

And TBH I'm not certain about the filtering on progressive modes. I reckon it's there though, as the higher end cards i've used that have the filtering don't seem to be quite as sharp at 240p. It's not a huge difference, but i'm certain it's there. Might be card-specific though.

The only improvement I've seen was switching from low profile card (VGA output on ribbon cable) to standard size card (VGA output straight from PCB). In this case all cards that have VGA output on ribbon cable had noticable ghosting and washed out colours. The same goes when I switch from VGA output on ribbon to DVI-VGA. Some manufacturers are probably aware of this because they adding magnets around ribbon.
As for filtering I'm not using super resolution so maybe this problem is visible only with super resolutions.

What about hardware?

What CPU is the current sweetspot?

Kujina configuration is the best for value/power. Of course G3258 must be overclocked to 4.0 GHz or more.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 08:48:10 am by haynor666 »

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 05:42:25 pm »
The only improvement I've seen was switching from low profile card (VGA output on ribbon cable) to standard size card (VGA output straight from PCB). In this case all cards that have VGA output on ribbon cable had noticable ghosting and washed out colours. The same goes when I switch from VGA output on ribbon to DVI-VGA. Some manufacturers are probably aware of this because they adding magnets around ribbon.
As for filtering I'm not using super resolution so maybe this problem is visible only with super resolutions.

That one I didn't know, I'm not using any cards with the ribbon with or without chokes. I'd believe it though. The issue I had with my 4350 though wasn't ghosting, the colours were absolutely awful, compared to the 6870. I'm on DVI-VGA for everything I have, save one laptop.

haynor666

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2016, 04:58:38 am »
I did yesterday some tests on windows 7x64 and HD5450 (dual monitor setup) and groovymame 179alpha3 using standard low resolutions. I really don't see any filtering when I run 1943 using 256x240 or mslug2 using 320x240.

kujina

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2016, 01:00:49 am »
- As long as you choose a genuine "W7-ready" card (HD 5000+), the only issue that matters in practice is slow mode switching, and it only matters for games which switch resolutions during game.

I want to play Soul Calibur and I believe that the game changes resolution initially when starting, will it be an issue?

haynor666

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 01:36:25 am »
With new switching method with ADL API (HDxxxx and newer) is not that slow but for legacy cards (HD4xxx and older) it's still very slow.

buttersoft

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Re: The best setup (late 2016) for a CRT cabinet? (I'm upgrading my cab pc)
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 05:15:02 pm »
I'm willing to admit it might be a case of different cards being different. The 6950 I have isn't *quite* as sharp at 240p as the 4890 I was using, but the difference may only be apparent to someone who sits there and tinkers with their machines all the time :)