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Author Topic: Picking a PC  (Read 2096 times)

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Calamity

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2018, 04:41:28 am »
A fair bit more than you realise uses threads.

Pink Sweets puts the video hardware emulation on a different thread because when I wrote that driver the CPU and video on the same thread was too much for any machine I owned.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this happens only when you're using double buffering along with the multithread switch, which will defer all the rendering part to a separate thread, otherwise it will still use only one core, unless I missed something along the way.

No, you're mixing two completely different things up. The multithread switch you're talking about was removed from MAME some time ago. It was known to cause problems, it was badly designed from the beginning. It was meant for asynchronous blitting, which provided some performance gain on the computers that were usual ten years ago or so.

The other multithreading capability that people are not aware of is implemented in the emulation core and controlled by the numprocessors option, which is set to "auto" by default, meaning that drivers that are multithreaded will use several cores when they're available.

Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
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 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

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schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2018, 05:34:27 am »
I've been thinking about a diff for allowing to save the CPU overclock/underclock slider settings again, since that's all we have but is currently a major pain to use.
I'd like a fix that saves all of the sliders.
Yes but... if you applied that diff/mod to GM there would be a case of conflict with the refresh slider that also appears when you enable the cheats, so maybe all but that that one.


cools

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2018, 05:42:42 am »
Nah, save everything. Don't try and load anything from the .cfg not found in the current running environment (cheats enabled when saved, cheats disabled when loading), and when quitting save the environment again.
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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2018, 07:14:32 am »
But without that I'd rather have correct ingame speeds and need a $1,500 monster processor to run them at 100%, than the current inaccurate emulation even if it could run on a toaster (you can already use DEmul for that anyway, it runs on toasters, doesn't solve the issue with cv1k at all)

and this is the kicker really, when we do spend weeks optimizing things, and creating the absolute minimal codepaths, people aren't happy anyway, and want the more accurate emulation, with far more calculations being done per pixel, that would put the driver out of reach of all existing CPUs.

Calamity

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2018, 07:40:18 am »
and this is the kicker really, when we do spend weeks optimizing things, and creating the absolute minimal codepaths, people aren't happy anyway, and want the more accurate emulation, with far more calculations being done per pixel, that would put the driver out of reach of all existing CPUs.

Not really, people do appreciate the work spent in optimizing the Cave driver, it's been a real breakthrough. I just wonder if more drivers could benefit of the recompiler approach. The thing with MAME is that more people would probably like to contribute improving drivers but the required learning curve to even consider touching the core is intimidating. Even so from time to time you see a random guy popping up from nowhere and start pushing pull requests like if he had learnt through revelation.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 07:46:32 am by Calamity »
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.

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donluca

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2018, 08:09:04 am »
No, you're mixing two completely different things up. The multithread switch you're talking about was removed from MAME some time ago. It was known to cause problems, it was badly designed from the beginning. It was meant for asynchronous blitting, which provided some performance gain on the computers that were usual ten years ago or so.

The other multithreading capability that people are not aware of is implemented in the emulation core and controlled by the numprocessors option, which is set to "auto" by default, meaning that drivers that are multithreaded will use several cores when they're available.

Ohh alright, I was completely missing this part. Thanks for the clarification, guess I'll have to get back to the sources and read some more.

and this is the kicker really, when we do spend weeks optimizing things, and creating the absolute minimal codepaths, people aren't happy anyway, and want the more accurate emulation, with far more calculations being done per pixel, that would put the driver out of reach of all existing CPUs.

Don't get me wrong: optimization are always welcome, no matter what. They don't just make the games playable on lower end systems, but they also give new headroom for better accurate emulation.
Also, people need to realize that there are alternatives to MAME. If they just want to play games, then use FBA which runs those games much, MUCH more faster.
IMHO, MAME has always been on the right track and I share its philosophy about going for the most accurate emulation possible. It doesn't matter if current CPUs aren't able to run those 100%, they can always go back to previous MAME version or use FBA or Demul or whatever. Then one day we'll have CPUs strong enough to run those games or someone will optimize them and make them playable, but, imho, playability should not be a concern in the MAME project and always strive for better accuracy (which it has always done and, back to the main point, I find ridiculous when people say that optimizing code has always been a priority).

Regarding the CV1k driver: I used to run all those games at 100% before the optimization on my setup, didn't try the games afterwards but I guess they'd run much much better. The main issue with those is the slowdown emulation which, to this day, it's still unknown if it was caused by a bottlenecked CPU or something, so it's still inaccurate.

This said, MAME is and will always be one of the most outstanding project I've ever followed and every contribution, no matter how little, is *always* appreciated. And don't listen too much to complaints, those come mainly from people who just want to play the game and don't give a damn about all the work that's behind.

btw, that m68k wait states thing. Yeah, pls, do something about that. One day. Pls.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2018, 08:58:30 am »
@cools: you've read so you get it: a saving CPU slider or any other of those options we need, will never happen.
Unless we manage to find a solution by ourselves, of course.

edit: supposedly that LUA thing is the answer to everything, heard that narrative for years and never seen a thing come out of it in regard of these options. Well I don't understand the first thing about it, documentation is gibberish, seems like whatever it is it was made with developer's understanding and skills in mind, so of course save for the handful of geeks with sufficient proficiency; nobody uses it.
I'm scared that the solution might be there, because I can't do a thing to help with watever it supposedly could do for us.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 10:27:33 am by schmerzkaufen »

morton

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2018, 09:45:10 am »
Wow... I feel like I opened a can of worms here LOL.

I see there is a lot to consider. I'm not sure where to start to be honest. I suppose one thing I know I will need is a graphic card capable of using CRT... Is there a specific card or one I should look out for? Seems some think I can use any one and others do not. Since the card needs to fit in the case and I am a noob... Would it make sense to find a card that will work first then pick my mobo and case size based on that?

I notice some i3 Dell SFF rigs popping up around $100 or so in my area, and a few i5's. Not sure what spec is most important as it apparently uses single core predominantly. How do you compare multi cores on the basis of single core Performance?

I am not looking for cutting edge but can see that spending time and money may mean that spending a few bucks is worth it. Just not sure how many bucks it's gonna be.


cools

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2018, 11:29:47 am »
@cools: you've read so you get it: a saving CPU slider or any other of those options we need, will never happen.
Unless we manage to find a solution by ourselves, of course.

edit: supposedly that LUA thing is the answer to everything, heard that narrative for years and never seen a thing come out of it in regard of these options. Well I don't understand the first thing about it, documentation is gibberish, seems like whatever it is it was made with developer's understanding and skills in mind, so of course save for the handful of geeks with sufficient proficiency; nobody uses it.
I'm scared that the solution might be there, because I can't do a thing to help with watever it supposedly could do for us.

Lua is a programming language, so yes you need to have/learn development skills. I tend to learn enough to get me by, Lua isn't something I've used before but a cursory glance at the MAME source files for it appear to show full control of the machine options (and you can also draw stuff on screen too, so your cheat exposer could be done with it too). I hadn't considered a plugin for this (cfg files are already constructed), but that might be a good route to go down.

Wow... I feel like I opened a can of worms here LOL.

I see there is a lot to consider. I'm not sure where to start to be honest. I suppose one thing I know I will need is a graphic card capable of using CRT... Is there a specific card or one I should look out for? Seems some think I can use any one and others do not. Since the card needs to fit in the case and I am a noob... Would it make sense to find a card that will work first then pick my mobo and case size based on that?

I notice some i3 Dell SFF rigs popping up around $100 or so in my area, and a few i5's. Not sure what spec is most important as it apparently uses single core predominantly. How do you compare multi cores on the basis of single core Performance?

I am not looking for cutting edge but can see that spending time and money may mean that spending a few bucks is worth it. Just not sure how many bucks it's gonna be.

I'm using an old Dell SFF Optiplex 755 with a Core 2 Duo 3Ghz and low profile Radeon 5450 perfectly happily. I've got way better systems but something like this would be ideal for your first post requirements.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 11:32:01 am by cools »
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Zebidee

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2018, 11:36:20 am »
Honestly... as long as you are buying i3 or better I wouldn't worry about it too much. Almost everything is multicore these days. SFF is a good choice as they are easier to fit in cabs etc, and they usually are better optimised for power usage. Try to get the cheapest and lowest power compatible SFF GPU card you can find.

On the other hand, when buying computer hardware it is good to keep obsolescence cycles in mind. What I mean is that the latest and greatest, fastest, biggest blah blah you can get today will be really quite expensive, yet lose its value quickly as other greater, faster, bigger etc things come out. New tech also tends to be laden with bugs & other failure points overlooked by designers/engineers. The biggest advantage of buying the best is that it will take longer to become obsolete.

The next couple of tiers down from the top, you'll find gear that is still pretty damn good but a lot cheaper. It has been around a while, and had most of the bugs/problems ironed out. It will still have most of the features/capabilities of the best tech, and will take a long time to become obsolete. This is the "zone" where I prefer to buy my hardware, because it'll be value for money and not become obsolete for a long time.

Obviously, at the cheap/old tech end, you might get value for money in the short-term but your gear could well be obsolete  before Christmas rolls around again.

Now, this is a "truism" and there are many exceptions to this rule, but it tends to stay true for IT gear even more so than other types of tech.

For example, in my main cab downstairs I have a core2duo E7600 tower PC that I bought new 10-12 years ago. At the time, it wasn't the best, or even the 2nd best available, but definitely "up there" as a decent system. It did everything I needed & more. It was multicore, so could take advantage of the capabilities, but had good single core performance. Newer (at the time, but not latest) Mobo design (LGA775), didn't have overheating or OS compatibility problems or whatever was going on with multicores at the time, the issues had been "ironed out". It ran an operating system that was "mature", well understood and supported at the time (XP).

I'm still using that same PC today, nearly 12 years on - I've changed the PSU a few times, but it is still doing everything I need it to and I'm in no rush to update. THAT is what I call value for money.

Ironically, the one component I thought would last a long time is the ArcadeVGA card. It still works fine, but has now been made "obsolete" by CRT_emudriver!

EDIT: I probably bought that core2duo in 2007/8 because it was after quad-cores were out, so of course the price was cheaper.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 12:09:30 pm by Zebidee »
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schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2018, 12:30:40 pm »
Lua is a programming language, so yes you need to have/learn development skills. I tend to learn enough to get me by, Lua isn't something I've used before but a cursory glance at the MAME source files for it appear to show full control of the machine options (and you can also draw stuff on screen too, so your cheat exposer could be done with it too). I hadn't considered a plugin for this (cfg files are already constructed), but that might be a good route to go down.
Was afraid you would confirm. This explains why while it was sold to users as some sort of yet another fantastic new feature of today's MAME, it was in fact nothing for petty users and we've lost several of the saving cheats controls in the trade. That it was on purpose adds yet another layer of infuriation.

Anyway sounds like overkill requirements to reactivate those cheat savings.
Good luck if you intend to explore the LUA path yourself, in the very few threads I've seen people talk about it I could feel some struggling vibes and little participation anyway. And you can see the results today: *tumbleweeds*


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@Zebidee: in terms of value for the money I think overclockable CPUs at least have that advantage of delaying obsolescence (if you don't plan on pushing yours to its limits from the first day that is)
Lately I've been feeling that it's finally time to give my 5 years old i5 a little boost, and since it's never been abused and equipped with a good cooling fan from the start, I'm confident it'll go well and give me at least as many more years of good service.
This isn't a conventional reason for purchasing an unlocked CPU though lol.

Zebidee

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2018, 01:02:46 pm »
@Zebidee: in terms of value for the money I think overclockable CPUs at least have that advantage of delaying obsolescence (if you don't plan on pushing yours to its limits from the first day that is)
Lately I've been feeling that it's finally time to give my 5 years old i5 a little boost, and since it's never been abused and equipped with a good cooling fan from the start, I'm confident it'll go well and give me at least as many more years of good service.
This isn't a conventional reason for purchasing an unlocked CPU though lol.

Sure, why not try and boost your performance a little? Keep a little in the tank, so to speak? I won't go overclocking though because I have enough trouble keeping my computer gear from deteriorating, as it is, in a tropical+humid climate. I've lost a lot of good IT gear to it already.

One of the best things I've done for the life-span of my electronics is to buy an air compressor. Now I can clean my PCBs, mobos etc easily (and pump up my car tyres and use a real nail gun). Another is mosquito-meshing over all openings in my cabs (also keeps those damned geckos out). I'm also getting better at changing out bad caps that have gone splat in the heat.

These days I'm becoming more concerned with power usage and heat dissipation than Ghz.

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schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2018, 01:11:39 pm »
Ah I assumed you had used OC but indeed that kind of climate is the enemy of such 'sport'. Unless you create a dedicated conditioned room which increases the cost immensely of course.  ;D

cools

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2018, 03:14:42 pm »
Lua is a programming language, so yes you need to have/learn development skills. I tend to learn enough to get me by, Lua isn't something I've used before but a cursory glance at the MAME source files for it appear to show full control of the machine options (and you can also draw stuff on screen too, so your cheat exposer could be done with it too). I hadn't considered a plugin for this (cfg files are already constructed), but that might be a good route to go down.
Was afraid you would confirm. This explains why while it was sold to users as some sort of yet another fantastic new feature of today's MAME, it was in fact nothing for petty users and we've lost several of the saving cheats controls in the trade. That it was on purpose adds yet another layer of infuriation.

Anyway sounds like overkill requirements to reactivate those cheat savings.
Good luck if you intend to explore the LUA path yourself, in the very few threads I've seen people talk about it I could feel some struggling vibes and little participation anyway. And you can see the results today: *tumbleweeds*

Its always irritating when features are removed, however (coming from one who supports software more complex than MAME, and familiarity with good development practice) the decisions made were absolutely necessary for long term project health.

I have a hunch saving and loading the settings is very easy but it'll require a fair chunk of research for a non dev. I'll definitely work on it but don't hold your breath.
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Haze

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2018, 04:56:01 pm »
Regarding the CV1k driver: I used to run all those games at 100% before the optimization on my setup.

I'm assuming you're talking about the recent recompiler use.  I'm talking about the vast amounts of work that went into basically rewriting the driver in an optimized state before it even went in MAME.

The unoptimized version of the driver, as coded by Luca, was never published, it ran at about 30% speed on a 3.5ghz machine and was full of glitches.  I spent many weeks optimizing the video code (including adding the threading) to get the speed close to 200% on the machine I was working with, although there would still be times when it dipped below 100% because the CPU emulation had become the bottleneck (the recompiler, added much later, dealt with that)  There were also some very significant optimizations to the sound core that went in shortly before the recompiler that nobody seems to talk about, but PGM2 (same basic sound decoding) highlighted as a major performance drain so we improved greatly.

It's the video code that would need to count every single pixel blitted, and probably no longer be able to run on another thread if it needs to run accurately in sync with the main CPU, respecting all timings, that could easily drag us back down way below 100%.  If the limits are from the SH3 that might need accurate cache and timings etc. which again probably means turning off the recompiler and making the core a lot more complex, which again will pull it way below 100%.  It is currently one of the most heavily optimized drivers in MAME.


« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 04:57:52 pm by Haze »

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2018, 06:18:25 pm »
Optimizations are very much appreciated of course, for instance now I can use a level of frame_delay even with those cv1k games, which was almost impossible until some point in the past.

But right now the only way we have to make those cv1k games run at more realistic and playable ingame speeds until your development achieves accurate timings, which might not happen before many years, is for us to tweak using the blitter delay and underclock the CPU.

Finding values that work well using both sliders takes a lot of time test-playing, and unfortunately it has been made excruciatingly long, slow and painful by your deliberate removal of the CPU slider's ability to save.

You shouldn't have done that. And it should be authorized again in the non-official builds period.
Whether you like it or not we'll find a way to make it save again, so we can at least play even if it's not perfect like that, and we will knowingly so.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 06:20:21 pm by schmerzkaufen »

donluca

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2018, 06:55:41 pm »
I'm assuming you're talking about the recent recompiler use.  I'm talking about the vast amounts of work that went into basically rewriting the driver in an optimized state before it even went in MAME.

The unoptimized version of the driver, as coded by Luca, was never published, it ran at about 30% speed on a 3.5ghz machine and was full of glitches.  I spent many weeks optimizing the video code (including adding the threading) to get the speed close to 200% on the machine I was working with, although there would still be times when it dipped below 100% because the CPU emulation had become the bottleneck (the recompiler, added much later, dealt with that)  There were also some very significant optimizations to the sound core that went in shortly before the recompiler that nobody seems to talk about, but PGM2 (same basic sound decoding) highlighted as a major performance drain so we improved greatly.

It's the video code that would need to count every single pixel blitted, and probably no longer be able to run on another thread if it needs to run accurately in sync with the main CPU, respecting all timings, that could easily drag us back down way below 100%.  If the limits are from the SH3 that might need accurate cache and timings etc. which again probably means turning off the recompiler and making the core a lot more complex, which again will pull it way below 100%.  It is currently one of the most heavily optimized drivers in MAME.

We're talking about... uh, I think 2 or 3 years ago. Because after that I got an arcade cab and used MAME way less.

I *think* that someone said in a thread somewhere that blitter was not the issue and was something more deep in the architecture. It wasn't the CPU maxed out either, but take those with a big grain of salt because it's been quite some time since I've discussed cv1k emulation. I think it was on the shmups forum.

Recapnation

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2018, 07:22:03 pm »
The blitter delay feature was indeed added to the CV-1000 driver just as a way to improve the perceived emulation of these games, wasn't it? So it's yet another user-friendly optimization, even if the point behind was helping to get more accurate reports/comparison tests, actually. Whichever the case, it's  indeed hard to find a reason for not having a save option for the CPU slider, which should be used together with the former.

Can't the CP-S 1 and 2 drivers get something similar?

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2018, 07:59:03 pm »
It's much more important than simple perception, most cv1k games are flat out unplayble without those. Years ago blitter delay alone used to be efficient at a fixed value for at least a couple of games, then it was different and still not clearly set for most others. Then later after more driver optimizations not only that couple blitter delay findings wouldn't cut it anymore, but obviously most games required serious CPU underclock, down around 40% for some until the slowdowns would even begin to approach those of the real life/pcb's.
Finding out working values this way takes a lot of time, the non-saving slow CPU sliders makes it very tedious, and you have to set it again every session.

Regarding Capcom, actually I've noticed that at least in GM the CPS games already run with 74% CPU underclock, which iirc is the recommended setting for those, and you will notice some slowdowns are indeed present ingame.
But if you touch anything like reset the game or I don't know what else, it resets to 100%.

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2018, 09:02:12 pm »

Finding values that work well using both sliders takes a lot of time test-playing, and unfortunately it has been made excruciatingly long, slow and painful by your deliberate removal of the CPU slider's ability to save.

You shouldn't have done that. And it should be authorized again in the non-official builds period.
Whether you like it or not we'll find a way to make it save again, so we can at least play even if it's not perfect like that, and we will knowingly so.

and my interest in this thread, that driver, and attempting to explain anything hits zero with that kind of attitude on display.

things are done for good reason, just because you don't understand them doesn't mean you can act like an arse and tell us what we should / shouldn't be doing.

donluca

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2018, 06:07:56 am »
I'd like to iterate once more that, at least from my experience, there are two kind of MAME users:

The one "just give me teh romz, I want to play!" which are likely to moan and criticize that MAME isn't user friendly and doesn't give a damn about the whole project you can safely ignore those as they won't ever give any contribution to the project.

Then there are people who actually care and each month they eagerly wait for a new MAME release to go through the whatsnew.txt file and see what has been done, which games were dumped, which drivers were fixed and try it out.

Please, don't ever let people get you down. Your work is amazing and, trust me, really appreciated.

This said, is MAME a perfect software? No, it isn't and due to its nature, it's not meant to be. Not for the foreseeable future at least.
Has it achieved MASSIVE milestones in the history of videogame preservation? YES. And that's why I strongly encourage you and the other MAME devs to keep it up because you're really doing god's work.

pubjoe

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2018, 06:20:52 am »
The one "just give me teh romz, I want to play!" which are likely to moan and criticize that MAME isn't user friendly and doesn't give a damn about the whole project you can safely ignore those as they won't ever give any contribution to the project.

Then there are people who actually care and each month they eagerly wait for a new MAME release to go through the whatsnew.txt file and see what has been done, which games were dumped, which drivers were fixed and try it out.
Most encouragingly, I think a great many move from type A to type B.

Ive been quietly fascinated for 20 years.

Zebidee

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2018, 06:43:07 am »
I'd like to iterate once more that, at least from my experience, there are two kind of MAME users:

To put it even simpler, there are 2 kinds of mame users: those who stereotype, and those who do not.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 06:44:46 am by Zebidee »
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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2018, 09:37:55 am »
Then there are people who actually care and each month they eagerly wait for a new MAME release to go through the whatsnew.txt file and see what has been done, which games were dumped, which drivers were fixed and try it out.

Since MAME has started coming out monthly I've been doing this. Near the end of the month I'll remember MAME is coming out soon and start hitting up https://www.mamedev.org/ daily in anticipation of the whatsnew.txt.
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donluca

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2018, 10:13:54 am »
Most encouragingly, I think a great many move from type A to type B.

Ive been quietly fascinated for 20 years.

I hope so, I surely did. I started using MAME at 0.37b which was... many moons ago, I think. I was still a kid and I was so astonished that whenever I didn't use my PC, I'd just start MAME with a game and let attract mode run endlessly, like a screensaver, so that I could dream of having a real arcade cabinet in my bedroom.

After years I started delving deeper in the project (and, meanwhile, I became a software developer, now specialized in Java backends) and I remember when I first opened up one of the drivers' source and reading all the comments in it... it was like opening a treasure chest. Recently MAME has helped me fixing some arcade boards thanks to their documentation and *cough* convert one *cough* to another game. All reversible, though! :D

Anyway, sorry for having derailed this thread, I'll just shut up.

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Re: Picking a PC
« Reply #65 on: November 11, 2018, 10:03:57 am »
All the Intel CPUs we mention are very similar in single thread performance at stock or cruise speed, all around 2000~2200 STP, which is already great for MAME.
It's the steps up that are bit of a black box, afaik we don't have large "turbo and OC" STP databases for reference.
IMHO it all comes down to what we wish to emulate, and it's good to keep in mind GM needs a little more room for frame_delay, also on the gpu side.
But really what's so exciting in MAME's library that it requires considerable processing power? I wonder sometimes if OC'ing my i5 for MAME would be worth the trouble (rather right now I need more GPU juice)

Following this I did a little monitoring and little OC on my i5-4690k.
With the default steps that CPU does 800MHz > 3.5GHz then up to 3.9GHz when the turbo kicks in. I've moved to limit to 4.2GHz (iirc it can go up to 4.6GHz if you do it properly, which takes time and I don't want to bother with that now)

NB: using W7 GM 0.203 D3D9ex

Purely on the games side no frills added, for instance it eliminated the last remaining little speed % drops I could still see with a couple Gnet and System22 games, it also made Virtua Fighter 2 full speed and Radiant Silvergun playable (though still losing some % in the busiest moments) but not all STV games.
A bunch of other polygonal 3D games worked full speed or close but that's about it for the drivers speed benefits. Note that out of the 4 cores the most used one differs from system-to-system. How beneficial having 4 vs. 2 can be? idk, but it wasn't obvious since as far as I've seen most of the load is always on one core, and eventually there's also a bit of load visible on a second one, never seen the four climb in unison or having close/similar loads together.

With GroovyMAME's lag reduction the gain in CPU processing power translated to higher stable frame_delay values, for instance where I could have cv1k games at 5~6 without much more than filter 1 + prescale 2, I can now play at 7~8 (-1 or -2 if using HLSL depending on game and settings: more effects = higher toll)
With systems that hated frame_delay before (like STV) the deal hasn't changed much, they can handle little bit more, like 3~4, but still collapse and crawl completely at the first big explosion or very busy screen.

My personal conclusion; unless there's a real interest for the rather few well-running polygonal 3D games, or a purpose to get the most out of Groovy's lag reduction for everything 2D (and compensate a bit for using HLSL), I can't see a considerable interest in seeking more CPU power than, say, that 3.5~3.9GHz / 2000~2200 STP average the Pentiums and i3's produce at stock speeds.
Someone who doesn't plan on using frame_delay or barely, and mostly stick to D3D9ex for his low lag fix, and also has no interest in the heavy 3D titles, he will be happy with the entry Pentium G4560 or any CPU new or used that can produce around those 3.5GHz/2000STPs.
And if not for playing like even the cv1k games, then any toaster will be fine (seriously what's a reasonable lower limit for decent MAME these days?)

For my own needs I probably won't ever need more than what this little OC brought me today.
Can I check the STP with passmark here? need to ckeck that for reference.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 12:17:24 pm by schmerzkaufen »

  
 

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