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Author Topic: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?  (Read 1580 times)

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Sefirosu789

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Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« on: November 14, 2018, 09:02:16 am »
Hi all, I wanted to get your opinions on these builds. I am unsure which CPU would be best suited for GM running all arcade + CAVE and a few consoles such as PC engine CD etc. I'm also not sure if its worth going for a non-oc 4 core CPU with lower speeds (last option).

There has been some discussion on PC builds for GM but that was a long time ago.

Here are the builds I have made: (I'll take the GPU out of my main PC as it needs replacing and I know that it works with GM)

1 -- PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Pentium G4560 3.5 GHz Dual-Core Processor  (£68.39 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock - Z270M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard  (£96.98 @ Ebuyer)
Memory: Kingston - HyperX Fury Black 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  (£32.63 @ More Computers)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (£50.34 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Sapphire - Radeon R9 270X 2 GB Dual-X Video Card
Case: Silverstone - SG05BB-450-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/450 W Power Supply  (£49.59 @ Kustom PCs)
Total: £297.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-14 13:50 GMT+0000

2 -- PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i3-7350K 4.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor  (£99.99 @ Box Limited)
Motherboard: ASRock - Z270M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard  (£96.98 @ Ebuyer)
Memory: Kingston - HyperX Fury Black 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  (£32.63 @ More Computers)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (£50.34 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Sapphire - Radeon R9 270X 2 GB Dual-X Video Card
Case: Silverstone - SG05BB-450-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/450 W Power Supply  (£49.59 @ Kustom PCs)
Total: £329.53
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-14 14:01 GMT+0000

3 -- PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor  (£117.59 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock - H310M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard  (£79.99 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston - HyperX Fury Black 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  (£32.63 @ More Computers)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (£50.34 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Sapphire - Radeon R9 270X 2 GB Dual-X Video Card
Case: Silverstone - SG05BB-450-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/450 W Power Supply  (£49.59 @ Kustom PCs)
Total: £330.14
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-14 14:17 GMT+0000

« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 09:18:28 am by Sefirosu789 »

donluca

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 02:22:01 pm »
Those looks like solid builds, although, for that small price difference, I might go for one of the i3 processors. In the future, should you decide to drop MAME and make something else with that PC, you'd have a very capable machine.

Go look for some benchmarks around and see which of those will give you the best single thread performance.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 03:39:47 pm »
Those looks like solid builds, although, for that small price difference, I might go for one of the i3 processors. In the future, should you decide to drop MAME and make something else with that PC, you'd have a very capable machine.

Go look for some benchmarks around and see which of those will give you the best single thread performance.

Hi Don,

Yes, after doing more research the i3-7350k and i3-8100 seem like the better choices.

Looking at this, it appears that the i3 7350k has better single core performance, if that's what you meant? https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i3-8100-vs-Intel-Core-i3-7350K/3942vs3889

The 7350k has hyperthreading and better single core performance whereas the 8100 does not have hyperthreading but has 4 cores with faster multicore speeds and is also newer.  I'm just not sure which would be best for GMAME.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 04:16:26 pm »
For Mame the rule of thumb in the past was always choosing clock speed over core count. I believe this is still the case.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 05:01:07 pm »
There has been some discussion on PC builds for GM but that was a long time ago.

There was another thread recently (just down the page). It goes off topic pretty quick but there is still some good info in there.
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 05:18:02 pm »
If you want to use Atom15 you might want to make sure an R9 270x will work, but that's up to you. You can always protect an arcade monitor with a jpac, or just wait to turn the screen on, or even use a timed 240VAC relay or something. Quadcore will make a nice difference with the current gen, MAME is finally starting to go multicore, and windows will run smoother and not interrupt your gameplay. And i would go a 240GB SSD above a 2TB HDD, unless you know you need that much space. It will be cheaper anyway. I have my setup on a 240GB SSD, and that's including WMMT5 (20GB) and Tekken 7 (70GB), along with everything else plus the frontend and all artwork and videos.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:20:36 pm by buttersoft »

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 06:58:39 pm »
I wouldn't put that i3-7350k in a compact case with the provided Intel fan if half-serious overclocking is part of the plan now or in the future (or go watercooling but that's no longer cheap nor easy)

Just repeating but IMHO lots of CPU+GPU power is mainly interesting for pushing frame_delay to near-limits or combining with HLSL, not really for the handful of so-so more demanding 3D titles.

Though I've heard that if you reach a certain GHz and STP, a secret menu in MAME unlocks the drivers to emulate the mame devs themselves.
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 08:17:55 am »
Thanks all for the responses. Paradroid, I have just read that topic.

If you want to use Atom15 you might want to make sure an R9 270x will work, but that's up to you. You can always protect an arcade monitor with a jpac, or just wait to turn the screen on, or even use a timed 240VAC relay or something. Quadcore will make a nice difference with the current gen, MAME is finally starting to go multicore, and windows will run smoother and not interrupt your gameplay. And i would go a 240GB SSD above a 2TB HDD, unless you know you need that much space. It will be cheaper anyway. I have my setup on a 240GB SSD, and that's including WMMT5 (20GB) and Tekken 7 (70GB), along with everything else plus the frontend and all artwork and videos.

I don't really have a need to use Atom15 as I'm not using an arcade monitor and I always turn the monitor on by the power switch. My monitor is multiformat/multisync as well so shouldn't be an issue if I did turn it on first.

But MAME isn't multicore now? Everyone else seems to be recommending the dual core CPU's. Apart from of course probably the best overall choice price and performance wise which is the i3 8350k but a bit out of my price range. So basically, dual core with good single performance speeds will be better now but multicore better in the future? I don't want to have to replace the CPU in a year, hoping to have it last at least 3.

I don't think everything will fit on a 240GB SSD for me as my folder is currently 185GB and I still haven't added a few consoles I want to add (3DO, 3DI, NeoCD) which is probably 150GB approx. Although, maybe a 500GB SSD would be worth it.

I wouldn't put that i3-7350k in a compact case with the provided Intel fan if half-serious overclocking is part of the plan now or in the future (or go watercooling but that's no longer cheap nor easy)

Just repeating but IMHO lots of CPU+GPU power is mainly interesting for pushing frame_delay to near-limits or combining with HLSL, not really for the handful of so-so more demanding 3D titles.

Though I've heard that if you reach a certain GHz and STP, a secret menu in MAME unlocks the drivers to emulate the mame devs themselves.

Of course, I wouldn't overclock it in that small case with the stock fan.

I haven't yet begun to try out frame_delay but I want to in the future. It's just a shame every game needs to be tweaked as there is thousands :P

I don't think there is any point in going for a worse CPU as these two that I have mentioned are priced pretty reasonable. Below them are just older gen CPUs which seem pointless when the price of these are not super expensive.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 08:19:45 am by Sefirosu789 »

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 08:31:29 am »
Buy the 7350K.

For your storage money I'd buy a small SSD as a boot/emulator store and a regular 7200RPM for data. 2TB is overkill.
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 08:54:35 am »
But MAME isn't multicore now? Everyone else seems to be recommending the dual core CPU's. Apart from of course probably the best overall choice price and performance wise which is the i3 8350k but a bit out of my price range. So basically, dual core with good single performance speeds will be better now but multicore better in the future? I don't want to have to replace the CPU in a year, hoping to have it last at least 3.
I have yet to read anywhere about the number of cores recommended, they'll only tell you that some drivers indeed do use more than one core, but I've never read anyone specify how many exactly or with what efficiency.
I've spent hours the other day monitoring my CPU while playing many different games up to 3D behemoths, and I've never seen more than 2 cores among 4 being obviously more solicited (with typically one much more than the other)
It's either that or all 4 cores working together at similar loads, which doesn't really tell what's the strategy in effect.
So yeah I think at least until the day mamedev clearly specify they have a driver using and really taking advantage of more than 2 cores, a strong dual-core will still be enough.
In regards to future emulation in MAME that would require a lot of processing power and actually be of interest for many users, I can only think of Naomi, but nobody knows when games of that system will start being labelled as 'working', nor if more than two cores will put you at an advantage.

Quote
I haven't yet begun to try out frame_delay but I want to in the future. It's just a shame every game needs to be tweaked as there is thousands :P
Depends, some systems produce a very stable and constant output, with those you can often set a single frame_delay value that you'd define in a system.ini or source.ini and be done; all games of that arcade hardware configured.
With some it'll depend on the game itself.
Then there will be variables such as using filters or HLSL

(I still don't get if you'll be using a CRT or LCD, if the former then you won't need filters and shaders anyway so that'll be one less thing to worry about in regards of individual settings)
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 09:14:53 am »
What about those cheap celerons highly overclockeable?  They run Mame great, even better than a more expensive CPU with more cores.

Also if you want to emulate software lists as well as many TBs as you can get!  :P

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2018, 10:27:43 am »
Again depends what you want. CRT? LCD? only 80/90's 2D games? Cave cv1k ? Gnet? System22? even heavier than that? want serious frame_delay? will need vsysnc_offset? HLSL too? etc etc

I woudln't trust a Celeron for high frame_delay values and HLSL especially combined, and certainly not if we're talking cv1k and heavier.
Maybe it's possible with some carefully done high OC and overall well-selected overall PC hardware, but frequent and lasting high stress on my computer every time I play is not my philosophy.
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2018, 11:21:41 am »
I've spent hours the other day monitoring my CPU while playing many different games up to 3D behemoths, and I've never seen more than 2 cores among 4 being obviously more solicited

Things are not that simple. Windows (or Linux) is also going to be running stuff on the background. If you have some extra cores, chances are Windows will use the idle ones to do its things, leaving MAME alone more often. I'm not only thinking of undesired stuff like Windows running its anti-malware services, but things that are vital for us like polling usb ports. So you might find an overclocked dual core to be more powerful at running a certain driver at full speed, while a slower 8-core might be more responsive to input, or more stable, in general. Obviously I'm not saying this is the case at all as this has not been tested by anybody that I know of, just suggesting that things aren't necessarily so simple.
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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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2018, 11:38:17 am »
Oh these are just observations on the fly anyway, and indeed I had left the ususal processes running along. If I knew of a good way to monitor and record-log with explicitely detailed per-core/thread process usage, I could certainly do some more serious testing and provide detailed information.
(as a quad-core user, at the very least)
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 11:40:50 am »
Fair enough, I have never gone so far as to do those tests. Just thinking a multi-core setup won't probably harm if you have the cash.
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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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2018, 11:46:23 am »
Anyone running antivirus on a dedicated emulation build needs their head examined.  :lol
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2018, 12:00:11 pm »
It's not dedicated, it's a general purpose PC.  :P

Even so something like my antivirus doesn't get in the way, maybe because of the 4 cores and because I'm not playing anything that would require so much free room that it'd cause stability issues.

I'd have to tell you if it does after testing more heavyweight drivers and settings that push the limits, but I haven't tested much of those that require CHD and insane ressources yet. Plus the question of good meaningful and loggable monitoring to make sure, remains.
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2018, 04:29:27 pm »
I have yet to read anywhere about the number of cores recommended, they'll only tell you that some drivers indeed do use more than one core, but I've never read anyone specify how many exactly or with what efficiency.

Haze in the other thread said that there are now some drivers which make use of 2 cores IIRC. Maybe you want to go through that thread again, there's some interesting info there which went a bit unnoticed due to the general discussion.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2018, 05:30:15 pm »
I mean we all know about at least two cores, that's the obvious minimum when someone quotes 'multiple cores', and it's well visible at least in terms of load when some games are running. But the answer to the question of more than two is never clear, because the number of threads a driver can run (+whatever else along in MAME) and how they're distributed between available cores isn't specified.
Calamity's remark suggests a more complete explanation of the advantage of having more cores available, but there isn't a button we can press so MAME or an external app would show us "look! : video goes here, sound here, and hey we have more cores available here so the inputs go there, etc, and this buddy, is how that game is running on your pc right now!"

All that isn't very important anyway since we know that for now having at least two fast cores still satisfies most of the MAME user's needs.

Back to the i3-7350k, like the i3-8350K it can overclock to a stable 5GHz, and depending on local prices luck it might cost about half the price. To me it seems like a better deal for someone looking into both very good stock and extreme MAME.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 05:32:02 pm by schmerzkaufen »
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2018, 08:48:32 am »
Back to the i3-7350k, like the i3-8350K it can overclock to a stable 5GHz, and depending on local prices luck it might cost about half the price. To me it seems like a better deal for someone looking into both very good stock and extreme MAME.

Thanks to all who responded. I will get the i3 7350k as soon as it comes back in stock -- I was hesitant and the next day it was out of stock!! Will get an SSD as well.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2018, 11:01:24 am »
Upping this since it was part of the topic and I need a little precision;

So MAME does take advantage of multiple cores, distributing different tasks (video, sound, inputs, etc) in seperate threads across the available cores, even 8 or more if needed in extreme cases. Okay.

But do virtual cores count for the same as physical cores ? are the tasks/threads given to physical and virtual cores indiscriminately with the same advantages MAME-wise ?

In short for instance: for MAME do 2c 4 threads (HT) = 4c 4 threads in terms of behaviour ?
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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2018, 08:24:21 am »
Here are my bench results for 225 roms on my desktop computer upgraded from i3-2120 to i5-2500  (both 3.3GHz).
Back then I was only running bench 4 which might be too short for some games ? ? ? ?

Interested to see what if anything you deduce from this.

Note. The txt file is actually a csv but that extension is not allowed for some reason

Note2: The poor i3 altbeast & twinqix results are anomalous and should be ignored.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 08:37:21 am by jimmer »
On forums jimmer speaks for himself as a Defender fan, not as proprietor of www.jbgaming.co.uk  << Is that advertising or disclosure ? or both ?

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2018, 08:45:25 am »
Here are my bench results for 225 roms on my desktop computer upgraded from i3-2120 to i5-2500  (both 3.3GHz).
Back then I was only running bench 4 which might be too short for some games ? ? ? ?

Interested to see what if anything you deduce from this.

Note. The txt file is actually a csv but that extension is not allowed for some reason

Note2: The poor i3 altbeast & twinqix results are anomalous and should be ignored.

What is bench 4? I have no idea what those numbers mean.

Run a mame rom with these extra parameters: -str 90 -nothrottle

My i3 2100 running crt emudriver exceeds 100% at everything Iíve tried. If itís good, itís good.


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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2018, 12:38:33 pm »
I've made some tests bu this was long time ago - http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,146276.0.html

Tests needs update but it might give You a clue what hardware You might pick.

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2018, 12:57:14 pm »
Well it's not the performance but specifically the behaviour I'm wondering about (distribution of tasks between cores, physical and/or virtual) and the benefits.

It's a question that concerns systems with more than two cores actually.

If there can be situations where as Calamity mentioned, the inputs can be handled in a dedicated thread, does that mean an additional frame that's not queued and therfore less lag to work with.
And by extension; do 2c 4threads (HT) give the same benefits as 4c 4threads systems for that?

Or does that distribution over several separate threads only benefits a handful of drivers anyway?

I know it's a bit confused/obscure a question but I dig that kind of information. ^^
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 01:00:18 pm by schmerzkaufen »
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

jimmer

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2018, 02:03:10 pm »
What is bench 4? I have no idea what those numbers mean.

Run a mame rom with these extra parameters: -str 90 -nothrottle

My i3 2100 running crt emudriver exceeds 100% at everything Iíve tried. If itís good, itís good.

my benchmark command is eg:
.\groovy64_arcadeplus.exe 1942 -video none -v -bench 4 > C:\mame\logs\groovylog_1942_bench.txt

The 4 is 4 seconds, maybe too short for good quality result but I was testing 3000 roms. Now I use eg 10sec or 30sec for the smaller sample of 225 roms, but I didn't have the historic results for the i3-2120 with longer test time.

The numbers shown are the reported average speed (%)

On forums jimmer speaks for himself as a Defender fan, not as proprietor of www.jbgaming.co.uk  << Is that advertising or disclosure ? or both ?

Calamity

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2018, 02:07:31 pm »
Code: [Select]
do 2c 4threads (HT) give the same benefits as 4c 4threads systems for that?
That's a bit complicated to answer. 4 cores is always going to be better than 2 cores + HT, in general. However, in some tasks 2 cores + HT might perform just the same as 4 cores. HT means two threads per core, but whether they really run in parallell depends on how much time each of the logical cores is idle, which in turn depends on other factors like the cache size or the nature of the task.

But my comment above wasn't about MAME multithreading capabilities. My point is that the more cores you have, the less likely the OS is going to interfere with MAME, at least in theory. It's not that MAME sets input handing in a separate thread, what I mean is that low level input handling (or whatever) is done in the background by the OS without requiring to interrupt MAME threads so often. Modern OSes handle this very well.

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: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2018, 02:29:14 pm »
Calamity, maybe testing 4 core processor with 2 and more cores blocked by software of BIOS might show something.

jimmer, 4 seconds are not enough. Almost every arcade game has self check at the beginning so You are not benchmarking actual game.

For remind:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,148828.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,152167.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151113.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,150397.0.html
Extra info:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151500.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149052.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151601.0.html

G3258 is still on sale for 70 USD new. Used can be bought even for 25 USD so it's still the best ratio power/cost in my opinion. New motherboard is another 60 USD.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 02:33:02 pm by haynor666 »

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2018, 03:22:15 pm »
Code: [Select]
do 2c 4threads (HT) give the same benefits as 4c 4threads systems for that?
That's a bit complicated to answer. 4 cores is always going to be better than 2 cores + HT, in general. However, in some tasks 2 cores + HT might perform just the same as 4 cores. HT means two threads per core, but whether they really run in parallell depends on how much time each of the logical cores is idle, which in turn depends on other factors like the cache size or the nature of the task.

But my comment above wasn't about MAME multithreading capabilities. My point is that the more cores you have, the less likely the OS is going to interfere with MAME, at least in theory. It's not that MAME sets input handing in a separate thread, what I mean is that low level input handling (or whatever) is done in the background by the OS without requiring to interrupt MAME threads so often. Modern OSes handle this very well.
I see, although that sounds a bit mysterious you gave me a better view on the matter.
So a 2c+HT might be beneficial in some cases, although maybe not always as much as a true 4c.

I don't really get the possible nature of the interference you mention, earlier you were saying that the lack of it in cases might make some games more responsive, did that mean less input lag ? (or maybe you meant it could give frame_delay more space-time?)
And should I understand that having the least of other tasks running along in the OS while playing MAME, might improve the chances of benefits such as this overall?

Quote
G3258 is still on sale for 70 USD new
Damn there's always more choice and better prices on amazon US.
Anyway, it'd be about time they give that one a successor, I don't get why they've made several 'gold' series this year while they're all so similar and all locked. *shrug*
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

Calamity

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2018, 03:55:02 am »
I don't really get the possible nature of the interference you mention, earlier you were saying that the lack of it in cases might make some games more responsive, did that mean less input lag ? (or maybe you meant it could give frame_delay more space-time?)
And should I understand that having the least of other tasks running along in the OS while playing MAME, might improve the chances of benefits such as this overall?

Please don't take my word on this as an authoritative opinion. I'm just trying to figure out how things might work.

I'd suggest you do some research about how Windows multitasking works, specifically kernel preemption, schedulling, etc.

The basic idea is that if you are a process running on Windows, you never know when Windows is going to stop you and switch to a different process for a given time slice. If you're trying to do real time sensitive stuff, like what we do with GroovyMAME, this becomes a big problem. That's why historically it's been so difficult to do these things on Windows and the old guys always repeated the "Windows is not a real-time os" mantra. It's only until recently (and this is my point) that this limitation has been overcome by the combination of cpu speed plus parallelization (multi-core), so although Windows is still non-real-time it doesn't suck that much as before for real time-like applications.

Obviously the less amount of services running on the background, the less interferences will occur. But there's lots of stuff the OS, and mainly its device drivers, needs to do to keep the system running. Not only the keyboard interrupts. Think of the network card, you probably have one: it will be constantly interrupting the cpu asking for attention. There's an hsync interrupt per scanline too. This means that, for a 4K monitor, there must be more than 130.000 interruptions per second! were the processor has to stop what it's doing, run some code in the gpu's device driver and return. It's a miracle that all this works at all when you think of it.
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

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2018, 04:44:01 am »
Please don't take my word on this as an authoritative opinion. I'm just trying to figure out how things might work.
Of course no worries.

Quote
I'd suggest you do some research about how Windows multitasking works, specifically kernel preemption, schedulling, etc.
Yeah I've read bout the basics, it's a complex topic and indeed even a bit more complex when HT is involved, though the first thing that came to my mind is "well what about MAME's priority option then?"
edit: also -[no]sleep, -numprocessors, and uh...-profile [n] ?

Quote
Obviously the less amount of services running on the background, the less interferences will occur. But there's lots of stuff the OS, and mainly its device drivers, needs to do to keep the system running. Not only the keyboard interrupts. Think of the network card, you probably have one: it will be constantly interrupting the cpu asking for attention. There's an hsync interrupt per scanline too. This means that, for a 4K monitor, there must be more than 130.000 interruptions per second! were the processor has to stop what it's doing, run some code in the gpu's device driver and return. It's a miracle that all this works at all when you think of it.
I'm lucky in that on this PC I use a Full-HD monitor, my network card is just a USB thumb drive I can easily stop and unplug anytime, I could then stop the antivirus, and maybe turn MAME's priority option on...

Besisdes the general talk about choosing a CPU (we already know that faster stronger more cores is better), one of the motivations for trying that would be to see if that helps with frame_delay 8, where it's been bugging me that I experience instability with some relatively lightweight games, while my system doesn't really seem to lack in available time/juice (well GPU could be the bottleneck but I only have very similarily-clocked ones to test)
If doing this I could observe obvious improvement in these cases, well that'd just be a nice thing to know about. Well I'll give it a try anyway. ^^
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 04:52:41 am by schmerzkaufen »
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

jimmer

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2018, 06:58:01 am »

On my XP system I went in to the registry and turned off loads of processes that sounded unnecessary. I was chasing an occasional glitch which showed up as input lag. It worked but I never investigated to find out which process was the problem.

On win7 I have turned off everything I can from the control panel, but not delved into the registry. That's because I don't notice any particular problems to solve.  Boot time is improved so it can be worth it just for that. I don't know if this is true, but I feel like turning off the network card in BIOS might prevent some background stuff trying to phone home!

One of the advantages of a disk drive over SSD is that you can hear when your system is doing stuff behind your back :)
On forums jimmer speaks for himself as a Defender fan, not as proprietor of www.jbgaming.co.uk  << Is that advertising or disclosure ? or both ?

donluca

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2018, 08:07:09 am »
[snip]

And that's why, for those who are serious about GM, I always strongly recommend to build a dedicated PC.

On Windows XP/2003 (and, to a lesser extent, Windows 7) you can completely deactivate most stuff, even Explorer, and maintain a very simple, basic operating system which would be "non-functional" for 99% of the uses, but since we're using it only for a single purpose, we can happily throw out most of the unnecessary stuff and keep the bare minimum services.

In my old build where I used a very slimmed down Windows 2003 Server installation I completely removed almost all services, the boot process was a simple batch file which initialized just the bare minimum stuff such as the graphic driver, USB drivers, Audio, frontend and not much else IIRC. On the motherboard's BIOS I deactivated all the unnecessary devices, including unused SATA and USB ports.
I was using a G3258 with only a single core active and OC'd to 5Ghz and everything was smooth as butter, not a single hiccup.

If you want to put GM on your everyday machine, then yeah, a multicore processor definitely helps.

jimmer

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2018, 09:41:48 am »

There is something very comforting about seeing a short process list, this was my XP build.

I wonder if we need a thread for what (and how ) to turn off stuff in win7.   Other than reducing process count for the pleasure of it, or boot up time, I'm not sure if any improvements in gameplay would be evident. Well, it could be very evident if you start with a malfunctioning system but that's the eternal question: at what point does non perfect emulation get classed as malfunctioning.
On forums jimmer speaks for himself as a Defender fan, not as proprietor of www.jbgaming.co.uk  << Is that advertising or disclosure ? or both ?

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2018, 09:45:08 am »
Those 3 at the top!  :angry:  :lol

Win 7 is pretty straightforward, you can disable practically everything and still have a working system.  It's a similar process as XP (use msconfig and services.msc)
Please don't PM me with support questions. Ask in public so everyone can learn!

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2018, 10:17:34 am »
Yeah I don't think what I have running on my 4c W7 setup disturbs GM's performance (plus it was never a bloated PC), butter-smooth here as well, only extreme settings show odd behaviour and I'm only suspecting that some processes might be getting in the way, nothing certain. But I'm reapeating myself. :p
On that computer I don't think I need a super spartan windows, just shutting off the fattest not immediately needed processes before playing might bring subtle benefits. I'll see about that later.

PS: the noisy hard drive: yes I kind of like that, or a little flashing LED. Today systems are increasingly solid state, monolithic, immobile and silent, it's a bit cold/creepy!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 10:19:10 am by schmerzkaufen »
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

jimmer

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2018, 01:13:48 pm »
Those 3 at the top!  :angry:  :lol
Now I'm itching to pull out an old PC from under the stairs and get rid of those.
On forums jimmer speaks for himself as a Defender fan, not as proprietor of www.jbgaming.co.uk  << Is that advertising or disclosure ? or both ?

haynor666

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Re: Dedicated GroovyMAME PC build?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2018, 06:55:36 am »
I switched to SSD disk and disabled all system scheduled tasks. Just to make that "nothing" interfere playing game I'm waiting 2 minutes after power my dedicated arcade PC.