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Author Topic: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz  (Read 685 times)

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springman

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GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« on: January 04, 2019, 10:56:47 am »
For me, no doubt it's one expensive, over-charged monitor. But really, grabbing it ... no regrets. I ain't get into those modern PC games. Anyway, my display card is not powerful enough to bring them up to that frame / refresh rate, but it's already a pleasure seeing my games, say, BF1, varying from 5x FPS to 8x FPS with no shuttering and tearing.

Running GM on this monitor gives even more pleasure and that's why I'm here sharing my experience. Sorry that I've been lazy and slow actually. I got my Alienware AW2518H 6 months ago. Before and after getting it, I had checked everywhere for "MAME on G-SYNC monitors." Still, I don't see many mentions about it even now.

Finally I had some spare time to try it myself:

Intel i7 8700
Palit Nvidia 1070 GPU
Alienware AW2518H
The latest GM

I only changed a few things in mame.ini:

monitor lcd
lcd_range 50-240 (I read Calamity's post about LCD with GM that GM would only recognise the desktop refresh rate. I run my desktop at 240Hz; setting the range with anything below 240 here would not give the Switchres line in Machine Information in MAME)
throttle 1
syncrefresh 0
autosync 0
waitsync 0
triplebuffer 0
#sync_refresh_tolerance 2.0
verbose 1

And I enabled Alienware AW2518H's on-screen FPS counter and also the G-SYNC indicator in Nvidia Control Panel so I would know when G-SYNC kicks in. And for the look (scanlines!) I copied and pasted some basic HLSL lines.

I wish I have taken some photos and maybe I will upload and update again later ...

R-Type, G-SYNC indicator up, FPS counter going between 54-55, at the title screen the R-Type logo flies from the right to the left smoothly without tearing, side-scrolling is perfect in game.

MK1, G-SYNC indicator up, FPS counter going between 54-55, keep inserting coins to stay at the famous character portrait scrolling screen on both sides, perfect scrolling. And also the stage tower scrolling from top to bottom, ain't jerk at all.

Samurai Spirit 2, G-SYNC indicator up, FPS counter going between 59-60, the scrolling background is like silk during character selection. No flickering and strange block on character's shadow, but can't really tell ... the shadows are very light and thin. Kinda hard to notice. Able to see clearer in some scenes or when the character is running. Light but very solid.

Sega System 24 Bonanza Bros ... I thought I was looking at an arcade machine.

I'm no expert ... should I assume my setup and configurations are running the games in their native rates?

Please also allow me to ask a few questions:

1. Do I still need to turn on frame_delay?

2. Kinda strange: even without frame_delay and HLSL, the F11 frameskip / framerate counter keeps going up and down, between 98-101, with the display's on-screen FPS counter (54-55, 59-60, etc.). But I didn't feel any slowdown or shuttering in game. And the info shown after quitting the game usually reports 100% average. Is it normal?

3. May you all please advise more other optimisations, if any?

And, yes ... frame_delay + HLSL fails to launch a game. When it goes blank at launch you can Alt-Enter to window, the game would load windowed. Once it's loaded you can Alt-Enter back to full screen. But some games, like MK I tested, failed to launch no matter how. I had to disable either one to run them in full screen.

Thanks for watching! ;)

NinjaZero

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 08:11:12 pm »
I had the same problem with my Nvidia 1050ti, can't launch the game with Frame Delay and HLSL enabled.  I was able to launch games in Windowed mode and then go to full screen.  You could try to launch MK in windowed and see if that gets the game to run and if it does you should be able to go full screen.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 07:37:02 am »
If the 'machine information' (you see on starting a game or checking anytime via the menu ingame) tells you it runs at the game's original refresh rate (Groovy tells two infos: the orginal rate and what rate groovy is outputing/running at, check if they match) then you should be good.

If it's perfectly smooth with any game you've tried but the F11 speed meter isn't stable, I don't know the reason. This counter's never been very precise and maybe with G-Sync it is a bit confused with what is going on.
Or it has to do with your settings but I'm not versed in 120/240Hz + variable refresh combination, sorry, maybe there are more specifics.

frame_delay : nope, normally you don't need it.
There you would ask why use Groovy then? but afaik it's still faster than baseline MAME even on a same variable refresh setup.
(there's a thread where someone compared the lag using both builds and different APIs, Groovy won, though don't ask me the technical reasons for that)

HLSL : it's been mentioned several times that in 0.205 with the introduction of the sliders saving modification, frame_delay and HLSL don't work in conjunction.
Either fall back to 0.204 (not recommended) or wait for 0.206 hopefully Calamity will have found a fix.
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: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 04:45:43 pm »
I've recently got an LG 32UD99-W, 60 Hz Freesync for my job. I haven't had much time to test it with MAME, but so far it hasn't been a smooth experience. I suspect what the issue is. I'll post back about this when I have a chance to do more tests.
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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springman

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 01:54:23 am »
I had the same problem with my Nvidia 1050ti, can't launch the game with Frame Delay and HLSL enabled.  I was able to launch games in Windowed mode and then go to full screen.  You could try to launch MK in windowed and see if that gets the game to run and if it does you should be able to go full screen.

 :applaud: Yea, that's exactly what I did (alt-tab in and out). Most games work, but MK and a few others didn't. For those I had to disable either frame delay or HLSL. :hissy:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:56:04 am by springman »

springman

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 02:32:39 am »
If the 'machine information' (you see on starting a game or checking anytime via the menu ingame) tells you it runs at the game's original refresh rate (Groovy tells two infos: the orginal rate and what rate groovy is outputing/running at, check if they match) then you should be good.

If it's perfectly smooth with any game you've tried but the F11 speed meter isn't stable, I don't know the reason. This counter's never been very precise and maybe with G-Sync it is a bit confused with what is going on.
Or it has to do with your settings but I'm not versed in 120/240Hz + variable refresh combination, sorry, maybe there are more specifics.

frame_delay : nope, normally you don't need it.
There you would ask why use Groovy then? but afaik it's still faster than baseline MAME even on a same variable refresh setup.
(there's a thread where someone compared the lag using both builds and different APIs, Groovy won, though don't ask me the technical reasons for that)

HLSL : it's been mentioned several times that in 0.205 with the introduction of the sliders saving modification, frame_delay and HLSL don't work in conjunction.
Either fall back to 0.204 (not recommended) or wait for 0.206 hopefully Calamity will have found a fix.

Actually I was expecting (hoping, to be more precise ...) the last line in Machine Information to be identical with the game's original rate ... but I think for LCD GM doesn't work the same. The output line is always 1920x1080@240hz 0khz.

And yes, it's really strange. Mine is a pretty powerful PC and I wouldn't believe that it can't handle R-Type. It looks to me the CPU execution and usage change actively with G-SYNC's variable vertical freq.

But I've found something:

sleep 0

By disabling sleep, all the games I tested stay sharp at their original rates!!! And the F11 numbers don't move at all! 100% all the way! (Of course, don't count on those 3D games that MAME doesn't accelerate. VF and Dynamite Cops have slowdowns no matter what).

The Alienware FPS counter is a integer; FPS shown is rounded up or down:

R-Type 55
Double Dragon57
NEOGEO games 60
MK 55

 :cheers:



schmerzkaufen

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 03:17:56 am »
Yeah I forgot that in your case it's probably because rather than GM it's G-Sync taking care of it in the background, which must be the reason for that "@0"
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 05:03:30 am »
Actually I was expecting (hoping, to be more precise ...) the last line in Machine Information to be identical with the game's original rate ... but I think for LCD GM doesn't work the same. The output line is always 1920x1080@240hz 0khz.

It doesn't work like that. G-Sync uses a fixed refresh, the one currently use by your desktop. However, due to how G-Sync deals with vsync, it can refresh the monitor at arbitrary rates, provided these are lower than the desktop's refresh rate.

The 0khz thing is due to GM not being able to read Nvidia timings.
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

springman

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Re: GrvooyMAME on Alienware AW2518H G-SYNC 240Hz
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 07:42:43 am »
Actually I was expecting (hoping, to be more precise ...) the last line in Machine Information to be identical with the game's original rate ... but I think for LCD GM doesn't work the same. The output line is always 1920x1080@240hz 0khz.

It doesn't work like that. G-Sync uses a fixed refresh, the one currently use by your desktop. However, due to how G-Sync deals with vsync, it can refresh the monitor at arbitrary rates, provided these are lower than the desktop's refresh rate.

The 0khz thing is due to GM not being able to read Nvidia timings.

 ::) I see. Thanks so much!

Is there any other optimization I can do for my G-SYNC use case? Frame delay? Customized modelines? Stretch types? Thanks a lot!