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Author Topic: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?  (Read 1040 times)

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Zebra

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Does anyone know which is the best gpu for crt emu that works with analog rgb and no dot clock minimums?

The Groovymame / crt emu download page states which series of GPU works but it says that some newer cards will not work with analog (without an adapter) and low dot clocks. So which is the fastest / latest GPU that can be used without compromise? And which series stopped including analog rgb out?

Calamity

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 03:03:54 pm »
Analog outputs do not suffer dotclock limitations. Digital outputs do. So if the card supports analog, you don't have to worry about dotclock issues. I don't have the information about the latest/most powerful analog card, but it won't be hard to do a quick research.
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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schmerzkaufen

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2019, 03:18:17 am »
AFAIK it's technically the R9 290/290X (later refreshed and renamed 390/390X but w/out analogue), but the ridiculous size and power consumption make it less interesting than the more recent and only slightly less powerful R9 380/380X which still requires a decent PSU and either two 6pin or one 6+2pin (or 8 not sure) connector.

Analogue disappeared from the RX and Vega series. Though some earlier models like the R7 370 dropped it too, actually it's related to the GCN generation rather than the name of the series, GCN 2 and 3 cards usually have an analogue out (VGA or DVI-I) while I haven't seen any on GCN 4rd gen.




For having tried a variety of AMD from entry R7 to 380X, and I also have an RX 570, let me tell you that the benefit for GM is not necessarily where you'd expect;

A more powerful GPU will not allow you to "just increase frame_delay" like a significantly faster CPU would, rather the greater GPU power will allow you to more easily maintain the frame_delay level you already had, while you are using GM with a high resolution display (LCD etc) and using image enhancements like HLSL, overlays etc on top of it.

In practice the difference it makes is only about 1 step of frame_delay...

And that's it, a powerful AMD GPU that still features analogue-out only makes sense for the intended versatility of a setup, meaning it'll be good both for CRT and LCD (although the benefit for lcd is subtle as i've explained)
For a CRT-only setup it doesn't seem to be that useful, there you only need a bit of juice for super resolutions, but not so crazy as to go for a beefy R9 as far as I know.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:57:22 am by schmerzkaufen »
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donluca

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 11:00:45 am »
One more thing to consider:

When I went from an old radeon to an HD5450 I noticed a *huge* improvement in image quality: the DAC on the newer cards completely blow away the older ones.

Colours were more vivid and, in general, the image was like "more in focus", more detailed, it was really a night and day change.

Personally, if I were to get a new card, I'd go for the newest low power/low profile with a VGA output (don't know which one that would be)

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2019, 12:48:01 pm »
Personally, if I were to get a new card, I'd go for the newest low power/low profile with a VGA output (don't know which one that would be)
R7 240 and R7 250 are GCN 1st gen, both exist in low profile, 1GB or 2GB, and some models are even passive cooled.
We have a not-so-old thread around...

Only for CRT though, cos that's still too weak for high-res/LCD (for that I'd opt for at least an R7 360 or 260X, assuming only Full-HD monitor)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 12:52:01 pm by schmerzkaufen »
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Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2019, 01:42:33 pm »
One more thing to consider:

When I went from an old radeon to an HD5450 I noticed a *huge* improvement in image quality: the DAC on the newer cards completely blow away the older ones.

Colours were more vivid and, in general, the image was like "more in focus", more detailed, it was really a night and day change.

Personally, if I were to get a new card, I'd go for the newest low power/low profile with a VGA output (don't know which one that would be)

I have a 5450 in my current Groovymame pc. It's fine for Mame but it seems to struggle with anything newer. Naomi games, for example, barely run. Model 2 runs but not as well as I am used to with my more powerful cards. So I want to upgrade a little and maybe run some newer PC based arcade games.

It looks like they started phasing out DVI-I in the 7000 generation. I've seen some models with and some without. It looks like all of the 6000 generation have at least one DVI-I out.

I guess the next question is about diminishing returns. I am clearly not going to be playing modern PC games on my tri-sync crt monitor so it would be good to know which cards would work with later emulators and Teknoparrot at full speed / no missed frames (as well a Groovymame / low Dow clock stuff).

I am going to try a Radeon 5970.


schmerzkaufen

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 01:58:10 pm »
*writes down reminder to ignore Zebra's questions/threads in the future*
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donluca

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 02:30:27 pm »
R7 240 and R7 250 are GCN 1st gen, both exist in low profile, 1GB or 2GB, and some models are even passive cooled.
We have a not-so-old thread around...

Only for CRT though, cos that's still too weak for high-res/LCD (for that I'd opt for at least an R7 360 or 260X, assuming only Full-HD monitor)

Forgot to mention I was speaking about a CRT setup, so yeah, raw graphic power is not what I was after and, since we're on the GM forum, I was speaking about GM, not other emus which actually make use of the GPU for newer titles.

Interesting, if I happen to find a low profile, passively cooled R7 240 I might give it a shot to see if it improves further the picture quality.

schmerzkaufen

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 08:27:41 pm »
Nah I've mentioned those only because you said 'newest', and well, by their generation they're the newest LP they have (which is a shame, seriously AMD wtf)

The comment about performance was for the topic (on which we were wasting our bytes anyway lol)
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maiki

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 06:41:48 pm »
Actually I think it would be very helpful to recommend a card that can operate at true low pclock without having to stereorize the horizontal widths to astronomical dimensions consuming CPU resources for nothing. For instance, all we need is a true 320x240 image not some 2560x240 airfield.

donluca

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 06:57:25 pm »
keep in mind that super resolution solves several problems:

1 - low dot clock
2 - always centered image on screen without the need for adjustments (remember that several games have very different resolutions)
3 - (maybe the most important one) There's a limit in the number of custom video modes newer windows OSes can store (120 vs 200) which means you won't be able to get all the needed custom modes

Right now, I have a feeling that those striving for 100% video accuracy are better off with Linux since it doesn't have to store video modes as it creates them on the fly and isn't restricted to AMD cards.

Calamity

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2019, 08:01:27 am »
Actually I think it would be very helpful to recommend a card that can operate at true low pclock without having to stereorize the horizontal widths to astronomical dimensions consuming CPU resources for nothing. For instance, all we need is a true 320x240 image not some 2560x240 airfield.

Hi maiki, we've been missing you.

As I said above, all Radeons from the last generation that still supported analog outputs (R5, R7, R9), are known to supports true low dotclocks through analog.

Super resolutions are used in those cases just for convenience and are not strictly necessary. CPU resources are irrelevant for this, all scaling is done by the GPU and only vram is used.
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

Calamity

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 08:11:52 am »
Right now, I have a feeling that those striving for 100% video accuracy are better off with Linux since it doesn't have to store video modes as it creates them on the fly and isn't restricted to AMD cards.

Linux has been ahead of Windows in video flexibility (hackability) for the last decade. It's all the other things which are not on par with Windows.

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

Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 11:48:11 am »
*writes down reminder to ignore Zebra's questions/threads in the future*

Apologies, I missed your response. I'm not familiar with those cards. I'll take a look.

Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2019, 11:54:51 am »
Actually I think it would be very helpful to recommend a card that can operate at true low pclock without having to stereorize the horizontal widths to astronomical dimensions consuming CPU resources for nothing. For instance, all we need is a true 320x240 image not some 2560x240 airfield.

Hi maiki, we've been missing you.

As I said above, all Radeons from the last generation that still supported analog outputs (R5, R7, R9), are known to supports true low dotclocks through analog.

Super resolutions are used in those cases just for convenience and are not strictly necessary. CPU resources are irrelevant for this, all scaling is done by the GPU and only vram is used.

Super resolutions have given me no issues on 99% of what I play. I just need to be able to add non-super resolutions for the small number of games where they don't work for me. E.g. Model 2 games and vertical games played in horizontal EGA mode.

On everything else, I can not see any difference in output on screen between native and super resolutions as long as the vertical res is right, which it always is in GM.

Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2019, 12:05:41 pm »
I just ordered an R9 290x off eBay for $45. It's the 4gb version as the 8gb seem to attract a major premium price.

It looks like it has two DVI-I outputs which is good as I want it to drive one horizontal and one vertical monitor.

I'm ok with it's size and power requirements as I use my old gaming PC tower which has a 1050w PSU and enough room for a card that long.


schmerzkaufen

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2019, 12:20:26 pm »
*writes down reminder to ignore Zebra's questions/threads in the future*

Apologies, I missed your response. I'm not familiar with those cards. I'll take a look.
Haha lol I thought I got snubbed, no problem. Anyway the R9 290 and 380 along with their X variants are the most powerful to still feature analogue-out, about twice the overall power of an R7 360 for instance.
But maybe they're overkill for what you want, I don't know for sure, especially when it comes to Naomi emulation which I've never tried myself, if it's so heavy maybe the R9's are even not enough...
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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2019, 12:58:55 pm »
It looks like it has two DVI-I outputs which is good as I want it to drive one horizontal and one vertical monitor.

Only one of those DVIs will be analog, sorry. There are no 2-analog-head AMD cards since the the 5000 series. You still run 2 analog monitors by using one of the digital outputs (e.g. HDMI->VGA).
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

pacboy

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2019, 01:07:48 pm »
I looked at a bunch of the 290 & 290x cards on ebay and if you look at the pics and read the card manufacturer specs on their websites they all have dvi-d.  There are some that have what look like dvi-i ports but if you read the specs they say they're dvi-d.
As far as I can tell the last cards with dvi-i are the 380xs.

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2019, 01:11:31 pm »
Yeah be extra careful with that, I've seen 290 with DVI-I but its not uncommon that the pictures are wrong. good reflexes reading the specs of the exact model you're buying.

(honestly I've been had once, the metal plate stated DVI-I but it was D)
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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2019, 01:21:17 pm »
For reference I'm running a 7700K at the base 4.2 ghz with 16 gb ram, and using a 380 and I can run everything I've tried in mame, model2, supermodel, pcsx2, demul and dolphin at full speed.
The only slowdown I've experienced is when trying to use frame delay which I don't even bother with because the latest gm builds use d3d9ex.

This is using super resolutions with W10 and driving a billabs bl25c90t.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 01:42:04 pm by pacboy »

Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2019, 02:39:46 pm »
Do AMD use DVI-I ports for outputs that are DVI-D only? I have been working on the assumption that you can tell by looking at the ports:



Hopefully one of the DVI ports on the card I bought will be DVI-I.

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2019, 02:47:56 pm »
*writes down reminder to ignore Zebra's questions/threads in the future*

Apologies, I missed your response. I'm not familiar with those cards. I'll take a look.
Haha lol I thought I got snubbed, no problem. Anyway the R9 290 and 380 along with their X variants are the most powerful to still feature analogue-out, about twice the overall power of an R7 360 for instance.
But maybe they're overkill for what you want, I don't know for sure, especially when it comes to Naomi emulation which I've never tried myself, if it's so heavy maybe the R9's are even not enough...

I'm OK with a little overkill. It seems like a lot of the later console emulators could benefit from the extra juice. I don't know yet what Teknoparrot needs to run well but I can imagine that those games might also benefit from a better GPU.

Naomi games work (just) on my workstation laptop which has a Quadro K5000 and a decent I7 cpu. It's hard to judge much from that though because the Quadro cards are not really optimized for gaming.

I'll report back on the findings when all the cards arrive.


jimmyj1979

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2019, 06:17:34 am »
One more thing to consider:

When I went from an old radeon to an HD5450 I noticed a *huge* improvement in image quality: the DAC on the newer cards completely blow away the older ones.

Colours were more vivid and, in general, the image was like "more in focus", more detailed, it was really a night and day change.

Personally, if I were to get a new card, I'd go for the newest low power/low profile with a VGA output (don't know which one that would be)


WHich card did you go to that you saw a big improvement in sharpness, colour and quality?

Zebra

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2019, 01:49:19 pm »
For reference I'm running a 7700K at the base 4.2 ghz with 16 gb ram, and using a 380 and I can run everything I've tried in mame, model2, supermodel, pcsx2, demul and dolphin at full speed.
The only slowdown I've experienced is when trying to use frame delay which I don't even bother with because the latest gm builds use d3d9ex.

This is using super resolutions with W10 and driving a billabs bl25c90t.

Your set up is a good few years newer than mine. My I7 3930k was great when I bought it but it's getting a little dated now. It still puts out 4.2ghz with 6 cores though so once I get a semi decent card in there I am hoping it will give me no more issues. It used to be my main gaming rig with three GTX 680's (when they were new).

Btw, I also use a Billabs 25" (24.8" with 23" visible) flat CRT tri-sync. It's my favorite monitor. I have a 29" Makvision tri-sync, a Wells Gardner K7000 and an Ikegami TM20-90rh but it's the Billabs I go to as my every day monitor. I love it. It has just the right balance between sharpness, authenticity, ease of use and quality imo. It's the best mame monitor I have come across to date. How do you like yours?


pacboy

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Re: Best GPU for crt emu with analog out and no dot clock minimums?
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2019, 02:33:07 pm »
I'm really happy with mine.  I sent you a PM to see if we can discuss some issues with it that are not really in the scope of this thread.

Thanks