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Old 04-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
shortylickens
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Default Looking to improve emulator performance.

My PS2 slim died and frankly wasnt that hot when it was new. Didnt run most games as well as I had hoped, especially PS1 titles such as Symphony of the Night.
Got some decent emulators and noticed my PS2 performance isnt as awesome as I'd like.
Currently have an i3 530 on an 1156 motherboard. Need to ramp up clock speeds but overclocking an i3 doesnt get me much.

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i7-870-P...dp/B002KQ5KEI/

Is it worth 330 bucks to have the very best 1156 processor, or is now a good time to switch platforms? Please bear in mind I am quite happy with the frame rates of all my Windows titles like Crysis 1 and 2, Skyrim, New Vegas with texture mods, and everything else. My gaming rig doesnt have or need USB 3 or anything fancy. The office computer requires all the goodies. Game system just needs good hardware and software performance (not just emulators but also older games that get more out of a CPU than 3D card).

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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Quad-core is really the way to go for PS2 emulation, but if you have to drop $300 on a new system, might as well go for a new SB/IB CPU and board.

SotN should be able to run on a dual-core, though...what're you using to emulate?
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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PCSX2 only uses up to 2 cores, so upgrading to a quad core at the same clock speed would give you zero improvement. Trust me, its not worth the money. It would perform a little better on SB/IVB but it should actually run at decent speeds with the CPU you have right now.

Ive run PCSX2 on my 2.3ghz i3-2350 laptop and with speedhacks I normally can emulate around 90% ish percent in high action areas with it going up to 100% in light action areas.

Try turning on some of the speedhacks and constant frameskip, that should help significantly. If you've never used PCSX2 then it can take some time to fine tune some of the settings to get it to run properly.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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For the PSX games, you'll really want to get used to multiple emulators. ePSXe can do a lot of them, but you may want more than one install for GPU configs (including software GPU), some games do best with PCSX Reloaded, or pSX. Basically, ePSXe is dead, but ePSXe w/ Pete's Plugins does the best looking 3D (for 2D, meh, use whatever works). Also, I haven't found a PC ODD that can read black games .

Quote:
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SotN should be able to run on a dual-core, though...what're you using to emulate?
I played SotN on an Athlon XP, so even going dual will be a bit much. I think he means the PS2's backwards compatibility wasn't so great.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Also, I haven't found a PC ODD that can read black games
What are black games? Just wondering
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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I imagine he means the underside of the games, which were painted black.

IIRC (which I probably don't), I thought they were just normal CDs? I remember having CD-Rs that also had the bottoms painted/colored black...
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Though I know that most emulators are not multi-threaded (and can't be), does doubling the clock speed not lead to a doubling (or close) of performance? I would think that PCSX2 would benefit greatly from a 4 Ghz+ processor, no?
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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A SVN version of PCSX2 can use 3 cores for CPU emulation (MTVU under speed hacks). If there any games that you need to use the software renderer for that can use mulitple cores.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarchist420 View Post
What are black games? Just wondering
Some game discs were made of black plastic. Even today, PC ODD compatibility is a roll of the dice for them (and I got all 1s, even with stacks of CD and DVD readers). Not painted on, like normal black CDs and CDRs but actually dyed black plastic.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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I get about 50 to 60 fps on GT4 (pcsx2) with an OC of 4Ghz, a few frames more if a go all the way to 4.6Ghz but there are instances were it will go under 60 anyway. I'm using software DX10 setting since my VC seems not to help.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revolution 11 View Post
Though I know that most emulators are not multi-threaded (and can't be), does doubling the clock speed not lead to a doubling (or close) of performance? I would think that PCSX2 would benefit greatly from a 4 Ghz+ processor, no?
Exactly.

OP, you'd be best served with an IB i3 on the cheap, or a 3570k/2500k (and overclock the snot out of it) if you can spend a little more. The i3's ramp up pretty high on turbo and have similar performance per clock to their quad-core brethren.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #12
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Exactly.

OP, you'd be best served with an IB i3 on the cheap, or a 3570k/2500k (and overclock the snot out of it) if you can spend a little more. The i3's ramp up pretty high on turbo and have similar performance per clock to their quad-core brethren.
But can't the 3570K turbo considerably more? Even if the other clocks are wasted, you still get a better core for emulation, yes?

To the OP, since you are happy with a I3 and just need emulation, a IB I3 is fine or maybe a cheap SB I3 if you can find a good deal. I personally am waiting for Haswell since AVX2 and gather support are looking sweet!

I wonder what insane amount of IPC and clockspeed we will need to emulate a PS3/XBox 360.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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1) OC the hell out of it (already covered.)
2) MOAR RAM
3) Run disc images off of SSD.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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An i3 will do the job, I suggest the quad-core for future-proofing of running emulators. The PS2 has three separate processors to emulate, and it'll get exponentially harder should devs choose to emulate the current console generation. Just my 2c.

Quote:
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Some game discs were made of black plastic. Even today, PC ODD compatibility is a roll of the dice for them (and I got all 1s, even with stacks of CD and DVD readers). Not painted on, like normal black CDs and CDRs but actually dyed black plastic.
Either I'm extremely lucky, you're extremely unlucky, or you're doing something wrong. To my knowledge, virtually all PSX discs are black. I've only had three readers in the past decade and have never had an issue either running PSX games from disc or imaging. Even now I just got FF Origins to run from disc on my new ASUS BC-12B1ST drive. Way easier to just image the games though.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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Most emulators, including the PS2 emulator PCSX2, run best on a high clocked Intel dual core. Having more than 2 cores would only benefit if you are rendering the games in software mode, which most people choose not to do because it reduces quality significantly.

OP, try messing around with the emulator settings. Constant frameskip is a particularly useful speedhack that can SIGNIFICANTLY improve emulation speeds without sacrificing quality too much. Also you should look through the speedhacks menu for hacks that are specifically designed for your particular game, as those can also help significantly.

Otherwise you should just try fooling around with different settings until you find one that works. I find it hard to justify upgrading to SB/IVB just to play an emulator a few fps faster, since your current CPU should be able to pull it off just fine. But its up to you OP. Good Luck! I would also recommend reading through or joining the PCSX2 forums for more help with specific games or emulator problems.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #16
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PCSX2 I tried it, workable but not great. lots games don't work on it. For some reason ps2 not an easy emu for pc. maybe you can grab a used ps2 on ebay?
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGemini View Post
Either I'm extremely lucky, you're extremely unlucky, or you're doing something wrong. To my knowledge, virtually all PSX discs are black. I've only had three readers in the past decade and have never had an issue either running PSX games from disc or imaging. Even now I just got FF Origins to run from disc on my new ASUS BC-12B1ST drive. Way easier to just image the games though.
Probably just unlucky, then. I've generally used Alcohol 52%. Hard drives are too cheap, and discs are too fragile. Whatever I had until '03-04' worked fine w/ black ones, and nothing since has, including pulls for upgrades of other computers.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Probably just unlucky, then. I've generally used Alcohol 52%. Hard drives are too cheap, and discs are too fragile. Whatever I had until '03-04' worked fine w/ black ones, and nothing since has, including pulls for upgrades of other computers.
Use ISO Producer instead. Might need an additional VB Runtime installed to use on Win7.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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My PS1 emulator works great. The complaint was about PS1 games on my PS2 slim.

PS2 emulation is my problem now. And I know I need faster single cores rather than slower multi cores. But since I use the same system for Windows games it makes sense to have the best of both worlds.
My SSD is small and only holds the OS, swap file, and one small game (BG2, just for fun). An SSD wouldnt help much with choppy frame rates, I need more processing power and possibly RAM. I dont need to rip my discs, they load fast enough. My issue is frame rates in game, especially big boss battles and such (DQ8, FFX-2, Grandia 3). I've played around a lot with the speed hack settings and cant seem to get consistent frame rates without making everything look horrid.

Looks like the advice I wanted has already been posted. Time to move up a platform so I can get decent overclocking for a reasonable price.

Yes, it would be cheaper to find a used PS2 but I need to upgrade anyway so may as well get all the benefits at once.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortylickens View Post
Yes, it would be cheaper to find a used PS2 but I need to upgrade anyway so may as well get all the benefits at once.
And you can say you built your own PS2
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #21
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BUMP!


Finally went ahead and got an i7 870.
Despite the clock speed being the same and PSX not being able to take advantage of more than two CPU's, I somehow got much better performance. None of my other games showed any improvement, not even Crysis which supposedly can utilize 4 cores.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:05 PM   #22
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With your new CPU, is the emulator performance:

A. Improved yet insufficient?
B. Improved and sufficient?

If it is insufficient/sufficient, why is this? What parameters are you using for this decision?

I ask this because I have an ancient CPU and emulator performance is a task I will be using intensively for Haswell. Want to get a sense on if semi-modern CPUs are up to the task.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:17 PM   #23
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^^Haswell should work just fine. My C2Q setup doesn't have any significant issues in PS2 processing, and Haswell has even more stuff at its disposal like AVX (even though it's only enabled in software mode for PCSX2 last I checked).
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:03 PM   #24
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Grab a SVN build and enable MTVU under speedhacks to use a 3rd core for CPU emulation.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:57 AM   #25
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I would just buy a PS2 from ebay and be done with it.
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