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1983parrothead
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Best Emulation Device

by 1983parrothead Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:31 pm

I've been researching information on buying the best device for running numerous kinds of video games on numerous kinds of platforms, and I think the best is using an Asus 1225B netbook, which uses an AMD E-450 processor (fastest of all netbooks?), while several hardcore gamers believe Asus is the most reliable brand. Even some old Windows games can run well in Windows 7. My decision on buying an Asus netbook was influenced by this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az37fpsgd8c

But if you want me to use an open-source handheld platform or a tablet, then I heard YouTube user qbertaddict1 suggested me to buy either a GCW Zero or both a Nexus 7 and the upcoming GameKlip for tablets, but the number of emulators is small, and I don't know whether I can exchange save states in the Nexus 7 or not.

The desktop is the most powerful, but it's bulky and harder to move around. The Open Pandora is another interesting device, but it's too expensive and probably not powerful enough to run all N64 games smoothly. And qbertaddict1 said that he tested out some affordable devices by JXD and Yinlips, and they have problems like frame-skipping.

I used to use a Toshiba Satellite A215-S7437 laptop from Christmas 2007 until April 27th, 2011, when a deadly tornado storm probably made the keyboard quit responding while killing around 8 or 12 people in a nearby city. Shortly after that, someone asked me if I will take their Dell Inspiron 1525 or not, and I did, and I am still using it, but it sometimes suffers auto-shutdowns when I use too much CPU Usage. And both 15 inch laptops are too hot and bulky for my bed.

I have a USB accessory that has both GCN, PS2 and XBox controller ports. I even have a M3 DS Real, but the DS Lite's battery runs down fast, and my other DS handhelds I have are DSi and 3DS.

Anyway, techguy348 uploaded this video showing the Dolphin emulator run on a custom-built computer (or is it a desktop?). He suggests me to buy a PC with an "intel core i5 in it and a NVIDIA Graphics processor".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx8Lt7mXses

Sounds very expensive. I'm not ready for a desktop, yet, until I move into my own home. I heard a netbook is one of the best for emulating a large number of emulators, up to around 64-bit platforms. I'd like to use emulation in bed for convenience. Some say either a PSP or a modded XBox will work best.

Now what are your suggestions?
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by dunpeal2064 Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:08 pm

I personally enjoy the Wii a lot for emulation. It can't quite handle 64-bit emulation very well yet, aside what is available on the VC, but it is spot-damn-on when it comes to anything SNES and prior, including the recent addition of a 100% working Sega CD emulator. The system also does a really great job of handling PC Engine/Turbographx CD games. Its also a great way to emulate Game Boy/GBA games and play them on a nice big screen, and if you make sure to get a backwards-compatible console, you get Gamecube compatibility (Plus the ability to boot both GC and Wii ISO's from an external device). Oh, and it plays Wii games.

With component cables, you get the best of both worlds. You can bump up those retro games to a smooth 480p (a feature which is also useful when playing Gamecube games on your Wii), which makes them look great on an HDTV. Or, you can hook the Wii up to a nice CRT and get out of the box 240p low res, just the way the games were meant to be played.

If someone is on a budget, and wants the best gaming experience for cheap, I really push the Wii as the best there is. With very little work, you can get SNES/Sega CD games looking so good that even a retro-freak would think you were running actual hardware.

For 64-bit stuff, I go for real hardware, which for the N64 means you just have to actually buy the games you want. Even on the PC, I run across too many problems to be happy with the emulation. For PS1/Saturn, just grab a console, do a quick mod on it, and boot CD-Rs on real hardware. You can do the same with the DC without the need to mod. For a pretty small entry fee, you can play any game up to the ps2, and they all are at least 99% accurate to the original.



Didn't mean to rant up your thread, but I really love being a cheap-ass gamer and still trying to get the best gaming experience possible. :lol:
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by RyaNtheSlayA Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:11 pm

If you want a TV based solution, maybe keep your eye on the Ouya? Since it's open source, I'd imagine emulators will pop up quickly and be pretty well supported.

Wiis are very easy to soft-mod at this point as well, and has enough power to handle anything up to the N64.
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by CRTGAMER Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:33 pm

Most consoles support their share of emulators, but the PC is the best option since most HDTVs have a VGA or DVI input.
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by Opa Opa Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:45 pm

CRTGAMER wrote:but the PC is the best option since most HDTVs have a VGA or DVI input.

...and most PC's nowadays have HDMI output, too. A lot of options for a PC emulation setup.
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by dunpeal2064 Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:53 pm

You guys would consider the PC a better option for retro emulation than the Wii?

I have tried comparisons, and I see no improvement when comparing an NES game from the Wii in 480p to a PC via an HDMI out, as I don't think its outputting the games at 1080p. Plus, a PC can't hook up to your basic CRT and output 240p, can it? I know there is an ArcadeVGA card, but going this route would mean your PC always is outputting 240p, whereas the Wii can literally switch modes with the click of a button.

I would love to hear your guys' thoughts, as I'm no pro, but as for pre-N64 emulation, so far I have had the best results on my LED and CRT with the Wii.
1983parrothead
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by 1983parrothead Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:12 pm

I'm not ready to play it on an HDMI-compatible television, because I don't have one in my room, while I'd rather play it on my bed than on television for now. When I move into my own home sometime in a year or two, I probably will play from the television.

I already tested the Wii out in playing MAME and it is as sluggish as crap when loading any game up, while I sometimes have to manually turn it on again to run something else. Later on after I installed the Homebrew Channel, it made my Wii sometimes not fully start up when pressing the power button.

A PC is a good choice for running old Windows games and programs like the Windows version of Raiden II VS. the unfinished MAME version of Raiden II and the space-costing PS1 Raiden Project. Other reasons for me to own a Windows PC is that some emulators and video games require the mouse and/or keyboard like several Japanese home computers. Plus, it is easier to exchange save states through Windows than other OS.

My father is on a tight-budget and can't go $700 nor above at buying a device.
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by ninjainspandex Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:41 pm

I'd definitely go with the wii, you can get one for around $60 and its so simple to hack, the nice thing about wii emulation is its so streamlined and user friendly. I always seem to run into resolution issues on my tv when trying to do PC emulation. They make adapters that let you use original snes, nes and genesis controllers on the wii and most emulators let you acess the menu just by pressing start and select. Of course for ps1 and later I do emulation on the pc.
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by Valkyrie-Favor Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:48 pm

dunpeal2064 wrote:You guys would consider the PC a better option for retro emulation than the Wii?

I have tried comparisons, and I see no improvement when comparing an NES game from the Wii in 480p to a PC via an HDMI out, as I don't think its outputting the games at 1080p. Plus, a PC can't hook up to your basic CRT and output 240p, can it? I know there is an ArcadeVGA card, but going this route would mean your PC always is outputting 240p, whereas the Wii can literally switch modes with the click of a button.

I would love to hear your guys' thoughts, as I'm no pro, but as for pre-N64 emulation, so far I have had the best results on my LED and CRT with the Wii.

Obviously a PC is better. It's more useful all-around, and a powerful one can run PS2, Gamecube and Wii games in HD at full speed. Dreamcast emulation is also an option.

If you only care about retro games, a PC might make more noise than a Wii but it's equal in all other ways. There are more controller options, more emulator options, etc. Of course, a SNES game won't look much different in 480p, 720p or higher. A PC can also read CDs, has hard disk space for ISOs, and is probably better at emulating 5th gen systems and newer.
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Best Emulation Device

by dunpeal2064 Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:04 pm

Can a PC output in 240p though? I always thought you needed something like an ArcadeVGA video card to output in 240p, which basically turns your PC into a low-res machine.

If the PC can simultaneously output 240p and 480p, then I would be quite pleased, but so far it seems to me the Wii is the best option for stuff from the 32-bit era and prior.

I agree 100% that the PC is better at 5th gen and past, but that emulation is also not perfect. Far better than the Wii can manage, but with 32-bit stuff, both systems can emulate the games perfectly. With 64-bit and past, I personally prefer real hardware, as the little imperfections in N64/PS1/Sat games really bother me.

And ISO storage isn't too big of a deal, I just load them from an external HDD.

I'm just curious if it really can match the Wii punch for punch, since I don't know of a way to make a PC output 240p and 480p. It might not be a big deal for some, and those should definitely snag a PC, but to me 240p output is a huge deal, as scanlines are sexy as hell, and the 480p switch lets me play them on the LED looking fantastic (Something the PC could easily handle here.)

I have tried outputting my pc to my Trinitron, and using Soft15 to force it to output 240p, so that I get scanlines, but when comparing it to the Wii side to side, I still preferred the Wii. I think that the ArcadeVGA would look much better, as it would be true low res, but like I said, I am pretty surethe ArcadeVGA can't output in 480p. Not positive on that though.

Also, emulating the GC is not as good as booting ISO's or loading GC games on a Wii, as it has actual GC hardware. But yeah, it definitely can't emulate DC/PS2.



Since I do see that the OP wants to run Mame, then this whole discussion is moot anyways, as using a PC is optimal. I have heard people have good success with running Mame using CoinOps3 on the Xbox though. You'd just need to upgrade the HDD. Oh, and the Xbox can't output in 240p, so your retro stuff will be in 480i/480p (no scanline sexiness :( )
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