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CARTRIDGE STEALER

my MAME cab running slow on some games

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as some many now, I had purchased a mame cab from a local guy who was selling his house and didnt want it anymore. it has about 600 games, from 1977 to about 1983. it has the basic games, asteroids, pac man, donkey kong, mr do. it also has gauntlet 1 and 2, but seems to be running at half its speed. Now, my question is can I give it more ram by swapping out the old ram? the board is from 1998 I think. also, how hard would it be to add more games? its missing games like mario bros and I would like to get it on there. thanks!

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More RAM probably won't help much. The processor speed is key for MAME games. If you don't want to swap out the main computer, you can squeeze out some extra performance by using earlier MAME builds. .36 runs most of the classics at full speed, for example. On my 500Mhz setup, I use .36 for most games, .54 to play games that weren't yet included in .36 and .102 to play a very few games that weren't included in .54. As you can get a 2.8Ghz machine for $100 now (see TigerDirect if you need one) it might be more effective to just replace the current computer.

 

Adding games is easy, IF you can find the right ROM. You just add the zip file to the roms directory. The trouble comes because the MAME team is constantly changing the damn ROMS, so that a ROM that worked just fine in .36 won't work in .54. (Standard disclaimer: Downloading ROMS is generally illegal.)

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You can set the frameskip higher too. Gameplay might be a little choppier but will give the illusion of being full speed.

 

thanks!! Ill give frameskip a try. I also do as sdaman suggesteed but I will wait for scream and fly to come over and do that. it seems too complicated for me to even attempt it.

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ok, I located it and sped up the frame (f10) and got it at the disirable speed. my question is that how do I save it at that speed now? I dont see a "save" button. it resets itself everytime and I cant always plug in my keyboard everytime I wasnt to play gauntlet 1 & 2.

Edited by CARTRIDGE STEALER

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Well, wait now... are you saying that it did run faster before, but now it doesn't? Or are you saying that it's always run as slow as it does now? Maybe you don't know, if it was this way when you got it. It may not be MAME, it could be the OS. It's a Windows box, right? Are you sure all your drivers are good, there's no other driver or Windows issues going on, Windows just getting all crufty like it does sometimes for no apparent reason... something like that? I'm sure not going to try to diagnose another Windows machine over the internet, but if you have any idea about Windows at all, you should look into that before resorting to reducing your frame rate. Make sure the machine is working right, THEN mess with MAME if necessary.

 

The games you name should run at full speed no problem on even an old Pentium II, and some of them even on a Pentium. That's why I'm suspicious that there's something wrong with Windows itself.

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Well, wait now... are you saying that it did run faster before, but now it doesn't? Or are you saying that it's always run as slow as it does now? Maybe you don't know, if it was this way when you got it. It may not be MAME, it could be the OS. It's a Windows box, right? Are you sure all your drivers are good, there's no other driver or Windows issues going on, Windows just getting all crufty like it does sometimes for no apparent reason... something like that? I'm sure not going to try to diagnose another Windows machine over the internet, but if you have any idea about Windows at all, you should look into that before resorting to reducing your frame rate. Make sure the machine is working right, THEN mess with MAME if necessary.

 

The games you name should run at full speed no problem on even an old Pentium II, and some of them even on a Pentium. That's why I'm suspicious that there's something wrong with Windows itself.

 

 

its in cab that I bought a couple of years ago from a guy that was local. he was selling his house and wanted to sell it. its an old computer inside, circa 97.

 

it has 600 games, from 1977 to 1984. the only newest ones are gauntlet 1 and 2. I could never play them well because they seemed to operate at half speed. the problem always existed, only with gauntlet 1 &2. I was able to speed it up with the skip frame option (F10) but when I close it out and open it again, it goes back to its default settings (i guess) and it is at half speed again, until I plug in the keyboard and f10 it again and correct its speed. is there a way of "saving" it?

 

I cant seem to access the "default game options" menu. i think its because its an older version and it doesnt have it.

 

scream and fly looked at it and i think he said it was a pentium 1. I thought it was running slow because it was a more complicated game for its age. All the other games seem to work perfect on it.

Edited by CARTRIDGE STEALER

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Well, wait now... are you saying that it did run faster before, but now it doesn't? Or are you saying that it's always run as slow as it does now? Maybe you don't know, if it was this way when you got it. It may not be MAME, it could be the OS. It's a Windows box, right? Are you sure all your drivers are good, there's no other driver or Windows issues going on, Windows just getting all crufty like it does sometimes for no apparent reason... something like that? I'm sure not going to try to diagnose another Windows machine over the internet, but if you have any idea about Windows at all, you should look into that before resorting to reducing your frame rate. Make sure the machine is working right, THEN mess with MAME if necessary.

 

The games you name should run at full speed no problem on even an old Pentium II, and some of them even on a Pentium. That's why I'm suspicious that there's something wrong with Windows itself.

 

 

its in cab that I bought a couple of years ago from a guy that was local. he was selling his house and wanted to sell it. its an old computer inside, circa 97.

 

it has 600 games, from 1977 to 1984. the only newest ones are gauntlet 1 and 2. I could never play them well because they seemed to operate at half speed. the problem always existed, only with gauntlet 1 &2. I was able to speed it up with the skip frame option (F10) but when I close it out and open it again, it goes back to its default settings (i guess) and it is at half speed again, until I plug in the keyboard and f10 it again and correct its speed. is there a way of "saving" it?

 

I cant seem to access the "default game options" menu. i think its because its an older version and it doesnt have it.

 

scream and fly looked at it and i think he said it was a pentium 1. I thought it was running slow because it was a more complicated game for its age. All the other games seem to work perfect on it.

 

I can't answer your specific questions, sorry. Probably someone else can, or better yet, try on the MAME forums. Look to see if you can find the answer first, and if not, then ask the question about saving the setting there.

 

If it's a P1, then maybe it's just due to it being old. If it were mine, I'd still re-install Windows and super optimize the thing just to make sure. If you're happy with the games it plays, then you're fine anyway... but if you want it to play newer games, pick up an old PII somewhere cheap and swap it out. A PII will play a huge chunk of the MAME games just fine. I'll bet if you are patient on CraigsList, you could pick up a complete working PII for $10. It's about all they're worth now. It'd be worth that to be able to use the thing for more games.

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For what it's worth, as MAME evolves, it requires (usually) faster and faster machines to keep the games running 100%. They focus on getting the emulation perfect rather than the performance / playability, which is the official goal of the project (they fact that you can actually play the games is a really nice side effect of their goal to preserve the games).

 

I was running .060-something on my P3 800Mhz machine and most older games ran great. Then I upgraded to the latest (at the time), .120-something, and even older games would struggle to run. I knew it wasn't the computer, as it was dedicated to emulators and the old MAME still ran at full speed. Donkey Kong is a prime example. Turns out, they changed the way the audio is emulated and while the new version is more accurate, it's also slower. I had to change the audio playback frequency option to get it playable again, but with lower-quality audio.

 

Some more details:

http://mamedev.org/devwiki/index.php/FAQ:Performance

 

Edit: of course this doesn't apply to the OP's problem, just throwing it out there in case anyone else runs into the same problems I did.

Edited by monzamess

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For what it's worth, as MAME evolves, it requires (usually) faster and faster machines to keep the games running 100%. They focus on getting the emulation perfect rather than the performance / playability, which is the official goal of the project (they fact that you can actually play the games is a really nice side effect of their goal to preserve the games).

 

I was running .060-something on my P3 800Mhz machine and most older games ran great. Then I upgraded to the latest (at the time), .120-something, and even older games would struggle to run. I knew it wasn't the computer, as it was dedicated to emulators and the old MAME still ran at full speed. Donkey Kong is a prime example. Turns out, they changed the way the audio is emulated and while the new version is more accurate, it's also slower. I had to change the audio playback frequency option to get it playable again, but with lower-quality audio.

 

Some more details:

http://mamedev.org/devwiki/index.php/FAQ:Performance

 

Edit: of course this doesn't apply to the OP's problem, just throwing it out there in case anyone else runs into the same problems I did.

 

Huh, okay, that's interesting. Didn't realize that, but it makes sense. Maybe the OP can get an older version, could help some with the older games. I never really updated the MAME on my P2 box since it ran everything I wanted it to.

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the board is old but still operated well. scream and fly suggested swapping it out for a pentium 2. I have one a few feet away from the cab that Im willing to sacrifice, but it seems like an intense job. how easy is it to add roms to the existing P1? is it complicated?

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I have been running MAME on my Custom cabinet for years now. The advice you were given early on in this thread to use an older version of MAME on your old computer is very good advice. You may also want to try to run WinKawaks for the NeoGeo /CP1 & CP2 games.

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the board is old but still operated well. scream and fly suggested swapping it out for a pentium 2. I have one a few feet away from the cab that Im willing to sacrifice, but it seems like an intense job. how easy is it to add roms to the existing P1? is it complicated?

 

 

sorry I could not edit my previous post.

 

This question of yours as with some of your others shows that you are not too familiar with how MAME actually works... this is not a criticism by the way, just an observation.

 

I suggest that you do some reading and studying with some of the general FAQs out there. The ROMS in any emulator are kept with the software emulators on your hard drive. they have nothing at all to do with what speed processor or motherboard you have so if you swap your mobo out and keep the hard drive, there is no need to "add" anything. the software and roms will still be in the same place they were.

 

You will need to research the specs on the computer you are using and compare them with the specs of the motherboard and/or processor you want to swap with because it may not even be compatible with the rest of your hardware.

 

If I were you I'd just go out and get a used 1 or 2Ghz machine, install a fresh version of XP and copy over the contents of the old hard drive to the new machine and call it a day. You'll spend maybe $100 if that on ebay for a used computer that is newer than the one you're using in the cabinet.

 

But either way, definitely go check out all the general MAME FAQs and study up on it. It is a very rewarding and fun hobby for the entire family.

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the board is old but still operated well. scream and fly suggested swapping it out for a pentium 2. I have one a few feet away from the cab that Im willing to sacrifice, but it seems like an intense job. how easy is it to add roms to the existing P1? is it complicated?

 

 

sorry I could not edit my previous post.

 

This question of yours as with some of your others shows that you are not too familiar with how MAME actually works... this is not a criticism by the way, just an observation.

 

I suggest that you do some reading and studying with some of the general FAQs out there. The ROMS in any emulator are kept with the software emulators on your hard drive. they have nothing at all to do with what speed processor or motherboard you have so if you swap your mobo out and keep the hard drive, there is no need to "add" anything. the software and roms will still be in the same place they were.

 

You will need to research the specs on the computer you are using and compare them with the specs of the motherboard and/or processor you want to swap with because it may not even be compatible with the rest of your hardware.

 

If I were you I'd just go out and get a used 1 or 2Ghz machine, install a fresh version of XP and copy over the contents of the old hard drive to the new machine and call it a day. You'll spend maybe $100 if that on ebay for a used computer that is newer than the one you're using in the cabinet.

 

But either way, definitely go check out all the general MAME FAQs and study up on it. It is a very rewarding and fun hobby for the entire family.

 

 

I dont know alot about mame. what Im doing is by accident or trail and error. the cab has a dedicated computer in it. my problem is that I cannot access the mame meny via the tab button, or any button any longer. Is there I can turn it back to its default? does anyone remember the battery situation I had not too long ago? perhaps if i take out the battery, it will reset it itself?

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I have been running MAME on my Custom cabinet for years now. The advice you were given early on in this thread to use an older version of MAME on your old computer is very good advice. You may also want to try to run WinKawaks for the NeoGeo /CP1 & CP2 games.

 

NeoRageX is probably the fastest Neo Geo emulator for an older PC.

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arcadeOS 2.45

 

is that a mame version?

ArcadeOS is the front-end. Mame proper doesn't have a way to pick which game you're going to run, it just expects that information on the command-line, along with any options. ArcadeOS and other front-ends provide a graphical way to pick the games and add command-line options like frameskipping, etc.

 

If you look for the dos download of ArcadeOS, it has a manual in the zipfile which describes the controls.

 

I don't have ArcadeOS running anywhere now (was years since I ran it) but it looks like what you need to do is navigate to the game and press "player 2" (or 2 on the keyboard) and then choose "game config". Changing the frameskip setting there should make the change permanent.

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thats another problem: i cant seem to get anymore to do those possible functions. I searched and I read I needed to delete default.cfg. but I cannot get into any files in order to access them. I have no idea how to do it.

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The general solution to that is to interrupt the startup, go into the bios settings, navigate the menus to the boot options, and ensure you can boot from something other than the hard drive. Depending on what the bios supports, that may be USB drive/floppy/cdrom.

 

Then stick in a bootable version of whatever OS you are comfortable with, and once it boots you can modify the hard drive. I'd use a Linux distribution, but you could also use FreeDOS if you're comfortable with DOS. (if you use FreeDOS, be sure to choose the LiveCD option from the menu when it comes up, rather than the installer! :P)

Edited by RevEng

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thats the trouble....im a newbie at this. what you just described to me is something I will never be able to do! I was hoping for a function (like press F5 and the right arrow button) to access the area where I need t delete the file or perhaps gain access to the "tab" fuction all together.

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Taking out the battery only resets the bios, so it won't help. The bios is the menu program that runs when you start the computer, initializes the hardware, and boots from the disk. In your case DOS is what boots from disk, which in turn is set to run ArcadeOS.

 

In later versions of DOS you can use F5 or F8 to interrupt autoexec.bat (one of the main boot batch files) providing config.sys hasn't locked them out. Try F5, F8, ctrl-c, and ctrl-break continuously while it's booting. But I'm not holding out much luck.

 

It sounds like they've put ArcadeOS into a mode where you can't access anything of the kind, probably to eliminate the possibility of someone mucking with the controls and messing things up, and ultimately complaining.

 

If DOS on the hard disk is locked, getting into it by booting an alternate OS is likely the only way you're going to remove that config file.

 

[other thought: if you're comfortable pulling the hard drive, you can put it in a USB enclosure and access it on another computer.]

Edited by RevEng

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I'm no expert on ArcadeOS, but I just downloaded it (ver. 2.52) and it looks as though you can press 2 while a game is highlighted and that will bring up a menu where you can modify the game's configuration.

 

Hope this helps.

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