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kevtris

FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

667 members have voted

  1. 1. I would pay....

  2. 2. I Would Like Support for...

  3. 3. Games Should Run From...

    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
    • Original Cartridges
    • Hopes and Dreams
  4. 4. The Video Inteface Should be...



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An update, for any high tech people who care but I got an email from Analogue last night from their engineers confirming that the SD card slot on their machines can only read up to 2MB/s.

 

That's a little disappointing for speed but it is what it is.  So I guess I can stop shopping around for any U3 SD cards.

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My most wanted feature from the Super NT (and I don't know why they haven't done it) is the ability to make the Super Gameboy fill the screen, similar to how the Mega SG allows the Game Gear to scale to 7X.  I would like to be able to set the boarder to black and expand the game window.  

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I'm surprised Kevtris hasn't done that. It seems trivial to let us save two different video profiles and make them easily selectable at the main dashboard screen.

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I’m surprised with the slow down I’ve experienced while playing NES on the noir from the SD card. Specifically in Metroid when theirs more than 3 enemies on screen at once and in Super Mario Bros 3 I noticed it in a few levels.

 

I need to get some original carts and see if the slow down happens as well in those games. I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme pro SD card rated for 95MB/s.

 

 

My rom files are from the no intro rom sets on Archive.org. I’m using the [headered_iNES2.0_NRS(2020-09-27)] roms.

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11 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I’m surprised with the slow down I’ve experienced while playing NES on the noir from the SD card. Specifically in Metroid when theirs more than 3 enemies on screen at once and in Super Mario Bros 3 I noticed it in a few levels.

 

I need to get some original carts and see if the slow down happens as well in those games. I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme pro SD card rated for 95MB/s.

 

 

My rom files are from the no intro rom sets on Archive.org. I’m using the [headered_iNES2.0_NRS(2020-09-27)] roms.

Running games from SD slot can't impact a game's slowdown.

That's just imposible, it makes absolutely zero sense.

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Running games from SD slot can't impact a game's slowdown. That's just imposible, it makes absolutely zero sense.    

 

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.  I’m not sure how fast the data was transferred on an original NES through the 72pin connector but it can’t be faster than 2 MB/s.

 

I’ll go through Super Mario 3 again soon and pinpoint the spots where the slow down is occurring. It was very noticeable to me and a friend that I had over playing.

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7 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  

I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.

 

For early systems like the NES, it’s simpler to load the whole thing into the FPGA’s memory and access it directly. So yes, the SD card shouldn’t even be a factor once things get going, since the ROM file has already been fully loaded. Emulators would do the same, and the Mister uses a larger developer FPGA board, which should have even more memory onboard. 

 

That said, NES games did have slowdown issues on real hardware, including some Nintendo titles like Kirby’s Adventure. Bubble Bobble is another notorious one which I was a fan of but find it hard to play today vs the arcade ROM. Since I spend most of my time in the SNES catalog, I don’t really remember much about if SMB3 was one of those titles with slowdown issues or not. It would definitely be worth comparing to real carts though.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  

I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.

 

From what I've tested for a good three months on a friend's Mister setup, systems like NES, Genesis, SNES, TG16, 2600, AO486, don't have any slow down that wasn't present in the original system. NES and Genesis especially were known for slow downs with too many enemies on the screen. NES SMB3 on 1-2 where ones does the gumba 1-up trick. On a real NES (which I tested on my original on a CRT tv) it gets bogged down after several gumbas have spawned in from the pipe and the Mister matches this behavior exactly with default options.

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While SD read speeds aren't behind it, could it theoretically could point to inaccuracies with the jailbreak's MMC1 implementation (Metroid) and MMC3 implementation (SMB3)? 

 

So testing with a real cartridge isn't necessarily a bad idea perhaps, although I'm quite confident that adamchevy will find that they behave similarly. Slowdown in both games do happen on original hardware such as when a lot of enemies are on the screen at once in Metroid, so there's no surprise there. 

 

Many of the games that utilized these two mapper chips top the NES popularity lists, so I'm sure they're represented here reasonably well and unlikely to contribute to noticeable inaccuracies with game performance.

Edited by Atariboy
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I would seriously doubt the SD card or Mister is causing slowdown in those games.  Most NES games slow down with multiple sprites on screen, and Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 3 are no exception.  I know for a fact that Metroid on original hardware with an original disk (FDS) slows down whenever there are more than a few enemies on the screen at once, and both games slow down regularly in both emulation and on real hardware with an Everdrive.  The SD card cannot possibly have anything to do with it.

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11 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.  I’m not sure how fast the data was transferred on an original NES through the 72pin connector but it can’t be faster than 2 MB/s.

 

I’ll go through Super Mario 3 again soon and pinpoint the spots where the slow down is occurring. It was very noticeable to me and a friend that I had over playing.

Like other folks have said, sometimes folks forget the original NES often had trouble with flicker and slow down in even super popular AAA titles.

Some emulators and fpga implementations allow you to "overclock" the emulators CPU and remove sprite limitations to reduce or even eliminate that slowdown. But that's not technically true to the real consoles behavior from back in the day.

 

The NT's are generally defaulted to playing at the standard speeds, timing, and sprite limitations (though you can tweak some of that in the advanced options).

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I can't speak to Metroid but SMB3 is probably my most played nes game. That game absolutely has plenty of slowdown, not nearly as much as Kirby but it's still there throughout.


Just finished an every level playthrough on NT Mini a couple months ago and it felt pretty close to what I remember on NES.

 

Go have a look at speed runners playing the game, they will throw bob-ombs off screen during the world 8 autoscroll levels, just so they don't explode and lag the game.

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I bought Akumajou Densetsu recently and I forgot that you have to manually enable/disable the cartridge audio in the Nt mini Noir's menu, so I thought my cart was broken for a few seconds. I checked the Super Nt's menu and I think it's the same, but I already forgot. I wonder if it would be possible for these 2 to get an automatic cartridge audio option like the Mega Sg. I have absolutely no idea if this is possible, but it's there on the Mega Sg, so would be nice if it is possible and got implemented.

 

Speaking of audio, between the Famicom Everdrive Pro and the Noir, which one has better/more accurate cartridge/FDS audio? I don't have a real Famicom or FDS to compare with, so I'm not sure what the difference between all of this stuff is.

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That's another reason a Super Game Boy mode would be great to see on the Super Nt.

 

I believe the recommendation with the Super Nt is to leave cartridge audio disabled for the optimum audio experience when it's not needed. An easy way to switch to settings tailored for the Super Game Boy with the press of a button would let us easily enable and disable that as needed, along with more optimum video settings for the SGB (Since other than for MSU-1 hacks, I don't believe there's any other reason to enable external cartridge audio).

Edited by Atariboy
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On 3/15/2021 at 11:11 AM, adamchevy said:

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.  I’m not sure how fast the data was transferred on an original NES through the 72pin connector but it can’t be faster than 2 MB/s.

 

I’ll go through Super Mario 3 again soon and pinpoint the spots where the slow down is occurring. It was very noticeable to me and a friend that I had over playing.

I don't believe he was being sarcastic, but rather saying SD card speed shouldn't affect NES core speed (as its fully loaded before the game starts).

 

What could be the issue is the core has an inaccuracy that leads to slowdown in that spot. Please compare to real game and report back.

 

The FPGA should be powerful enough that IF the core is accurate, it would not slow down while running NES. So, slow down could be 1. Core inaccuracy, or 2. Exists on the real game and hardware. Potentially 3. Something else we are not considering, such as a damaged FPGA chip, power supply problems, etc. Possible, but not likely. 

 

My vote is on #1 or #2 above.

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On 3/14/2021 at 11:02 PM, adamchevy said:

I’m surprised with the slow down I’ve experienced while playing NES on the noir from the SD card. Specifically in Metroid when theirs more than 3 enemies on screen at once and in Super Mario Bros 3 I noticed it in a few levels.

 

I need to get some original carts and see if the slow down happens as well in those games. I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme pro SD card rated for 95MB/s.

 

 

My rom files are from the no intro rom sets on Archive.org. I’m using the [headered_iNES2.0_NRS(2020-09-27)] roms.

I don't currently have mine hooked up but I seem to recall a setting you can enable that will help reduce the flicker caused when too many enemies appear on screen.  It was under System>number of sprites or something.  I am not sure if this only helps with the visual flickering or if it helps with slow down as well.  Might be worth trying.

Edited by Toth
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On 3/15/2021 at 5:11 PM, adamchevy said:

I get your sarcasm but I am surprised nonetheless given the fact that this is FPGA and not a pc running an emulator. Where it loads the binary data from shouldn’t be impacted like this I would think.  I wonder if the Mister has this problem on occasion. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it does the same thing.  I’m not sure how fast the data was transferred on an original NES through the 72pin connector but it can’t be faster than 2 MB/s.

 

I’ll go through Super Mario 3 again soon and pinpoint the spots where the slow down is occurring. It was very noticeable to me and a friend that I had over playing.

It was NOT sarcasm, but a fact: an FPGA implementation that is half-accurate won't show video slowdown in situations where real HW wouldn't. It just makes no sense.

In such implementations, you may see games just break, but internal design timings affecting gameplay would be very rare.

This is not emulation, where CPU / memory bandwidth can be depleted during some frames causing host-level slowdowns...

 

My guess is that you never played Metroid or Super Mario Bros. 3 on the original hardware: anyone who did, remembers those games had major slowdowns when several sprites are on screen at once.

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On 3/15/2021 at 12:02 AM, adamchevy said:

I’m surprised with the slow down I’ve experienced while playing NES on the noir from the SD card. Specifically in Metroid when theirs more than 3 enemies on screen at once and in Super Mario Bros 3 I noticed it in a few levels.

 

I need to get some original carts and see if the slow down happens as well in those games. I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme pro SD card rated for 95MB/s.

 

 

My rom files are from the no intro rom sets on Archive.org. I’m using the [headered_iNES2.0_NRS(2020-09-27)] roms.

Slowdown happens in original hardware.  It's normal and accurate behavior.

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It was NOT sarcasm, but a fact: an FPGA implementation that is half-accurate won't show video slowdown in situations where real HW wouldn't. It just makes no sense. In such implementations, you may see games just break, but internal design timings affecting gameplay would be very rare. This is not emulation, where CPU / memory bandwidth can be depleted during some frames causing host-level slowdowns...

 

My guess is that you never played Metroid or Super Mario Bros. 3 on the original hardware: anyone who did, remembers those games had major slowdowns when several sprites are on screen at once.

 

 

 Well you’d be wrong. I had an original NES in 1987. I owned Metroid and Super Mario Bros 3 on nes. Stating that I would have perfect memory of such things is asinine. I was only 6 years old at the time. I did play the nes quite a bit until I received a Turbo Grafx 16 for Christmas in 1989. But I was still only 8 years old.

 

I played the nes from time to time in the early 90s until the Super Nintendo came out. After that I didn’t touch an nes until emulation became available, and then very rarely.

 

 After reading all the responses on here I would say that the slowdowns were normal and I have nothing to worry about. Glad to know the Fpga is doing it’s job.

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On 3/14/2021 at 9:02 PM, adamchevy said:

I’m surprised with the slow down I’ve experienced while playing NES on the noir from the SD card. Specifically in Metroid when theirs more than 3 enemies on screen at once and in Super Mario Bros 3 I noticed it in a few levels.

 

I need to get some original carts and see if the slow down happens as well in those games. I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme pro SD card rated for 95MB/s.

 

 

My rom files are from the no intro rom sets on Archive.org. I’m using the [headered_iNES2.0_NRS(2020-09-27)] roms.

Roms are loaded into ram, so there would be no slow down compared to using an actual cartridge.   The only time the SD Card is touched while gaming is when you make a save.

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14 hours ago, SegaSnatcher said:

Roms are loaded into ram, so there would be no slow down compared to using an actual cartridge.   The only time the SD Card is touched while gaming is when you make a save.

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I’m not sure where the thank you thread is for Kevtris but he needs one. The Analogue Nt Mini Noir is the most beautiful piece of kit that I have ever owned. I could go on and on about how much I love the noir, and wax poetic probably. You have my sincere gratitude Kevtris! Great job!

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36 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

I’m not sure where the thank you thread is for Kevtris but he needs one. The Analogue Nt Mini Noir is the most beautiful piece of kit that I have ever owned. I could go on and on about how much I love the noir, and wax poetic probably. You have my sincere gratitude Kevtris! Great job!

Yeah, the NT Mini is probably my favorite game system *ever.*  I've said it before, and I'm going to keep saying it, because it's such a game-changer for me.  It takes a lot of the systems that for me had bad results:trouble ratios (aka 'juice worth the squeeze' test) and put their full libraries into my hands at a quality I never dreamed of.  I've never even really played my Watara Supervision.  It's too hard to see what's going on--but not when you blow it up in 1080p.  This still blows my mind years later. 

 

Here's hoping the pocket takes that concept to 11--and I am kind of suspecting that it will.

Edited by Reaperman
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Yeah, the NT Mini is probably my favorite game system *ever.*  I've said it before, and I'm going to keep saying it, because it's such a game-changer for me.  It takes a lot of the systems that for me had bad results:trouble ratios (aka 'juice worth the squeeze' test) and put their full libraries into my hands at a quality I never dreamed of.  I've never even really played my Watara Supervision.  It's too hard to see what's going on--but not when you blow it up in 1080p.  This still blows my mind years later.   

Here's hoping the pocket takes that concept to 11--and I am kind of suspecting that it will.

 

 

I agree with favorite game system ever. I guess I’ll get a bit sappy for a minute. As a Machinist I immediately recognized the time and cost it would take to Prototype and design the lovely anodized case the Noir is housed in. I know it’s just like the mini but the craftsmanship and attention to detail including the added chamfers on the bottom of the case are really impressive. That case had to cost atleast $80 to $100 to Machine if not more. I suspect they made them on a Horizontal Mill with a pallet changer to keep the cost down.

 

Then theirs the electronics and their functionality. The jailbreak adds such an immense amount of value. It’s staggering to calculate each system with an rgb or hdmi mod. It looks simply amazing on every monitor I’ve played it on: CRT, Plasma, 144hz LCD, Oled. It really is a reference level Video and sound reproduction of each core it includes.

 

I’ll get poetic in a future post.

 

 

I purchased an additional RGB output plasma TV just to hook this up with RGB via BNC connectors. It hasn’t arrived yet. Hopefully it arrives without getting broken this time.

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I must be doing something wrong lol.

 

Trying to use my Super NT, hdmi out obviously, to a portta hdmi to component box.  Then component out from portta to the GBS-C AIO > VGA/BNC to BVM-D20F1U.  Can't get it to work lol. Works properly going from Super NT to Analgoue DAC to bvm.

 

Any suggestions?  Settings are working for Nintendo Switch to portta > portta to GBS > BVM via vga/bnc.

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