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Best Emulation Box

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The lag is present in any of the normal retroarch emulator cores for it, SNES, Genesis, MAME etc.. On the same display: try it up against an original SNES with an OSSC or Framemeister. Try it against a SNES classic mini. Try it against a PC with SNES emulator. You should be able to tell the difference.

Yeah the display for the Rpi3 is stuck contained in a barcade I built, so it's not easy to try other things on it. I've played snes, genny, mame, etc. on it though and they seem ok to me.. which is why I asked for an example that would be most obvious. 'Course I have most consoles (e.g. SNES, Genesis, NES, etc.) hooked up to CRTs so that should be the obvious gold standard for controller response to go between right? :)

Edited by NE146

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Yeah the display for the Rpi3 is stuck contained in a barcade I built, so it's not easy to try other things on it. I've played snes, genny, mame, etc. on it though and they seem ok to me.. which is why I asked for an example that would be most obvious. 'Course I have most consoles (e.g. SNES, Genesis, NES, etc.) hooked up to CRTs so that should be the obvious gold standard for controller response to go between right? :)

 

 

Yeah, original hardware on analog CRTs is the gold standard.

The Pi is just OK. I never said it was horrible, but it definitely isn't at the top of the list for trying to have as little lag as possible. Old console softmods, classic editions, PCs, original hardware all exceed it in the responsiveness department.

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The lag is present in any of the normal retroarch emulator cores for it, SNES, Genesis, MAME etc.. On the same display: try it up against an original SNES with an OSSC or Framemeister. Try it against a SNES classic mini. Try it against a PC with SNES emulator. You should be able to tell the difference.

 

 

And this is all I was saying, but I got to endure ad hominem personal attacks for my trouble (elitist my ass). I actually built the RPi3 getup more than 18 months ago (Thanksgiving 2016, for the record), before I started re-acquiring original hardware in July of last year. I was desperately hoping for "good enough". I wanted—and still want—to believe so very badly. And when it was a sub-optimal experience and I had lived with it a sufficient amount of time, seven months later, I divested myself of the system and started buying original hardware. I was very pleasantly surprised last winter when I got an SNES Classic and found it to be perfectly acceptable.

 

It's not about 1-2 extra frames of lag. It's about crossing a threshold from something you can deal with to something you can't. It was a combination of the image being too far behind my button presses AND the audio being further behind still. It's why I invested in the TV with the absolute lowest lag possible. If someone is happy with a Pi, I won't begrudge them that, but the title of this thread isn't "is a RPi good enough" it's "Best Emulation Box". Without question, the answer is a Windows PC with enough CPU grunt to minimize the lag to the bare minimum. I would hazard a guess to say that's a Core i3 or Core i5 Intel NUC with 8GB of dual-channel RAM when it comes to bang-for-your-buck.

 

To answer NE146's question, the best example is the game with which you are intimately familiar. For me it was both Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Streets of Rage 2, both on the Genesis. For you it might be Super Mario World or Centipede or a whole host of other games. BTW I didn't use RetroPie for more than a month or so...I mostly used Lakka and a wired USB controller (Hori Fight Commander for PS3/PS4). RetroPie is too easily broken by swapping emulators and updating the system software to the latest. Lakka had a single download to update the whole thing, and it went flawlessly every time.

Edited by derFunkenstein

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Also, using a CRT with the Pi to me sounds like buying a slow car and tearing out the soundproofing to try and make it a bit lighter and faster. You're just attempting to cover up with a band aid, instead of correcting the root issue, being you should have got a faster ride to begin with.

Reminds me of my first car. I couldn't afford new shocks or tires. The solution was to let some air out, thus softening the ride, AND increasing the width of the tread. Solved 2 problems with that little-known mechanic's trick!

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The Pi is just OK. I never said it was horrible, but it definitely isn't at the top of the list for trying to have as little lag as possible. Old console softmods, classic editions, PCs, original hardware all exceed it in the responsiveness department.

Mostly good enough for me. Tiny, cheap, versatile, cute. More than I can say for any of us. :-P

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And this is all I was saying, but I got to endure ad hominem personal attacks for my trouble (elitist my ass).

 

Don't sweat it, man :cool: That poster in question did the ole "dump and run" routine. A poster who suggests that a person is somehow a 1%er highfalutin gamer unless they embrace the Pi lifestyle shouldn't be taken seriously. They might earn a guffaw or chortle at most. All a person need to do is simply google "raspberry pi input lag" and see the countless threads around the internet looking for explanations, solutions etc.. This isn't some imaginary thing due to "funny old perception". ( :roll: )

 

Yeah, the SNES classic is a nice piece of kit (at least with the stock emulator). I found it to be essentially identical in terms of lag as playing SNES hardware through the Framemeister on the same display. Perfectly acceptable. That's really good for a cheap emulator console.

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Don't sweat it, man :cool: That poster in question did the ole "dump and run" routine. A poster who suggests that a person is somehow a 1%er highfalutin gamer unless they embrace the Pi lifestyle shouldn't be taken seriously. They might earn a guffaw or chortle at most. All a person need to do is simply google "raspberry pi input lag" and see the countless threads around the internet looking for explanations, solutions etc.. This isn't some imaginary thing due to "funny old perception". ( :roll: )

 

Yeah, there's a reason that this Wiki entry exists in the first place. Everyone is desperate to make it happen, and right on the RPi Wiki it says the hardware isn't fast enough to use the lower-latency settings.

 

That chart which shows the default input latency at 8 frames for default settings in Super Mario World is particularly enlightening. That's more than 1/8 of a second. 133 1/3 milliseconds, to be precise. That's input latency BEFORE adding on whatever the TV does. And even the fastest TVs (like the TCL 2017 models like I have) are adding 15ms at the bare minimum.

 

Here's some other comparisons: https://www.reddit.com/r/miniSNES/comments/7asnby/latency_analysis_of_nes_snes_classics_and_retropie/

 

The Nintendo mini consoles look pretty good there, all things considered. Even better, Nintendo keeps up with a PC running RetroArch in this video:

 

And that's really outstanding, IMO. The costs involved are upwards of an order of magnitude higher on a PC.

Edited by derFunkenstein

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Yeah I can honestly say I haven't seen much lag in my RPi3 setup.. but I haven't exactly looked "closely". As far as a game I'm familiar with, I play Robotron on it constantly, as well as other arcade games and it plays fine enough.

 

While I don't doubt there is some lag... regarding noticeable lag for us regular player / non-speed runner types, I'm imagining pressing a button, and the jump happening a half-second later or something crazy like that. Granted I haven't played much console games on an Rpi3 (since I set it up to be a Barcade) but I simply haven't seen very noticeable lag. I'll take derFunkenstein's suggestion and try out some console action games I'm very familiar with and see how it goes. :)

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If you're happy (and you know it) clap your hands don't let me steal your joy. I wish that it had been for me, because I have more money wrapped up in old video games than I would like. Sometimes I just want to sell all the hardware and build a dedicated emulation PC, but at that point I'm not really gaining much.

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lol there's no joy to steal.. it's purely 100% curiosity. Like many here I'm a near 50 year old dude with absolutely zero shortage of ways to play these games either on original consoles and several other means. It's just trying to find it is all! :) and tbh I think it'd be more of a happy "aha! there it is!" if I happened upon a 2 second delay of some sort :lol:

 

But yeah judging by that video, if it requires slow motion to figure out which frame (among a few) when action happens, that's probably too fast for me to notice. :P

Edited by NE146
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That's RetroArch on a sufficiently-powerful PC, and if the input latency on that is as good as the SNES Classic, then it's definitely fast enough for me. I'm no speed runner, just. dude that has certain timings worked out in his head. If the input latency is high enough, I can't maintain altitude using the cape in Super Mario World. If you're REALLY precise, you can actually gain altitude.

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I have a modded 2TB Xbox, 1TB RP and 1TB Nvdia Shield. However, what works best is a small form factor PC with i5 chip or better and at least 2TB loaded with Hyperspin...largest variety of systems / games plus able to play up to Wii very well.

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I have a modded 2TB Xbox, 1TB RP and 1TB Nvdia Shield. However, what works best is a small form factor PC with i5 chip or better and at least 2TB loaded with Hyperspin...largest variety of systems / games plus able to play up to Wii very well.

Of the first three you mentioned, which is your favourite?

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No emulation solution is ever going to be perfect... I just want to state that for the record. However, I've gotten some mileage out of both my modded Xbox and the Raspberry Pi. The Pi has the advantage of USB ports for a wider range of controllers, Bluetooth for wireless controllers, and a small form factor. The Xbox has slicker interfaces for its own emulators, and swapping the internal hard drive for a larger one means there's plenty of room for tons of emulators and native Xbox games.

 

If 3D gaming is important to you, I'd say Xbox. Those games still look great after fifteen plus years, and the Pi can't hope to compete in that department. If retro is all you want (and you don't want to spend a lot of time with set up), Pi may be the best choice. I'm using Recalbox, though, and for whatever reason it won't run some 2600 games. That wasn't a problem I remember having with the Xbox.

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\ And even the fastest TVs (like the TCL 2017 models like I have) are adding 15ms at the bare minimum.

\

 

Actually, your TV is adding less than that. :) This was explained to me on here not too long ago by someone, I forget who, but I had it mixed up too. The fastest input lag there could ever be on a CRT is 16.68ms or 1 frame, measured at the very bottom scanline. As soon as a button gets pressed to cause the change, the TV starts drawing the frame, and 16.68ms later it's wrapping up on the last scanline.

 

If you were to take the measurement mid screen of that CRT, you'd see an input lag of just of 8ms. (halfway through drawing that frame). LCD HDTVs update top to bottom as well, that's why lag readings for them are posted mid screen. So the fastest a CRT could be mid screen is 8ms, and your TCL is measuring 15 ms. That means your TV isn't adding 15ms, it's adding about 7ms (15ms- 8ms = 7ms). The baseline isn't from 0, it's from 8ms of the CRT.

 

The TCL is only behind by about 1/2 a frame compared to a CRT. :thumbsup:

Edited by keepdreamin
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scobb, on 01 Jul 2018 - 10:05 PM, said:snapback.png

I have a modded 2TB Xbox, 1TB RP and 1TB Nvdia Shield. However, what works best is a small form factor PC with i5 chip or better and at least 2TB loaded with Hyperspin...largest variety of systems / games plus able to play up to Wii very well.

Of the first three you mentioned, which is your favourite?

 

 

Of the 1st three, I'd pick a Modded Xbox if: (1) it was set up within the last 12 months (newer set-ups have more), (2) it is upgraded to at least 2TB, (3) it has the clock capacitor removed and (4) is compatible with the new HDMI cable that recently came out.

 

A modded Xbox typically has more content if set-up to max + has the advantage of being loaded with Xbox games including classic compilations like Intellivision Lives, etc.

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scobb, on 01 Jul 2018 - 10:05 PM, said:snapback.png

Of the first three you mentioned, which is your favourite?

 

 

Of the 1st three, I'd pick a Modded Xbox if: (1) it was set up within the last 12 months (newer set-ups have more),

Wait, what?

I thought Xbox hacking dried up like 15 years ago. Is there an active scene?

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I'm not an expert on the scene, but search Xbox Modded 2TB on eBay...you will see 5 - 10 systems with various set-ups plus a few for Modded Xbox 360...I get the impression that the regular Xbox is more mature for emulating classing games, but don't have a modded 360 to confirm.

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Best emulation box is relative to interests. If you want something N64 powerful or less complexity wise a hacked up SNES classic would be perfect. If you want portability, may always crow about the PSP, but I'd put it to the 3DS or DSi (does that stargate card for 3DS work?) The DSi alone has many matured emulators that run so much and with the comfortable Nintendo feel with the button layout if the 3DS is out of play.

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I'm not an expert on the scene, but search Xbox Modded 2TB on eBay...you will see 5 - 10 systems with various set-ups plus a few for Modded Xbox 360...I get the impression that the regular Xbox is more mature for emulating classing games, but don't have a modded 360 to confirm.

 

I don't have a modded 360 but I do have a soft-modded Xbox. The classic system emulators are pretty mature, and it's my preferred option for Sega CD. OTOH, it's not powerful enough to do the whole PSOne library or N64 library at full speed. In fact, games that I thought were less taxing don't run at full speed. Final Fantasy VII is a lagfest once you get into battle. Super Mario 64 is fine but StarCraft runs at like half speed, if it launches at all (which is hit or miss for me).

 

So if you want to do 16-bit stuff (including 16-bit add-ons for the PC Engine and Genesis) that's your guy, but anything else would require more horsepower. A modded 360 is much more powerful, but it's all a matter of whether the updated, mature emulators are available.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I get how using a PC would be the most powerful option. I think I'll stick with the Nvidia Shield. It really is a great little machine. The Nvidia wireless controller is fantastic, and tonight I paired my 8Bitdo SN30 controller with it for the ultimate SNES emulation experience.

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