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Z26 emulator too fast!

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Hi!  Earlier today, I downloaded and tried the Z26 emulator on my Win10/64 laptop, and the games flew too fast.  How do I slow it down to a realistic speed?

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You don’t. You download Stella and just use it.
Z26 hasn’t been updated in over two years. Stella is truly the only 2600 emulator that you need. It’s got more features than you will ever need, but it is easily the most accurate 2600 emulator available right now.

I think most everyone here would also agree.


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I tried Stella.  It works, but I don't like the Atari 2600's graphics and sound.  And it seems to have only a few games.  :(  I don't think it's worth the effort.

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Most emulators don't include games because of licensing reasons. If you are judging Stella on that you need to reassess what you are looking for in an emulator. 

If you want ROM's get this pack. 

http://www.atarimania.com/rom_collection_archive_atari_2600_roms.html

 

I don't know what else to tell you. Like I said Stella is easily the best and most accurate 2600 emulator. I can't believe you are complaining about the graphics and sound. (Are you complaining about Stella or the Atari 2600 in general?) (So many questions I have about your post.)

 

The main problem is you are trying to a modern emulator on an older system. Maybe try and download an older version that might run better on an older machine. But it will likely not support as many games as the current version. 

 

 

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I'm complaining not about the performance of Stella--it works well on my Win10/64 laptop--but about the performance of the system being emulated.  I have a few games and tried Mario Bros.  I prefer the Apple 2, C64 and NES versions.

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6 hours ago, Harry Potter said:

I'm complaining not about the performance of Stella--it works well on my Win10/64 laptop--but about the performance of the system being emulated.  I have a few games and tried Mario Bros.  I prefer the Apple 2, C64 and NES versions.

It's really hard to understand what you're talking about.

You seem to be saying that you prefer other system's versions of a particular game - and somehow conflating the differences with the emulator.

The emulator emulates the machine, allowing you to play the games written for that machine. The '2600 is way way more primitive in capability than the Apple 2, C64 and NES. It is gaming pared down to the most minimalist possible hardware - and yet for the most part programmers manage to make good games for it. Some are terrible.

Stella is one of the best emulators out there. It's one of the best because it is very accurate in emulating the actual physical hardware into which the game cartridges are plugged. Play something on Stella and it pretty much looks exactly like playing it on real hardware.  So the emulator is top-notch. And then, there are the games. These you find separately, and download 'em, and then run 'em on your emulator.

If you don't like particular games, particularly compared to NES/C64/Apple versions, well that' nothing to do with the emulator, and mostly to do with the hardware ('2600) and the programmers' skill in implementing the game on that hardware.

Most of us love the '2600 becuase it is such a challenging platform to make good games on. It literally boils everything down to a minimalist viewpoint - what exactly is it about a game that makes it "good" -- and graphics is only a very small part of it.

If you don't like the sounds and the graphics that you're seeing in Stella, then you probably don't understand the '2600 and what it is/represents.

 

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The problem I'm having is not with the emulator but with the console being emulated.  I don't like the graphics and sound.

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31 minutes ago, Harry Potter said:

The problem I'm having is not with the emulator but with the console being emulated.  I don't like the graphics and sound.

A genuine thanks to everybody who responded in this thread, trying to help me out. I have it working now.

[leaves without casting aspersions on people's choice of hobby platform]

FTFY

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The problem I'm having is not with the emulator but with the console being emulated.  I don't like the graphics and sound.

Sounds like you’re not a 2600 person then? Maybe play another system?


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13 hours ago, Harry Potter said:

The problem I'm having is not with the emulator but with the console being emulated.  I don't like the graphics and sound.

You may like SuperCharger games with enhanced graphics and sound like Frogger.

 

And Z26 will run at the correct speed if you maximize the screen.

5 minutes ago, Harry Potter said:

I play other systems.  :) 

You may also like ARM games that use another system than classic Atari games.

 

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Posted (edited)

Stella is really good, but why is it still more and more hardware demanding? I am not able to run the latest 6.x version on full speed on older ARM computers in Linux. I may run RetroArch with Stella 2014 core at full speed, but it does not run all the games correctly. I remember that Stella run on all the computers the decades ago and now it runs fine just on present and x86 computers.

Edited by Wizzard

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8 minutes ago, Wizzard said:

Stella is really good, but why is it still more and more hardware demanding?

Mainly because we constantly improve the emulation. All the little details take some extra time. And the new ARM based games need extra CPU power to emulate.

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16 hours ago, Harry Potter said:

The problem I'm having is not with the emulator but with the console being emulated.  I don't like the graphics and sound.

The Atari 2600 graphics and sound are very primitive, the console was designed to play Pong and similar things, and it's amazing developers pushed it to do much more.   Still I wouldn't expect the console to appeal to people who didn't grow up with it and have nostalgia for it, except as a curiosity.

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3 hours ago, Wizzard said:

Stella is really good, but why is it still more and more hardware demanding?

The price of cycle-exact emulation, and more demanding ARM emulation.

 

3 hours ago, Wizzard said:

I may run RetroArch with Stella 2014 core at full speed, but it does not run all the games correctly.

That one is based on Stella 3.x, which is over a decade old.  So it's no surprise that it runs fine on decade-old hardware.  The reason it doesn't run all games correctly is because it isn't cycle-exact for TIA video and audio, nor the RIOT and other stuff too.  Hence why we added cycle-exact emulation, and with that a corresponding increase in hardware required to run it.

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Is it possible to disable cycle exact emulation on latest Stella to run it also on slower machines?

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16 minutes ago, Wizzard said:

Is it possible to disable cycle exact emulation on latest Stella to run it also on slower machines?

Depends. Which games do you want to play? And how fast are they running currently? And what CPU are you using?

 

But probably the gap or the effort required to optimize is too large. You should better update your hardware. :) 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have a lot of hardware, including original Atari with RGB mod, a few PCs and some ARM tablets/chromebook. The problem is the last mentioned. I like playing on handheld devices which are thousand time faster than Atari. The problem is with Yars Revenge PAL version which does not run correctly on Stella 2014 core and Worm War I PAL which is monochrome on Stella 2014. It is not so big problem, I may use NTSC versions which run fine on Stella 2014. Regular Stella just is not smoth and sound is distorted.

 

Also I noticed that Android version of regular Stella core is faster than Linux version.

 

Seems that the best emulation machine is still Retron 77 with Stella build which seems to have slower hardware than my RK3288 tablets.

Edited by Wizzard

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37 minutes ago, Wizzard said:

Seems that the best emulation machine is still Retron 77 with Stella build which seems to have slower hardware than my RK3288 tablets.

We went great length to accelerate the build for R77. And it is still running on the edge for some ARM based games.

 

Your RK3288 should be only slightly faster. 

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Maybe I just need to run Stella on ARM Linux in fullscreen SDL mode without windows manger. I remember I tried it with some Banana Pi and Orange Pi and it worked fine.

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@Harry Potter For Stella, you don't like these colors on Stella, you can adjust palettes to match your likes

 

Options > Video & Audio > Palettes. Palette: Standard, z26, and Custom. For TV effects, TV modes: RGB, S-Video, Composite, Bad Adjust, and Custom. Also for Audio, you need to adjust audio too...

 

@Wizzard How fast or slow you can play these games

 

Options > Emulation. Adjust emulation speed between 0 and 1000% (The default is 100%)

 

Hope it helps..

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7 hours ago, Wizzard said:

Maybe I just need to run Stella on ARM Linux in fullscreen SDL mode without windows manger. I remember I tried it with some Banana Pi and Orange Pi and it worked fine.

This is the biggest difference.  On R77, we use a version of SDL that bypasses 'X' and window managers completely.  In fact, there is no 'X' installed on R77 at all.  IIRC, going through X was too slow on this class of hardware.  It wasn't a Stella issue per-se, just that X is not optimized for this use case.

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