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gggmork

finding cheap used computer that can emulate games well

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Maybe this isn't very deserving of its own thread... but neither are some other topics so whatever.

I want to buy a computer that can emulate higan (aka bsnes) at least (it is the emulator that is most accurate so takes more.. uh.. "ghzs" whatever those are), and if not too computationally intensive also would prefer to emulate newer systems like wii or whatever (though less important than older genesis/snes/nes/gameboy)...

Well I read this:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/
And they're all acting like "3ghz" is powerful/expensive relative to most of today's computers..

Well then why is this computer:
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-745-Performance-Separately-Professional/dp/B0037U95U6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394924087&sr=8-1&keywords=dell+745
only like 120 bucks?
Would that run bsnes since it has 3.4ghz? Or am I missing something like it has TWO cores, and each core is only 1.7 for a total of 3.4 or something like that? Or is it just cheap since 3 years have passed since that above article. And some emulators seem to only use 1 core anyway though I could be wrong.

I also maybe wanna put gnu/linux on this mofo.

I want the type of computer where you can typically find it used on ebay/craigslist/etc for less than 300 bucks or so, not some brand new 1500 crap which I can't afford.

Or basically if you personally run lots of emulators on your computer (wii/snes/etc) what kind of computer do you have or recommend?

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So you want a top-tier 2005 computer? Why would you do that? *scratchchin*

I don't know what you have heard, but every single core of a modern CPU like a Core i5, Athlon II etc. outperforms even the best single-core CPUs from that era, and given that emulators basically require "brute force" to run, you'd get no particular advantage in choosing a 2005 computer, especially since we're talking emulators that run under Windows. And let's not even speak about the complications of finding appropriate memory, graphics cards etc. for it.

Now, if we're talking about emulators that run exclusively) under DOS, that's a brand new bag (so to speak). You might be able to squeeze some more performance out of those, again at CPU power parity, but once again, the faster single-core CPU would win.

Perhaps what you're looking for is "retro-correctness", and not performance? E.g. running DOS-based emulators only on "era correct" machines?

Edit: OK, so bsnes is one of those emulators focusing on precision rather than performance...so really, you need the most power per core that you can find. And that's NOT to be found in a 2005 system, sorry. Even if you built the best single-core Opteron from 2005, it would still eat the dust from the lowliest, budget Celeron of today.

Yeah, initially there was some performance gap between the best single core CPUs and the first-gen dual core ones, but that's no longer the case. No benefit in going back, in this case.

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I'm a tard with computer specs and new to emulation (actually specs are confusing enough that I suspect it'd be pretty easy to buy "2005" computers for 150 bucks and resell to unsuspecting people, like me, for 500$ all day long).

That amazon link does say "3.4GHz Pentium D Dual Core CPU Processor", so I guess it has 2 cores.. but not sure if that means 3.4 PER core or 3.4 total.

So I should look for an i5 or athlon ii I guess? Wonder if I should get windows or linux. I'm not even aware of emulators that run under DOS (I've only used zsnes/snes9x so far on this computer, and want a separate computer to dedicate to emulation).

I was even thinking of laptop instead of desktop but guess that wouldn't be a good idea since laptops are less powerful and would cost more/get hotter/etc.

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gggmork said:

That amazon link does say "3.4GHz Pentium D Dual Core CPU Processor", so I guess it has 2 cores.. but not sure if that means 3.4 PER core or 3.4 total.


Huh? Speeds were always stated per-core, even in the multi-core era. AFAIK nobody tried to pull such a marketing bullshit as adding up the core frequencies -yet. The Pentium D, for that matter, reached up to 3.8 GHz, a barrier which modern CPUs are only slowly re-approaching.

I think you've been duped into thinking that somehow since modern CPUs don't have as high clock rates as 2004-2005 single core or first-gen Dual core ones, that the older ones were somehow better....and thus better at some tasks like emulators, which really need the fastest single-core available, and don't benefit from multi-core CPUs at all.

That's not the case, and each core of the Pentium D can be outperformed by EACH CORE of a modern entry-level CPU, even if the nominal clock rate may be lower.

As for Windows vs Linux, at least for emulators it's a fact that you'll get much more choice (and nicer interfaces) under Windows. DOS emulators are now few and far between, but don't forget that the emu scene started on DOS, and some emulators like MAME and RAINE still have fully-supported DOS versions for single-task, dedicated machine.

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Wii emulation needs a lot better than a 2005 computer. It needs as much computational power as you can throw at it. Top of the line will barely cut it for some games.

SNES emulated at full speed on a P2 333 MHz though, so you don't need to worry about that. GBA, N64, and PlayStation emulation are largely passable on AMD64 machines or post-Pentium 4 Intels with around 2 GHz.

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Speaking of emulation I wish the guys working on the Dolphin emulator would continue working on it, judging by the releases on the site they seem to have stopped a while ago, not many of my favorite gamecube games even have support yet such as Rogue Squadron 3 Rebel Strike and Mario Golf TT.

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I recall SNES achieved full speed even before the Pentium II, but when accuracy is involved, performance can take a significant hit.

I recall how e.g. MAME 0.63 gave perfectly playable Neo Geo games with 160% speed leeway on my first Athlon XP laptop in 2003, but how subsequent revisions struggled to get consistent 100% on my Athlon 64 in 2005. The official explanation was that "changes towards accuracy were made" because "that's what MAME's goal is", and complaining about performance is still a bannable offense in the MAME forums, AFAIK. There are however builds that restore performance -I don't think extreme "accuracy" is really helpful for most players, at most it might be needed in games that need to emulate complex protection.

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Well I know for a fact that getting good performance with a Wii/Gamecube emulator is going to require you to invest in a high-end CPU.

For example, I use an Intel i5 3570K (~$200) and I had to overclock it from 3.4GHz to 4.4GHz to get the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess to run at a stable 30FPS. You also have to add in the costs for a decent CPU cooler and a good case since overclocking that much produces quite a bit of extra heat (it increased my temps by about 10C with a CM Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler).

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Somehow a useful site slipped past google's crapflood of misdirection:
http://emulation-general.wikia.com/wiki/Computer_specs
They recommend i5 2500K/3570K/4670K

So now I'm searching i5 2500k in searchtempest (perhaps best current option to buy cheap used stuff if you can find someone willing to ship, since it lets you bypass north korebay's ecommerce tyranny which is allied with the government to cause intentional economic destruction, tapped into NSA data that gives them advantages over all their competition. 5-10% of the people do scam you on searchtempest in my experience but you make that percent back in lower prices. 2500k is probably cheapest, I assume 4670k is best.

Yeah, bsnes (aka higian) completely accurately emulates snes hardware in software as far as I know, so probably requires a better computer than zsnes/snes9x which cheat with 95% percent accuracy then like extra code hacks for each specific game to make it work correctly or something (by the way mario rpg eventually hung up for me, forget if it was zsnes or snes9x, probably the former).

I hope an i5 2500k isn't super noisy like an xbox 360, probably will be.

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Whoo said:

Well I know for a fact that getting good performance with a Wii/Gamecube emulator is going to require you to invest in a high-end CPU.

I've played Metroid Prime on an Athlon x2 7750BE + Radeon 4850.

It ran fine.

gggmork said:

2500k is probably cheapest, I assume 4670k is best.

They will cost the same, more or less, and be similar in performance. It's just an architecture change. 2500k is old and not worth it. I wasn't even aware 4xxxk was out, new socket does not make me happy (yeah, yeah, last year's news, when I'm not buying new hardware I don't really follow the market).

gggmork said:

I hope an i5 2500k isn't super noisy like an xbox 360, probably will be.

CPUs are quiet. GPUs are what's making most of the noise.

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Belial said:

I've played Metroid Prime on an Athlon x2 7750BE + Radeon 4850.

It ran fine.

What's your trick? On my Core 2 Quad with 4850, I can barely manage 10 fps in some parts of the game. Oddly, Metroid Prime 2 runs better than Metroid Prime 1, albeit with some graphics glitches caused by the multi-threaded core (a small black bar on the bottom of the screen during gameplay, chiefly).

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Quasar said:

What's your trick? On my Core 2 Quad with 4850, I can barely manage 10 fps in some parts of the game. Oddly, Metroid Prime 2 runs better than Metroid Prime 1, albeit with some graphics glitches caused by the multi-threaded core (a small black bar on the bottom of the screen during gameplay, chiefly).

Can't really test it right now as that machine's mobo died a while ago, but I'll admit 25-30 FPS with occasional slowdowns is fine in my book.

If you want 60 FPS all the time I'm not going to argue.

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I might as well ask this. When you email someone on craigslist, it goes to:

(someNumber)@sale.craigslist.org

That means craigslist tyrannically controls the emails, and can block whichever ones they want, for the safety of the children of course; they're good guys and want to lovingly help us by making it hard to buy and sell stuff. So I use searchtempest and email like 20 people via their listings and get like 2 replies... I highly suspect craigslist is blocking the majority of my emails going through. I already tried sending only like 2 emails from one of my email addresses, switching to another email address, sending 2 more, switching, sending 2 more. Is there any way around this, like maybe TOR or some crap, so all my emails actually go through? God forbid a buyer actually be allowed to be connected with a seller in this deathconomy control grid. I mean, I guess like go back to taping flyers on telephone poles to buy and sell stuff, the more primitive, the harder it is for some bad guy disguised as good guy authoritarian double agent to strangle you with computer bits.
Craigslist I am on to you! You work for the crab people and everyone knows it! Don't think for a SECOND that you'll escape the upcoming Nuremberg Trials. And by then, technology will allow your punishment to be far greater than death. We will have life extension technology; you will be sentenced to 47 curb stomps being revived after each one, then be sentenced to a life as the gimp for one year for each poor person you drove to suicide, you and ebay and amazon and every other asshole that is artificially making people poor for systematic control and extermination. Enjoy your wealth motherfuckers, we're going to use it to buy a real long gold chain and strangle you with it.

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ITT: gggmork is going to rectally sodomize everybody working for craiglist with a razor dildo. Sieg Heil!

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This is no coincidence. I make a thread about searchtempest. NSA fucking reads it. Ebay who bought out craigslist and has access to NSA data shuts down searchtempest the next day. Seriously, go to searchtempest right now, it says:

Forbidden
You don't have permission to access / on this server.

Is it just me or do you get that too? First time its ever said that, and right after my post. NSA has infiltrated the whole internet, they are clamping down everywhere making sure everyone only has enough money for an agenda 21 coffin size apartment.

They are shutting down the whole economy. There are too many coincidences. Ebay items don't sell for 3 months, you complain about it in an email to a fake buyer ebay shill, ebay reads your non private email like big brother, and suddenly you sell 3 items in one day, just to give you enough income that you don't die, but not enough to get uppity. They turn off your faucet for 3 months again. The DOW is gonna go down, there's secret wars going on. Its time to learn how to eat insects or plankton if you want any chance of living through this.

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