bsnes and Mesen-S add newly developed SNES overclocking method

icon.png

bsnes had already made news back in April with its well-received HD Mode 7 mod, however, it looks like a new retrogame enhancement feature will soon be added to its arsenal. Overclocking is now available in the emulator's nightly builds and, while it's true that other emulators have included it a long time ago, this implementation is severely different from the others in many ways.

Byuu, the developer behind bsnes, has explained the feature accurately in a Reddit post. Unlike before, where fixed overclocking could introduce sound/framerate issues or crashes in some games, this new method's goal is to counter slowdowns without any audiovisual compromises while also keeping compatibility as high as possible. The inspiration came from a technique already used in NES emulators, where more scanlines would be inserted in the CPU thread while pausing video and audio in the meantime; and everything described so far can also be used with the SA-1 and SuperFX coprocessors (others don't need it as they're implemented via HLE). The end result can be seen in the videos below, and it really speaks for itself (also, while not showcased in the videos, this method is also compatible with HD Mode 7!)


However, byuu warns users to keep overclocking settings to reasonable levels, otherwise, it can have an adverse effect on resource usage (if set too high, you will likely end up wasting CPU cycles between frames for no reason). As such, mitigations or limits for popular games are reportedly being experimented with at the moment.

As previously mentioned, the feature is available in bsnes' nightly builds and will be officially added in the next stable release. The same implementation has also been picked up by a different, relatively new SNES emulator, Mesen-S. There's a high chance it will also be ported over to the respective Retroarch/libretro cores sometime in the future.

:download: Download
:arrow: Source (bsnes \ Mesen-S)
 

Dartz150

Yet another Onii-chan
Member
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
2,205
Trophies
1
Age
29
Location
Over your head
XP
3,640
Country
Mexico
So good news. Out of curiosity, I recall seeing a similar effect (faster screen change/loading times) in the Megaman Legacy Collections.

I haven't seen any accurate comparisons, but I immediately noticed that the games on Capcom's emulator where loading faster than their console counterparts. I tried to compare Megaman 7 for example, SNES vs Legacy Collection 2 version, and the later won by a large amount of seconds between the intro stage and Burst Man Stage.

I'm not sure if the emulator made by Capcom uses this same principle or something else is behind the curtain.
 

Rahkeesh

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
2,050
Trophies
1
Age
40
XP
2,453
Country
United States
In theory eliminating loading times is much simpler, if the emulator knows when the ROM is "loading", they can just max out emulation speed at that time(+ frameskip), then drop back to standard speed once the load is done. A more extreme example of the Switch's boost mode more or less. I doubt Capcom bothered with anything as complex as these new techniques, when its easy enough to just flag the loading times in a handful of games.
 
Last edited by Rahkeesh,

eriol33

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,122
Trophies
0
Location
Jakarta
XP
2,321
Country
Indonesia
with such an impressive feature and accuracy, don't you wonder why this is not the base emulator of nintendo's official emulator? isn't this emulator more accurate than nintendo's official emulator?
 

hippy dave

BBMB
Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
7,228
Trophies
1
XP
8,783
Country
United Kingdom
with such an impressive feature and accuracy, don't you wonder why this is not the base emulator of nintendo's official emulator? isn't this emulator more accurate than nintendo's official emulator?
It's also really resource-heavy, bsnes retroarch core hasn't been ported to Switch because it wouldn't run it well enough afaik.
 

Fat D

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,136
Trophies
0
XP
454
Country
Germany
with such an impressive feature and accuracy, don't you wonder why this is not the base emulator of nintendo's official emulator? isn't this emulator more accurate than nintendo's official emulator?


Because it would be hypocritical of Nintendo to both claim they infringe on their intellectual property and still use them.
 

lincruste

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
354
Trophies
0
Location
france
XP
912
Country
Antarctica
with such an impressive feature and accuracy, don't you wonder why this is not the base emulator of nintendo's official emulator? isn't this emulator more accurate than nintendo's official emulator?
By definition, any improvement is inaccurate.
 

Fat D

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
1,136
Trophies
0
XP
454
Country
Germany
By definition, any improvement is inaccurate.
But bsnes is pretty much designed to be able to go as accurate as possible (higan, an emulator that is designed to be perfect, and its SNES core are straight outta bsnes) - the performance enhancements, both these new "better than an actual SNES" ones and more traditional "be more playable on weak host systems" optimizations, are optional.
 

Lumstar

Princess
Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
3,972
Trophies
0
Location
Darling
Website
eonhack.blogspot.com
XP
1,319
Country
United States
So good news. Out of curiosity, I recall seeing a similar effect (faster screen change/loading times) in the Megaman Legacy Collections.

I haven't seen any accurate comparisons, but I immediately noticed that the games on Capcom's emulator where loading faster than their console counterparts. I tried to compare Megaman 7 for example, SNES vs Legacy Collection 2 version, and the later won by a large amount of seconds between the intro stage and Burst Man Stage.

I'm not sure if the emulator made by Capcom uses this same principle or something else is behind the curtain.

Capcom claims Legacy Collection 2 is not an emulator. Take that for what it's worth.
https://www.technobuffalo.com/mega-man-legacy-collection-2-interview
 

lincruste

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
354
Trophies
0
Location
france
XP
912
Country
Antarctica
But bsnes is pretty much designed to be able to go as accurate as possible (higan, an emulator that is designed to be perfect, and its SNES core are straight outta bsnes) - the performance enhancements, both these new "better than an actual SNES" ones and more traditional "be more playable on weak host systems" optimizations, are optional.
Oh yeah, I thought he was talking about these improvements the topic is about.
I agree BSNES/Higan is far more accurate than the other SNES emulators around.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Julie_Pilgrim @ Julie_Pilgrim: i use it when i want to post multiple images to reddit