bsnes and Mesen-S add newly developed SNES overclocking method

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by RattletraPM, Aug 8, 2019.


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    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)
     
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    Discussion (28 replies)
  1. Fugelmir

    Fugelmir GBAtemp Fan

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    So, this is meant to correct slowdown that would appear on real hardware. Impressive.
     
    JakobAir, Robz8, Henx and 10 others like this.
  2. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Netti Netti

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    Wow, that's a very noticeable difference, good on them.
     
  3. NoNAND

    NoNAND GBAtemp's Official NAND/emuMMC multipurpose tool

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    Will check and see how my favorite SNES games do with this new overclocking feature.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.
     
  4. Dartz150

    Dartz150 GBATemp's Official Onii-chan™

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    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.
     
  5. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Fan

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    Amazing!
    Especially if N64 emulators could do the same.
     
    HaloEffect17 likes this.
  6. jupitteer

    jupitteer idk what i'm doing

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    Damn, playable starfox.
     
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  7. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    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, Aug 8, 2019
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  8. eriol33

    eriol33 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    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?
     
  9. hippy dave

    hippy dave BBMB

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    It's also really resource-heavy, bsnes retroarch core hasn't been ported to Switch because it wouldn't run it well enough afaik.
     
  10. wiewiec

    wiewiec GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Nice to have emulator that is some kind "better" than real hardware :)
     
  11. Fat D

    Fat D GBAtemp Maniac

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

    lincruste GBAtemp Fan

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    By definition, any improvement is inaccurate.
     
  13. Darksabre72

    Darksabre72 Blue Falcon

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    lol dem text box roll out fast
     
  14. Fat D

    Fat D GBAtemp Maniac

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    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.
     
  15. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    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
     
  16. lincruste

    lincruste GBAtemp Fan

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    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.
     
  17. Justinde75

    Justinde75 Capsule Co's VGM Addict

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    Seeing Starfox so smoothly is weird, especially if you grew up playing it on original hardware
     
  18. XDel

    XDel Author of Alien Breed: Projekt Odamex

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    Another Huxleyian Dystopia
    Has the HD been ported to Retroarch yet?
     
  19. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    N64 needs this.
     
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