Dolphin Emulator dropping 32-bit support, focuses on 64-bit

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Ammako, May 20, 2014.

  1. Ammako
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    Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    [​IMG]

    With the 32-bit architecture falling behind and becoming less and less prevalent, certain bits of software are bound to drop support for it eventually.

    This is what the Dolphin Emulator team did today, by dropping support for the 32-bit builds.

    It's not just because 32-bit is becoming less common, however; part of the reasoning behind this decision was that the latest Microsoft Visual Studio Compiler doesn't support Windows XP. Unfortunately for XP, he's the last sibling of the Windows family to be primarily 32-bit, while his younger brothers Vista, 7 and 8 are designed for 64-bit. Along with 32-bits based processors dying out and 64-bit ones becoming more and more prevalent (since 2003, in fact), every day there are more reasons to leave 32-bit behind.

    :arrow: Source
    :arrow: Discussion on Dolphin Emulator forums

    Considering that 32-bit machines really weren't powerful enough to run Dolphin at a playable rate and that only 7.8% of the downloads for last April/May were 32-bit Windows, I say that this isn't a bad move if it allows them to spend more time perfecting the 64-bit build.
     


  2. VMM

    VMM Hamon > Stand

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    That's fantastic! I wish other developers follow this, that way we'll have more optimized support to 64 bit applications.
     
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  3. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Good, because 32-bit OSes are pretty much deprecated and/or not of much use really anymore.
     
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  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Meh, no complaints from me. Good to see things are starting to drop 32-bit altogether.
     
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  5. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    It was inevitable. Still, I hope nobody's 32-bitter about this.
     
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  6. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    I'm one of those 7.8%. The reason is that I was fiddling with a very low-end machine. The thing wasn't fast enough to properly run dolphin in the first place. A bit of a pity, but it's certainly the right decision.

    But...I suppose that new is going to be about later today (depending on timezone)? I just noticed there still being a x86 windows version submitted five hours ago.
     
  7. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I believe that was the last one, as the buildbot (or whatever it is they used to build the GIT revisions) is no longer being used. As for myself, I fear that Dolphin will become unusable on my current desktop.
     
  8. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    I have no issues with this. I've been using a 64-bit machine with 6GB of ram for almost 2 years and prior to that machine I had a 64 bit version of XP running on an old PC. So it's been a LONG time since I've worked with a 32-bit OS. I think the only machine I installed 32-bit version of Win7 on was my mothers PC in the bedroom. Mainly because it's an old socket 775 motherboard and only has 2GB of ram installed. It does support running 64-bit OSes though but it's certainly not a machine Dolphin would have worked with. :P

    I say this is a good thing. They won't have to keep track of two different builds now and can just focus on making the single 64bit build better. :D
     
  9. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Such as tweaking the JIT core and help with speed improvement ;) :P
     
  10. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    Indeed.

    I remember back when 64-bit use to be a niche market. But now it's finally getting to be the reverse. Just about all modern machines support RAM capacities well about the 3.5GB barrier of the 32-bit architecture.

    Coupled with OEM companies shipping a 64-bit OS on most of their machines now, 32-bit has become the niche obscure OS that people don't worry about supporting as much. Besides even on slightly older machines, a 64-bit OS will run fine on machines using less then 4GB of ram, so there's really no reason to use 32-bit os anymore unless you got old hardware that doesn't have 32-bit drivers, but the market of people who keep 32-bit for that reason is quite small. :P
     
  11. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    You got that right. I haven't used a 32-bit OS in a long time, not since I switched over to Windows 7 Pro anyways. My machine can run most games on Dolphin very well, at least, for the time being. I hope we don't get to the point where the requirements are such that people have to get a Core i7 Extreme or a dodeca-core CPU with 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM ;)
     
  12. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    Lol. I have an i7 965 Extreme Edition Quad Core. Even though it's a first generation i7, it's still pretty kickass, so I'm probably set in terms of future Dolphin builds. The graphics card is the only weak point in my system and I can still upgrade that in the future and my motherboard can go up to 24GB of RAM if needed.
     
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  13. KingVamp

    KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    While I think it's still a shame even if I'm not part of that 7.8% (:P), it's understandable. Time for 128-bit!
     
  14. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    My motherboard can still upgrade to ridiculous amounts of RAM and a Core i7, but kinda hard to upgrade without a source of revenue :D :P I'm just hoping that speed changes won't be drastic to the point of near Bsnes levels.
     
  15. futaris

    futaris Member

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    Well, it does run on armv7 (32-bit). Dolphin/ARM doesn't use 64 bit on armv8 yet...
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Though not the first emulator to head down this path it might well be the first non debug/accuracy focused one to do so.

    I have installed 32bit W7 on very 64bit capable machines but that is usually for legacy software or hardware reasons (quite a few very nice printers can be made to work, possibly by crowbarring Vista drivers in there, on 32 bit 7 where there is no chance of 64 bit).
     
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  17. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    This is a dumb decision. Most people I know run Windows 7 32-bit, me included. Sometimes there are no 64-bit drivers for our hardware. -.-
     
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  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Give or take printers and industry specific stuff if you are limited by hardware then chances are your hardware is at best on the "can just about work" side of things anyway. Likewise according to the above it seems to be actual work for them to maintain a 32 bit build and things are demonstrably improved by going to 64, granted it seems to be the difference be 50fps and 60 something in the worst case and undetectable and undetectable to the human eye in better cases. However if that extra can be given over to filters then I would say go for it.
     
  19. Oxybelis

    Oxybelis GBAtemp Fan

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    I think you just did not try to search.
     
  20. Ammako
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    Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    Maybe, but when games don't run at 60fps, it's not like most PC games where it does frame skipping, it causes actual slowdown (and, often, sound choppy-ness.)
    I do believe there's a frame skipping option somewhere though.