Is AMD really that bad at emulation?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by jDSX, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. jDSX
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    jDSX *pokes*

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    Sorry if this isn't the right spot for this thread........

    A while back I had an AMD Athlon II P360, while gaming just sucked in general I used it for emulation mostly pre gen 6 emus (snes, genesis, PS1 etc) I got good speeds and even though it wasn't perfect, It was totally playable for me and a few friends looking to play the oldies. I am getting a new lappy soon and it has a pretty decent AMD processor a A10 one, I hear that intel is way better in terms of emulation and gaming at times my question is does AMD really suck when it comes down to playablilty of emulators these days? Or does GPU and RAM have to be taken in account too?
     


  2. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    For later gen emulators, yes, Intel is definitely considered better suited than AMD. Dolphin emu, for GC and Wii, actually mentions in their FAQs why this is, you can read about it here: https://dolphin-emu.org/docs/faq/ (though it is slightly outdated, it still remains true regardless). Emulators for earlier systems, it shouldn't really matter too much as long as you stick with anything recent (which your A10 is).

    However, you'll definitely have some problems with later gen emus. APUs are especially bad, as in general the CPU portion of AMD's APUs are very gimped compared to the Intel price equivalent. I know from experience, I used to have a laptop with an A10-4600m and the most it would handle is some of the lesser heavy GC games and only very few Wii games at playable speeds. But since you plan on sticking with <6th gen, it should be fine enough for what you want I guess.
     
  3. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    I work on computers for a living and I've come to dislike AMD because of my experience with AMD. It's not just emulators that have problems with AMD, a lot of newer software has problems with AMD CPUs that are a few years old. I always recommend Intel anymore over AMD.
     
  4. jDSX
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    Don't mean to sound rude or anything but that sounds like fanboyish right there
    Even though I admit I prefer intel over anything amd, amd is nice for the price while intel isn't most of the time.
     
  5. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    Not really, I was fine with both until I worked on a lot of them. Where I live, people will easily hold onto their computers for easily 10 years. It's an old farming town, so there aren't many gamers or people that use computers beyond the basics. Every time someone brings in an older computer running AMD, it's not rare to run into issues where AMD changed their instruction set and dropped support for the older sets, so a lot of newer software just won't run on it.

    Granted, someone who gets a new computer every couple of years will probably be fine on AMD, but most people around here are in for the long haul. Intel tends to be a better long term investment and compatibility in general.

    Objectively, I doubt AMD is really that bad for emulation, just the emulator has to be written for it. Intel tends to be more popular and their instruction sets tend to be supported for quite a while. So if they have to choose what to code for, Intel would be the more logical choice, unless their computer is using AMD. AMD is usually written in towards the end. They still share a lot of instruction sets, so if it's something that doesn't require full use of the hardware, it can get away with just using a generic set and run fine on both.
     
    Last edited by TecXero, Aug 19, 2015
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  6. Anunnymous

    Anunnymous Advanced Member

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    Dude... that holds true for ALL old PCs, not just AMD. My rig is AMD (mostly due to price, not necessarily because I think AMD is better) and it'll run Wii and GC games without any hiccups. Now this isn't saying that Intel isn't better at emulation than AMD, because they are. But the fact of the matter is, spend enough money on either and stuff will run fine.

    Edit: You mentioned that most of the AMDs you work on are ~10 years old... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the programs they can't run has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are AMD but more the fact that their software is completely outdated. Plus being a farm town and having a 10 year old computer, I doubt they're coming in complaining that they can't play Crysis on max specs but more along the lines of "my Wordperfect won't open anymore and Chip's Challenge keeps crashing on me."


    This is completely inaccurate and needs some more research on your end before you can speak on the matter.
     
    Last edited by Anunnymous, Aug 19, 2015
  7. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    You're probably right. Now that I think about it, I haven't kept up in the emulation scene in a long time. I really shouldn't go off of old secondhand information from an old Project64 fan IRC channel. To be honest, I haven't used a PC emulator in years, even then it was only some plugins I remember having issue on AMD, on the emulation side of things anyway.
     
  8. matt123337

    matt123337 Advanced Member

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    This post is almost worthy of my signature. Almost.
     
    Last edited by matt123337, Aug 19, 2015
  9. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    If the first couple of paragraphs are wrong, I'm fine with that. Though, I would like a correct explanation, though, so I can correct myself. If I learn what I'm wrong about, it should help me with my job. I was pretty sure AMD developed and dropped SSE instruction sets to the level of causing compatibility issues for AMD CPUs that are just a few years old with new software designed only with the newest SSE instruction set in mind.
     
  10. emmanu888

    emmanu888 6 years and still going strong

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    Why would AMD be bad for emulation? That's what i have, a Phenom II X6 and it handles Dolphin and PCSX2 without any issues.
     
  11. matt123337

    matt123337 Advanced Member

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    The reason why AMD is "worse" for emulation is simply that AMD and Intel have a different design values for their processors. AMD processors have more physical processing cores so they can kill Intel with things that take advantage of them (like media transcoding or video encoding), whereas Intel goes for more speed-less cores, so each core in itself is faster then an AMD core, but there are less physical cores to actually do tasks with. It also happens that older systems generally didn't have multiple cores, so it would make it difficult for an emulator to take advantage of multiple cores while trying to maintain compatibility with games.

    I was always under the impression that most incompatibilities between AMD and Intel were caused by the Intel compiler itself gimping code that was being run on non-Intel processors. Mind you that was only really resolved relatively recently, so I guess that would cause problems that you would see. And most of what you said was inaccurate (or poorly worded), but what exactly is your job if you need to deal with the instruction sets on a low level? If you're doing computer repair you shouldn't need to worry too much about them
     
  12. TecXero

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    Hmm, maybe, when I'm less tired, I should google around and update my knowledge. Most of my experience with AMD mostly comes from working on old computers and some basic information from the internet about its instruction set. I generally don't have a need for the most up-to-date information due to how far behind this town is, but if I'm going to have more of an online presence, I should make sure I'm up-to-date so I don't spread information that may not be true anymore.
     
  13. jDSX
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    This is making me think twice about getting a AMD laptop now, like "get amd if your cool becuz its the cool thing to do" Rather than it's the smart and wise choice to pick.
     
  14. matt123337

    matt123337 Advanced Member

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    Its up to you really. My laptop and cell run Intel processors and my desktop has an FX processor in it. I've no complaints between the two, minus Intel's horrid integrated graphics, but and has always dominated with them anyways.
     
  15. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    AMD is just bad. :teach:
     
    Last edited by JoostinOnline, Aug 19, 2015
  16. vayanui8

    vayanui8 GBAtemp Maniac

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    it really depends on what you want to be able to run. Intel in general may be better, but AMD could be perfectly fine for your purposes. What do you want it to be able to run?
     
  17. jDSX
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    Fallout new vegas
    Maybe skyrim
    A lot of older RTSs
    anything pre 2011 ish
    Here is the laptop I really like it but afraid I might be bad running fallout NV

    AMD A10 5745 quad @ 2.1 ghz (turbo boost 2.8
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    6GB of ram
    HP sleekbook not sure the model gonna have to look it up
     
  18. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    That is true. I stay away from AMD in general, but it could be great if you don't need top of the line. Gamers here would laugh at the computers I buy/build (depending on if it's a desktop or not), but they suit my needs so I'd be wasting tons of money to buy something nicer. I don't think I've ever spent more than $600 on a computer.
     
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  19. KingBlank

    KingBlank King of Nothing

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    So is your reasoning.
     
  20. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

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    when it comes to laptop, you have to start to consider the gpu consequences as well, since you can't plug in a graphics card of your choice. AMD's has the advantage of being able to offer their APUs with nice integrated ATI graphics. Depending on the kind of machines you're looking at, an intel processor + discrete GPU may not be an option.