Homebrew Question L4T Lakka, L4T Ubuntu, or Android?

Which is the better platform for emulation?


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level42

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So, in terms of performance (Specifically with emulation, more specifically with Nintendo 64 and GameCube), which option would offer the best performance over all?
 

Jackson98

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For N64 and Gamecube it is a no brainer, Lakka/Ubuntu will outperform Android every day of the week. Android does have Drastic though, so 2DS is going to be better until it becomes open source. I am also curious to see how well DamonPS2Pro runs. Android has the bonus to easily sync bluetooth wireless controllers and play dock aswell as portable, sadly lakka is handheld only, and Ubuntu you have to remove joycons every time to sync them which is a right PITA. However when your playing emulators in Lakka/Ubuntu, you don't have to look at some ugly button layout covering your screen, and you can actually use the joysticks unlike Android.
 

level42

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For N64 and Gamecube it is a no brainer, Lakka/Ubuntu will outperform Android every day of the week. Android does have Drastic though, so 2DS is going to be better until it becomes open source. I am also curious to see how well DamonPS2Pro runs. Android has the bonus to easily sync bluetooth wireless controllers and play dock aswell as portable, sadly lakka is handheld only, and Ubuntu you have to remove joycons every time to sync them which is a right PITA. However when your playing emulators in Lakka/Ubuntu, you don't have to look at some ugly button layout covering your screen, and you can actually use the joysticks unlike Android.

Very interesting points. Thanks for sharing. I think I'm going to jump in and have a go with Ubuntu. Are you able to elaborate on the resyncing though? When do the controllers need to be resynced? Is it just on boot? or some other situation?
 

Jackson98

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Very interesting points. Thanks for sharing. I think I'm going to jump in and have a go with Ubuntu. Are you able to elaborate on the resyncing though? When do the controllers need to be resynced? Is it just on boot? or some other situation?

You need to remove the joycons every time you boot and hold the button inside the joycon. Very rarely 1 will sync on boot.
As an overall emulation machine I prefer Lakka, it requires much less messing around. but it is portable only most sadly.
 
Last edited by Jackson98,

FanofFans

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If you're looking for GCN emulation and to a lesser degree (smaller gap), n64, go Lakka. By a large margin, It's the best bet for dolphin.
 

Basketto

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My vote a year a go would have been lakka, but now id take android probably. Lakka hasnt had an official update in forever. Android drops a few fps with some dolphin games(take in mind max OC is 1700 though) for the rest id almost say it is the better system. PPSSPP runs incredibly well even with 3X the resolution, redream seems to outperform reicast aswell as having better compatibilty. It is the only option for good Sega Saturn emulation aswell as Drastic for DS, and Playstation emulation is superior considering it supports dynarec so runs at a lower clock speed. Mupen64plusFZ(possibly my favourite)supports emulation profiles with 100s of options, which can be set per game, and you can even choose between gliden64, glide, and rice, in on the chance game works better with something other than gliden64, you can add unlimited size texture packs, and can make games run at a perfect fps, even if the original on the 64 did not, by changing the frame count per operation(advanced setting) to around 1(basically overclocks the emulator). Other than horizon, it is the only option to run Citra(3ds), in this exception to the rule, the horizon version works a little better. Mx4w did an incredible job porting it over, even adding extra features. Right now id probably put Android>Ubuntu>Lakka
Androids largest drawback is that their isn’t deep sleep,
You also need a decent SD card. The sandisk ultra series is often recommended.
 
Last edited by Basketto,

stompysan

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Figured I would chime in. Been trying to set up the ideal emulation system for a while, but ultimately I gave up, and I will explain why. Each system has its benefits and negatives. Like many have said, Lakka on Switch is no longer in active development. As a result, all of the issues that existed a year ago are still present. Performance in Lakka seems to be the best in my testing, but I am far from scientific in my testing. Still, the lack of dock support kills it for me, and the biggest sticking point, at least initially, was the UI. RetroArch can look good, but not as good as other, more flashy frontends. More on that later.

Ubuntu was looking like the perfect setup. Everything seemed to "just work" initially. I didn't care about the resyncing Joycons, because if I am using them, they are attached to the system, and this does not require a resync to work. Everything was nearly perfect, but I ran into some issues later down the line. I have a bit of a different goal for my emulation setup. Not only do I want something that performs well, but I also want something that is pretty to look at. Lots of digging led me to a thread discussing RetroPie on the Switch. Building RetroPie for Switch is relatively easy, by simply switching to the Jetson Nano SBC. Since they use the same SOC (or close enough), it compiled. For the most part. A few of the essential cores did not work for me, including PSP. The UI is perfect, as you would expect from EmulationStation. However, I quickly ran into problems with controller mapping. UI mapping works, but in game falls flat. I tried everything I possibly could, and nothing worked. Between this and the problems with certain emulators, I abandoned this idea shortly after.

Lastly was Android. The Oreo build has too many problems with it to make it usable. The biggest is the overall UI performance. While emulation worked pretty well, I wanted something nice to look at as well, and this did not cut it. I then dove into building Pie. I was able to successfully build it, and even use the Android TV UI. This lets me use my favorite Android frontend, Arc Browser. This is as close to perfection as I could get, but some of the sticking points of Pie are still there. Once the development gets to be more stable, then this will be the ideal setup. It's just not there yet.

With that, I abandoned my ideal setup. Decided just to stick with running RA in native Horizon. This performs well enough, and only some of the more demanding systems don't work. UI can look nice if effort is put into it, but it isn't as pretty to look at vs something dedicated, like Arc or ES. The biggest reason I am sticking with Horizon is the fact that it works nearly flawless. I have only experienced one or two crashes in total, and those were primarily my fault. Most importantly, since I am not doing it for the problem systems, and since I am not caring about UI as much, this was the simplest setup: Install, dump the ROMs, scrape them, and play. I will revisit this in the future, once Pie releases a stable build, but until then, I am sticking with native RA.
 

HappehLemons

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Lakka is the best for N64, but you should use a payload injector as well as auto rcm. Just be aware its handheld only and doesn’t support sleep, so that’s why you’ll want a payload injector + auto rcm so you can quickly boot back into it.

L4T Ubuntu doesn’t even work with N64 anymore form last time I tried (I’m not sure if it ever did, it doesn’t seem to build any N64 cores successfully) and comes with its own set of headaches.

Android is a process to setup and requires the most tinkering with as well as a independent SD card IIRC. Maybe the pie update will improve this, but unless docked is important to you Lakka Is a better choice. Some people really like it, but for raw performance Lakka beats it in N64 with no need to find the “just right” settings, but it’s a bit better the HOS. There’s reasons to use it, but I never found it to be worth it persoanllly.

With all that said, HOS runs N64 really well. There’s just a handful of games that don’t run full speed. It’s worth using overall unless your playing one of the more demanding N64 titles.
 
Last edited by HappehLemons,
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FanofFans

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Lakka is the best for N64, but you should use a payload injector as well as auto rcm. Just be aware its handheld only and doesn’t support sleep, so that’s why you’ll want a payload injector + auto rcm so you can quickly boot back into it.

L4T Ubuntu doesn’t even work with N64 anymore form last time I tried (I’m not sure if it ever did, it doesn’t seem to build any N64 cores successfully) and comes with its own set of headaches.

Android is a process to setup and requires the most tinkering with as well as a independent SD card IIRC. Maybe the pie update will improve this, but unless docked is important to you Lakka Is a better choice. Some people really like it, but for raw performance Lakka beats it in N64 with no need to find the “just right” settings, but it’s a bit better the HOS. There’s reasons to use it, but I never found it to be worth it persoanllly.

With all that said, HOS runs N64 really well. There’s just a handful of games that don’t run full speed. It’s worth using overall unless your playing one of the more demanding N64 titles.
This^

I know on Horizon, some Super Mario 2 mini games had some SEVERE frame drop issues, to the point where the sound was stuttering, and it was very very slow. However, on Lakka, it was perfect. So overall, if you're looking for N64, Lakka is the way to go, IMO. Gamecube, too. PS2 runs, but incredibly shittily. It's kind of funny to watch it run so slow lol.
 

Basketto

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Half the reason lakka runs mupen64 slightly better off the bat, is because the core is fairly dated and doesnt target very accurate emulation.
Also doesnt support larger n64 texture packs so some games dont have the options to look as good visually. It doesnt matter in handheld as much though.
You can run the most demanding games on android fullspeed without needing to overclock if you have half a brain, and lakka in the latest official update ocarina of time is broken, majoras mask broken, conkers broken.
The update before that yoshis story was broken.
N64 emulation is definately not better in lakka :P. Banjo tooie constantly stutters.... even with good fps.
I used lakka constantly a year ago when travelling, the standalone mupen > than retroarch mupen in general.
If developers cared as much for updating lakka as mupen64fz creator cared about updating his product, maybe?? But in its current state lakka has so many more problems.
The fact its limited to 1 ancient gliden64 plugin, when mupen64 fz lets you choose between 3 current plugins gliden64, glide, rice, says enough. Emulators like mupen64plus and ppsspp will never be as good running from retroarch, as their standalone versions.
The fact that linux is a very marginally better front end for emulation doesn’t exist when you compare the standalone to retroarch.
 
Last edited by Basketto,

HappehLemons

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Half the reason lakka runs mupen64 slightly better off the bat, is because the core is fairly dated and doesnt target very accurate emulation.
Also doesnt support larger n64 texture packs so some games dont have the options to look as good visually. It doesnt matter in handheld as much though.
You can run the most demanding games on android fullspeed without needing to overclock if you have half a brain, and lakka in the latest official update ocarina of time is broken, majoras mask broken, conkers broken.
The update before that yoshis story was broken.
N64 emulation is definately not better in lakka :P. Banjo tooie constantly stutters.... even with good fps.
I used lakka constantly a year ago when travelling, the standalone mupen > than retroarch mupen in general.
If developers cared as much for updating lakka as mupen64fz creator cared about updating his product, maybe?? But in its current state lakka has so many more problems.
The fact its limited to 1 ancient gliden64 plugin, when mupen64 fz lets you choose between 3 current plugins gliden64, glide, rice, says enough. Emulators like mupen64plus and ppsspp will never be as good running from retroarch, as their standalone versions.
The fact that linux is a very marginally better front end for emulation doesn’t exist when you compare the standalone to retroarch.

there might be something in here worth reading, but you’re wrong about a lot of stuff. Here’s some corrections for anyone reading this thread:

Lakkas May 2020 build runs a version of the N64 MupenPlusNext that is one behind The current stable version, and has better compatibility then the most to date version as the newest one has some confirmed regressions. It’s very up to date, stable and arguably better.

gliden64 Isn’t ancient, it’s actually the only remaining video plugin that is still updated and maintained apart from angry lion, which only targets PCs for now so it’s not relevant.
Glide and rice aren’t supported anymore full stop, and aren’t included in retroarch because of this. They’re only in mupenFZ because their fast because of how old they are and let’s them target low spec hardware

with all that said, HOS is almost always the right choice. Lakka is better for some problem games and android works but isn’t worth the setup, troubles and dedicated SD card for most people to play the 6 or so games that don’t work smoothly in HOS
 
Last edited by HappehLemons,

Basketto

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there might be something in here worth reading, but you’re wrong about a lot of stuff. Here’s some corrections for anyone reading this thread:

Lakkas May 2020 build runs a version of the N64 MupenPlusNext that is one behind The current stable version, and has better compatibility then the most to date version as the newest one has some confirmed regressions. It’s very up to date, stable and arguably better.

gliden64 Isn’t ancient, it’s actually the only remaining video plugin that is still updated and maintained apart from angry lion, which only targets PCs for now so it’s not relevant.
Glide and rice aren’t supported anymore full stop, and aren’t included in retroarch because of this. They’re only in mupenFZ because their fast because of how old they are and let’s them target low spec hardware

with all that said, HOS is almost always the right choice. Lakka is better for some problem games and android works but isn’t worth the setup, troubles and dedicated SD card for most people to play the 6 or so games that don’t work smoothly in HOS

bud i didnt say gliden64 was ancient, i said the official lakka core is :P. and the unofficial build doesnt use the most modern cores, it is built on what is available that has been ported. They still have large problems. Parrallel doesnt work all.
You pretty much base your android experience on running one game goldeneye. Which actually runs fine. Horizon isnt the best option really, every update brings fixes but creates more problems for other games. The best overall coverage for games is android and considering the visual improvements and extra features the standalone emulator offers it isnt hard to choose. You literally have spent zero time testing more than one game in android(goldeneye), my comments are littered throughout the entire lakka forum. The os isnt perfect, joycons dont have the same analog, and every now and then on boot the system interface lags. But once your emulating it is better. I can 100% find you games that wont work in retroarch on mupen, on lakka and horizon. I know banjo had problems on horizons latest update, large problems. I challenge you to find these in androids mupen standalone, on any game.
If you know how to actually repartition an sd card it really isn’t a “dedicated” sd card either. You can put whatever you want on it.
You very clearly find android tedious, and i get it. But it doesn’t change the facts. I would much rather everything emulation worthy was superior in horizon, but it isn’t. I dont like using ubuntu much,
but dolphin emulation is always going to be superior on it, arguing it isnt wont change much.
 
Last edited by Basketto,

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I personally got similar performance of GC games on all 3, but I only tested a few games (mainly MGS, Mario Sunshine, and TimeSplitters 2).

That said, Ubuntu and the Ishuirka Dolphin fork was the only one to give me solid 60fps in TimeSplitters 2. That was the main game I wanted to play at the time. Sunshine is almost playable, ~60-75% speed after the tutorial area. Seems like the performance is just slightly better with other games.

None of the 3 can get Metal Gear Solid at a playable speed.

Haven't bothered trying N64 games in Ubuntu, I barely play them anymore so HOS RA is enough for me.

Edit: xbmcuser just reminded me, I'm using a Samsung EVO Select U3 card (64gb). I know some people have issues with lower U#'s and maybe other (cheap) brands with Ubuntu.
 
Last edited by TheCasualties,

konamicode89

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Thank you guys for the insight, I have a setup running Emummc/android/Ubuntu/and file based lakka on a sandisk 400gb

Aside from how well emulators runs on these platforms, has anyone had any experience with the netplay?
 

HappehLemons

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bud i didnt say gliden64 was ancient, i said the official lakka core is :P. and the unofficial build doesnt use the most modern cores, it is built on what is available that has been ported. They still have large problems. Parrallel doesnt work all.
You pretty much base your android experience on running one game goldeneye. Which actually runs fine. Horizon isnt the best option really, every update brings fixes but creates more problems for other games. The best overall coverage for games is android and considering the visual improvements and extra features the standalone emulator offers it isnt hard to choose. You literally have spent zero time testing more than one game in android(goldeneye), my comments are littered throughout the entire lakka forum. The os isnt perfect, joycons dont have the same analog, and every now and then on boot the system interface lags. But once your emulating it is better. I can 100% find you games that wont work in retroarch on mupen, on lakka and horizon. I know banjo had problems on horizons latest update, large problems. I challenge you to find these in androids mupen standalone, on any game.
If you know how to actually repartition an sd card it really isn’t a “dedicated” sd card either. You can put whatever you want on it.
You very clearly find android tedious, and i get it. But it doesn’t change the facts. I would much rather everything emulation worthy was superior in horizon, but it isn’t. I dont like using ubuntu much,
but dolphin emulation is always going to be superior on it, arguing it isnt wont change much.

You're right, Android is right for some people, it's not for me but might be better for other users. I just gave my opinion on that.

But I'm just correcting you, it's incorrect saying it doesn't run the most modern cores. The "unofficial" build does use the most modern cores of May2020, that's the reason the build compiled for. If we're JUST talking about N64, it's only 1 version behind the newest core (Which in some ways is worse, as Lakka already was Fullspeed so it doesn't need threaded rendering, and broke a few things at least in HOS).

It didn't update Lakka, it just the cores, which is why is runs better then the previous versions.

So when you said
The fact its limited to 1 ancient gliden64 plugin
and
lakka runs mupen64 slightly better off the bat, is because the core is fairly dated and doesnt target very accurate emulation.

That's incorrect.
 
Last edited by HappehLemons,
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