RetroArch 1.9.6 released, has massive performance increases for Xbox Series X|S with Dolphin, more

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RetroArch 1.9.6 is out now, and available to download on support platforms. This new update has a lot of new features packed in, such as being able to scan large libraries of games faster, preventing pesky audio-related crashes, and improvements to the Direct3D 11 driver on Windows, courtesy of the DuckStation emulator creator. You can grab the update on the Libretro site.

Version 1.9.6 also adds some major optimizations and performance increases for Xbox Series X|S users, as RetroArch can now make use of more resources on the system. When it comes to Dolphin, Series X|S users can play a wide variety of Nintendo GameCube and Wii titles at full speed, while even rendered at 4K resolution. DuckStation also benefits from the update, with equally good 4K PlayStation 1 game emulation.

Release notes

Windows users (with XAudio2 audio driver): RetroArch would previously hang/lock up if you happened to disconnect your current audio device. For instance, this could happen if you were playing with headphones on and you decided to suddenly disconnect your headphones. This has now been fixed. Instead of it locking up the program, instead the sound is just lost instead.

Security concerns over the AI Service on Windows have been addressed.

Improvements to the Windows installer have been made. This should hopefully prevent potentially disasterous situations from happening again. This could happen for instance when the user pointed the installer to install to a directory he should not be pointing to (like C:\Program Files for instance or the desktop), and did not heed the warning.

Linux users should hopefully no longer experience crashes when toggling between normal and threaded video mode with OpenGL thanks to a patch by grant2258.

The Direct3D 11 driver has been improved for Windows users thanks to Stenzek (DuckStation author). Several fixes: tear control support is queried. If not supported, flip mode presentation will not be used and Direct3D will resort back to the legacy blit model instead (less optimal and worse windowed mode). DXGI Alt+Enter handling has been disabled since it would conflict with RetroArch’s fullscreen mode switch. Non-vsynced output without the flip model should also be properly fixed now, when tear support is enabled and flip model is used, it should be possible to fastforward.

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ciaomao

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What doesn't get talked about is (Black Frame Insertion) BFIv2 got implemented [I think] in recent updates. It seems like it. I don't have a 360hz display to test out though. It was silently implemented.

https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/issues/10754



You can set BFI to 1-5 depending on the refresh rate of your display.

1=120hz
2=180hz
3=240hz
4=300hz
5=360hz


If you have a 360hz display you can reduce motion blur on a LCD by 83%. This will essentially give you CRT motion clarity.
What doesn't get talked about is (Black Frame Insertion) BFIv2 got implemented [I think] in recent updates. It seems like it. I don't have a 360hz display to test out though. It was silently implemented.

https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/issues/10754



You can set BFI to 1-5 depending on the refresh rate of your display.

1=120hz
2=180hz
3=240hz
4=300hz
5=360hz


If you have a 360hz display you can reduce motion blur on a LCD by 83%. This will essentially give you CRT motion clarity.
Please explain the math behind. Thx
 

SG854

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Please explain the math behind. Thx
It inserts a black frame in between each frame. On a 360hz panel it shows the image for one frame then inserts a black frame for 5 frames. Then shows the next game frame. So for 60 hz content 5 black frames in between each of the 60 frames. Totaling to 360 frames.

So it's On Off Off Off Off Off.

On a 120 hz display it inserts 1 black frame. On 180hz it inserts 2 black frames, and 300hz inserts 4 black frames. If you have a 120hz display set bfi in retroarch to 1, for 180 hz set it to 2, for 300hz set it to 4.

What your seeing is mostly black then the actual game image. Which makes motion clearer and sharper. LCD's and OLED's being sample and hold displays blur in motion because of our eye tracking and persistence of vision. Making the display flicker is what clears it up. On a OLED you only see 500 lines of resolution which is lower then the 4k resolution when things are in motion..


A video showing the difference between a CRT and OLED. As you can see the CRT which flickers by nature looks sharper and clearer. Set the video to 1080p to see the difference better.

 
Last edited by SG854,

ciaomao

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It inserts a black frame in between each frame. On a 360hz panel it shows the image for one frame then inserts a black frame for 5 frames. Then shows the next game frame. So for 60 hz content 5 black frames in between each of the 60 frames. Totaling to 360 frames.

So it's On Off Off Off Off Off.

What your seeing is mostly black then the actual game image. Which makes motion clearer and sharper. LCD's and OLED's being sample and hold displays blur in motion because of our eye tracking and persistence of vision. Making the display flicker is what clears it up. On a OLED you only see 500 lines of resolution which is lower then the 4k resolution when things are in motion..


A video showing the difference between a CRT and OLED. As you can see the CRT which flickers by nature looks sharper and clearer. Set the video to 1080p to see the difference better.


Interesting, so it works basically like a PWM, which also means 1/5 of the brightness. Some years ago we dev‘d an interface board that synced the host with the backlight. It was used mainly for airport x-ray scanners to kill the blur. The trick was to draw only when the LEDs where turned off by PWM. Do you have a source for the mentioned 83%? I am curious how they calculated it. Thanks
 

SG854

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Interesting, so it works basically like a PWM, which also means 1/5 of the brightness. Some years ago we dev‘d an interface board that synced the host with the backlight. It was used mainly for airport x-ray scanners to kill the blur. The trick was to draw only when the LEDs where turned off by PWM. Do you have a source for the mentioned 83%? I am curious how they calculated it. Thanks
Ya, it was in the link I originally posted under
Best Case Display Motion Blur Reduction by BFI. It tells you how much less blur for each of the refresh rates. The github was requested by Blur Busters.

https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/issues/10754


Showing a frame 1/360 of a second on a 360hz panel gives you about 2.8 ms of motion blur. So it's real close to a crt. CRT's with fast phosphor decay have about 1ms, crt's shows a frame for 1/1000 of a second. LCD's are about 16.7ms showing frames at 1/60 of a second.


180hz and 300hz are probably the best for black frame insertion. Some LCD displays suffer from temporary image retention when enabling bfi, which is the case for my LCD at 120hz. But 180hz and 300hz are odd divisible refresh rates which doesn't interfere with LCD voltage inverse electronics. So those refresh rates are image retention proof. And 300hz you still get about 80% less blur.
 
Last edited by SG854,

Goku1992A

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That's subjective. It's perfectly easy to use and set up, it's the Vita is too weak to do anything more than NES.

The vita plays really well I think it fall short on PS1 games because some of them wont play... but that's an easy fix with Adrenalline.

The nightmare part is the naming scheme. But I use launch box for that

I actually use MAME for android it plays evreything on it which is sweet

But on a side note the Series-X is the most favortable system of next gen. BC Support and Retroarch makes it an all value system. The only thing Sony have over microsoft is the exclusives
 

the_randomizer

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The vita plays really well I think it fall short on PS1 games because some of them wont play... but that's an easy fix with Adrenalline.



I actually use MAME for android it plays evreything on it which is sweet

But on a side note the Series-X is the most favortable system of next gen. BC Support and Retroarch makes it an all value system. The only thing Sony have over microsoft is the exclusives

That has nothing to do with RetroArch, nor is it a fault of RA. Vita is too weak.
 

codezer0

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I'd be less opposed to them mothballing older systems, if they kept the final/latest stable release up on the site to (re)download somehow. There was supposedly one more big update to the release meant for the original xbox that I can't get because their site flat out doesn't even host it anymore.

Same with the Wii... But the PSP version, last I checked, is still up. Annoying, to say the very least.
 

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I'd be less opposed to them mothballing older systems, if they kept the final/latest stable release up on the site to (re)download somehow. There was supposedly one more big update to the release meant for the original xbox that I can't get because their site flat out doesn't even host it anymore.

Same with the Wii... But the PSP version, last I checked, is still up. Annoying, to say the very least.

Yeah, I'd point that out, but they may throw a tantrum if you call them out on it.
 

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I just updated to test it myself, and as expected... controller inputs are still broken on Wii U port.

Sometimes I find it unbelievable to see such a basic feature not working for so long, especially when it wasn't a problem before.
 

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I'm very thankful for the work everyone's put into RetroArch. My only complaint is that there seems to be some shiny new feature every update while old problems don't get fixed for ages. I get that not everyone works on the same things and no one's obligated to work on any of it to begin with. That's the nature of open source projects. But I think it hurts the overall perception of RetroArch to have so many half-broken ports.

That said, it seems like things are slowly getting better.

Also, rest in peace Near. Your contributions to the community will be remembered.
 

kcajjones

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every time i see a RetroArch update i look for Vita and Wii U info.

View attachment 269237
The allure of the Vita and the Wii U is surely the systems' exclusive titles. Both consoles are far outclassed by successors (ie: Switch and Android phones with 8bitdo controller and mount). I find it interesting when older consoles get emulation support but it's rarely the best way to play unless you absolutely don't have a more modern device.
 
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The allure of the Vita and the Wii U is surely the systems' exclusive titles. Both consoles are far outclassed by successors (ie: Switch and Android phones with 8bitdo controller and mount). I find it interesting when older consoles get emulation support but it's rarely the best way to play unless you absolutely don't have a more modern device.

i own every console expect PS5, Xbox series S|X and Xbox one.

i have Oneplus 6T, Pixel 3a and Samsung S21 as phones

Vita and the Wii U is the best.

giphy.gif
 

ChiefReginod

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The original Wii doesn't get enough love. Not only does it do native 240p, but the composite output is pretty much the best in class even compared to the usual transcoders. It's probably the easiest way to emulate 8 and 16-bit systems accurately on a CRT TV, and in some cases even better than playing on the original console (some Genesis models had the rainbow banding or jail bars). Ok, so not everyone appreciates composite output over RGB, but some people prefer it for various reasons I won't go into here.

Unfortunately, the Wii port of RetroArch has had glitched audio for the past 5 or 6 stable releases, so you either have to use an older version or use the standalone emulators. I'm sure it will be fixed at some point, but the Wii port is really overlooked with the way people go to such great lengths now to get quality 240p output. They're cheap and easy to mod and RA runs great on it aside from the present audio issue. It just feels like it should have a bigger spotlight as CRT gaming makes a resurgence.
 
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