Why are PS2/GBC Emulators very hardware intensive?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by sodaddict, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. sodaddict

    sodaddict GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 18, 2016
    I'm curious to know the exact reason why emulators like the PS2, GameCube and Wii are very hardware intensive? They have very weak processors compared to most of us, but why do they require so much memory from the PC? Does it have to do with how much it takes in the original console or something?
  2. Mikemk

    Mikemk GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Mar 26, 2015
    United States
    GBC is GameBoy Color, GameCube is normally abbreviated GCM.

    And they're actually incredibly efficient. Dolphin 5 only requires about 2GHz to achieve a good experience, only 4x an actual GameCube.

    Compare to SNES which needs 600 MHz for basic emulation on some games, 200x the actual hardware requirements.
  3. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Because emulators have to emulate the hardware through software, that and PCs use Intel or AMD CPU language, PS2 uses MIPS, Gamecube uses PowerPC, GBA uses ARM, etc. PCs don't understand the language or architecture that consoles use, so it has to trick or translate one language to another in order for the PC to understand. Top that off with the fact the processors, hardware, etc have to be synchronized and have to be emulated in unison as well. Emulation is imitating the console's hardware using software, this is why CPU requirements are high for emulators.

    Intel x86-64 doesn't understand IBM PowerPC by default, the emulator translates the code for the PC to understand, but it has to emulate it; emulators rely heavily on the CPU.
    Last edited by the_randomizer, Oct 24, 2016
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  4. DKB


    GBAtemp Patron
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    May 29, 2015
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    Because your emulating hardware with software. Your computer has to follow a set of instructions in order to emulate a whole other architecture other than itself.
    the_randomizer likes this.
  5. RemixDeluxe

    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

    Nov 23, 2010
    United States
    GBC emulation is hardware intensive?

    Try taking the toast out of the toaster, that should give it some room to run it properly.
    Ethevion and VinsCool like this.
  6. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

    Mar 6, 2006
    United States
    Most emulators take performance shortcuts behind the scenes.
  7. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Tom BombaDadlo

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    I forgot
    For the PS2, Sony used a lot of custom hardware that are more difficult to emulate on a standard x86 PC. The Emotion Engine CPU they used was completely custom, only made for use by the PS2. Read up the wiki on it, it's fairly interesting if you like hardware stuff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion_Engine

    The Gamecube, on the other hand, uses a PPC CPU and an ATI GPU that are both much easier to emulate (the PPC architecture was used in Apple PCs before they made the switch to x86 and the ATI GPU was very similar to PC standards). That's why the Gamecube (and, by extension, the Wii since it's basically a Gamecube and a half duct taped together) is much further along compatibility-wise vs the PS2.
  8. x65943

    x65943 Dr. Rabbi Prince X, Sr., Ed. D.

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    Jun 23, 2014
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    Not to be pedantic, but if you're going to correct him the Gamecube is usually shortened to GCN (Gamecube Nintendo)
    gnmmarechal likes this.
  9. 03bgood

    03bgood Banned

    Aug 29, 2014
    United States
    Paris, Illinois
    These are the most annoying emulators to date:

    N64 (Still to this day, but almost on par with PS1)
    GCN (Somewhat)
    DS (Somewhat)
    PSP (Somewhat)

    Every other retro emulator seems to work fine.
    Last edited by 03bgood, Oct 26, 2016
  10. elBenyo

    elBenyo Wad of meat.

    Jan 2, 2016
    United States
    The Galaxy S7 can run Dolphin at full speed so one day phones will do it all.
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