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RetroPie x86 / testing on different cpu types



  • I've created a small footprint system based on ubuntu/xenial minimal (say: server setup) plus needed libs etc.
    The setup fits onto a 2GB (1.1GB) usb stick, the system with RetroPie but w/o installed core and main packages needs ~2.5GB.
    Before sharing (if anyone is interested) I want to turn out which minimal cpu/gpu type is useful for best gaming experience. Testings I've already made are with a Zotac CI323 (very nice for most emulators) and an older i7/Nvdiia system (nearly everything runs great).
    For further testing my question is which emulator(s) and game(s) needs the most power? I have some elderly x86 systems stored at home: AMD-X2, X4, Intel "don't know", some with onboard GPU and some with cards to test with...

    Thanks for listening


  • Global Moderator

    @retropiex86 for the most part, CPU isn't the bottleneck for RPI3 - it's the poor GPU with limited GL featureset. we can work around CPU limitations with dynarecs and less-accurate emulators, but once you get into accelerated 3d emulation (N64, dreamcast), there's few shortcuts.

    so on that basis, i would say that mupen64plus-gliden64 is the big one. goldeneye 64 or perfect dark i guess?

    if you really want to test the system you should use emulators that RPIs can't hope to use - lr-beetle-saturn, pcsx2, dolphin, lr-bsnes, lr-beetle-psx, etc.



  • Great, thanks, that's the information I'm looking for. I'll do some tests then...weekend is near! :)



  • Tests completed so far. What I haven't tested are

    • pcsx2, cause of sdl2 dep difficulties
    • dolphin, I was not in the mood to peer the wiimotes :) but intros were working great at Zotac
    • lr-beetle-saturn, either I've no good/working dumps or something else went wrong ("uncorrectable sector 0"). An animation, followed by a screen appears where I colud play audio cd's. Sound is working good at all x86 hardware I tested.

    emulators / games used:

    • mupen64plus-glideN64: "Goldeneye 64" / "Perfect Dark"
    • lr-bsnes + lr-snes9x2010: "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters"
    • lr-beetle-psx + lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: "Crash Bandicoot 3 - Warped"

    x86 hardware tested:

    • Zotac CI323 (Intel N3150, Intel HD)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: gfx great, sound stutters
      lr-bsnes: gfx slow, sound stutters
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx good, sound stutters
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: gfx great, sound good

    • NoName (AMD64x2 3800+, NVidia 6150LE)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: segfault
      lr-bsnes: gfx slow, sound stutters
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx slow, sound stutters
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: hangs on start

    • Asus M2AVM (AMDx4 Phenom 9850, Radeon X1200)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: segfault
      lr-bsnes: gfx good, sound stutters
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx good, sound good
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: gfx & sound great

    • HP dc5800 (Intel Core2 Duo E8400, Intel 82Q33)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: segfault
      lr-bsnes: gfx great, sound great
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx good, sound stutters
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: gfx & sound great

    • NoName (Intel Core2 Duo E7500, Radeon HD 6450)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: gfx slow, sound stutters
      lr-bsnes: gfx great, sound great
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: gfx & sound great

    • NoName (Intel i7 920, NVidia GTS 450)
      mupen64plus-glideN64: gfx great, sound great
      lr-bsnes: gfx great, sound great
      lr-snes9x2010: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx: gfx & sound great
      lr-beetle-psx-rearmed: gfx & sound great

    Long story short: If you take an old x86, make sure that is at least an "Intel Core2 Duo" (or similar) >=2009 and any reasonably powerful gfx card >=2011

    Regarding publishing this baby: Is retropie.org.uk interested to open it's doors?



  • @retropiex86 This will be an interesting thing, 'cause the only USB capable distro for retrogaming like Retropie for PC is Batocera. If you release this live usb image, will be a great thing!!! Keep up with this good work!!!



  • Well, here it is. This is the installer version "b0". You have to bump this image onto an USB stick.
    The USB stick should boot with good ole BIOS as well as with an UEFI BIOS (tested).

    Within Linux you can use
    [sudo] dd if=/PATH/TO/retropie-usbinstall-vb0.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1M
    for that (for the beginners: sdX has to be the real USB device, e.g. /dev/sdc. BE CAREFUL AND CHECK IF YOUR GIVEN DEVICE IS CORRECT BY 200%! ANY MISTAKE AND MAYBE YOU'LL WIPE DATA FROM A WRONG DEVICE!)

    Windows users may use Rufus for that, but I neither have checked nor used that as I haven't used Windows for years and I'm not tempted to do that.

    When finished, you'll have to boot from this USB stick. It is not on our scope here to explain how to to this as there are too many ways out there (BIOS dependend).

    The USB stick first boots up Arch Linux and after a successfully start it fires up the installer script. Follow the informations given there. I (the script) assume(s) that there is only one HDD/SSD installed, so the installation will use this one and only device as target (/dev/sda). Here, as before, all existing data on the target device will be lost!

    After some minutes, when installation finishes, LEAVE THE USB STICK CONNECTED (because it's partition is still mounted and active) and power down your computer by shortly pressing the computers on/off button. If this is not working type systemctl powerdown at the console. Then you can remove the USB stick safetly.

    Wait ~10 seconds and power on your computer. Enjoy the boot process for some seconds and voila! Your will be presented by retropie's setup. Continue here as adviced by the docs.

    Some words about grahic cards:

    • There are no drivers installed for NVidia cards, except nouveau (nice but basic driver). If you're a using a NVidia graphic card you may have to install these drivers by yourself
    • I removed this damn driver for intel graphic cards and let the system use modesetting. But for older intel GPUs it'll maybe neccessary to re-install these driver. Use sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel at retropie's console to achieve that.

    You can login to retropie's console by using any ssh program. This setup uses retropie as it's client name in your network. This may work as an alias for it's ip address.

    That's all for the moment, folks! Test and enjoy this setup by playing many games. And don't forget to report successes and issues: If I receive "enough" comments I'll continue this project by optimizing the installer and other things that may need more love.



  • @retropiex86 this easy installer is great! Are you planning to do a Live USB with persistent mode to turn any PC into a temporary game console?



  • @danielmewhouse Thank you. But no, I'm not planning this. On the other hand: It's all OpenSource. Nothing hidden nor encrypted inside my installer. Take it as a template for your own ideas and feel free to realise whatever you want.


 

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