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Hardware for multiplayer (4 players)



  • Hi,

    I am completely new to RetroPie.
    Want to make sure that I can play 4-player games.
    Also want to play N64 which is not running that well on 3b+ (is that true?).

    Are there any experiences/tests/suggestions which hardware to use (e.g. NUC, AMD PC etc.)?

    Thank you in advance,
    gamersgonnagame


  • Global Moderator

    @gamersgonnagame

    Want to make sure that I can play 4-player games.

    If you have enough controllers and they're supported by RetroPie, you can do that without problems. If you intend to use 4 Bluetooth controllers and a Raspberry PI, then get a Bluetooth USB dongle to accommodate them.

    Also want to play N64 which is not running that well on 3b+ (is that true?).

    Yes, some titles are working ok, some of them are not so great. There's a compatibility list in the emulator page in the Docs. If you expect perfect performance, a Raspberry PI will not be sufficient.

    Are there any experiences/tests/suggestions which hardware to use (e.g. NUC, AMD PC etc.)?

    Do you have any other games/consoles in mind or you intend to stop at N64 games ? What NUC model do you have in mind ?



  • Hi thank you so far,

    want one box with good performance and no lags.
    Will use 4x PS4 controllers preferably bluetooth.

    Read something, that I at least need a i5 of generation 3.
    Thought about something in the range of 200 - 400 bucks e.g. INTEL NUC7I5BNK but it "only" got an embedded Intel Graphics Chip.

    Which leads me to the question:
    Does RetroPie need GPU or CPU power and what RAM is required (what's the common bottleneck)?

    Regards,
    gamersgonnagame



  • PS: I want to play as much 4 player as possible.


  • Global Moderator

    @gamersgonnagame said in Hardware for multiplayer (4 players):

    Thought about something in the range of 200 - 400 bucks e.g. INTEL NUC7I5BNK but it "only" got an embedded Intel Graphics Chip.

    Emulations is mostly about CPU, so make sure you'll get an i5 with it and not a Celeron, though I think a Celeron would also be enough for N64. The model you linked seems a bit pricey though, I think you should be able to find a miniPC around 300 that you can use for emulation.



  • @gamersgonnagame Which games do you have in mind? I may be able to test some of them on my Pi 3b (without +) and my mini pc MSI Cubi 3 with an Intel Core i3-7100U @ 4x2.4Ghz, which costs about 300€/£.



  • Until now I know only a few 4 player games:

    N64

    • Diddy Kong Racing
    • Mario Kart 64
    • Mario Party
    • Super Mash Bros

    PS1/PS2

    • Crash Bash
    • Crash Team Racing
    • Need For Speed U2
    • Tekken


  • @gamersgonnagame Almost all PS1 games will run just fine on a stock pi 3, I have personally played crash bash and crash team racing multiplayer and they run without issues.

    N64 emulation on a pi 3 has quite a few issues but with a proper (STABLE) GPU overclock you can run mario kart 64 and super smash bros fairly well multiplayer. Diddy Kong racing and mario party also run well on an overclocked pi3 but work best using the gliden64 plugin which currently will crash after 10-20 mins of play time.

    Fingers crossed that 2019 brings a much improved pi4



  • Alright, thank you I will watch out for a small computer with i5 gen 3 or higher CPU.



  • @gamersgonnagame said in Hardware for multiplayer (4 players):

    Until now I know only a few 4 player games:

    N64

    • Diddy Kong Racing
    • Mario Kart 64
    • Mario Party
    • Super Mash Bros

    Okay, I'll test them as promised as soon as I have the time (= in the next few days). With PS1 I can't help you, though.

    @quicksilver Do you have any recommended values for a "proper (STABLE) GPU overclock"?



  • @gamersgonnagame Okay, I tested all four games on my MSI Cubi 3 Silent. However, I didn't test multiplayer. I looked at the FPS in the demo mode of each game, and I played 5-10 minutes in the single player mode. The games ran on my desktop resolution of 1920x1200 with the core's internal rendering resolution set to 1920x1080. I did not change any other default settings of RA or lr-mupen64-plus.

    I tested the games on my normal Kubuntu Linux Plasma 5 desktop, which is one of the most demanding desktop environments for Linux. Thus, the performance of RetroArch may be better in a less demanding environment, e.g. a lightweight Linux distribution like Lubuntu, or even a dedicated Ubuntu 18.04 server installation.

    Now for the results. Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Kart 64 ran mostly at 59.x FPS with infrequent drops to 58.x FPS, and very seldom hickups in the music. Mario Party did worse, although it looks like the least demanding; it may not be as optimized as the others. It ran mostly at 56-58 FPS, with more frequent music stuttering or slowdowns. The best of the bunch was Super Smash Brothers, running mostly at 60 FPS with only occasional drops to the upper end of 59.x FPS.

    Since I have not much experience in N64 emulation, I can't say if the FPS are normal for an i3-7100, and if they are likely to improve on a i5 or i7. I also can't say if the music hickups are a general problem of N64 emulation or a sign of insufficient hardware power. The MSI Cubi 3 isn't optimized for gaming, but for low power consumption and quietness, being a completely silent fanless system. My model is the low end of the product line, there are also i5 and i7 models available.

    Maybe this will help you in your decision. If not, it was fun peek into N64 emulation nonetheless. :)



  • @Clyde part of the problem with over clocking is that there is no standard value. The clock speeds that are set from the factory are the guaranteed speeds that all Pi's can handle. Some can handle more however and that is where over clocking comes in. With N64 emulation on the pi, "core_freq" (this is the GPU core) overclocking will give the biggest gains. Every Pi I have played with can handle a core_freq of 500mhz and many others I have played with have handled up to 550mhz. Again there is no guarantee your pi will be the same but it's probably a good starting point. It's likely you will need to over volt as well in order to make the overclock more stable. I have another thread on here somewhere that discusses overclocking and stability testing in more detail.





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