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Is it worth it to upgrade from Raspberry Pi 3 B to Pi 3 B+ for faster PSX emulation



  • On Raspberry Pi 3 B I have speed issues with several PSX titles. The most annoying is to have sporadic slowdowns during Tekken 3 fight. Also split screen game modes for Crash Team Racing or Need For Speed II are in fact unplayable. Games like Gran Turismo 1 and 2 are slow even with one player mode. FPS meter is showing 60 fps, but I can feel those slowdowns. All hi-res mode options, dithering and vibration are disabled. I only have bi-linear filtering and CRT PI curvature shader enabled.

    So is it worth it to upgrade to Pi 3 B+ just to improve PS1 experience? Platforms like N64 are not interesting for me right now anyway, cause I don't expect better performance with the same GPU. I just hope to get Tekken 3 running in full speed. Or should I wait for Pi 4 B?

    P.S. I had a set of experiments where I tried to decrease resolution from 720p to 480p, but it seems to break the shaders I use. Both CRT PI and ZFAST look really ugly. Also I am wondering if video smoothing affects performance that hard. If I disable all graphic improvements gameplay might not be that fun. Hi-res is not needed, I just need some feeling of old CRT.

    Other useful info:

    1. Raspberry Pi 3 B, with supported power supply
    2. RetroPie 4.4.3, manual installation
    3. Emulator: lr-pcsx-rearmed
    4. 2x Logitech F310 controllers


  • @megaJekan Some shaders greatly affect performance so I would suggest turning them off and then retesting the games you mentioned. If the games run better then I think you have your answer.

    There have been hints that the pi4 wont be ready for at least another year(s) so I wouldnt hold your breath waiting for it. The improved CPU in the 3b+ certainly could help with psx emulation but I would not expect it to be enough of a difference to be a silver bullet fix.

    Also if you are into overclocking it appears in my prelim testing that the gpu on the pi3b+ can handle more overclock than previous models, though this will vary somewhat based on the "silicon lottery".



  • @megaJekan Some of that slowdown is software-side and not hardware related. Kernel/OS updates in Raspbian Stretch (RetroPie 4.4) have decreased the slowdown in some games so you might want to consider upgrading.

    As for if the the faster ARM clock speed of the RPi3B+ would improve the slowdown, I'll look into testing with and without my current overclock on my RPi3B for you, though I'm pretty sure the slowdown is a constant regardless of if it is overclocked or not.

    Edit: The test @sirhenrythe5th did seems good enough and seems to show my point about the slowdown being software-side.



  • I just made a very simple Test: when switching to the Hi-Res Mode in RA the Games still become significant slower.
    So IMO it is not worthy to upgrade from a 3B to a 3B+ just for PSX



  • @MajorDangerNine said in Is it worth it to upgrade from Raspberry Pi 3 B to Pi 3 B+ for faster PSX emulation:

    Kernel/OS updates in Raspbian Stretch (RetroPie 4.4) have decreased the slowdown in some games so you might want to consider upgrading.

    I am still using Jessie. So I can at least try upgrading to Stretch.

    @sirhenrythe5th said in Is it worth it to upgrade from Raspberry Pi 3 B to Pi 3 B+ for faster PSX emulation:

    when switching to the Hi-Res Mode in RA the Games still become significant slower.

    The thing is that I don't need hi-res mode for PSX, it breaks the rendering of sprites. But I was wondering if overclocking helps in general to solve Tekken 3 slowdowns.

    For the time being I have set resolution to 480p, disabled shaders and started using overlay image offered here:
    https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3156/i-need-help-using-a-scanline-overlay-on-a-crt/8

    The performance is much better, but not ideal.


  • Global Moderator

    so firstly there is no need to use a crt shader with tekken 3. it runs at 364x480 which is an interlaced display mode, hence no scan lines on real hardware.

    secondly, for this same reason pcsx-rearmed’s “enhanced resolution” mode won’t do anything; it’s hard coded to ignore such games.

    thirdly i believe the very slight micro-slowdowns in tekken 3 are not to do with cpu power but emulation issues. it’s the same performance on a pi2 and pi3b+ as far as i can tell.



  • @dankcushions with setting 480p as resolution and disabling shaders slowdowns in Tekken 3 are minimal now. I gave it a try again, it is super playable. I also saw a significant improvement in Smackdown. Though Crash Team Racing is still quite slow in split screen mode.



  • @megaJekan I've never noticed any slowdown in Tekken 3 or Crash team racing (singleplayer or multiplayer). I'm using a non overclocked Pi 3B (Jessie) at 1080p with bilinear filtering on and also a scanlines shader (no curvature). High res mode does introduce slowdown in these games sadly.


  • Global Moderator

    @megaJekan said in Is it worth it to upgrade from Raspberry Pi 3 B to Pi 3 B+ for faster PSX emulation:

    @dankcushions with setting 480p as resolution and disabling shaders slowdowns in Tekken 3 are minimal now.

    nice! but you really don't have to use 480p. like i said, pscx-rearmed is full speed (other than the same slight micro-slowdown emulations issues) on a pi2 at 1080p at default settings.



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