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Believe in Harmony
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hmm, I'm pretty confused as to how software emulation is suppose to work as compared to hardware emulation. I always thought that as long as a software GPU existed for that emulator, you shouldn't even have to worry about your graphics card.

This is true in my case because I have a sucky graphics card that came with my pc. I had a lot of display problems and slowdowns when I was playing a PSX game using a Direct3D or OpenGL plugin. However, software emulation has allowed me to play any PSX FF game with excellent accuracy at 1024 x 768 resolution.

Now this doesn't seem to hold up as true anymore since I've been trying to run FFX on my pc. I already know about PCSX2 still being in its developmental phase, but I've already seen plenty of great looking FFX screenshots running at a low FPS. I can get loading and menu screens to appear just fine in software mode, but when it's time to render 3-d objects, nothing will show.

So now this is leading me to believe that PS2 software emulation DOES require a high end graphics to a certain extent. I might even be completely wrong and my idea of how software emulation is suppose to work is just rubbish.

Can someone help me understand how software emulation works and why 3-d models from FFX won't work in software emulation?
 

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The Unknown One said:
Hmm, I'm pretty confused as to how software emulation is suppose to work as compared to hardware emulation. I always thought that as long as a software GPU existed for that emulator, you shouldn't even have to worry about your graphics card.

This is true in my case because I have a sucky graphics card that came with my pc. I had a lot of display problems and slowdowns when I was playing a PSX game using a Direct3D or OpenGL plugin. However, software emulation has allowed me to play any PSX FF game with excellent accuracy at 1024 x 768 resolution.

Now this doesn't seem to hold up as true anymore since I've been trying to run FFX on my pc. I already know about PCSX2 still being in its developmental phase, but I've already seen plenty of great looking FFX screenshots running at a low FPS. I can get loading and menu screens to appear just fine in software mode, but when it's time to render 3-d objects, nothing will show.

So now this is leading me to believe that PS2 software emulation DOES require a high end graphics to a certain extent. I might even be completely wrong and my idea of how software emulation is suppose to work is just rubbish.

Can someone help me understand how software emulation works and why 3-d models from FFX won't work in software emulation?

Well, for first curently there only one GPU plugin 4 PCSX, its GSDX9, you see that 9 part? it means that its directx 9, so you need some sort of directx9 support from your video card.
Now i belive that your graphic problems whit software plugin is not because of the video card, the way ir works it do all the calculations and rendering on CPU and just send the data to video output, so try 2 change CPU settings in emulator, use Interpreter mode and software plugin ( by the way this combination is the MOST compatible, like "safe mode"..) and everything will be fine ( only if the game is supported by the emu) so if you see some screenshots of games in forums you will have the same one, but there maibe some games that need to be patched by the emu to go ingame.
And dont forget that the emulation is VERY slow so you might have 2 wait 10-20 minutes to go ingame.
This is true in my case because I have a sucky graphics card that came with my pc. I had a lot of display problems and slowdowns when I was playing a PSX game using a Direct3D or OpenGL plugin. However, software emulation has allowed me to play any PSX FF game with excellent accuracy at 1024 x 768 resolution
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PS one emulation is VERY advanced this days, and the hardware itsef is not that complicated, so programers managed to do Hardware Aceleration,so PS One and N64 emulators have all this great stuff in plugins like filtering,FSAA,HQ2 and many other enhacments. (All of this done by directly decoding textures by the emu, you can extract textures whit cartain plugin from N64 Games and replace by HQ textures.)

Can someone help me understand how software emulation works and why 3-d models from FFX won't work in software emulation?
As i sayd before software emulation is done by the CPU, and just output the graphics to monitor, and the video card way not important,as this type of procesing are limited by the cpu.

P.S. Sorry 4 my english, not my naytive languege.
 

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PCSX2 Coder
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as said by Benny software emulation is done on the CPU, why? well basically older graphics cards that dont support directX acceleration cant do certain things without help from the processor, so mapping texture data, calculating triangles etc is done on the cpu. On older systems the cpu can free enough time to do these without causing any performance problems with the emulation itself, but newer consoles like the PS2 need a LOT of processing time, leaving nearly none for the graphics card, this is why you get major slowdowns when using a software graphics plugin.

If you use a Hardware graphics plugin like gsdx9 the processes can be offloaded onto the graphics card to work out leaving the cpu free to do the rest of the emulation, hence the increase in speed.

I know ive repeated some of what benny said, i do apologise :)
 

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Believe in Harmony
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hmm, so basically the graphics card is there to help with the graphics processing portion of console emulation right? therefore, a high-end graphics card isn't a necessity as long as your cpu can handle software emulation. it's more of a tradeoff based on how I see it. if you want excellent emulation, it's either going to cost you a high-end graphics card or more work for your processor to do (hence the larger slowdown).

so here's my question. if i'm seeing other users on the board capable of emulating FFX in D3D mode (at much less than 60 FPS, of course), then it shouldn't be a problem for my computer to do the same in software mode (at a much larger slowdown than hardware mode), right?
 

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A Square Fan!
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so here's my question. if i'm seeing other users on the board capable of emulating FFX in D3D mode (at much less than 60 FPS, of course), then it shouldn't be a problem for my computer to do the same in software mode (at a much larger slowdown than hardware mode), right?
Right.
But the actual GPU's are enough to do all the job. So a new graphics card wont do the fps up (As it has been said in other posts). The only problem in PCSX2 is the CPU, even in D3D or Software.
 

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Believe in Harmony
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah, but the issue of FFX not running on my computer still boggles me. i can get the menus and intro screens to show just fine, but when it's time to start rendering 3D, nothing will show. before today, i used to brush that off as being a graphics card problem. however, it seems that if i'm using software emulation, that shouldn't be a problem.

sigh..., now that i have an idea of how software emulation works, i'm more confused that ever. -_-;;
 

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Right now, the only way that people have managed to get in-game in ffx is through the use of game saves. There is an entire thread devoted to them, and a little searching of the forum on saves or FFX will direct you appropriately. There's even a thread explaining how to import saves from your PS2 memcards.
I'd give you the links myself but I'm on dial-up and I'm too lazy to wait (forums hate me).

(edit)If by "time to display 3d" you mean the 3d intro, then there are other potential problems. I'd look at sound emulation as the primary culprit, as that is what caused me problems at that point. Enabling skip-sound on the ffx patch (I believe it's disabled by default in the US version of the patch) should resolve that.

(edit2)Even then though you still won't get in-game without a save game :p
 

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PCSX2 Coder
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What people dont seem to understand here is the graphics side of the emulation isnt just putting the stuff on the screen, because as far as the graphics card is concerned, thats all its doing.

In 3d games on the ps2 about 80-90% of its time is spend processing the graphics data in its memory, this means the VU is doing a shed load of work.

now for those who dont know the VU (vector unit) is built up like a processor, it had add, subtract and multiplication along with hundreds of other commands, which is all floating point data.

before ANYTHING is sent to the graphics card, this has to be processed and then it sends the data when its ready.

Unfortunately this work cant be offloaded on the graphics card, but this is why pcsx2 has a VU-Rec, becuase interpreting the VU like a cpu is slow and rubbish, so recompiling it is a much faster albiet less reliable option, and for those who can use it, you will know what i mean when i say the speed goes up from 0.5-6fps to about 15-25fps, which is about a 1500% increase in speed (forgive me if my maths is totally wrong)

So new graphics card = absolute jack
New CPU = you're in business! especially if it has SSE2 (VU-Rec support :cool: )
 
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