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MiSTer

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,707 ✭✭✭✭ o1s1n


    I think the hype is a little bit more than just the games running and more around the preservation and accuracy side of things. It also has a really healthy level of development currently going on for it.

    You're right though, as a daily cabinet driver for actually playing games, some of the other emulation options are already brilliant and I wouldn't be in a rush to replace everything if I already had a decent Hyperspin setup.

    I quite like that these FPGA units are so small and relatively plug and play if you get a complete kit. I'm beyond faffing around getting things set up so am hoping once the MiSTercade arrives I already have an ultimate mister and can just plug them all together and lash them in the cabinet.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭ bugs


    For the most part, the mistercade and irkenlabs solutions provide almost plug and play solutions. No keyboard, no faffing, all good!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    I think the hype is a little bit more than just the games running and more around the preservation and accuracy side of things.

    Don't automatically buy into the notion that FPGA = accuracy, because it doesn't. It can be, but not by virtue of it's existence. Latency is the big seller here, because there's no underlying OS overhead. Have a quick read of the late (and very great) Near's thoughts on things, from a few years back, there's some fantastic truths in here that many with an axe to grind/profit to make don't like hearing - https://archive.md/2018.07.07-112551/https://byuu.org/articles/fpgas-arent-magic/

    That said, I think FPGA solutions are, really great. I love everything about them, have an Analogue Pocket pre-ordered, and would dearly like to pick up a DE-10 and a MiSTer Multisystem, maybe next year if supply of DE-10's gets anywhere normal again! I also love software emulation, and have spent countless hours curating a couch-ready experience that offers me everything from Atari to modern systems, with zero/low latency, stunning shaders that really give good crt's a run for their money, all controllable with a controller. So both approaches have their strengths.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    the FPGA hype is mostly Analogue’s doing.

    There’s another advantage to FPGA solutions - not having to write code to keep everything synchronised to the console’s clock and video output, not having to have a loop checking how many cycles to step the emulation by each time which varies depending on CPU speed. Not needing to write hacks to make sure that things work despite the discrete simulation.

    I agree it doesn’t make things more accurate, but it’s definitely an advantage of using an FPGA over software.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    Near (in the above link) also shares some thoughts on the parallel processing side of things:

    FPGAs may be inherently more parallel, which is beneficial for resource usage, but modern CPUs are really, really good about context switching. Software emulators can and do verifiably simulate down to the tiniest possible clock cycle, the parallel nature of real hardware simply by using more resources

    Again, I do think FPGAs do offer benefits, but put one in blind taste test with original hardware and a properly configured emulation setup would catch many a purist out.

    Post edited by Inviere on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    I can only tell the difference from a latency pov, not accuracy.

    Near’s statement doesn’t tackle my point though. It’s not impossible, just much harder to get right.

    He’s overselling how good CPUs are at context switching though, as it’s the OS that’s the issue in that scenario!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    Latency is definitely noticeable when comparing a low power device or vanilla emulation setup to OG hardware or fpga solution. There's games that just absolutely break your heart where additional latency is introduced, so for most, that's where fpga truly shines.

    That said, when runahead came along, it was revolutionary. It immediately nulified additional latency, and transformed how games felt. For the first time in decades, emulation felt on par again with OG hardware.

    However, not all RA cores support it (it requires save state functionality to function), so the likes of MAME won't support it. That puts MiSTer out in front in this case latency wise for those cores.

    The other huge seller for me with MiSTer is the analogue video out. Long known to be awkward with modern pc's, MiSTer is literally plug and play.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭ Shapey Fiend


    Selling point for me is that Mister is so easy to use. I swap it between my CRT and main telly all the time. I like how simple the interface is vs RetroArch. Only problem I've ran into is getting Neo Geo roms to transfer to SD card without corrupting but I'm sure I'd work that out in 20mins if I had it in me to work out how ftp transfer works.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    I'd strongly agree there, for no fuss plug and play, there's nothing else out there that rivals it. You can achieve similar with software emulation, but to do it justice, you have to face a significant learning curve.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    From the term "run ahead" I could guess what that feature does. Very clever solution!

    I'm happy with my MiSTers. Small and they barely consume any power and the menus are nice and simple, if a little lacking in the UX department!

    Mister One (So much dust on my switch!)

    Mister Two

    MiSTerCade isn't quite plug and play in terms of the configuration files to make cores "just work" with arcade controls, but it's a minor thing, and way less hassle than configuring everything manually yourself on each core you load. It's hopefully being added to the Update_All script as an option really soon.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,646 ✭✭✭ eddhorse


    MiSTer #2 has arrived from Taiwan, whoop



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    PlayStation core has got accurate analogue video timings in the latest unstable.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭ Inviere


    Class



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    So I've tried:

    • Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
    • Alundra
    • Die Hard Trilogy
    • Soukyugurentai
    • Soul Blade
    • Castlevania SOTN
    • MGS VR Missions

    Soul Blade crashed once, but everything else works from the brief moments I've tried. I'd never played the PS version of Soukygurentai before. It feels WEIRD!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭ randombar


    Hi All, cousin was telling me about this over the weekend.

    Just wondering where is the best place to order one of these? Also do I just need to board to get up and running, I see a few people ordering memory etc. too.



  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 22,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Spear


    The memory is needed for some cores, so it'll depend upon what you're running, but it's a good idea overall.

    For the addons I got them from https://misterfpga.co.uk/, and the DE-10 Nano from Digikey.com. The last isn't ideal, as it comes from the US, but at the time I ordered, there was quite the order back log for them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭ randombar


    So what do I need to get up and running with old Amiga roms? Telling the kids about the old sleepwalker game but need to show them.



  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 22,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Spear


    I run mine as an Amiga 500. Ironically this is because some older Amiga software doesn't work on my actual Amiga 1200...

    I have the fairly normal setup of DE-10 Nano, powered USB hub as the bottom layer (and the little USB to USB connector), analogue IO board on top, and 128 MB SDRAM module. I also have a cheap USB wifi dongle. I also bought the power adapter, and the add on y-split cable top power the main board and USB board from a single power adapter. You may want a copper heatsink and decent 40mm fan to cool it.

    Post edited by Spear on


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 22,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Spear


    Also, Sleepwalker is on Steam:

    Might be a shade cheaper than a MiSTer.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭ randombar




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  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 22,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Spear


    Digikey.com. You may want to check around to see if you can find an EU supplier that stocks them though. At the time I ordered, it was them or nothing.

    I ordered off there, but it ships from the US, the .ie domains means nothing in this instance.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,902 ✭✭✭ randombar




  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 22,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Spear


    MiSTers are great little things, but they aren't cheap. If you just want 10 minutes of nostalgia off one game, then there's simpler, and much cheaper options.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭ Shapey Fiend


    It's great to see PSX graphics on a CRT again. I was fooling around playing Wipeout at lunchtime.

    Some of the System 16 cores are cool as well. I don't know if I like Bay Route that much but Bullit has some really cool music. Alien Syndrome is one I'd never gotten around to playing either and its really fun.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,646 ✭✭✭ eddhorse


    Other options for MiSTer in arcade cab

    € 179,40 | MisTer FPGA JAMMA IO Board Kit with custom shell




  • Registered Users Posts: 31,707 ✭✭✭✭ o1s1n


    I've been keeping an eye on the Ultimate MiSTer website for a while to buy a pre built kit.

    Rather annoyingly, they haven't listed any on their setups in the sub 400 euro range for ages, but keep building Blisster kits.

    500 euro and then when you get to the checkout, VAT and postage bring it closer to 700 euro.

    Really wanted a plug and play solution to go with my Mistercade once it arrives, but I can't quite justify prices pushing the guts of a grand. Think I'll have to just bite the bullet, buy a De-10 and build one from scratch!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,764 ✭✭✭ Colonel Panic


    If you're using a Mistercade, then you just need SDRAM and a DE-10 Nano.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,237 ✭✭✭ bugs


    I bought from Ricardo back when these weren't crazy money. He offers a great service but building one from scratch is really easy, really really easy :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,598 ✭✭✭ Steve X2


    My Life in Gaming did a very long and detailed look at MiSTer the other day. I've not watched it all yet(over 2 and a half hours long). But if their past videos are anything to go by this will be worth a look.





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  • Registered Users Posts: 31,707 ✭✭✭✭ o1s1n


    Just got a notification to say my MiSTercade is in the post - and I still don't actually have a MiSTer setup! - woops!



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