Emulator Comparison - Update

by snout on 01-02-2005, 01:46
Topic: MRC
Languages:

Yesterday we released a completely rewritten edition of the MSX Emulator Comparison. The feedback we received in the article resulted in the following changes:

  • blueMSX - Turnix does function correctly, changed MSX1/2 accuracy score and MRC EmuRank accordingly
  • fMSX - Increased accuracy and EmuRank score due to mistake in Turnix test
  • fMSX-SDL - Increased accuracy and EmuRank score due to mistake in Turnix test
  • MSXPLAYer - Added turboR data to the information chart
  • NLMSX - Added turboR data to the information chart; Added a few lines on NLMSX always emulating the V9958
  • openMSX - Increased accuracy and EmuRank score due to mistake in Turnix test; Added turboR data to the information chart
  • RuMSX - Does support printer emulation, corrected the review and calculated new EmuRank

Furthermore, some minor improvements were made to the layout of the Emulator Comparison. Although the EmuRanks of several MSX emulators were increased, none of the emulators changed position in the EmuRank charts.

Relevant link: MSX Emulator Comparison

Comments (19)

By tfh

Prophet (2967)

tfh's picture

01-02-2005, 08:07

That was a fast update Smile
But I still don't agree aboiut the drive emulation though. If you add FDD#2 to the list of testing software, accuracy scores of emulators with fast drive speeds will drop.

By Manuel

Ascended (18126)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2005, 09:12

Although the missing turboR benchmark stuff was corrected in the openMSX review, the story itself stlil mentions the wrong FCS colours and unemulated PCM input, while this is not correct. See the mail I sent to you, snout. (Which can be read here as well: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_id=6465923&forum_id=7275 )

But probably you didn't have the time yet to check the stories :)

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2005, 12:12

Actually I had changed the txt, but then did some tests with fMSX which - of course - caused my computer to lock up. Lost some changes I made, forgot about the txt of openMSX though.

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2005, 12:48

TFH - I'll add FDD2 to the list of tests then. For all the accuracy-tests I performed on blueMSX I used the accurate disk-mode, so my personal preference to have it disabled by default doesn't negatively affect the EmuRank of blueMSX.

Still, it should be quite easy to implement automatic selection of disk accuracy mode when needed (just as a romdb makes it very easy to auto-select the right ROM-mapper). In that light it would be quite user-friendly to offer the user some extra speed when possible, don't you think? Smile

By tfh

Prophet (2967)

tfh's picture

01-02-2005, 13:08

Hey Snout! Smile

Sure, you can autodetect almost everything, if you make the database extensive enough. But still Wink
It remains a matter of personal taste, and it's not really an objective point so Wink

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

01-02-2005, 13:11

That's an interesting suggestion, but it is not so easy with some software.

For example : Xak3. If you run it on a Turbo-R machine, the accurate disk emulation is absolutely required (otherwhise, the screen remains black on the intro) ; if you run it on a MSX2 or MSX2+ machine, the accurate disk emulation is not required.

So, a dsk database could indeed be a good starting point to make the difference between softs that require or not accurate disk emulation, but you must also in some cases check which machine is used.

By Manuel

Ascended (18126)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2005, 13:14

One extra remark: I wonder if you judged all emulators with the same 'standards'... In accurate emulators there is comment on very detailed things (like sound vs graphics sync, or e.g. the PCM sample input that was not mentioned in any review except openMSX), while in less accurate emulators (not the worst), the level of details seems much less.
Also, in some reviews you mention certain features being special, while in other reviews the same features aren't mentioned at all. This could make the impression for the reader different.

Do note that I understand that making such a test is a very hard thing to do, so, please don't take this as a negative comment. I appreciate your work a lot!

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2005, 13:39

Manuel, as I already replied to you yesterday: I try to write something different about each emulator. Nobody is waiting to read the same texts over and over again. With near-perfect emulators you can (and have to) look at more detailed things like sound/video sync and have to resort to minute details if you want to write anything which could be improved in future versions about it, while with some emulators it's hard enough to even run tests that reveal how detailed or not a certain emulator is at some points.

Either way, like it or not, in any review the reviewer will give his personal opinion on a product. In my personal opinion, blueMSX should not have disk accuracy enabled by default and, in my personal opinion, not having a reset button in the most used page of Catapult is quite annoying. These texts do give a small hint on what usability score I gave to an emulator, but also should give the reader a general impression on what an emulator is like.

All accuracy and music tests are done with the same standards, as for the features score it's simply a matter of counting the 'yes'-es. There is a subjective part in the usability score, which could affect the final score of an emulator with a whopping 4%, assuming I would be insane enough to give an extremely user-friendly emulator 0 points (or 5 points to the crappiest user interface in the world Tongue).

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2005, 13:42

m2k: Perhaps this forum thread gives a good impression on how I'd like the perfect emulator to work. At least it would be a feature I'd encourage on any MSX emu ;)

By Manuel

Ascended (18126)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2005, 16:53

snout: I haven't seen/read your mail from yesterday yet... Sorry if I'm saying things twice now.
Anyway, as I said: I understand why you did the things you did. No problems!

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

01-02-2005, 17:15

Interesting discussion, but I don't like the idea that the emulator's author(s) should choice for the user the by default theorically optimal configuration for a precised game or application.

Some examples :

- from a theoric point of view, it's more optimal to run a MSX1 game on a MSX1 machine .... but most users will prefer the nicer MSX2 colors

- the Turnix demo is different if you run it on a MSX2 machine (intro color), on a MSX2+ machine (intro color) and on a Turbo-R machine (intro color + 2 parts they are really different from the same parts on a MSX2 or 2+ machine) : which optimal machine should you choose ?

- if you are Brazilian, you will prefer to use a Brazilian machine; if you are Japanese, you will prefer to use a Japanese machine

By default, blueMSX runs an European MSX2 machine with all soundchips enabled. It's a comfort for the common users that don't like to add soundchips like in openMSX. We will add a MSX2 machine without MSX-MUSIC to satisfy the users that want to play Aleste (or other Compile productions) with the PSG sounds.

The philosophy of blueMSX is to guarantee a great comfort, a great choice of features and a high accuracy to the user that can change many parameters as he wants. Actually, blueMSX is the most configurable MSX emulator (also for the special machines) and we'll add even in version 2.2 a keyboard editor, something that gamers are waiting since many years from other emulators like NLMSX or RuMSX.

I don't compare here with openMSX, because the problem of this great emulator (also very configurable) is his lack of handful tools that resolve configurations problems by some clicks, not by editing .xml files. blueMSX has a machine editor, a shortcuts editor and soon will have a keyboard editor !
Only an extended debugger is still missing, but it's on our 'to do' list.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9892)

wolf_'s picture

01-02-2005, 17:22

By default, blueMSX runs an European MSX2 machine with all soundchips enabled.

exactemundo!

The philosophy of blueMSX is to guarantee a great comfort

exactemundo!

By Manuel

Ascended (18126)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2005, 20:14

ehm, mars2kyou, you do compare with openMSX, twice:
1) openMSX also has a machine with all audio devices plugged in, exactly like the one you mentioned. It's called Boosted MSX2 EN. So, please don't say " for the common users that don't like to add soundchips like in openMSX", because this is nonsense of course.
2) I don't think that any normal user ever needs to edit an XML file to use openMSX. Really. So, please don't spread this nonsense either. Of course we don't have a machine editor (who needs it?) and stuff, but this may change in the future if someone feels like making such tools.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

01-02-2005, 20:27

Manuel, both points are actually linked. Do you remember this Spanish user that wanted to adapt 'my' boosted openMSX configs from version 0.4.0 to version 0.5.0 ? 'Automatic' conversion is not perfect (or complete), you must edit the .xml files to correct some things or add the direct CAS support (that, alas, will be dropped in version 0.5.1). And how do you think that I had created the original files ? By editing some of your specific .xml files !

Only one boosted European boosted configuration is not enough ... blueMSX offers really more boosted general configs, including Turbo-R !

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2005, 20:45

Another update: NO$MSX.. consistantly wrote version 1.4, where it should be 1.5 (blush ^_^)

By Manuel

Ascended (18126)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2005, 21:37

I don't think normal users want to convert configs manually.
I do admit that there could be more boosted configs, but we never got complaints about that; but maybe that's because they used your boosted configs Smile

If someone makes a boosted config: send it to us and we will consider inclusion in the official openMSX distribution Smile

So, still: normally one doesn't need to touch the XML files.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

01-02-2005, 21:53

Probably the difference in the conception of the emulators design explain our differences about configurations :

- in blueMSX, we offer a great variety of boosted general machines, so an advanced user will use our editor to create a non-boosted machine and/or try a specific machine (a precision : in version 2.2, the blueMSX specific machines won't be more boosted in all domains, only for the RAM - always for the comfort of our users to run without any problem some games or demos)

- the approach is different in openMSX, as you work systematically with the basic components (the specific machine with all his elements as on the real machine) and with the extensions, so an advanced user will simply follow the logic of your approach and won't require a machine editor, but for the common users, it should be more interesting to choose between different boosted general machines, as in blueMSX

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

01-02-2005, 21:59

correction :

..... won't be no more ..... (of course !) Smile

By mth

Champion (496)

mth's picture

02-02-2005, 21:30

I've got an idea to implement fast loading (both cassette and disk). Let the emulator detect when the MSX is loading and during that time, switch off realtime synchronisation (the thing called "throttle" in openMSX). This means the emulator will run as fast as the host CPU allows.

This will decrease the amount of real time the user has to wait for the program to load, but since the amount of emulated time spent loading remains the same, programs relying on disk drives being slow are still emulated correctly.