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ScouserInExile

MAME pointers / advice / guidance

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I have a fairly old PC that, over the years, has steadily got less and less use. It was a middling spec PC ten years or so ago - 1.8ghz dual core processor, 7600GT gfx card - and it currently has 8gb RAM, so it got used for gaming for a while, then spent a few years as a BitTorrent machine, now it doesn't really do a lot.

 

So I was thinking it might get a new lease of life if I bung MAME on there. I even have a decent arcade stick - a 360 Hori EX2 that I believe is plug and play on Windows 7. 

 

However, I've never really had anything to do with MAME and literally don't know where to start. I have CoinOps on my Yod@Box, which has done up until now, is there a MAME equivalent? Like it there something I can download that has a load of ROMs and a decent front end? Or is it going to be more complicated than that?

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I gave up using MAME front ends years ago because they just didn't bloody work properly most of the time, generally just failing with no explanation and a useless error message that didn't explain anything. I've documented my trials and tribulations extensively on this forum. 

 

If its just going to be running on a PC, I would just use Mame64 with the default GUI, which really does everything you would want. It's not pretty and it doesn't let you show off all your banner images and marquees. But it gives you a simple list of the games you have installed, and lets you launch them with a single click, so functionality wise it's fine. 

As far as downloading a load of ROMs goes I guess I can't give links at that's against the rules I think, but, as a hint, just use the popular p2p method of downloading which you mentioned in your OP and search for MAME full sets along with the version number of Mame64 which you are using. 

To minimise headaches, stick with the default folder structure that Mame64 gives you on your PC, and put your ROMs into the default /ROMS folder, rather than trying to put them somewhere else and set up paths etc. Which Doesn't seem to work for me, ever. 

 

 

 

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Yeah, I use MAME64, it does the job, lets you filter stuff down. There are various builds out there that include different drivers that get taken out of the official builds, Cave games for instance. I'm no expert by any means but that's how I use MAME. I am not at home so can't tell you the name of the build I have.

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I have a CoinOps Massive build, will the ROMs from that work with MAME, do we think?

 

One of the issues I have with emulators in general is there are too many ROMs. On Wii, I tend to copy across one or two ROMs for SNES and MD at a time. Can I do a favourites list type thing in MAME?

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You can create a favourites list easily, yes.

I'd imagine you could copy the ROMS folder over but there's all that nonsense about different ROM sets and whatnot. Might be worth a try pointing it at the MAME ROMS folder in CoinOps and seeing if it loads from there.

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33 minutes ago, Vimster said:

all that nonsense about different ROM sets and whatnot. 

Now I think about it, I tried this a few years ago and found I couldn't get the set of ROMs I had to work with the version of MAME I had. Or something.

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13 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Now I think about it, I tried this a few years ago and found I couldn't get the set of ROMs I had to work with the version of MAME I had. Or something.

Ah, yes, as I feared. New ROM set it is then.

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out of curiousity as someone else interested in building a MAME why is there a need to get new ROM sets? Surely the games are ancient and nothing there has changed. Are MAME front ends not agnostic enough to read common ROM sets?

 

thanks

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I don't know the ins and outs of it, or why they keep changing the format of the ROM sets. I am vaguely aware that there is or at least has been a lot of politics in MAME development that has had an impact. It's a proper pain. I guess grabbing an old version of MAME might be an option. Also archive.org carry certain milestone MAME ROM sets for legit download.

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Installed MAME64 last night, pointed it at the CoinOps ROM directory. Nothing worked. It looks like it's seeing the games, but I get errors whenever I try to run them.

 

Going to try downloading a ROM set from pirate bay to see if I have any more joy. 

 

I remember now why I gave up last time around...

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It's been a while, but at the time I used RomCenter to rebuild valid Mame roms using the content in my rom folders as the source. IIRC, it creates a list of valid roms extracted from the mame.exe, and uses it as a template for the rebuild process.

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I had an idea for a system that seems so easy to do I'm surprised it doesn't already exist.  

 

Remember Microsoft SyncToy?  You selected folders on your computer and a destination drive and whatever you had in your selected drives was automatically sync'd to the backup.  So if you had a folder full of music and you regularly renamed, added, deleted and changed files, your backup drive automatically matched your working drive.

 

I thought someone somewhere could have the complete up to date Mame, complete, and make it their job to curate and manage their Mame folder.  This folder would be sync'd to anyone who wanted, so as long as your computer was turned on, any changes would happen on your PC when they made the changes on theirs.

 

I messed around with TorrentZip and the description on the Pleasuredome site sounds like it's the same sort of thing, a new torrent that changes the content of your old on by only changing the changes.  But I never got it to work, and I end up doing a whole download of the entire thing once a year.

 

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22 hours ago, new666uk said:

out of curiousity as someone else interested in building a MAME why is there a need to get new ROM sets? Surely the games are ancient and nothing there has changed. Are MAME front ends not agnostic enough to read common ROM sets?

 

thanks

 

The MAME project has always been about perfect preservation and emulation, at the cost of convenience and playability to people who just want to play the games for fun.

 

A version of MAME needs find precisely the correct ROMs listed in its index - not just the correct name of a zip file, but also every item in that zip file, with correct names and checksums.

 

As MAME improves its emulation, the ROMS sometimes change. For example, if they improve the emulation of a certain chip on some arcade boards, those real arcade boards get re-dumped as new ROMs, with another file in the zip that new MAME is looking for. Some older games like Q*bert finally got their sound emulated. The copy protection was successfully emulated on some Capcom boards. And so on.

 

It's an inconvenience. It makes you stick with one old installation of MAME for years, because you can't be bothered acquiring all the ROMs again if you updated. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Squeaky.

 

Hadn't looked at it that way but makes sense now. Just a ballache to keep grabbing what must be many gigs of ROMs every so often.

 

I'll stick to my real arcade cab then...

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Arise from your grave!

 

I'm using this PC less and less these days and, while it now has Windows 10 installed on it, I almost exclusively use Linux (Mint Cinnamon) instead.

 

What I was thinking I'd like to do is to be able to boot directly into MAME. I seem to remember you could do this with Windows, but I'd like to avoid that, since my PC runs Windows 10 slower than treacle on a cold day. Can I do this and still use my Xbox 360 arcade stick?

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I'm having a problem with sound stuttering/game hanging. It stutters and hans for about two seconds before continuing on. I'm using the latest MAMEUI version, so any help would be appreciated. It was working fine before I did a windows refresh install.

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On 28/01/2020 at 14:08, ScouserInExile said:

Arise from your grave!

 

I'm using this PC less and less these days and, while it now has Windows 10 installed on it, I almost exclusively use Linux (Mint Cinnamon) instead.

 

What I was thinking I'd like to do is to be able to boot directly into MAME. I seem to remember you could do this with Windows, but I'd like to avoid that, since my PC runs Windows 10 slower than treacle on a cold day. Can I do this and still use my Xbox 360 arcade stick?

 

On one of my crappy old builds, I tried out Batocera which is Linux-based. You install it then boot into it as an OS using a hotkey:

 

13 minutes ago, dave7g said:

I'm having a problem with sound stuttering/game hanging. It stutters and hans for about two seconds before continuing on. I'm using the latest MAMEUI version, so any help would be appreciated. It was working fine before I did a windows refresh install.

 

Which OS are you using? We'll probably also need to know your PC spec and such, too. Sounds like a driver issue to me, possibly .NET Framework or DirectX.

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I recall having this issue before and it was something to do with the refresh rate not being the same as my TV. Not sure though.

 

Win10

AMDFX 4300

Radeon HD 7850

8 gig ram

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On 30/01/2020 at 10:54, Treble said:

 

On one of my crappy old builds, I tried out Batocera which is Linux-based. You install it then boot into it as an OS using a hotkey:

 

 

 

Is that your channel? There's some really interesting stuff on there...

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On 28/01/2020 at 14:08, ScouserInExile said:

Arise from your grave!

 

I'm using this PC less and less these days and, while it now has Windows 10 installed on it, I almost exclusively use Linux (Mint Cinnamon) instead.

 

What I was thinking I'd like to do is to be able to boot directly into MAME. I seem to remember you could do this with Windows, but I'd like to avoid that, since my PC runs Windows 10 slower than treacle on a cold day. Can I do this and still use my Xbox 360 arcade stick?

I've installed the latest version of MAME on Linux and was somewhat surprised to discover it immediately recognised my Xbox 360 fight pad.

 

Been having fun playing a few bits and bobs, but have the usual problem that I have too many ROMs. What I could do with, really, is a slightly smaller, more focused list. Maybe a top 1000 or so.

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There is a really good 'All Killer, No FIller' list on BYOAC that does a good job of filtering out a lot of the rubbish.

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I guess with one of these cheap emulation builds you could also use GeForce Now and you have all bases covered for next to nothing!  (decent internet connection required)

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Should be fine...the spec is pretty generous:

 

Quote

 

A 64-bit version of Windows 7, or newer (GeForce Now does not support 32-bit versions of Windows)

Dual-core x86-64 CPU with 2.0GHz or faster

4GB of system memory

GPU that at least supports DirectX 11

NVIDIA GeForce 600 series or newer

AMD Radeon HD 3000 series or newer

Intel HD Graphics 2000 series or newer

Certain 800 series GPU's, including GeForce GTX 880m, 870m, 860m, 850m, 840m, 830m, 820m, and 800m, are not supported by GeForce Now

 

 

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