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MiSTer: FPGA gaming


Dr_Dave
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22 hours ago, Phantoon said:

I think we're really reaching the edge of what MiSTer can do with PlayStation and Saturn and I wonder where we're going next. I imagine FPGAs for N64 and the generation above will be prohibitively expensive.

 

I've read about this on the Mister forums, according to Sorgelig it's not going to happen for a few reasons:

 

1. Yes, possibly quite expensive

2. Exceptionally difficult and time consuming to program due to complexity of chips, even if schematics were available (and.. they aren't)

3. Not actually advantageous over software emulation, because newer systems with GPUs (DC et al) are not so reliant on timing/cycle accuracy as older machines where it all happens in the CPU

 

Ah here's the thread:

 

https://misterfpga.org/viewtopic.php?t=2512

 

Quote

There are limits where FPGA can be used regardless if it's FPGA in MiSTer or any other boards.
PS2, Dreamcast and later consoles/computers use very high clocks not reachable on FPGA. Also chips became more complex and less low-level technical info is available. To create the system in FPGA you need much more technical low-level info than for software emulator. And more modern system - more hard to find such info.
FPGA will remain at the 90x systems emulation in foreseeing future.
Also there is no real benefit of FPGA against software emulators on later systems. They are 3D systems where GPU is more useful than FPGA. Also these systems aren't depend on cycle accuracy.
So FPGA is pretty much fixed for pre-2000 systems.

More modern FPGAs may give some advantage for later computer systems such as PC or Amiga. Saturn is on very early stage, and PS1 is in unclear state too - so if they will fit into MiSTer then it will be pretty much the top of possible.

FPGA won't be better on PS2 emulation or anything more modern.

 

I'm not expecting to see N64, though that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake for sure!

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The N64 is meant to be a pain to emulate and from what I've seen would be very complicated to implement with an FPGA approach. Not impossible but complicated and expensive. I'm not sure that some of the Nintendo schematics were not leaked last year but if they would be used that could create legal issues in itself. It's a shame as I would really love a perfect emulation for the N64.

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I've got a glut of NES and SNES controllers for classic consoles so I decided to try one of the Raphnet adapters with a view to replacing my SNES/NES + SNAC setup which is a total pain in the arse.

 

I'll keep using my M30 2.4Ghz for non-Nintendo stuff.

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1 hour ago, Colonel Panic said:

I've got a glut of NES and SNES controllers for classic consoles so I decided to try one of the Raphnet adapters with a view to replacing my SNES/NES + SNAC setup which is a total pain in the arse.

 

I'll keep using my M30 2.4Ghz for non-Nintendo stuff.


This is precisely the same approach as myself, although I don’t have any NES controllers on me right now. I might look into the 8BitDo 2.4GHz PCE efforts as they look like they’d be ideal for 8-bit stuff.

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5 hours ago, crocked said:

The N64 is meant to be a pain to emulate and from what I've seen would be very complicated to implement with an FPGA approach. Not impossible but complicated and expensive. I'm not sure that some of the Nintendo schematics were not leaked last year but if they would be used that could create legal issues in itself. It's a shame as I would really love a perfect emulation for the N64.

 

Robert Piep reckons that the CPU of the N64 will be impossible to implement on the current FPGA. It maxes out at 85MHz according to his calculations, and would need 93+. 

 

Given his progress on the PS1 core, I'm inclined to believe him and have lowered expectations accordingly.

 

(mind you, lots of really smart folks said Neo Geo wouldn't fit just a few years ago as well!)

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My Mister still only boots up about 3 times out of every 10 attempts, and I've still no real idea what's causing it, although I no longer think it's related to the WiFi dongle I'm using. The whole USB board seems to be turning on and off repeatedly, and possibly the DE-10 and I/O boards too (I can see the lights next to each active USB port blinking on and off, but there's no visual feedback for the others). Is there anything I can do by way of diagnosing the issue?

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: everything is connected securely, and the Mister has been taken apart and reconstructed recently to make sure everything is as it should be, and that there's no dust on it, etc. Also, sometimes removing the dongle or a controller from the USB hub while powered on seems to solve the problem and bring up the OSD, but frequently the screen will go back to displaying white noise (and the USB lights will flick on and off) when I try to load a core or game.

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Firstly, take the Wi-Fi dongle out and use it for a week or so offline. If no issues, bin dongle.

 

Secondly, how is the usb hub being powered and what PSU are you using? Wi-Fi dongles are juice heavy and if the hub isn’t powered right or with a beefy enough psu it will cause all sorts of issues. 

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Quick question hopefully.

I've got my MiSTer multi system all nicely set up for all the arcade and Neo geo stuff.  Regarding Megadrive and SNES, Can I use normal ROMS or are they slightly different for the MiSTer?

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2 hours ago, Klatrymadon said:

I bought mine pre-built on eBay, so I'm not sure what PSU I'm using (it looks cheap and generic), but here are the details on it. It's connected to the Mister via this on/off switch: 

 

https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister-inline-power-switch/

 

Will deffo try just not updating the unit with the dongle for a while. Thanks!

Ok. From the look of it that power supply is not sufficient to run your mister and all your usb devices. I use the 4A meanwell psu from mister fpga here: https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister-fpga-power-supply/never had any problems with it. 

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2 hours ago, AceGrace said:

Quick question hopefully.

I've got my MiSTer multi system all nicely set up for all the arcade and Neo geo stuff.  Regarding Megadrive and SNES, Can I use normal ROMS or are they slightly different for the MiSTer?

Normal Roms for console games that you dump from your own legally owned carts. 
 

Massivewinkingsmilie

 

sfc/smc for snes, md/bin/gen for mega drive. 

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3 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

Ok. From the look of it that power supply is not sufficient to run your mister and all your usb devices. I use the 4A meanwell psu from mister fpga here: https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister-fpga-power-supply/never had any problems with it. 

Nice one, thanks for that! I'll definitely upgrade soon then. :)

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On 27/02/2022 at 23:39, Ninja Doctor said:

Normal Roms for console games that you dump from your own legally owned carts. 
 

Massivewinkingsmilie

 

sfc/smc for snes, md/bin/gen for mega drive. 

 

Thanks for confirming that. Hooray!!!! 🙂

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Just checking out the PS nightly build and it’s running great with correct timings on CRT. 
 

Had a try of SotN, MGS VR Missions and Legacy of Kain and they seem to run pretty well. 
 

I’m no PlayStation aficionado, but to me things seem to be in a great state. 

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I've also been playing around with the Playstation core a bit over the last week or so, updating to the latest build every couple of days. Very impressed with what I've seen so far using a single ram. Tried SOTN, Ridge Racer, RR4, Capcom Vs SNK, as well as losing almost 5 hours to FF7. Not seeing any issues using bin/cue.

 

In the process of finally compressing my files to CHD. Convinced I heard some sound issue using CHD with FF7 but not 100% certain, almost like something was missing. Don't know if I can be bothered to go those hours again just yet.

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2 minutes ago, Colonel Panic said:

Why compress the files at all? What issues come up with bin/cue files?

I don’t think there’s any issue with bin/cue. 
CHD files will take up less space though. 

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There's no issue at all with bin/cue. I'm just running a little low on space so compressing the CD games to free up a bit of space. In theory, there should be no difference between using bin/cue & CHD, but I'm convinced I heard something that wasn't quite right on FF7 using CHD. As the core is still in beta though, it's not an issue I'm going to bother reporting yet. I will test again once the core is made official. Until then, it's not a major issue ..... if it is indeed an issue and not me mishearing & imagining things.

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The only game I’ve had issues with so far is Soul Blade, which will play most of the time but intermittently freeze with E2 - a CPU error. 
 

A shame, it’s one of my fave PS games. In school we pumped a fortune in 50p into the arcade version. (I own the PCB for that)

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