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Affordable Laptop for Saturn Emulation

#1 User is offline BtCE 

Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:46 PM

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Hey everyone, my Saturn recently died and I've been up in arms about how to progress as I have a few games on my backlog I still want to play.

I mostly use a Chromebook these days as my work computer, but I'm considering buying a Windows laptop so that I can rip and play (and the portability would be a major bonus). However, I'm having a difficult time figuring out what matters most when trying to run SSF and Yabause. A major sticking point is that I want the games to run full speed at 60 fps.

Seeing as I won't do any gaming on it beyond for my Saturn (and anything below), I don't want to overspend either. I don't know if a "gaming" laptop is necessary (though I know the Saturn emulators require a surprising amount of horsepower), so I'm hoping I can spend well under that range. So if anyone with some better knowledge and experience could point me in the right direction or recommend some specific laptops for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

#2 User is offline Billy 

Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:14 PM

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According to this website, the recommended requirements for SSF are:

Quote

CPU:
Intel Core i7 series
Intel Core 2 Duo series
AMD Phenom II series
AMD Phenom series
Memory:
512MB or above running in Dual Channel mode

So it sounds like you could get any modern "decent" laptop and run it fine, focusing on the CPU over the GPU, of course.

#3 User is offline Morph 

Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:55 PM

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Let me preface this by saying that typically, the thing you should worry about the most when it comes to emulation is your CPU. Your GPU also has to be reasonable, but it's less of a problem I'd say.

View PostBtCE, on 16 November 2014 - 02:46 PM, said:

I don't know if a "gaming" laptop is necessary (though I know the Saturn emulators require a surprising amount of horsepower)


Maybe surprising, but in the system requirements...

View PostBilly, on 16 November 2014 - 05:14 PM, said:

Quote

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo series



... this line of CPUs really isn't anything special. Just about any modern laptop (and by that I mean most, but not all) will surpass this no problem. And although it was a long time ago now, I had no problems emulating the Saturn on my Intel Pentium 4 (2.4GHz). I didn't play particularly demanding games though; just things like Sonic Jam, Sonic R, 3D Blast, etc.

As far as I'm concerned, you shouldn't have to spend more than $500 at most, and will probably end up in the $300 range. I could be completely wrong of course, but that's what the prices were like last time I looked for a laptop for a friend... before convincing him to just build a desktop which he's super happy with now :v:

Also, on the note of ripping your games: SSF can't open disc images directly. If you have some software to mount the disc images you rip though (or if you just run Windows 8 and rip your discs as ISO), you should be fine.

#4 User is offline BtCE 

Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:46 PM

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View PostMorph, on 16 November 2014 - 05:55 PM, said:


... this line of CPUs really isn't anything special. Just about any modern laptop (and by that I mean most, but not all) will surpass this no problem. And although it was a long time ago now, I had no problems emulating the Saturn on my Intel Pentium 4 (2.4GHz). I didn't play particularly demanding games though; just things like Sonic Jam, Sonic R, 3D Blast, etc.


Thank you for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what are the more demanding games? I would assume anything that used 3D would automatically fall under than umbrella, but you listed Sonic R. Based on the feedback, I'm thinking a laptop with an i5 might get it done.

#5 User is offline Morph 

Posted 17 November 2014 - 01:26 AM

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Off the top of my head, I'd say Burning Rangers is more demanding than the games I mentioned, but I haven't personally tried it.

#6 User is offline IndyTheGreat 

Posted 21 November 2014 - 08:41 PM

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I'll tell you one thing; stick to SSF. Yabause is way too resource-hungry, even for my gaming laptop.

#7 User is offline Meat Miracle 

Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:17 PM

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A high-end Core 2 Duo can actually run SSF full speed, minus some of the more demanding options (SH2 cache and deinterlacing both put such a great hit that it couldn't run at 60fps on my old C2D e6550).

However SSF is extremely multithreaded, so if you grab a modern quad core machine, it will be running it fine with all bells and whistles. A Phenom II x4 could do so at the same clocks as my e6550 (they have the same IPC so only the extra cores helped).
A strong GPU isn't required, though SSF does use pixel shaders for some of the internal math.

However you could pick up a modchipped, region free Saturn for way cheaper.

#8 User is offline Miles Prower 

Posted 23 November 2014 - 08:49 AM

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I wonder if it would be feasible (and relevant) for a Saturn emulator to take advantage of GPGPU, now that stuff like OpenCL is getting common… Hm.

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