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Sega Saturn and Maybe Dreamcast Emulation

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by The Game Collector, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    Laptops are so much cheaper than they used to be these days. My old 2Ghz Dell Inspiron has fallen apart gradually (broken headphone jack, blue screens of death, dropped it and broke plastic that holds the screen upright, the cord connecting the screen to the inside of the computer is broken somewhere so the thing has to be plugged into a monitor. and now the keyboard is having weird typing issues.

    I say it's time to just upgrade. Now this computer was pretty good. It could emulate Nintendo 64 games like the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time alright, but Nintendo DS, Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar and of course Sega Dreamcast emulation were no good. They were all running at very slow speeds.

    Since my main focus of using computers for gaming is emulation, I'm trying to find the cheapest sleek-looking laptop I can with an HD screen and HD graphics capabilities, but is powerful enough to run these harder to use emulators at full speed. All the computers I see in local stores are 64 bit with Windows 7.

    The RAM is either 3GB or 4GB but It doesn't say how many GHz the processors are. I believe the Atari Jaguar emulator "Jagulator" requires at least a 3.2GHz processor to run at the correct speed and the same was for the Saturn Emulator SSF.

    If I can order a laptop online for under $700 that might be the way to go.

    I am just wondering if anyone on here knows of a link to where I could buy a laptop that suits my needs. I have had Dell and eMachines computers break on me so I am also unsure if they are trustworthy manufacturers or if I just had bad luck.

    I would get a Mac but they can't run most of the emulators and games so I'm thinking Windows 7 is my best bet. Not many developers make emulators for Linux.
     
  2. Lobotomy

    Lobotomy

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  3. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    Hmm but isn't a 2GHz processor incapable of running programs that require a 3.2GHz processor? My old one was 2GHz and I need something more powerful.
     
  4. Lobotomy

    Lobotomy

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    It's Dual Core, so 2GHZx2=4GHZ, and I edited my OP for an even better laptop. I also highly recommend Toshiba Satellites, like the one I linked you. They're VERY high quality laptops.
     
  5. Nibble

    Nibble

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    I'd say that anything with at least a Core 2 Duo 2GHz+ in it will go pretty far with your emulation requirements.

    That's not really how it works; more processors doesn't increase your speed, at least not in the way that you're thinking. It just gives you better multitasking/parallelism, and for emulators it'll only provide benefit if it specifically takes advantage of multi-cores.

    That said, newer CPUs can run single threads at a faster pace than older ones, at the same clock speed. This is why clock speed isn't as important anymore—it matters more the CPU's architecture and how much it can do per clock cycle.
     
  6. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    Thanks for the information, it really helps as I have more video gaming and audio knowledge than I do computer knowledge.

    On my old laptop I tried that one emulator they have for Playstation 2 just to see if it would boot games, and it started to boot up Sonic Mega Collection but it was so slow it was moving frame by frame. I doubt it, but does anyone know if computers these days are already able to run emulators of powerful systems like that? It has been six years since this technology was new.

    I'm not really looking to emulate PS2 as games are quite common and the 60GB PS3 does a good job of backing up Memory Card data, but it is still interesting to know whether they have pulled it off or not. Whenever it does happen, PS2 savestates would be awesome.

    The reason I'm looking at laptops instead of desktops is that now I realize they make docking stations that allow you to plug in multiple USB accessories and things like sound cards for audio recording that normally can only be used easily on a desktop. When I don't have a portable computer anymore, the idea of a laptop sounds so much better than a desktop because then I can actually take my gaming with me like I used to.

    I also think it would be great to start recording my gameplay footage directly on my computer for "Let's Play" videos and/or reviews instead of making low quality clips off the real systems with VHS being transferred to my Sony DVD recorder. I have so much video editing to do for the band projects as well.
     
  7. Polygon Jim

    Polygon Jim

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    My 1.8ghz Core2Duo can emulate Saturn, DS, and Dreamcast with no issues. So if you just want to be able to emulate those, a 2ghz dual core should be fine.
     
  8. Covarr

    Covarr

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    I've got a 2.6GHz dual-core processor, and I get full speed in Saturn and Dreamcast easily, as well as DS most of the time, and Wii quite a bit of the time. But GC emulation is usually kinda slow (that's right, Dolphin seems faster with Wii games than with GC games in my experience), and PS2 gets very mixed results depending on the game, usually hovering around 75% speed, though it's unplayably slow for games such as Metal Gear Solid 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament.

    Of course, based on what you said you're interested in emulating, 2.6 GHz dual core would probably be more than enough. Again, you might see some slowdown for Nintendo DS, but only in 3D-intensive games (Sonic Rush leaps to mind, though I imagine FFIV and other Square Enix games might have minor speed issues as well).
     
  9. Sintendo

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    Good luck finding a laptop with a 3.2GHz processor. As far as I know, either they don't exist or are very uncommon, but the clock speed doesn't matter all that much, anyway. I recently upgraded from a 2.66GHz Pentium 4 to a 2.66GHz Core i7, and even a single core of the Core i7's at least 3-4 times as fast a my old Pentium 4 at the same clock speed. Just get one with a decent processor (perhaps one of the mobile Core i5/i7 ones) and a good graphics card and you'll be fine.
     
  10. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    I have that exact laptop. If you let me know exactly what you want to emulate, I could give them a shot and report back how well they run if you like. You might have to PM me with specific links though + - rule 15 and all   .
     
  11. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    I went to Best Buy and bought a Toshiba Satellite A505. I tried Saturn emulation and it was working much better. I was running off a real game disc and the emulator was on a USB hard drive so I'm sure the slight lag that happened occasionally was just from those two factors combined. I have a lot to do, organizing my hard drives between computers and such.

    I'm ready to make my deteriorating ex laptop into my limewire & torrenting guinea pig where it can risk getting all the ETDs (electronically transmitted diseases) it wants.

    The only consequence of buying my new laptop is that I will have to start looking for work, but hey it's about time I get back on track.
     
  12. Hodgy

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    Games programming :)
    I have a Toshiba satellite cdt480 It emulates megadrive games at 30fps :)
     
  13. Lobotomy

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    I'm assuming DC emulation is even better than Saturn's, so try it out and let me know how it works.
     
  14. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    I tried to download nullDC but it said it was missing some files. I need a good source that includes the DC bios. after that I can turn my own games into ISOs or download one from emuparadise.

    Oh and expect me to start making YTPs for youtube. I have a DVD ripping program and come up with cheesy 1-liners all the time. I already have plans to use Vegeta for something other than "Over 9000!" as well as Dasher Inoba from Ehrgeiz.
     
  15. Robochao

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    For good laptops you could look around on Newegg.com or Frys.com. I've bought good stuff from them if it helps to suggest it anyway.

    On my old 1.43GHZ XP computer I could emulate Dreamcast just fine but the hilarious thing was that my computer was too crappy and outdated to emulate Saturn. Now I can do both just fine. It's broken now.
     
  16. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    Dual core laptops are FAR better for Saturn emulation (just putting it out there) and isn't good DC emulation still years off? Or just not happening at all?
     
  17. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    Yeah this computer seems to run Saturn games at full speed except in small instances. It doesn't seem to like Yabause for Sonic 3D Blast as that runs very slow, but SSF is doing every game I tried on it so far at full speed in window mode. The only thing about SSF is that you have to play from a game disc, not a rom image. With ImgBurn you can take the cue/bin files from the internet and turn them back into a playable burned disc that will run on this emulator.

    Seeing that, I sure wish I had a modded Saturn instead of a pure one. In Japan there were so many games not released in the USA & Europe. Still my main reason for emulating Saturn is to have save files on the RPGs that will never disappear on me like the battery in the Saturn does after enough years of use.

    Now for Dreamcast - I had Sonic Adventure 1 running on one of the Dreamcast emus on my old laptop actually. But all of the 3D models had no textures and the game ran as slow as a slug. I have yet to try it on my new laptop.
     
  18. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    When I used to use Windows and SSF (before I got a Gen 1 saturn that I modded) I would use a tool called 'Daemon tools' that allowed me to mount BIN/CUE files through a virtual drive. Maybe try that so you don't have to burn discs?

    Also, anyone know of a saturn-usb converter? I fucking love that gamepad...
     
  19. Guess Who

    Guess Who

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    Makaron is a pretty good Dreamcast emulator that's actively updated.

    NullDC also worked pretty well, but it hasn't been actively developed in two years or so (or at least, there hasn't been a new release). Also, no gamepad support included.
     
  20. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Or, you can use something like Daemon Tools to mount the disc image to a virtual drive, without the need to use discs.