Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

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resle
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Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by resle » Thu 17 Nov, 2016 6:58 am

I originally came to know about PCEm following a Vogons thread which unceremoniously labeled it as "Another PC Emulator".
But frankly, I can't seem to find a peer in terms of an architecture that allows for all the basic components of an X86 pc to be emulated separately, complete with BIOS, specific CPU models, etc.

Is this really the case?

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omarsis81
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by omarsis81 » Thu 17 Nov, 2016 12:46 pm

PCem is not just another x86 emulator. It is THE x86 emulator.
I tried many, some are quiete good (Bochs and http://www.hampa.ch/pce/pce-ibmpc.html is quite good, but franky PCem is by far the best x86 emulator out there bar none

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leilei
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by leilei » Thu 17 Nov, 2016 3:38 pm

There was also MESS which had computer emulation with individual slots to configure, but for any custom PC you'd have to hardcode your own driver for some of it (i.e. picking a processor)


There's also Neko Project ;)

Zup
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by Zup » Thu 17 Nov, 2016 5:10 pm

resle wrote:I originally came to know about PCEm following a Vogons thread which unceremoniously labeled it as "Another PC Emulator".
But frankly, I can't seem to find a peer in terms of an architecture that allows for all the basic components of an X86 pc to be emulated separately, complete with BIOS, specific CPU models, etc.

Is this really the case?
Sometimes Internet remember everything, sometimes Internet forgets everything.

I guess I am the original poster of that thread. When I wrote that PCem was at 0.5 or 0.6 (I don't remember), and it was not still as developed. At that time other PC emulators (i.e.: MESS and PCE) were at least as good as PCem, and PCem was still a newcomer.

Obviously, some versions (and some years) later PCem is very different from then.

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resle
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by resle » Fri 18 Nov, 2016 4:00 am

So, to hark back to my opening post - I wonder how come pcem has so little coverage. Its architecture, accurate emulation, and overall uniqueness, deserve the same awareness of - say - Mame.
Just my two cents. And of course, thanks again for this wonderful work of love and technology, Tom/Sarah, Battler, Leilei and everyone else who's contributing.

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leilei
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by leilei » Fri 18 Nov, 2016 9:28 pm

To keep it brief, contributing back to upstream is too much to ask for some people.

I know i've had the same thing happen to my project with someone on a forum was PM'ing away potential contributors to join some now-dead fork mod instead. I was alone for years :(

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resle
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by resle » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 3:57 am

leilei wrote:To keep it brief, contributing back to upstream is too much to ask for some people.

I know i've had the same thing happen to my project with someone on a forum was PM'ing away potential contributors to join some now-dead fork mod instead. I was alone for years :(
Right... at some point I even compiled my own "fork" just to add a couple command line options... only to find V11 released a week or so after that, with the same options included :)

A. Naim
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by A. Naim » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 5:13 am

DOSBox is easier to get into. WinUAE and Amiga Forever will get you up and running with Commodore nostalgia in less than a day, depending on how quick your download purchase goes. PCSXII and your LAN connection to your PS2 will probably have you running same-day as well.

But all of those have one difference to 90s PC: They don't have a million and a half hardware combos, made by dozens of different companies, almost all of which had dubious adherence to spec. In addition, the PC specs are horrid. Literally.

For example, the A20 line to the keyboard... Also controls whether addresses wrap around at the first 1MB of memory. For some hardware. There's a few other signals it could be. http://wiki.osdev.org/A20_Line
And while Bill Gates never actually said "640KB is enough for everybody", getting around that limit added up to about five different types of expanded memory. And that's only the start.

Compared to that, I can dump up to 128 gigabytes of HDD space, 128 MB of memory, and multiply the clock speed by x10 in WinUAE and the old Amiga 500 OS accepts it all without a hitch, provided the correct HDD drivers are loaded. Most of the games run just fine with that, too.

tl;dr - A PC emulator is very hard/finicky to write, and likewise is harder/more finicky to operate.

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resle
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by resle » Sat 19 Nov, 2016 6:35 am

A. Naim wrote:But all of those have one difference to 90s PC: They don't have a million and a half hardware combos, made by dozens of different companies, almost all of which had dubious adherence to spec.
Hope not to go too off-topic:

well, actually if you have a look at the most recent Winuae, you'll see that the Amiga was also marred by a confusing cloud of versions, models, chipsets - plus an array of peripherals that were often engineered little more than amateurishly. Winuae reflects this, with an ever growing panel and endless threads on how to make this or that work, what rom version, what special setting... etc.

Mame emulates 35-something years of .. just all kind of hardware, going so far as emulating some analog stuff.

Pcem to me is already in the same league of Mame, at the very least architecturally.

A. Naim
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by A. Naim » Sun 20 Nov, 2016 1:08 am

resle wrote:
A. Naim wrote:But all of those have one difference to 90s PC: They don't have a million and a half hardware combos, made by dozens of different companies, almost all of which had dubious adherence to spec.
Hope not to go too off-topic:

well, actually if you have a look at the most recent Winuae, you'll see that the Amiga was also marred by a confusing cloud of versions, models, chipsets - plus an array of peripherals that were often engineered little more than amateurishly. Winuae reflects this, with an ever growing panel and endless threads on how to make this or that work, what rom version, what special setting... etc.

Mame emulates 35-something years of .. just all kind of hardware, going so far as emulating some analog stuff.

Pcem to me is already in the same league of Mame, at the very least architecturally.
I can count the number of Amiga versions from memory; numerically, it's A500, A500+, A600, A1000, A1200, A2000, A3000D, A3000T, A4000D, A4000T, CD32, CDTV. And most software made for the Amiga runs on any Amiga. Yes, there are possible issues; but far less than on PC; I've used both. As for "endless threads", many of those are due to software, er, "source". Namely that certain sources can result in software with broken compatibility.

The control panel is very nice, yes. It also has a number of panels which are there for aesthetics, not functionality.

I also didn't mention Mame. Perhaps you're responding to someone else, there. :)

Well, yes. I'm not praising WinUAE here for doing the easier job. I'm praising PCem for the greater relative accomplishment.

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resle
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by resle » Sun 20 Nov, 2016 3:40 am

I didn't write anywhere that Winuae's panel is nice. In fact, it's a rather incomprehensible mess.
I also didn't mention mame as a reply to anyone, just as a mean of comparison to Pcem.
My message was simply "PCem is architecturally awesome, deserves more press". That's all.

(ps.: for the sake of completeness, Amiga has a multitude of "sidecars", expansion boards which provide entirely different CPUs, coprocessors and whatnot. Not to mention also, a constellation of zorro peripherals)

/resle has left the building :)

A. Naim
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Re: Is PCEm the only emulator of its kind?

Post by A. Naim » Sun 20 Nov, 2016 5:03 am

resle wrote:I didn't write anywhere that Winuae's panel is nice. In fact, it's a rather incomprehensible mess.
I also didn't mention mame as a reply to anyone, just as a mean of comparison to Pcem.
My message was simply "PCem is architecturally awesome, deserves more press". That's all.

(ps.: for the sake of completeness, Amiga has a multitude of "sidecars", expansion boards which provide entirely different CPUs, coprocessors and whatnot. Not to mention also, a constellation of zorro peripherals)

/resle has left the building :)
I called the WinUAE control panel "nice". Since I wasn't sure why you brought it up. In fact, now I'm not sure why you're arguing with me, or even what you're trying to argue.

I agree. PCem is architecturally awesome. And deserves more press.

Edit: I literally said "It's harder to do, so therefore it's more impressive."

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