What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

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MichaelWeaser
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What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by MichaelWeaser » Mon 16 Sep, 2019 6:34 pm

I am building a new computer and still deciding what processor to use.

I want a small form factor computer so I have picked between :

Asrock deskmini a300 with AMD Ryzen 5 3400G APU ( which is the fastest CPU this machine can use )

Asrock deskmini 310 using either a Intel i3-9320, i5-9500, i7-9700 , or i9-9900

As long as I can emulate a computer at 100% in PCem with the specs of a Pentium MMX , a 266 MHZ preferred or anything faster , I am not that much of a gamer and 2D acceleration is only necessary , but maybe would like to know what 3D cards could be fully emulated.


I want to know what processors Pentium MMX and faster emulated in PCem could the processors I have picked for the new build could emulate at 100% with at least 2D acceleration and maybe 3D acceleration . I think any of the processors I have picked can probably do a Pentium MMX 266 MHz with 3D acceleration just fine at 100% emulation, and if I would pick using a intel core i9-9900 it might be able to emulate a AMD k6-II at 200 MHz with 3D acceleration .

The only reason why I want to build a new computer is the current computer I use that turns 10 years old next year which is a Dell inspiron 580S using a 1st gen Intel core i3-550 and with PCem I can get 100% emulation mostly with it set at a Pentium 100 MHz and 2D acceleration, Not sure how good it works with 3D acceleration. If I pick a much faster processor like a pentium MMX 233 mhz, the emulation on that goes down to about 50% or lower with 2D acceleration .

Cheez
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by Cheez » Mon 16 Sep, 2019 7:17 pm

My input is absolutely worthless but I recently got myself a ryzen 3700x and it doesn't appear to flinch for the slightest moment at those speeds. At the very least an i9-9900 would surely dominate at most processor speeds but I don't know much about the lesser ones at this moment to say much of anything.

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omarsis81
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by omarsis81 » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:12 am

I have an Intel 4790k at stock clock and runs a Pentium MMX 200 quite well

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ppgrainbow
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by ppgrainbow » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 2:14 am

The current PC that I'm using is barely capable of emulating a Pentium MMX processor. I'm only lucky to emulate up to a 66MHz 486DX2 with the dynamic recompiler enabled or a 66 MHz Pentium.

MichaelWeaser
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by MichaelWeaser » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:57 pm

omarsis81 wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:12 am
I have an Intel 4790k at stock clock and runs a Pentium MMX 200 quite well
Can your i7-4790k do anything other than the pentium mmx 200? and also do you have the hyperthreading off? apparently PCem works better if hyperthreading is off.

That i7-4790k is a bit faster than the ryzen I was going to pick, in single core benchmarks that i7 gets around 2500, while that ryzen gets 2000 in single core benchmarks. But starting with the i3-9320, its single core benchmark is actually the same as your i7-4790k , If I got up to the i5-9500 , its single core benchmark is only around 2600 , to the i7-9700 its single core benchmark is 2700 , and the i9-9900 is also single core benchmark of around 2700 . All of these processors don't have hyperthreading at all. except for the i9, which is basically identical to the i7 but the i9 has hyperthreading. I know that Pcem for cpu emulation only runs on a single core , and maybe another core for 3D accelerated graphics, which is why I think single core benchmarks is much more important.

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omarsis81
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by omarsis81 » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 4:10 pm

MichaelWeaser wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:57 pm
omarsis81 wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:12 am
I have an Intel 4790k at stock clock and runs a Pentium MMX 200 quite well
Can your i7-4790k do anything other than the pentium mmx 200? and also do you have the hyperthreading off? apparently PCem works better if hyperthreading is off.

That i7-4790k is a bit faster than the ryzen I was going to pick, in single core benchmarks that i7 gets around 2500, while that ryzen gets 2000 in single core benchmarks. But starting with the i3-9320, its single core benchmark is actually the same as your i7-4790k , If I got up to the i5-9500 , its single core benchmark is only around 2600 , to the i7-9700 its single core benchmark is 2700 , and the i9-9900 is also single core benchmark of around 2700 . All of these processors don't have hyperthreading at all. except for the i9, which is basically identical to the i7 but the i9 has hyperthreading. I know that Pcem for cpu emulation only runs on a single core , and maybe another core for 3D accelerated graphics, which is why I think single core benchmarks is much more important.
I have HT off, in fact I was the one who suggested doing so
I can do MMX 233 but it struggles with some games
I need to try the new K6-II and K6-3 yet

MichaelWeaser
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by MichaelWeaser » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 8:30 pm

omarsis81 wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 4:10 pm
I have HT off, in fact I was the one who suggested doing so
I can do MMX 233 but it struggles with some games
I need to try the new K6-II and K6-3 yet
Does your computer struggles with a Pentium MMX 233 with 3D acceleration only? or does it have the same problem with only 2D graphics enabled as well? Whenever I build my pc, going with a Intel core 9th gen processor , since your i7 is about the same single core performance as the 9th gen i3 I was going to use , It will probably has the same performance with PCem as well , so I am probably going with the i5,i7 or the i9. The i7 or i9 will probably be the best bet to get to mmx 233 speeds.

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omarsis81
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by omarsis81 » Wed 18 Sep, 2019 12:24 pm

MichaelWeaser wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 8:30 pm
omarsis81 wrote:
Tue 17 Sep, 2019 4:10 pm
I have HT off, in fact I was the one who suggested doing so
I can do MMX 233 but it struggles with some games
I need to try the new K6-II and K6-3 yet
Does your computer struggles with a Pentium MMX 233 with 3D acceleration only? or does it have the same problem with only 2D graphics enabled as well? Whenever I build my pc, going with a Intel core 9th gen processor , since your i7 is about the same single core performance as the 9th gen i3 I was going to use , It will probably has the same performance with PCem as well , so I am probably going with the i5,i7 or the i9. The i7 or i9 will probably be the best bet to get to mmx 233 speeds.
I never tried to run a game with 2D only in a Pentium MMX 200/233
Hmm, wait, I played Starcraft which I think is 2D only, but with an older version of PCem, maybe v13, so I doesn't count. It's more optimized now

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omarsis81
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by omarsis81 » Wed 18 Sep, 2019 12:25 pm

But you are right about purchasing the best single core performing CPU - I believe those are Intel nowadays

tk421
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by tk421 » Wed 25 Sep, 2019 8:44 pm

Building a new desktop PC would most likely go well with the 9900, though the new 9900KS CPU may provide much stronger performance if it is successful this Fall. As for laptops, seems the only way to get K6-2 and K6-III performance would be with the Alienware Area 51m.

I needed a new laptop myself, and with the i7 9750H processor I am pleased with Pentium MMX performance. It is almost perfect. I can also use VMWare (v12.5.9) and VirtualBox (v6.0.4) without issues. Rome Total War continues to be an issue, but I am doing my best to get this game running well on a new PC.

When I can finally buy a new desktop PC, I will buy the best CPU there is, but for laptops I think the 9750H is a good choice for the Pentium MMX. For the K6-2 and K6-III CPUs, then the best choice would be a desktop PC. I can get fairly good performance with the K6-2 350, but anything over 400 Mhz is a bit too much for the 9750H. Anything over 450 Mhz reduces PCem down to 45-55%. The K6-2 runs a number of games that would normally be run with a Pentium 2. With the 9750H, this is not a bad experience, but higher K6-2 or K6-III clock speeds produce weaker results.

I get very decent Voodoo 2 performance on my new 9750H-based laptop, even in SLI mode.

The key with PCem continues to be to select an emulated CPU (and video card) that runs well with a specific game. WIn95 does not require a 10GB hard drive, so I give my emulated PCs small hard drives (2 GB), with RAM that was common back in the day. For Win 95/98, that would be 32-64 MB. I typically use Win 98 SE, as my bootable Win 98 SE CD has most of the drivers I need, including Sound Blaster 16.

Obviously the best bet today is the 9900k. That means a good desktop PC. With laptops, I think there is too much compromise required to get PCem v15 working at full performance (K6-III 550 Mhz), but Pentium MMX speeds on modern i7s are much more forgiving, even at just 4 Ghz.

szadycbr
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by szadycbr » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 6:01 am

hmm, with all those new CPUs i see none of them have single thread, or dual etc. i was just wonderig, slightly off topic, if x86 backwards compatibility has never been broken and ISA instructions used long time ago are still there and can be executed, so? why not use one thread as a CPU and slow this thread accordingly without need of emulating that CPU? all other hardware seems to be emulated easy, so why not use the actual CPU insted of emulation?
PS: thoughts came after reading this https://stackoverflow.com/questions/538 ... point?rq=1

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SarahWalker
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by SarahWalker » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 4:31 pm

szadycbr wrote:
Fri 04 Oct, 2019 6:01 am
why not use one thread as a CPU and slow this thread accordingly without need of emulating that CPU?
Because that would be a completely different project.

Also how would you propose to slow the thread with a sufficient level of control to emulate the performance characteristics of the desired emulated processor? Modern CPUs will perform very differently to something like a Pentium MMX, it's not just a case of 'slow down by X percent'.

szadycbr
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by szadycbr » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 7:53 pm

Thank You Sarah, You right it isnt that simple, i was just hoping that it will be possible to implement such thing in PCem :( and i was not thinking about exact level of performance , but rather closer to p3 400-500mhz and not very accurate but only to execute well all instructions ,as of anything slower it is true, it will be very difficult as everything has changed greately. i have not thought that through obviously, as there are instructions which perform same thing in much less time and less cycles , just adjusting to that would be painfull.
You are about preserving the past, thats the sole purpose of PCem i guess , i am about using and abusing , so unfortunately i dont care much about accuracy :( Thank You, PCem is by far , the best PC emulator and Voodoo emulation is alike 1000% faster than in ex. Dosbox, yeah , never seen 3dfx emulation so so fast on poor i5-2410m :)

Cheez
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by Cheez » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 10:10 pm

Ironically, it seems that PCem's approach to emulation is more efficient than DOSbox in several different cases, and when you start approaching very fast system speeds that are too high to use PCem for, you may as well sacrifice the "accuracy" for a virtual machine, such as with VirtualBox. There's very little in between what PCem can do easily and what some VM using your hardware directly could accomplish better.

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leilei
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by leilei » Fri 04 Oct, 2019 11:38 pm

There's still that Direct3D 6-7 primary device gap that VM software can't touch. Also as for VirtualBox, they're retiring the video device that brings 2K/XP OpenGL passthrough pretty soon. (the other newer devices don't have a 2K/XP guest additions driver (yet?))

tk421
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by tk421 » Sat 05 Oct, 2019 10:40 pm

leilei wrote:
Fri 04 Oct, 2019 11:38 pm
There's still that Direct3D 6-7 primary device gap that VM software can't touch. Also as for VirtualBox, they're retiring the video device that brings 2K/XP OpenGL passthrough pretty soon. (the other newer devices don't have a 2K/XP guest additions driver (yet?))
I can confirm this leilei. I had to revert to an earlier version of VirtualBox to maintain good Battlefield 2 performance. I use the AIX 2 mod to run the game in singleplayer mode with all of the stats, unlocks, medals, ranks, etc. It was always a complicated game to get working properly, but the AIX 2 mod does a good job of fixing most of the problems in singleplayer.

PCem v15 can run the old game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force without difficulty. Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are a different matter, but all three games run ok in VMWare. I admit I use the mobile Pentium MMX 300 to run this game, but it works at or close to 100% on my PC. The K6-2 is not as easy to run, but I get 350 Mhz without dipping below 70%.

UPerschke
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by UPerschke » Sat 19 Oct, 2019 5:08 am

leilei wrote:
Fri 04 Oct, 2019 11:38 pm
There's still that Direct3D 6-7 primary device gap that VM software can't touch. Also as for VirtualBox, they're retiring the video device that brings 2K/XP OpenGL passthrough pretty soon. (the other newer devices don't have a 2K/XP guest additions driver (yet?))
Just a side note: It's possible surprisingly often to close that gap in a native Win10 or Win7 with dgVoodoo, WineD3D or less obvious methods.
I've been trying and testing for some years now, and there are only a few edge cases left from my collection which I have to run on bare metal.
So far lack of accuracy has hardly occured, at least for me.

Just send me a PM if you want to know more.

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leilei
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by leilei » Sat 19 Oct, 2019 11:03 pm

I'm well aware that many games can run with wrappers, cracks and tweaks. That's besides my point within an emulator's context. I like preservation of computer experiences. Also i've noticed depth flickery on old 3d games since the dawn of D3D10 cards and that makes me sad.

PCem could get some of that Direct3D6-7 gap by emulating a Voodoo3 as that's a primary device with much better drivers available and can run many D3D games the Voodoo2 can't as well as accelerating in 2K/XP. It's got register conflicts with the V2 though (being a VG-based card with super fast clocks and a good 2D core really), it'd probably would need its own vid_voodoo3.c file.

tk421
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by tk421 » Tue 29 Oct, 2019 8:38 pm

PCem is one of the best program compatibility solutions to come out in the last 15 years. If your Win 95/98 (or even DOS) program does not work on your modern computer, PCem is your best option short of actually having a Pentium 2 or Pentium 3 PC. I think it is easier to simply buy a modern PC and use PCem. The CPU is the most important factor in a new PC purchase anyway, and I can state from recent experience that the i7 9750H is a good choice.

I admit that Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars did not work well with PCem, but it is the rare case of a program not working well no matter what, even using PCem.

dgvoodoo is a good program, but I find it is very program-specific. Many games work well with VMWare or Virtualbox. Star Trek Armada is a notorious example of a game that cannot work with a virtual machine. With PCem, it works using the bin/cue format without any further effort. I find dgvoodoo requires some tinkering, but it did make the game work on Windows 10. There are some bugs running the game this way, but it does work and will not crash much. Armada performed well using dgvoodoo. Armada did crash often on my old Pentium 2,3,4 PCs.

It would be interesting to see Voodoo 3 emulation in PCem, as it would open up many more programs for PCem to run effortlessly. If I remember correctly, the Voodoo 3 can run on even a Pentium I, no mmx.

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omarsis81
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by omarsis81 » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 1:36 am

tk421 wrote:
Tue 29 Oct, 2019 8:38 pm
If I remember correctly, the Voodoo 3 can run on even a Pentium I, no mmx.
Yes, but why would you run a Voodoo3 on a Pentium I? A single Voodoo2 would yield the same results (I think)

tk421
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Re: What computer processor to emulate pentium mmx and up with PCem well?

Post by tk421 » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 9:53 pm

PCem has excellent voodoo emulation. I admit I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the Voodoo 3 would work with the Pentium I, a CPU that goes up to 200 Mhz without MMX. For anyone with a slow PC, this is a welcome move by 3Dfx back in the day. The Voodoo 2 is already a huge leap forward for anyone limited to using a Pentium 90 in PCem. Voodoo 2 emulation is very reliable and impressive.

Any program that requires tinkering with the video drivers would probably no longer need any such tinkering if the Voodoo 3 is successfully added to PCem. Programs like NHL 2000 come to mind. There is tinkering needed to get that game working, and in the end the only real solution could very well be full Voodoo 3 emulation. The whole 2D versus 3D video card issue goes away very quickly with the Voodoo 3, especially if it is as reliable as Voodoo 1 and 2 emulation.

Working Voodoo 3 emulation for PCem would be an amazing step forward for PCem development. The program has already resolved so many compatibility issues with older programs, the Voodoo 3 would mean I get to use my old Voodoo 3 driver CD again.

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