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Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 5:30 pm
by roblm
About a year ago I installed the Playstation 2 Emulator PCSX2, version 1.0.0. It played most games I tried without problems but
it had high CPU usage, usually in the 90% to 100% range. At that time I was using Mint 14 with the Nvidia 304 driver. The
emulator's video plugin could be configured to use software or hardware based OpenGL. However, the hardware based option
was experimental and didn't work for me. See the image on the left in the picture below.
pscx2-GSdx-plugin.png
Recently I decided to test a newer version of the emulator to see what improvements have been made. I downloaded and installed
the Linux version 1.2.2 of the emulator from the PCSX2 home website. The biggest change is that the video plugin was now able
to use hardware based OpenGL, which has increased it's performance and has had a significant effect in lowering CPU usage. Now
it ranged from 50% to 100%. See the image on the right above. I decided to test the emulator on a Mint 17 RC installation using the
Nvidia 331.67 and 337.19 BETA drivers downloaded from Nvidia's website, and compare the results to using the nouveau driver
and last year's setup.

To use the emulator I first installed these package dependencies in the Synatic Package Manager:
libcg, libcggl, libwxbase2.8-0, libwxgtk2.8-0, libaio1, libglew-dev, libsdl-sound, and nvidia-cg-toolkit

You will need to get the BIOS rom and a game Iso.

For the video plugin choose GSdx and configure it to use OpenGL (Hardware) if using the Nvidia driver. If using the nouveau driver,
then OpenGL (Software) must be selected.

The audio plugin is SPU2-X. Open it's configuration window and under “Interpolation” select “Hermite”. Under “Module” select
“SDL Audio”.

Here are the results from testing, comparing the FPS (frames per second):

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VIDEO DRIVER	   PCSX2 version		 GAME 1		  GAME 2 		CPU Usage 

Nvidia 304.43 		1.0.0	   		   47			   29			90 to 100%
Nouveau 			   1.2.2   	         44			   31			90 to 100%
Nvidia 331.79 		1.2.2 	   		  58			   47			50 to 100%
Nvidia 337.19 		1.2.2   	   	   58			   51			50 to 100%	

The computer I did this testing on is not a gaming system, especially the video card:

AMD Athlon II X2 3.4 Ghz
Nvidia GeForce 210
2 GB Ram

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:48 pm
by gemini89
Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Tue May 27, 2014 4:09 am
by Condorman
Yes thanks for this. I tried this emulator on my last Mint install, and it was OK but not great. Often slow and laggy. I have a quad-core AMD Phenom and 4Gb RAM, with Nvidia 9800GT.

I'll give this new release a proper try again. :)

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:26 am
by Condorman
Tried your settings above, roblm, but to no avail. It seems to still require software rendering to get it to run at anywhere near a decent speed. Setting Hardware OpenGL, and it's a slow as a slow dog.

Have I done something wrong?

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:04 am
by roblm
What games were you playing?
What version and edition of Mint are you using?
Did you install an Nvidia driver in Driver Manager? Which one?

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 9:37 am
by Condorman
roblm wrote:What games were you playing?
What version and edition of Mint are you using?
Did you install an Nvidia driver in Driver Manager? Which one?
OK. System specs in post above, but otherwise - Mint 17 Cinnamon edition 64 bit fully up to date. Nvidia proprietary driver 331.38 from Driver Manager.

Any other settings I should look at?

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:20 am
by roblm
What are the names of the games you tried.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:23 am
by Condorman
Best I don't post that eh? :D

Suffice to say I tried three or four different games with the same results. I notice that the GS output at the top of the screen is always 100%.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:10 pm
by roblm
Condorman,

My testing was done with PCSX2 running in a 640x480 window. In the GSdx video plugin configuration window, the resolution
was set to “Native”, the original PS2 resolution. That resolution is fine when viewed on a TV but of course will be poorer on the
higher resolution PC monitors. However, I found the image quality acceptible on my 19” monitor. I'm more concerned about the
story and gameplay than having the best image quality. Also, I play mostly strategy games and RPG's now as I get older, so I don't
need the image quality required in a first person shooter.

I did some more testing using fullscreen and three different resolutions: native PS2, 1280x1024, which is my monitor's native resolution,
and 1024x768, which gave a good compromise between image quality and performance. In the Gsdx config window I set the line
“Or Use Scaling” to “Custom” when using a custom resolution. Here are the FPS results, using the 337.19 BETA driver downloaded from
Nvidia's website:

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Resolution				Game 1		Game 2

Native PS2				  57			  46
1280x1024				   43			  30
1024x768				    53			  42
CPU usage was in the higher 70 to 100 range for the higher resolutions.

I noticed that there was video slowdown in the introductory part of the games, even though the FPS shown at the top was high,
but once the games actually started then the slowdown was not noticed, except in a Boss battle using the 1280x1024 resolution.

Overall I'm still pleased at the significant improvement over the PCSX2 version I used a year ago.

What FPS numbers were you getting? Try using the 1024x768 resolution.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:06 am
by Condorman
I'm just using a 640x480 resolution across the board. I thought it would be safer that way, and as you say it's the default PS2 resolution. It's still the same though; as soon as I try to use the hardware OpenGL it's just too slow. Setting it to software OpenGL and it's really pretty good, so it looks like I'll just stick to that.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:45 am
by Condorman
Hmm. Installed the Dolphin emulator and that's just as bad. Extremely slow and choppy, and I can't seem to get any settings to improve it.

Emulators! GAH!

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:17 am
by roblm
From what I've just read, the PS2 native resolution for most games is 720x480. The 640x480 setting I mentioned in my last post
is just the size of the window that I set up to run the emulator under Config → Video(GS) → Window Settings. From now on I'll
use 720x480.

I'm wondering if the problem is that your video card doesn't support a newer version of OpenGL that is needed to use the OpenGL
(Hardware) setting for 3D rendering in PCSX2. I checked the specifications and your card supports OpenGL 2.1 and mine supports 3.1.
I was trying to find out on the PCSX2 website what version is needed but couldn't find the information.

I just did another test using fullscreen, Native PS2 resolution and OpenGL (Software) settings.
There's a big drop in FPS.

Code: Select all

Resolution				Game 1		Game 2

Native PS2 &
OpenGL(Software)		  37			  32

Native PS2 &
OpenGL(Hardware)	     57			  46

1280x1024				   43			  30
1024x768				    53			  42
Perhaps some other people viewing this post can share their experience.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:14 pm
by Condorman
Hmm. Well according to this page - https://developer.nvidia.com/opengl-driver - my card supports openGL 3x but not 4x. I don't get it because Steam and the handful of games I have runs fine. Half Life 2, Portal, Left 4 Dead all fine. I have the Penumbra series too and that's also running well.

Thanks for your replies anyway. :)

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:40 pm
by roblm
I checked nvidia's geforce website for the OpenGL support of your video card:

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop ... ifications

But that page mentions that the specs can vary depending on the video card manufacturer. If the card was purchased when that
GPU was first released then I would think it would support an older version of OpenGL.

On the PCSX2 website the recommended VGA cards are:

Nvidia Geforce 9600GT / 8800GT or better
ATI Radeon 4750 or better

The recommended Processors are:

Intel Core 2 Duo / Core i3 @ 3.2Ghz or faster
Intel Core i5 / i7 @ 2.66Ghz or faster
AMD Phenom II / Athlon II (X2, X3 or X4) @ 3.4Ghz or faster

You have a Phenom, which performed at 15 to 20% less FPS in tests done by AnandTech.

It would be great if you had another video card to test.

I'm surprised at the poor performance using the Dolphin emulator, since it has less demanding processing requirements. Now I did
find out that Dolphin requires at a minimum OpenGL 2.1.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:52 pm
by Condorman
Yes I have a Phenom X4 945 @ 3.0Ghz. I honestly thought my 9800GT was openGL 3.x compliant. Apparently it's basically the same as a 8800GT. I'd update it but I fear there's little point. I don't do a lot of PC gaming as I'm mostly a console fan, and when I do game on PC I prefer indie games really. Something different, like AYIM and Penumbra. I have only a handful of Steam titles as I just wouldn't play them. I still haven't beaten Half Life 2!

So it sounds like the card isn't up to the job. Thanks again for your research. At least i can sleep now! :D

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:07 pm
by roblm
After looking again at that page at “geforce.com”, that shows the specs for the GeForce 9800 GT, I edited my last post with
these lines:

But that page mentions that the specs can vary depending on the video card manufacturer. If the card was purchased when
that GPU was first released then I would think it would support an older version of OpenGL.

So you could actually have a different version than 2.1.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:47 am
by Dupo
Hi,

it seems that there is an official ppa repository for pcsx2. Must we use that ppa repository to install pcsx2 emulator ?
Can you tell me if a 64 version is available ?

Thanks.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:46 am
by jahid
Condorman wrote:Hmm. Installed the Dolphin emulator and that's just as bad. Extremely slow and choppy, and I can't seem to get any settings to improve it.

Emulators! GAH!
As i remember there were two dolphin emulators, dolphin-emu & dolphin-emu-master which came with the same ppa. the recommended package was dolphin-emu-master. I installed both and tested both, and i found that the dolphin-emu was very fast compared to the dolphin-emu-master.

But recently it's not available, only the dolphin-emu-master is available for trusty.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:12 pm
by roblm
Dupo wrote:it seems that there is an official ppa repository for pcsx2. Must we use that ppa repository to install pcsx2 emulator ?
Can you tell me if a 64 version is available ?
Not if you have a 32 bit installation. I usually get the package directly from the PCSX2 home website, which I was doing for many
years when using this emulator in Windows. I don't know how much more of a security problem it is than getting the package from
the untrusted PPA. There is no 64 bit version there. The PPA also has only the 32 bit version but says it can be installed on systems
that support multiarch, which means support for installing packages from multiple architectures on a single system. Go to this site:

https://launchpad.net/~gregory-hainaut/ ... ficial.ppa

Click “Technical detail about this PPA”. In the window that says “Choose your Ubuntu version”, select “Trusty (14.04)" if you have
Mint 17 installed. The lines below will appear. Copy them:

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deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gregory-hainaut/pcsx2.official.ppa/ubuntu trusty main 
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gregory-hainaut/pcsx2.official.ppa/ubuntu trusty main
Open Software Sources and click “Additional repositories”. Click “Add a new repository”. Paste the lines you copied into the window.
Click OK.

Now get the “Signing key” from the site above, which is 1024R/7A617FF4. You need to copy the last 8 characters, which is 7A617FF4.
In Software Sources click “Authentication keys”. Click “Download a key”. Paste the key you just copied into the window. Click OK and
then click “Update the cache”.

This site has information on adding multiarch support:
https://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch/HOWTO

Following the instructions, you would type this command in the Terminal to add support for 32 bit architecture:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Then type:
sudo apt-get update

Then type the command to get the pcsx2 package, which must be followed by the architecture:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install pcsx2:i386
There will be a lot more packages installed and configured than with a 32 bit system.

After the installation, go to Menu → Games → PCSX2. When it opens, click “Next”. This will install the PCSX2 folders. Now go to
“/home/your-user-name/.config/pcsx2”. Put your Playstation 2 bios files in the bios folder.

Then on the configuration screen next to GS, the plug-in GSdx should be selected. Click “Configure”. If you have installed an Nvidia
driver, then next to “Renderer” select “OpenGL (Hardware"). Put a check in the box next to “Original PS2 Resolution”. Click OK.

Next to Pad click “Configure” to configure your game controller. Click “Apply” and OK. Next to SPU2 click “Configure”. Under
“Interpolation” select “Hermite”. Under “Module” select “SDL Audio”. Click OK and then “Next”. The bios rom should be listed in the
window. Select it and click “Finish”.

I noticed that this PCSX2 version was 1.3.0, but the version from the home website is 1.2.2.

Re: Playstation 2 Emulator Improved.

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:43 pm
by hrvooje
roblm wrote:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install pcsx2:i386
There will be a lot more packages installed and configured than with a 32 bit system.
After sudo apt-get install pcsx2:i386 I get:

Code: Select all

hrvooje@probook6470b ~ $ sudo apt-get install pcsx2:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 pcsx2:i386 : Depends: libegl1-mesa:i386 (>= 7.8.1) or
                       libegl1-x11:i386
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
hrvooje@probook6470b ~ $ sudo apt-get install libegl1-mesa:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libegl1-mesa:i386 : Depends: libgbm1:i386 (>= 7.11~1) but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
hrvooje@probook6470b ~ $ sudo apt-get install libgbm1:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
libgbm1:i386 is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 7 not upgraded.