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Old 25 November 2020, 12:59   #1
IceAlchemist
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Emulation vs Actual Hardware - is there a difference?

Greetings everyone,


Lately I have been playing a lot of Amiga games again to relive some of my childhood through either WinUAE or FS-UAE and for awhile I have been thinking about getting an actual Amiga again. (I had an Amiga 500+ when I was younger). However the pricing and availability of certain models is quite a lot, not to mention any mods you might want and other things like recapping etc which adds quite a lot to the overall pricing. I don't have any expertise of confidence in my ability to do them myself so there is not even that option to reduce the price a little.



So with all this I wanted to ask what is the difference of playing a game on the actual hardware versus playing through the emulator? I am not asking about the 'feel' as I know the original hardware would 'feel' better but rather the technical aspect. Would I be hindered in any way if I play a game through an emulator as opposed on the original hardware?
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:07   #2
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I use my real A500, while I also use Amiberry and FS-UAE. I have to say that there are no differences (or some minimal differences in a very small percentage of the games) or 'hindrances', as you put it. On the contrary, emulators give you a lot of great options, such as reconfiguring controls and save-states.

Having said that, I wouldn't change my real A500 for all the emulators in the world. But it is mostly, as you said, a 'feel' thing; enjoying my nice CRT monitor, the feel of an actual Amiga keyboard and those incomparable greek joysticks from back in the day.
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:28   #3
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If you have a VRR TV/monitor (with a technology like GSYNC or FREESYNC) or a monitor which can sync down to 50Hz so that you get smooth scrolling emulation feels completely different, much more like the original.

If you've been running PAL games/demos in 60Hz or worse 75Hz, going to real 50Hz really gives you (me) the original Amiga feeling.

Add in a 1084 Bezel and some shaders to add in scan-lines, chroma-interference, CRT bloom, defocus, rounded corners and boom it's like sitting in front of your 14" portable in 1990.

As has already been said here the original joysticks... but I much prefer to use Playstation pad over bluetooth.

Last edited by alexh; 25 November 2020 at 13:42.
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:34   #4
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I've found that 100Hz also helps a whole lot with smooth scrolling, if your monitor supports it.
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:35   #5
IceAlchemist
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Thank you for the replies.

As I thought its a matter of how it would 'feel' rather than any sort of differences.

Also interesting to learn about the difference of the VRR Technology it can do to the emulation, had not thought about that.

Can I also about the 1084 Bezel and how to use shaders?
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:37   #6
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Only a real AMIGA is a real AMIGA.
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Old 25 November 2020, 13:55   #7
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Thanks for the information.

The shaders certainly look nice and interesting. I will look for a way to apply them as they can certainly add to a more authentic feeling
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Old 25 November 2020, 14:11   #8
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I have an Amiga 4000 tricked out to the max. As such it's not that good for playing games (some games like an 060, some don't) but for productivity it's ace. I use UAE4ARM on an RG-350 handheld for quick blasts on the go, WinUAE for games that won't run on the 4000 and the 4000 for everything else.

Honestly, go with what works best for you. The difference between games on Amiga vs WinUAE is noticeable for some games where lag matters (I can tell on Uridium 2 for example) but probably less so on a Mister. If you want an Amiga, get an Amiga. If you want something more flexible, get a Mister.
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Old 25 November 2020, 14:25   #9
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I have never noticed any input lag issues with my setup(s) compared to a real Amiga. The only times I had input lag as an issue, were in EAB discussions.

But I guess that lag could be caused by specific monitors/controllers (and/or superhuman senses and or geeky need for theoretical debate and/or need to justify buying a Mister). :P
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Old 25 November 2020, 14:41   #10
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Quote:
WinUAE for games that won't run on the 4000
what? even with whdload? examples? 68060 isn't an issue with whdload when the .slave has been properly done (unlike my first release of Danger Freak...)

Exactly like I only test amiga stuff on WinUAE with cross-build tools, for me playing on the real thing is the only way. But because I can afford to waste space with one desktop 060 A1200.

- KTRL32 or Wico joystick
- turn on, boot in 3 seconds, choose game and play (no windows updates)
- no configuration for joystick 1 & 2, no key configs
- no distractions, no windows popups or sound lag when a mail is received on the PC
- testing whdload on the real machine (68060) can be surprising (WinUAE didn't object with Danger Freak horrible self-modifying code)
- original no recapped amiga sound & gfx bugs after a while

However I completely understand people who emulate the miggy to play (I play a lot of MAME, on Windows and I'm fine with that because I don't have the arcade machines)
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Old 25 November 2020, 15:17   #11
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If you can sort the scrolling out then you won't be hindered in any way, quite the opposite. Emulation allows to do many things impossible on real hardware (eg save states). Lag certainly exists, but if you have a decent PC/monitor it should be negligible in most games. And yes, please use some decent shaders, otherwise games look raw and naked (though many ppl like it that way).

The "feel" is a subjective feeeling and something that's in your head. Some can get it only from real hardware, others from emulation too. Whatever works for you mate.

Myself, I have a real A500, MiSTer, WinUAE on PC, and Amiberry on RPi. Mostly use MiSTer, because it's so convenient and closest to the real thing. But if I had more desk space then the ol' girl would be a permanent fixture there, now just on rotation. I just love using old computers, think maybe they have a "soul" and are happy when being used
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Old 25 November 2020, 16:11   #12
Anubis
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Main reason I find myself using more emulators is because I am lame gamer and I need save state and easy button to start games... thus emulators on many different platforms... from last weekend including RG350P. (I will cover this in one in separate post)
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Old 25 November 2020, 16:44   #13
Luca underdog
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nothing is like the real machine, the emulation is great and in many cases it allows you to get results that on the real machine you would only get crazy, but the appeal of a real amiga is totally different from emulation, then everyone plays as he wants and where it wants, say what you want but there are no filters or lcd that can compete with a poor crt tv ...
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Old 25 November 2020, 17:49   #14
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hardware is always nice, but with emulator you have no more problem of hardware incompatibility, slowdown, autoconfiguring memory, it is eternal and you can also emulate CRT display. So if use hardware only to ocassional games, better emulation.
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Old 25 November 2020, 18:03   #15
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Quote:
with emulator you have no more problem of hardware incompatibility, slowdown, autoconfiguring memory
depending on games (AGA/ECS...), you have to configure speed, chipset, options, controllers etc... Emulators are excellent, but it's easier to emulate a console from a user point of view. Computers are just too complex in terms of setup.
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Old 25 November 2020, 23:09   #16
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For some people, the difference is like night and day and for others hardly noticeable. For me, 100% perfect scrolling is mandatory which means either real HW or an emulator with 50*n Hz Vsync or VRR.

While there are several things you can do optimize an emulation setup, I'm not sure you can get below 2 frames of latency which corresponds to 40ms in PAL. That can be quite significant in certain games if you are used to real HW on a CRT display. After a while you can adjust to it and learn to compensate for the latency, as long as it is constant. Many people may have noticed this in platform games where you have to press the button to jump at the right time. Just a single frame off may cause you to plummet to your death. The same would apply to Pinball games. This also means that if you're used to having 2 frames of latency, you may find it hard to adjust to playing on real HW with no latency.

Some games are obviously more sensitive to latency issues than others. I think anyone would be hard pressed to argue why Settlers plays better on real HW. Despite this, I started a game of Settlers a few months ago to test out my latest Amiga build and before I knew it I ended up spending 4-5 hours with it until very late hours.. I don't think I would have ever done the same if I had started it in WinUAE. I can't really explain why but playing it on real HW just feels more 'right'. And I do have a G-Sync monitor so it can run smoothly in an emulator.

People also focus on different aspects of a game. While some focus a lot on technical stuff like smooth scrolling, scanlines and the correct 'pixel smoothness' you get from a CRT or proper shader, others focus more on the gameplay or the storyline. When I watch a movie, the sound quality is very important to me for example. Some people are perfectly fine using the built-in speakers in their TV, but I would feel like I ruined a movie if I watched it like that. I remember a discussion I had with a friend many years ago. My friend was perfectly fine watching a 14" CRT from 3-4 meters away. This was just incomprehensible to me. I think maybe these are the same people who would watch a movie on the computer in a small window while not using the computer for anything else. And yes, such people exist. I'm not saying it's wrong but I just don't understand it.
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Old 25 November 2020, 23:38   #17
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What demolition said. I also prefer action/platformer games on real hw. Despite the fact that emulation is silky smooth in scrolling, and latency reducing options are available.
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Old 26 November 2020, 08:33   #18
IceAlchemist
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Thanks a lot for the replies, it was very informative.

The way I see it is that both have pros and cons like everything else in life. So for the moment I will have to do with the emulator and a proper setup. Can someone direct it me to a decent guide on how to setup an emulator with proper shader, resolution etc?

In the future when I will hopefully be less constrained financially I will maybe opt for an Amiga 1200, I hope they won't go higher in price in the meantime

Also what is this Mister thing mentioned?
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Old 26 November 2020, 08:44   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceAlchemist View Post
Also what is this Mister thing mentioned?
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Old 26 November 2020, 08:59   #20
chip
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Welcome to the forum IceAlchemist

I am in your same situation

I use WinUAE since 2002 but ONLY for practical economic reasons i don't still have the real machine

I am glad with emulation, but i spotted a slight difference in sound aspect of the thing

In other worlds real sound is better even if it is not so evident
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