How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Discussion about displays and related hardware including MiSTer filters and video settings.
nutsack137
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How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by nutsack137 »

My LCD TV is supposed to have an input lag of around 45-60ms in game mode, so on a 60 Hz refresh that's 2.7 to 3.6 frames. Is that enough latency by itself to kill the idea that I could get a MiSTer, plug it into that TV, and have it feel a lot like my real NES and real SNES did 30-35 years ago? I know I'm not beating Mike Tyson in Punchout without a CRT, but is this kind of lag going to be too much for say Mega Man 2 or Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 even if I play with a wired USB pad? (I have a Retro-Bit USB Saturn pad). I really don't have room for a big CRT nor the money for a nice PVM.

Would one be likely to notice the difference between using MiSTer with a wired controller vs using PC software emulators on a reasonably fast PC with the same wired controller on the same TV? I'm using a Xeon E3-1231v3 (it's a Haswell 4C/8T i7 at 3.6 GHz on all-core loads, 3.8 GHz on single core loads but without an igpu), DDR3-2400 RAM (16GB), and for gpu I have a GTX 1660 Super. Is the TV's 2.7 to 3.6 frame input lag going to dwarf the gains in lower latency I make using MiSTer vs PC software emulation? Or at least be comparable to the gains in lower latency I make with MiSTer?

I think I'd mostly be playing NES, Famicom, Famicom Disk System, SNES, Super Famicom, PC Engine, and PC Engine CD games on it. I play lots of RPGs where I know that latency doesn't matter, but I also like playing stuff like Mario, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Parodius, etc too. And System 16 and 18 arcade games for sure too (not an 18 core right now in MiSTer though, is there?)
gamesfan
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by gamesfan »

I can tell you the MISTER feels alot better than PC emulation.
Its hard to really describe..
I also have alot of ODROID or Raspberry devices which are more than capable of NES / SNES and again the mister feels better.
I have no issues with using Mister on my LCDs where I have some that are 8 years old and some newer 4k..

The Mister with a good controller (as the controller adds lag too) I use an 8bitdo M30 and a retrobit SNES style both 2.4 ghz (not the bluetooth ones)
I also have recently been using some daemonbite adapters that are wired with much success and punchout is very playable, so is megaman and battletoads...

I used to wish I knew someone with a mister before I took the plunge as it was a bit pricey, but I dont regret it for one minute.
nutsack137
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by nutsack137 »

gamesfan wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:49 pm I can tell you the MISTER feels alot better than PC emulation.
Its hard to really describe..
I also have alot of ODROID or Raspberry devices which are more than capable of NES / SNES and again the mister feels better.
I have no issues with using Mister on my LCDs where I have some that are 8 years old and some newer 4k..

The Mister with a good controller (as the controller adds lag too) I use an 8bitdo M30 and a retrobit SNES style both 2.4 ghz (not the bluetooth ones)
I also have recently been using some daemonbite adapters that are wired with much success and punchout is very playable, so is megaman and battletoads...

I used to wish I knew someone with a mister before I took the plunge as it was a bit pricey, but I dont regret it for one minute.
Are your TVs anywhere near as laggy as mine though? 45-60ms is supposed to be pretty bad I read (I'm using a Sony Bravia from 2010, don't want to buy a new TV until HDMI 2.1 TVs come down in price).

Ugh the 8BitDo bluetooth controller I have is horrible. A couple of years ago I bought one of the 8BitDo DIY kits for converting a 6-button Genesis controller into a bluetooth gamepad and even though the contacts are clean and the buttons are all fine (and it works great on a real Genesis) the lag when I use it with my Switch or PC is unbearable. Should have just bought the 2.4GHz M30 instead.
Mr. Encyclopedia
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by Mr. Encyclopedia »

RetroArch has a feature called "Run Ahead" that has the core calculate multiple frames based on various inputs then roll back to serve up the correct frame based on what your inputs actually were. This seems less than ideal, but I bet it feels better than the alternative. According to RetroPie's docs you're looking at about 5.5 frames of lag at best on the latest Pi model, but the good news is running multiple processes like this is CPU intensive so presumably the better your hardware the lower the lag. Also good is this method only really works on older hardware like the hardware you list.

That said, I'm extremely doubtful that Run Ahead "results in input latency equal to, or better than, original hardware" like some guy on Reddit said, but on your hardware I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 or 2 frames of lag in addition to the ~3 frames from your display.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by FoxbatStargazer »

Mr. Encyclopedia wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:33 pm That said, I'm extremely doubtful that Run Ahead "results in input latency equal to, or better than, original hardware" like some guy on Reddit said, but on your hardware I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 or 2 frames of lag in addition to the ~3 frames from your display.
It does pretty well on a PC that is also synchronized with the display. (Either, sync to sound and use variable refresh display, or sync to display and stretch the sound.) A Pi isn't much of a comparison.

Sound always seems to lag/buffer significantly compared to an fpga though.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by MiSTer_Kirk »

Just get a cheap CRT, then you'll get exactly what you remember back in the day. If space is an issue, get a small consumer grade 14" CRT TV.
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darksakul
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by darksakul »

Mr. Encyclopedia wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:33 pm RetroArch has a feature called "Run Ahead" that has the core calculate multiple frames based on various inputs then roll back to serve up the correct frame based on what your inputs actually were. This seems less than ideal, but I bet it feels better than the alternative. According to RetroPie's docs you're looking at about 5.5 frames of lag at best on the latest Pi model, but the good news is running multiple processes like this is CPU intensive so presumably the better your hardware the lower the lag. Also good is this method only really works on older hardware like the hardware you list.

That said, I'm extremely doubtful that Run Ahead "results in input latency equal to, or better than, original hardware" like some guy on Reddit said, but on your hardware I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 or 2 frames of lag in addition to the ~3 frames from your display.
I believe for Retro Arch that a per emulation core basis and not in Retro Arch as a whole.
Retroarch alone is just a front ender for many different existing emulators
It is my great regret that we live in an age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of people who try to.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by RalphJB »

I have a Sony Bravia from 2014. MiSTer runs like a dream on mine. Get it. Totally worth it.
nutsack137
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by nutsack137 »

RalphJB wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:01 pm I have a Sony Bravia from 2014. MiSTer runs like a dream on mine. Get it. Totally worth it.
Good to hear. I'd be using it on a 2011 Bravia.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by PikWik »

you are on a MiSTer message board, so our opinions will be biased,
but as someone who has personally used basically every single kind of emulator from ~2001 and up, various emulation handhelds, softmods for PSP/3DS, and retropie; once i got a MiSTer, it formed a new "standard" for hardware emulation which is 2nd only to original hardware.
and imo, this is noticeable on most modern TVs/monitors its connected to.

biggest advantages for me are outputting at the original refresh rate (which analogue's FPGA devices can only do with an extra DAC), the absence of added input lag, cycle accuracy, and the FPGA reproduction of the sound chips used. it all combines to create a retro experience that is immersive and feels like original hardware

(and ive seen plenty videos of people beating mike tysons punchout with a MiSTer over HDMI. you may need a newer monitor, but its 100% possible)
nutsack137
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by nutsack137 »

PikWik wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:30 am you are on a MiSTer message board, so our opinions will be biased,
but as someone who has personally used basically every single kind of emulator from ~2001 and up, various emulation handhelds, softmods for PSP/3DS, and retropie; once i got a MiSTer, it formed a new "standard" for hardware emulation which is 2nd only to original hardware.
and imo, this is noticeable on most modern TVs/monitors its connected to.

biggest advantages for me are outputting at the original refresh rate (which analogue's FPGA devices can only do with an extra DAC), the absence of added input lag, cycle accuracy, and the FPGA reproduction of the sound chips used. it all combines to create a retro experience that is immersive and feels like original hardware

(and ive seen plenty videos of people beating mike tysons punchout with a MiSTer over HDMI. you may need a newer monitor, but its 100% possible)
Thanks. Yeah I have been emulating since the days of Nesticle and bowing down to the s***lord and I'm leaning strongly towards at least picking up a DE-10 Nano, a heatsink, and a 32MB SDRAM module. Though I'll prob get the 128MB even though I don't care much about Neo Geo nor CPS-2 just in case we ever see a Saturn core or for future arcade cores.

Sorry to sidetrack, but I have three other quick questions: (1) does Famicom and FDS also have savestates like the NES does? (2) are all the mappers used in official NES/Famicom/FDS releases supported? (3) is a heatsink enough for cooling if I just use the DE-10 Nano in its default config with the acrylic top but not in a case?

(2) drives me nuts on my hacked SNES Classic, can't play the Famicom game 悪魔城伝説 = Akumajou Densetsu when I boot into NES Classic mode using the built-in emulator and don't want to install Retroarch given how much I found the experience to suck using Retroarch for NES/Famicom/FDS on my old Raspberry Pi 3B. SNES Classic and NES Classic emulators seem much better than Retroarch on a Pi but I still get some inconsistency not in the original games when I play on it.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by paulbnl »

nutsack137 wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:08 pm My LCD TV is supposed to have an input lag of around 45-60ms in game mode, so on a 60 Hz refresh that's 2.7 to 3.6 frames. Is that enough latency by itself to kill the idea that I could get a MiSTer, plug it into that TV, and have it feel a lot like my real NES and real SNES did 30-35 years ago? I know I'm not beating Mike Tyson in Punchout without a CRT, but is this kind of lag going to be too much for say Mega Man 2 or Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 even if I play with a wired USB pad? (I have a Retro-Bit USB Saturn pad). I really don't have room for a big CRT nor the money for a nice PVM.
That amount of lag is awful. Your brain will adapt a bit but it will be difficult to play the games.

It's the difference of me playing directly on my monitor (~4ms lag) vs through my capture card on the same monitor (~4 frames lag). The latter feels like the character is jumping underwater. Then when my brain adapts and I go back to playing directly on my monitor it feels like the characters jumps before I press the button :D

You could buy a low lag monitor to use with MiSTer.
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by aberu »

darksakul wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 7:50 pm
Mr. Encyclopedia wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:33 pm RetroArch has a feature called "Run Ahead" that has the core calculate multiple frames based on various inputs then roll back to serve up the correct frame based on what your inputs actually were. This seems less than ideal, but I bet it feels better than the alternative. According to RetroPie's docs you're looking at about 5.5 frames of lag at best on the latest Pi model, but the good news is running multiple processes like this is CPU intensive so presumably the better your hardware the lower the lag. Also good is this method only really works on older hardware like the hardware you list.

That said, I'm extremely doubtful that Run Ahead "results in input latency equal to, or better than, original hardware" like some guy on Reddit said, but on your hardware I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 or 2 frames of lag in addition to the ~3 frames from your display.
I believe for Retro Arch that a per emulation core basis and not in Retro Arch as a whole.
Retroarch alone is just a front ender for many different existing emulators
Yup, and there are a good amount of the supported cores which are still getting bugs fixed related to run-ahead, especially for things like run-ahead with cheats enabled causing issues.
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darksakul
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by darksakul »

aberu wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:38 pm
darksakul wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 7:50 pm
Mr. Encyclopedia wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:33 pm RetroArch has a feature called "Run Ahead" that has the core calculate multiple frames based on various inputs then roll back to serve up the correct frame based on what your inputs actually were. This seems less than ideal, but I bet it feels better than the alternative. According to RetroPie's docs you're looking at about 5.5 frames of lag at best on the latest Pi model, but the good news is running multiple processes like this is CPU intensive so presumably the better your hardware the lower the lag. Also good is this method only really works on older hardware like the hardware you list.

That said, I'm extremely doubtful that Run Ahead "results in input latency equal to, or better than, original hardware" like some guy on Reddit said, but on your hardware I'd be surprised if there's more than 1 or 2 frames of lag in addition to the ~3 frames from your display.
I believe for Retro Arch that a per emulation core basis and not in Retro Arch as a whole.
Retroarch alone is just a front ender for many different existing emulators
Yup, and there are a good amount of the supported cores which are still getting bugs fixed related to run-ahead, especially for things like run-ahead with cheats enabled causing issues.
Hate to go off topic, but I had to ask with that last line "with cheats enabled causing issues", is it the cheats causing issues or that they are two separate fixes?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Related to the topic on hand and not apart of the Reply. Also so I avoid double posting.

How worth it is MiSTer on a Modern TV?

MiSTer is so well worth it on Modern TVs, assuming a few things.
* You have a low latency Display (HDTV or HD PC Monitor)

Pros for Modern Displays
1. Crisp image (assuming proper resolution settings)
2. No issues scaling up cores, depending on the CRT (mostly TV sets and 15khz Monitors) you will run into issues displaying VGA resolutions on 15khz sets. Also you can rotate for vertical games in the MiSTer when rotating the Display isn't an option.
3. Not reliant on aging and degrading displays that are no longer being made.
No hassle in getting your video image up and running as the DE 10 Nano intended for HDMI output first and foremost.
4. Full choice of scaller and filter options

Pros for CRT Displays
1. Almost Guaranteed low latency (not with certain late 2000s era HDMI enabled CRT TVs)
2. Some people prefer the ascetics (Nostalgia, Look and feel, "authenticity", ect).
3. Compatible with original system(s) light guns.
4. No shimmer or pixel crawl from improper scaling
It is my great regret that we live in an age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of people who try to.
virtuali
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by virtuali »

I might add something "in between" Modern Displays and CRT Displays, which is the monitor I chose to use my Mister which is a good quality 4:3 PC monitor with DVI, in my case it's the Dell Ultrasharp 2007FPb, which has the following features that are helpful with Mister:

- It's 4:3, which is way better suited for any retro console/arcade visualization. I think the earliest 16:9 games came sometime during the lifetime of the N64

- It's 1600x1200 resolution, which is very good for every kind of scaling, since it matches the common 240p resolution scaled at 5x evenly. The image is very sharp, since 1600x1200 with 20" results in a very good pixel density.

- It can be rotated, which is perfect for so many arcade games, and it's surely more easily rotated than a CRT.

- It has DVI, so it can connect with the Mister with a simple HDMI->DVI cable. But it also has VGA, S-Video and Composite, and 4 USB-A ports and an USB-B, so it works as an USB Hub too.

So, I'm quite happy with it, seems to be a good compromise between the convenience of digital and the sanctity of CRT. Without mentioning I paid something like 60$ for it, you don't get much CRT ( let alone a good one ) with that...
MrMister1985
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by MrMister1985 »

virtuali wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:51 pm I might add something "in between" Modern Displays and CRT Displays, which is the monitor I chose to use my Mister which is a good quality 4:3 PC monitor with DVI, in my case it's the Dell Ultrasharp 2007FPb, which has the following features that are helpful with Mister:

- It's 4:3, which is way better suited for any retro console/arcade visualization. I think the earliest 16:9 games came sometime during the lifetime of the N64

- It's 1600x1200 resolution, which is very good for every kind of scaling, since it matches the common 240p resolution scaled at 5x evenly. The image is very sharp, since 1600x1200 with 20" results in a very good pixel density.

- It can be rotated, which is perfect for so many arcade games, and it's surely more easily rotated than a CRT.

- It has DVI, so it can connect with the Mister with a simple HDMI->DVI cable. But it also has VGA, S-Video and Composite, and 4 USB-A ports and an USB-B, so it works as an USB Hub too.

So, I'm quite happy with it, seems to be a good compromise between the convenience of digital and the sanctity of CRT. Without mentioning I paid something like 60$ for it, you don't get much CRT ( let alone a good one ) with that...
Hi Virtuali, i have the same Dell Ultrasharp 2007FPb, it is perfect for Mister for all the reasons you mentioned. I would love to get a top spec PVM some day, such as the Sony 20l2 or l5 but until then this is just right & now with the Shadow Masks being added its even better.

I would advise any one who either dosnt have the space or cant get a CRT or PVM to pick up a huge bargain and get this moniter for the perfect fit for Mister. :)
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by Wave »

nutsack137 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:52 am (2) are all the mappers used in official NES/Famicom/FDS releases supported?
Here's a nice article about what mappers are supported by the NES core (and competing solutions).
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Re: How worth it is MiSTer on a modern TV?

Unread post by C-R-T »

I was planning on getting an OSSC in order to play my real consoles on a modern tv but went with a Mister instead. In my opinion, a much better choice.

In the end I decided to get a CRT too, though, so I still don't use the Mister on a modern tv.
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