Final Fantasy 7 question

Discussion in 'pSX Discussion' started by Easty, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    I apologize if this has already been covered, but I was wondering how BIN and ISO images fare on this emulator. I'm currently using ePSXe, but I can never seem to get it working perfectly for me. There's always performance slowdown and if I view full-screen, the computer takes WAY too long to process the images.

    Since I now know that piracy is a big deal for those of you here, this is when I'm happy to inform you that the images that I'm using came from my own, personal, store-bought, FF7 disc...not from Joe off of LimeWire.

    Thoughts? Thanks.
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  3. Gamesoul Master

    Gamesoul Master pSX Troubleshooter/Fanboy

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    It will play both image formats. However, cue/bin images lack subcode data, which is always nice to have (pretty sure FFVII will play without it though). ISO shouldn't have any problems, but that too depends on whether it contains that subcode data or not (as I recall, it may or may not, depending on the program and settings used to rip the game). Your best bet, if you were to choose an image format, would be either ccd/img/sub, or mdf/mds. Those hold all the disc's necessary data and work perfectly fine in pSX.

    But to answer your question a little more directly... both those image formats are supported by pSX. It'll also probably run a bit faster for you than ePSXe, even with graphics being software rendered (just as long as your processor is over 1 GHz and you have at least 256 MB of RAM, you should have no slowdowns regardless of what you play, except in the rare case that you play a game that has problems with pSX).

    I've played FFVII (original discs, and mdf/mds images, which are what I use) on pSX with no problems.
  4. patrickp

    patrickp bebopper

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    And the .ccd/.img/.sub format works perfectly for me for my PAL version of Final Fantasy - I'm pretty sure GM's version will be NTSC-US.
  5. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    where specifically is this slowdown happening? is it in certain parts or does the entire game show lag?
  6. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    It happens when the RNG sparks a battle sequence, middle of battles, sometimes even running through an area. It's just bugging me since I know my computer can run it much better than it is right now.
  7. patrickp

    patrickp bebopper

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    FWIW ePSXe has always demonstrated slowdowns in places for me, regardless of plugins used, configuration, operating system (Edgy, Feisty, Gutsy, Windows 98(SE), 2000 Professional & XP Professional). My guess is you could probably overcome this on a fast machine, but it would have to be pretty fast.

    pSX works very differently. It doesn't have the facility ePSXe does, with some plugins, to run games at faster speeds than the game should run at (except for slowdowns...), but it runs games much more reliably. It usually runs at pretty much 100% of the game's correct speed and, most importantly, doesn't produce slowdowns.

    This, coupled with the fact that picture rendering is much more accurate than ePSXe, produces what I call 'transparency.' That is, it's like playing on a console: nothing distracts from your experience of playing the game - no slowdowns, no artifacts - just the game as it was intended to play by the developer.

    Edit: yes, Easty, Final Fantasy VII does typically show slowdowns in ePSXe in the places you mention. pSX doesn't, except on pretty low end machines - and, on machines where it runs a little slow, ePSXe would be seriously lagging.
  8. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    Well, I just DLed it, I'm trying it out now. Curious, is there a specific configuration that it needs or am I good to go right out of the box, so to speak.
  9. Gamesoul Master

    Gamesoul Master pSX Troubleshooter/Fanboy

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    It really is good to go right out of the box. You honestly don't need to set anything. Any adjustments you make are more to cater to your preferences, and are not needed to get things running. The only exception would be using it on certain Linux setups, or a *really* slow computer.

    A couple recommended things to set though... Make a new memory card (or simply load one that you use in ePSXe, since those work fine too). Also be sure to set your controller buttons. Nothing on the Graphics or Sound tabs need to be changed, and really shouldn't, except maybe fullscreen resolution if you want to set that (I use my desktop resolution as my fullscreen resolution).
  10. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    for epsxe have you tried using settings as similar as possible to these?

    Plugin: Pete's DX6 D3D Driver 1.1.76
    Author: Pete Bernert
    GFX card: NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS

    Resolution/Color:
    - 1920x1200 Fullscreen - [32 Bit]

    Textures:
    - R8G8A8A8
    - Filtering: 4
    - Hi-Res textures: 0
    - VRam size: 256 MBytes

    Framerate:
    - FPS limit: on
    - Frame skipping: off
    - FPS limit: 65.0

    Compatibility:
    - Offscreen drawing: 3
    - Framebuffer texture: 2
    - Framebuffer access: 4
    - Alpha multipass: on
    - Mask bit: on
    - Advanced blending: hardware

    Misc:
    - Scanlines: off [0]
    - Unfiltered FB: off
    - Dithering: off
    - Screen smoothing: on
    - Full vram: on
    - Game fixes: on [00000001]


    and do you have any type for forced vsync enabled by any chance? not just in one of the emulators either, i mean like as a global video card setting, do you have something enabled that forces vysnc onto an application or game? i just tried those same settings i posted but with vysnce forcefully enabled and i did notice lag that is never there when its disabled. so im guessing its possible vsync could be a factor in your issue. you could also try defragging that specific folder where you store your ISO's. another thing to you could try disabling any unneeded background applications and/or setting the emulator's cpu priority to a higher level in the task manager. and if the slowdown is bugging you that bad you could try gradually raising the FPS limit higher until the slowdown becomes less noticable.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  11. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    Well, I did try those settings but they don't seem to help. The ISO's are currently stored in a portable HD, do you think that transferring them to my C drive would help the game run a bit faster? And I just tried looking for that VSync you were talking about, but couldn't find it.
  12. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    its possible, i would try it just to see if there is a difference. if it doesnt you can always transfer it back over.
  13. patrickp

    patrickp bebopper

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    Trying to get the emulator to run faster won't fix slowdowns. First, even if you manage to raise the speed of the slowdowns, the game generally will be running faster, so they'll still be just as noticeable - and your game may now be running uncontrollably fast.

    But, even with the game running at normal speed, it should also have been running at that normal speed during the slowdowns. This suggests that ePSXe on your system isn't capable of running those sections any faster than that. This means that, in practice, increasing the the speed of the emulator won't make those sections run any faster, so speeding the game up will just make the slowdowns even more noticeable.

    ePSXe is old now; it was a fine, groundbreaking emulator in its day - and I used it happily for 5 or 6 years. However, it's 4 1/2 years since it was last updated and it's very unlikely it ever will be now.

    It's very noticeable that the two most successful - and advanced - Playstation emulators now in active development, pSX Emulator and Xebra, have both abandoned the plugin system and are concentrating on accuracy rather than enhancement. I've never tried Xebra, since I'm a Linux user and there isn't a Linux version, but you'll find pSX speaks for itself - it runs so much better than any of the old plugin based emulators, and it doesn't take long to realise how much enhancement, nice though the concept may be, interferes with your playing experience. Even when the very first version of pSX came out (I was still using Windows then), I was impressed by how much nicer (in the literal sense) it was to play games on and switched pretty much immediately.

    @Easty: pSX generally runs games even from CD at full speed. So access to your external drive should be fast enough. If you do have problems in that direction, try moving just one image onto your hard drive and see if that makes a difference.

    BTW as myself and GM have said, .ccd/.img/.sub (CloneCD) and .mdf/.mds (Alcohol) are the best CD image formats to use. Failing that, .bin/.cue should be used; this should be fine for non-protected games. Alcohol do a free version of their Alcohol 52% application that will rip to any of these formats.

    However, one difference between ePSXe and pSX is that you should start the game by selecting the .cue file for the image: that's the .ccd file for the CloneCD format (if there is a .cue file with it, ignore it) and, I think, the .mds file for the Alcohol format - .bin/.cue should be obvious! This is one difference to ePSXe, of which the plugins don't appear to read .cue files at all. With ePSXe, you will have to create a new file from the CD to run 'problem' games (i.e. those with multiple tracks or protected games), whereas pSX will usually run these directly as long as the necessary components are there and you start with the .cue file.
  14. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    Well, I tried pSX with my save, and it ran like crap. But that was on the ISO file, so now I'm ripping the .ccd images of the game and am going to try those out. I'm happy to announce that the battle start spiral effect is now working, something that I've been wanting to work since day 1.

    So far it's shaping up to be a promising replacement for my ePSXe emulator, but only time will tell.

    EDIT: IT WORKS! IT WORKS!!!! Everything is running 100% smoothly. Thanks guys!!!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  15. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    hmm. if thats the case perhaps i will give psx another shot.
  16. patrickp

    patrickp bebopper

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    That's great to hear, Easty! BTW, I don't think you've posted your system specs - what sort of machine are you running on?

    And, jonc2006, looking at your system specs, pSX should run slicker than you-know-what... ;)

    You both might be interested in Ultima's pSX Frontend; it's one of the most comprehensive frontends for a Playstation emulator I've seen. Because it changes startup parameters by modifying pSX' configuration file as well as with switches, it can change pretty much every setting you might want to change from game to game, including BIOS settings etc, and some settings pSX itself doesn't offer, such as window size if you want to play in a window.

    Like pSX, the frontend also has a Linux version; it's not quite as full featured as the Windows one, but still sets pretty much everything you might want it to set.
  17. Easty

    Easty New Member

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    My specs, nothing special, but they get the job done.

    CPU: mobile AMD Athlon(tm) XP2800+
    CPU speed: 2.12 GHz Performance Rated at 2.80 GHz
    RAM: 446.5 MB
    OS: XP w/ SP2
    Video card: RADEON IGP 320M
    VRAM: 64 MB
    DirectX: 9.0
  18. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    yeah i can see why you might have been getting lag with epsxe with certain features enabled, no offense of course. then again that could have been happening due to an issue with a single component you have rather than your pc as a whole, i cant say for sure though. if that was the case and i had to guess i would say your video card might have been it, but i havnt used an ATI card in a while and i havnt been keeping track of their stuff so i dont know what the rough nvidia equvilant of that card would be. good to hear you got it working though.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  19. patrickp

    patrickp bebopper

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    On the other hand, that spec is easily enough to run pSX perfectly.

    The videocard is not that important for pSX, since it does all the emulation in software. Pretty much as long as the card can do 3D, pSX will work fine. About the only spec where I can imagine ePSXe running better than pSX would be on a machine with a slow CPU and not much memory, but a fast, capable videocard: in that case, ePSXe could offload quite a bit of processing to the card, whereas pSX couldn't. But that would be an exceptional case: it would be unusual for a system like that to have a videocard with much poke in it...
  20. Gamesoul Master

    Gamesoul Master pSX Troubleshooter/Fanboy

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    Just a comment I feel the need to make about those settings... more than not, they seem to be settings that would make the emulator as slow as possible. Just a few that really stand out to me:

    - Color depth: 32 Bit (better at 16 Bit, since the difference isn't enough to bother with anyway).
    - Gfx card vram: 256 MBytes (better off set to 0 (Autodetect)).
    - FPS limit: 65 (setting higher than what it should be, usually 60, doesn't do any good).
    - Framebuffer access: 4 (0 always seemed the better choice, or probably any other option *except* 4).
    - Screen smoothing: on (waste of resources, and usually quite slow... best to leave this off, except on a high-end desktop).

    A thought... The "Special game fix: 0x4000" might help you out a little, since you have an ATI card in there. It's definitely not certain, but rather... it's one of those options that a person would have to try to see if it does them any good.

    A few other settings bugged me, but they're more minor. And... any reason why such an old version of the plugin is listed? Does it work better than all the newer versions or something?

    Might be worthwhile to ask what plugin and general settings you use for sound too... depending on the situation, it's certainly possible that your sound settings may be wasting more resources than it could be.

    And yes... I know much of this may not be relevant since pSX seems to be working better for him. But I always like to think that an irrelevant problem solved is better than unsolved, and you never know if he may want to use ePSXe here and there for other games or uses. So I figured I'd add my input... :D
  21. jonc2006

    jonc2006 God of Douchebagness™

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    the emulator with those settings runs fine for me, even at tha high of a resolution. i usually have the VRAM set to auto as well, i dont remember why but i must have changed it for some reason. the only issues i get are very minor glitches in some games, but nothing noticable for the most part. those settings seem to be very versitale, for me at least, i dont have to go around tweaking them every time i play a different game.

    the plugin version im using is just one of the plugins that came with the epsxe download, ive never really bothered to look around for other or newer plugins/plugin versions since im pretty well satisfied with the performance and all i have now anyway, so i dont know what the differences between them would be.

    as for the framebuffer access, i dont really remember what that does exactly anyway, i think i just used that specific setting based off a suggestion from someone else a while back.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008

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