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MiSTer FPGA (computer/console/arcade hardware simulation)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    I am not serious. Sorry :)
     
  2. CRTified

    CRTified Member

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    DE10Nano board, US$215 (AU$303)
    Shipping from Terasic, US$55 give-or-take (AU$77)
    128MB RAM, let's say AU$100 landed

    That's AUD 480, as it stands. Everything else you need (and I'm not talking about fancy 3d cases etc) can be put together with basic computer/electronics store items. A heatsink ($10), a fan ($10), a USB OTG hub ($20), a USB keyboard ($20), the game controllers of your choice ($$), the power supply of your choice ($30). An HDMI cable ($8). Maybe a direct-video dongle ($20). Maybe a HDMI audio splitter ($20). All basic everyday componentry which the likes of Us tend to already have strewn about our gear rooms, and/or can easily get from ubiquitous electronics suppliers.

    Like everything else in life, what you choose to pay for all the extra shiny bells and whistles and extras, is entirely up to the individual. But the current market cost for the complete MiSTer experience is about AUD 500, + whatever relatively trivial bits apply to you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
  3. mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

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    To be fair, the mistercade alone is probably about 400 ish dollars when it first came out - and you can't buy them now. There are alternatives like the JAMMA expander, but that too is currently out of stock.

    I'm personally in the Groovymame camp, a cheap optiplex, compatible gpu for crtemudriver and a jpac and you're pretty much set. However, I know with the "arcade purists" FPGA is the "closest" thing to every owning original hardware as the timing is arcade perfect. Would I personally be able to tell the difference between my groovymame setup, a mister setup or an original setup? Probably not :D

    I personally can't tell the difference between my original cps2/3 multi's versus my groovymame setup when played in the same cabinet.

    I do get there is a market for the mister though, especially when you have cave cores and toaplan version 2 cores out there. With CPS1/2 and Neo Geo cores out, when you compare what you can get "arcade" perfect vs the price of one Cave board (say DoDonpachi or ESP Ra.De), then it's really "cheap" in retrospect.
     
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  4. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    tl;dw MiSTer wins 11/10
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    Good comparison of game compatibility. I'd take the colour/image comments with a huge grain of salt. The user's input chain and capture devices are going to make a big difference there, and some of his assumptions around colour/brightness/contrast are very short on colour/image science know-how there, which isn't uncommon in these largely enthusiast videos (a shame, because they're going to go down in history as formal documentation via popularity, and sadly leave generations to come with some rather inaccurate information).

    The core isn't "perfect", mind you. There are a number of individual CPU features that run differently to real hardware (some slower, some faster), but the core dev has been very honest about these. They're down to the inherent limits of the DE10Nano's FPGA itself, and not something that he can overcome in code/VHDL/etc. But where those tests ended up slower than real hardware were typically on functions that were used sparsely in real PS1 games. By similar fluke, things where the core performed higher than real hardware tended to be more popular, and end up helping with things like 16:9 mode where there should be slowdown due to extra processing, but the core ends up being OK due to these "incorrect" speedups.

    Likewise he's developing a number of very low level system tests and capturing the results on real PS1 hardware, which will then help both FPGA developers and software emulator writers to capture more low level tests in an easier fashion (these exist for some other consoles already).

    It's all posted on the dev's own YouTube channel if anyone is interested. I'll try to dig up a link later on and post it (pretty sure it's been posted in this thread already?).
     
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  6. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    Me either :)
    I went for MiSTer because new, weird, I like to tinker a bit.
    Honestly, I could of put all the money I've dropped into a nice high end vid card and had it all just work and not be able to tell the difference.

    I'm waiting for elvis to jump in and say "there's no right way, just play games" :lol::lol:
     
  7. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    I liked before in some thread where you pointed out even genuine hardware has revisions and is different.
    While there's no perfect right, there are perfect good games
     
  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    This is quite a bit different to that. Not just subtle differences based on revision, but complete timing differences.

    All the same, amazing how far it's come in a very short amount of time. Enough that my original PS1 is now in a tub and packed away.

    I dare say we'll see "more perfect" implementations on future FPGA upgrades in years to come. This is still an amazing achievement all the same.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
  9. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    i was thinking about sound changes and the like. tell that to the mega drive. not so subtle ...

    i agree, perfect is not correct. I'd think the only way that happens is if every bit of silicon is decapped and broken down to actual logic and rebuilt in the fpga. i know this is what furrtech did for (the main silicon on) NeoGeo
     
  10. flain

    flain Member

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    The first thing i thought when he was comparing the colour/image was how different the same console would look on different TVs when i would play them at friends houses growing up :).

    So interestingly, the neogeo had many different hardware revisions, in which some of the components were manufactured by different companies. eg. The earlier boards had a 68000 CPU from Toshiba, later boards used a 68000 CPU from Hitachi.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
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  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    Out with the old, in with the new.

    PXL_20220613_014637012.jpg

    PXL_20220613_015014871.jpg

    PXL_20220613_015414531.jpg
     
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  12. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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  13. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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    Well I pulled the trigger from RetroCastle. Ended up around $680 because they sting you with GST. Damn you Harvey!
    Is it a ridiculous price? Yes, but it's the cheapest bundle I could find. You could piece it together yourself cheaper I guess.
    Anyway, I will report back once it arrives.
     
  14. CRTified

    CRTified Member

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    Don't feel too bad about the price. At $680 Landed, it's not unreasonable for what you get.

    (vendor's list, edited by me down to the meaningful) :
    • DE10Nano board and 5v/2a PSU

    • IO board incl. VGA, 3.5mm audio, 4xUSB, USB 3.0 port, and bridge
    • Official 128m SDRAM V2.9 module

    • Acrylic or Aluminum alloy case, cooling fan

    • 128GB TF card
    Put that together yourself today and it's still gonna sting you minimum ~$600, + time and effort and additional shipping from various places.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
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  15. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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    In today's climate it's a reasonable deal. It's a ridiculous price compared to a few years ago.
    Anyway, looking forward to spending all my time tweaking, testing and mucking around with it and never actually playing anything for real.
    It's the enthusiast's way!
     
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  16. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    Yes, the mind boggles at post covid pricing for, well.. everything .

    elvis has said it better before, but ...
    But with MiSTer you get a *lot* of systems.
    The old computers list is amazing really.
    If you're a fan of NeoGeo that core is bellisimo (kisses fingers)
    You won't be short of retro to explore :thumbup:
     
  17. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I'm usually like that, but I've found MiSTer makes it really easy to just get into a game, I guess with the rate of core releases/updates recently there's always something to try on the software side rather than tinkering with the hardware.
     
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  18. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    I still think they would profit by defining or adopting a high speed interconnect allowing peripheral FPGAs or devices to be added. They seem to be bumping up against resource limits of the Cyclone V SE and being able to strap on more hardware would be useful.

    Of course, the SerDes transceivers of the SX series would be helpful, but I expect something could be created without dedicated hardware.
     
  19. OP
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    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    Are you talking like better/wider GPIO?

    I think that's certainly something both MiSTer and RPi could benefit from. I have no idea what sort of engineering/cost application that has, but for both projects, that seems to be the limiting factor of applications of the devices (either attaching things to them like data storage, or using them as emulated devices to attach to other things).
     
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  20. CRTified

    CRTified Member

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    Further headroom for expansion could bring substantial benefits. Not necessarily huge generational shifts - Moore's vague Law working on transistor counts suggests that clustering isn't the way opening up further generations (as, on that vague metric, Playstation 1 to Playstation 2 alone would require a ~13x cluster). But DE10-Nano board's ceilings are obviously being bumped even by current work, so nobody'd turn down expansion, in various forms. It's just a question of economics. Cheaper stuff, ok. But I'm not all that keen on, for example, going the full cluster hog: the notion of buying another DE10-Nano board just to open up a few extra consoles + features. They're just too expensive, for that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
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