RuMSX 0.30

by MSX Resource Center on 21-04-2005, 00:00

RuMSX was the first MSX emulator capable of emulating the Panasonic MSX turboR computer. For this, and its straightforward user interface, it gathered many fans around the world. RuMSX comes with a nice Installshield installer which makes it very easy to get the emulator up and running. Its GUI is, indeed, very intuitive. The RuMSX graphical renderer can be set in two modes: Normal or High Resolution. The latter is said to be slow and beta, so we performed all tests using the normal renderer.  

 

When resetting the MSX one can choose to do a soft or hard reboot. With a soft reboots the contents of the VRAM are maintained. This makes it relatively easy to 'rip' graphics from MSX software. The downside of this feature is that every time you reset the MSX you are being asked what type of reboot you'd want, while in most cases you just want to reset the emulator itself without any further questions. Another thing that turned out to be quite annoying was the fact the Graph key of the MSX is mapped to the left ALT key in RuMSX, but pressing it will also generate a Window event, shifting focus to the menu of the emulator. This is particularly annoying in games during which the graph-key is used a lot, such as SD-Snatcher.  

 

Where the soft/hard reset question can be considered as just a bit annoying, there are two real downsides to RuMSX. First of all: The popular MSX-MUSIC sound chip is only supported through MIDI. Second: in YJK modes the graphics are being displayed in grayscales instead of full-color. Especially considering the fact we're dealing with a turboR emulator here, this is quite a shame.  

 

RuMSX also comes with a debugging mode. This mode basically shows a lot of output in a separate file or debugging window. Although you can filter what should and what should not be logged quite specifically, these debugging capabilities are nowhere near the options fMSX and No$MSX have to offer.  

 

Accuracy

 

When it comes to accuracy, RuMSX performs poorly. RuMSX did not manage to score 5 points in any of the tests, and only Illusion City, the Moonlight Saga promo and Stone ran without any serious glitches, although some of the animations in these software titles went a lot faster than they really should. Sphere, Turnix and Vscreen did not boot at all, while 12 of the 26 tests locked up in an early stage. RuMSX 0.29 only offers minor improvements compared to its predecessor: in Avaakkus there are no longer any ghost sprites, but the music still hangs in the intro and the demo suffers from quite some slowdowns. We also managed to get Seed of Dragon running in this new version of RuMSX, but several of the in-game animation -like so many in RuMSX- go a lot faster than a real MSX could ever accomplish.  

 

Music

 

Both the PSG and SCC emulation of RuMSX are far from good enough. There are many slowdowns, the PSG is way too loud compared to the SCC, sawtooth sounds don't work on the PSG and sometimes PSG noise is just being replaced by high tones. The only way to support the MSX-MUSIC is MIDI, which we did not manage to get working.  

 

Conclusion

 

When RuMSX 0.29 was released, we were hopening several problems we had spotted in RuMSX 0.28 would be adressed. Unfortunately, the emulator still has a long way to go when it comes to accuracy. This is a shame, as this accuracy is absolutely essential if you want to watch some stunning MSX demo's or play some MSX games, which basically is what the vast majority of MSX emulator users will want to do with it. Once well known for its wide range of features and being the most user-friendly MSX emulator by far, RuMSX now seriously needs a major update.  

 

Information chart

MSX2 CPU Benchmark:         1159
MSX2 VDP Benchmark:         1907
turboR CPU Benchmark:       1556
turboR VDP Benchmark:       3787
MSX1/2 accuracy score:      23.75%
turboR accuracy score:      58.00%
Music quality score:        16.67%
Usability & Features score: 76.47%
CPU load MSX2 idle:         ~ 95.00%
CPU load turboR idle:       ~ 95.00%
MRC EmuRank:                33.17%
Emulator interface:         GUI
Save-states:                yes
Screenshots:                yes
Joystick support:           yes
Mouse support:              yes
Printer support:            yes
Real disk support:          yes
Multi-disk support:         yes
Change disk:                yes
Dir as disk:                no
MSX1 palette:               yes
Image enhancements:         no
Fullscreen:                 yes

RuMSX website: http://members.eunet.at/lexlechz/RuMSX.html

 

To see how RuMSX compares to other emulators, check out the MRC EmuRank chart.