Will extra RAM increase frame rate?

Page 1/2
| 2

By radicalfaith360

Expert (77)

radicalfaith360's picture

09-08-2018, 03:01

I was playing Metal Gear 2 on my MSX and noticed the game lags in certain parts. Compared to the Playstation 2 re-release where it doesn't lag or slow down at all. My MSX meets the exact requirements the game needs to run, but will extra RAM get rid of the slow down in this game?

Login or register to post comments

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5417)

JohnHassink's picture

09-08-2018, 03:36

The Playstation re-release was reprogrammed from scratch. That's why some things (such as crawling in airducts) go a lot smoother and how the game displays bigger, prettier letters. Not to mention revamping the items/weapons menu system by assigning them to the 'shoulder' (?) buttons, in MGS style.
So it's not the actual same code; not even emulation. As another example, the "music replayer" simply constitutes playing samples of the music, recorded from the game.

If and when the original game lags, I think the bottleneck is at the (video-)processor(s) and not the amount of (video-)RAM in your machine, which basically concerns storage size and not display speed.

Good news though if you own a machine with either 7Mhz or R800 processor aboard (i.e. Turbo R): There is a turbofix.

By radicalfaith360

Expert (77)

radicalfaith360's picture

09-08-2018, 03:49

My model is the Panasonic FS-A1WSX so I can switch it to Turbo mode. Does the Turbo mode stay enabled even when I shut the machine off?

By Manuel

Ascended (15821)

Manuel's picture

09-08-2018, 09:11

No, it doesn't. But the turbo fixed ROM will enable it for you automatically. Are you playing the original cartridge or do you use a flash device? You need the latter to play the patched game.

By radicalfaith360

Expert (77)

radicalfaith360's picture

09-08-2018, 09:19

I'm playing the original cartridge. How am I supposed to utilize the turbo mode for games if it doesn't stay enabled when I shut it off or reset the system?

By gdx

Prophet (3085)

gdx's picture

09-08-2018, 09:45

turbofix patch is not for the original cartridge. You need the Rom image and a Megaram, Megasram or megaflashrom to play it on a MSX with turbo mode.

By Grauw

Ascended (8515)

Grauw's picture

09-08-2018, 14:23

JohnHassink wrote:

The Playstation re-release was reprogrammed from scratch. That's why some things (such as crawling in airducts) go a lot smoother and how the game displays bigger, prettier letters. Not to mention revamping the items/weapons menu system by assigning them to the 'shoulder' (?) buttons, in MGS style.
So it's not the actual same code; not even emulation. As another example, the "music replayer" simply constitutes playing samples of the music, recorded from the game.

Really! It seems like it would’ve been a lot less effort to just emulate it with a higher CPU and VDP speed, and patch the ROM with some emulator hooks for the buttons and text display.

JohnHassink wrote:

If and when the original game lags, I think the bottleneck is at the (video-)processor(s) and not the amount of (video-)RAM in your machine, which basically concerns storage size and not display speed.

It’s primarily the CPU. When I used to play it on my MSX2 with 7 MHz circuit, whenever I would turn on the 7 MHz the game would run about twice as fast (and the sound would crap out, of course Wink).

As for Panasonic’s MSX2+ turbo mode, it seems like it would give a nice speed boost, but it needs to be enabled before the cartridge boots. On turboR you can use any cartridge with Nextor for that by keeping the 2 key pressed while booting, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to work for the Panasonic MSX2+’es (konamiman: feature request!). But I think the Carnivore 2 has such a function in its boot menu.

Also if you can somehow bypass Metal Gear 2 from booting (please don’t insert while the computer is on though!), you can enable turbo mode from Basic by entering OUT 64,8:OUT 65,0, and then maybe boot the cartridge from Basic (maybe through a soft reset DEFUSR=0:U=USR(0), or some other means).

However a turbofix version of the game would be best, since it can make sure the PSG pitch is correct. Though I don’t think FRS’s turbo fix for MG2 does that, it seems primarily aimed at the turboR.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5417)

JohnHassink's picture

09-08-2018, 17:37

Grauw wrote:

Really! It seems like it would’ve been a lot less effort to just emulate it with a higher CPU and VDP speed, and patch the ROM with some emulator hooks for the buttons and text display.

Yes. There was a discussion here about it a while ago which is interesting in that aspect.

By Meits

Scribe (5650)

Meits's picture

09-08-2018, 17:57

The only way I know is to play a turbo fix patched rom file on a flash cartridge in a turbo R machine. Having the PSG pitched up a bit (stable on Panasonic 2+ machines but all over the place on a homebrew upgraded 7MHz MSX2) is not really pleasant for the ears.
I'd like to hear from the coders if there's actually a way to make things lag due to little ram. I never heard of it.

By jltursan

Prophet (2191)

jltursan's picture

09-08-2018, 19:17

radicalfaith360 wrote:

I'm playing the original cartridge. How am I supposed to utilize the turbo mode for games if it doesn't stay enabled when I shut it off or reset the system?

In fact I agree that would be great if Panasonic machines have a mechanical way to enable or disable the turbo feature. The only machines that have such switch (I'm not counting modded turbo modded ones) are the HC-95 Victor models.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5398)

NYYRIKKI's picture

09-08-2018, 19:17

Meits wrote:

I'd like to hear from the coders if there's actually a way to make things lag due to little ram. I never heard of it.

Virtual memory is the reason for modern PC's to slow down when memory is low and I think this is why general PC user might think that memory can actually affect machine performance.

In theory nothing prevents implementation of virtual memory on an MSX software as well, but I'm not aware that any game would have done that. I think this is mostly because MSX games are generally not very memory hungry and games typically don't expect to be run from fast media like HDD where memory swapping could be somehow viable option.

How ever I've implemented virtual read only memory on my KSS player software as "proof of concept", but it was more like experiment than a really practical feature for users.

There is also another special case on MSX tR where in theory you can exchange memory for speed. If the software relies very much for existing BIOS routines, it is possible to enable so called DRAM mode that reserves 64KB of primary memory to speed up BIOS performance. How ever I've newer heard of a software that would actually make a selection of this mode based to the available free memory, so this case also works only on paper... but it could be done.

Only case where amount of memory can be exchanged for speed (and that actually works in real life somehow) is usage of drive cache program. I know there exists at least two Japanese programs called DOS2CASH and LUNADISK (not quite sure about the names anymore) that work as TSR to reduce physical disk accesses under MSX-DOS2. How ever practically I find it very unlikely that someone would really use them... If you have memory card or HD interface, it is anyway MSX CPU that is the bottle neck and if you load software from floppy it practically takes more time to load the cache driver from disk to memory than it actually speeds the disk access in normal everyday use where you typically hit the reset button quite frequently... In some special case where you plan to copy many individual files from disk to another it might be a good idea to load this kind of software first, but no one does that kind of things on MSX anymore as it is much more easy to copy files on PC. Using these kind of programs together with games is kind of asking for trouble, but I could imagine with lot of testing someone could find a game where this has some sort of positive effect.

After all this unpractical theory we can practically say that the amount of RAM has very digital effect to MSX gaming:
Enough memory -> game works
Not enough memory -> game fails to load

Page 1/2
| 2