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GBA BIOS and performance questions 
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Joined: Sat 07 Jun 2014, 00:04:09

Posts: 8
Post GBA BIOS and performance questions
First off, I wanna say THANK YOU, for tossing together such an awesome emulator. After over a decade of using ZSNES almost exclusively out of habit (and snes9x every so often), I finally decided it was time for something better. Thus far I am loving Higan, despite jumping through the occasional hoop, like DSP1 firmware, no biggie.

Only issue I have run into is with the GBA BIOS. When I got the "missing bios.rom" error, I said "OK cool, I have a GBA BIOS" and put it into the Game Boy Advance.sys folder. I realized it had to be renamed from GBA_Bios.bin to bios.rom. Cool. Fired higan back up, and no longer got the error, but ROMs still wouldn't run, just blank black screen. Tried multiple ROMs, and every combination of emulator video/audio setting looking for a solution. Went so far as to download multiple different copies of the GBA BIOS. Same result for hours.

Finally, I went into the manifest.bml file, and edited the "name=bios.rom" entry to read "name=bios.bin" and changed the BIOS file extension accordingly.
PRESTO!!! GBA fires up, and ROMs load up without a hitch.

So, why is this? I poured through these forums and Google and could never find a similar issue mentioned elsewhere. Is this a random bug I managed to run into? If changing the file extension Higan looks for in the BML file fixed it, then what difference does it make if its BIN or ROM, seeing as Higan itself doesn't seem to care?

On a side note, while playing Metroid: Zero Mission, the game will slow down BADLY on certain rooms. The FPS counter stays locked at 60 FPS, but the game moves at like half that speed. Known issue, or possible side effect of me jacking around with the manifest.bml? Same problem whether using balanced or accurate engines. I know GBA emulation in Higan is still early days, but thought I'd toss it out there. Has some audio crackling issues as well.

Emulation on every other system is the best I have ever seen. I get great (perfect, really) performance, no noticeable input/display lag of any kind, everything just runs flawlessly and dead accurately.

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 08:49:54

Joined: Fri 10 Apr 2009, 15:00:08

Posts: 13668
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
> Finally, I went into the manifest.bml file, and edited the "name=bios.rom" entry to read "name=bios.bin" and changed the BIOS file extension accordingly.

That is absurd :/

Any chance you're on Linux? File names are case sensitive there, so if it were BIOS.rom it wouldn't match bios.rom in the manifest.

Or if on Windows, any chance you have file extensions for known types hidden? Maybe Windows was hiding the full file name from you.

Sorry if those seem like beginner statements, but there's no logical reason bios.bin would work when bios.rom did not. The code does not care what you name the file. You could name it バイオス。超笑時間 and it would work just fine.

> On a side note, while playing Metroid: Zero Mission, the game will slow down BADLY on certain rooms.

It's the one major issue in higan. Unlike other GBA emulators, I emulate all of the slowdown penalties. But I don't emulate the ROM prefetch that greatly speeds up games. So all the slowdown, none of the speedup == games run much too slowly.

I can't find any documentation on how to emulate ROM prefetch, so it's still missing.

Once that gets added, I expect to see a significant compatibility boost, putting higan in the top tier for GBA emulators.

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 09:28:27
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Joined: Mon 20 Apr 2009, 08:11:50

Posts: 5266
Location: 日本
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
byuu wrote:
超笑時間

Did you mean: 爆笑の時間 or 超笑いの時間

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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 10:04:42

Joined: Fri 10 Apr 2009, 15:00:08

Posts: 13668
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
The extension was in simplified Chinese, 수재 :P

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 14:27:25

Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 04:13:19

Posts: 4543
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
wwwwwwwwwwwwww

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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 15:10:37
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Joined: Thu 22 Mar 2012, 04:37:56

Posts: 502
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
ww

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 15:11:54
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Joined: Mon 20 Apr 2009, 08:11:50

Posts: 5266
Location: 日本
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
w

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CaptainJistuce: He's totally in the wrong, Kakashi's 100% in the right.
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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 16:57:39

Joined: Wed 06 May 2009, 04:13:19

Posts: 4543
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
Oh no! My cola!

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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 16:59:09
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Joined: Thu 22 Mar 2012, 04:37:56

Posts: 502
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
I have dropped my dorites. Would you help me pick them up?

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:01:43
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Joined: Mon 20 Apr 2009, 08:11:50

Posts: 5266
Location: 日本
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
Oooh, me plums!

I get the impression that wareya is drunk.

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CaptainJistuce: He's totally in the wrong, Kakashi's 100% in the right.
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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:02:58
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Joined: Thu 22 Mar 2012, 04:37:56

Posts: 502
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
Aren't, never have been, and possibly might never be, somehow.

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:09:03
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Joined: Mon 20 Apr 2009, 08:11:50

Posts: 5266
Location: 日本
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
Alright, just overly joyous.

Wait a moment....wait a moment...WHERE'S ME PINT?!

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CaptainJistuce: He's totally in the wrong, Kakashi's 100% in the right.
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Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:11:26
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Joined: Thu 22 Mar 2012, 04:37:56

Posts: 502
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
lol Kakashi

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:13:00

Joined: Sat 07 Jun 2014, 00:04:09

Posts: 8
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
byuu wrote:
> Finally, I went into the manifest.bml file, and edited the "name=bios.rom" entry to read "name=bios.bin" and changed the BIOS file extension accordingly.

That is absurd :/

Any chance you're on Linux? File names are case sensitive there, so if it were BIOS.rom it wouldn't match bios.rom in the manifest.

Or if on Windows, any chance you have file extensions for known types hidden? Maybe Windows was hiding the full file name from you.

Sorry if those seem like beginner statements, but there's no logical reason bios.bin would work when bios.rom did not. The code does not care what you name the file. You could name it バイオス。超笑時間 and it would work just fine.

> On a side note, while playing Metroid: Zero Mission, the game will slow down BADLY on certain rooms.

It's the one major issue in higan. Unlike other GBA emulators, I emulate all of the slowdown penalties. But I don't emulate the ROM prefetch that greatly speeds up games. So all the slowdown, none of the speedup == games run much too slowly.

I can't find any documentation on how to emulate ROM prefetch, so it's still missing.

Once that gets added, I expect to see a significant compatibility boost, putting higan in the top tier for GBA emulators.


I'm on Win 7. And no, it's not a file-type issue. I double checked to make sure I wasn't calling it "bios.rom.bin" or something equally stupid. It is absolutely not working when it's looking for bios.bin, but working with bios.rom.

That makes sense about the GBA emulation, I'll stick with VBA-M for that for now then.

EDIT: I just went back and changed the bios and the BML entry back to bios.rom, and it works fine. I really don't get how that could be, unless Higan just puked up on something before and getting it running once got it going again? Not that that makes much sense either, but I've seen crazier, more random crap than that happen before.


thebullfrog


Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:29:44
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Joined: Thu 22 Mar 2012, 04:37:56

Posts: 502
Post Re: GBA BIOS and performance questions
I had a windows 7 problem with an executable having a serious crash that fixed itself when I changed the file's path at all (directory or filename).

Can you reproduce the issue with the bios being in a different folder, using the broken name?

Sat 07 Jun 2014, 17:31:02
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