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@@ -6,141 +6,141 @@ how you should configure MAME with the new rendering system in place.
The New Video Landscape
-Since its inception 9 years ago, MAME's video system has defaulted to
-a mode where it tries to change resolutions on you. And since the
-first port of the core to Windows 5 years ago, it has defaulted to
+Since its inception 9 years ago, MAME's video system has defaulted to
+a mode where it tries to change resolutions on you. And since the
+first port of the core to Windows 5 years ago, it has defaulted to
using your graphics card to stretch the video to that resolution.
-I'm sure a lot of you out there have taken a lot of time to tweak the
-current set of video options to make them work the way you like. But
-every once in a while, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate
-the situation. The current video system has been in place for 5 years
-now without much substantial change. And with the recent rewrite,
-you're almost certainly going to want to rethink the way you have
+I'm sure a lot of you out there have taken a lot of time to tweak the
+current set of video options to make them work the way you like. But
+every once in a while, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate
+the situation. The current video system has been in place for 5 years
+now without much substantial change. And with the recent rewrite,
+you're almost certainly going to want to rethink the way you have
things configured.
-At the highest level, there are really three different ways you can
-configure the new system. Placing yourself into one of these three
-categories will help you get the initial settings right. From there,
+At the highest level, there are really three different ways you can
+configure the new system. Placing yourself into one of these three
+categories will help you get the initial settings right. From there,
you can tweak with the settings to figure out what works best.
-Category 1: Bells and whistles. People who fall into this category
-would include anyone with a modern system and a decent video card
-(decent in this context means at least 16MB of VRAM and built in the
-last 5 years or so we're not talking cutting edge here). Any decent
-video card will be able to render the simple MAME graphics at pretty
-much any resolution without breaking a sweat. Configure your desktop
-to the video mode you want (preferably something high like 1024768
-or greater with a high refresh rate, unless you are running on a
-fixed-mode LCD, in which case just match what your LCD panel is),
-and tell MAME to leave the resolution alone. In this day and age,
-there is little reason to switch resolutions at all, unless you
-fall into Category 3, below. In this mode, you will have full access
-to artwork options, and you'll get your artwork scaled to full
-resolution and with full alpha blending effects. Vector games will
-look crisp, you can use decent fonts, and you can see a whole lot
-more of the world when using the graphics/tilemap viewer. This mode
+Category 1: Bells and whistles. People who fall into this category
+would include anyone with a modern system and a decent video card
+(decent in this context means at least 16MB of VRAM and built in the
+last 5 years or so -- we're not talking cutting edge here). Any decent
+video card will be able to render the simple MAME graphics at pretty
+much any resolution without breaking a sweat. Configure your desktop
+to the video mode you want (preferably something high like 1024x768
+or greater with a high refresh rate, unless you are running on a
+fixed-mode LCD, in which case just match what your LCD panel is),
+and tell MAME to leave the resolution alone. In this day and age,
+there is little reason to switch resolutions at all, unless you
+fall into Category 3, below. In this mode, you will have full access
+to artwork options, and you'll get your artwork scaled to full
+resolution and with full alpha blending effects. Vector games will
+look crisp, you can use decent fonts, and you can see a whole lot
+more of the world when using the graphics/tilemap viewer. This mode
uses Direct3D, so you should configure yourself like this:
-video d3d -noswitchres [-triplebuffer] [-nofilter]
-The -noswitchres option tells MAME to just run at the current
-resolution. Although you can let MAME pick a resolution for you, it
-doesn't really make much sense in D3D mode, and in fact I may even
-remove that feature altogether. To avoid tearing artifacts, I
-recommend using the -triplebuffer option as well. Just make sure your
-monitor's refresh rate is higher than the game you are running. If
-you dislike the blurry look of the graphics, you can specify the
--nofilter option to disable bilinear filtering, though that will
-produce blocky artifacts. Alternatively, you can use the -prescale
+The -noswitchres option tells MAME to just run at the current
+resolution. Although you can let MAME pick a resolution for you, it
+doesn't really make much sense in D3D mode, and in fact I may even
+remove that feature altogether. To avoid tearing artifacts, I
+recommend using the -triplebuffer option as well. Just make sure your
+monitor's refresh rate is higher than the game you are running. If
+you dislike the blurry look of the graphics, you can specify the
+-nofilter option to disable bilinear filtering, though that will
+produce blocky artifacts. Alternatively, you can use the -prescale
option which is described at the end of this article.
-Category 2: Like the old days. I really didn't even want to support
-this mode at all, but certain vocal MAMEdevs would have skinned me
-alive otherwise. People who fall into this category include those who
-have weak systems that worked fine with previous versions of MAME,
-but who don't run well with Direct3D rendering. (Note that just
-because Space Invaders runs unthrottled at 2000fps with DirectDraw
-and 1000fps with Direct3D doesn't mean that Direct3D is going to be
-a serious issue when playing at a regular 60fps, so if you're unsure,
-give the Direct3D route a try for a while.) In this mode, MAME will
-draw the game screen and artwork at the game's resolution, just like
-it did in MAME 0.106 and earlier; however, some artwork options,
-such as -artcrop, won't work as you might expect, and some alpha
-blending artwork modes (specifically overlays) will operate with a
-performance penality. MAME will then use your video card to stretch
+Category 2: Like the old days. I really didn't even want to support
+this mode at all, but certain vocal MAMEdevs would have skinned me
+alive otherwise. People who fall into this category include those who
+have weak systems that worked fine with previous versions of MAME,
+but who don't run well with Direct3D rendering. (Note that just
+because Space Invaders runs unthrottled at 2000fps with DirectDraw
+and 1000fps with Direct3D doesn't mean that Direct3D is going to be
+a serious issue when playing at a regular 60fps, so if you're unsure,
+give the Direct3D route a try for a while.) In this mode, MAME will
+draw the game screen and artwork at the game's resolution, just like
+it did in MAME 0.106 and earlier; however, some artwork options,
+such as -artcrop, won't work as you might expect, and some alpha
+blending artwork modes (specifically overlays) will operate with a
+performance penality. MAME will then use your video card to stretch
the video to the proper aspect ratio.
-video ddraw -hwstretch [-switchres] [-triplebuffer]
-The -switchres is optional here. If your video card is really ancient
-and struggles expanding the screen to fit your desktop resolution,
-you might want to turn it on. Again, to avoid tearing artifacts, I
-recommend using the -triplebuffer option as well, but make sure your
-monitor's refresh rate is higher than the game you are running
-(-switchres will do that for you if you use it). If your video card
-produces blurry pixels which you don't like, try the -prescale option
+The -switchres is optional here. If your video card is really ancient
+and struggles expanding the screen to fit your desktop resolution,
+you might want to turn it on. Again, to avoid tearing artifacts, I
+recommend using the -triplebuffer option as well, but make sure your
+monitor's refresh rate is higher than the game you are running
+(-switchres will do that for you if you use it). If your video card
+produces blurry pixels which you don't like, try the -prescale option
described at the end of this article.
-Category 3: Anal video mode types. These are the guys who have
-generally built their own cabinets and set them up with a CRT display
-where they have several dozen carefully hand-tweaked video modes that
-approximate the original video modes the games ran at. They want MAME
-to pick that hand-tweaked mode and use it, drawing one pixel on the
-screen for each pixel in the original game. They don't give a whit
-about artwork or anything other than the raw pixels going to the
-right place. Fortunately, you can still configure MAME for this case
+Category 3: Anal video mode types. These are the guys who have
+generally built their own cabinets and set them up with a CRT display
+where they have several dozen carefully hand-tweaked video modes that
+approximate the original video modes the games ran at. They want MAME
+to pick that hand-tweaked mode and use it, drawing one pixel on the
+screen for each pixel in the original game. They don't give a whit
+about artwork or anything other than the raw pixels going to the
+right place. Fortunately, you can still configure MAME for this case
as well:
-video ddraw -nohwstretch -switchres [-triplebuffer]
-Obviously in this case, the -switchres is required. You also want to
-disable hardware stretching, otherwise you won't get that "perfect"
+Obviously in this case, the -switchres is required. You also want to
+disable hardware stretching, otherwise you won't get that "perfect"
1:1 pixel mapping. Triple buffering may or may not help.
-So, I recommend starting with these initial options and then tweaking
-from there. One additional option you might want to try in
-combination with the above is the -prescale option. -prescale takes
-an integer parameter from 1 to 8, and specifies a magnification
-amount by which the screen pixels are expanded before they are drawn
-to the screen. Why is this useful? And how much of a performance
-impact does it have? Well, that depends on the mode you are running
+So, I recommend starting with these initial options and then tweaking
+from there. One additional option you might want to try in
+combination with the above is the -prescale option. -prescale takes
+an integer parameter from 1 to 8, and specifies a magnification
+amount by which the screen pixels are expanded before they are drawn
+to the screen. Why is this useful? And how much of a performance
+impact does it have? Well, that depends on the mode you are running
in.
-If you are running in Category 1 (-video d3d), then -prescale will
-use your video card to scale the game graphics up before rendering
-them to the screen. Depending on the video card, this is usually a
-small performance hit, but not too significant. The benefit is that
-each prescale factor reduces the blurriness of the pixels.
--prescale 1 is the default, which does no scaling. -prescale 2 will
-double each pixel, -prescale 3 will triple each pixel, etc. For my
-money, -prescale 2 is sufficient, but people with super high
-resolution displays claim that larger -prescale factors work even
+If you are running in Category 1 (-video d3d), then -prescale will
+use your video card to scale the game graphics up before rendering
+them to the screen. Depending on the video card, this is usually a
+small performance hit, but not too significant. The benefit is that
+each prescale factor reduces the blurriness of the pixels.
+-prescale 1 is the default, which does no scaling. -prescale 2 will
+double each pixel, -prescale 3 will triple each pixel, etc. For my
+money, -prescale 2 is sufficient, but people with super high
+resolution displays claim that larger -prescale factors work even
better.
-If you are running in Category 2 (-video ddraw -hwstretch), then
--prescale will cause MAME to compose the screen graphics at the
-specified scale factor. This is unfortunately done in software, but
-carries the benefit that artwork, fonts, and the graphics viewer can
-take advantage of the additional resolution to produce nicer results.
-The end effect is that you will get less blurry pixels, just like the
-Category 1 case, plus higher quality artwork, fonts, and more visible
+If you are running in Category 2 (-video ddraw -hwstretch), then
+-prescale will cause MAME to compose the screen graphics at the
+specified scale factor. This is unfortunately done in software, but
+carries the benefit that artwork, fonts, and the graphics viewer can
+take advantage of the additional resolution to produce nicer results.
+The end effect is that you will get less blurry pixels, just like the
+Category 1 case, plus higher quality artwork, fonts, and more visible
area in the graphics viewer.
-If you are running in Category 3 (-video ddraw -nohwstretch), then
--prescale will cause MAME to pick a video mode that is the prescale
-factor times the raw screen resolution, and then MAME will, in
-software, compose the screen graphics at the specified scale factor.
-This has all the advantages of the Category 2 case, except that since
-there wasn't any pixel blurring to begin with, there is no additional
+If you are running in Category 3 (-video ddraw -nohwstretch), then
+-prescale will cause MAME to pick a video mode that is the prescale
+factor times the raw screen resolution, and then MAME will, in
+software, compose the screen graphics at the specified scale factor.
+This has all the advantages of the Category 2 case, except that since
+there wasn't any pixel blurring to begin with, there is no additional
crispness that comes about as a result.
-Finally, you may be wondering about effects (and yes, scanlines are
-an "effect"). Effects are no longer hard-coded into the system.
+Finally, you may be wondering about effects (and yes, scanlines are
+an "effect"). Effects are no longer hard-coded into the system.
Rather, you can provide a PNG file in the artwork directory that will
be loaded and overlaid on top of screen bitmaps. See the description
of -effect in windows.txt for more details.