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Speed: NTSC vs PAL
#1
I was wondering, assuming NTSC/PAL versions of the same game, would the PAL version run relatively faster in emulation (actual gameplay, NOT FPS!)?

My logic is as follows:
PAL versions try to follow a 50 FPS regime, while NTSC versions do 60 FPS. Therefore NTSC outputs about 20% more graphics/polygons-per-sec/etc, that's gotta have a performance impact on emulation when compared to the PAL version, shouldn't it? How does it affect a real PS2? does NTSC hardware have more "juice"? Higher clocks frequency? what's the actual difference between NTSC/PAL PS2? Are there implications? I guess NTSC games don't just run 20% slower, do they? Or do NTSC games have more low-FPS scenarios than the PAL versions?

If comparing pixels/sec, there shouldn't be too much difference because NTSC have 20% more FPS, but lower screen resolution. But if comparing polygons[/vectors]/sec, NTSC hardware must work harder, doesn't it?

I'm not too familiar with the PS2 architecture, but I'd guess this load goes to VU0/1/GS/gfx-plugin? This "subsystem" consumes quite a bit of the emulation CPU power, doesn't it?

If this assumption is correct, then PAL games should have higher *possible* gameplay speed than their NTSC counterparts in emulation, because the gfx subsystem works much less for the same gameplay speed (albeit with lower FPS, but still).

If that is indeed the case, could an NTSC game be "tricked" into working in 50 FPS at its native gameplay speed? could any game it be tricked to work at 30 FPS at the same native gameplay speed? If it can, it can give quite a speed boost (gameplay speed) on systems which might not be up to the task otherwise, no?

How do frame/VU skips relate to this issue, if at all? How does the FPS relates to the gameplay speed? does one depend on the other?

Many questions, I know, but I hope my point/issue is clear.
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#2
I see no difference in speed at all between PAL and NTSC,the only way i explain it that NTSC is at 60fps and PAL is at 50fps,My theory is always PAL,less FPS to emulate
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#3
So basically, you agree with me? I was hoping for a more technical discussion though...
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#4
The gameplay is fixed in it's speed since it uses timing code and different values for NTSC and PAL. So. A PAL game should gameplay slighly faster computed at 60 hz while a NTSC game should gameplay a lil slower at 50 hz.

I have no idea how it affects the actual rendering since the hardware is just the same. So I assume on real hardware it always gets rendered as fast as possible ond the only difference is the number and timing of the framebuffer flips to vsync. I expierenced the same behaviour running PAL and NTSC version of the same game in PCSX2. It just doesnt render more FPS.

Last note:

The trick with that 30 or less FPS output is indeed possible using Vu-Skip and abit of haxoring the GS-plugin to not compute or show the Vu-unrendered frames and messing with some timer values or just run the gameplay at native speed to be compatible. I already did this for myself for one specific game.

But it's not a common solution. That's why it's useless. And Vu-Skip isn't used anymore anyway.
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#5
PAL games seem a bit easier to emulate. Look at the benchmarks in the hardware section and you'll see just how much faster it is.
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#6
http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PAL-vs-NTSC

more to the point:
http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PAL-vs-NT...4#pid40484
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#7
(06-16-2010, 06:31 PM)haxor Wrote: The gameplay is fixed in it's speed since it uses timing code and different values for NTSC and PAL. So. A PAL game should gameplay slighly faster computed at 60 hz while a NTSC game should gameplay a lil slower at 50 hz.

I have no idea how it affects the actual rendering since the hardware is just the same. So I assume on real hardware it always gets rendered as fast as possible ond the only difference is the number and timing of the framebuffer flips to vsync. I expierenced the same behaviour running PAL and NTSC version of the same game in PCSX2. It just doesnt render more FPS.
Ok, it kinda makes sense, so does that mean that on a real PS2 an NTSC game might exhibit more low-FPS scenarios than the PAL version (assuming the gfx subsystem [=GFX-SS?] is fully loaded, naturally)?

(06-16-2010, 06:31 PM)haxor Wrote: Last note:

The trick with that 30 or less FPS output is indeed possible using Vu-Skip and abit of haxoring the GS-plugin to not compute or show the Vu-unrendered frames and messing with some timer values or just run the gameplay at native speed to be compatible. I already did this for myself for one specific game.

But it's not a common solution. That's why it's useless. And Vu-Skip isn't used anymore anyway.
In that case, you imply that theoretically, the GFX-SS could run at arbitrary speed, in relation to the native game speed (EE?), and just output higher/lower distinct-frames rate, but the gameplay speed would stay the same?

Games might rely on the VSYNC signal (or equivalent) for timing, but that's unrelated, I think, with the actual rendering performance. It can render slower and produce lower distinct FPS while still vsync at 60Hz so the gameplay speed remains constant. I don't think games rely on actual rendering performance, do they?

If that is the case, can this knowledge applied to emulation? i.e., could the GFX-SS somehow given less resources (CPU%), or otherwise "tell" it to output 30 distinct frames/s, but still "export" the vsync (or equivalent) signal at 60 (50 PAL) Hz? I seriously think that can give a huge boost to emulation performance on relatively slow systems. 30FPS is quite acceptable if consistent, especially if it comes instead of gameplay slow-downs...
(06-16-2010, 06:44 PM)Saiki Wrote: http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PAL-vs-NTSC

more to the point:
http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PAL-vs-NT...4#pid40484
Thanks. Strange, I searched the forum for "ntsc pal" and got zero results...
Will read those links now. Sorry.
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#8
Depends on the game. They should all use the same CPU power so if you got ~80% speed in NTSC then PAL one should get ~80% speed regardless of FPS (is the full speed that matters in the end 60/50) but depends on how the game was made, for example if a PAL game is a conversion of the NTSC one you could end up with a game that is same speed but feels slower. If a game is a reworked/optimized version of the other region one it could be faster, etc. There's also the PAL games that let you choose between 50 or 60fps and other stuff, really depends on the game Tongue
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#9
yea, we've had the discussion many many times here, and didn't feel like rewriting it all lol
(note the speeds are improved for my system, but they stay at the same scale)
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#10
Ok,so if i rebuild a NTSC game to PAL,would be faster?
ex. Sonic Unleahsed NTSC > PAL
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