Question about Software Mode
I got 3 questions:

1) Whats the difference between hardware and software mode?

2) How do I access software mode?

3) Which offers smoother gameplay? Software or hardware mode?

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Hardware mode will most often be the faster alternative. On lower end systems, openGL is also the better alternative. I have a friend with a laptop that had a 1Ghz dualcore and 4GB of RAM and can run most PS2 games at full speed on openGL. You can access different render modes by opening the Plugin Settings from the PCSX2 menus. Config>Video>Plugin Settings
Where its labelled "Renderer" near the top.
1) Software mode is closest to the actual PS2. It emulates almost all graphics of the PS2, where hardware mode often still has a few missing or broken features like some special effects. But hardware mode offers enhancements over software mode like upscaling, so you can play in HD.

2) You can follow the instructions explained by RogueLizard or press F9 in-game to switch between software and hardware modes on the fly.

3) Software mode is often slower, especially on lower end systems because it is demanding on the CPU, where as hardware mode relies more on the GPU and is usually faster.

Note: Unlike what RogueLizard says. OpenGL is not always the better option on lower end systems. It's best to try all 3 hardware renderers and figure out which one works best on your system.
What he said.
I see. Appreciate it.

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