Author Topic: N8 testing with Analogue NT  (Read 81934 times)

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Offline GadgetUK

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2016, 11:20 AM »
Again, sorry to spam my suggestion but I believe you are seeing a cross talk issue.  Try adding grounded copper tape over the cart interface traces and vias - either in the Everdrive or on the NT PCB.  This could make a difference!  Wish I had one to test =\

Offline prg318

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2016, 04:09 AM »
I've discovered something, and discussed it in the other Nt thread.

The NTF2 Test Cartridge ROM loaded on the N8 should not fail on the Nt. However, it's failing, at least for me. Everyone that has an N8 and Nt needs to run that and see how far into the test they can get.

I'm thinking about getting a repro of it soon so I can see if it's the Nt itself.
I will try this and report back;  thanks!
I posted my results in the other thread.  I ran it six times, and it froze up after the male/female sign test once and ran fine five times.  kinda weird that it would fail once

Offline Missingno255

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2016, 10:17 AM »
Well, I guess the N8 won't be working on this console anymore.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/08/the-500-nes-remake-gets-a-bit-smaller-and-more-affordable/

You can kiss real hardware goodbye. They're removing it and replacing it with inaccurate FPGA emulation.

Huh? The Nt mini is supposedly going to be optimized to support the N8:
"The Analogue Nt mini is compatible with both versions of the EverDrive, the NES N8 and the Famicom N8 and it is compatible with the PowerPak. We are able to offer optimized flash cart support with the Nt mini due to having complete control over the hardware (FPGA). Rest assured, your EverDrive (either version) will be compatible. "
(this is from https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/224996908-Analogue-Nt-mini-vs-Analogue-Nt)

And inaccurate FPGA emulation? You do realize that the N8 uses an FPGA as well right? If done properly an FPGA is exactly identical to the original hardware, and if anyone can do it it's kevtris.
I'm fully aware that the N8 uses an FPGA for emulating mappers. An FPGA will NOT emulate ANY hardware exactly 100%. Look at some of the emulation for VRC6, specifically the music. You'll notice how terrible it sounds, versus the actual carts (I have an actual Akumajo Densetsu cart). You'll notice it in other mappers as well, for example, when the bank switching gets fucked up due to not being emulated right (i.e. garbage graphics).  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/
This article is mainly about the SNES and Higan, but my point is, you'll NEVER have emulation that's 100% accurate to the original console. An FPGA is a hardware EMULATOR implementing hardware in software.

EDIT:Since they are emulating the Ricoh N2A03 and RP2C07, the sound will probably be wrong, the CPU emulation of unofficial opcodes will probably be wrong (some games do rely on these and will crash if not emulated properly), and the PPU emulation will also be wrong. At that point you may as well throw your Everdrive out the window, and just use a PC emulator instead.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 10:28 AM by Missingno255 »
Owned Everdrives: Everdrive MD, Mega Everdrive, Everdrive N8, Everdrive GB X5, Turbo Everdrive, Super Everdrive, Everdrive GBA

Misc Flashcarts: SD2SNES

Offline GadgetUK

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2016, 11:57 AM »
To be honest, FGPA emulation gets a bad reputation - namely because of devices like the firecore Atgames junk and similar 'thrown together untested pieces of ****'.  If Kevtris is behind the core design you've got nothing to worry about.  His attention to detail is probably in the top 0.1% of the people on the planet when it comes to this area of expertise.   I wish I had 1% of his ability in the field of FPGA.   The nice thing with the NES its is pretty well reverse engineered - there's  not much if anything not known about its internals.  Emulating the CPU can easily be done perfectly, and emulating the PPU at hardware level in an FPGA isn't a problem for someone like Kevtris either.

That said, I do personally prefer original hardware.  There's the point in my mind where I believe that if I am emulating at FPGA level, why not just emulate in software?  Sure you get better accuracy vs original hardware, but it ISNT the original hardware.  Sure you can play original games, but the game is just binary at the end of the day, it's not the cart that makes the experience and give you that retro fuzzy feeling - its the hardware running it.   That's my personal gripe with FPGA remakes of systems - It's easier, cheaper and more logical to just emulate instead.   Hybrids I can see real benefits in.  ie. hooking up FPGA hardware that allows original CPU and PPU, but allows you to disable them and swap to virtual chips, to allow things like different clock speeds (NTSC / PAL), HDMI video etc etc.

EDIT:  Yes, your points about some Mappers being inaccurate - absolutely!  When it comes to the sound components I am sure there's room for improvement.  Part of the problem there is the internals aren't 100% understood I think, for some mappers.  And analogue components (sound generation etc) is sometimes a bit tricky with just an FPGA, and ends up sounding a little sharp and maybe even digital to the trained ear.

Don't write off the NT with the N8 though, it sounds like cross talk.  I've read all the issues that people have been posting on these threads and I am sure that's what it is.   Grounded copper tape on the right place (over cart traces and vias) could bring you stability with this combination of hardware.  It's probably impedance related, and these types of problems aren't always easy to spot when testing at design stage.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 12:02 PM by GadgetUK »

Offline Jincman

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2016, 02:26 PM »
1. Second Run Analogue NT
2. HDMI
3. Hi-Def Firmware 2.25 / Everdrive firmware v13
4. 1080p, any despecle, any scanlines
5. Everdrive N8 Famicom shell
6. Pretty stable overall. Some resets though ... noticeably in Super Mario 3.
7. Using an 4GB microSDHC UHS-I Card

Offline cacophony

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2016, 09:35 PM »
Well, I guess the N8 won't be working on this console anymore.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/08/the-500-nes-remake-gets-a-bit-smaller-and-more-affordable/

You can kiss real hardware goodbye. They're removing it and replacing it with inaccurate FPGA emulation.

Huh? The Nt mini is supposedly going to be optimized to support the N8:
"The Analogue Nt mini is compatible with both versions of the EverDrive, the NES N8 and the Famicom N8 and it is compatible with the PowerPak. We are able to offer optimized flash cart support with the Nt mini due to having complete control over the hardware (FPGA). Rest assured, your EverDrive (either version) will be compatible. "
(this is from https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/224996908-Analogue-Nt-mini-vs-Analogue-Nt)

And inaccurate FPGA emulation? You do realize that the N8 uses an FPGA as well right? If done properly an FPGA is exactly identical to the original hardware, and if anyone can do it it's kevtris.
I'm fully aware that the N8 uses an FPGA for emulating mappers. An FPGA will NOT emulate ANY hardware exactly 100%. Look at some of the emulation for VRC6, specifically the music. You'll notice how terrible it sounds, versus the actual carts (I have an actual Akumajo Densetsu cart). You'll notice it in other mappers as well, for example, when the bank switching gets fucked up due to not being emulated right (i.e. garbage graphics).  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/
This article is mainly about the SNES and Higan, but my point is, you'll NEVER have emulation that's 100% accurate to the original console. An FPGA is a hardware EMULATOR implementing hardware in software.

EDIT:Since they are emulating the Ricoh N2A03 and RP2C07, the sound will probably be wrong, the CPU emulation of unofficial opcodes will probably be wrong (some games do rely on these and will crash if not emulated properly), and the PPU emulation will also be wrong. At that point you may as well throw your Everdrive out the window, and just use a PC emulator instead.

I can't comment on the VRC6 emulation because it's not something I know about, but your SNES and Higan example don't actually support your point. There is a fundamental difference between software emulation and hardware emulation (despite it originating in software), and that article is about the limits of software emulation.

Kevtris has effectively created a hardware clone that is identical at the gate and resister level for both the CPU and PPU, which was possible because so much is known about those two chips. He has compared the output on an oscilloscope during gameplay and it is identical to the original hardware. There will be zero difference, but if somebody ever finds a bug it can always be fixed.

On a related note, I've been playing with the RetroUSB AVS (the other FGPA NES) the last few days and it's been fantasic. I've noticed zero difference from my original front loader, but you get pixel perfect output. I've tried the best NES software emluators and they don't come close.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 10:26 PM by cacophony »

Offline cacophony

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2016, 09:48 PM »
That said, I do personally prefer original hardware.  There's the point in my mind where I believe that if I am emulating at FPGA level, why not just emulate in software? 

Software emulation isn't as accurate and there's no way to do it without introducing multiple frames of lag. Hardware emulation has zero lag and if the hardware is well understood it will be identical.

Actual hardware at the gate and resister level has no real limit other than chip size in terms of how much is happening in parallel. A software emulator will always be limited to the number of actual cores in the CPU (typically just 2 or 4 these days). So while while software emulation can certainly get close it will never be identical. Effectively software emulation is attempting to be a close approximation via very different means.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 10:05 PM by cacophony »

Offline Jincman

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2016, 08:57 PM »
Just and observation ... most if not all the games that I am having an issue with (hangs and restarts) are MMC3 games. Could this be an issue with timing of an interrupt? Maybe the NT is more sensitive to timing issues then NES.

Offline hunterk

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2016, 07:28 PM »
Just and observation ... most if not all the games that I am having an issue with (hangs and restarts) are MMC3 games. Could this be an issue with timing of an interrupt? Maybe the NT is more sensitive to timing issues then NES.
I noticed this, as well, but when I tried a bunch of MMC3 test ROMs, everything passed just fine, so I don't think it's a mapper issue.

Offline Jincman

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2016, 01:37 AM »
Quote
I noticed this, as well, but when I tried a bunch of MMC3 test ROMs, everything passed just fine, so I don't think it's a mapper issue.
I don't know ... I can't recreate the issue on any other type of game. All FDS games ... solid. PunchOut ... solid. Original Zelda and Mario ... solid. Donkey Kong ... solid.

Offline hunterk

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2016, 04:24 PM »
If you'd like to do some testing on your end, just download the test ROMs from here:
https://github.com/christopherpow/nes-test-roms/tree/master/mmc3_test
https://github.com/christopherpow/nes-test-roms/tree/master/mmc3_test_2/rom_singles
https://github.com/christopherpow/nes-test-roms/tree/master/mmc3_irq_tests
I didn't test all of them because it's tedious work but every one I ran passed.

Offline Adamcarter

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2016, 04:20 PM »
I just have a question, i read a few forums, thought this was the best place to post.

I have a second edition analogue nt. Was planning on buying an everdrive

What percentage of analogues are having issues with everdrive carts.

Is it only certain versions/models of the everdrive cart?

Is it only the famicom version, or the american nes version as well.

Did version 13 of everdrive firmware fix it 100%

Is a v14 being worked on?

Now that the new mini is coming out, is Analogue and the everdrive creator no longer working on fixes. does this basically mean i have. 600 dollar brick in my living room?


I know some of these questions are redundent, and have been answered in previous posts. But i havent seen a response from analogue support or the everdrive creator in awhile.

Thanks for any information.

Offline hunterk

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2016, 04:38 PM »
What percentage of analogues are having issues with everdrive carts.
Unknown
Is it only certain versions/models of the everdrive cart?
It doesn't seem so, no.
Is it only the famicom version, or the american nes version as well.
No. Some people report better luck with the NES version, some people report otherwise.
Did version 13 of everdrive firmware fix it 100%
No, that was an unrelated problem specifically between Everdrive N8s and the HiDefNES mod (i.e., unrelated to Nts, specifically; this affected modded toasters, top-loaders, etc.). The crashing/glitching/instability is a separate issue between Nts (HiDef-modded *and* RGB) that has nothing to do with the v13 fixes.
Is a v14 being worked on?
Probably at some point, but not to fix Nt issues, since no one knows what is actually causing them.
Now that the new mini is coming out, is Analogue and the everdrive creator no longer working on fixes. does this basically mean i have. 600 dollar brick in my living room?
No one knows what's causing the problem nor how many units it affects on either end of the issue, so no one can fix what they don't understand. Your Nt is not a brick, as it still plays actual carts flawlessly and also has no issues with RetroUSB's PowerPak. The N8/Nt thing is a dodgy, spooky incompatibility between two very complex pieces of boutique electronics that are produced in small numbers.

Offline Adamcarter

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2016, 11:10 PM »
Thank you for your quick response.

So the powerpak works, this is good to know.

Sucks that this is such an issue, maybe everdrive can analyze the powerpak and figure out why it works and make the corrections.

Guess i will buy a powerpak in the mean time.


Offline Jincman

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Re: N8 testing with Analogue NT
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2016, 01:24 AM »
Just out of curiosity ... Is there any non MMC3 games that hang or crash on the NT and N8?
I want to test this further.