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PlayStation 3 Emulator Delivers Modest Speed-Ups with Disabled E-Cores on Intel Alder Lake Processors

According to some testing performed by the team behind RPCS3, a free and open-source emulation software for Sony's PlayStation 3, Intel's Alder Lake processors are enjoying a hefty performance boost when E-Cores is disabled. First of all, the Alder Lake processors feature a hybrid configuration with high-performance P-cores and low-power E-cores. The P-cores are based on Golden Cove architecture and can execute AVX-512 instructions with ease. However, the AVX-512 boost is only applicable when E-cores are disabled as software looks at the whole package. Officially, Alder Lake processors don't support AVX-512, as the processor's little E-cores cannot execute AVX-512 instruction.

Thanks to the team behind the RPCS3 emulator, we have some information and tests that suggest that turning E-cores off gives a performance boost to the emulation speed and game FPS. With E-Cores disabled, and only P-cores left, the processor can execute AVX-512 and gets a higher ring ratio. This means that latency in the ring bus is presumably lower. The team benchmarked Intel Core i9-12900K, and Core i9-11900K processors clocked at 5.2 GHz for tests. The Alder Lake chip had disabled E-cores. In God of War: Ascension, the Rocket Lake processor produced 68 FPS, while Alder Lake produced 78 FPS, representing around 15% improvement.

Playstation 3 Emulator RPCS3 To Implement AMD FSR Upscaling Tech

AMD's Fidelity Super Resolution (FSR) tech is being implemented in RPSCS3, one of the foremost emulators for Sony's Playstation 3. The emulator allows PC users to play otherwise PS3-exclusive games via software emulation. The nature of this emulation, however, leads to a couple important aspects. One pertains to performance: emulating non-existent hardware is one of the most resource-hungry workloads one can think of, and is highly dependent on the emulator's coding quality. Another is that since this is a software solution, it does allow to changes in maximum render resolution, for example, or the addition of visual effects or other modifications to the rendering pipeline. One limitation of this approach is that game support has to be added almost manually, checking and correcting the emulators' behaviors according to the software being played.

AMD's FSR tech been received with a rather enthusiastic response. This is in part due to its open source nature, but also because of its apparent ease of implementation and its higher compatibility with graphics cards new, old, and from the competition - unlike NVIDIA's DLSS, which requires specific hardware (Tensor cores) to be present in the GPU chip, locking it to only the latest NVIDIA products. This nature of FSR has led to its integrationn on the RPCS3 emulator, promising a relatively easy to implement performance and image quality increase compared to the original rendering pipeline, including 4K upscaling. Check after the break for a video of the tech in action (spoiler: the quality difference isn't nearly as close as what the thumbnail implies).

RPCS3 PlayStation 3 Emulator Receives AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution Support

RPCS3 is an open-source PlayStation 3 emulator which currently boasts compatibility with 61% of the 2278 games released for the console and limited compatibility with a further 31%. The developers behind the emulator have recently announced the addition of AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) support which they note is the first for any console emulator. This implementation performs the upscaling at the end of the graphics pipeline which may introduce issues on certain titles. The feature can be enabled within the settings menu under the GPU section and the sharpening strength can be adjusted from 1 - 100%.
RPCS3RPCS3 is now the first game console emulator to support FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR)

RPCS3 Emulator Shows Exceptional Progress in Latest Update Video

While the RPCS3 emulator has been in development since 2011, it is only recently that it has begun to see rapid improvements thereby Bringing PS3 games to the PC platform in a playable way. In their latest update video, the development team behind RPCS3 showed off the most recent performance improvements they have made. Multiple titles have seen tremendous gains thanks to Nekotekina, who managed to approximate Xfloat. This has allowed more games to benefit from the SPU LLVM recompiler which delivers better performance compared to ASMJTT. It also results in LLVM seeing better compatibility with a broader range of titles that before did not run with it or had game breaking issues. They also demonstrated Improvements to SPU cache building with LLVM now being multi-threaded. This change cut the cache build time from 12 minutes and 34 seconds to a 1 minutes 28 seconds on an AMD Ryzen 7 1700.

To display their hard work the development team used Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time which saw a roughly 20-30% performance increase but is still not considered fully playable as of yet. Even so, the performance uplift means Sly Cooper is running in the low 40-50 FPS range which is an excellent start all the same. They also chose a first party title in Uncharted Drake's Fortune which thanks to the same changes received a massive uptick in performance of around 50%. While this means the game only went from 20 FPS to 29 FPS, it is still a sizable improvement.
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