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Mame Display optimistations 2


      1. Could I use tweaked modes in MAME instead?

        Possibly but they won't be as successful. Tweaked modes do not work on a lot of hardware. With my system, I must use -vsync to keep them stable. This makes them much slower than the comparable than the VESA modes which I am using. Also, the tweaked modes will use one monitor mode, so you are still limited by the hardware capabilities of your monitor.
      2. Are there other alternatives?

        Yes, there are at least three.

        AdvanceMAME is designed to work with fixed-frequency monitors and automatically adjust screen display size. I have not been able to get it working using a PC monitor. In theory it should do everything that my procedures do, however, as it is actually manipulating the graphics output, I would expect the execution to be slower than using the VESA modes in MAME.

        Software - If your monitor has software which allows you to adjust display size from the command line (size.exe hsize=80 vsize=95, for example) this would work and would have the advantage of allowing you to use one monitor mode and set the display size optimally for each game at run time. I don't know how it will handle the display resolution change in MAME, however. In other words, DOS starts at 720x400 @ 70 Hz. MAME 1942 -400x300 runs and the display changes to 800x600 @ 75 Hz. I don’t know if the changes made by the software would apply at both resolutions. I also have not found any software that will do this, but if anyone knows of any, please let me know as it will make this entire procedure much more versatile and simpler.

        Command Line options - Similar to above, the same commands (-hsize and -vsize) could be added to the MAME source to scale the display horizontally and vertically in MAME. The advantage of this would be that since the parameters were being set inside of MAME, they would definitely take effect when MAME was run. Also, since it would be a command line option, it could be left off, and MAME would operate the way it always did. The disadvantage is that it would probably slow MAME down to have to scale the screen output. I have submitted this to one of the MAME devs, but have not heard back any opinions on this approach.




MODE Used By Selected Resolution Display Resolution    
M1     640x480@60    
M2     720x400@70    
M3     640x480@75    
M4     640x480@85    
M5     800x600@75    
M6     800x600@85    
M7     832x624@75    
M8     1024x768@75    
M9     1024x768@85    
M10     1152X864@75    
M11     1280x1024@60    



MODE GAMES Selected Resolution Display Resolution    





I am only mentioning items which I am familiar with. If anyone has additional or conflicting data, please provide it and I will include it here. In the recommendations, I am considering price. There are probably costlier solutions out there which will do the job better. I suggest trying this procedure with your existing hardware, but am adding the recommendations so you will know what to look for if you need to update.

    1. Monitors - The monitor is the most important consideration for this procedure. Surprisingly, it is more important than the graphics card. Look at it this way. A monitor which supports nineteen modes is theoretically able to display nineteen different game types. A monitor that does not support more than one memory mode, will only optimally display one game type. A graphics card which only supports one display resolution will work in all nineteen display modes by setting the refresh rate to 55, 60, 65, 70, … 120 Hz using software (more on that later).
    2. In order of importance, the main considerations for a monitor are (1) number of monitor modes, and (2) On-screen display capabilities, (3) performance and price. Unfortunately, the items which are most critical are not very well documented by most monitor manufacturers. I will provide data for the units which I am most familiar with. Input from users of other monitors will be helpful.

      1. Number of monitor modes - As mentioned in the definitions, many monitors remember the size settings for a given number of resolutions/refresh rate combinations. These will often be divided in preset and user-defined modes. Mine (KDS VS-7E) supports 11 preset and 8 user-defined modes. The more modes available, the better. It is also desirable to have more user than preset modes, because MAME may not be able to access some of the preset modes. Currently, I and using nine monitor modes (7 user and 2 preset, to play all of the MAME games that I have tried (about 55).
      2. On-screen display capabilities - This varies from monitor to monitor, and some monitors will not support this at all. Even without this capability, you can still use this procedure, but it will take you longer to set everything up. The most desirable capabilities are listed here (in order):
        1. Display Parameters (full) - The OSD will inform you of the display resolution and refresh rate whether or not this is a preset mode, e.g. -320x240@90 Hz. I don’t know of any monitor which has this capability. Also, the non-standard display modes are difficult to obtain with a monitor in a computer store. Unirfrsh setup test mode (see software) can display non-standard modes, but you would have a hard time getting a computer store to install it to try on their display monitors.
        2. Display Parameters (partial) - The KDS VS-7E will display the mode and refresh rate if you are in a preset mode, and will display USER MODE @ XX Hz in other modes.
        3. Display Parameters (refresh rate) - The Viewsonic A70 will display the horizontal and vertical refresh rates on the OSD.
        4. Horizontal and vertical sizing - Most monitors with OSD have this capability. However, some will display a numerical percentage for each value, which is preferable to monitors which display only a bar graph for the values.
      3. Performance and Price - I will let you decide this, smaller dot pitch is preferable, higher resolution is preferable.

      RECOMMENDATIONS (in order of desirability):

      21-inch monitors

      IBM P202 - we use these at work, no OSD for refresh rate, has numerical values for screen size. Not the best choice for MAME, but the only 21-inch I have access to.


      17-inch monitors

      KDS VS-7E - 11 preset modes, 8 user modes, partial OSD display parameters. 3-year full warranty. This turns out to be a good monitor for MAME. (replaced by the VS-7i, which seems to be identical except for button placement, routinely $170.00 with rebate from Office Depot or Micro Center.

      AOC 7V series - (from www.aocltd.com) 9 preset and 10 user modes. I don't know about the OSD. 3-year warranty, roughly $200.00.

      Viewsonic A70 - I have one of these. 10 monitor modes (6 preset?). On-screen display shows refresh rate but not resolution. Excellent picture quality for windows, not a great display for MAME.

    3. Graphics Cards
      1. The important consideration is VESA VBE 3.0 compatibility. This standard will allow the UNIRFRSH program to set the refresh rate in MAME. This is not a necessary requirement, but it will allow you to access more monitor modes. Unfortunately, this specification is often not quoted even in the user's manuals for the graphics card. It is easy to test for an installed card. (see the detailed procedure steps), but this may not help you if you are buying a new card mail-order. User comments would be appreciated here, (wink, wink).
      2. 3-D performance is not required by MAME. Video Memory is really only important for higher resolution. The general consensus seems to be that a 4M PCI video card is adequate for MAME.

      RECOMMENDATIONS (in order of desirability)

      AGP CARDS -

      I/O Magic 32MB TNT2 M64 (4x AGP) - Regularly on-sale for $50.00 with rebate from CompUSA. I bought this card but haven't tried it as I still need to upgrade my motherboard to support AGP. A friend also bought the card and verified that it supports VBE 3.0 (at least with the NVIDIA reference drivers).

      ATI XPERT 98 8M AGP - Currently about $40.00 locally. ATI says this card should support VBE 3.0, but I have not verified this.

      PCI CARDS -

      ATI 3D Charger 4M PCI - Currently $27.00 at www.mwave.com. This card has been highly recommended in the MAME message boards. ATI tech support says it supports VBE 3.0, but their website (www.ati.com) has drivers to allow support for VBE 2.1!! Anyone using this card, please comment.

      ATI XPERT SERIES (98,99,2000,98@PLAY,etc.) 8M PCI - Currently $49.00 at BestBuy. ATI says this card supports VBE 3.0, I haven't verified this.

      Diamond Stealth III S540 32M Savage 4 PCI - Currently $77.00, occasionally BestBuy will have one for $50.00 with rebate, Diamond says this card supports VBE 3.0, I haven't verified this.

      Diamond Stealth S220 (Rendition Verite V2100) 4M PCI - This is the card I currently use. It does not support VBE 3.0 without Sci Tech Display Doctor. I don't know if it's currently available. I bought mine for $27.00 with a $30.00 rebate, so I can't complain. If you're upgrading, I would buy one of the other cards, though.

    4. Computer
    5. I am only covering this here because this procedure may result in a slowdown of 1-2 frameskip on some games and this seems to be asked a lot on the message boards. I am running a Pentium 200 MMX with 48 Meg of Ram. It does fine on the older games. On most of the newer games, it is definitely in need of more performance, although still playable. The general consensus seems to be that a Celeron 433 or K62-450 or better with 128M or more of RAM should be adequate for almost all MAME games.


    6. DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, - Since there has been some confusion on operating software, I thought that I would cover that briefly here.
      1. DOS - If you are comfortable using this, and you don't need to run Windows on your MAME computer, pure DOS is the way to go. However DOS does not support USB and many of the newer joysticks may not have drivers for DOS, so its use is limited.
      2. Windows 3.1 - This is basically a grapical interface running over true DOS. For MAME, all of the limitations of pure DOS apply, however, you may be able to add shortcuts to your MAME games.
      3. Windows 95 - This is another update to the Windows graphical interface. With the latest release, it supports USB and larger hard drives, etc.
      4. Windows 98 - This is the first Windows version which does not actually run on top of a base DOS installation. It will still run DOS programs and has somewhat better DOS support and better device support the Windows 95. I am running Windows 98 on my computer.
      5. Windows NT and Windows 2000 - These are basically business as opposed to personal applications. They have less device support than Windows 95 or 98. However, they are supposed to be more stable. I am not sure if NT will run DOS programs at all, but it is not designed to do so. Windows 2000 abandons DOS altogether, you will have to use MAME32 or boot into DOS to play MAME.
      6. Windows ME - Originally this was supposed to abandon DOS and bridge the device support of Windows 98 with the stability of Windows NT. The latest press releases show that it will still support DOS, but not as well as Windows 98. My advice is to save your money and stay with Win 95 or 98.
    7. Multires - http://entechtaiwan.com. This is a small freeware utility to change display settings and refresh rates. See Paragraph C.(4)(c) for installation instructions.
    8. Unirfrsh - http://home.student.utwente.nl/r.muller/unirefresh/download.html This is a freeware utility to change refresh rates in DOS. See Paragraph C.(3) for installation instructions and Paragraph C.(7) for usage of this software.
    9. HzTool - http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000W97 (This link was not working when I was testing this file. If it fails, go to http://zdnet.com and search for hztool. This is a freeware utility to change the refresh rates in windows. I have not used this program, but I included the link as it may be helpful to people using Windows and MAME32.
    10. Sci-Tech Display Doctor - If you know the chipset of your video card (not the board manufacturer), go to http://www.scitechsoft.com/t_hrdw_sdd_win.html to see if SDD supports it. If you need this program, go to http://www.scitechsoft.com/down_sdd_dos.html for the DOS version which is what you need and http://www.scitechsoft.com/down_sdd_win.html for the Windows version which contains the documentation and help files. This program has been well reviewed on a number of web sites for enhancing your video card's capabilities in MAME. I will present the conflicting opinion here. On a positive note, the program does what it says in that it will allow you to run programs that require VBE 3.0 on a VBE 2.0 card. Here are my major objections to SDD.
      1. On my system, according to SDD, I went from 61 supported video modes before installation, to 53 supported modes after. None of the changes affected MAME, however; for a given selected resolution, the display resolution would sometimes be different.
      2. My single biggest objection is PRICE. At $39.95, the program costs almost as much as a new graphics card which will support VBE 3.0 and have increased capability as well. The price made sense when you might have just purchased and $250.00 graphics card which didn't support VESA 3.0 and now had to spend $300.00 for a card which would support VESA 3.0. In light of the current price of graphics cards, and looking at the other utilities listed here, which are all FREEWARE, this price is excessive. If the program were $10.00, I would say buy it. At $20.00 it would still be a good deal, although it's now only about $10.00 less than a hardware upgrade. For $50.00 (see below), you can do much better elsewhere.
      3. If you register the program, you will be charged $10.00 shipping and handling for the registration code and the documentation, which brings the cost to $49.95, and makes a hardware upgrade much more attractive.
      4. The current version doesn't support newer graphics cards (which wouldn't require it anyway, for our purposes). Version 7 of the program is supposed to, however; there is no discount for users upgrading to Version 7. Therefore, if you have a supported older graphics card and a newer graphics card which both require SciTech, you may end up paying $100.00 (or more) to get the software to support both cards.
      5. The DOS version, which is all we would use, has no documentation, so you would have to install the Win32 version to find out how the program works.
      6. The DOS version, which has less capabilities than the Windows version costs the same price.
      7. The trial versions of the program have a fifteen CALENDAR day evaluation period. This is opposed to other shareware which will allow you to access the program on any fifteen different days since installation. This means that you had better wait to install the trial version until you have a lot of free time to evaluate it. (BTW, the program does completely stop working at the end of the fifteen days!)
      8. There is absolutely no technical support for unregistered users of the program. (I understand this, but it is still annoying.)
      9. In conclusion, I would only recommend SDD in an odd situation where perhaps you had an older video card which was required for some applications and a new card would not have the required capabilities. Even then, I would look for another solution first.
    11. WkillKey - http://www.arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm Click on downloads on the left and then utilities. This is a freeware utility which disables the Windows and Menu keys on newer keyboards. In its infinite wisdom, Microsoft had the foresight to place these keys directly between the default Button 1 and Button 2 keys in MAME, where they will never be hit during gameplay, right?



KDS VS-7E and Diamond Stealth S 220 Modes (SciTech required for Unirfrsh settings)

MODE Used By Selected Resolution Display Resolution    
M1 Mame 320x240 640x480 @ 60 Hz    
M2 Dos   720x400 @ 70 Hz    
M3 Can't access   640x480 @ 75 Hz    
M4 WinDoze   640x480 @ 85 Hz    
M5 Mame 400x300 800x600 @ 75 Hz    
M6 WinDoze   800x600 @ 85 Hz    
M7 Macintosh - Can't access   832x624 @ 75 Hz None  
M8 WinDoze   1024x768 @ 75 Hz    
M9 Can't access   1024x768 @ 85 Hz    
M10 WinDoze   1152x864 @ 75 Hz    
M11 WinDoze   1280x1024@60 Hz    
U1 Mame -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz    
U2 Mame -1280x960 User Mode @ 62 Hz    
U3 Mame -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz    
U4 Unirfrsh - Mame -1024x768@85 User Mode @ 85 Hz    
U5 Mame -1152x864 User Mode@ 60 Hz    
U6 Unirfrsh - Mame -800x600@60 User Mode @ 59 Hz    
U7 Unirfrsh - Mame -1152x864@65 User Mode @ 67Hz    


Quick Mode Reference - Diamond Stealth S 220 and KDS VS-7E (Nine independent modes without UNIRFRSH)

MODE GAMES Selected Resolution Display Resolution   Optimum H/V
M1   320x200 640x480 @ 59 Hz    
M1 OutRun, Tetris (Sega) 320x240 640x480 @ 59 Hz   90% 57%
M5 1942; 1943; Arkanoid; Centipede; Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q bert; Frogger; Galaxian; Gun.Smoke; Gyruss; Millipede; Road Fighter; Space Invaders; Space Invaders Part II (Color); Super Breakout; Time Pilot; Top Gunner 400x300 800x600 @ 75 Hz   89% 64%
  OPEN 512x384 User Mode @ 75 Hz Scanlines   87% 100% 80%
M1   640x400 640x480 @60 Hz   100% 100% 50%
M1   640x480 640x480 @ 60 Hz   100% 100% 50%
M2 F-19 Stealth Fighter, Gunship (other DOS GAMES, not MAME 720x400 720x400 @70 Hz Scanlines    
U3 Galaga, Ikari Warriors, Hangly Man, Jr. PacMan, Ms. PacMan, Ms. PacMan Plus, PacMan, PacMan (Hearts), Piranha, PuckMan, Tiger Heli 800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
U6 Discs of Tron, Tron 800x600@60 User Mode @ 59 Hz   63% 63%
U1 1941, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battle Zone, Paper Boy, Star Castle, Star Wars, Tempest, Tetris (Sega), The Empire Strikes Back 1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83 % 35%
U4 Sky Shark, Super Space Invaders '91, Twin Cobra 1024x768@85 User Mode @ 85   74% 70%
U5 Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Road Blasters, Tetris (Atari) 1152x864 User Mode @ 60 Hz   100% 67%
U7 F1 Dream, Choplifter, Konami GT, Mario Bros., Missile Command 1152x864@65 Hz User Mode @ 67 Hz   87% 77%
U2 Defender, Joust, Return of the Jedi 1280x960 User Mode @ 62 Hz   74% 73%
  OPEN 1280x1024 1280x1024 @ 60 Hz   33% 89%



Quick Mode Reference - SIS 5598 (Asus SP-97V Motherboard on-board video) (Eight independent modes)

MODE GAMES Selected Resolution Display Resolution   Optimum H/V
    320x240 User Mode @ 118 Hz    
    400x300 User Mode @ 79 Hz    
    512x384 User Mode @ 93 Hz    
    640x400 720x400 @ 70 Hz    
    640x480 640x480 @60    
    800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz    
    1024x768 1024x768 @ 75 Hz    
    1280x1024 User Mode @ 86 Hz    



Individual Game Settings - Diamond Stealth S220 and KDS VS-7E

GAME Arcade Resolution Selected Resolution Display Settings H/V % required H/V % Used
1942 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
1943 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Arkanoid 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Frogger 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Galaxian 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Gun.Smoke 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Gyruss 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Road Fighter 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Space Invaders 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Space Invaders Part 2 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Super Breakout 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Time Pilot 224x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Centipede 240x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Faster, H, MC, Q bert 240x256@61 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Millipede 240x256@60 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Q bert 240x256@61 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Q bert Qubes 240x256@61 -400x300 800x600 @75   89% 64%
Top Gunner 224x240@60 -400x300 800x600 @75 100% 90% 89% 64%
Asteroids Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Asteroids Deluxe Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Battle Zone Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Empire Strikes Back Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Star Castle Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Star Wars Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Tempest Vector -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
1941 224x384@60 -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Paper Boy 512x384@60 -1024x768 User Mode @ 59 Hz   83% 35%
Tetris (Sega) 320x224@60 -320x240 640x480 @ 59 Hz   90% 57%
Out Run 320x224@60 -320x240 640x480 @59 Hz   90% 57%
Gauntlet 336x240 @ 60 -1152x864 User Mode @ 59 Hz   100% 66%
Gauntlet II 336x240 @ 60 -1152x864 User Mode @ 59 Hz   100% 66%
Road Blasters 336x240@60 -1152x864 User Mode @ 59 Hz   100% 66%
Tetris (Atari) 336x240@60 -1152x864 User Mode @ 59 Hz   100% 66%
Missile Command 256x231@60 -1152x864@65 User Mode @ 67 Hz   87% 77%
Choplifter 256x224@60 -1152x864@65 User Mode @ 67 Hz 87% 80% 87% 77%
F1 Dream 256x224@60 -1152x864@65 User Mode @ 67 Hz 87% 80% 87% 77%
Konami GT 256x224@60 -1152x864@65 User Mode @ 67 Hz 87% 80% 87% 77%
Mario Bros. 256x224@60 -1152x864@65 User Mode @67 Hz 87% 80% 87% 77%
Defender 292x240@60 -1280x960 User Mode @62 Hz   84% 88%
Joust 292x240@60 -1280x960 User Mode @62 Hz   84% 88%
Return of the Jedi 296x240@60 -1280x960 User Mode @ 62 Hz   84% 88%
Galaga 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Hangly Man 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Jr. PacMan 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Ms. PacMan 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Ms. PacMan Plus 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
PacMan 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
PacMan (Hearts) 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Piranha 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
PuckMan 224x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Ikari Warriors 216x288@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz   44% 44%
Tiger Heli 240x280@60 -800x600 User Mode @ 56 Hz 41% 50% 44% 44%
Tron 480x512@30 -800x600@60 User Mode @ 60 Hz   63% 63%
Discs of Tron 800x600@30 -800x600@60 User Mode @ 60 Hz   63% 63%
Super Space Invaders 224x320 @ 60 -1024x768@85 User Mode @ 84 Hz   74% 70%
Sky Shark 240x320@56 -1024x768@85 User Mode @ 84 Hz   74% 70%
Twin Cobra 240x320@56 -1024x768@85 User Mode @ 84 Hz   74% 70%