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Thread: ArcadeVGA vs Modded ATI Drives?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    ArcadeVGA vs Modded ATI Drives?

    I'm in the process of adding a MAME computer to a JAMMA arcade with JPAC. My only concern is ArcadeVGA or modded drivers such as CRT Emudriver. I've seen a few opinions from die hard fans from both sides just ripping all over the other option, I'm after something un-bias.

    Can anybody list me pros and cons for each?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    66 Post(s)
    442 Post(s)
    Well, fair warning I'm a rabid fan, but...

    An AVGA is far more expensive, dated, sometimes has unfixable installation issues on Win 7/10 where it won't work at all, and comes with limited tools. Does not deliver composite sync (i don't think it does, anyway). It does have built-in BIOS protection for 15kHz boot though.

    crt_emudriver + compatible card or APU is cheaper (or) able to go much more powerful (i run Tekken 7 on my machine), has good community support and guides, is easier to get running, has better tools, and works more easily with GroovyMAME, which last you want to be using if you're on Windows + CRT. Will happily deliver composite sync from crt_emudriver 2.0 beta 13 and up - don't be fooled, it's fully working, not a beta. You don't strictly need c-sync with the JPac though. crt_emudriver also allows EDID emulation, which is the best protection you can give your monitor, and allows you to safely hot-plug an LCD into a second port for troubleshooting. Doing so won't mess up your precious CRT monitor *or* your config. To get a 15kHz boot, you need to look into Atom15, which is also coded by Calamity.

    There's really nothing to recommend an AVGA if you're building or buying. With the J-Pac you don't need Atom15 unless you want to get into the BIOS, though sometimes J-Pac's can be funny, so it's best to plan to set up Atom15 even if you never do it. A 15kHz boot might stop you being able to see the BIOS of a new motherboard at all though - Windows will load just fine, but if the BIOS dictates a 720p mode for example, it simply won't be visible. I've used Atom15 to modify the BIOS of four different graphics cards and then flashed them with winflash (it's all explained on the Atom15 page) without issues, but before buying any particular card i'd google it and Atom15 in the same sentence first.

    Whatever you pick, expect to spend a fair amount of time configuring and playing around, that's part of the learning process.

    EDIT: Being curious, I'd love to hear some of the current arguments for an AVGA, by the way...or against crt_emudriver.
    Last edited by buttersoft; 10th August 2018 at 04:15 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    185 Post(s)
    1425 Post(s)
    I love the AVGA and have 2 of them BUT they can be a royal pain in the arse to get working properly and can be really picky on your windows install. When working they're brilliant but I'd say the only pro to using them is the 15kHz protection. The real issues I have with them is the really high price point.

    Now I have 3 other machines that use generic video cards using Groovymame or crt_emudriver and they're work flawlessly. I don't have this 15kHz protection but never had a problem


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