Okay, so i've searched throughout this site and no one has really done anything in-depth emulator wise.

I've seen posts over the internet about the development of ps2/xbox emulators, and there are many working ones for n64 SNES DS GBA GBC etc 

All i ask is that some one out there with a few pc's, compare emulators and fps for the systems they currently have, you don't have to have the best i7's or gtx 680's etc but it would be nice for people like me who love playing games from there childhood to have some sort of reference.

the only reason i ask this is because i'm saving to buy a pc and if an extra 100 or two will allow me to play the old games i loved i'd easily save for an extra 2 weeks.

(before anyone asks why i don't do it im just out of school on minumum wage but i will update this forum if i find out anything on my end)

thanks in advance for any responses ^_^

You could pretty much play any old school game emulator/rom on the simplist of computers. you don't need to spend any extra money for it to work. They take up minimal computer space and don't require a strong system at all. 

Are you going to buy a pc or build one? And what is you budget?

although that is correct for games like pokemon, mariokart, banjo and kazooie etc , thats not the case for alot of games,

for example some ds games run very badly on an 8gb amd 6core with a gtx 550 and thats considered a mid range pc, im mainly looking for answers for the ps2 as i know spending over €1000 will allow me to play almost all ds games,

without sounding offensive i'd like an answer with a bit more work put into is all i'm saying, although with your computer specs i'd understand why you'd say almost all are playable.

i want this forum to be a good reference to anyone who sees it as "the simplest of computers" could be mistaken for something as simple as my €300 notebook that can barely run a flash game online.

i don't like to think budget-wise because if theres something extra i'll just wait a bit longer but im planning on an fx-8350, 16gb ram, and either an HD 7870 or a gtx 660 ti 

im running a 1100t with 2 6850's and 16gig of ram i can play all ps2 games that i have with an emultor no problem.  i even play ps one game with an emulator if i dont enable fram limits i can get anywhere from 120 fps to 260 fps depending on the game and location. if you have the budget a 7870 way out performs 2 6850's with less headace and hassle. just be warned some emulators do not like 64 bit at all, epsxe is good for 64 bit.

*For people like me that skim through articles before reading, I have bolded the most important facts.


I have a 7850 and an i7-2700k and I am able to play PS2 games, WII games, Dolphin games, DS games, all Mame games that I have tried, and every older gen console. Nowadays, Emulation for everything up to a PS2 and Wii can be achieved for around 400 dollars. If you want to use filtering in the games at 1080p resolution, than a 600-700 dollar computer would suffice. A big problem with Emulation is not entirely hardware, but also the software used. Make sure you do research and find which Emulators emulate the best. 



This is a link to a pretty accurate table where CPUs are listed out and are given a tier based on how well their performance is with Dolphin. Keep in mind that Emulators will mainly only use one core.Some Emulators support two cores, but not many do. This means that a 6-core AMD cpu may not emulate games as well as an Intel two-core cpu because single-threads are better with Intel. For your case in particular, because you want to use your pc for emulation, than an Intel i5-3570k or an i7 may better suit your needs. In fact, an i3 would have better performance in emulation than the Fx-8350.                                                                                                                            

Source:   http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i3-3220-vs-AMD-FX-8350-specs  




 When talking about the GPU, Emulators will not use GPUs unless filtering and a high resolution is turned on.  Some emulators may still use the GPU, but the GPU is NOT as important as the CPU.  For example, a Pentium G860(Dual Core Intel CPU) with a 6670(AMD Low-End GPU) will play emulated games better than an A4(AMD dual core CPU) with a 7770(AMD Mid-range GPU). 


Ram generally doesn't effect Emulators, but will effect it if you have too little ram(1GB) and are running other tasks in the background.


Just to reiterate, A Cpu is the most important thing. Make sure when buying a cpu, Single-thread speeds are fast. A GPU will handle the graphical aspects of Emulation. If you want to run 1080p with many filters, than a high- mid end GPU will be needed. If you want to run games at native resolutions with graphical settings at the lowest, a low end GPU should work.

Also, I am not an Intel fanboy. I have been through many computers and have tested many of them. What I say may and or may not be the truth, but I'm glad I'm able to share my knowledge with you all.


my Compaq laptop that I bought 6 years ago for 300$ can run all of the emulators you listed. If you want a good answer ask a good question and give us the info we need. "If I need to I can spend 100$ more" doesn't help if you don't tell us what the specs are on the computer you are looking at. Also list what emulators you want to use because anything up to n64 emulators can run on almost any POS out there. 


  • sandy/ivy bridge CPUs are beast at emulation
  • anything over 2GB of ram is ilrelivent
  • you don't need a 670 for emulation
  • get good software and learn how to configure it right


thanks guys, as always this site never dissapoints ^_^

also look into SVNs of PCSX2, those can use up to 3 cores or more in recent ones

you need to set the right settings, that's half the emulator, its got a million settings you need to custom set for every because every game uses low level hardware differently, this is what you or a developer would have to do if you didn't have a unified API such as Direct X or OpenGL for your graphics cards