Yea and no... the parallel is good, but the use case is new, very specific to emulation of old hardware platforms. MiSTer probably is the first platform which uses both FPGA and software on an OS to emulate different aspects of a retro machine (at least that I know). Maybe I see a closer parallel with ParaLLEl (pun intended
) a Libretro N64 core where part of the actual emulation is offloaded on the GPU, not only the rendering (at least as far I understand).
OpenGL or DirectX hardware acceleration are used in many emulators, especially for shaders, enhanced visual modes, enhanced texture quality, and other such things. Even software rendering or direct framebuffer rendering has been used many times. Occasionally things like NEON are used to speed an emulator up. Literally no different, except on more powerful platforms that include ASIC video. We are just creating a video card out of FPGA because mister doesn't have one built in, otherwise this is identical regular ARM software. There is no special hardware enhancements, no mixing of "chips and software". It's just a regular old executable.
Locutus73 wrote:And just to make my point more clear: again I agree that anything acting as something else emulates, but what people don’t like about “software emulation as in MAME” is the added software layer with all that comes with it (i.e. the need of raw power, the added lag, etc.). Let me explain...
What people don't like about them is that they are either made unintentionally inaccurately or intentionally inaccurately so that they will be able to run on under powered hardware like the raspberry pi. Accurate software emulation needs powerful CPUs. So you get compromises in performance, audio, video, stability, and accuracy in order to make them run on weak CPUs. In ways, it's much harder to get the order of execution correct in software vs FPGA, so it can be quite tricky to make them accurate, comparatively. The extra latency from using a framebuffer also bothers people, but that's not especially different than what we are doing on MiSTer's HPS video here. We are using a framebuffer too.
Sorgelig wrote:I din't make MiSTer to prove something to someone.
More over - it's open source platform. The one who understand the difference will make a right decision (any decision, not exactly toward the MiSTer).
The one who doesn't understand the difference from RPi i would really, REALLY glad if he will choose the RPi and there will be less strange requests from such users.
In ideal case i would like to see only users who understand what is FPGA, what can expect and what is less expected. Because i'm tired to explain why some essential to software emulators features are hard to make on FPGA.
I understand your point of view, and surely you know that I respect you very much, but I don't agree with you that this is how reality works. I believe that MiSTer is something really special, and the only thing between it being a niche project and having a ton of users is enhancing the user experience. The more people that have a good experience, the more developers will take interest, and the more the project can advance. Users aren't black and white. There isn't the "dumb user that should use RPI" and the "smart user that should use fpga". Depending on how the developer starts that user out, they can grow in either direction. If the platform is confusing and full of pitfalls, it will not be a surprise if they end up being an RPi user. If the platform is easy to set up and helps them get started and find information, then they can turn into a good FPGA user.