Latest MAME core + romset

My roms are all messed up when using the 2003 or 201 core. Can I just grab the latest fullset (I think 0.246?), and then use the “MAME - Current” core? Will that all sync up?

If you have no performance problems is always better to use the latest mame core (mame current) rather than using a 20 years old version…

to your question: yes if you have the latest romset mame current is the way to go.

Thank you. I already have the .244 romset. I don’t really need to update to .246

What version is the “MAME - Current” version. Will it work with .244? If yes, I’ll just lock it form updating and be good to go.

It was bumped to 0.246 a few days ago

As usual, a few romsets will stop working if your version doesn’t exactly match, considering the versions are 2 months apart i’d say 99% of the romsets you are likely to play will be ok.

If you are confused about arcade emulation, or about which arcade core you should use depending on your needs, i recommend reading the libretro arcade documentation.

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Thank you, that is helpful. The part that was confusing me is that I don’t see a way to determine which MAME version the "MAME - Current’ is. Unless that is documented somewhere?

Not sure there is a way until you download/update it and then load it. Mine shows it in the lower left once the core is loaded, per the below pic

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Exactly what I needed, didn’t see this since I usually start Retroarch via Launchbox. Thank you!

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Well, you were using mame2003 and mame201(0?) previously, which aren’t recommended in any situation and especially not if you aren’t on a low-end device, so i don’t think the versioning of current mame is the only thing you were confused about. Note that mame current isn’t in the list of recommended arcade cores either, and should only be used as a last resort for the games that aren’t supported by the recommended cores.

I had older romsets previously which is why I was trying 2003 and 2010.

Re: .244, I thought the recommendation was to use the MAME version that matched your romset version. You’re saying I should not use MAME Current if I have .244, or I upgrade my romset to .246?

Part of what makes this so confusing is that there seems to be no consensus for anything. Even in this thread of less than 10 posts, one person says “yes if you have the latest romset mame current is the way to go.” while another says “Note that mame current isn’t in the list of recommended arcade cores either, and should only be used as a last resort for the games that aren’t supported by the recommended cores.”

You got it backward, the recommendation is to choose a core, then to get the matching romsets. MAME current isn’t in the list of recommended cores because its implementation into the libretro ecosystem is very lacking, so it has a lot of issues and missing features (partial savestate support, no rewind/runahead/netplay, broken shaders on vertical games, …), yet it has the largest compatibility when it comes to arcade games if that’s the only thing you are interested about.

There is, the official documentation i linked go in-depth about the differences between the cores, and make several recommendations.

Thanks, I had searched the documentation you linked and couldn’t find anything specifically about the “MAME Current” core, but maybe that was just because the site search wasn’t bringing me where I needed to go.

Sounds like my best bet is to use the 2016 core and start over with a fresh 2016 rom+chd set.

I suppose the documentation needs a major rewrite if you came to the conclusion that mame2016 is recommended. The recommended arcade cores are MAME2003-plus and FBNeo, because they have the tightest integration within the libretro ecosystem and a support team, especially the later. Other arcade cores are not really maintained, MAME current gets a bump occasionally but rarely a fix for its known problems.

To put it simple: get the FbNeo core and then the latest romset for it. Fbneo is the best way (in retroarch) to play arcade games. Resort to mame only if games that you want to play are not supported by FbNeo.

also the fbneo’s arcade romset is around 17GB much lighter then the whole mame arcade set.

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Mame 2003 should NOT be the recommended option just because it plays nice with RetroArch. It’s an ancient version that may have issues and inacuracies with games that have been fixed years ago.

Current MAME is better even if some RA features don’t work as well with it, it’s more modern, more accurate and more compatible and even has lower input lag.

Or you can use FBNeo and you get the best of both worlds, though FBNeo doesn’t support half the games current MAME does.

IMO you should use FBNeo as default and current MAME core for the games FBNeo doesn’t support or have higher input lag compared to MAME, like Bubble Bobble for instance.

MAME2003-plus is not MAME2003, it includes fixes from more recent version of MAME and even includes support for some recent MCU dumps. While it’s not perfect and is clearly targeted at low-end devices, it at least doesn’t fail at basic stuff like displaying shaders on vertical games, unlike MAME current.

I remember reducing the input lag on bubble bobble a few months ago ? It’s still higher than MAME ? Note that there is virtually no game with lower input lag on MAME, because FBNeo widely supports runahead.

I generally don’t use Run ahead. I prefer it when cores don’t have extra input lag frames themselves by default.

With that in mind, it appears some games have lower input lag on current MAME and some on FBNeo. Depends on the driver i guess.

Bubble Bobble was reacting at the exact next frame on MAME last time i checked. Had 1 frame of lag in FBNeo. But in other games this can be the opposite. So i can’t tell which core performs better in general without run ahead.

As for MAME 2003, the core still has higher input lag than current, which is a bigger deal than the vertical scanlines that can be easily manually rotated.

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Some time ago I noticed that SSII has 1 frame delay. I have not been able to do the tests due to commitments, I will make some time to do the full lag tests.

MAME-Current, it is supposed to be the actual version of MAME that you can see in its official website. It is usually updated to the latest version, although, sometimes it has a slight delay.

The other versions of MAME cores, are for a specific purpose, and you need to use exactly the same named set of roms.

You can use a 0.244 set, with the 0.246 core, it will work ‘almost’ in its entirety. Out of 16,000 roms maybe 10 will fail.

If you want to have the best gaming experience, use FBNeo main, because it is better integrated with RetroArch. And MAME for games not supported by FBNeo.

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Not that it can be helped if you are mainly using MAME.

As far as i can tell, both emulators react the same on Bubble Bobble, the higher input lag was reported and reduced some time ago. FBNeo has overall lower input lag, and in the rare cases it doesn’t you just need to report it.

What’s SSII ?

FWIW, i rewrote Step 1: Choose an arcade emulator to match your system, it should now be easier for the users to make an educated guess.

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IMO run ahead is interesting for reducing native lag that exists on real hardware but a band-aid and hacky solution for fixing emulation related lag, not to mention very demanding. I rather use emulators that don’t add lag frames themselves.

I tested Bubble Bobble a few weeks ago so i might be out of date.

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On the contrary, i think runahead is interesting to reduce the input lag induced by emulation, and that the lag native to the game should be left alone.

It turns out i had runahead enabled, so yeah apparently we are 1 frame behind mame, i’ll have to take another look.

Note that MAME inherited an option to shave 1 frame of input lag induced by emulation from GroovyMAME, they might not call it runahead but it serves the same purpose. I’m not sure what’s the current status for this option in the libretro core, but if it’s now enabled by default then you’ll need to turn on runahead in FBNeo to make a fair comparison.

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