Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report
Growing up, we all had our favorite past times. Some played baseball, while others played video games. My favorite activity revolved around the latter, and one of my favorite consoles was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and Super Castlevania IV were among my favorite games. The bad news is that the older the hardware becomes, the more likely it is to fail.
This is where emulation comes into play.
As it turns out, most console emulators will only be just accurate enough for the games to be playable. According to Byuu, who wrote quite an informative piece on Ars Technica:
These days, the most dominant emulators are Nestopia and Nintendulator, requiring 800MHz and 1.6GHz, respectively, to attain full speed. The need for speed isn’t because the emulators aren’t well optimized: it’s because they are a far more faithful recreation of the original NES hardware in software.
Now compare these to the older N64 emulator, UltraHLE, whose system requirements were a meager 350MHz Pentium II system. To the casual observer, it can be quite perplexing to see Mario 64 requiring less processing power than the original Mario Bros.
My experience in emulation is in the SNES field, working on the bsnes emulator. I adored the ideal behind Nestopia, and wanted to recreate this level of accuracy for the Super Nintendo. As it turns out, the same level of dedication to accuracy pushed requirements up into the 2-3GHz range, depending on the title.
Considering the hardware inside the SNES, requiring a high end computer makes sense. After all, one is mimicking an entire system in software. Byuu has since merged bsnes into a new project.