The Best Wii Emulator Has A DirectX 12 Renderer, And It's Great

If you haven't messed around with Dolphin, an emulator constantly refined and tweaked by a massive community of contributors, then you should find some time tonight to play around with it. It's a superb program; it might even be the most impressive emulator released to date.

Dolphin's just got one of its biggest upgrades to date, however. The team behind the emulator has just added a DirectX 12 renderer to one of their experimental releases, and the gains are huge.

By the way, that's MadWorld above if you're wondering what the screenshot was. Dolphin can make Wii (Gamecube too) games look real pretty.

Anyway, the DirectX 12 renderer. The Github pull request for the feature was first floated in late December, and there was a bit of discussion on whether all the bugs would be ironed out in time for the next stable release.

That's still up in the air — although it'll be merged into the main build shortly after at the very least — but it seems like a moot point because the impact for those able to take advantage (with Windows 10 and the requisite GPU) is huge.

"I just tried it — it seems to make a BIG difference. I was able to run Twilight Princess at 4k with Per Pixel Lighting with minimal slowdown. Before it was nearly unplayable on those settings," one reddit user posted. Others have reported being able to play at 4K resolutions with a mid-range gaming PC, with minimal to no stuttering.

One commenter on the Github page reported that Super Mario Galaxy 2 was 48% faster using the DX12 render — at 4K resolutions. There's also messages of improved performance across the board in other games as well, although reading through the Dolphin forums indicates that there are plenty of bugs to be ironed out.

But gee, Wii games running smoothly at 4K resolutions or higher just thanks to the addition of a DX12/D3D12 renderer? That makes me excited for what happens when other games patch in DX12 support. And don't forget about Vulkan, either.


Comments

    Ugh, I really don't want to go to Win 10 though.

      It's fine. I've been using it on my laptop for months.

        I have major issues with the software I use, and had to scrap it.
        I also had problems with all the phone home stuff as it kept making my film capture system drop frames, so I am back on Win7 again.

          Same, I had catastrophic issues with drivers for W10 (known issues) with no fix in sight so I reverted back to W7, apart from driver issue the OS was fantastic to use

      Don't worry, Vulkan will catch on once developers realize they can sell to a MUCH MUCH wider audience then using just DX12 with practically for the exact same amount of work. Lots of people don't want to goto Windows10, so its a savior really (unless your on Vista or lower which I don't think will work (vista probably will I guess)). Give it around 2-4months before the Vulkan light starts to really shine.

    Still haven't gotten around to playing around with it at all. Nor DolphinVR. Will have to take a look once I get win10 running I guess.

    I tried this last night and it worked great. The biggest bonus this could bring really is keeping stuttering away. Stuttering ruins many of these games as the frame rate is tied directly into game play.

    There aren't as many options with the D12 settings though, so if you're going for a particular post-processing look for example you will be unable to do that. There are some other options which haven't been added back in for D12 so your mileage may vary per game.

    I wouldn't mind trying this, now i just have to find where i put all my wii games.

    Ah, so Dolphin does use Windows 10!

    I reverted back to Windows 8 a few months ago because Nvideas Shadowplay wasn't working properly with it.
    The above news just might make me try again.

    I hope Metroid Prime and Echoes are running on Dolphin well too.

    I wouldn't get too excited about existing games getting patched up to DX12. The work involved would almost certainly outweigh potential benefits for the devs, who have most likely already made the bulk of the profits they're going to make on already-released games. MMOs and F2Ps may be an exception, but I suspect even those may not want to risk introducing new bugs by swapping out the graphics API.

    Dolphin can afford to do it because it's an ongoing, community-driven project which is always going through revisions as the developers strive for better performance.

    On the other hand, I think there's a lot of reason to be excited about all the new games which will begin to favor DX12 over the coming years... Or, you know, the games which have already employed AMD's (now defunct) Mantle, which is what Vulkan was built upon!

    unless this comes out on windows 7 I'm never going to use it, I've got windows 10 it spy's so hard that games and downloads slow to snails pace, also they say that if you do anything out of the ordinary they will send your data off...

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