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Make Dolphin Feel Like Console with Triple Buffering

Ever wondered why Dolphin still feels different compared to console? Well there's two reason for this. One is VSync not being enabled, and the other is XFB being disabled. The External Frame Buffer being disabled is good because it reduces input lag by a full frame. However, this makes it feel different than console. The good news is, we figured out how to leverage this frame for VSync. And we can do that with OpenGL Triple Buffering. OpenGL Triple Buffering only takes up 1 frame of lag compared to traditional VSync and fits perfectly in our pipeline for making Dolphin feel like Console.

And because we're using VSync, we can also increase our refresh rates slightly to compensate for monitor lag. For example, I use the popular BenQ RL2455 60Hz monitor. Because it's still an LCD, it's going to lag roughly ~1-2ms more than a CRT. And without VSync, if I increased the refresh rate it would add more screen tearing. So it was a trade-off between input lag and smoothness. Well now we get the best of both if we enable OpenGL Triple Buffering. We can increase our refresh rate to 70Hz or 75Hz to compensate for the very slight monitor lag so it's equal to console and we don't get anymore tearing from the refresh rate not being equal to the FPS.

The main purpose of OpenGL Triple Buffering is to practice offline with vanilla Dolphin and for it to feel virtually identical to console. However, you can use this on Netplay if you're using the 120FPS build and you have a 120Hz+ monitor. Because on the 120FPS build with a 120Hz+ monitor, the lag is reduced even further to only half a frame instead of a full frame. This balances out because a 120Hz+ monitor saves half a frame since its transmission time is cut in half. So if we add a half frame from VSync, it evens out.

Anyway, I hope this helps a lot of players who are using Dolphin for practicing or streaming. Obviously Dolphin also allows us to use all the HD enhancements so it's nice that when friends come over we don't have to hear them complaining about how it feels different than console. This should fix that issue entirely if you have a proper setup. Also, check out this article here for more on how Triple Buffering works.

Edit: You must disable VSync in Dolphin - it should only be enabled through your NVIDIA panel.

Posted on 7/14/2016 by: TruckJitsu