AWOW AK41 - SNES emulation

This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of using the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux.

Click for full size image

This week I’ve been busy on work issues so I’ve had less time to devote to writing about the AWOW AK41. I aimed to surveying a wide range of video emulators and see how they perform on the AWOW AK41.

Instead, I’ve focused on one emulator, Snes9x. This is a popular open source emulator for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo. The SNES saw a staggered release around the world in the early 1990s. The game console was very popular selling around 49 million units.

The SNES 16-bit design of the SNES incorporated graphics and sound co-processors that perform tiling and simulated 3D effects, a palette of 32,768 colors, and 8-channel ADPCM audio.

I tried various SNES games on the AWOW AK41. It made light work of them. Processor usage was around 40% of 1 of the AK41’s 4 cores, with maximum frames per second achieved.

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Here’s an image of the AWOW AK41 running Snes9x with Mario Bros in action. I’ve enabled the frame action. As you can see, we’re getting the maximum 60 frames per second.

AWOW AK41 - Snes9x

Here’s another game in action on the AWOW AK41. This time, it’s the equally classic Street Fighter II. We’re getting the full 50 frames per second. Again the AWOW AK41’s CPU and integrated GPU makes light work of the emulation.

AWOW AK41 - Street Fighter II

The SNES still has a following among collectors and retro gamers, with new homebrew games released.

In next week’s blog, I’ll explore emulators that let you run games from more advanced video console machines.

Complete list of articles in this series:

Week 11 Video consoles: SNES emulation
Week 10 Running TeamViewer with AWOW AK41 as the host
Week 9 Astronomy on the AK41 including Celestia, Stellarium, Skychart, and more
Week 8 Recording video with OBS Studio
Week 7 Home computer emulators: FS-UAE, ZEsaurUX, Hatari, Clock Signal
Week 6 Web browsing with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Vivaldi
Week 5 Gaming: SuperTuxKart, AwesomeNauts, Retrocycles, Robocraft, DOTA 2, and more
Week 4 Run multiple operating systems on the AK41
Week 3 Video and audio playback looking at hardware acceleration
Week 2 Benchmarking the AK41 with 3 other low power machines
Week 1 Introduction to the series including wiping Windows and installing Manjaro