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Guide: Which plugin is right for you?


Pretends to make sense
Intro: Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen a couple of threads asking about video plugins. I thought it would be good to make a guide detailing each plugin for the uneducated. This is BETA, so some things may not be completely accurate.


2xSAI: A filter found in some plugins that attempts to increase the detail in some textures

Framebuffer: a place the N64 uses to draw complicated effects, such as blur and pause screens. If you see garbage or a black or white screen where there should be an image inside the game, then it is probably a problem with the framebuffer.

Glide wrapper: DLL file that emulate's the Glide API (programming) used by Glide64.

Video Plugins:

Jabo's Direct3D8 1.6
Project64's default plugin, and a very capable one too. Most people will not need to use any other plugin, as this one plays most games without any issues.

Framebuffer: most simple effects, needs "Copy Framebuffer to RDRAM" option for more complicated effects, but this option will slow game down to an unplayable rate.

Requirements: DirectX8 capable graphics card with Pixel Shaders
ex: ATi Radeon 8500, nVIDIA Geforce 3 or better, NOT Geforce 4 MX)

Jabo's Direct3D6 1.5.2
An updated version of Project64's older plugin, this is also very compatible, although not as high-quality as the D3D8 plugin. Geforce 4 MX users, this is your simplest option.

Framebuffer: not quite as good as the D3D8 plugin, self-rendered texture generation is slow, so disable it in situations like Banjo-Tooie's jigsaw puzzles.

Requirements: DirectX6 capable graphics card
ex: pretty much everything

Rice's Video Plugin 6.1.1 Beta10
Default plugin of 1964. Latest "official" release is 6.1.0, but everybody uses 6.1.1 Beta10 because it fixes a lot of problems and is just as stable. This was a very good plugin in its own right, but it gained a lot of popularity with the 6.1.0 release when a new feature allowed ingame textures to be replaced. What that means: you can change textures (graphics) of the game to more detailed, or completely different ones. Check the high resolution textures forums (inside the 1964 forum) for more information. Make sure to get bmglib.dll and put it in the Project64 folder, not the plugins folder.

Framebuffer: go to the "Game Default Options" tab and change the N64 Framebuffer Emulation box to "Basic Framebuffer & With Emulator" and the Rendering to Texture Emulation box to "Write Back & Reload". Most effects will be emulated.

Requirements: DirectX or OpenGL 1.1 capable graphics card.
ex: any Radeon or Geforce

Glide64 0.8 Wonder Plus
An older made for a defunct series of graphics cards (but now compatible with normal ones), this is still one of the most compatible plugins ever. Definetly your first pick if you still have a 3dfx Voodoo sitting around. People with modern cards: put the included glide3x.dll in the Project64 folder, not the plugins folder. Use this plugin with mupen64 and and the Get FB Info option to emulate Resident Evil 2 nicely.

Framebuffer: if you are using a Voodoo 4/5, check the Hardware Framebuffer box to enable fast emulation of many complicated effects. People using Hackatarux's wrapper do not check this box. Simple effects and some complicated effects will still be emulated.

Requirements: 3dfx Voodoo3/4/5
with Hackatarux's wrapper: OpenGL 1.5/2.0 capable graphics card
ex: Radeon 9200, Geforce 5200 or better.
Low spec graphics cards, try the eVoodoo wrapper.

glN64 0.4.2
An OpenGL plugin lauded for its high quality visuals and excellent emulation of framebuffer effects. Development halted in favor of Direct64.

Framebuffer: check the Hardware Framebuffer emulation box to get many nice frambuffer effects emulated. Note this will work best with nicer graphics cards.

Requirements: OpenGL 1.5 capable graphics card.
ex: Radeon 8500 or Geforce 2

A DirectX9 plugin based on the core of glN64 by the same author. Its visuals are excellent, but doesn't have quite the compatibility of its predecessor or some other plugins. You need a nice video card to play at a good speed. A new release with high resolution texture loading and a cel shading option is said to be near.

Framebuffer: lots of effects emulated perfectly, but not all.

Requirements: Pixel Shader capable graphics card. 2.0 Pixel Shaders recommended.
ex: Radeon 8500, Geforce 3 or better
Recommended: Radeon 9600, Geforce 6600 or better.

If people find this useful, I will update it.