The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release is finally here! After nearly a year of bug-hunting and handling the release process, everything has come together for our biggest release yet! The three previous releases followed a very distinct pattern: sacrifice performance, hacks, and features in exchange for higher accuracy. As such, Dolphin 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 progressively grew slower. But thanks to the cleanups put forward throughout those releases, Dolphin 5.0 is the fastest Dolphin has ever been!
By removing all of those hacks and outdated features while cleaning up the codebase, Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. On the GPU side, OpenGL and D3D11 have seen tons of optimizations and accuracy improvements, and have been joined by a brand new D3D12 backend for huge performance gains. If there’s a CPU or GPU extension that can make Dolphin faster, we take advantage of it.
At a basic level, Dolphin 5.0 is more accurate and more efficient than previous builds in every way. Individual games will vary, especially due to various hacks being removed along the way. Dolphin 5.0 can be downloaded for Windows and Mac OS X from our official website: dolphin-emu.org.
System Requirements to run Dolphin 5.0 can be found here but here’s a quick rundown of what changed:
64-bit CPUs and Operating Systems are required.
Windows XP is no longer supported. Windows Vista is no longer officially supported.
Direct3D10/OpenGL3 Required. This means AMD Radeon 4xxx, NVIDIA GeForce 8xxx, or Intel HD 2xxx minimum! Anything older than that will most likely not work or will have significant glitches.
Dolphin on Android is not getting a release build. This does not mean it’s falling behind or anything. We just did not feel like Dolphin on Android has reached any milestone with these changes. We’d rather it have its own special time in the sun when it comes, instead of tagging it onto what has been an already concerted effort on the desktop release.
Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. On the GPU side, OpenGL and D3D11 have seen tons of optimizations and accuracy improvements, and have been joined by a brand new D3D12 backend for huge performance gains. If there’s a CPU or GPU extension that can make Dolphin faster, we take advantage of it.
Dolphin is an incredibly impressive project – not just from a technological standpoint, but also from an organisation one. They post regular, detailed development updates, have in-depth release notes that are still entirely readable for laypersons such as myself, and you always learn a ton of new stuff following the project’s progress.
zFreeze is one of those features that we never thought would be implemented. Developers have been aware of the feature for quite some time, but no one could quite get a handle on how to implement it. It took three developers working upon years of research to finally crack the code, and now every known situation of zFreeze works properly in Dolphin! As we proudly stated once zFreeze emulation was defeated yes, you can finally play Rogue Squadron II in Dolphin. Due to how demanding it is and all the crazy hardware tricks it uses, it may not be perfect yet, but zFreeze will not be causing any more headaches.
Better and Faster CPU Emulation
Much like Dolphin’s GPU emulation, Dolphin’s CPU emulation has seen many accuracy improvements over the past two and half years. And it’s sacrificed compatibility, too. While D3D9 was sacrificed for integers, the x86_32 JIT was sacrificed for a whole slew of improvements. We promised users that dropping the 32-bit JIT would open up many options for improvements, but, even we didn’t expect nearly a 100% improvement in performance in the JIT!
A great example of how to run a project like this. Don’t forget to check out the release video with tons of side-by-side examples of the long list of improvements.
Dolphin Web Browser
Dolphin Browser is the best browser for Android. Dolphin Browser provides you with fast loading speed, HTML5 video player, AdBlock, tab bar, sidebars,