I have a Game Boy Advance emulator (Visual Boy Advance) on my iMac (specs below), and it has an extremely choppy frame rate. Gameboid on my Droid X however runs smooth as silk. What gives?

I know that Visual Boy Advance is a PPC application so Rosetta is used, but it would surprise me if that was the bottleneck.


  • 2.93 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
  • Make sure you have the options set right; Filter to Normal, Priority to High, Vysnc off and Render Method not set to GDI in Video, etc. (Note that's the Windows menus so it might be different). – Matthew Read Aug 14 '11 at 0:00
  • Is this phenomenon tied to a specific game, or systemwide? Certain games are emulated better than others. – Raven Dreamer Aug 14 '11 at 0:22
  • You realize that VBA-M has been in active development for a while now right? They have releases for win/*nix/mac in 32- and 64-bit flavors. Use that instead of the old VBA "classic." – Jeff Mercado Aug 15 '11 at 5:51

Rosetta is definitely the bottleneck in this case. You're running a game that is designed for one processor in an emulator which was designed for another processor which is running in an emulator on yet another different processor.

tl;dr: GBA Game > Emulator > Emulator > Computer. Find something Windows-based and run it in Wine, or find something written for Intel CPUs.

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