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). Commented Aug 14, 2011 at 0:00
  • Is this phenomenon tied to a specific game, or systemwide? Certain games are emulated better than others. Commented Aug 14, 2011 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." Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


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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