PS3 Emulator RPCS3 Amps Retro Gaming Performance With August Update

hero RPCS3 playstation 3 emulator
On Thursday, the RPCS3 Sony PlayStation 3 emulator team showcased a pair of screenshots which help encapsulate the performance benefits delivered within 2023. Playing the iconic God of War III on the same PC system, comparing emulator builds from Feb and August this year shows an impressive 20%+ performance gain.

RPCS3 God of War III before and after

Above, you can see that the February build of RPCS3 managed to run God of War III at an already impressive 84fps on an AMD Ryzen 7 5700X based desktop system. Using the same system, and a new RPCS3 build from this month, the game runs at over 100fps, according to the dev team’s screenshots. A little math indicates that we are seeing a 20%+ gain in performance on an identical system, with just a new emulator version installed.

In case you haven’t dabbled in emulators previously or recently, RPCS3 is an emulator of the classic PS3 console. The stated goal of this popular open-source software is in “furthering technological innovation and PS3 preservation through emulation.” Moreover, RPCS3 is a leading emulation option for the PS3 available not just for Windows, but for Linux and MacOS too.

RPCS3 is known to be an emulator that is mostly CPU limited. This is because a normally well-balanced PC system’s GPU will not be running full pelt playing old PS3 titles. Instead, it will be the system’s CPU sweating hard, trying to interpret the complex Cell microprocessor architecture which mixes one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based Power Processing Element (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs).

The development team behind RPCS3 has made great strides over the past year or so, adding features, compatibility and performance. Last June, we reported on huge CPU performance gains, with AVX-512 instructions support also added for Zen 4 CPU users a few weeks later. A major milestone was announced over the New Year holidays when the entire PS3 back-catalog of games titles became loadable. Please note that loadable doesn’t mean playable, the official RPCS3 playable figure at the time of writing is a more modest 68%.