The RPCS3 PS3 emulator gets a hefty boost on Intel Alder Lake CPUs with AVX-512 enabled

The last of us screenshot
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The developers of the RPCS3 emulator have announced some interesting results after testing with 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake CPUs. In short, if you’re into playing PS3 games on your PC, you’ll get the best results by far with a 12th Gen system.

RPCS3 is an open source PlayStation 3 emulator, and a very good one at that. The Cell architecture of the PS3 is notoriously complex to emulate, and getting it to run at all on a PC is a big achievement. The team recently announced that its emulator can boot every PS3 game ever released. It doesn’t mean that they are all playable, but when measured against the state of some emulators, that in itself is no mean feat.

The RPCS3 emulator is coded to take advantage of the AVX-512 instruction set, which is officially disabled on 12th Gen processors and tends to cop a lot of backlash due to its excess power consumption and heat generation characteristics. It’s still there though, but late in the development of Alder Lake, Intel decided to disable it. 

To enable it, you need to disable the processor's efficient E-cores. The results are impressive as seen in the screenshot tweeted by the RPCS3 team. Additionally, it's also suggested that disabling Hyperthreading helps, too. 

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Using God Of War as the example, a Core i9 12900K, with eight P-cores and eight threads, was able to beat out a similarly configured Core i9 11900K by 10fps, going from 68 fps to 78 fps. In systems that are otherwise identical, that's a big jump and it highlights the raw IPC gain offered by 12th Gen processors. Retro PS3 gaming maybe just got a whole lot more enjoyable.

The world of console emulators can be murky, but it's always worth stating that the piracy of games themselves is illegal. So, if you want to get PS3 games running on your PC, you're going to have to do it with games that you already own.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.