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Changes for Future Releases

13 Dec 2017

We’ll be making a few changes to the Windows binaries from MAME 0.193 onwards. This will only affect pre-built Windows binaries distributed from and – packaged source won’t be affected, and default build settings won’t change. If everything goes to plan, the following changes will be made:

  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries will be built with GCC 7.2 (changed from GCC 6.3). This change shouldn’t be noticeable for most users.
  • 32-bit binaries will require SSE2. Minimum CPU required will be Intel Pentium 4, AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64, or equivalent.

A number of Linux distributions have already switched to GCC 7, and a significant number of MAME developers and users build MAME with GCC 7 on Windows. We don’t anticipate any major issues as a result. The minimum supported GCC version is still GCC 5.1 and is unlikely to change for some time yet.

Requiring SSE 2 improves performance and makes behaviour of 32-bit and 64-bit builds more consistent. Note that this only affects our packaged binary releases – by default, 32-bit x86 builds won’t require SSE. You’ll just have to compile MAME yourself if the SSE 2 requirement is a problem for your use case. However, recent MAME versions are unlikely to perform well on x86 CPUs that predate SSE 2 support.

In other news, the latest version of the Visual Studio 2017 C++ compiler is capable of building MAME. Visual Studio 2015 will be the primary supported version of Visual Studio for a few more releases, but if you were holding off updating to Visual Studio 2017 because of problems compiling variable templates and constexpr, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft has resolved these issues.