I wanted to try Demon's Souls after playing through the typical FromSoftware staples: Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro. While I have a PS5 and a remake of Demon's Souls is available, I wanted to experience the game for the first time with all of its original charm. I just don't like remakes!
Luckily I don't have to buy a PS3 to experience the game either. A magical tool called RPCS3 has become available in recent years to emulate PS3 games, including Demon's Souls.
I tried it, and it's great. Just one problem: the game runs TERRIBLY on my aging PC. Below is an FPS graph of me playing a section of the Boletarian Palace level, starting from the room where you fight the Phalanx boss, along a series of bridges leading to the next boss, the Tower Knight.
The average of 38 FPS is misleading. As you can see, the FPS regularly drops like a rock into the 10-20 FPS range, and stays entirely below 30 FPS for a couple minutes. It quickly becomes intolerable to play. Likewise, the sound also stutters like mad.
The culprit for this poor performance is obvious from the chart: the CPU is pegged at 100% nearly the entire time. The chart shows a direct correlation between the CPU utilization and the framerate. RPCS3 recommends a 6 core, 12 thread CPU, while I only have a 4 core, 4 thread CPU.
To solve the problem, I bought a 6 core, 12 thread CPU. Results:
Problem solved! My new CPU is more than capable of running the game at a consistent 60 FPS (I did notice a few moments where it dropped into the 30-40 FPS, but it was rare).
Details below on the new build. I only wanted to upgrade the CPU, but enough time has passed where I needed to upgrade the motherboard and RAM as well for compatibility. I also added a new CPU fan for good measure.
|CPU||Intel i5-4690K||$239.99||AMD Ryzen 5 5600X||$272.99|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H||$174.99||ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (WiFi 6)||$194.99|
|RAM||G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600 16GB (2 x 8GB)||$154.99||G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series DDR4 3600 32GB (2 x 16GB)||$154.99|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO||$33.03||Noctua NH-U12S Redux||$49.95|
|3DMark - Time Spy||3696 (CPU: 3204, GPU: 3799)||4136 (CPU: 8339, GPU: 3799)|
|Cinebench R23||Multi Core: 3698 pts, Single Core: 959 pts, MP Ratio: 3.86x||Multi Core: 10,382 pts, Single Core: 1529 pts, MP Ratio: 6.79x|