Do Emulators Slow Down A Computer? Let’s Find Out

emulator and slow running computer issue

I remember the time when I first installed an emulator on my PC just to play the famous Arcade game, the “Tekken 3”. Back in those days, emulators were no less than a blessing that allowed geeks to play their favorite console games on a PC.

Well, emulators now are not just limited to playing video games only. You can now use an emulator to run Mac OS on your Windows 10 operating system. Similarly, there are certain emulators that allow you to run Windows on a Linux or Mac-based PC.

But running emulators need is something similar to playing with the laws of nature. Let’s take an example of the PCSX which is the most popular emulator to run PlayStation games on a PC.

Now you might have witnessed that the performance of PlayStation games that you run through emulators tend to be slower than they were on the real PlayStation console.

So, what’s the main reason behind all this? Is an emulator slowing down your computer?

It’s not the emulator that’s slowing down your computer. Emulators are coded to behave like a device that has its own dedicated hardware. So, when you run a program on an emulator, it’s difficult for that program or application to synchronize with the hardware of your computer. This is the reason you witness lags and delays while running emulators even if you have the most powerful CPU or GPU.

In simple words, most emulators are mostly software-driven and don’t utilize the hardware of your computer in the way they do on a parent device.

Even if you add more ram in the empty slots of your motherboard, it will have no impact on your PC to emulate faster. Most emulators do not use more than 256MB ram, so investing money in ram won’t improve the performance of your emulator.

Why People Use Emulators

The main reason for using emulators is to run programs that are not compatible with one’s device. Now those programs or applications could be games, operating systems (Linux, Mac, Windows, Android), or any sort of application that runs in a totally different environment.

For example, there’s a video game on PlayStation 2 that you want to play on your PC. Now, PlayStation and Windows are totally different platforms. This is where emulators come into play, all you need to do is install an emulator and you are good to play your favorite PS2 game on your PC.

In the same way, you can run Mac or Android-based applications on your Windows 10 with the help of an emulator.

The Downsides of Emulator

Emulators demand a lot of processing power from your PC. So, if you are using a PC with outdated hardware, using an emulator might slow down your PC.

You’ll find a lot of emulators on the internet that claim to run incompatible programs on your PC. However, there’s always a risk associated with unknown or less popular emulator programs. You may end up downloading viruses or infected files as well. So, it’s better to install an emulator from trusted sources.

Moreover, downloading emulators in some countries is not considered a good practice. So make sure you look up the regulations set by your country in order to download and install the emulator on your PC.

Some Popular Emulators

Although the use of emulators is limited to two reasons, either to play video games or run an incompatible program on your device. Here are the most popular emulators you can download on your PC.


This is one of my favorite video game emulators to play the most classic games released back in the 90s. If you are a fan of old Arcade games, then go to the MAME website to download the emulator, it’s totally free.


This is the most trusted emulator to run Windows on a Mac-based PC. WINE has a super easy-to-use interface and it keeps updating more often to give you a great user experience.


Do you want to run all of your favorite Android apps on your computer? You can’t find any better emulator than BlueStacks on the internet.

  • When it comes to building a PC from scratch, you go to Robert. Robert covers the topics of finding the best PC components solution, and writes detailed gadget comparisons.