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Thread: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    I've decided to spend a little cash on a dedicated PC to sit and run an emmulator for all my arcade / snes / C64 games, and thought I'd get a little advice on what hardware is available.

    Obviously this system can be pretty low spec, as it's just going to run an OS + emmulator of vintage hardware.

    I guess the requirements are

    1.) HDMI - I want to output both video and sound out of HDMI to keep it simple
    2.) small / low profile, I don't want or need a massive tower to do this.
    3.) low power, I don't need a 6 core beast, I'm guessin a low power mobile processor would suite this setup simple
    4.) network card support
    5.) cheap/value for money - I'm saying this as the new mac mini's are pretty much perfect for this function (massive overkill but ticks the boxes) so if it comes in more expensive than a mac mini it's a pointless discussion as I can just buy a mac mini.

    I've got an old model mac mini but it doesn't have the HDMI output so could use that, so please don't suggest an old core single mac mini as I've already got one.

    Very much appreciate your thoughts and views on setups I could use, especially if I can use a low power cpu to keep waste and power usage down.

    thanks
    It is Inevitable.....


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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    If that's the only thing holding you back from using the MacMini get a DVI<->HDMI converter. That's what I use on mine.

    http://www.kikatek.com/product_info....ducts_id=51846

    Alternatively your TV may have a D-SUB pretty sure even my new LED one does. Emulators are hardly likely to be super top end graphics wise anyway.

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Emulators seem to need decent single thread performance AFAIK. Hence I would get a socket 1155 Pentium or a Core i3 2100.


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    DDY
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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Emulators seem to need decent single thread performance AFAIK. Hence I would get a socket 1155 Pentium or a Core i3 2100.
    True, but even my 600MHz VIA C3 can run arcade games

    Never mind threaded performance!, I think the idea here is to use the slowest modern CPU available

    EDIT: Forum died on me! Lost my previewed post

    As for recommendations, I think you should got for something much lower power such as an Intel Atom or AMD Fusion based build, there are ITX boards with these CPUs and HDMI for about £80. Also worth considering are net tops.

    But using your mac-mini with a DVI-HDMI adapter for £2 off the bay is your best option IMO.
    Last edited by DDY; 03-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Emulators seem to need decent single thread performance AFAIK. Hence I would get a socket 1155 Pentium or a Core i3 2100.
    I wouldn't even go to a pentium, i would get a celeron The lowest end AMD or intel chip you can possibly get will do fine. I run N64 games from an AMD 250u and onboard video (although now i have my HD5450 back in there) which is barely better than an atom!

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    I wouldn't even go to a pentium, i would get a celeron The lowest end AMD or intel chip you can possibly get will do fine. I run N64 games from an AMD 250u and onboard video (although now i have my HD5450 back in there) which is barely better than an atom!
    Interesting. It seems people are recommending Core i5 CPUs overclocked to 4GHZ to run emulators. Seems a bit fishy to me,unless it is just e-peen.


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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Interesting. It seems people are recommending Core i5 CPUs overclocked to 4GHZ to run emulators. Seems a bit fishy to me,unless it is just e-peen.
    Depends what you are emulating mate, if its old skool N64/snes/arcade then it takes nothing, Wii/Xbox/PS2 on the other hand takes a quite a bit of grunt.

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Depends what you are emulating mate, if its old skool N64/snes/arcade then it takes nothing, Wii/Xbox/PS2 on the other hand takes a quite a bit of grunt.
    I would rather get the original console TBH!


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    DDY
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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Interesting. It seems people are recommending Core i5 CPUs overclocked to 4GHZ to run emulators. Seems a bit fishy to me,unless it is just e-peen.
    Depends on your emulation needs, remeber we are talking about 20+ year old machines in this thread

    It's not the same as emulating Wii games at 1080p!

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    the issue with my current old mac mini isn't the lack of hdmi for video, I can fix that with a simple converter, it's the lack of video + audio down hdmi and the need for an additional audio cable, I may well end up using it, but I thought I'd see what else was on option
    It is Inevitable.....


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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    At the risk of giving myself competition for limited stock, how about a Via VE-900 mitx board? The 1.4GHz Nano x2 is somewhat faster than an Atom D525. If you have a search on youtube there's videos of this board running quite a few modern & semi-modern games at moderate settings, so for old-skool console emulation is should be fine. Just add some memory (desktop DDR3 is dirt cheap now) and an mitx case with PSU, and you'll have a diddy little emulator with low power draw to game to your heart's content

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    If that's the only thing holding you back from using the MacMini get a DVI<->HDMI converter. That's what I use on mine.

    http://www.kikatek.com/product_info....ducts_id=51846
    That wouldn't work, DVI to HDMI adapters don't carry audio which he wants it to do.

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by IronWarrior View Post
    That wouldn't work, DVI to HDMI adapters don't carry audio which he wants it to do.
    Some do actually, depends on the GPU and the adapter.

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    the core solo generation mac minis do not do this
    It is Inevitable.....


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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    Depends on your emulation needs, remeber we are talking about 20+ year old machines in this thread

    It's not the same as emulating Wii games at 1080p!
    Nobody emulates a Wii to any degree - HLEing is nothing more than simulation, and allows speed rather than accuracy. N64 emulation is the same, MESS is just staring to do N64 properly and it's slow - even with moogly's new highly threaded renderer.

    When emulated properly, things need to kept in tight sync, and multi-core isn't really an option. You can use a core for the video emulation but that doesn't really get much performance back.

    Even some old games require plenty of grunt to run at full-speed, check out Cube Quest for example in MAME, the multitude of CPU's it used, and the tight sync means it runs dog-slow on anything. And once you reach the 90's arcade hardware that was often PC-based or used PowerPCs etc. then single-threaded 10GHz is the estimated requirement for full-speed.

    The optional HLSL effects in MAME can look good and require a good GPU, but basically speaking for emulation purposes, the fastest clock speed you can throw at it (and most of the time with one core) is always the best way to go.

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    Re: Advice: Low end PCI with HDMI for arcade emmulator

    Dolphin can emulate the Wii quite well, and the GC as well, have had few problems with it really, you do need a monumentally fast pc to upscale to 1080 and have playable framerates though.
    *̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ *̡͌l̡*

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