I want to build a dedicated emulator box/pc


#1

I’m looking to start building arcade cabs with a friend of mine. I’ve been doing a ton of research and now I’m up to this point. Basically instead of using old PC’s and stuff I wanted to build my own emulator console that I can put in the cab/hook to a tv or whatever almost as if it were a normal game console. My main goal is to have it be small, presentable, not too expensive and easy to plug and play. This way I could stick them in an arcade machine or hook it up in my living room.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on what kind of motherboard and ect. I should look into for a project like this. It would be cool if it’s practical to build my own custom case to fit everything into it unless there’s a good cheap one on the market.

Anyway I know all the emulator front ends I can use to keep it simple. I’m probably going to be using GameEX for it. Setting all that up will be easy, I just never built my own rig before so I can use some serious advice on how to go about putting this thing together.

Also to add I want to have enough power to run programs like ggpo/mame at full speed.

Anyway I’m sorry if I’m all over the place and didn’t provide enough info on what I want to do. If anyone could point me in the right direction I’d appreciate it.


#2

What is the budget of such a machine?

If I was building a fighter box on the cheap, but wanted to run some more current gamess, I would opt for a little mini pc that has one of the new AMD APUs.

I love this little box. Has HDMI out and I can’t imagine a little game box for less money.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119061


#3

Oh that little thing looks nice. I was thinking around the $200 dollar range especially since I wanted to build more than 1 but this thing looks nice.

I’m assuming I would have to buy ram and a vid card for it?


#4

Nope. Has video. Have the same APU in my laptop and can play everything except BF3 just fine.

Add ram, hard-drive, and optical drive. Whole thing (sans operating system) should not be over $230.

Please note that APU (E-350) will run SFIV.
[media=youtube]BK100kScvnk[/media]


#5

OK, so I’m going to order the box you linked to me. These are the hard drive, opt drive and ram I’m going to order with it. I just want to make sure I’m getting the right stuff. I’m probably going to have to order sata cables also right? I apologize for my ignorance when it comes to this stuff lol. Anyway I’m about to order, just looking for an ok on what I picked out. Thanks for your help.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148147

Edit

Just saw the vid you posted but it looks like sf4 doesn’t run full speed. Running sf4 would have just been a bonus for me anyway because I have it for 360 already along with a lot of other fighters that aren’t available on pc so it’s not a big deal. As long as it will run things like 3s and ect on mame at full speed I’m happy.


#6

Amazon has that same HD for $10 less and free shipping. I would go with more ram for sure. Ram prices are at all time low and I wouldn’t skimp. Optical drive seems fine.

Please note that there are new drivers and a lot of tweaking you can do as well, and SFIV will run and look better than the video provided.


#7

Minus newer titles like Street Fighter IV, an old school Emulation box can run on old machines.

People been running mame boxes on old Pentium II machines and a hack keyboard encoder for the PCB to there stick.

Newer Emulators such as some Sega Genesis Emulation (running a Sega CD + 32X games), Sega Saturn, PSX & Dreamcast have high resource requirements. Also LOW LEVEL (hardware emulation) NES Emulators can bring a modern gaming system to it’s knees.

But for the most a budget build is fine for an emulation box.


#8

Really? Hardware emulation is that intensive? Learn something new every day.


#9

It’s more being accurate vs. close enough. Here’s an article from the guy making the SNES hardware-accurate emulator.
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator.ars/


#10

Thanks. I learnt something today.


#11

I appreciate all the info guys. I actually have an old pc that can even run 3s full speed in mame but it used to run like trash if I tried to use ggpo plus it doesn’t look right in the living room lol. I wanted something that would look good next to my TV and the box I ordered looks lie it’s going to work out perfect.


#12

If I was to put a video card in the foxconn barebones machine what would for well inside?


#13

You’d want a video card with PCI Express 2.0x16. Newegg has over 300, I’m not sure what to exactly look for to tell which ones would be compatible with that machine. You could contact Newegg customer service and ask them what would work.