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Author Topic: Ideal Emulation Rigs?  (Read 2506 times)

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DillonFoulds

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Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:17:46 pm »
I'm gonna be coming up with 3 generic Showcase Dynamo cabs that I'm going to MAME for a few guys at work, and in the process I'm looking to upgrade my MAME machine as well.

Show me your ideal newegg shopping carts! I want to be able to emulate most (obviously excluding Midway/Vegas777 games) fluidly. I'll be loading up a HUGE hyperspin wheel as well.

Ideally I'm looking for...
2TB HDD (Should be enough for what I have in mind)
2gb Ram (Shouldn't need more, should I?)
Mobo/CPU Combo (Here's where I'm really looking for tips)
Video Cards (I guess if I'm running PSX, DC, and N64 emulators, I should have beefier cards, no?)

So I'm looking to order 4 identical rigs. What do you guys suggest?



Edit:
Not sure this will work, but...
https://secure.newegg.ca/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=14247905
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 10:45:18 pm by DillonFoulds »

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 10:47:43 pm »

DillonFoulds

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 11:03:12 pm »
Cheaper is better, but I wouldn't be opposed to sacrifice price for performance. Ideally something that sits in around 400$ or less.


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    Model #:HD204UI
    Item #:N82E16822152245
$109.99

MSI 740GM-P25 AM3 AMD 740G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    Model #:740GM-P25
    Item #:N82E16813130288
$54.99

Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
    Model #:KVR1333D3N9/1G
    Item #:N82E16820134657
$40.98

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
    Model #:ADX620WFK42GI
    Item #:N82E16819103705
$89.99

Subtotal:    $295.95


Prices in Canuckistan Bucks

Thenasty

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 07:57:08 am »
go for the TOP PROCESSOR if you can afford it

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0331322

This should be enought for all those hungry CPU games you want to play.  :cheers:
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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 08:46:23 am »
Currently there are diminishing returns past 2 cores in MAME, a higher clock speed is more advantageous:

Consider this (Taken from NewEgg.ca):

    Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822136514
    $119.90

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
    Item #: N82E16820231098
    $55.99

Subtotal:    $175.89
 
    ASRock A785GM-LE/128M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813157179
    $59.99

    AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX
    Item #: N82E16819103873
    $73.99

Subtotal:    $133.98

Total: 289.97

Still need a Power supply and a video card, however.
DDR2 is cheaper than DDR3.

LeedsFan

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 11:00:08 am »
I just had a look at Newegg.ca (though I'm from England and can't buy from there myself).

$120 gets you an i3-540 processor which is 3.09 GHz out of the box. This is easily overclocked to 4.0 GHz and over on the stock cooler.
$82 gets you a Radeon 5570 which is a half decent graphics card. It will play modern games at medium settings and is even available in low profile for a few dollars extra if you are tight on space.

I think you may need to get DDR3 ram for this though (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) which is more expensive.

DillonFoulds

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 11:31:54 am »
I think RAM is motherboard dependent. I recall reading somewhere (maybe Tom's Hardware?) that AM3 processors required DDR3 ram to function correctly. Am I mistaken on this one though?

    AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX260OCGMBOX
    Item #: N82E16819103873
    $73.99

So basically, this CPU has a higher base frequency, and uses less energy, so in theory it should be an easier OC to keep stable? For 15$ less I'd be getting better single thread performance, it seems...

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2010/Cinebench-11.5-Single-threaded,2406.html

Hmm... something to think about then...

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 11:52:48 am »
AM3 can run on DDR2 or DDR3. Yes, it is motherboard dependent, as the sockets are physically incompatible, however that motherboard that I suggested is a DDR2 board that supports AM3.

The machine I'm running to post this is an AM3 Phenom X4 with 8Gb of DDR2 ram.

Some discussions of overclocking the 260:
http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/748936-amd-athlon-ii-x240-athlon-iix260.html
http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/587058-official-athlon-ii-x2-regor-series.html
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=322990

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 03:37:01 pm »
I must admit I havent been here reading in several months, but.. Will any non -OC'ed machine play the high end stuff. I know there was a huge thread on the E8400's and OC.. it was about the best (bang for buck) processer back then (yes, outdated CPU by hardware standards).But since then I have picked up some the new (ok old now) e6400 and htey OC like mad! seems like a pretty nice chip for $70.

it is hard to beat AMD for bang for buck so if its purely EMU machine it might be way to go.

garwil

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 05:31:38 pm »
I think the problem with a lot of the games is that they aren't fully working in MAME anyway. You could have a 10Ghz processor and they'd still be choppy/buggy/crashy/freezey! The same goes for a lot of other more recent emus.

DillonFoulds

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 08:01:21 pm »
Yeah, aforementioned reasoning is why I plan to run Dreamcast (Blitz, Gauntlet Legends) and other consoles.

I think Intel may be an option, but I'm not up to date with the latest CPU offerings myself. I'd ideally like to see a rig in the 300 dollar range that's just mobo, cpu, ram, and hdd (unless video cards actually matter for this, then bump it up to 350-400).

I'd be looking to order 4 of these setups, so I'd be curious as to the best bang for the buck.

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2010, 02:51:56 am »
I think Intel may be an option, but I'm not up to date with the latest CPU offerings myself. I'd ideally like to see a rig in the 300 dollar range that's just mobo, cpu, ram, and hdd (unless video cards actually matter for this, then bump it up to 350-400).

You will need a video card for some of the emulators such as Project64. I don't know too much about other emulators but I looked into Project64 and they say that you need a card that support pixel shading 2. Given that even cheap cards like the Radeon 5570 I mentioned earlier support pixel shading 4 then you will be OK there.

I'm building a similar project to you right now but I want to be able to play modern PC games too. I also need a low profile card and the 5570 ticks that box also. With that card I won't be able to get max settings with AA etc. on a lot of PC games but it will play medium settings without AA on just about anything. I'm happy with that as it will be used mostly for Emulation with Hyperspin FE.

I wouldn't trust onboard graphics at all. Intel's new chips have a built in GPU but from what I hear it's pretty basic. I was gonna get the i5 661 and go with onboard but for the price of a medium entry video card I decided to buy one. AMD on board graphics is better than Intel's I believe. But I'm not au fait with recent Athlon chips to be honest.

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2010, 04:53:14 am »
For a mame cab computer using a tv how do you think this would fare....

http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4111742&Sku=E145-9504

1g, s video and under $70.
Opinions?

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2010, 10:15:08 pm »
Okay, getting closer to purchase date for these 4 machines. Two questions left.

1. Do I need to go with 2 sticks of ram? I see all these 2x1gb or 2x2gb ddr kits around. Do I actually need to pair ram sticks now, or am I fine with say, 1x2gb stick?

2. On-board video vs a pci-e card. Obviously for MAME this sin't much of a factor, but will dreamcast emulators, or N64, or even possibly the Dolphin emulator benefit from a dedicated video card rather than the onboard?
Specifically, the Radeon HD3000 that is integrated on this mobo versus say a radeon 4650 for an extra 50$ (ballpark)?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 10:39:09 pm by DillonFoulds »

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 12:35:16 am »
In general DDR memory performs better in dual channel mode (pairs). How much better can vary depending the application. Unless there is a significant price savings, just get them as a pair.

As for the videocard, if your looking to run any modern systems, onboard video won't really cut it.

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 05:47:15 am »
The current onboard stuff coming from ATI/AMD has really not been that bad for a lot of situations.

The biggest question regarding those emulators is going to be how you plan to display those games.

If you're looking at running them at 1080p with 16x antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, then its probably worth looking into a dedicated card. If you're going to be running them at 1024x768, then an HD3000 will probably work.

DillonFoulds

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 09:38:47 am »
Yeah, all 4 machines will be attached to arcade monitors, so probably running games around 640x480i...

I think I'll go ahead ordering the ram maybe in a 2x1gb (unless you guys think i should go for 4gb?). As for the video cards, maybe I'll order as-is, and if I find that there's not enough *oumph*, then I'll add dedicated cards.

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 09:44:20 am »
I always try to by RAM in pairs, mainly so if one stick goes bad, you can still operate.

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Re: Ideal Emulation Rigs?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2010, 12:07:17 am »
I run an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2ghz (now less than $300).. it runs every (known working) game ive tried so far including NFL Blitz. Im sure the Turbo on the processor helps.. Its a 6 core processor and when the computer isnt using all cores, it will disable 3 of the cores and automatticly overclock the 3 remaining cores to 3.6ghz. I think if you arent gonna be overclocking, a CPU with the turbo feature might be a good idea
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