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Author Topic: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver  (Read 3027 times)

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mrchrister

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Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« on: June 01, 2021, 05:50:58 pm »
Hey guys, I'd love to replace my old big tower that I use for emulation with something small I can hide behind (or put underneath) the TV.
Has anyone done some research into modern systems that can be used with CRT emudriver? I'm thinking probably a mini pc with pci-e port is the best option..?

nipsmg

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 06:58:53 am »
SoÖ crt_emudriver supports 2 Ryzen chips:  R5 2400G and R3 2200G

You could potentially use something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-ProDesk-405-G4-Dekstop-Mini-PC-AMD-Ryzen-3-PRO-2200GE-3-20GHz-8GB-RAM-256GB-/334010631574?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

This will require an active HDMI -> VGA adapteró there are some good ones and Iíve heard good things about this approach.

Depending on what you want to emulate / how much power you need, you could always go with an RPI3 as well with a VGA666.


mrchrister

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 09:46:06 am »
Thanks! I was looking at rpi 4 + retrotink ultimate yesterday..but I am a bit susceptible to lag so might want to stay with x86 arch.
Right now I'm thinking to just get a Dell optiplex off of craigslist for $200. They oftentimes come with compatible cards already. I'm just not sure I would have Wii emulation running well then..
With the 2 ryzen chips you mention I would miss out on interlaced modes correct?

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 10:47:47 am »
Hi mrcrhister,

The Ryzen apus (nor probably other recent AMD hardware) won't fully work on Windows for 15 kHz. If you want full support you'll need to move to Linux.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 01:13:26 pm »
I think you're on the right track with finding a small machine that can accept a pcie card. There are a couple decent half-height cards that can do what you want, if you're space limited.

I went with a slightly older mini-itx board that had a built in radeon 7000 series onboard and I thought it'd be good - some resolutions worked, but low dotclocks didn't or crashed the computer after a few resolution changes. These worked just fine with a proper pcie radeon 7750 in my situation. I can't accurately comment on Dolphin yet - though I did get Mega Man 9 and 10 running flawlessly in it with that card. I have to imagine for standard crt res other games would likely do fine if the processor can keep up.

I'd like to hear about people having 100% success with onboard/apu solutions but I didn't have a flawless experience, at least for Windows.

mrchrister

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 02:35:53 pm »
Hi mrcrhister,

The Ryzen apus (nor probably other recent AMD hardware) won't fully work on Windows for 15 kHz. If you want full support you'll need to move to Linux.

Thanks that's great info! I'm comfortable with Linux and have played around with groovyarcade. Does linux fully support these cards? I'm interested in also watching old shows on my tv in 480i..

mrchrister

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 02:37:21 pm »
I think you're on the right track with finding a small machine that can accept a pcie card. There are a couple decent half-height cards that can do what you want, if you're space limited.

I looked at an older itx board with a 6xxx card yesterday. good to know you've had issues. I still have a pci-e Radeon 5xxx that i know works well so I might look some more into modern mini itx boards

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 05:04:22 pm »
Hi mrcrhister,

The Ryzen apus (nor probably other recent AMD hardware) won't fully work on Windows for 15 kHz. If you want full support you'll need to move to Linux.

Thanks that's great info! I'm comfortable with Linux and have played around with groovyarcade. Does linux fully support these cards? I'm interested in also watching old shows on my tv in 480i..

Linux works rather well under a few conditions :
- better have a real VGA, not a VGA hiding a display port to VGA bridge that could be problematic
- i've never tried hdmi on groovyarcade, can't tell how it would behave (mainly from an OS perspective)
- display port can be great with the right DP2VGA converter. We've found one that switches rather fast and supports progressive AND interlaced. My current GA test rig uses such a video chain (DP -> DP2VGA -> EDID dongle that i've flashed with a 15kHz EDID -> VGA2SCART) with a AMD A8 APU. I used that EDID dongle to circumvent a DP linux behaviour (which can also be solved with a software edid set at boot)
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ic

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2021, 03:25:22 pm »
For ease of use I bought a cheap Dell 7020 sff and then installed a low profile HD6450 or HD7450. The 7020 is a nice compact size and fits in a cabinet nicely.

I then followed the directions below and I was up and running in less than 30 mins:
https://www.arcade-projects.com/threads/windows-7-read-only-groovymame-image.13415/

Initially I did try and use an older HD3450 card but I ran into some issues, so I just used a later card and had no issues at all. It took longer to make the 7 wire kick harness that goes from the JPAC to the internal kick harness connector in an Astro City!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 03:27:12 pm by ic »

mrchrister

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Re: Mini PC for CRT Emudriver
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 12:38:14 am »
That's exactly my setup for my Donkey Kong. I was wondering if there are newer smaller boxes one could use but it seems like the optiplex is still where it's at