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Mini-ITX build for emulators

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
So I'm toying with the idea of building a mini-itx computer to use for emulators on my TV. Do you think the Intel HD 4000 graphics on the Ivy bridge CPUs would be enough or would I need a dedicated GPU? I wouldn't be playing anything past PS1 and N64 level graphics.

Is it possible to connect old console controllers to a PC via some USB adapter?

Also, I will probably use Linux as the OS and I wanted to know if it would be possible to configure the operating system so that when I turn the PC on I'm brought right to some menu to choose for different emulators.
post #2 of 33
The HD 4000 should be fine.

They make quite a few adapters for controllers but you have to buy them. Things like the Xbox actually use a modified form of the USB protocol so if you look it up you might be able to find the pin outs of the cables and mod it yourself.

It is possible to create a custom menu like that but it'd take a bit of coding knowledge.
     
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post #3 of 33
Most of the hard part of emulation is CPU, so not much is need graphically.

At least on the windows side, you can create a menu very easily using a batch file. It's not glamorous but takes just minutes to set up. I'm sure linux has a shell script equivalent.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
I came across this front-end software which looks really great.

http://www.gameex.com/

It auto-downloads all the emulators and everything. Plus I could use it for movies, tv shows, and music which is a huge bonus. I guess this build is going to be a combo emulator + HTPC.

How does this build sound?

Asus P8Z77-i motherboard
i5-3570K
4 GB Corsair Vengeance Low-profile
LIAN LI PC-Q11A
2 TB Western Digital Caviar Black 6 Gb/s 64 MB Cache

Not sure on what PSU to choose. I want something with as few cables as possible, but still powerful enough to run a single GPU if needed.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourtop View Post

I came across this front-end software which looks really great.
http://www.gameex.com/
It auto-downloads all the emulators and everything. Plus I could use it for movies, tv shows, and music which is a huge bonus. I guess this build is going to be a combo emulator + HTPC.
How does this build sound?
Asus P8Z77-i motherboard
i5-3570K
4 GB Corsair Vengeance Low-profile
LIAN LI PC-Q11A
2 TB Western Digital Caviar Black 6 Gb/s 64 MB Cache
Not sure on what PSU to choose. I want something with as few cables as possible, but still powerful enough to run a single GPU if needed.

That is a major overkill for any type of emulator.

Maybe wait for the i3. I wouldn't buy the k version because you're using an itx case, which means limited airflow and higher temperature.

For PSU, look into the Corsair CX430. Very few cables, but not modular.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinDaDragon View Post

That is a major overkill for any type of emulator.
Maybe wait for the i3. I wouldn't buy the k version because you're using an itx case, which means limited airflow and higher temperature.
For PSU, look into the Corsair CX430. Very few cables, but not modular.

Well obviously its overkill. The i5-3570k is the cheapest CPU that offers HD 4000 graphics though. I could always lower the CPU to an i3 Sandy and buy a ~$100 GPU, but that works out to the same price.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourtop View Post

Well obviously its overkill. The i5-3570k is the cheapest CPU that offers HD 4000 graphics though. I could always lower the CPU to an i3 Sandy and buy a ~$100 GPU, but that works out to the same price.

They're not making i3 Ivy?
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinDaDragon View Post

They're not making i3 Ivy?

They are, but the i3 with HD 4000 graphics isn't being released until the fall. I may just wait anyway.
post #9 of 33

This is total overkill in my opinion. A Core-i3 2100 is way more than enough, heck an Athlon II X2 250 is more than what you need. PS1 and N64 emulators run flawlessly on Pentium 4's and any AMD 780/785/790/880/890/980/990 series or Intel HD 2000/3000/4000 graphics can play 1080p video flawlessly as well. It's your choice, but I think it's a waste of money to get something that powerful just to use as HTPC/Emulator machine. The Core i3-2120T would do great and is extremely power efficient.

As for having the menu show at startup that shouldn't be hard to do. In Windows you can make a batch script to do whatever task you want or just run the program with whatever command line options you want from the registry or startup folder. In Ubuntu there's an application just for startup management and I'm sure other Linux distributions offer one as well.

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post #10 of 33
880G/890G or integrated Intel HD 2500/3000 is more than enough.
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