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HTPC for Emulation

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

My PS2 finally bit the dust, so I'm feeling the urge to set out and build an HTPC. What I'm interested in is being able to run PCSX2 and Dolphin (both Gamecube and Wii games if possible), along with all the old-school emulators, with little to no problems. I do intend to use the HTPC as a DVR for HD content as well, but probably not right away.

What I need is a small form factor (not really that important, but no behemoths please! ) motherboard with bluetooth capabilities (for the Wiimotes and PS3 controllers), a video card and CPU powerful enough to handle PS2 and Wii back-ups, and a good capture card. I plan on building a custom enclosure (either out of wood or acrylic, not sure yet), so that's covered.
I don't really have a budget, but I don't want to spend more then I need to, of course.

So what do you guys recommend? I'd really appreciate any suggestions you can provide.
Edited by VanillaCena - 4/2/11 at 1:35pm
post #2 of 3
I've actually been researching the exact same thing. I was planning on a micro-ATX form factor system, which sounds about what you need too. PCSX2 and Dolphin both are more CPU intensive than GPU, and overclocking can produce significant gains as a result. Overclocking isn't necessary to produce good results however.

What I will probably put together once I have the funds would be a P67 based i5 2500K system with a decent GPU (probably 6850). The reason for not going with an AMD system is all current micro-ATX AMD motherboards I have seen have less than adequate power phases for overclocking.
post #3 of 3
Old school emulators are no problem. Dolphin and PCSX2, however, are a bit heavier on system resources. For Bluetooth, just get an external USB adapter. You can find ones that are pretty tiny, not to mention last I used it, MotionInJoy (for PS3 controllers) was very picky when it came to finding a compatible Bluetooth adapter.

What form factor do you want exactly? Mini-ITX or microATX?

My pick for Mini-ITX (includes case):
  • Case/PSU: Silverstone Sugo SG05BB-450, $120 (includes 450W PSU)
  • MB: Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3, $115
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K, $225
  • RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600, ~$80
  • GPU: GTX 460 SE, $160 (not the greatest value for PC games, but performs similar to $200 GTX 460 1GB in PCSX2) or HD 6850, $170
  • Storage: 60GB SF-1200 or C300 SSD, $120 (for OS; optional)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB, $80 (for holding ISO's ; can also be used for OS)
  • TOTAL: $900 NVIDIA or $910 ATI

My pick for microATX (no case):
  • PSU: Antec EA-430D, $50
  • MB: ASUS P8P67-M Pro, $150
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K, $225
  • RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600, ~$80
  • GPU: GTX 460 SE, $160 (not the greatest value for PC games, but performs similar to $200 GTX 460 1GB in PCSX2) or HD 6850, $170
  • Storage: 60GB SF-1200 or C300 SSD, $120 (for OS; optional)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB, $80 (for holding ISO's ; can also be used for OS)
  • TOTAL: $865 NVIDIA or $875 ATI

PCSX2 CPU Benchmark based on FFX-2
PCSX2 GPU Benchmark

I don't recommend AMD for Dolphin or PCSX2. Some snippets from the FFX-2 CPU bench:
Quote:
81.22 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 2500K - 4.0 Ghz OC - Rezard
80.81 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 980X - 4.4 GHz OC - Hambone07si
78.82 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 650 - 4.4 GHz OC - Kyo3000
77.86 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 870 - 4.2 GHz OC (HT off) - hallmark
77.67 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 920 - 4.2 GHz OC - Unr3al
75.29 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 920 - 4.0 GHz OC - Unr3al
73.23 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 650 - 4.2 GHz OC - Kyo3000
69.72 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 2500K - 3.3 Ghz Stock - Rezard
67.94 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 920 - 3.6 GHz OC - Master_DX
67.37 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 - 3.97 GHz OC - tuanming
63.49 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 - 4.12 GHz OC - rama
63.24 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 - 3.73 GHz OC - tuanming
63.24 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6800 - 4.2 GHz OC - Bonobi
62.38 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400S - 3.73 GHz OC - tuanming
61.54 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 870 - 2.93 GHz Stock (HT On, Turbo On, Affinity 4,5,6,7) - hallmark
61.07 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i3 530 - 3.5 GHz OC - ilovejedd
60.84 FPS - SLUS 20672 - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T - 4.2 GHz OC - UnrealChrisG
59.48 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 860 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost on, CPU affinity: 2 & 3) - ilovejedd
59.26 FPS - SLUS 20672 - AMD Phenom II x4 955 - 3.96 GHz OC - Ryner Lute
58.72 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 870 - 2.93 GHz Stock (HT On, Turbo On) - hallmark
58.61 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 760 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost on, CPU affinity: 2 & 3) - ilovejedd
58.50 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 870 - 2.93 GHz Stock (HT Off, Turbo On) - hallmark
58.08 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 650 - 3.2 GHz Stock (HT off, Turbo Boost on) - Rezard
57.87 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 860 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost on) - ilovejedd
57.66 FPS - SLUS 20672 - AMD Phenom II x4 955 - 3.8 GHz OC -Ryner Lute
57.04 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i3 530 - 3.3 GHz OC - ilovejedd
56.94 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 760 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost on) - ilovejedd
54.24 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 650 - 3.2 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost off) - ilovejedd
54.05 FPS - SLUS 20672 - AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition - 3.6 GHz OC -denimu
51.95 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i7 860 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost off) - ilovejedd
51.70 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i5 760 - 2.8 GHz Stock (Turbo Boost off) - ilovejedd
50.47 FPS - SLUS 20672 - Intel Core i3 530 - 2.93 GHz Stock - ilovejedd
Even running at 4.2 GHz, the Phenom II X6 barely beats a non-overclocked i7-860 with Turbo Boost (~3.33 GHz). It just about matches Wolfdale-3M clock-for-clock. Meantime, a Core i5-2500K running at stock 3.3 GHz is higher by 9 fps.
Edited by rui-no-onna - 4/2/11 at 2:44pm
Garnet
(11 items)
 
Lucifiel
(13 items)
 
Metatron
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3450S Intel DQ77KB Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600 SO-DIMM Samsung 830 256GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial m4 256 mSATA Samsung 840 500GB Intel BXHTS1155LP Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
KeyboardCaseMouse
Logitech K800 Lian Li PC-Q05B Logitech M570 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 EVGA GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x4GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Silverstone ST45SF 450W Silverstone Sugo SG05B 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Biostar TH55B HD MSI GT 240 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Intel X25-M 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x86 Samsung 22" Antec EA-380D 
Case
Rosewill R101-P-BK 
  hide details  
Reply
Garnet
(11 items)
 
Lucifiel
(13 items)
 
Metatron
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3450S Intel DQ77KB Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600 SO-DIMM Samsung 830 256GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial m4 256 mSATA Samsung 840 500GB Intel BXHTS1155LP Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
KeyboardCaseMouse
Logitech K800 Lian Li PC-Q05B Logitech M570 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 EVGA GTX 460 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x4GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Silverstone ST45SF 450W Silverstone Sugo SG05B 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7-860 Biostar TH55B HD MSI GT 240 1GB GDDR5 Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Intel X25-M 120GB Windows 7 Ultimate x86 Samsung 22" Antec EA-380D 
Case
Rosewill R101-P-BK 
  hide details  
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