Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Need advice on DIY-PC to replace my classic consoles
#1
Hey guys,

As the title says, I could use some advice on a PC that would solely be used for the purpose of emulation.
I have quite the extensive collection of classic games and consoles and I just recently stumbled upon the idea of emulation to unify/simplify all these consoles in one machine and be able to play my games in a decent quality on my huge TV over HDMI. The PC would only be used on this TV.

Since the most power demanding of the different console-emulations would certainly be PS2 and Wii/Gamecube I'm aiming at optimizing the PC for these - emulators for older systems won't be a problem then.
I'm fairly new to the topic of emulation, but already did quite a bit of reading and getting into it.

Where I could now use some help is with the hardware. I've already studied the threads about cpu+gpu benchmarks, but they only give an overview over fps.
I'm not that much into fps and I would already be content with 30+ to max. 60fps depending on how fast a game is.
What is much more important to me is to be able to properly upscale to 1080p and apply decent AA and texture filtering so games look sharp on my TV. Maybe you could point me into a direction of some cpu, gpus that would be appropriate.

Another issue to keep in mind is noise. I really don't like those loud PCs, so I'm trying to find a good balance of power and cooling/noise - the quieter the better.

I'm currently aiming at a budget of around 500$ for the whole machine, if necessary also more. HDDs and DVD drives are not necessary to include in the budget, since I already have spare ones.

PS: Side question: Would it improve performance if I would rip my PS2 games to HDD or would it also be ok to use an external USB-DVD drive.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Reply

Sponsored links

#2
Sounds like a fun project! I will say the main part you will need for emulation is a fast CPU. Without this, PS2 emulation would drag, so id suggest getting an i5 k unlocked intel processor so you can overclock it, the higher you can get it the better! Asrock Extreme4 motherboards are good bang for buck motherboards too, there has been some very successful overclocking on those, don't be put off by Asrock's reputation, for a long time they were Asus's crappy budget motherboard department, but they are on their own now and trying very hard to compete with their former owners Smile

As for noise, you can get some pretty high throughput fans with a low volume, the Noctua fans are actually pretty decent for this (i believe), so it could be worth you getting a reasonable Noctua cooler to put on the CPU, giving you the cooling you need and keeping pretty quiet. As for case fans, i can recommend Arctic Cooling fans, they are silent and provide reasonable cooling.

For the PS2 emulation you will need at least a high-mid range card to achieve the resolutions you want at a good speed, the Nvidia GTX 660 is a good target card for this.

Unfortunately i can't spec something up for you, but i'm sure newegg will be a good place to start, you can pretty much build the PC on there, then you can link the PC you've built here for advice.
[Image: ref_sig_anim.gif]
Like our Facebook Page and visit our Facebook Group!
Reply
#3
(02-11-2013, 12:54 PM)jackiebluebyte Wrote: (...)
I'm not that much into fps and I would already be content with 30+ to max. 60fps depending on how fast a game is.
(...)

Gonna just add, that you're most likely getting wrong idea here. Did you notice in those benchmarks a line between those below and above 50/60fps(pal/ntsc)? That's couse you have to run the game with full fps to get normal gameplay speed. 30 fps would mean the game is 2 times slower than on the console, totally not enjoyable unless it's some puzzle game and you don't mind cursor lagging.

Make sure you also understand those benchmarks are made on one/two games and each of them has different requirements(and it's not constant through whole game either!). There'll be some games that could run on almost any hardware like Monster Hunter 2(probably lightest ps2 game ever;p), and some which will lag on latest intel cpu if not OC above 4.5 ghz like ZOE2 at boss battles.

Running games off hdd doesn't really affect game speed itself, but pc DVD roms differs a bit from ps2 one, basically it's faster, but stops fairy fast when not in use soo in practical use using dvd to play games results in short pauses every time game needs to load additional stuff, soo yeah rip your games to hdd, use Imgburn for that, it's best program for it - totally free and pretty much guarantee 100% working ps2 backup(many popular also paid programs fail at this;p).
Reply
#4
Wow, thanks guys for the great and fast input. I'm currently looking into the suggested hardware and it seems that my 500$ target won't be enough. But that's ok I guess as long as things run smooth afterwards.

@miseru99
Thanks for the remark on fps. I indeed wasn't aware of this fact that emulated games are tied to specific fps to run at normal speed. As I said I am new to this field and assumed that it would work like in any other regular PC game. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

For starters I put together a list of possible components now. Advice or comments are highly appreciated.

Mobo:
I'm thinking of either a MSI Z77A-G45 or ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX Intel Motherboard or ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX Intel Motherboard. At the moment I would favor the Extreme3 as it seems to bring everything necessary and a great quality for a lower price than the Extreme4.

CPU:
I would favor the Intel Core i5-2500K. An Intel i5 3570K would also be an option, but apart from being more expensive it seems to be harder to overclock and much harder to cool.
From where I stand, going up to 4.0-4.2Ghz with the 2500K sounds like a good target in terms of power/cooling balance.

GPU:
Since you recommended a Geforce GTX660 I don't know if an OC Gigabyte GeForce GTX650 - 2GB GDDR5 would also be enough. It would certainly be a lot more pleasent on the budget with -100$.

I think those are the main components that are important for emulation.
As for RAM I'm aiming at 8Gigs (1333 or 1600) depending on price and heat to maybe also be able to play a PC game every now and then.
Case, Power Supply and Cooling I'll decide later as they depend on the other components.
But the recommended Noctua and Arctic Cooling fans sound pretty good - also in terms of pricing.
Reply
#5
(02-11-2013, 03:47 PM)jackiebluebyte Wrote: Wow, thanks guys for the great and fast input. I'm currently looking into the suggested hardware and it seems that my 500$ target won't be enough. But that's ok I guess as long as things run smooth afterwards.

@miseru99
Thanks for the remark on fps. I indeed wasn't aware of this fact that emulated games are tied to specific fps to run at normal speed. As I said I am new to this field and assumed that it would work like in any other regular PC game. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

For starters I put together a list of possible components now. Advice or comments are highly appreciated.

Mobo:
I'm thinking of either a MSI Z77A-G45 or ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX Intel Motherboard or ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX Intel Motherboard. At the moment I would favor the Extreme3 as it seems to bring everything necessary and a great quality for a lower price than the Extreme4.

CPU:
I would favor the Intel Core i5-2500K. An Intel i5 3570K would also be an option, but apart from being more expensive it seems to be harder to overclock and much harder to cool.
From where I stand, going up to 4.0-4.2Ghz with the 2500K sounds like a good target in terms of power/cooling balance.

GPU:
Since you recommended a Geforce GTX660 I don't know if an OC Gigabyte GeForce GTX650 - 2GB GDDR5 would also be enough. It would certainly be a lot more pleasent on the budget with -100$.

I think those are the main components that are important for emulation.
As for RAM I'm aiming at 8Gigs (1333 or 1600) depending on price and heat to maybe also be able to play a PC game every now and then.
Case, Power Supply and Cooling I'll decide later as they depend on the other components.
But the recommended Noctua and Arctic Cooling fans sound pretty good - also in terms of pricing.


good except the videocard, which isnt bad but A 7850 of the same price range destroys it performance wise.

my advice it to get the amd7850 and overclock it to 7870 clocks and your golden for pc gaming and emulation.
------------------------
status:
------------------------
trolling mode: ACTIVE!
Reply
#6
Thanks for your advice.
But for that price I only get the HD7850 with 1GB Vram while the GTX650 has got 2GB.
If I go up to the 2GB version I'm almost in the price range of the GTX660.

You think the 7850 1GB would still be the better choice than the GTX650 2GB despite half the Vram?
Reply
#7
(02-11-2013, 04:48 PM)jackiebluebyte Wrote: Thanks for your advice.
But for that price I only get the HD7850 with 1GB Vram while the GTX650 has got 2GB.
If I go up to the 2GB version I'm almost in the price range of the GTX660.

You think the 7850 1GB would still be the better choice than the GTX650 2GB despite half the Vram?

vram is only usefull if you are playing games above 1080P and 8x msaa, otherwise that 1gb will probably never being fully used.

so yeah definatly get the 7850 instead of the 650, vram doesnt make a card stronger just so you know Wink
------------------------
status:
------------------------
trolling mode: ACTIVE!
Reply
#8
(02-11-2013, 04:58 PM)WarWeeny Wrote: so yeah definatly get the 7850 instead of the 650, vram doesnt make a card stronger just so you know Wink

Ok, thanks a lot. Guess I'll be trying out with the 7850 then.

I'm aware that more vram doesn't make a card stronger, I'm just used to regular pc gaming where more vram is never bad for loading textures or very demanding games like BF or Crysis.
As of emulation I am a total noob, but since it takes quite a huge punch to emulate a hardware platform I imagined it might be good as well.
Reply
#9
(02-11-2013, 05:24 PM)jackiebluebyte Wrote: Ok, thanks a lot. Guess I'll be trying out with the 7850 then.

I'm aware that more vram doesn't make a card stronger, I'm just used to regular pc gaming where more vram is never bad for loading textures or very demanding games like BF or Crysis.
As of emulation I am a total noob, but since it takes quite a huge punch to emulate a hardware platform I imagined it might be good as well.

crysis doesnt even utulize 800mb of vram on 1080P with 16qx aa so 1gb cards are not a problem xD

its more the bandwith problems that videocards walk into not the vram. plus everything is ddr5 now so even 1gb is way better then it was in the earlier days or ddr3.
------------------------
status:
------------------------
trolling mode: ACTIVE!
Reply
#10
(02-11-2013, 01:14 PM)refraction Wrote: Sounds like a fun project! I will say the main part you will need for emulation is a fast CPU. Without this, PS2 emulation would drag, so id suggest getting an i5 k unlocked intel processor so you can overclock it, the higher you can get it the better! Asrock Extreme4 motherboards are good bang for buck motherboards too, there has been some very successful overclocking on those, don't be put off by Asrock's reputation, for a long time they were Asus's crappy budget motherboard department, but they are on their own now and trying very hard to compete with their former owners Smile

As for noise, you can get some pretty high throughput fans with a low volume, the Noctua fans are actually pretty decent for this (i believe), so it could be worth you getting a reasonable Noctua cooler to put on the CPU, giving you the cooling you need and keeping pretty quiet. As for case fans, i can recommend Arctic Cooling fans, they are silent and provide reasonable cooling.

For the PS2 emulation you will need at least a high-mid range card to achieve the resolutions you want at a good speed, the Nvidia GTX 660 is a good target card for this.

Unfortunately i can't spec something up for you, but i'm sure newegg will be a good place to start, you can pretty much build the PC on there, then you can link the PC you've built here for advice.


I've got a I7 overclocked in that motherboard and it flies. I have no issues with the build quality at all. The first bios gave me memory issues with my GSkill 2100 8 gig kit. After the bios upgrade I was able to run the memory maxed out. I also have 2x EVGA 560 ti SC in SLI on it which also work flawless. I run 3 monitors at 5870 x 1080 resolution on most games. Can't say enough about the Extreme4 it's a best buy for the money. I've got one of the big giant tower CPU heatsinks cooling it with 2x100mm fans.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)