New Dedicated Emulation PC Build - Questions
Pre-emptive apology for the length!.

So, I just built a brand new mini-PC to be as quick as possible at emulation, but still be small enough to fit in my Home Theater drawer (it's a pretty small space). The goal was to get the best equipment possible with size and decibels in mind, and be able to game on my big screen in leisure at max settings on games that allow it. I used to build my PC's all the time, but I have not touched this hobby for almost a decade - as all I've done since then is buy macs. So I'm a little rusty.

Keep in mind, although I've done some research here and there on PCSX2 in general, I'm pretty much a newbie with it and emulation in general!

Basic system is as follows:
Node 304 Case
i7 4790k (no overclock)
Noctua CPU Cooler
Asrock z97e mobo
Intel 480GB SSD
GTX 970 (full size card, not the mini).
Windows 8.1
etc etc....

I've got everything up and running, and the only game I've tested so far is Suikoden 3. But I put everything at max (6x IR, all the filters and eye candy enabled). It ran like a dream, no hiccups, no framerate drops...perfect. But I'm guessing it's not a very demanding game.

I have a few questions regarding the new build to ensure that I'm doing this correctly before moving too far forward into this:

1) I am currently running version 1.2.1. Should I be using this or the newer / unstable versions? Is it easy to switch update or go back to older versions (I'm sure this can be easily found via Google, but I thought I'd ask anyway). Should I just keep multiple instances / versions installed at all times (if even possible).

2) My goal was to build a pretty extreme emulation machine. The only compromises would be case size and noise. The case used was practically the LARGEST I could go without being too big. With that in mind, and assuming I DON'T want to overclock... is there anything obvious that I should replace or upgrade to get a lot more performance - or am I pretty much at max capacity / performance with this? I'm trying to keep fan noise down, so overclocking would be a last resort. At the time I researched, this was the quickest CPU I could get, other than those really spendy extreme CPU's - but was told they are not worth it. I was also told my video card was overkill for emulation, but I figured I better get a decent one if I want to PC game. Budget is not a big concern if I do need to upgrade / update, but I don't necessarily want to spend $500 to get a 5% increase in performance if that makes sense. This build was far below my budget, so there's plenty of room for upgrades if needed and will give a substantial boost.

3) Realistically - what kind of performance should I see across the board? I know this depends on games I play (I like JRPG's / RPG's quite a bit, but I'm also going to be replaying GoW, Grant Turismo, Ratchet Clank games, MGS series, etc). I just want to get my expectations in check and also recognize if there is a problem with my configuration (ie, if a game is running slow but it SHOULD be running fast, then I know it's in my power to fix). As stated before, Suikoden 3 was silky smooth at 6x IR, max settings, etc. In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to run these settings on every game I try. I tried to get the best (or near best) of everything because I didn't want to go in and constantly tweak and lower graphics to get things playable (or limit this as much as possible). I get busy with work etc, so I don't want to spend what free time I have messing around with settings. I know that I will be doing this to SOME extent, but I don't want it to be because my PC specs aren't up to snuff.

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Alright, good job on doing research and stuff, your build is pretty top! You will be able to, and should be able to play all the games you listed with nice graphics, except for Ratchet and Clank. The R&C series doesn't exactly work well in hardware rendering mode, so you will need to use software mode for those games. I believe Gran Turismo works and looks well enough on PCSX2. Just about every JRPG you can think of works really well on PCSX2, but for Tales of the Abyss, you will need a special fix. I believe the wiki has the link for it.

Many games will work with near default settings, but tinkering is an expected given with emulation and especially PCSX2. I would recommend using PCSX2Bonus to get per-game configuration up and running. Link here -

For your PCSX2 related question, I would upgrade to the latest GIT version. It's believed that the PGO optimization for 1.2.1 is no longer as fast as the general improvements made to the GIT versions of PCSX2. (You don't need to understand this, just know that you can upgrade without loss of speed if you want). I personally only ever use one version of PCSX2 and when I upgrade it's almost as simple as copy-pasting for me.

For your overclocking question, this depends really, on the game and if software mode is a must. For instance, I'm not entirely sure you can play R&C games in software mode, without overclocking your CPU a little bit; then again, I'm not really sure and someone with the game could offer help.

Your GPU is great for both PC gaming and Emulation based gaming. You can use high scaling resolutions, like 6x without issue in many games (though to be honest, if you game on a 1080p monitor 4-5x is as high as you need to go).

Everything you mentioned is pretty good though, you'll get a lot of mileage with PCSX2 for sure, so enjoy playing! =)
Overclocking that cpu isn't overly worth it anyway, it's Base speed is what, 4ghz? Realistically you'd probably only get 4.4-4.5ghz anyway, so you wouldn't gain a lot, but as you have a good cooler, you could probably get an extra couple of hundred my out of it without changing anything else, but turbo will probably do that anyway
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That is quite the PC you got there I wouldn't restrict it to just emulation if I were you. you should be able to run everything that PCSX2 can emulate properly with it.
If you are not intending to overclock then, it's better to get the locked multiplier version of the 4790.
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(05-27-2015, 06:00 AM)ssakash Wrote: If you are not intending to overclock then, it's better to get the locked multiplier version of the 4790.

It's well worth the extra 20 bucks to get the 4790K. I would never get the locked version of it. Not only is it slower in speed, it's overall STP is also quite a bit lower. 2200ish instead of 2500+ All that for only 20 dollars extra lol.
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If the difference is just 20 bucks then, it's worth it. over my region, the difference is over 90+ dollars (5400+ rupees).
We're supposed to be working as a team, if we aren't helping and suggesting things to each other, we aren't working as a team.
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Thanks for the responses.

What are GIT versions and where do I get them? I've done a Google search and found some download links, but they are not from this site so I am not sure if they are legitimate or some type of virus / trojan / phishing type file that are so prevalent.

Regarding the resolution I have a question:

I am using a 1080p 70" Plasma set for 99% (if not 100%) of the use of this emulation machine. I did not even think that 5-6x might be overkill, but I think you are right. I switched the IR back to 4x and could not tell a difference between 4x, 5x, or 6x. If there is a difference I can't see it. I'm guessing 4x is the limit / sweet spot for resolution if using a 1080p TV / monitor. My question is, when we move to our new home in a month, I am switching over to a 65" 4k to put into my gaming room (or whatever the largest I can get at the time). Once I do this, will I notice a difference when I switch to the 5x-6x resolutions, or should I just stick with 4x?

Bomblord: what did you mean you wouldn't restrict this to just emulation? I was planning on maybe putting some of my favorite PC games on here...besides that and maybe some video streaming....what else were you thinking? I'm all for making the most of what I have.

One more question - is there a FAQ or something that explains what all these video plugin settings do and mean, like shaders, 8 bit textures, etc? Like a dumbed down version that I can actually understand =)
the development versions can be found here. you can find the basic information about those options over here.

also, PC games depend more on your GPU rather than the CPU.
We're supposed to be working as a team, if we aren't helping and suggesting things to each other, we aren't working as a team.
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