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HTPC Build Help

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September 8, 2013 1:44:30 PM

I need some help, lots actually, in building my first HTPC/Emulator station. I have a blu-ray player that can stream movies/shows, so I really want this build for emulation only. NES/SNES and N64 with a touch of MAME. I'm hoping someone can help me with an inexpensive build, case included, that will be ideal for performance with the emulators above. Thanks!

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September 10, 2013 7:43:35 AM

thesupergeek said:
Hello! I have some great ideas for you! if you want to go x86, you can easly do a build like this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1BW7U, but, mame can run on arm with some tinkering, so you could try a system like this: http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_in..., it should work, albiet a ttad slower than the x86 build


Do I need Windows 8 or can I just use Windows XP? I was thinking about XBMC or GameEx as my front end. Do you know of any better front ends? Also, does the MB allow for more RAM or is the 4 max? I was thinking of possibly using this as a Steam gaming center also...still up in the air. I'm assuming if I did decide to do that then I'd need to upgrade my Video Card and CPU, right?
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September 10, 2013 3:23:37 PM

sketchs said:
thesupergeek said:
Hello! I have some great ideas for you! if you want to go x86, you can easly do a build like this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1BW7U, but, mame can run on arm with some tinkering, so you could try a system like this: http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_in..., it should work, albiet a ttad slower than the x86 build


Do I need Windows 8 or can I just use Windows XP? I was thinking about XBMC or GameEx as my front end. Do you know of any better front ends? Also, does the MB allow for more RAM or is the 4 max? I was thinking of possibly using this as a Steam gaming center also...still up in the air. I'm assuming if I did decide to do that then I'd need to upgrade my Video Card and CPU, right?


wich one the arm system, or the x86 build
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September 10, 2013 4:15:08 PM

Just my two cents, but there are much less expsensive cpus and parts for a meager emulator. You can grab a cheap cheap cheap slim mini HTPC case with a celeron or pentium G chip or similar. No need to spend $600 for a pc like that.

An integrated ARM system might be the answer. Just like his second link displays.
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September 12, 2013 7:56:22 AM

cjkupers said:
Just my two cents, but there are much less expsensive cpus and parts for a meager emulator. You can grab a cheap cheap cheap slim mini HTPC case with a celeron or pentium G chip or similar. No need to spend $600 for a pc like that.

An integrated ARM system might be the answer. Just like his second link displays.


Is that integrated ARM link *similar* to a Raspberry PI, just more powerful? Keep in mind that I'd like to run n64 as well. I don't want to limit myself to strictly emulation - I want to be able to, should I desire to, use it as a true entertainment system (ie - streaming HD, Steam games, etc..)
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September 12, 2013 9:09:22 AM

sketchs said:
cjkupers said:
Just my two cents, but there are much less expsensive cpus and parts for a meager emulator. You can grab a cheap cheap cheap slim mini HTPC case with a celeron or pentium G chip or similar. No need to spend $600 for a pc like that.

An integrated ARM system might be the answer. Just like his second link displays.


Is that integrated ARM link *similar* to a Raspberry PI, just more powerful? Keep in mind that I'd like to run n64 as well. I don't want to limit myself to strictly emulation - I want to be able to, should I desire to, use it as a true entertainment system (ie - streaming HD, Steam games, etc..)


it is about 30 times more powerfull, than the rasperry pi (some exaggeration here, but it feels like that much) and it is great for emulation and media streaming alike, but it may not run the majority of steam games
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September 12, 2013 11:26:06 AM

In case you'd like to look at APU's and have the ability to upgrade your parts...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-4000 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($43.49 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-ITX R2.0 Mini ITX FM2 Motherboard ($91.97 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone ML05B HTPC Case ($44.50 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Silverstone 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified SFX12V Power Supply ($59.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $283.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-09-12 14:22 EDT-0400)

With this setup, you cut your expenditures in half. This PC would be more than enough to do your emulations, watch movies in 1080p, etc. all to your TV too. So it's like a PC multi-game tv mantle friendly console.

What i'd suggest, once you want to grow out of those parts, is to grab an LGA1150 socket m-itx mobo, grab an i5-4k CPU, throw a water cooler on it, put the radiator on the left side (there is space), mount a gtx770 horizontally using a PCIe riser/flex cable and enjoy a ridiculously powerful M-itx build is the smallest case to fit these parts there is on the market.

I'll actually probably build one myself, figuring i want to make a super ridiculously powerful Crysis-Ultimate capable rig in the size of a Nintendo 64.

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September 12, 2013 11:53:45 AM

Just for emaulation? buy an old workstation. I got an hp dc5800 with a C2D e8400 and 4 gigs of ram for $80 shipped. I did have to put a hard drive and OS on it, but i have that stuff laying around, you can get a complete rig like that for $150 and it would work great for emulators. I have mine running plex media server and doing file server duties with no problems.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-DC5800-SFF-Desktop-C2D-E8400...
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