I am trying to spec out as cheap of a machine as possible to emulate old consoles and DOS games, nothing newer than Super Nintendo. I may consider emulating Nintendo 64... If it doesnt increase my cost/system requirement.
This is a pretty low power build...probably could use parts that arent even made anymore. If anyone has a suggestion on where to get older/cheap parts, I am all ears. My only modern requirement is it needs to output via HDMI to integrate into my current home theater setup.
Approximate Purchase Date: before Christmas Budget Range: as cheap as possible System Usage from Most to Least Important: old school emulation, (atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, DOS....MAYBE N64) Parts Not Required: Monitor Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any (used?) Country: USA Parts Preferences: N/A Overclocking: no SLI or Crossfire: no Monitor Resolution: 1080p (tv) Additional Comments: as small of a form factor as possible. Must output via HDMI
Anyway, you don't really need an APU for SNES emulation. Back in the day I could emulate it just fine with a P4 and a dirt cheap radeon, so I'd say you will be fine with a cheap celeron and it's integrated graphics.
Looking at the system requirements, a Celeron would do the job fine. Even the recommended specs for Project 64 don't mention more than one core. It recommends a 1.5Ghz Pentium 3 and some 9-10 year old 256MB GPUs with 512MB RAM.
This setup would be fine and have ultra low power consumption, we are talking 20W under full load. Also would be a hell of a lot smaller and quieter than pretty much any PC out there. The only source of noise will be a single ~40-50mm fan.
A used PC or a cheap prebuilt with semi decent integrated graphics would be the only way to get it cheaper I think. Any AMD A (or E) series or Intel 1155 socket CPU should do the job without a graphics card.