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Emulation - Computer Hardware and Accuracy


SentaiBrad
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For 500 dollars this is a good starter PC. It will emulate pretty much everything you want, and has a good upgrade path for later. 

Case/power supply combo. Rosewill is pretty decent

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147099&ignorebbr=1

GTX 1050 is a decent gaming card for emulation

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125951&ignorebbr=1

8gb of memory

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232241&ignorebbr=1

Decent motherboard

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130918&ignorebbr=1

Low cost CPU that is good for emulation

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117625&ignorebbr=1

SSD boot drive

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313864&ignorebbr=1

2TB storage drive

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD3KE4297&ignorebbr=1

 

478$ including shipping but before taxes. Cost of Windows key not included. 

If you are shopping at a different retailer then you will get different prices for the same goods. Use this as a reference rather than a "buy exactly these things". 

Edited by mothergoose729
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6 minutes ago, mothergoose729 said:

For 500 dollars this is a good starter PC. It will emulate pretty much everything you want, and has a good upgrade path for later. 

Case/power supply combo. Rosewill is pretty decent

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147099&ignorebbr=1

GTX 1050 is a decent gaming card for emulation

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125951&ignorebbr=1

8gb of memory

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232241&ignorebbr=1

Decent motherboard

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130918&ignorebbr=1

Low cost CPU that is good for emulation

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117625&ignorebbr=1

SSD boot drive

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313864&ignorebbr=1

2TB storage drive

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD3KE4297&ignorebbr=1

 

478$ including shipping but before taxes. Cost of Windows key not included. 

If you are shopping at a different retailer then you will get different prices for the same goods. Use this as a reference rather than a "buy exactly these things". 

Not bad at all, I would recommend a better cpu than that, I know its a good Pentium but still, and as I said earlier I assumed he already had storage as the OG post was replacing a piece of shit. hdd/ssd tend to come with us when we build a new system.

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38 minutes ago, mothergoose729 said:

 

478$ including shipping but before taxes. Cost of Windows key not included. 

If you are shopping at a different retailer then you will get different prices for the same goods. Use this as a reference rather than a "buy exactly these things". 

wow thank you so much, first day really active here and I feel the love.  again thanks for heading me in the right direction.  The IT guy at my work said he'd build it for me

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31 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

Not bad at all, I would recommend a better cpu than that, I know its a good Pentium but still, and as I said earlier I assumed he already had storage as the OG post was replacing a piece of shit. hdd/ssd tend to come with us when we build a new system.

I think I will get that i5 you mentioned.  thanks again so much , my gratitude can't come across enough through this thread though!

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6 minutes ago, Lordmonkus said:

Maybe a little outside the scope of this discussion but just remember that for emulation you ideally want faster clock speeds and Instructions Per Clock Cycle to really drive the higher end emulators and get the most out of them.

so using newegg...which i5 fits the bill?  I am below a 'newb' when it comes to these things...

 

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007671 50001157 601295141

 

 

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As always when building any sort of PC, build to your budget, always put as much money as you are willing to spend into it.

With emulation you really can't ever have "too much CPU" because even though you can "get away" with lesser hardware you can always use that extra power to improve other aspects of the emulation such as reducing input latency with certain settings which drives up the CPU requirements. Plus you can make your life much easier when it comes to newer and better emulators as they get more accurate, more accuracy requires more CPU.

For example, for the SNES you can get away with using Snes9x which is a very good emulator but if you are the type of person that really wants the absolute best in terms of accuracy then you will be looking to use something like Higan. Snes9x will run on a pretty modest CPU but Higan will require you have at least a 3GHz or better CPU. Saturn emulation using Mednafen or the Retroarch core also has pretty hefty CPU requirements and then of course you got Cemu and RPCS3 coming along and those again require even more CPU power to drive them.

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18 minutes ago, markinsand said:

so using newegg...which i5 fits the bill?  I am below a 'newb' when it comes to these things...

 

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007671 50001157 601295141

 

 

Which systems do you want to emulate? You can spend somewhere between 50$-400$ and each makes sense, depending on the software that you want to run. 

The relative performance only matters for benchmarks. You should buy the CPU you can afford that fits your needs. 

With the motherboard I suggested, you need a skylake or kaby lake i5 CPU. That would be a  6XXXX or 7XXX series CPU. It is in the nomenclature. 

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11 minutes ago, mothergoose729 said:

Which systems do you want to emulate? You can spend somewhere between 50$-400$ and each makes sense, depending on the software that you want to run. 

The relative performance only matters for benchmarks. You should buy the CPU you can afford that fits your needs. 

With the motherboard I suggested, you need a skylake or kaby lake i5 CPU. That would be a  6XXXX or 7XXX series CPU. It is in the nomenclature. 

MAME, NES, Genesis, SNES, Neo Geo... those are the main ones.

 

thanks

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You really 

2 minutes ago, markinsand said:

MAME, NES, Genesis, SNES, Neo Geo... those are the main ones.

 

thanks

You really don't need more than the 55$ Pentium for those systems. MAME  supports as many as two CPU threads, and the rest are single threaded applications. A 3.0ghz+ clock speed will be fine for all but a tiny minority of MAME Roms and everything else is trivial. 

 

If you prefer to have a quad core CPU for general use, then you can consider an AMD R3 CPU to save a little bit of money, or you can get this CPU which will do you just fine:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117730 

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I will stick to what I said, spend as much as you are willing to spend. Skimping out just because you can save a few bucks will mean making sacrifices in the emulation and more CPU won't be going to waste just because you can get away with lesser CPU power. Figure out your budget and build within it.

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With 500$ here is how I would prioritize the parts in terms of how much money to put into them, CPU, Motherboard, Ram, Power Supply, Case (if needed) and as @neil9000 said previously a cheap but newer video card if you wanna do shaders. You don't need much of a video card but you do need more than on board video to use them. I use an old Radeon 7800 series card in my HTPC and it handles shaders in Retroarch and Mame without issues.

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