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THRobinson

Cabinet Build Feedback

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I've been using a RaspPi for the past half a year with a PS3 controller and RetroPie. I was going to build a game console, like an NES or PSOne etc... and make custom joytsick with arcade buttons etc... got most of the parts, but more I look at builds, the more I want a full size cabinet. And while searching, I came across LaunchBox... which I know, uses a regular motherboard, not a Pi. At that point now where I'm debating which way to go really, and had a few basic questions since I'm still researching a Windows based system vs RetroPie.

  • I saw Launchbox on a YouTube video, and looked great, but also see stuff mentioned about bigbox, hyperspin, retroarch, attract mode... are those plugins? skins? different versions of a similar app? is ther a decent Wiki or something that lists all that stuff and what it's for?
  • Does Launchbox come with all (or most) emulators already installed, similar to Retropie?
  • If I wanted to play games from PS2, like God of War... what type of system specs would I be looking at? RaspPi was pretty good with most stuff but it only went so far... no PS2 games, and arcade games older than the early '90s. I'm not a gamer so, I'm not sure all what I'll be playing, but I know a few more modern titles for sure. Plus of course, all the '80s arcade games, NES/SNES/N64, Sega Systems, TurboGrafix16, etc... which I assume will probably play fine on a quadcore 4GB system with a decent GPU.  I have a spare GT650Ti videocard I plan on using... nothing great but, I don't have the budget to build something like an i7, 16GB ram and a GTX1070 or something either.
  • For a cabinet build, looking at something around 24" 16:9... would a TV or PC screen be better? 720p/1080p? Seeing that a lot of the under 29" TV's now are 720p... at 24" the 720p is probably good enough? Other concern is the response rate. For my PC, I made sure to grab something faster than 5ms, a lot of TV's I'm looking at seem to be around 15ms. I see a lot of builds with 32" TVs... any issues with stuff like ghosting? Main reason I'm asking is if not really enough of a difference to notice, I'll go for a TV simply because new or used, they seem to be cheaper than PC monitors once you hit 24" or higher.
  • Will the Zero Delay USB boards work for the arcade buttons? I already bought the kit, for weeks I was planning the console RaspPi build... then of course, after I pull the trigger and buy stuff THEN I see this app and start rethinking it all again. :D

Sorry for the noob questions, just looking for a bit of feedback to see which way I should go... once I start building, I don't want to re-rethink the idea again. :S

 

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25 minutes ago, THRobinson said:

bigbox, hyperspin, retroarch, attract mode... are those plugins? skins? different versions of a similar app?

BigBig is the cabinet / htpc controller driven UI part of Launchbox. HyperSpin and AttractMode are two other frontends similar to Launchbox / BigBox. Retroarch while it has it's own UI and can be used as a frontend it is also a multi system emulator.

Basically Retroarch can be used (and is highly recommended by many around here including myself) with Launchbox.

25 minutes ago, THRobinson said:

Does Launchbox come with all (or most) emulators already installed, similar to Retropie?

No, you will need to get your emulators yourself. The main reason for his is because Launchbox is a commercial product it is a legal grey area to package them within LB. Plus @Jason Carr doesn't want to step on the toes of emulator devs.

25 minutes ago, THRobinson said:

If I wanted to play games from PS2, like God of War... what type of system specs would I be looking at?

Generally speaking the newer the system you are emulating the more powerful of a PC you want to have. Emulators rely heavily on CPU over GPU power so having a relatively newer generation and higher clock speed CPU is best when it comes to stuff like the PS2 and Wii emulation, also as newer stuff gets emulated that will require even more again like with Wii U and PS3 emulation.

25 minutes ago, THRobinson said:

a cabinet build, looking at something around 24" 16:9... would a TV or PC screen be better? 720p/1080p?

You could use a TV but you should be aware that TVs generally have higher amounts on input lag so you need to keep that in mind. This will be most noticeable in fighting games and twitch / timing based games like Punch-Out for example. If you do care about input lag I would suggest a good gaming monitor or do some research on which TVs have the lowest input latency.

Be aware that when you look at a display and see things like 2ms or 5ms that is the grey to grey time. Or the amount of time that it takes the display to make a pixel change from grey to white and back to grey again, this is not the same as input latency.

25 minutes ago, THRobinson said:

Will the Zero Delay USB boards work for the arcade buttons?

It should be fine but also do not own one so I do not know for sure, maybe someone else can confirm this for you. 

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1 BigBox is included in LB premium it is a Home Theater mode for your games. Attract Mode usually refers to a feature in LB but can also refer to another front end for games so it would depend on context. Retroarch is a popular I guess frontend also but in LB it is used as an emulator really so it can be confusing. Hyperspin is another frontend that is older and more complex to setup than LB. The Wiki last I checked was very incomplete.
2 LB only comes with DOSBox all other emulators are to be sourced by the user
3 For PS2

and now I see @lordmonkushas posted and beaten me to it.

Oh I actually have the Zero Delay encoders and they work great.

Edited by DOS76

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Goto the BYOAC forum there's a lot of great builds as far as cabinets go and watch the video tutorials on YouTube for launch box set up great for starting out, if you set up your RaspPi you shouldn't have to many troubles.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the feedback... I knew about response time, didn't know about the input latency, I'll have to look into that.

So PC wise for PS2 games, like God of War (loved that game) what specs would we be looking at? Would a Quadcore Q9450, 4GB ram and a GTX650Ti work? Searching around I see so many specs... people saying any DualCore will work just fine, and one guy with a Core i7, 32GB ram and an X-Fire GPU setup complaining it was still laggy. I'll probably have a couple of PS2 games installed, about 6 PSOne games (nieces loved Spyro) but mostly Arcade games from the 80/90s and of course the NES/SNES/N64/TurboGrafix16/etc... which I assume any quadcore will handle.

I installed LaunchBox last night, then imported my MAME/Arcade library and when doing so I downloaded the Mame x64 app the installer linked to, then scraped for images and info... kinda like KODI I guess.

So, I see some YouTube vids where the screens look really different. At about 3min50sec... what do I need to install to make the screen look like that?

Also... so far nothing works. Only tested the MAME nothing else yet, and it was before work this morning so only played around for 20min. I copied the ROMS folder from my Pi over to my main PC's drive as a backup. I imported from the Arcade folder, and again, info scraped fine and everything but 1 seemed to import. When I click to play, it kinda darkens for a split second, says loading or launching (can't recall) and goes back to the main screen again.

Hoping a simple fix? Is this something that's easier if I install RetroArch and use it with LaunchBox?

Just testing on my main PC first... figured if I can get it working and I like it, then can make a decision of what to build... Win7 based cabinet, or a RaspPi cabinet... since depending on hardware, budget is a factor. 

Edited by THRobinson

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49 minutes ago, DOS76 said:

that proccessor will be 10 years old next year

True... but a PS2 is now 17yrs old.

So... processor wise, a Q9450 would be faster than whatever a PS2 had. :)

Regardless... a PS2 being 17yrs old or a Q9450 being 10yrs old, doesn't tell me if God of War will play or not.

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I seriously doubt it but really don't know I only have desktips with i5s or i7s  I know my Core 2 Duo laptop from the same era can't even play PS1 games well with eSPXe but you will have a graphics card so yeah I don't have a clue what that machine will do I just know that for used parts they are pretty old and I wouldn't spend my money on them personally.

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1 hour ago, THRobinson said:

So, I see some YouTube vids where the screens look really different. At about 3min50sec... what do I need to install to make the screen look like that?

That is the bigbox mode of launchbox and is part of the premium version. It is primarily designed to be used with a controller or a arcade machine and is probably what you want for your setup. That is just the default theme in the video and there are many more available to download here on the forums which can completely change the look of your system.

https://forums.launchbox-app.com/files/category/2-big-box-custom-themes/

As for ps2 games i would absolutely reccomend a i5 or better.

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Just to add i am using a 4-5 year old i5, its a 3570k, paired with a gtx770 gpu and i can run ps2 games at 1080p with those hardware specs.

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Yeah I have a 3rd gen i5 3330S so not as good as Neils and it handles almost everything (Cemu is a little slow)

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So, probably a Q9450 would be fine for PSOne and older...

Reason I'm asking about a Q9450 specifically is that my sister's system (that she and her family use) is a Q9450 and needs upgraded. If I was spending $X amount on parts, I'd rather upgrade her and use her old stuff if it worked for what I needed. But may not be the case.

May have to up the budget a bit, get some more freelance gigs... I do graphic design work on the side, so, the project is also a design project thing for me, put those skills to use and make something pretty... :) 

I'll put the 'premium' stuff on hold for now until I sort out how to get this to work.  Should be able to play most things on my PC, just gotta sort out the learning curve of using new software.

System Specs: Asus H97-Plus | Intel Xeon e3-1231v3 3.4Ghz | 16GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 | Asus GeForce DUAL-GTX1060-O6G | Samsung 850 EVO 250GB Primary | Seagate Barracuda 1TB Secondary | EVGA SuperNOVA GS 650W | Corsair 300r Case | Win7x64 Pro

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Just now, DOS76 said:

Yeah I have a 3rd gen i5 3330S so not as good as Neils and it handles almost everything (Cemu is a little slow)

Yeah cemu is to slow for me as well, so i just hacked my wii u and run all my games off a usb hdd there instead.

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Well you could try using Steam In Home streaming from your Xeon to the Q9450 as long as the host machine is powerful (which yours is) it shouldn't be an issue. You would just add LB/BB as a nonSteam game.

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That would be for just STEAM games though correct?

Well... soon as I said I need a few more freelance gigs a bunch just got handed to me, so now have the extra bucks for the budget, but no time. :D

I'll keep poking around online for info, see if I can get things running smooth on my system first. Like I said, MAME starts to load and quits so, gotta get that working first. I'll grab Retroarch now and see how that works. 

 

Thanks for the feedback

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You can add any .exe on your system to steam as a "non steam game", and then stream via your home network to any other system running steam. So you can have bigbox on your main powerfull system then stream it to virtually any device that will run the steam client on your home network. Very easy to setup and works surprisingly well.

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3 hours ago, THRobinson said:

True... but a PS2 is now 17yrs old.

So... processor wise, a Q9450 would be faster than whatever a PS2 had. :)

Regardless... a PS2 being 17yrs old or a Q9450 being 10yrs old, doesn't tell me if God of War will play or not.

Do not equate the processor of the system being emulated with the processor being used to emulate it.

Because of how emulation works as you get more accurate emulation the CPU power required to do the job grows exponentially.

The SNES which ran at 3.5 MHz requires a 3 GHz CPU to emulate it at 100% accuacy. Now of course you do not need a 3 GHz to play the vast majority of games but if you want the accuracy to play all the games properly you do.

This gets even more complicated as you move up to newer, more powerful and more complicated systems.

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Yes I understand, that's why I said "PS2 being 17yrs old or a Q9450 being 10yrs old, doesn't tell me if God of War will play or not"

I also see on this site, a lot pf people saying stuff like a 3Ghz CPU, which is a bit vague because I can get a P4 3Ghz or an i7 3Ghz... I can upgrade the Q9450 to a Q9650 and have 3Ghz... or downgrade to an E8400 and still be 3Ghz. :D

But ya, I know it doesn't matter if the CPU is newer than the system being emulated, that's why I'm trying to find out the min. required for GoW... GoW is my "Goal Game". Plus, I'm sure a good CPU needs to be matched with a GPU since I'm sure a lot of the more modern games are GPU dependant. In my case, I have a GT650Ti sitting in a box. Not sure if ideal or not... but I have it so, for now at least if I go this route it's what's getting used unless I get a good deal on a used PC that happens to have a better card.

Found a decent priced used home built system, i5 3570k today... but bit too far to drive. But it's an option. Now that I'm home from work, I'll spend tonight figuring out this thing, hopefully play a MAME game tonight.

Edited by THRobinson

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Actually GPU is irrelevant to the actual emulation. The GPU comes in when you start talking about extra graphical effects like resolution upscaling and other effects.

PS2 emulation is a bit wonky in that you need to tweak its settings and hacks on a per game basis. GoW from what I have seen is playable and runs "ok" but it's no where near perfect and will require some fiddling with settings. Take a look at these 2 wiki pages for it and judge for yourself.

http://wiki.pcsx2.net/index.php/God_of_War

http://wiki.pcsx2.net/index.php/God_of_War_II

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I get 60fps with God of War on my system (same specs i gave you further up the thread) And that is also upscaled to 1080p. @lordmonkus is right though ps2 is dodgy on most systems some games run perfectly, some are absolutely awful until you really get in and tweak them one by one, which obviously is a total pain. Unfortunately that is just where we are with regards to ps2 emulation at the moment it "works" but your mileage will always vary.

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