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Arcade cabinet and PC/Device


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Hi everyone good morning,

Firstly may I say it's wonderful to be a part of the launchbox foruma and I for one am really excited about starting a new adventure into a new level of retro goodness, I'm hoping that I can learn from you guys that really know how things roll in this community.

I have only just signed up and I've decided bigbox is the way to go ref my requirements and where I need to be, only thing is I really don't know where to start, to start things of I'm looking for some good information/advice on what to buy to run up to the latest emulation, GameCube PS2 or what ever the most powerful emulator may be that is within bigbox, so with that in mind could you guys help me on my below starting points.

1. What device is best to use ? I would guess a PC ( but that's why I'm here I am not sure if there is something better ) 

2. If PC is the answer then what PC would run bigbox and all the emulators including roms smoothly, can you link me to some units that perhaps you use with bigbox or have knowledge on them knowing they will be tiptop for BB.

3. This will absolutely be going in an arcade cabinet, so what would be the arcade cabinet to go for, what do you guys have can you show me some pics of your set ups, do you have some links for decent cabinets in the Uk.I would probably go for the 2 player arcade tankstick because I think it looks smart but also looks a little easier to set up rather than buying buttons, joysticks etc however could progress to buying all these parts so is there a cabinet that takes tankstick but could be made into a do it yourself wires, buttons, joystick etc control area, I guess I'm not quite sure yet how and where I want to go with this , it could be sit down or stand up cabinet, really looking for some pics and set ups from the experience and knowledge of the users in this community.

Your help is massively appreciated I'm positively looking forward to what you guys can advise me on, thank you so much.




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Hello and welcome to the Launchbox community.

First I will address your questions about a cabinet although that is going to be short. There is a whole lot of personal preference when it comes to cabinets and costs involved, personally I don't have or want a full cabinet but I do have a Tankstick and it is fairly decent but it could be better. I would like to one day replace the sticks in them because they are a little cheap and have quirks. I would recommend spending some time thinking and planning out a cabinet, think about the types of games you want to play primarily. In the meantime check this forum out here: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=vd585nqg8tv6l3e72pi3mt0ph3&They have all sorts of discussions, pictures and information about cabinets.

As for the what device to use I would highly recommend a PC. Many people tell you that just about any cheap PC will run most emulators and they are not wrong with that statement but I have to say that you should get a good modern CPU based system. You can never have too much CPU power for emulation, more power than that which is required for an emulator does not go to waste especially when you use something like Retroarch. It has several features in it that will greatly improve your emulation experience such as lower input latency and the best audio synchronization and those features require more CPU than the basic power to play games. For most emulation a good single thread performance CPU will yield the best results, something like a modern Intel i5, although the new AMD Ryzen chips will do the job pretty good (avoid older AMD cpus, they have poor single thread performance). Some of the newer emulators such as RPCS3 (PS3) actually benefits from more cores and threads. A good graphics card is not required but a reasonably new one is recommended, an Nvidia card is highly recommended here over AMD cards because many emulators use OpenGL and AMDs OpenGL drivers are notoriously bad and you are most likely to run into issues with certain emulators with them. Also Launcbox / BigBox does benefit from a dedicated graphics card, avoid integrated Intel graphics at all costs.

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Thank you for the swift and detailed reply very much appreciated.

I know how to work computers but don't know anything about graphics cards , i5, and and all the things you mentioned.

I never even new you could emulate PS3 wow.

Ref device I really will need to have some help or more to the point links to the actual pc itself which is setup itself with all the goodness all ready inside it, can you go me with what would be some decent choices to look at purchasing please, I would have no idea where to start with building my own so would be looking for everything already inside the tower.

Would it need to be a standard size pc or a mini pc ?

I'm presuming bigbox emuktes the afore mentioned PS3 and is this the latest emulation ?


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Actual recommendations will probably need an estimate of your budget for a PC itself, not including anything extra like a cabinet, arcade type controller, etc.

As far as size goes, you can go with a small in size unit, as long as it has the right kind of cpu, memory, and graphics capability, or a larger, desktop tower unit with basically the same components as the small unit, but will more than likely give you more expansion abilities, i.e. storage, more efficient cooling, etc.

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Hi Dragon,

I'm not looking to spend to much as cabinet and all accessories will end up adding up do you reckon £300-£350 pounds would suffice or is that not even going to touch it in ref to emulate and run the latest most powerful consoles like PS3.

Sounds like the standard size tower would be better to be honest.

Thanks again.

Edited by PixelT.art
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Just now, PixelT.art said:

What`s the latest emulation ?

It will be mainly for the latest mame along with dreamcast, gamecube  and all old retro stuff but will it run ps3 for example, what will this spec run up to ideas ?

You should be OK up to gamecube/wii, ps2. I dont think you will have much luck with ps3 or wii u though as your that gpu only has 2GB of ram on it. CPU wise you are in good shape for pretty much anything, but newer emulators that use a GPU will suffer a bit, like wii u and ps3 as i say, also thats a very small HDD you will likely need a bigger one. Also your ram could be limiting on wii u and ps3 also, i have seen my cemu using 12GB of ram while playing Zelda for example. So if you exclude ps3 and wii u i think you should be OK with those specs, excluding the HDD.

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