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 Post subject: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:14 am 



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 259
I'm looking to buy a used desktop PC for emulating on a CRT TV with a VGA to component transcoder and CRT emudriver. I'm considering getting a used Dell Optiplex desktop with an i5 and >3.0 GHz. The only thing is that many of the Optiplex models are slim towers and the PSU is only about 240W. I think installing a Radeon HD 6450 would work fine in a slimline Optiplex but it isn't a powerful GPU. I want to be able to emulate Dreamcast on this PC. If I have a fast enough CPU, will the Radeon HD 6450 be good enough for emulating with NullDC and Demul? A slimline optiplex and a Radeon HD 6450 would be pretty cheap and that is why I'm trying to go this route.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:35 am 


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I don't know if the HD 6450 is powerful enough for DC emulation these days (not sure but I'd bet it is) though if you want to play it a bit safer and get a more powerful card, well, IIRC the updated version of the HD 6450 was the R5 230, so you need to look above that.

You'll find a variety of low profile R7 240 and R7 250, with either 1GB, 2GB or 4GB memory, some even feature passive cooling.
Prices however might not be as attractive as the older HD series equivalents (dunno exactly but I think with the R7 you're in HD 7000/8000 territory)
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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:56 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 795
I am in favor of two PCs. One for Mame and a second for later 480p and above gaming.

My Laptop has a fast I7 CPU and a Quadro K5000m GPU (better than the one you are considering) and it does not do a great job with Dreamcast / Naomi games. It will play them but not very well.

I set up an old gaming PC with a pair of GTX 680's for Naomi and later and it works a lot better.

A few other thoughts.... you should try building your own PC. It's easy and fairly quick. That way you'll know how to upgrade your PSU of GPU when needed.

Dreamcast emulation is pointless. You can buy a Dreamcast on eBay for very little cash. I got one for $25 with a controller and Av hookups. Then you can buy a pack of blank CDs for $5 and play downloaded games like you would with emulation. Same applies with PS2 and Wii games.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:56 am 



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 259
Classicgamer wrote:
I am in favor of two PCs. One for Mame and a second for later 480p and above gaming.

My Laptop has a fast I7 CPU and a Quadro K5000m GPU (better than the one you are considering) and it does not do a great job with Dreamcast / Naomi games. It will play them but not very well.

I set up an old gaming PC with a pair of GTX 680's for Naomi and later and it works a lot better.

A few other thoughts.... you should try building your own PC. It's easy and fairly quick. That way you'll know how to upgrade your PSU of GPU when needed.

Dreamcast emulation is pointless. You can buy a Dreamcast on eBay for very little cash. I got one for $25 with a controller and Av hookups. Then you can buy a pack of blank CDs for $5 and play downloaded games like you would with emulation. Same applies with PS2 and Wii games.


I know how to build a PC and I will be building a new one for modern gaming within the next year. I don't want to build a PC for Mame/retro emulation because it would be more expensive than just getting a used desktop with a good specs like a Dell Optiplex or an HP Elite desktop. Buying a used small form factor dell optiplex with a fast i5 and a Radeon HD 6450 would only cost about $150 with shipping included. Buying the larger Dell optiplex that has a mini tower form factor would cost around $100 more. The only thing with getting the actual dreamcast system is that burned games wear out the laser in the system much more quickly, I'd have to get adapters for component input on my JVC D-series CRT and the dreamcast is really loud. If I could play dreamcast from my PC, it would be a simpler way to get component output.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:33 am 


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Just so you can have a clearer view over AMD low profiles http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare/Radeon-HD-6450-vs-Radeon-R7-240-vs-Radeon-R7-250/267vs2713vs2768

Classicgamer wrote:
My Laptop has a fast I7 CPU and a Quadro K5000m GPU (better than the one you are considering) and it does not do a great job with Dreamcast / Naomi games. It will play them but not very well.

Really? there must be something wrong somewhere, I don't remember DC emulators being that demanding. For comparison my current laptop's i3 + 820M can run a reasonable number of PS2 games without trouble, no need to say DC emulation is not an issue (besides the fact that emulation is far from perfect anyway but that's a matter of development)
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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:53 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
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I don't really do much DC emulation but Naomi seems to need far more horsepower than it should... it really doesn't run that well on my laptop. It might be the pro GPU that causes an issue. It's made for 3d / cad design and not so much for gaming. It plays model 2 and 3 ok but Naomi and DC both were noticeably choppier than the real thing.


With all that said, the Nvidia Shield, at $170, apparently does a great job with emulation for everything up to and including the Wii. That plus a Groovymame pc would probably cover most bases.

I'll put up with a low grade AMD GPU for Groovymame because there is no choice but a fast Nvidia is the far better option for everything else imo.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:41 pm 



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 259
Classicgamer wrote:
I don't really do much DC emulation but Naomi seems to need far more horsepower than it should... it really doesn't run that well on my laptop. It might be the pro GPU that causes an issue. It's made for 3d / cad design and not so much for gaming. It plays model 2 and 3 ok but Naomi and DC both were noticeably choppier than the real thing.


With all that said, the Nvidia Shield, at $170, apparently does a great job with emulation for everything up to and including the Wii. That plus a Groovymame pc would probably cover most bases.

I'll put up with a low grade AMD GPU for Groovymame because there is no choice but a fast Nvidia is the far better option for everything else imo.


If your i7 is less than 3GHz, you are more likely to experience slowdown with DC emulation.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:49 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 795
Brad251 wrote:
Classicgamer wrote:
I don't really do much DC emulation but Naomi seems to need far more horsepower than it should... it really doesn't run that well on my laptop. It might be the pro GPU that causes an issue. It's made for 3d / cad design and not so much for gaming. It plays model 2 and 3 ok but Naomi and DC both were noticeably choppier than the real thing.


With all that said, the Nvidia Shield, at $170, apparently does a great job with emulation for everything up to and including the Wii. That plus a Groovymame pc would probably cover most bases.

I'll put up with a low grade AMD GPU for Groovymame because there is no choice but a fast Nvidia is the far better option for everything else imo.


If your i7 is less than 3GHz, you are more likely to experience slowdown with DC emulation.


No but I am pretty sure the GPU is the issue. DC games work well on that tiny Nvidia Shield android device which has nowhere near the processing power but it has an optimized GPU.

My Groovymame PC has an I7 3930k 4.2ghz CPU with an AMD 5450 and it can't even load a Naomi game. You can barely get to the title screen. If I put my GTX680s in the same PC, they run a full speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:05 pm 


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Classicgamer wrote:
an I7 3930k 4.2ghz CPU with an AMD 5450

the Matthias Schlitte of PCs :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:28 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 795
Xyga wrote:
Classicgamer wrote:
an I7 3930k 4.2ghz CPU with an AMD 5450

the Matthias Schlitte of PCs :mrgreen:


I don't know what that means.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying used PC for emulation on CRT TV
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:58 pm 


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Google the man's picture, you will understand. :mrgreen:
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