Micro ATX Emulator Build - Case and Power query

escape-to-88

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Jul 25, 2018
6
0
Hi all,

New to this site, but hopefully can get some advice.

I currently use an old Dell 3010 Optiplex in conjunction with my CRT to produce resolution and refresh rate accurate game emulation for older consoles; SNES, Gamecube etc. etc. but I'm looking for something a bit more compact and a little prettier! I currently run an old micro-atx ASRock H81M-DGS with a Pico PSU and either a Radeon 5450 or an x600 in my arcade cabinet, which emulates and runs MAME perfectly, however for my console build I need a bit more power and a faster CPU, so...

Build-wise I was aiming for a good power/cost ratio, so am looking at the following which should run everything perfectly:

*ASrock H81M RDS 2.0 (as can overclock wit hthe right bios flashed)
*Pentium g3258 (overclocked to 4.2ghz on stock cooling/potentially a Noctua 12S)
*Radeon Low Profile R7 640 or LP HD6450 (2gb RAM models) - I have to use one of the Radeon range due to the CRT Emudrivers, and actually GPU is not something which greatly affects performance for my needs.
*240gb SSD

I was planning to use a Pico PSU, but am aware that overclocking and the listed GPUs could potentially draw too much power. Using Partpicker I've only got a rough idea and it doesn't take o/cing into account.

I'm also stuck regarding case, as I'd like something really compact or HTPC without spending too much. I don't mind cutting any extra vents etc. for cooling, but wondered if someone might suggest something, as I guess it might change depending on whether I need an SFX PSU over the Pico. I was planning to fabricate a case myself as know several engineers and cabinet makers who are mates, but wondering what my off the shelf options were as a lot seem to rely size-wise on what PSU I will use. Again, I really want something very small and aesthetically pleasing.

Any help would be much appreciated!
 
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escape-to-88

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Jul 25, 2018
6
0
I haven't bought it yet, but I was thinking about the overclocking potential of the G3258, wheres the 4560 can't be O/C'ed as far as I'm aware. I'm actually thinking a mini-ITX m/board might be better for a wider range of cases.
 

aquelito

King of Cable Management
Piccolo PC
Feb 16, 2016
948
1,116
LGA 1150 CPU and boards are becoming quite expensive for the value...

The i3 7300 is pretty fast @ stock.

As a big supporter of thin mini-itx, I find that kind of format pretty interesting for your project :

- cheaper so-dimm DDR4,
- no need for PicoPSU,
- possibility to add a discrete GPU in the smallest enveloppe possible.

Below an example with a G4600 and a 1050 Ti powered by a single 12V 12.5A AC adapter :


 
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escape-to-88

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Jul 25, 2018
6
0
Thanks for the advice I'm not too familiar with thin Mini ITX board, power-wise how are you powering the above with just an adapter? Do you have any recommendations for cheap thin Mini ITX boards, I'm trying to keep this a fairly low-budget build for emulation on my CRT :)
 

aquelito

King of Cable Management
Piccolo PC
Feb 16, 2016
948
1,116
An older view of my HTPC, with the same Gigabyte GA-H110TN board :

The 12V brick is powering the board and CPU, while I'm using the onboard 4-pin Mini-Fit JR connector, which is acting as passthrough, to power the GPU via a custom riser I developped for this very purpose (see signature).

This way, I keep the wires down to two :)


Again, there is lots of different ways to achieve what you want : this is just my favorite as I like 24-pin-free systems very much !
 

escape-to-88

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Jul 25, 2018
6
0
This looks really interesting and pretty much what I'd be after. I'm just going to do a bit more research. I'm familiar with the board, didn't actually realised it was a thin variation, assumed it was just standard mini-itx. I'm still quite new to small builds! Out of interest what case is that?
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Hey, I don't know a lot about proper/accurate emulation, but I am under the impression that adaptive sync--Freesync/G-Sync can allow a 'modern' display to emulate very accurately, similar to what it sounds like you're doing with your CRT.

If you're concerned with thin/portability and aesthetic, you might be able to achieve a more suitable solution by going down the adaptive sync route. At that point, perhaps the new Ryzen APU's (they should support Freesync, but double check that!) might be fast enough to do accurate emulation and adaptive sync with a modern panel, and you wouldn't need a discrete GPU.
 
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