The most POWERFUL Gamecube ever (as far as I can tell)

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
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The goal: Fit a powerful pc into a Spice orange Gamecube with a matching GBA player, without increasing any external dimensions.

Parts List:
CPU: Ryzen 5 2600
Motherboard: Asrock Desk mini A300 (I was told that it would available 2/25/19 in the US)
Ram: Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
Storage: Crucial - P1 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
GPU: Sapphire - Radeon RX VEGA 56 8 GB PULSE Video Card
PSU: Dell 330W 19V AC-DC and Dynamo 360 (I was told they should be restocked in March)
Misc: M.2 to Pcie x16 (x4 connectivity) adapter
GC controller usb adapter
140mm "Case" fan (likely replacing the GPU fans)

Background:
This my first PC build, but not my first project of this nature (fitting thing where they shouldn't and using parts in unintended ways). I'm a mechanical engineering student with years of experience engineering type projects (FIRST Robotics 8th-12th Grade(FLL,FTC,FRC), 3 years of The Shell Eco-marathon, and various other things here an there) so this project will be finished one way or another, I promise this will not turn into a dead thread that had the potential to be cool.
Known and Potential problems:
  • The 2600 does not have integrated graphics
  • The cooler on the Vega 56 pulse will not fit in the GC (clearly)
Potential solutions:
  • The computer will detect the GPU as a display adapter automatically. (I really hope)
  • Buy or borrow an APU to get started and get the GPU detected
  • Custom GPU cool, hopefully a dense -ish fin stack 140mm x 140mm x 30?mm, details will come later I need most of the parts to make some CAD models so I can work everything out. (It will turn out better than a episode of sketchy heat sinks)
I know I'm not he first person to do this, I have seen two others, but I intend to be the fastest and cleanest build.
Progress:
Basically none, I ordered all of the parts that are coming from overseas (GC and M.2 adapter) awhile ago. One has cleared customs and is en route to me and the others are almost here as well. Everything (minus the GPU) will be ordered early next week (2/25) or maybe this weekend if I get time between midterms. The GPU doesn't need to be ordered , because I got a pretty good deal on a used one and its already here.




So other than some preliminary CAD to start mocking up the build I don't have much done, but rest assured that I will be up dating this thread as often as possible.​
Table of Contents:
 
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Bioforce

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 31, 2018
242
113
Good luck with your build. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished product. I've never worked with AMD parts myself, but the system should automatically detect the GPU and use it as your display adaptor. That's how it's worked for me on my Intel builds at least. Even on first boot having the monitor connected to the GPU works. I'm very curious to see what your solution for fitting the GPU is. Maybe I'm misremembering how small my old Gamecube was, but I remember that thing being pretty damn tiny lol.
 
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BikingViking11

Average Stuffer
Feb 10, 2019
76
143
I've built with plenty of AMD parts going back to when they were on top. In more recent years I've gone the Intel/Nvidia route for better performance and lower power for my own builds. After building a Ryzen desktop for our younger boy to fit a budget, my eye has turned more in the AMD direction. I knew very little about the performance of RX Vega until reading this thread. While very competitive in performance, especially for the price, there's still a power demand and TDP issue to contend with along with the size issue. Call me very curious about how this project comes out.
 
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Bioforce

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 31, 2018
242
113
I wonder how good gamecube emulators are these days...
You would be surprised. Dolphin runs amazingly well, and certain games that used to be locked at 30 FPS can be smoothly run at 4k/60 on modern pc hardware once you modify the framerate limit.
 
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Ross Siggers

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 10, 2018
97
87
I wonder how good gamecube emulators are these days...
I'd say with emulators as a whole Dolphin is second only to Project64 in terms of features and performance. They're ahead of the pack, look at where PCSX2 is, still. Way back 7-8 years ago, I was playing Windwaker in 5760x1080 on triple screens. The HUD didn't stretch, and it looked G L O R I O U S

~~~~~


On topic, I'm really looking forwards to seeing this build take shape!! I'm doing a Dreamcast build and the main issue I'm struggling with is vertical height. I've had to squeeze everything down so much it's insane. Whilst I've been making mine the thought of doing another in a GC did cross my mind.

Most interested in the GPU solution. I customised a Silverstone NT07-115X CPU cooler, to fit onto my 1050 mini*, with a dremel and some thread taps. Now it's around 1.5 slots in height, compared to the 2.5 it was before, and it looks sleek :cool: This was a necessity though; I couldn't have fitted a dedicated graphics card in unless I put the cooler on a vertical height diet :\


*....okay, my test card is only a gtx750. But they use the same cooler and mounting layout, so when I do eventually upgrade I can just swap coolers.
 
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W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
Update #1: Road Block
I got all my parts in last night and assembled everything on my desk (kind of shady with the extra psu and the GPU hanging out the side)

The problem: No display out.
My worst fear, I had sinking suspicion this would happen. When I start the pc all the fans spin up, even on the GPU as well as the LED on it too. This tells me that at the very least the gpu is recognized as some sort of pcie device. But no display out through the GPU. There is another possible issue, the r5 2600 is not officially supported by the deskmini A300 (for its lack of iGPU). It may not be being recognized by the BIOS as an acceptable CPU and thus fails to post, but I can't find an indicator anywhere on the board for the post error codes. There is a system speaker header, but I don't have a speaker to connect to it.
Solution: Cry in a corner?
I sent an email to Asrock support, they haven't been much help yet, they just told me that its not supported.

I can and probably will order a 200ge to try to get everything up and running and then see if I can just swap the CPUs.

Worst case scenario I buy a 2400g and live with 4c/8t and lower clocks as compared to 6c/12t.
The next update should be on or before 3/18/19. I have a midterm tomorrow but spring break next week so I'll have to order stuff and troubleshoot.
 

Turnburglar

Chassis Packer
Mar 2, 2019
17
10
Hey man, the one part I dont understand is how you can connect the vega 56 to the stx board that has no PCIE slot?
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
I'm using a pcie 3.0 x16 to ultra m.2 riser card. m.2 headers that use the NVME protocol are essentially pcie 3.0 x4 slots without 12v power. So the riser requires its own power source. So with some performance loss (~5-10%) I can run any gpu.
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
Update #2: The Worst
I bought a 200ge just to see if I could get everything working, and I was able to, but with a problem. After some work, driver installs and using the windows boot manager rather than the default UEFI boot manager I was able to get my vega 56 working. Here comes the but.

When I switch back to the r5 2600, it wont even POST, no power LED and the fans just spin up and sit there. I fear that the non APU parts are simply not white listed in bios, so when it trys to POST it doesn't detect a "compatible" cpu, which, correct me if I'm wrong, there isn't any real reason that the 2600 shouldn't work. There are use cases that don't need any vga adapter at all, like headless servers.

So I don't really know where to go from here.... 2400g?

I'll try Asrock again, maybe I can get them not to officially support the non APUs but to not block them.

On a positive note I now have a sketchy test bench for writing my posts.
*I can't even get my images working
 

Brian_Buckley

Trash Compacter
Sep 26, 2017
46
41
Tech Yes City just posted their STX A300 video earlier and it says at the beginning that non-APU Ryzen chips are supported. Not that he's the authority on the matter, but it's at least a sign that something else might be the issue.
 

BikingViking11

Average Stuffer
Feb 10, 2019
76
143
While I'm very sorry to hear of your issues, I commend you for sharing them, especially with such great detail. Whatever the outcome others are sure to benefit from the info.
 
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W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
Tech Yes City just posted their STX A300 video earlier and it says at the beginning that non-APU Ryzen chips are supported. Not that he's the authority on the matter, but it's at least a sign that something else might be the issue.
Do you think he'll respond if I ask him where he got that info?
 
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Brian_Buckley

Trash Compacter
Sep 26, 2017
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41
Do you think he'll respond if I ask him where he got that info?
Doesn't hurt to ask. I think others on here are also trying to do the same thing with a dedicated GPU right now. If it does work and makes sense thermally I might end up doing the same for my own GameCube build. Was planning on using one of the APUs but I'd love to do a dedicated GPU if it can all be made to work.
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
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Jan 29, 2019
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Update #3: BIOS Modding
So I have not received any response from Asrock, not even a "We will look into this" or "No not gonna happen". In my refusal to cave and use a 2400g I have turned to the BIOS modding community to see if it will be possible to add support for all Ryzen CPUs to this board, and maybe unlock the CPU multiplier as well. They have said that the microcode for the 2600 is in the bios so it shouldn't be hard to do.
 

BonfireOfDreams

Average Stuffer
Mar 14, 2019
56
26
I guess 2400g would be the way to go. You'd be spending extra for iGPU features you can't use obviously, but it should work. I'd be curious to see the performance of the device and how you connected the riser power. By the way, any reason you went with vega 56 & not 1660 (ti even)? Is it just a pure AMD build?
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
I guess 2400g would be the way to go. You'd be spending extra for iGPU features you can't use obviously, but it should work. I'd be curious to see the performance of the device and how you connected the riser power. By the way, any reason you went with vega 56 & not 1660 (ti even)? Is it just a pure AMD build?
Well, even the 1660ti and 2060 cards are to long, the PCBs are ~170mm, the Vega 56 nano PCB is 152mm and the gamecube is only 160mm deep. I have seen a palit version of the 2060 that is short enough but it doesn't have great IO (1 HDMI 1 DP 1 DVI) compared to the nano with 3 DP and 1 HDMI. Also palit cards are not available in the states so I'd have to use a proxy buyer service to get one.
 
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