Originally Posted by Mfusick
So if I am trying to estimate stuff like costs, time, materials needed, tasks to be completed etc... what am I looking at?
I'd need a LCD screen. Costco or Walmart or some good sale I snatch up a 1080p whatever brand LCD. Probably like 30" or 32" you think ?
I have one actually I could use/test with. I think it's a Samsung...
So perhaps it might be logical to make the PC and get it working nice before I try messing with the cabinet? Do it backwards? What you think? What did I forget. ?
If I may humbly suggest: Check your goal / scope. If you want a machine to play vintage arcade games (don't know your age, but if you went to college in the 90s and want to relive your childhood / mis-spent college years in arcades, say) I'd suggest finding a large, cheap/free CRT. I tried an LCD, which was easier, cooler, and used less power, but it just wasn't right. Jarring, and didn't transport me to a fond bit of nostalgia. Purists will suggest a proper arcade monitor, and I understand that desire, but an old tube CRT was close enough for me.
However, if you decide to tinker with the CRT to make it fit a cabinet, or mount it, or whatever, be VERY careful. The magic smoke inside can kill you, not kidding.
Then, for those who don't enjoy the PC tinkering, look around for a pre-built image, or even a pre-built drive, as was linked up-thread. Might not be worth the time and frustration to DIY completely from scratch. Since it's a hobby: Do what ya' like to do, buy what ya' hate doing, I say!
As for my cheapskate build: 2x4s, wainscotting, garage-shelf-storage PC, $20 CRT, 2x X-Arcade (PC futzing wasn't worth paying to avoid, but I value highly someone else putting to together a known-good control board / wiring), $10 (I think) piece of plexi, and some left-over paint. Oh, and a couple of stools for cheap. It wouldn't have taken all weekend if I didn't need to wait for the paint to dry, and meet up with a befuddled CLer surprised someone wanted to pay him for his beautiful large CRT.
Then again... it can be done easily, or it can be done "sky's the limit!" Google around for some very inspiring builds!