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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think of the following build for ePSXe (PSX emulator), PCSX2 (PS2 emulator) and HTPC duties? Budget is $500.
  • Cooler Master Elite RC-310, $40
  • CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX, $55
  • GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2H, $195 (Newegg MB+CPU combo)
  • Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz, $0 (Newegg MB+CPU combo)
  • Palit NE3TS25EFHD52 GTS 250 512MB GDDR3, $105
  • Crucial 2GB DDR3 1333, $50
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB, $55
  • TOTAL: $500


For those suggesting alternative parts, here are two things to consider:
  • CPU: Intel preferred - GSdx plug-in (PCSX2) can utilize SSSE3/SSE4 instruction sets which can improve speed)
  • GPU: NVIDIA required - Pete's OpenGL2 plug-in (ePSXe) seems to work better with NVIDIA cards; CUDA is required for CoreAVC hardware acceleration
 

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You need a power supply, and how will that case look next to your tv? If you aren't using the onboard video/audio why not go with a 775 cpu?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bighick /forum/post/18192697


You need a power supply

Check again, there's already a power supply in there (Corsair 400CX).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bighick /forum/post/18192697


and how will that case look next to your tv?

No worries. This will be housed in a computer desk and connected to the TV via a 25' HDMI cable. It'll double duty as bedroom PC and HTPC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bighick /forum/post/18192697


If you aren't using the onboard video/audio why not go with a 775 cpu?

As far as I'm aware, the Core i3 530 is the fastest (Intel) CPU for the price point. I contemplated going with LGA775 but to get comparable performance, I'd need a Core 2 Duo E8400 which costs $48 more. Whatever savings I might get by going with an LGA775 board will just be eaten up by the processor, not to mention I'd like to upgrade to Lynnfield eventually. Alas, for PS2 emulation, even a Core i7 is not enough (for maxed out settings).


I'm also considering AMD processors but that's going to take me a bit more research.
 

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For the price point a Phenom II X2 555 is a better processor, and with a newer board that supports ACC you will have a good change at unlocking it to a quad core, that's a lot of value for $99.


For the video card, for $100 the HD5670 is faster and will support full HD audio over HDMI were you to decide to add blu-ray support to it later(which would only theoretically cost the $60 for a BD player and bundled software.)


For the case, you should look at either the Cooler Master Elite 335(full ATX) or 341(microATX) so you'll get full 120mm in and out case fans with much less restriction for right about the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll check out the Phenom II X2 555. What would be a good motherboard to pair it with? A 785G? As for video, NVIDIA is a requirement. Thanks for the tip on the cases. Switching over to a Cooler Master Elite 335.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/18192218


What do you guys think of the following build for ePSXe (PSX emulator), PCSX2 (PS2 emulator) and HTPC duties? Budget is $500.
  • Cooler Master Elite RC-310, $40
  • CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX, $55
  • GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2H, $195 (Newegg MB+CPU combo)
  • Intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz, $0 (Newegg MB+CPU combo)
  • Palit NE3TS25EFHD52 GTS 250 512MB GDDR3, $105
  • Crucial 2GB DDR3 1333, $50
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB, $55
  • TOTAL: $500


For those suggesting alternative parts, here are two things to consider:
  • CPU: Intel preferred - GSdx plug-in (PCSX2) can utilize SSSE3/SSE4 instruction sets which can improve speed)
  • GPU: NVIDIA required - Pete's OpenGL2 plug-in (ePSXe) seems to work better with NVIDIA cards; CUDA is required for CoreAVC hardware acceleration

I would think a more powerful cpu would be an order for PCSX2. What kind of speed are you expecting with an i3 530 at 2.93ghz?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin /forum/post/18194393


I would think a more powerful cpu would be an order for PCSX2. What kind of speed are you expecting with an i3 530 at 2.93ghz?

I was hoping maybe around 50~60fps at reasonable settings. I realize that CPU's my bottleneck here but my budget doesn't really allow for a better processor.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd /forum/post/18194218


I'll check out the Phenom II X2 555. What would be a good motherboard to pair it with? A 785G? As for video, NVIDIA is a requirement. Thanks for the tip on the cases. Switching over to a Cooler Master Elite 335.

To be honest, I like Gigabyte's 770 boards. No onboard video, but you're using a video card, so it doesn't matter. All 3 of the new ones have the SB710 southbridge, so they support ACC for unlocking cores, and they start at only $77 at the egg, and the highest end one with USB3 and SATAIII is $85 AMIR right now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighick /forum/post/18195515


Dont get the 555 or 550 just because you can unlock it, I have a 550 that can't be unlocked

You have a board with either the SB710 or SB750 that supports Advanced Clock Calibration? What happens when you try to unlock the cores? Have you tried lowering the speed of the processor or increasing the voltage prior to unlocking it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18195606


You have a board with either the SB710 or SB750 that supports Advanced Clock Calibration? What happens when you try to unlock the cores? Have you tried lowering the speed of the processor or increasing the voltage prior to unlocking it?

My 550 works well with 3 cores @ 3.4ghz but as soon as I try to use the 4th core it blows up on me and gives me all kinds of problems no matter the clock speed, vcore, etc. Sometimes it can run Prime95 Blend for many hours while sometimes it cant. With the 4th core enabled the computer will sometimes go into a permanent shutdown where the only way to power the computer back up is to physically disconnect the power cable from the 24 pin header on the motherboard.


Phenom II 550/555 does not guarantee an automatic 4 core system. Spend the extra $40 and get a 945 or 955 and know you're supporting a great company who makes affordable yet powerful processors. It's not like an Intel chip that would cost you an additional $500 for the use of 2 extra cores.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 /forum/post/18196397


My 550 works well with 3 cores @ 3.4ghz but as soon as I try to use the 4th core it blows up on me and gives me all kinds of problems no matter the clock speed, vcore, etc. Sometimes it can run Prime95 Blend for many hours while sometimes it cant. With the 4th core enabled the computer will sometimes go into a permanent shutdown where the only way to power the computer back up is to physically disconnect the power cable from the 24 pin header on the motherboard.


Phenom II 550/555 does not guarantee an automatic 4 core system. Spend the extra $40 and get a 945 or 955 and know you're supporting a great company who makes affordable yet powerful processors. It's not like an Intel chip that would cost you an additional $500 for the use of 2 extra cores.

Oh yeah, I in no way meant to guarantee a 4 core system by purchasing a phenom II x2. I will say that the more mature the processors and manufacturing process gets, the more likely you are to get a processor that can unlock all 4 cores, it is obviously never guaranteed.


Before recommending a true quad core though, do the emulators have good SMP or multi-core support? cause if they don't then a faster dual core could actually make for a faster system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18196701


Before recommending a true quad core though, do the emulators have good SMP or multi-core support? cause if they don't then a faster dual core could actually make for a faster system.

Nope. PCSX2 can only make use of two cores at the moment and from developers' comments, that seems unlikely to change. That's why I'm opting for the i3 530. From benchmarks I've seen, it seems to be the fastest dual-core available for that price range. ePSXe only uses one core, but for that, even an Intel Celeron E3200 is overkill.


The quad Core i5's and i7's are a decent alternative because of Turbo Boost but that would put me over my set budget.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/18196701


Oh yeah, I in no way meant to guarantee a 4 core system by purchasing a phenom II x2. I will say that the more mature the processors and manufacturing process gets, the more likely you are to get a processor that can unlock all 4 cores, it is obviously never guaranteed.


Before recommending a true quad core though, do the emulators have good SMP or multi-core support? cause if they don't then a faster dual core could actually make for a faster system.

It's not the SMP support in the emulator that's important to me it's that my HTPC has enough power, and enough available threads, to handle whatever I am doing on it. My machine does all the HDTV recording from 7MC and additionally process the recorded video in the background using either TMPGEnc and/or dvrmstoolbox. If I happen to be playing a game while a show comes on to record (or when a show ends to transcode) I need to make sure there's enough computing power to go around and not have whatever I was recording skip out on me because I was getting in a fix of MegamanX4 in ePSX. Plus my machine is used to serve all the household music so when the woman of the house decides she wants to reshuffle her Ipod from her computer while I'm doing any/all of the above I need to make sure mine doesnt low down because of it feeding all that data across the network.


I'd only recommend dual core if this machine were to be for strictly gaming or strictly HTPC...quad core is NOT that much more expensive anymore (at least with AMD) and offers a ton of benefit for a multipurposed machine such as mine.


Running my 550 stock is NOT enough if everything happens at the same time while I am gaming. 3 cores seems to be enough to get me by. I'm going to jump on a 6 core processor as soon as they become available (assuming they come in under $350 and are at a reasonably high clock speed of 3.0ghz or faster).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 /forum/post/18197272


I'd only recommend dual core if this machine were to be for strictly gaming or strictly HTPC...quad core is NOT that much more expensive anymore (at least with AMD) and offers a ton of benefit for a multipurposed machine such as mine.

In my case, none of those are a consideration. The living room HTPC handles all the DVR tasks and I don't transcode anyway. The only HTPC duties for this build would be video playback. The most difficult task it has to do is PS2 emulation via PCSX2. For me a faster dual-core is better since that's what the PS2 needs. Even with the i3 530, I'm still CPU bound so a lower clocked Phenom II X4 won't really do me much good.


From the FAQ:
Quote:
What are the requirements for using this emulator?


Minimum

* Windows 2000 or newer/Linux OS

* CPU that supports SSE2 (Pentium 4 and up, Athlon64 and up)

* GPU that supports Pixel Shaders 2.0

* 512mb RAM


Recommended

* Windows Vista / Windows 7 32bit/64bit

* CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.2ghz or better

* GPU: 8600gt or better

* 1gb RAM (2gb if on Vista / Windows 7)

Does the emulator support 4 cores?


No, currently only 2 cores are supported. To make Pcsx2 efficiently use 3 or more cores will require major code changes. So don't ask when quad-core support will be available, since it won't be anytime soon! However, pcsx2 will run fine on your quadcore cpu. It just won't benefit from the extra 2 cores.
 
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