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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,

I am converting a cabinet to a mame cabinet. I want to be able to run Dolphin and Naomi full speed. I will be using hyperspin as my front end. I need advice on CPU video card and RAM.

For CPUS I am considering E7400 or E8400 not sure if I would benefit much from the two.

Video card i know matters for Naomi and I would like to stick to Nvida.

It seems like 1GB of RAM will do it but not sure I have not tested dolphin at all.
 

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Opensource-spice
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Eh, get the E8400, the video card doesn't have to be "that" powerful, just anything above an 8600gt or 9600gt works fine, it's all processor related, really.

As far as ram goes, the fastest you can get for the price to get that core overclock high and make sure you've got a good cooler to handle those temps.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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Normally, I'd recommend a 64-bit operating system to most people these days, but you mentioned possibly using just 1GB of RAM due to the use of the system. If that is the case (you should have gone with at least 2GB if so), then don't even consider 64-bit. 64-bit uses more memory right out the gate across the board, and 1GB won't be enough (it barely is for Windows Vista or 7 anyway). With 2GB, you actually have the choice, and you could still go with 64-bit too and have it all work just fine, but the extra memory use is still something to watch for, so it's kind of a toss up. You wouldn't see much of any additional performance with 64-bit on 2GB, but since it's the upcoming standard, and it's claimed the 64-bit version of Windows Vista (not sure about Windows 7) is more stable than the 32-bit (not sure if that means it necessarily is though), you may opt for it even with 2GB. I say take your pick with 2GB (I'd probably opt for 64-bit myself if it was a system with limited and specific use like your case).

Here's a good "rough" rule of thumb I seem to see people sticking by.

For 2GB and below, go with 32-bit.
For 4GB (and 3GB) and above, go with 64-bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm Thanks for the advice!! I might go 4GB since I was thinking of using this pc as a vm server when I am not using it for mame!

Is there any point into overclocking this beast to the 4.5Ghz mark? I think I might take that path if it will help me out with emulation..
 

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From Love and Limerence
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If you can even get it there, it will be risky. I got my E8600 there. I used it there while I could, and I had to drop it back to 4GHz when I decided to stay with 8GB (four modules and/or more addressing space means the Northbridge/MCH needs more voltage for the same FSB, and mine runs hot as it is). While it was there, temperatures were high under load (especially stress testing program type loads), and that is with a pretty good air cooler. Voltage also had to be pushed to about that 1.4V maximum. Also, it probably wasn't 100% stable. Games, general usage, multimedia, emulation, it all passed and never crashed, but Orthos would always crash on the small FFT test at that same second every time one the same core (small FFTs indicate an unstable CPU due to lack of voltage, by the way, although no increase of voltage overcame that only error, which as odd).

Is it practically possible? Yes. Is it worth it? That depends. If you do decide to try it, expect alot of side issues like this, and expect alot of time invested in tweaking, troubleshooting, etc. I came from an E8400 with the same RAM and motherboard to my E8600, so I virtually had to use the same settings/FSB/everything, and just maybe up the voltage, and the extra multiplier would net me from 4GHz to 4.5GHz in theory (since the two CPUs are the same save the multiplier and thus default frequency), but I still sort of had alot of time I had to invest into it (sort of, it mostly did work out the gate on the first few tries). Personally, I liked to push it just to push it and have a fast CPU, but I don't intentionally do so to break records or endanger the chip either, so it was just barely worth it to me.

Unless you get a really good CPU that gets there easily and with good temperatures and voltages, I'd just stick with 4GHz, or maybe 4.25GHz as a tradeoff (I could probably get my E8600 there even with 8GB, but don't really care to right now). You'll get performance that will seem the same, but have much better temperatures and voltage levels. At 4GHz, it runs everything I play in PCSX2 at more than full speed as it is anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE:

I was able to clock the E8400 on stock cooling to 3.8GHZ.
I went with 4GB of DDR3 RAM
I have also went the 64bit OS route (I got a free copy of windows 7 because of a thread on here)

I am starting work on my ROM sorting and emulator downloads.... kind of hard since I keep "testing" the roms I get.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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DDR3 is a waste on a Core 2 system. The fact that the gap between the two types is closing is moot. It's literally useless on a Core 2 system, and costs more (and I think motherboards that require or allow it cost a bit more as well). It's still wasted money. You'd have been better off getting DDR2 and using the extra bit of cash for an aftermarket CPU cooler in my opinion. DDR3 has no place in a Core 2 based PC. DDR2 RAM already is a step above the FSB needs of a Core 2 to run 1:1 as it is (going beyond 1:1 nets nothing), so it brings no benefits to go even higher. I would be cautious to trust 3.8GHz on stock cooling, so I'd have grabbed a separate cooler, but it does depend on temperatures.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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Wow, it looks like DDR2 took another huge increase. I knew it was going up, but it shows how long it's been since I looked at RAM prices. It looks like it's actually slightly more expensive than DDR3 now (at least in the 4GB range). Maybe you are right in your decision with them that high.
 

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Times change quickly for memory prices. Hell even seeing PC3200 1gig for 40 bucks is a travesty. DD3 will be the standard soon and ddr 2 will be gone. Hopefully AMD motherboard will support DD3 completely instead of a couple of them.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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I would almost call it the standard now. When AMD switched to DDR2 after Intel had already been using it is when DDR1 seemed to become outdated overnight. I think once AMD does that fully again, will it happen again with DDR2.
 
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