modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Talk about games you've played, new games coming out, console hardware, etc..
Post Reply
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Tue May 28, 2013 12:53 pm

I just learned of the mini computer Raspberry Pi and am thinking of getting one, juts because they're cheap and it'd be nice to have a backup computer to do stuff with if my Windows PC were to have issues(which Ive had several times now with this computer) without spending a fortune on another computer. But I also wonder how well their emulation capability is? the Gamecube, in all fairness, has poor emulator support. Little development goes on because most everyone focuses on the Wii. NES emulation seems decent but SNES is... certain games just don't run. Genesis emulation doesn't support the 32X. The only Atari emu requires GC Linux to run.

Though I also know nothing about the Pi's capability as a gaming computer. How well it can run things, what exactly it runs, what kind of emulator development goes on... 512 MB of RAM is okay, comparable to my old XP computer but I'm also not familiar with Linux and how programs for it compare to Windows. I've seen ports of games like Cave Story and Duke 3D, but no clue how well they run compared to just playing it on my Windows PC. So has anyone actually bought a Pi, and have they used it for gaming?
User avatar
emu_kidid
Site Admin
Posts: 4364
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by emu_kidid » Tue May 28, 2013 12:59 pm

You'll find the Raspberry Pi would be more practical and powerful, but hey, a GameCube is cooler.
Image
HomelandReloaded

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by HomelandReloaded » Tue May 28, 2013 6:58 pm

diosoth wrote:So has anyone actually bought a Pi, and have they used it for gaming?
Yes, I've got one. Minecraft (creative mode only) is playable on the 256MB version, although the draw distance is not as far as on a PC. The 512MB should be better. I find it more useful as file server or web server on my LAN. If it runs out of memory it has to swap to the SD card, which is slow. The Pi is ideal for learning about Linux, because you can have a complete copy of the operating system on each SD card, so no problem if you mess up. I think (but I don't know) that it would be ideal for 8-bit and 16-bit emulators, but not so good for games with better graphics. It's silent too, and you can leave it running all the time.
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:50 am

I am really looking into one, but before I splurge on the unit, case, keyboard and mouse, SD cards... probably $100 total after all the needed stuff is bought... are there any other comparable computer units that could be just as useful for the price? Something that will run emulators with no issues, can work as a basic PC and all that. I know there's the Cubiboard which has better hardware but less development than the Pi. I'm not considering a modded game console because it won't have basic PC desktop functionality. I'd almost prefer something Windows-based but I doubt I'm getting that for cheap- Windows costs money, Linux is freeware, and that transfers to the cost.

At the very least I want Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis with CD and 32X, TG16 with CD and all that... the Atari is important since there's squat for the GC and I could ditch my Flahsback 2- especially if it emulates the 7800.

I just bought a new TV to replace my old CRT and it's got all the inputs but if I can do better than a Pi I would. I don't want to replace my current PC, just want a cheap second PC to play older games on and act as a backup computer should this one have issues.
User avatar
Ashen
Posts: 994
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by Ashen » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:34 pm

I'd go for an Ouya or any other android gaming device years before I'd go for the Raspberry Pi. Emulation on android is pretty awesome.

http://www.ouya.tv/

http://www.jxd.hk/index.asp
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:23 pm

The Ouya isn't actually out yet, and a lot of the cheaper Android devices look to be those cheap PSP shell clones- and I had one of those MP4/MP5 players before, it was basically junk that failed in every aspect of what it promised. I also want something with PC desktop use, I think, plus the ability to hook up to a TV... if I just wanted a handheld game console with emulation I'd buy a hacked PSP and a touch screen device isn't going to work well with a television hook up.

I'll dig into these new PSP clones some more but having been burned bad on my last one I'm hesitant. I think 2 of the buttons were dead/didn't work, emulation was nasty(a lot of games didn't run), TV out didn't work, file storage was an issue, my PC couldn't even read the mini CD with the firmware updates(of which I could find none online) and it had no volume control beyond software volume levels. I sold it for about half what I paid just to recoup something and mostly swore them off.

However, Android generally is not a desktop PC environment which I also hope for.
User avatar
Ashen
Posts: 994
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by Ashen » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:32 pm

Look into the JXD S7300. I have one and its wonderful. It has HDMI out and if you flash the right rom it has support for BT controllers. So great for TV play. Emulation of everything up to and including N64 is wonderful. The build quality is great for a chinese device.

Its got a few flaws as far as firmware goes, but its a pretty great device overall. Check out the JXD section of the dingoonity forums for lots of great info.

Oh yea, you can use it as a PC replacement pretty easy.
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:43 am

I'll consider it, though the $150 average price tag is... a bit more than I hoped to pay, so it'll have to be a very good unit.

I suppose another option might be a refurbished older PC with XP installed. That I know would have decent emulation of most consoles and would offer me the desktop function I need, as well as handling all those games I can't install/play in Windows 7- a lot of it due to the fact I have a 64-bit OS and can't install any game that has a 16-bit installer, even if the game itself is 32-bit. I also had issues running Shadow Man under Windows 7(some real glitchy gameplay flaws). Transferring files should be simple with a flash drive and I could leave it offline unless required.

I know, in theory, I could install XP onto this computer but I'd have to hope there are XP-compatible drivers for the hardware and I would actually prefer a second PC running independent should this one have another failure(got hit by a rootkit virus, a power surge baked the HDD, several malware issues, some bad problems with Windows Update... I've had more problems with this PC in 3 years than I had with my old XP machine in 7 years)

I just have to find one in decent shape, properly refurbished and inspected and has at least a proper video card integrated in.
HomelandReloaded

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by HomelandReloaded » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:05 am

diosoth wrote:I suppose another option might be a refurbished older PC with XP installed.
Good choice. You may not need to refurbish it, but if you do replacement drives are not getting cheap yet. I recommend an HP Compaq D530 or similar, with USB ports, 3.5 inch floppy drive (just in case), DVD drive, HDD, serial and parallel ports (the original ones, built in to the PC), and maybe a network card. It is probably compatible with everything related to older game consoles. It should come with XP installed and activated, and a guarantee if you buy from a business seller.
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:34 pm

Ebay prices are maybe $60 for a basic used PC with 512 MB of RAM, or pushing $100 for a beefier HDD, better ram, keyboard and mouse, for a fully seller refurbished model.

Though I could split the difference... it'd cost more but I could get a cheap lower end PC for desktop use, and a JXD S7300 for gaming. A basic PC with the integrated graphics chip might not handle stuff like N64 too well. And as much as I want windows for MapleStory, with the current HDD space and system requirements for the game I doubt a stock XP desktop will even run it anymore. From what I can see the JXD, with the right firmware, is a beast. The stock firmware had issues but people have fixed that. Though the $150 price is going to be hard to swallow... I know there are some Chinese sites that sell it for $130 but they indicate they'll mark it full value so customs charges will probably drain me, I'd be better off buying domestic. I wonder if I should wait and see if prices drop?


edit- my best choices on eBay right now, going with a unit that comes with a keyboard, mouse and power cord, are either a Dell Optiplex 320 for $64, or a Dell Optiplex GX620 for $79. The GX620 has a better processor and more RAM installed, but the 320 might have a better onboard video option(ATI Radeon Xpress 200, as opposed to the Intel of the other model) and I could probably upgrade the RAM for dirt cheap. Neither is a gaming PC but if it can at least run the first Max Payne, I'm happy.
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:44 pm

I settled on a Dell Optiplex 745 for $65 shipped. Refurbished inspected unit with a fresh OS installed.

I may still get a Pi, though.
diosoth
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:05 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by diosoth » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:32 am

I did end up getting a Pi, primarily for XBMC(as I don't have a monthly subscription satellite/cable service) but I also have an SD card set up with Raspbian as a backup OS with an internet browser.

As for the PC, after 2 days the HDD in it failed. The original 80 GB Samsung drive had 30% bad sectors, and after disassembly I saw one on the reader heads was messed up. Not a huge deal, this PC takes SATA drives and I had a new WD 500 GB drive in storage I bought back in January. I had to fresh install XP and the Dell drivers, as well as install an exhaust fan(had to rig a PCI slot fan to fit in the back of the case- these Dell cases do not take standard parts) and replace the thermal paste on the CPU- an extra $12 on top of the $65 spent on the PC to get the fan and paste.

But it's set up. I've got multiple emulators running, plus a few older PC games I can't run in Windows 7. Most emulators play fine with a PS1 controller/USB adapter but I'll have to buy one of those Retrolink N64 USB controllers for N64 emulation. The N64 controller was such a specific design you just can't map it well to a Playstation gamepad, plus I can't map the d-pad as the controller treats the d-pad and left stick as the same(I know few N64 games use the d-pad but...).

I could set up RetroPie for the Pi, but it seems a bit needless and excessive, plus I'd have to buy a powered USB hub to use a gamepad on the Pi.
User avatar
AC_Orange
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:36 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by AC_Orange » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:35 pm

We ended up getting two pies at work for testing purposes. We are going to be using them to show messages on TVs. I was disapponted that web browsing on Pi is not that great, the CPU usage is peaking at 100% when a web browser is open even when showing a simple page with scrolling text. I guess I was expecting more but for the price and size Pi is pretty impressive. Left it on for 2 days now and still hasn't crashed, so that's good.
I find it hard to believe that it can play HD movies through xbmc which I read somewhere, when it struggles with browsing, haven't had time to try it out yet.

I considered getting one for myself a while back instead of a multimedia player like Asus Oplay but since I had an old Dell Latitude D820 I opted for installing openelec along with Windows 7, default being openelec. takes about 10 seconds to boot and plays pretty much anything I throw on it. Works pretty well with 2GB of RAM, I have upgraded the processor on the D820 from T2400 @ 1.83GHz 2M 667 to - T7200 @ 2.00GHz 4M 667.
User avatar
emu_kidid
Site Admin
Posts: 4364
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by emu_kidid » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:19 am

I bought a Pivos Xios for $142 in Australia (off eBay), there is a linux distro for it that autoboots XBMC which has hardware acceleration (the XBMC team loves the Pivos Xios) and supposedly is perfect for 1080p. It's currently on the way, but I know it doesn't have onboard bluetooth, I just hope a USB Bluetooth dongle will work so I can use a better remote than the IR bundled one.
Image
User avatar
AC_Orange
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:36 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by AC_Orange » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:30 am

Let me know how you like the device, I might get one too. I'd love to be able to use a Dell XPS 2010 Remote with xbmc but I need to buy a special receiver which I forgot to take out of the laptop before I trashed it

http://hackaday.com/2008/10/08/how-to-b ... er-remote/
User avatar
emu_kidid
Site Admin
Posts: 4364
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by emu_kidid » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:06 am

I've watched a few 1080p movies on it via Ethernet, it's a beast with XBMC direct on there with linux ;)
Image
User avatar
AC_Orange
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:36 am

Re: modded GC vs Raspberry Pi for an emulator console?

Post by AC_Orange » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:23 am

Thanks, good to know. I have installed openELEC on the Pi and tested a 720p movie that worked beautifully. Didn't have a 1080 on hand
Post Reply