1. Ziggy Zigzagoon

    OP Ziggy Zigzagoon GBAtemp Fan
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    ...now I wonder if there are any Raspberry Pi alternatives that (can) use an x86 or x64 processor. I mean, I could use a Mini-ITX motherboard, but the main reason why I wanted a Raspberry Pi for an emulator is simply to have a portable emulator box. Mini-ITX is actually too big and probably can not run under voltaic pile energy (batter power). (This is related to my last thread, but I think this topic would gather more attention if posted under a new thread.)

    ADDENDUM: To be honest, I should have been more clear here: I emphasize portability and strength while being able to install an operating system that is not Android. I would like a relatively long time without a need to charge, but I am not above charging every night, especially since ARM processors draw less energy than Intel processors. I am also willing to pay more (since What You Pay Is What You Get, hence why the Raspberry Pi is so cheap yet weak), though not, say, $400. (Frankly, my dears, I couldn't care less about the weight or thinness of my emulator box. I want portability, but I do not want the 'thinnest' or 'lightest' possible.) I am even willing to simply connect the A/V ports to a GameBoy Adcance SP that has an A/V adapter (not a TV Tuner proper, since that would require more voltaic piles/batteries). Also, I want an emulator box, hence I have no need to run Bioshock: Infinite or even Team Fortress.

    So far, before this thread had started, I have the following in mind:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-7-inch-Ultra-Processor-Premium/dp/B000RH2M2U/ (I am leaning towards this, not only due to its lower price, but also due to its handheld form factor.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Computing-Gigabit-i3-3217U-DC3217IYE/dp/B0093LINVK (or again: http://www.oakale.com/products/Inte...}Grey-BOXDCCP847DYE-%2d%2d-0O00O7V8UM498.html )
     
  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye *is birb*
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    Get a Pico-ITX motherboard? :P
    But I'm pretty sure x86/64 draws a lot more power than ARM/MIPS anyway. You won't get great battery life.
     
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  3. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within
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  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    He wants it for a portable though, so he'd rather go the PICO way. If he uses a low-weigh Linux distro, he shouldn't have trouble with horse power (there's only so much you can expect from a credit card-sized computer).

    VIA Nano-powered Pico-ITX motherboards would be something he'd be interested in - this one for example. It comes equipped with an x86_64 1.2GHz processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM and an embedded HDMI-capable GPU. There's even one that's quad-core if he wants to dish out for it. I'd say they're pretty nifty for basic emulation... on a credit card-sized computer. ;)
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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  6. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!
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    @OP
    Nothing worthwhile, sadly. I've searched for one for a while, too.

    We'll start seeing something nice soon with the new Atom SoCs which are coming out (iirc Dell already launched Ophelia or something which was a x86 usb stick PC).
     
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  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    I see, I see...

    Yeah, forget GC, Wii and PS2 mate - not at that form factor with X86 - there's just no place on the market for boards that strong and that small. You'd need at least an i3-class CPU and a proper GPU and that requires cooling. You can squeeze out a lot of juice from the VIA motherboards I posted (I've seen that CPU run Battlefied 3... with a Radeon in the PCI-Express slot, but I did!:P ) however I don't think it will pull off CPU-intensive tasks such as emulation of "high-end" platforms.

    ...would be great for some MAME, DS, SNES, NES, Master System, Genesis, PSX etc. though, and that's a lot. :D

    I think it really depends on what you want to do. The Epia would be perfectly fine for me, I think... but you won't run Dolphin on it, no - one has to put their expectations in perspective. :P

    The Tech Republic appears to agree with me - it's really everything except a kitchen sink on one little board. ;)
     
  8. Ziggy Zigzagoon

    OP Ziggy Zigzagoon GBAtemp Fan
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    To be honest, I should have been more clear here: I emphasize portability and strength while being able to install an operating system that is not Android. I would like a relatively long time without a need to charge, but I am not above charging every night, especially since ARM processors draw less energy than Intel processors. I am also willing to pay more (since What You Pay Is What You Get, hence why the Raspberry Pi is so cheap yet weak), though not, say, $400. (Frankly, my dears, I couldn't care less about the weight or thinness of my emulator box. I want portability, but I do not want the 'thinnest' or 'lightest' possible.) I am even willing to simply connect the A/V ports to a GameBoy Adcance SP that has an A/V adapter (not a TV Tuner proper, since that would require more voltaic piles/batteries). Also, I want an emulator box, hence I have no need to run Bioshock: Infinite or even Team Fortress.

    So far, before this thread had started, I have the following in mind:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-7-inch-Ultra-Processor-Premium/dp/B000RH2M2U/ (I am leaning towards this, not only due to its lower price, but also due to its handheld form factor.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Computing-Gigabit-i3-3217U-DC3217IYE/dp/B0093LINVK (or again: http://www.oakale.com/products/Inte...}Grey-BOXDCCP847DYE-%2d%2d-0O00O7V8UM498.html )




    How can I buy those in the first place? I do not see prices...
     
  9. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    Use Google? You can buy the quad-core EPIA-910 here, for example. As I said before, do not expect too much from it - at the end of the day, it's just an embedded system. Sure, it will run Windows and some basic emulators, but it certaily won't let you play on PCSX2 - forget about that generation of consoles altogether, or about the more "power-hungry" games unless you're willing to put a GFX card into that PCI-E slot.

    There are also some nice Intel Atom and Celeron solutions on the same website that you could look at, but again, this is netbook-grade stuff and it's very costly - you might want to go the Mini-ITX way as suggested if this is supposed to be cost-effective. A Pico-ITX embedded system that is Windows-capable and not useless will set you back at least $350 - $400.
     
  10. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Maniac
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    Sounds like an AMD APU laptop would suit you well. They have some really good battery life, are incredibly affordable (you can pick up an ASUS K55N for <$300), and have the computational and graphical oomph to run most emulators. It won't run GCN or PS2 emulators well, but anything below that should work well.

    Low-power Intel chipsets are either going to be way underpowered computationally or graphically, or too expensive for you. Anything less than laptop-class components won't do what you want.

    I'm sure someone will disagree with me, though. Thus is the internet.
     
  11. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    Pretty much. The OP's plan is unachievable even if he had a bigger budget - an X86 motherboard, even a Pico one won't fit in a GBA SP-like case - it's going to be thicker, longer and the whole build will exceed $400. His best bet are Mini-ITX boards which are three times cheaper, but then we're looking at a "thick tablet" situation here.

    If he's going to dish out wads of cash and go with a Pico-sized motherboard, I'd expect it to fit well in a Classic Game Boy-sized case, just with a larger screen and a different control scheme.
     
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  12. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within
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    What you are asking is pretty much unachievable. Neither unit you have posted is capable of running high-end emulators such as PCSX2. That Intel i3-3217U isn't capable of emulations due to low power and low memory bandwidth.

    A gaming laptop is your best bet if portability is your biggest concern. Now if money is a concern than i3 + H77 ITX will be a bigger bang. AMD APU is not suitable for emulations due to very weak CPU (you can offload GPU workload to CPU, but not vice versa).
     
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    QFT. If you want to (playably) emulate the PS2/Gamecube/Wii then Intel CPU's from the Core iX are really your only option, and you won't get that at the form-factor you'd like.
     
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  14. Ziggy Zigzagoon

    OP Ziggy Zigzagoon GBAtemp Fan
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    No. I meant to say that I was willing to connect a GBASP A/V adapter to the emulator box in question for the display. I did not intend to put the motherboard inside the GBASP case. The GBASP shall be a display only independent of the box.
     
  15. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!
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    Which he won't be able to do since it's a proprietary connector and I can't see any adapter around.
     
  16. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Endless Trash
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    This store sells both the boards and their extensions on a build-your-own-kit basis. Unfortunately the 910 (quad core) board doesn't seem to come with a PCI-E extension, rather with a mysterious "I/O Extension" instead, so it'd be best to contact the store as to what they mean by that before purchasing the kit. The "lower-class" boards to have the PCI-E extension available though - it's a stackable module.

    Hell, the store even has compatible VIA touchscreens that are plug and play-compatible with the boards.

    EDIT: Nope, no PCI-E for the quad core model, just the dual core ones... for some reason? :unsure:
     
  17. Ziggy Zigzagoon

    OP Ziggy Zigzagoon GBAtemp Fan
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    (I should have read closer...)

    Thank you for tempering my enthusiasm. I shall proceed with the project split. (I shall buy the Raspberry Pi for a more portable box, but I shall also build a proper gaming computer with the aforementioned Intel Core i3 with HD7750+ paired with Mini-ITX LGA1155 motherboard for the heavier emulators.)
     
  18. The Milkman

    The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman
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    How about a UMPC? I don't know how well emulators run on Atoms, but it could be much easier and portable then using a Raspberry Pi type PC. Plus you get a touchscreen (possible NDS?) and full USB ports at a nice (some times) form factor.

    EDIT: Oh PS2? Yeah thats a pipe dream.
     
  19. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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  20. exangel

    exangel executioner angel
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    Kind of skimmed the thread's responses. I own this, and it's mounted to the back of my monitor:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119072
    I got it on a sale for about $10 less than its current price and I've found it to work great. I have not tried to install PCSX2 on it and wouldn't really bother to since I already have it running fantastically on my Ivy Bridge system, but this is the closest thing that I have personal experience with that could come close to suiting your demands. I got it not long after getting my own raspberry pi.

    Edit: I dual box FFXI on this system on a regular basis and basically use it as a low-power multimedia system with an external USB sound card. If I turn the monitor off, it draws around half the power that my 15.6" laptop does.

    I left a 4-egg review on the product's feedback under the same handle, "exangel" (on april 9th).
    Pros:- Sweet appearance. Thought I would've preferred black but this was what was on sale and I don't regret choosing the white.

    - All ports and the card reader worked. (Couldn't test SPDIF but it glows..)

    - Wi-Fi works fine (I checked, and the cables were not reversed as other reviewers have experienced).

    - Actually has a decent (loud, though mono) internal speaker to my surprise. Better volume than my HDMI monitor's internal speakers.

    - Good experience installing my favorite flavor of Ubuntu, Lubuntu 12.04 -- Though currently running Windows 7 Pro x64 with no issues.

    - Did not buy this for gaming and wouldn't recommend it for modern gaming, but I've found some older DirectX 8 and 9 games are well off with this unit. For example, I play Final Fantasy XI with some high-resolution enhancing tweaks and it runs beautifully.

    - Extremely low power draw under active use! Kill-A-Watt meter shows between 18 and 22 watts (with an SSD for what it's worth), this is less than the 25w bulb in my lava lamp.
    Cons: Intended to use a 4GB ram stick hijacked from my laptop with this but it would not post with the high performance ADATA module. Went to a local store and got an 8GB Kingston module (the only 8GB one on the approved vendor list found on their support site) and it works great.

    The manufacturer recommended memory list should have been provided with the documentation or on the devices' specs page. I would never have found it if another Newegg reviewer had not mentioned its existence.

    I strongly dislike tab/latch secured plastic panels and mine was warped (it can't "seal") near the DVI port, brand new out-of-the-box. This case was not designed to be opened more than a couple times and it probably wouldn't have cost them any more in the manufacturing end to put a little better engineering into the access panel. Minus one egg for this.
    Other Thoughts: My VESA mounting kit is not loose, it fits securely on the back of my ASUS 23.6" 1080p monitor.

    Paired this with an inexpensive Encore external 7.1 USB sound card because my Logitech 5.1 speaker system is great- but it's from 2004 and doesn't support SPDIF. I now have a great Hi-Fi, extremely low power system that doesn't make me flinch about running it 24/7 for music and web browsing. When ~1.5TB-2TB 2.5" HDDs become more affordable, it will be a great media server as well.

    I live in Texas and am always concerned about heat generation. The E-350 APU has a much higher max temp rating than conventional CPUs so don't be alarmed with 85c temp readings, as this is designed to be safe up to 90c. Fortunately, the system's low power exhaust doesn't actually pump out much hot air when compared to my slim XBOX or even my 15.6" AMD A6-4400M 2.7GHz laptop.


    I would be happy to provide further info if you want. I just don't think you're going to find anything with less power consumption per your demands and if your budget is any higher you may as well get a laptop XD
     
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