x86/x64 Raspberry Pi alternative?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Ziggy Zigzagoon, May 28, 2013.

  1. Ziggy Zigzagoon
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    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 Always Remember 30/07/08

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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 On the hunt...

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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 On the hunt...

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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
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    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 On the hunt...

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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 Advanced Fan

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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 On the hunt...

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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

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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
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    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

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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
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    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).
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    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