Cheap mame box
June 27, 2005 4:46 PM   Subscribe

My current MAME-dedicated computer is a little too slow to play some of the newer games, so I'm looking for a replacement. Where is the cheapest place to get either a new or used computer of decent power? Also, is processor speed or RAM more important when it comes to MAME performance?
posted by ttrendel to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Rather than replace the entire machine, have you investigated merely replacing the motherboard, CPU, and memory? Online vendors often have very good deals on bundles.

For MAME, the newer stuff is entirely CPU-bound once you have, say, half a gig of memory. You don't have to buy at the top end, but something middle-of-the-road such as a recentish 3200+ should do pretty well.
posted by majick at 4:56 PM on June 27, 2005

Look for a used PIII 1ghz with somewhere between 256 and 512megs of ram, should be more than enough (that's what I'm currently using, with an old gforce 2 video card).

This is also the perfect time to show you the cabinet I am currently working on (that's my father in the pic, not me).
posted by furtive at 6:42 PM on June 27, 2005

Oh, and perhaps you might share with us your current setup?
posted by furtive at 6:54 PM on June 27, 2005

Response by poster: Good idea, furtive, and nice cabinet. My current MAME box is an old 600 mhz with 32 megs of ram.
posted by ttrendel at 7:10 PM on June 27, 2005

600 MHz and 32 Meg... That is a weird combination...

In Canada the best place to get the kind of machine you want is vfxweb, there are probably better sources that ship US only...

I agree with the build it yourself thing though. If you watch carefully on garbage days you can probably find it for free...
posted by Chuckles at 9:18 PM on June 27, 2005

Cool machine, furtive.

Are there any business surplus liquidators in your area, ttrendel? Craigslist? a suitable P3 shouldn't be hard to find. Of course, if you get on the Dell coupon mailing list, and/or read or, it's pretty alarming how much machine you can get new for as little as $350 these days (if you're willing to saddle yourself with Dell's non-standard parts.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:21 PM on June 27, 2005

At the risk of looking like an idiot ... how about a second hand xbox which has been chipped? You then get a smaller set-up with decent controllers and the ability to play in the comfort of an armchair in the living room.
posted by ralawrence at 12:59 AM on June 28, 2005

I second the XBox idea - plus you get a media centre as a bonus. You'll need to beef up the HD as well to hold all of the games unless you connect it up to your network.

Nice cabinet furtive, but why did you use buttplugs instead of controllers?
posted by blag at 3:36 AM on June 28, 2005

I bought a 1.something GHz MoBo and a low-end ATI card from for my cabinet and almost every playable game does ok with the exception of the most recent ones. I think it all cost me less than $200.00
posted by bondcliff at 5:50 AM on June 28, 2005

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