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RetroPie or Intel NUC with Win10 for EMU?

229 65 September 29, 2016 at 07:54 AM
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I've been debating building a RetroPie or grabbing a cheap Intel based NUC with Win10 (Celeron N3050) to run emulators and such.
All things considered, both are around $90-110 configured the way I'd want them to be, so the price difference is negligible.

Anyone have an opinion or have done this either way? I guess the NUC might also have an added benefit of being able to run some older games via Steam as well, and I could dual boot it with a Linux install...

Thoughts? Thanks in advance for the feedback.

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Joined May 2009
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#2
The RetroPie one would end up being a bit more robust, but would require significantly more work. I would go with the NUC if you can get one at a decent price that is not prone to failures. They run terribly hot and I wouldn't leave it on 24/7 like you could with the RetroPie.

The NUC would also enable streaming as well if that matters to you.
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Caldari on the streets
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Schrödinger's Frog
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#3
I'm kinda digging the idea of something like the Picade.
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#4
Quote from Frogstar
:
I'm kinda digging the idea of something like the Picade.
I like the look of those too. Recently saw a build where someone built a screen into a WiiU pro controller and turned it into a portable emulation machine.

Looked really slick.
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Ronin
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#5
There's a refurb Acer Revo with the N3050/2gb RAM/32gbSSD/Win10 for $102 shipped that caught my eye - and it would require significantly less work to get it up to speed quicker. I wouldn't be leaving it on either. But it would also run Steam (I only have old/retro games on steam) and bunch of ROMs I already have, where the PI wouldn't. But then again, I wouldn't "learn" anything by skipping the pi. But I guess i could dual boot the Acer...I'm really torn. I just want to play retro games on my big TV without hooking up my old consoles and running a vga box, etc.

But the PiCade is another thought...maybe a tablet instead of the NUC
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#6
NUCs don't run any hotter than comparable machines, at least not the current gen stuff. I work with them constantly and they work really well. If you stepped up to an i3 version I think you could handle n64 and ps1 easily.
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Ronin
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#7
Update: I got tired of mulling over it. The N3050 will play literally most "retro" games through the up to and including some PS2 era, so I pulled the trigger on the Acer mini (from the acer refurb thread in deals, $103 shipped). Grabbed an 8GB DDR3L Ram module for $5 after redeeming some Best Buy points. I may have to upgrade the internal storage or add external, but all of the Steam games I have will run on it too (older PC games and console stuff).
According to what I've read, I should be able to run N64 and PS1, and even dreamcast just fine on the N3050.
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#8
I guess I should have also mentioned, I had picked up a Gamestick on clearance at Gamestop a year or so ago, and rooted it to Android with the Play store, and found the experience to be...lacking. Having to download a bunch of half-baked android emulators and the ROMs not running right half the time, it was more trouble than it's worth. Pure Linux or WIn10 was going to have to be the answer for me, and this price/performance for what I want/need on the Acer was the way to go. As much as I wanted to build a RPi machine, I'd rather have it running quickly and devote the little free time I have to playing games than tweaking the RPi...
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