Advice on what Pi to buy

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MattyC64c
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Advice on what Pi to buy

Post by MattyC64c » Wed May 13, 2020 3:31 pm

Hey guys!

Being a retro gamer as I am, I'm really interested now in trying out a Rasberry Pi as an emulation device I can just plug into my 42" TV. I've looked at the Pi 4 and I'm not sure what's best to get.

I understand that the newest hardware gets pretty hot, does it really need a fan? Won't the heatsinks cut it anymore? And if it does need a fan, I really don't want one that's loud or makes any buzzing noises when its on.

My main interest is emulating anything up to the PlayStation One, nothing really beyond that using RetroPie.

So, what Pi do I need? Does it need to be the 4GB or will 2GB be sufficient?

And lastly, what's the best Pie 4 Kit to buy?

Cheers!
Last edited by MattyC64c on Thu May 14, 2020 1:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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rossi46
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by rossi46 » Wed May 13, 2020 5:07 pm

My advice would be the Pi4 4GB model. Yes, it's the fastest, most powerful of them all, but you can never have too much. The PS1 emulator I run on mine taxes the little PI quite heavily. I cool mine now using an Ice Tower, but I had the Fan Shim device, which does a great job and is completely silent.

I'm a huge Pi fan and have been since it launched. I use my Pi 4 as my main desktop and I love it.
Thoughts and prayers.

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DPrinny
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by DPrinny » Wed May 13, 2020 5:16 pm

Asda ones tend to be nice...................

Get a four
OR option 2 is to get a s/h PC, you can get some decent spec ons for about the same price and they can be quite capabile

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Matt_B
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by Matt_B » Wed May 13, 2020 5:56 pm

If you're after PS emulation, the Pi 4 is the way to go. You can just about run it on the Pi 2 and 3 but only with settings that significantly degrade the experience, so it's well worth paying that little bit extra. Any amount of RAM is fine for RetroPie though, just bear in mind that you can't upgrade it later if you want to do something else with it.

As for the cooling issues, it's worth bearing in mind that the Pi 4 has four cores running at over twice the speed of the original and it's pretty much flat out when emulating. So it's best not to rely on the basic heat sink.

While the ICE tower is certainly the most capable cooling solution, I went with a Flirc case myself, which uses the whole case as a metal heat sink. Looks good and barely gets warm to the touch.

English Invader
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by English Invader » Wed May 13, 2020 9:41 pm

I recently bought a Raspberry Pi (3B+) to turn it into an Amiga mini with Amibian (a distro that focuses solely on running UAE). The idea is to get a WHDLoad set-up for a third of the price it would cost me to upgrade my A600 for the job. It also has the added boon of fitting on my desk next to my dedicated ST set-up and taking a spare HDMI slot while my ST keeps the RGB.

I've also acquired a 3D printed case in the A500 style:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commodore-Am ... Sw~MJeSdjG

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MattyC64c
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by MattyC64c » Thu May 14, 2020 3:02 am

That Flirc case looks really nice too. I think I'll go for that one then. That ICE tower looks like a mini version the Heatsink-fan I've got sitting inside my gaming PC that I built just over a year ago lol

I'm also interested in some Amiga Emulation too. Is NOOBS what I need to run more than one OS on the Pie?

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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by English Invader » Thu May 14, 2020 4:43 am

MattyC64c wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:02 am
That Flirc case looks really nice too. I think I'll go for that one then. That ICE tower looks like a mini version the Heatsink-fan I've got sitting inside my gaming PC that I built just over a year ago lol

I'm also interested in some Amiga Emulation too. Is NOOBS what I need to run more than one OS on the Pie?
I believe it is possible to run an Amiga emulator through Retropie. I'm just going for a more hardcore solution because I want to treat my RP like a real Amiga and not use it for anything other than Amiga software.

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DPrinny
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by DPrinny » Thu May 14, 2020 7:39 am

English Invader wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:43 am
I believe it is possible to run an Amiga emulator through Retropie. I'm just going for a more hardcore solution because I want to treat my RP like a real Amiga and not use it for anything other than Amiga software.
Im kinda going to be doing the same.
My old Spectrum Pi build will be getting redone with a purpose built Spectrum emulator. Turning it into a proper little Spectrum instead of the mess of things it currently is (Wont run DOOM anymore)
Will be changing the Pi on the inside as I really dont need 4 USB ports
http://zxmini.speccy.org/en/index.html

Theres one for the C64 that ill be doing as I have a C64 shell at some point

They are great for little projects like this, but for serious use?
Id rather use a proper PC

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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by English Invader » Thu May 14, 2020 9:25 am

Matt_B wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:56 pm
As for the cooling issues, it's worth bearing in mind that the Pi 4 has four cores running at over twice the speed of the original and it's pretty much flat out when emulating. So it's best not to rely on the basic heat sink.
Is it worth investing in a heatsink for a 3B+ running Amibian?

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MattyC64c
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by MattyC64c » Thu May 14, 2020 1:38 pm

I've ordered a Pi4 4GB, the Flirc case, 64GB micro Card, micro HDMI cable and official power supply from The Pi Hut.

Excited! 😊

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Matt_B
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Re: Advice on what Pie to buy

Post by Matt_B » Thu May 14, 2020 6:04 pm

English Invader wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:25 am
Matt_B wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:56 pm
As for the cooling issues, it's worth bearing in mind that the Pi 4 has four cores running at over twice the speed of the original and it's pretty much flat out when emulating. So it's best not to rely on the basic heat sink.
Is it worth investing in a heatsink for a 3B+ running Amibian?
Yes. While you can run a native Linux desktop on the Pi without one, continuously running an emulator will never leave the CPU with any idle time to cool down.

Still, the Pi 3 isn't nearly as power hungry as the 4 so you can probably get away with a relatively modest one that won't limit your choice of case.

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Re: Advice on what Pi to buy

Post by learnedrobb » Sun May 17, 2020 9:50 am

Pi4 with a decent case should run cool enough. But it depends on what you want to emulate. If you are just going to do 8 & 16bit systems, a Pi3B+ is more than capable. Ca even do a reasonable job of N64 and some PS One stuff.
NES/N64/GC/Wii/WiiU/SMD/SS/DC/PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4/Xbox/360/OneS/PSP/3DS/PSV
PSN: learnedrobb

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MattyC64c
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Re: Advice on what Pi to buy

Post by MattyC64c » Tue May 19, 2020 3:51 am

I got my Pi4 yesterday, installing into the Flirc case was a sinch and I installed Retropie using a video from YouTuber 'ETA Prime'. It's working, but I've got some questions:

Retropie is working and the games I've added are working. However, there seems to be some screen tearing going on. Is it possible to enable V-Sync in Retropie? How do I do this?

Also, about controllers. Can I configure more than one? I configured an Xbox One controller, but there is a special button that needs to be used to quit a game with just a controller, I chose the Xbox button, the problem is, it doesn't work. I tried other buttons and they don't work to quit games either. At the moment the only way to quit a game is via ALT+F4. Can I fix this?

Thanks.

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learnedrobb
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Re: Advice on what Pi to buy

Post by learnedrobb » Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 am

RE: screen tearing:

In the RetroArch config file (/opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg), ensure that video_vsync = true
NES/N64/GC/Wii/WiiU/SMD/SS/DC/PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4/Xbox/360/OneS/PSP/3DS/PSV
PSN: learnedrobb

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MattyC64c
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Re: Advice on what Pi to buy

Post by MattyC64c » Tue May 19, 2020 6:57 am

learnedrobb wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 am
RE: screen tearing:

In the RetroArch config file (/opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg), ensure that video_vsync = true
Awesome. I will try that later 👍

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