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larsG35

66 months ago

Ok, stay with me here.

This is no Corsair Air 540 build.

I am literally attempting to build a computer in a Nintendo Gamecube shell.

I am aware that even the smallest standard MoBo sizes will not fit. There are a few options such as the Via Nano and Pico ITX sizes, but considering I will want to run Windows 7, I am 99% sure that I will be going with the Intel NUC (~4in x 4in). An Intel i5-4250U Mobile CPU should provide respectable power and I can expand to 16 GB of DDR3 LV memory. For reference, it will be about 50% worse than an A10-6800 and about 50% better than an A6-5200.

I have done preliminary measurements (they look difficult, but possible), and purchased my sacrificial gamecube off ebay 1 week ago.

Goals:

  1. To look like an unaltered Nintendo Gamecube. Only the Rear I/O ports would give it away.
  2. Emulate Gamecube games and be able to play them with official controllers in the standard connection ports.
  3. Be my new web browser, word/excel processor, very lower power gaming, etc. desktop.
  4. Final budget probably in the range of $1,100.

Breakdown $60 gamecube + related accessories;
$400 MoBo + CPU; $120 8GB ram; $25 PSU; $175 mSATA 120GB flash memory; $100+ USB/gamecube controller connections; $150 monitor; $70ish *other possible expenses

Any thoughts? I am aware that I could make a far more powerful computer for this price, but I'm looking for something original that will take me time and something I can cherish. Advice from anyone that has done work with small form factor MoBos would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Lars

Links http://www.logicsupply.com/components/motherboards/intel-core/d54250wyb/ http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-4250U+%40+1.30GHz http://www.logicsupply.com/ts1gsk64w6h/

Comments

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. I want this, it sounds amazing. I dont see a gpu tho, intel's integrated graphics are bad. The i3 in my laptop (yes mobile edition) can barely handle Wind Waker in Dolphin on all lowest settings and recommended speed hacks. I got about 20 fps average. I dont know about the i5 but i hope its better than an i3 for you.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I am slightly worried about the ability of the integrated graphics, but I don't think there are any other options. There isn't room for a GPU and the i5-4250U is probably the most powerful commercially available option there even is.

I only have 6"x6"x4" to work with at max.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Maybe, to speed it up, try a Linux OS. Use Zorin or Mint or Ubuntu.Dolphin does have linux versions.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, the integrated graphics on this puppy will be what, Intel HD 5000? So that's nothing to be sneezed at, it's higher than the highest-listed intel APU on this site.

I wish the Gigabyte BRIX Gaming fit; that would get you Kaveri, but it's just a leeeetle too big.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

ok, this is going to be a little more rough than I initially thought.

Pictures of the gutted cube http://imgur.com/uX2TaMI,7Gp5Jdg,b5qV1TL

probably 5.5 x 5.5 x 3 inches of space to work with. There is probably no way I can fit the necessary converters for the controllers inside the box.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Dremel, anyone?

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh believe me, (literal) major plastic surgery is in my near future.

Just picked up a new supply of cutting wheels today.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

After much consideration, I'm tentatively delaying the build until late fall.

The new Broadwell NUC should be coming out then and supposedly they will have ~30% power increases or energy efficiency. The M.2. (vs the mSATA right now) for the SSD connection is also tempting. Have to wait and see to know for sure.

While there are some mixed conclusions I've reached about the abilities of the i5-4250U (mostly whether or not it has enough power to emulate most games on Dolphin), it might be smarter to not risk it and just wait.

I'm confident that the Broadwell i5 (paired with HD 5200 if I recall) will have enough power.

Lars

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

i know im alittle late on this but any progress?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, no you're fine on the timing. It's always in the back of my mind. I was very pumped for the Skylake i7 Nuc... and then they had to make it in this form factor. Pissed me off quite a bit on that one.

Currently the options are pretty much the Brix Pro or the Nuc6i5, I'm still on the fence over if the Iris 540 is enough. It probably is so when I can finally find the 6i5syh Nuc oem motherboard for sale, the project might be back in motion.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

In my experience dolphin and other emulation is pretty solid on an 5th gen i5 NUC. Gamecube games ran fairly smooth even with 2 players (all I could test). I think this is mostly CPU bound anyway and you could, given solid network, stream Steam games to it.

I think this is a solid idea with a PC that doesn't have a dedicated PSU ex a NUC or Brix with laptop style power. I have a 4th Gen i5 on an adapter powered mobo I ight try to fit into an xbox. If only there was a legit xbox emulator...

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Or build the system into a shelf and on top of the shelf run cabling through the top part of teh shelf into a bottomless Gamecube so it looks like the system is in the Gamecube but all the parts are hidden elsewhere. Not ideal but doable.

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  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I am planning on using the NUC form factor motherboard, but I'm on the fence whether or not the current Haswell i5 mobile has the power I want.

The Brix Pro will cost a fair amount more than I was hoping to spend and will leave little space inside the Gamecube to be able to hook up the necessary converters for the controller ports. I've also read that the cooling system is very loud.

Thank you for telling me about the new Brix Pro w/ GTX 760, I'll have to check it out when it is finally released. I'm skeptical that it will still fit inside of a 5.5 x 5.5 x 3 inch box, but if it does, I think I might have found the right choice as even the GTX 760M should be enough for my purposes.

EDIT - looks like it is the full GTX 760 soldered right to the board. This thing will be pumping out serious heat.

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