Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Last M.A.M.E Standing part 2: Brains of the outfit.

She sure doesn't look pretty but she'll do the job nicely!

Welcome to part 2 of my M.A.M.E cabinet build progress. If you missed the first part of this crazy idea, you can read up on it here. 

To fire up the emulator to in turn play all of our roms and take me back to a time when jeans you could hide an extra person in was cool, we're going to need a computer system of some description. Luckily I had one doing nothing at all!

What I require: A system able to handle most of the games I liked to play when I was having a punch on with puberty.

Will what I have do the trick?: Most likely. I stopped being a teen in the year 2000. Sooooo to run most of the things I want to relive, I'm going to need the computing power of...a graphics calculator :D

Meet the rig

Motherboard: I'm using the Gigabyte GA-M6IVME-S2 for a couple of reasons mainly 1. It's the only spare motherboard I have and 2. I finally got the damn thing working. I bought it from a computer recycling joint ages ago and never actually spent the time to properly hook it up and get it running until recently when I finally discovered that it does work...when you actually read the tiny print on the board and plug things in where they should go. Score!

Apparently is has these things included - double score!:

-Supports AMD Athlon/ Sempron processors
-Supports high performance Dual Channel DDR2 800 memory
-Integrated NVIDIA® CineFX 3.0 Graphics Engine
-Features NVIDIA® SATA 3Gb/s with RAID function
-Integrated 10/100 Ethernet solution
-Enhances security with NVIDIA TCP/IP Acceleration technology
-Features 8 channel High Definition Audio
-RoHS compliant motherboard for green computing

A bit dusty but it still works!

Sounds fancy, no idea what most of it does. First time playing around with an old school AMD system too having grown up with Pentiums most my life. Still the Nvidia and audio stuff should come in handy to make all of the explosions look and sound good.

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4200+ is this thing any good? I have no idea. Came with the board. Seems to be working well so far.

Memory: 256mb of some random stick I pulled from somewhere else just to see if it works. My mechanical mind likens it to a jury rigged starter motor held in place with gaffa tape and a cable tie. I really should buy some more ram eventually, again for now I'm just using whatever I can scrounge up from the back shed.

(6/1/2016 EDIT: This level works just fine for loading and playing MAME but is rubbish for using the net. An upgrade to this will be happening ASAP)

HDD: 80gig Western Digital HDD pulled from some ex office computer. On the smaller size yes but still plenty of space for every variation of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.

(6/1/2016 EDIT: It now has two drives! Which is coming in handy for all the updates it never had..)

CD/DVD RW: No idea on the stats on this one. It reads dvds and cds. Presumably.

Operating system: Windows XP seemed to be loaded on the hard drive already. As soon as I find my Windows 7 disks it's getting an upgrade...

The chipboard base: Salvaged from a completely over the top stereo build that came with my Soarer when I got it. Has some silicon on one side due to a silicone related accident. Still in good nick. I decided to bolt everything to it for maximum open air cooling effect and also so it's far easier to swap things around if anything (more than likely) goes bum up in the future.

Last M.A.M.E Standing cost so far: 

Ram, dvd unit and hdd I got for free from computers they were turfing here at work. Chipboard came from an old car of mine. The screws and metal to hold down the components were pulled from leftover supplies from recent renovations. So technically it's just $20 so far for the motherboard.


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