Retro gaming rig


Well-known Member
Right, I'm looking to fill the space left under my tv that was left by my old xbox. And for a while now I've been dying to play some old classics.

Thought I'd build myself a gaming rig, something that could technically play a few modern games but in reality will predominantly be used for emulation (dont worry mods - no talk of roms here).

I'm looking to build something over time, as I don't have bags of cash to throw around... and something in a relatively compact form.

I know I could go for a single board setup, but I fancy going upto ps2 with some upscaling which pretty much rules out pi4's etc.

I do have a spare gtx980 kicking around which might work for something - but I' to going for something else.

Budget wise, i don't really have one as I'm looking for this to be a longer project, but I'm looking at hundreds over all rather than thousands.

Case wise, as I said - something compact but with enough space for a dedicated GPU.

It will be connected to a 65" lg cx oled if that makes a difference.

Any tips on a starting point? Get the case and buy components to fit - or vice versa?

Anyone running an emulation rig that cares to share specs and performance?


Distinguished Member


Well-known Member
Sure - so I run a Ryzen 3200G rig below in my sig solely for emulators and media consumption.
It runs pretty much everything for 1080P emulation - PS2, Dolphin, Arcade and of course the lower end stuff like SNES, Megadrive etc.
It's a great starting point, there are a few games on PS2 that can drop just a touch to sub 60 FPS - still in the 50's though, so means you can put together a basic build then add a GPU later if you wish. But it does vary a lot from emulator to emulator - Dolphin works far better than most especially with the Vulkan renderer on the Ryzen.
The whole thing is really tiny, mini-ITX based build and I have a USB3 hard disk plugged in with Launchbox frontend on it with all the stuff bar the operating system which is on an internal M2 drive.
Couple of wired Xbox controllers - the wireless one's also work well but I found them a bit awkward with using one on the main rig also they would sometimes pair to the wrong PC
I just upped the case size just a touch, literally today, to give me the expansion for a small GPU as I want to move my VR stuff over to it.
The Ryzen integrated GPU does wipe the floor with the Intel offerings by the way except perhaps the Xe in the very latest.

There's an awful lot of cases about these days to support mini-ITX with full size GPUs, just depends on how much you want to spend as some of them are REALLY boutique (think £200 and above in some cases!) . Silverstone do some console looking ones - the Raven series, Kolink Rocket, Coolermaster Masterbox, Lian-Li TU series, Jonsbo etc etc. Just try to avoid going too small as GPUs are big these days but you don't need to go mad with the GPU anyway for emulation.
You are also not losing a lot by going ITX size, memory slots down to two being the main thing but modern CPUs support 32 or even 64GB RAM in just two slots. Only thing I would say against ITX is that the SFX sized PSUs can be a little on the pricey side but some of the cases can take a full ATX power unit too ;)

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