Question Which OS for emulation


Well-known Member
Hi all. I've picked up a cheap micro PC from ebay and I'm looking to convert it into an emulation station.

It's an old Dell optiplex 3050 micro so has an i5 and hd630 graphics, plus 8fb ram and a 240gb hard disk. It's never going to be a gaming beast - bit I'm guessing it's good for most retro systems.

Question is... from a blank build, which OS do I go for?

Ideally I want to boot direct into an emulation front end, but I'd like a basic web browser and access to a few general pc functions.

Andriod? Linux? Windows? Or a emulation distro?

Systems upto and inclusive of dreamcast, ps2 etc


Active Member
This is my type of thread!
I'm very slowly building an arcade cab, this set up is pretty much the same spec I am using.
I am planning on using Windows, not sure if 7 or 10 yet.
I have previously used a front end called maximus, it stopped getting support along time ago but you can get it for free and it's decent!
I might push the boat out and pay for one this time but want to build my unit first.


Well-known Member
Nice! I've looked at maximus years ago.

I know theres retropie, recalbox, batocera and a fee others now.

Years ago linux seemed like a better option due to the fact that it was less resource hungry - not sure if this is still the case.

Whatever I do it has to be configurable to boot direct into the front end.

Andriod seems interesting too...


Active Member
I've used retropie loads on pis, it's good, easy to use, recallbox very similar.
If you haven't already done watch etaprime on YouTube. He has built loads of cheap pc emulators running pretty much all you mentioned and shows how to set up.
I normally stick to what I know that's why I'm going windows route but it might not be the best?
Make sure you keep this thread updated with what you do, I would like to follow.


Well-known Member
Will do mate. I've watched a fair bit of ETA prime, intact that's why I sought out these PCs (I bought 2).

I'm going to try batocera standalone on one (decided this just now) and might have a bash at something on android on the other - but this might yet change.

I'll keep you updated :)

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