Building a console-like mini pc for Retroarch

Hello, I would like to build a console-like mini pc to use only with RetroArch. A nice and tiny form factor is important because this will be used in my living room, connected to a 65" 4k Tv.

As I said this mini box will be used only for retro-gaming with RetroArch, so I’m not planning on using it for PC gaming, Steam or multimedia in general. With this machine I would like to play games full speed up to the 6th gen consoles so Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, PSP, GameCube.

At the moment, I have found two hardware configurations that seems suited for this task and for two reasons: the low budget for building this machine (< 400$) and the tiny size I can achieve thanks to an integrated GPU.

Hardware configurations:

  1. Intel i3 9100 with UHD 630 iGPU, 8Gb of Ram (2x4Gb), 256Gb SSD
  2. AMD Ryzen 3 3200g with Vega 11 iGPU, 8Gb of Ram (2x4Gb), 256Gb SSD

So, what I ask you guys is, which of these two hardware configurations do you think will have the best performance for the aforementioned emulators in RetroArch?

  • CPU i3 9100 seems to be faster by a 13% then Ryzen 3 3200

Benchmark for the CPUs: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i3-9100-vs-AMD-Ryzen-3-3200G/m806339vsm824486

  • GPU Vega11 seems to be faster by a 154% then UHD 630

Benchmark for the GPUs: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-UHD-Graphics-630-Desktop-Coffee-Lake-i3-vs-AMD-RX-Vega-11-Ryzen-iGPU/m359294vsm401440

Which is better for emulation?

I wouldn’t expect the cpus to be the bottleneck here, so i would go for the best gpu. Keep in mind that every integrated gpus are basically low-end though : my mid-end gtx460 bought in 2011 was faster than the vega11…

1 Like

The Vega GPU will allow you increase the internal resolution more, so you can get 4k for at least some stuff, with the UHD 630 that asks for trouble if you’re running something like Dolphin. Using demanding shaders at that res could also be a struggle. For PS2 emulation you will be severely restricted if you truly only want to rely on Retroarch, because the Play! Core can’t substitute PCSX2.

1 Like

Ok, I’ll go for the Ryzen, thanks!

I would definitely go for the AMD Ryzen If you can aside around $40 bucks more, then Ryzen 5 3400G is the best solution Also you only need 4GB of ram but, in case if you’d change ur mind and wanted to do something extra, go for 8GB of DDR4