What hardware do you use Lakka on? (Version 2.0)


#1

Decided to revisit this topic and see what people are using for their base hardware to run Lakka on. for a little switch up, I decided to go through a little chronology of what/how I started using Lakka and what I’m running nowadays.

On that note, I still hate Retropie. LOL. Despite the fact that I learned Linux and gained a ton of knowledge regarding how Linux-based OSes interact with hardware and each one’s unique individual or collective functionality, I’ve gained an appreciation for some of the more difficult OSes to run (I’m looking at you, Arch Linux). But as soon as I try to do a Retropie build, it does something that I don’t experience with the other retro gaming based distros. And that’s without touching the numerous, onerous, scattered configuration files scattered all over the place and tweaks you need to make. However, I can respect Retropie for being one of the first long-term ones on the scene, even if you “barrow” most of your functionality from RA. :wink:

It was my frustration with my failure with Retropie and its unforgiving ecosystem (especially with those scattered config files, tracking down the infamous White Screen of Death), and crashing ES before it could even boot up. I found Recalbox before that, and I was happy with that for a long time (I wanted Kodi with my retro gaming on the Pi 3, so it literally had everything I wanted). But then I heard about Lakka at the same time, and WOW! I was impressed with the quality of the emulation and the fact that since you take a more bare-metal approach to constructing your OS, your performance is much better than Retropie. You can squeeze more out of the same hardware and are more optimized for boards, but Retropie has far more documentation and better marketing (therefore, more mindshare, but it has its drawbacks that’s for sure). Not only that, once I found out there are other devices you can run this OS on, I became hooked. I still love Lakka/Retroarch to this day and it’s my preferred gaming emulation software of choice.

With that mini-rant done, on to what I started with:

Device: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (w/ black case, heatsinks and cooling fan) 32 GB Sandisk Micro SD card 128 GB USB 3.0 Sandisk thumb drive Dual Shock 3 controller

For Pi 3 users, overclocking the Pi 3 is how you’re going to get decent performance out of anything past a PSX system-wise (yes, this includes N64 running the GlupeN64 plugin). Don’t ever run Sega Saturn emulation on the Pi 3. Just, don’t. :slight_smile:

Since the whole N64/PSP emulation thing bugged me about the Pi, I decided to take a chance and upgrade the unit and 2nd Lakka unit was the following:

Device: Hardkernal Odroid-XU4 32 GB Sandisk Micro SD card 256 GB USB 3.0 Sandisk thumb drive (more CD-based games, especially PSX, Saturn, PSP). Dual Shock 3 (wired) Odroid-1 Wi-Fi USB Dongle (802.11 b/g/n)

Full speed N64/PSP emulation was mostly possible (PSP is a bear for most hardware, especially running God of War), Saturn just sucks for ARM-based devices period (and for most PCs as well). The fan’s cycling on and off was a little annoying, but a small price to pay for something that ran circles around a Pi 3 emulation-wise (especially on N64/PSP, it’s not even close). However, with the XU4, no built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You get Gigabit Ethernet and 2 USB 3.0 ports. And yes, you can run a external HDD off of the USB 3.0 ports on its own (stick to Seagate Slim drives, the Western Digital stuff draws too much power).

And yet, Sega Saturn is right there…but it would be a while (and one donated Chromebox to Kivutar) before I got this unit:

Device (Current): Asus Chromebox CN-60 (Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell CPU @ 1.4 GHz + Intel HD graphics GPU) 4 GB DDR3L RAM (upgraded from 2 GB) 256 GB M.2 SSD (upgraded from 16 GB) Gigabit Ethernet + 802.1n Wi-Fi 4 USB 3.0 ports 500 GB Western Digital Red USB 3.0 External HDD HDMI + DVI Out

The core selection difference alone from moving from ARM to x86-64 was night and day. Best thing? Everything runs full-speed. EVEN the notorious Sega Saturn is capable of playing Guardian Heroes at full speed (don’t ask me to play Sega Rally though). Dreamcast emulation is even full-speed and with minimal slowdown. Best part now? Gamecube/Wii and 3DS emulation. Gamecube works with no graphical glitches. Haven’t tried Wii or 3DS yet. The Chromebox opened the floodgates in my home: the Lakka live USB drive now works with ALL of my PCs in my home. Even the Alienware Alpha I picked up cheap (less than $200) from Gamestop. But if you can get your hands on a Chromebox for Lakka, DO IT! It’s worth it and ironically, when you figure in the cost of materials for a Pi 3 (board, heatsinks, cooling fan which is required if you’re going to overclock), you’ll get MUCH better performance and cores you don’t get on the Pi 3.

So what do you use for Lakka now? Share your stories and hardware!


Hardware recommendations for balance of cost and improved performance
#2

Orange Pi PC, the regular one. I have RetrOrangePi on OPi Lite for comparison purposes and original RetroPie on RPi 2B. Some things are better done in ROPi, others in Lakka. Full sized Linux env (Debian) is a plus, with full-blown Bourne Shell and things, you can literally do more, eg. if you want to update core you can just grab the source from github and build it locally, no need to set up cross compilation. For quick hacks (and development) it’s very handy.

Lakka is more convenient, just plug and play… unless you want to tweak some settings - graphical UI really does not help much here, you need to know what you’re doing anyway. If it comes to core hacking/development, you’re out of luck with Lakka.

I play mostly SNES and GBA games and couple for PSX, so I do not need much more computing power, ARM boards are doing fine. One day I’m sure I will buy x86_64 stick but the price of good brands is still too high for me and cheaper sticks are still Linux-problematic.


#3

I actually was really curious about the Orange Pi and was considering purchasing a board. How’s the performance on it? Can it do N64/DC/PSP? The XU4 can do all three of those (but it is one of the most powerful ARM boards on the market, so not really a fair comparison).


#4

Well I’m an old fart, just want to tinker and give my kids something to play with. The fact that I can show them Space Invaders and Donkey Kong and Galaxian is just brilliant I reckon. It’s the most fun Iv’e had in years.

I run on a 2009 model Dell XPS15 L501. I was lucky as I got it fitted with a Quad Core i7-740QM and delivered to Aus. To the WA desert no less! It has an 8Gb DDR3 1333MHz kit, a 640Gb 7200RPM drive and a BluRay ROM/DVD Burner Combo drive. A GeForce GT 435M card plus great little JBL speakers make it look and sound great. Rounded out with HDMI, Giga LAN, Bluetooth/Wifi, USB3 , E-SATA and SD Card reader.

It’s a bloody ripper.

The fact I got an Ultra rare Strawberry Margarita by OPI Nail polish ices the cake.

Just the colour for an old pisshead like me!!!

We love it. Thanks to all at the LAKKA crew house

Cheers and Beers Oz


#5

Not too smoth. Most N64 games play fine, DC is a hit and miss, even more with PSP. RetrOrangePi works better for DC and PSP games but they have raw emulators not libretro core wrappers. Everything up to PSX works fine on Lite/One boards with 512MB RAM.


#6

So, after being unsatisfied with the various configurations of my hardware/software around my place, I decided to do a teardown and reconstruction of just about every piece of hardware I own. My original Chromebox Lakka unit got turned into a Kodi streamer: http://kodi.wiki/view/chromebox. That’s how I found out how to put other OSes on the Chromebox in the first place.

But my Lakka software build found a new home:

Current Lakka unit: Gigabyte Brix S, Intel Core i3-6100 (6th Gen.) @ 2.3 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo), 8 GB DDR3L RAM, Sandisk 256 GB 2280 M.2 SSD, Seagate 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LTE, (4) USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DVI, Gigabit Ethernet Port, Intel HD 5500 Graphics Integrated.

Needless to say, the little gunmetal gray guy, screams. I haven’t been this thrilled with ANY emulation package in a long time, and yes, I wiped out the Win10 on it just for this (I have FOUR Win10 machines already in this place, don’t need anymore!). Put the entire game library on it and still have tons of room for more.


Recommended Specs?
#7

Is there a nice walkthrough that you used to install Lakka on the CR60? I came across this: http://dareneiri.github.io/Asus-Chromebox-With-Full-Linux-Install/ that looks like it might work (just with a Lakka live USB rather than a normal Linux OS), but the walkthrough isn’t very clear.


#8

Regarding a walkthrough that I used, I used this: http://kodi.wiki/view/Chromebox

This made more sense for me to use since Lakka is based on LibreELEC anyway. Hit the “Tab” key when booting from the USB drive and it should give you the option to boot, install or run live from the USB drive. The installation process is pretty straightforward.


#9

I use the ASROCK DeskMini 110 with a Pentium G4500 (Skylake 2x3.5 Ghz) for over a year with lakka. Most cores are running just great - and the integrated HD Graphics can do some really nice shaders :slight_smile:


#10

I use Lakka on my Raspberry Pi 3 using a Kingston class 10 32 GB HCSD, a clear case, a Hori Pokken pro pad (I allready sent you my configs by mail) and my PSP using FuSa gamepad homebrew app as a Xinput gamepad interface; it is my favorite retro gamming OS, better than RetroPie and RetroaArch in terms of UI


#11

So I played around with it on my Raspberry Pi 3 because RetroPie runs/looks terrible on my RPi3, and Lakka works quite nicely on it. It also easily demonstrates the RPi3 limitations because the snow background runs at like 1-2 FPS and the whole system becomes unresponsive. The ODROID XU4 runs the snow background without breaking a sweat.

It does make me wonder what is in that snow background. I can run emulated 3d PS1 games on my RPi3, but a few snow flakes bring it to its knees!


#12

Hmmm… That is actually a good question


#13

I just got started and I use a Lenovo Q180 nettop pc. It has an Intel Atom D2700 2.13 Ghz cpu, ATI Radeon HD 6450A gpu, and 4Gb DDR3 RAM. So far it has performed worse than I expected given my complete lack of experience with Retroarch. I’m used to downloading stand alone emulators for my phone and laptop, where I never touch any of the settings cause they work right out of the box. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, but it’s rewarding when I figure something out.


#14

I used to use a Pi 3 but now I use an Asus Tinkerboard as my daily driver. It takes some tweaks, but runs reasonably well and I don’t mind the sluggishness on n64 since it is more accurate and playable. I would definitely recommend investing in a fan and a high amperage power adapter on the sucker though since under regular load with the stock heat sink it seems to thermal throttle though it seems to do alright if at floor level in my coldest room in the house.

My controllers of choice are between an apower usb competition ps3 controller and a rock candy wireless ps3 controller. It varries on whether I need twitch reflex or if being across the room and able to play is more important at the time.


#15

It’s the ATI Radeon card. I noticed most Linux-based emulator packages have a hard time with ATI and Nvidia cards because of the fact that neither one of those companies makes driver support for Linux a priority. Try disabling it and using the Intel HD drivers for the D2700.

I just Googled the machine, it’s got a hard time doing much of anything useful regarding video playback, so that graphics card might be the thing giving you a hard time.


#16

Its not the graphics card thats the problem (at least not at this point), its the CPU. The Single Thread Rating of that Intel Atom D2700 2.13 Ghz CPU is 351.

Its not a terrible score depending on what you want to emulate (you should get the classics running pretty decently, without any advanced filters), but you definitly are not going to have many options, and full speed on more complex systems like the N64 and later are definitly going to be out of reach.

The most important spec when it comes to emulation is the Single Thread Rating of your CPU. You can check your STR and compare it to other processors here: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html


#18

Not quite the right place to post this, but if you start your own thread, we can help you there.


#19

I tried to install Lakka on this machine: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/LordExor/saved/#view=LnF9WZ. When I attempted a first boot, it did not work. Are Pascal graphics cards still unsupported?


#20

I am using a Rock64 sbc but I am still unsatisfied, I had better to buy an Odroid-XU4…


#21

I’m using an Acer Aspire R3700 nettop PC from 2010. It’s surprisingly competent, running most cores perfectly with crt-pi enabled, but it has trouble running PSX, N64, and Dreamcast games at full speed. If those cores aren’t important, it’s a really solid box. Dig a little and you can find refurbs sold without keyboard, mouse, or OS for ~$120 shipped, which is perfect for Lakka.

Keeping an eye on this thread. I’m looking for hardware that’ll do what this one does, along with running PSX games (specifically Gran Turismo 2) at full speed, while still having a sub-$150 price point. N64 and Dreamcast would be a bonus.