Question X5690 vs X5687 for Emulation

Feb 14, 2021
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So I’ve seen the threads all over the internet for using these CPUs for gaming, but what about for emulation? I know with emulating you end being CPU bound more often due to the CPU having to emulate the graphics as well and I’m not sure if the extra cores will help in this case or if the higher clock speed would be more beneficial seeing as there is the background processes to contend with on top of the emulation. I’m currently building an emulation PC for end use in a DIY arcade machine with the goal of emulating up to Dolphin and PCSX2 or higher if possible. I did a test run of this on my laptop but it’s using an quad core AMD A10 APU that just won’t handle it so I found a cheap PC on eBay for my groundwork and am building it up.

Here’s the build so far:
  • Dell Precision T3500 (LGA 1366 socket motherboard with a Xeon W3503 installed currently)
  • AMD Radeon HD 5770 graphics card
  • 4 gb of RAM
  • 550 watt power supply
  • Windows 10 Pro
 
Why would an arcade cabinet run any background tasks?
Use lakka, recalbox or batocera, these are tiny linux cores that only boot into an emulation front end leaving all the resources for the actual games.
Lakka is the most bare bones one with only an PS3 style XMB bar, while the other ones have nice looking menus with lots of extra UI like what you see for retropie.

I recently made a recalbox with my 1620 haswell celeron and it plays everything fine on the iGPU alone, including Wii and gamecube, sadly they don't support ps2 for whatever reason.

All the emus for old systems have so many years of work on them that they run on practically anything nowadays. It's the new consoles, wiiU, xbox/360,ps3 that need lots of cores and new technologies to run halfway decent.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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I hadn’t really considered going outside of Windows for the OS just because I have bunch of older PC games that range from 98 to XP and Windows 10 is what all the programs I have now for emulation run on. So then if I go to a more barebones Linux based system stick with the higher clock speed?
 
Even when running windows I would go for the higher clocks, it depends on how much crap you have running in the background of course but a simple windows installation doesn't run much stuff and you can schedule updates or virus scans to run at off hours.

The frontends I mentioned run live from usb/sd cards so it's super easy to just test them out and see how they compare, a dual boot from separate disks is also not that difficult or you could just have them on a USB and only stick it in whenever you want.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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Thank you very much for the help. I think a dual boot will work perfectly for what I have in mind and the higher clock CPU is only $20 anyways on eBay.
 

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