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Mame Console


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I'm setting out to build a Mame Gaming Arcade Console. The intent is to have it loaded with a bunch of old school arcade games. My son in law has access to some arcade gaming cabinets at a local vending company. I'd rather refurbish one of these cabinets vice building a cabinet from scratch. Carpentry is not exactly my cup of tea.

I have a number of questions before jumping into this project.

1. Recommendations for a suitable computer. I've read that older hardware works better. The oldest thing I have laying around is a P4 2.8 Ghz box. Will it do it? If not, what would be better?

2. Recommendation for a monitor? The Consoles are cut out to house a 27' CRT monitor. If need be, a panel can be made to size it to another monitor, but the idea of a 27" is appealing. I have a 27" CRT TV with composite video input. Would a video card with composite video out do the trick with it?

3. Mame software. I know there are a number of emulators out there for various operating systems. I like the idea of running some flavor of linux, but if a package for windows would work better I could do it that way. It is my understanding that there are some linux distro's that are built around the Mame emulator Any recommendations on this?

Ultimately I want it set up to where my young Grandchildren can hit a power button and it will boot into the Mame GUI where they can select the game they want. I'm sure someone on this forum has built a similar machine. I've been building computer projects for longer than I care to remember, but never anything like this. So it's going to be a good learning experience.

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I built a MAME Arcade machine a while back definatly very fun when you get it going :)... You can see mine on the following link if your interested.


For the computer you don't need a crazy powerful one.. I bought the cheapest one I could find on Ebay and it works perfectly fine with all the games. All you need is for it to have a way to connect to the TV. Mine had Svideo and I used an Svideo to SCART converter to plug it into the TV.

As for the monitor someone else may be able to help you with that better than me. I just used my old TV and it worked fine. Obviously use CRT and not an LCD screen. The games look a lot better when they are played on a CRT screen.

For the software I put a fresh install of windows XP on the machine and used the MAME frontend called MameWAH. It works great with the arcade controls to select the games. I set MameWAH to launch on start-up and that's all there is to it :). There are probably a lot more imaginative ways of doing it but oh well :).

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