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25-04-2012, 10:06   #1
MackDaddi
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Thinking of building a mini Visual Pinball cab. Where do i start?

Hi all,

After messing around with pinball emulation for the last while, I'm feeling the itch to build another cab. This time a mini, table top sized one soley for video pinball.

I'm OK with building cabs and using emulators, front ends, all of that, but if I went with this it would be my first pinball cab. From the googling ive done so far, there's a lot in it, and I need to figure out if a table or bartop sized cab is viable both from a cost of build perspective, as well as from a size and logistics point of view.

I was thinking of using hyperpin and visual pinball 9x & vpin mame in a small box, maybe using a 19" tft monitor vertically, and possibly a 15" TFT horizontally for the backglass/DMD if i install one. Just to be clear, available space is an issue here. I want to build a small, space conscious box, not a full size machine. From past experience, that brings it's own set of build issues.

I've noticed that visual pinball seems to be unpredictable and a real resource hog. I was running it on a vista dualcore 2ghz processor 3-4Mb of ram, a 1gb graphics card, and even with that some of the newer tables were choppy and stuttery, so my initial concern is the hardware i would need to run it all comfortably and the cost of it, as well as the difficulty i will run into in fitting it all inside a small box. Is that spec sufficient, with some tweaking? I could easily install XP pro on that box instead, and tweak it for performance if it would work better. That would be a lot less costly than buying/building a custom spec just for a cab, and the OS is irrelevant as I'll be shelling straight into the front end.

Does anyone have any recommendations, tips, or experience that would be helpful here with regards to ideal system specs (the cheaper the better) settings i can change to improve performance in VP (maybe at the expense of graphics), and options or info about using one screen or two. Can i run VP on a single monitor, vertically with no DMD, or is that pointless? Also what's the deal with the 2 monitors? Do I just use my digital and analogue video outs on the graphics card simultaneously, or do i need something fancier (and therefore more expensive)?

Sorry for the long post, many thanks in advance.
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25-04-2012, 10:26   #2
purplec
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It ain't gonna be cheap!

Quad core i7
4gb
2 1Gb graphics cards

I'd say as the min bench mark.
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25-04-2012, 10:47   #3
MackDaddi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplec View Post
It ain't gonna be cheap!

Quad core i7
4gb
2 1Gb graphics cards

I'd say as the min bench mark.
Yiiikes .

OK, that changes things a bit. Is there any way of trimming down the spec by adjusting VP settings? Graphics quality isn't a huge concern, I'd be happy to run in lower resolutions as long as the physics feel right, but buying a top spec PC like that just isn't something i want to get into at the moment. I've just sunk loads of cash into my last cab, and there are loads of other things i need to spend on at the moment ahead of any new hardware.
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28-04-2012, 21:06   #4
nuxxx
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Don't no much about cabs but you could pickup an i5 quad, they're basically the same as i7's, just don't use hyperthreading which is useless for gaming anyway, 4 gb of ram is cheap as chips. I'd be pretty sure a mid range card like the gtx 460 1gb would be overkill for graphical output

Edit: Heres a vid which has his specs listed, the graphic cards listed are old. I assume you need duel graphic cards to have extra outputs not for graphical power?

Last edited by nuxxx; 28-04-2012 at 21:09.
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29-04-2012, 20:45   #5
MackDaddi
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Edit: Heres a vid which has his specs listed...
Where's the vid?
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29-04-2012, 20:52   #6
purplec
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I picked up a Corei7 and 12 gb of ram for 400 the other day and it plays the sega model 3 stuff really well.

It all comes down to what you feel is acceptable, will you get pissed off when your playing and the table starts to stutter.

There are a good few quad core pcs on adverts at the moment for 250ish.

Check out the hyperpin website for some of the guys specs, they are quite large be warned.

If you only want a back screen and a table screen youll only need one graphics card if you need a dmd screen youll need a second graphics card.
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30-04-2012, 00:04   #7
nuxxx
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Where's the vid?
Eh sorry!

Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV-QuVRbREk

Check out the i5 sandy bridge's

Last edited by nuxxx; 30-04-2012 at 00:11.
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