Sep. 23rd, 2013

CPUs

Sep. 23rd, 2013 12:06 am
vesicular: (axbx)
This winter I'm going to be doing a massive update to my arcade cabinet, which next month turns 10 years old (crazy when I think about it). I worked a bit this weekend on parting out some of the hardware, and tonight I worked on CPU's for the new rig I'm going to build.

CPU's are interesting because min/maxing them really depends on the task. The newest Intel chips came out a couple months ago (aka Haswell) and didn't go over so well for gamers. Haswell wasn't a very large jump for games over Ivy Bridge (the previous gen Intel chip) because Haswell is mostly a power consumption upgrade and thus it doesn't overclock as well as Ivy Bridge.

At first I thought, well, less power is nice, but I'm building this for a MAME cab so I need POWAH! Ivy Bridge is cheaper so I figured since the results are similar and the OC potential of Ivy is better I'd just go Ivy Bridge.

But not so fast. What I should have done is not read about _game_ use, but _emulation_ use. Different things! See, one thing Haswell adds is faster single core speed. This actually takes more power but the increase is fairly large. Given most emu's run single core, this greatly benefits emulation. So much so that the increase between Ivy Bridge to Haswell is about 20% for emu's. Much more than the flatline that normal gamers would see with the same setup.

And that makes it very worth it for me. Research time well spent.