This Tiny And Cheap Office PC Is Perfect For Emulation! Under $165
A big fan of these mini office, pcs, but i’ve never had a dell version. This is an optiplex 3050 and you can find these for cheaper or more expensive. It really depends on your configuration, but this one here, like i mentioned, was 155 shipped to the door. We have a cheaper inland 128 gigabyte ssd, it did have windows installed on it and uh. You can swap this out no problem at all. It’S a 2.5 inch drive, mechanical or ssd will work now with the 3050. This also has an m.2 slot and this one came with eight gigabytes of ram, and luckily this is running in dual channel. Sometimes, if you pick one of these up, you might only have one 8 gig stick or if you go with a 4 gig model, you’re only gon na have one stick. Dual channel is definitely going to help out this built in gpu, and, speaking of that, this is actually powered by its 7th gen i5 cpu. This is the 7500t, the lower powered version, but it does have those built in intel, uhd, 630, graphics and on paper. This should do a really great job with emulation. It has a maximum boost clock of 3.3. We only have four cores here: no extra threads, but for dreamcast psp, gamecube, wii and even ps2. We should be able to get some pretty decent performance now, along with this mini pc. I also picked up a 2.4 gigahertz, really cheap controller.
These are eight bucks on amazon and ebay and you can get like a two pack for around 15 to 16.. I would highly recommend getting a higher quality controller, but i wanted to keep this as cheap as possible and all in with what you see now this was under 163 dollars now this is not going to be a tutorial video, but if this does work out, i’ll Do a full tutorial and show you how to set this up, but for this little pc here, we’re going to be running an operating system called bottosera if you’re not familiar with botocera. Basically, it’s a linux based emulation, operating system kind of like retropie that you would run on the raspberry pi, but this does run on x86 platforms like this mini dell. We have here so i’ve already installed it to that 128 gigabyte, ssd and with something like this or an operating system like this. I think the best bet would be use a mechanical drive because you can get a one terabyte for much cheaper. That way, you can store a lot more games, and this is a very lightweight operating system, so running it from a mechanical drive will work out just fine, so let’s. Let this thing boot up. I’Ve got everything installed and, like i mentioned, this is not a tutorial. Video, but if this does work out and this little pc performs like i’m hoping it will, i will make a full tutorial so come on.
I got a lot of stuff installed here and there we have it. As you see we’re, using emulation station. This uses some standalone, emulators and retro arch in the background to run our games and real quick let’s go into the settings and i’ll show you that we’re using this little mini pc here, it’s the i5 7500t. If i go to information, you can see that we have that i5 7500t base clock of 2.7 gigahertz with a boost up to 3.3. This operating system is fully customizable. We do have different themes that we can download i’ve installed a few here, just to show you the first one we took a look at was the stock carbon theme, but this one’s known as epic, new r and it’s one of my favorites when it comes to Autosara, but we do have several that we can choose from. We can download them directly from within the settings of bottoser as long as you’re connected online and by the way, with this little pc here i do have wi fi and bluetooth working i’m, also getting sound over hdmi and that’s. Something that’s really important when trying to get one of these mini pcs to work with these operating systems. Basically, we have everything working with this little dell 3050. In this video i wanted to test some of the higher end. Emulators dreamcast psp we’ll go with some gamecube. Some wii and even some ps2 – if we can get good performance, this would totally be worth doing, but uh that’s really, why i’m making this first video here i want to see if it would be worth picking one of these up.
We do have everything working, but we really need to check out the performance and just to give you a look here, we do have sound working over hdmi just turn the menu music off, so yeah let’s go ahead and get into a little bit of gameplay uh. First, up let’s go with something easy to run. We’Ll do psp, but i will be turning this up to 3x resolution. We’Ll test a few more games, while i’m filming the screen here, but i do want to plug this into my game capture just to make it easier on me. So the first one we’ll go with let’s. Do let’s do burnout legends, go ahead and launch this and you see the fps on screen. I just have this turned on in the developer settings. This can be totally disabled, so let’s go ahead and jump right into some gameplay. Fps is up in the top right hand corner. So this is using the standalone version of ppsspp i’m using the opengl back end, but we can swap the vulkan if we want to. This was just performing really well and i am at 3x resolution. This is not a super hard game to run. I consider this a mid range game and we’re running at full speed, but yeah. We definitely need to test out some harder to run games like chains of olympus and we’ll get into that in just a second, but like i mentioned, i do want to plug this into my game capture just so we can get a better look at everything.
I know it’s kind of hard to see that fps up in the top, while you’re playing a game press start and select and it’ll exit the game, bring us right back in the emulation station and from here we can scroll through and start something else up. Next up we got one of the harder ones to run chains of olympus still using that standalone version of ppsspp. I did swap over to vulcan from opengl and we’re at 2x. I went up to 3x, but i did notice a few stutters here and there so 2x is kind of going to be the sweet spot, at least with bottocera, but it’s working great. Next on the list. We have dreamcast i’m using the flycast core inside retro arch and you might notice that this is only at 50 and that’s, because this is the european version. But when it comes to dreamcast on a system like this, whether you’re using flycast or redream, you’re not going to have any trouble even upscaled over 1080p moving over to sega saturn. This is another one that performs really well on this little 7500t, using the yobasi and shiro core inside of retro arch, and here we have sega rally running at full speed. I had a good feeling. It would do saturn really well here’s gamecube, using the standalone version of dolphin with the vulcan back in 720p automotive, which is kind of one of my go to’s. This is a harder one to emulate, especially on lower end chips, we’re running at 60, with that 720p upscale and it’s working just fine fps is up in the top left hand corner.
I know it’s a bit hard to see, but we are at full speed here. Another one i always like to test is f zero gx for gamecube still using that vulcan back in 720p. Outstanding performance here dolphin was working great with gamecube and we’re getting the same kind of performance here with wii games. This is sonic colors uh on the original console. It only ran at 30, fps so that’s. What we have here, but we’re still at 720p and getting great performance and the final one i wanted to test here with that dolphin emulator is tatsunoko versus capcom when you’re using lower end systems and there’s lots of particles on screen. This game does slow down a bit, but even with that 720p upscale we’re still at 60, even with the special moves going and finally, here in botocere we have ps2, and i kind of thought that this would be the case when you’re using pcsx2 that’s the emulator. We have going here for ps2 in linux, you have to use opengl, we don’t have any kind of vulcan implementation. Yet and with linux we can’t use dx11, but this doesn’t mean that ps2 won’t perform well on this machine. You just have to be running windows with that directx 11 back in, and this is kind of where i’m torn between these linux based emulation operating systems on these lower end machines, because when it comes down to it. In my experience for emulators like pc sx2, when you’re working with a lower end, cpu and gpu, it does perform better with directx 11.
. We just can’t pump out enough opengl performance with this uhd630 to get great performance in linux. But when it comes to windows, it will perform much better, but this doesn’t mean that every single ps2 game is going to run at full speed because, as you can see here, this is gran turismo 4., even with dx11 in windows, we’re still struggling, but there’s still A lot of ps2 games that’ll be fully playable on a little machine like this, and the final thing i wanted to test here was 3ds here’s citra 2x resolution i’m still with windows right now, but this does use the opengl back end, so we should get similar Performance on linux i just already had it set up ready to go and performance is actually decent with 3ds on this mini pc. So i got ta say this mini optiplex 3050 does a great job with emulation being in linux or windows. But if you want to do that higher end stuff, i would definitely suggest using windows in something like launchbox, but in the end it’s really up to you, like i mentioned at the beginning, if i was able to get good performance out of this, i will do A tutorial on installing botocer and getting everything set up and, as you saw, we got great performance with this little machine, so definitely keep an eye on the channel, because i will have a video coming soon and in the meantime, if there’s anything else, you want to See running on this, just let me know in the comments below, but if you’re interested in picking one of these up, your best bet is to head over to ebay.
I’Ll leave a few links in the description you’re going to have to put some bids in to get one of these for cheap, but there are a ton of them for sale. These are the tiny optiplex 3050s, with the i5 7500t. You can get these fully configured up to like 32 gigabytes of ram, but 8 gigs of ram for a little emulation machine is more than enough.