> I am new to Mame arcades and have some questions regarding building one.
> I was looking at doing a simple set up, consisting of a 4 player control panel,
> computer, and monitor (no cabinet, etc). My questions/concerns before I start
> buying/putting together are:
There's a huge community dedicated to building your own arcade setup. You should check it out...
> What kind of computer do I need to run the Mame Arcade (spec wise)
The fastest CPU you can afford. Intel is currently the best for MAME. Raw clock speed is still king. MAME will take advantage of dual cores if you have them, but don't expect twice the performance because it doesn't work that way. Quad cores (or higher) is more or less a waste of your money as far as MAME is concerned. Memory requirements for MAME itself are not that high, but modern operating systems don't perform well with low memory, so I'd shoot for 4GB if possible, 2GB will probably work in a pinch. Get a large hard drive. The video card isn't really *that* important. MAME is way, way more dependent on CPU power than anything else. Any current graphics card will run MAME easily, but you probably want to avoid integrated motherboard or CPU video solutions. Get a discrete card based on a current generation Nvidia or ATI chip. Recent versions of MAME have introduced shader effects, mainly aimed at people using an LCD monitor. These effects have minimum graphics hardware requirements that are discussed here...
> How simple is it to hook up the control panel to the computer (is it just USB or does
> it take wiring)
Are you going to purchase a pre-made control panel? If so, I believe most of them are USB. If you're going to make your own, you're going to have to get familiar with wiring.
> Will any monitor work for the set up (for instance if I just buy a standard LCD
> monitor and hook it up via VGA to the computer will it work?
Yes, LCD monitors will work, though most monitors now use DVI connections instead of VGA. There are DVI to VGA converters if you need to go that route.
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