Hello all. My first post; I apologize for the length, but I'm trying to give as much detail as I can. I am not a MAME expert, although I have installed/played it on PC; nor am I an arcade aficionado, but I DO know PC's very well. If I ask a newbie question, please beat me gently...
My question has to do with how to replace the entire PC on an arcade with the least amount of change and config necessary. I need for the replacement to appear transparent to the user and require the least amount of configuration/software installation by me.
I have been asked to build a new replacement PC for an arcade that has a dead mobo. I will be using new retail parts, no refurbs or retros. The arcade is a stand-up style cabinet with two player controls and a shelf for standard mouse/keyboard. The arcade has an arcade TV-type monitor with a PCB panel that appears to be digital (no vacuum tubes). I do not know the type/model/etc of the arcade,tube, or controls.
The PC was an older mid-tower with a K7 (ECS K7S5A) mobo, Athlon XP 1800+, 500MB RAM, and an AGP VGA vid card, all running under WinXP with MAME32 version 0.80.0. The hard drive was corrupted as a result of the slow death of the mobo. I was however, able to repair the drive and grab an image of the disk that is almost 100%. The mobo is dead and the HD is gasping. My thinking was that it was better to build a new system rather than try to piece that one together on new PCB.
I noted that the controls on the arcade (buttons/joystick/etc) are connected to the PC via a PS2 cable plugged into the keyboard port and the mouse is plugged into the mouse PS2 port. The video was transferred from the AGP card via D-Sub output to the monitor control board via a standard VGA extension cable that is wired into the monitor PCB panel.
My biggest concerns are making sure I have compatible video output and arcade controls input/output without having to tinker with the arcade (non-PC) hardware. I had hoped to use onboard graphics to cut costs, but I've read that some games require AGP. How would I know? I'd also like to use the existing disk image files I already have as much as possible in the new PC so that I can transfer the same games/configs, etc. (again, I want the upgrade to be transparent to the user).
- that a sub 3Ghz AM3/DDR3 single core Sempron system with onboard graphics is plenty adequate
- that it might be a good idea to upgrade to current MAME version.
- that I need PS2 connectors on the new mobo.
- that I can simply copy the ROMs and the ROM ini's from the old disk to the new.
- that there are controller config's/ini's within the MAME installation that I need to keep and transfer.
- that WinXP autostarts MAME.
That's more assumption that I am comfortable with, so I'd appreciate any knowledgeable opinions/thoughts on hardware requirements, whether my assumptions are even close to reality, and whether or not I'm on the right track. I'm especially interested in any "gotchas" that I need to watch for. I DO NOT want to install a new PC and find that the hardware, controllers, etc. don't work or that I have to spend hours rewiring, installing 4000+ ROMs or editing config files.
Thanks in advance!
Tech on Tap