> You can never go wrong by getting the best of everything. If you're on a budget, the
> best advice I can give is that the CPU is everything when it comes to MAME. A $90
> video card will run the current games every bit as well as a $600 video card. If you
> had experience, I'd suggest getting an i7 4790k, a liquid cooler for it, and
> overclock that sucker.
> Just keep in mind that there are plenty of games that will not run full speed, but it
> will run the vast majority perfectly.
An i7 and liquid cooling for just MAME? Sorry, but that is absurd. Best of everything?? You have GOT to be kidding. Most any mid-level gaming machine (and even lower), will run MAME. If it was other emulators, like Dolphin, then yes, I could see spending some money to make it work, but with just MAME, you can easily get by with an old AMD XP chip, or even a socket 478 Pentium 4. Pair that up with at least a gig of RAM, and MAME will run just fine. Of course, that would be the LOW END on the MAME chain for system requirements and most people will probably be thinking something a bit faster like a core 2 duo or higher. Save the core i7 for 3D games on a high end PC.