> So my desktop system is now over 7 years old and I figure it might be time to invest
> in something that can do better on the more heavy-duty games in MAME.
> Current system is a Dell Precision T3500, running a quad-core 8-threaded Xeon W3530 @
> 2.8GHz. I've had good luck with Dells over the years.
> Here's what I'm looking for:
> * High-end CPU that's great for running MAME but also lots of cores for other tasks
> (building, Photoshop, video encoding, etc)
> * Rock-solid stable motherboard
> * Well-designed case with room for an optical drive and several HDDs, quiet fans
> * Ideally available in a stock system or something that is trivially easy to slap
I'd say you can't really go wrong with a good Intel CPU and ASUS motherboard, I've actually found the more frills-free motherboards they have to be better if you don't care about overclocking etc.
I'm running a i7-4790K (at the 4GHz stock speed) and it's been fine for MAME and other tasks, although it's a generation or so behind now I believe so you can probably get a better current generation chip for less. I'm just running with the supplied CPU cooler, nothing fancy.
I have some mid-range Coolermaster case, those seem easy to work with, and a Corsair PSU because they've always been rock solid for me. The case has 2 fans fitted (I believe they were supplied with it)
The one thing I've noticed is that with each generation of machine I buy the whole process gets easier; I'm probably the clumsiest ham-handed person you're going to find and this whole thing was assembled in under an hour.
Interesting you mention not caring about the video card, because there's been a fair bit of talk over the year of how MAME could use them, and most of that talk boils down to basically writing software renderers to run on a recent card, possibly even requiring DirectX12 level tech. Of course nothing has actually happened yet.