This build is a response to a challenge to build a PC that can run the Dolphin emulator inside the shell of a GameCube. I had initially considered using a NUC-based system but found ASRock's Ryzen-based DeskMini series offered much better performance. A shell was found online & a DeskMini A300W was ordered. The CPU being used would be the 2200G from my portable gaming build (4 cores & Vega 8 is sufficient for emulation). 16GB of DDR4 2400 RAM is a bit overkill but I'd rather pay for it now in the event this PC is tasked with more complex duties. The board was a surprisingly good fit, utilizing 2 of the 4 existing mounting points from the original GameCube board. Initial plans were to mount the board lower but after not being able to find long enough screws, I had to raise the entire board back up and re-use Nintendo's security screws. A desktop Linux OS (Solus Budgie 4.0) was used as this allowed me more control of Dolphin's configuration and the controllers were not being recognized as navigation in the front-ends of RecalBox, Lakka or Batocera. Navigation is currently handled by an inexpensive airmouse that uses gyroscopic inputs to navigate & select games. Thermals are rather impressive as the Wraith Stealth heatsink is used along with a slim Noctua 92mm fan; idle is around 36C with temps reaching 39C with the lid open and under 50C with the lid closed. Boot time is impressively quick with much of the time being spent at the board's BIOS/UEFI. Once the desktop loads, the default start-up audio was changed to a WAV of the GameCube's boot-up audio.
very well performing and cool-running CPU. handles emulation tasks extremely well despite not having SMT enabled/available. no overclock needed, XFR ensures best speed available when sufficient cooling provided
works out of the box with Ryzen 2000 CPUs/APUs. able to apply 2666 XMP profile in BIOS.
no disk speed tests run on drive but able to boot into my OS in a matter of seconds after power on. no temperature readings obtained as temp of drive was not a major concern in my use case. i wish i would have spent a bit more to buy a larger capacity but this size is suitable for my needs while keeping costs down
the colors have never bothered me and i'll always choose Noctua over other brands. very quiet and high performing. the accessories that are provided are always great to have although none were used in this build