Description

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.

Part Reviews

CPU

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

Memory

works out of the box with Ryzen 2000 CPUs/APUs. able to apply 2666 XMP profile in BIOS.

Storage

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

Case Fan

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

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 7 months ago
  • 6 points

This is a work of art, and I hope it gets featured.

  • 7 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! Even if it doesn't, I'm pleased with the outcome despite all the brain-scratching and frustration that occurred during the build.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

A build like this just crossed my mind yesterday!! Awesome work it looks great!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Be sure to measure twice & cut once. Hope to see your build on here soon.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build!

Seeing this brings back memories. I enjoyed the N64 a lot more than the Game Cube but it's still a classic console.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The N64 was a great console. There were a lot of good times had with friends around a 64.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Mario kart, Zelda, Golden Eye, WCW...the list goes on.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

woah..

  • 7 months ago
  • 3 points

"You’re breathtaking. You’re all breathtaking." - Keannu Reeves

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

I've been planning this exact build since the ASRock Desk Mini Mini-STX barebones kits were announced, but haven't had the funds to put it together yet.

Awesome build.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Save any pieces you cut/trim, they could be useful later. Ensure you have sufficient standoffs and screws/nuts. Hope to see your build posted soon.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Definitely keep up to date with Mesa and RADV because bugfixes come down the line for those display drivers.

You should see if Freesync works over HDMI and Displayport. NO Gamecube in history ever had AMD (or should I say... ATI) Freesync.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the Mesa update info. Hopefully the Solus dev team sends those down the pipeline. If I get a chance, I'll connect this to my desktop monitor & test if Freesync works and update.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

This is great! Can I ask, how did you mount the Noctua fan on the Wraith Stealth heatsink?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm only using one screw to hold the fan to the heatsink. The rest is held down when the top half of the case is screwed into the bottom. It's not ideal but holds it rather well; the fan does slide a bit beforehand but remains rather stationary once the case is screwed together. As far as why the low-profile Noctua wasn't used: the bottom of the cooler was impacting some board components and caused the heatsink to not make good contact with the APU.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! Always cool to hear about workarounds and problem-solving. Thanks, and great build again :-)

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build, man! Always loved the Gamecube.

I'm looking to build my own custom home arcade system running the HyperSpin front end, loaded with everything from the classic arcade games to like Ps2 or Wii. Do you think the CPU and graphics provided from the 2200G would suffice?

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the delay. I’ve never used Hyperspin so i cant say if there’s any overhead that it consumes that would effect performance. I believe the 2200G should be able to play PS2 at native resolution if not up to 2x. My setup here has allowed me to play Wii games at 720p but I don’t believe 1080p would be a great experience. Good luck with your build and let me know if you need any assistance.