Computer

The computer itself is an AthlonXP 2000+ on an Abit KT7A (Via KT266A chipset) with 512MB RAM and a 20GB hard disk. This is quite highly specced for MAME, but is quite frankly the only "left over" PC in the house. Everything else had been consumed for either workstation or server use, or just a general BSD/Linux muck about box.

The machine itself runs a very cut-down WindowsXP, and MAMEWah as the frontend, which allows anyone using the cabinet to select games from a list, complete with screen-shot previews. I'm using a GeForce2MX video card, again because it was left over. I use the D3D blitter in MAME to avoid the image blurring that occurs with DirectDraw stretching, however the actual amount of 3D processing is next to nil, so this card is still overkill for such a task.

MAME could quite easily run off far less, but there are plenty of newer games being added every day that will eventualyl require more grunt. My MAME Benchmarking website has a database containing some results of various CPUs running MAME, and their performance. As I wanted to play a large range of games, I preferred a faster CPU. Other cabinets in the future will concentrate on "classic" games (pre-90's) and most likely require far less computing power.



Audio

Along with the computer inside the cabinet is a standard 12V car audio amplifier. This unit is a "200W MAX" stereo amp from SuperCheap Auto. One could safely assume the "MAX" rating will never likely be acheived. These units at best push out 20-30W per channel (if that). This was still all that was needed for the unit, and was a budget-pleasing AU$50.



The amp is powered by a standard 12V 200W Computer PSU which rates up to 8Amp. The amplifier draws 5A max, which is fine for use. Being the kind of guy I am, I had a few dozen power supplies lying around from old PCs, so this was at no cost.



The speakers are two Pioneer 35W RMS ("120W MAX" - pfft) 6" cones - both standard 4ohm car speakers. These were left over from a car sound upgrade, and make for great (and crystal clear) gaming sound from all the arcade classics.

I've seen many cabinets that use standard PC speakers instead, and quite frankly would have been easier but far less effective.