Embedded computers are ideal for gaming cabinets as they typically have a small form factor and low power consumption, making them a great choice for ‘always on’ gaming systems. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best-embedded computers for arcade cabinets.
When it comes to choosing an embedded computer for a cabinet, size, and performance are two of the most important factors. You’ll generally want something small enough to fit comfortably inside your cabinet (and easy to maintain) and powerful enough to handle the type of emulator/operating system you’ll be running.
For domestic and hobbyist gaming cabinets, a popular option is the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, which is well-suited to powering a variety of arcade machines. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B boasts 4GB of RAM, a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, and plenty of video output options, all in a compact form factor with cheap purpose-made cases available. It also supports a wide range of operating systems, making it easy to install gaming software. However, stock of this device is often hit-and-miss due to its popularity amongst students, developers, and hobbies.
Another good option is the Odroid XU4, which is extremely powerful for its tiny size and offers impressive performance for emulators of older consoles. The XU4 boasts an octa-core Cortex-A15 processor and 2GB of RAM, making it more than capable of running most old-school arcade games with ease. The XU4 also supports a variety of operating systems, allowing you to install whatever software you need to power your machine.
An increasingly popular choice for arcade cabinets is the OKdo ROCK 5 Model B, which is a low-cost non-industrial single-board computer solution specifically designed for use in embedded systems. It features 8GB RAM, Octa-core CPU, and can handle 4k and 8k graphics. This makes it ideal for powering a gaming machine that runs emulators for newer systems that need a little more performance (but costs add up a little if you wish to add wifi and other add-ons).
Finally, if you’re looking for a powerful, more premium solution, the Jetson TX2 is a great choice. This board-level computer runs an Nvidia Tegra X2 processor and offers plenty of RAM and storage for gaming applications. The Jetson TX2 also supports a range of operating systems, allowing you to install whatever software you need. Companies like Assured Systems can also modify and configure specific embedded computer systems if you’re looking to create a more commercial arcade cabinet for use in a leisure or retail setting.
No matter which embedded computer you choose, it’s important to consider your needs and budget before making a decision. However, the options above are all excellent choices that offer plenty of power and flexibility without costing too much. With the right embedded computer, you can transform your arcade cabinet into a powerful gaming machine that’s sure to keep you entertained!