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MiSTer: FPGA gaming


Dr_Dave
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Looks like I'm now the owner of a DE10-Nano which is surprising as I'm sure they said it would ship at the end of the month.

 

I guess I can't really do anything useful with it until I get an SDRAM module, is that correct? I've seen some of the posts about bare minimum requirements, but I'm still a bit lost about where to start. I think I'll probably be ordering:


A 128GB SDRAM module
A better PSU

A USB storage solution of some kind

An analogue board (which I think comes with a fan) as I'll want the option of hooking up to my CRT at some point

 

Do I need a bigger SD card? I think it comes with an 8 GB card.

 

What then? Follow the quick start instructions that come with the Nano? 

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If you're using an external USB drive to store your games on rather than SD card then there's nothing stopping you getting MiSTer up and running on the SD card, getting scripts in place, running update all and having a play with the configuration etc. There are Cores / ROM that'll work with no additional memory I believe too but I'd be careful with no fan or heatsink. 

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3 hours ago, Camel said:

Looks like I'm now the owner of a DE10-Nano which is surprising as I'm sure they said it would ship at the end of the month.

 

I guess I can't really do anything useful with it until I get an SDRAM module, is that correct? I've seen some of the posts about bare minimum requirements, but I'm still a bit lost about where to start. I think I'll probably be ordering:


A 128GB SDRAM module
A better PSU

A USB storage solution of some kind

An analogue board (which I think comes with a fan) as I'll want the option of hooking up to my CRT at some point

 

Do I need a bigger SD card? I think it comes with an 8 GB card.

 

What then? Follow the quick start instructions that come with the Nano? 

 

Off the top of my head neither the PC Engine or Mega Drive cores require the sdram module to run, enough games in those two libaries to tide you over until you get the sdram. I seem to be remembering that a lot of GBA games don't need the sdram to run ..... but I may be wrong on that one!

 

Although It is recommended to install a fan and heatsink, I think you'll be fine running the MiSTer without  them for a week or so. In the early days of my MiSTer ownership I ran without a fan for 6 months or so.

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i'd set up the 8Gb card and enjoy some MD until the other stuff comes in :) 

Can confirm it runs without any RAM (I had an issue with my first 128 stick where it'd not be recognised) – I saw a few small slowdown issues in more intense games (Thunderforce IV, i think), but no major dramas. I think PCE will also work so get into some GunHed and Parasol Stars, etc!

Mr Fusion has instructions (it's not hard) and after that update_all, add some console games, and things will just magically work :)

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I'd kind of budgeted for this thing to arrive at the end of the month and to start buying everything else next month, so I think I'll probably just be patient and wait until then when I'll get an analogue board with fan. This is what I want, right? :

 

https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister-fpga-io-board-xl-v6-1-with-fan/

 

Also, I noticed this post from Terasic:

 

https://misterfpga.org/viewtopic.php?t=2786

 

I imagined I would be downloading the Mr Fusion bits and just firing this thing up with MiSTer from the get go, but it sounds like it might be wise to run the tests mentioned in their post.

 

Does that mean I should be following the quick start guide included with the kit?

 

edit: this stuff?

 

2A4E7D83-0CD0-4211-BA5E-5C3870CBBF66.thumb.jpeg.35d9cdd51aea63ee0c51b5a4423b3cef.jpeg

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17 hours ago, pastry said:

Can confirm it runs without any RAM (I had an issue with my first 128 stick where it'd not be recognised) – I saw a few small slowdown issues in more intense games (Thunderforce IV, i think), but no major dramas. I think PCE will also work so get into some GunHed and Parasol Stars, etc!

 

I would assume any slowdown you are seeing existed in the original game, because of the way the MiSTer works. Most cores, including the megadrive, have an overclock features (which can also cause games to run too fast) and also a sprite clash feature, to reduce sprite drawing issues, good for games like Biohazard Battle.

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1 hour ago, Lyrical Donut said:

I'm assuming computer cores (8-16bit) will be fine without a heatsink and fan too?

 

I will get one sorted soon.


Probably. No one really knows as there haven’t been extensive tests.

 

Why not get a £3 heatsink just in case?

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Shipping notice received, all that University student checking/delay rubbish isn't true! Just over $250 shipped, the customs and VAT demand should arrive Tuesday.

 

Edit : Anyone got a recommendation for a 3D printed case? Or if they're all crap any case recommendations will do.

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On 10/11/2022 at 13:28, Adrock said:

Edit : Anyone got a recommendation for a 3D printed case? Or if they're all crap any case recommendations will do.

 

There's lots of choices for cases these days. I wouldn't bother with the 3d printed cases you see on Ebay. I had one of those in the early days of the MiSTer when there was no choice and the quality of them wasn't that good.

 

I think a lot of people here have gone with the acrylic case from misterfpga.co.uk. I believe others will have to chime in here as I've never owned this case but it's relatively cheap & looks to be of decent quality.

 

The case I own is the "PCB Case" from Ulimate MiSTer. A little more expensive as it comes with a USB hub specifically for the case. A bit more of an industrial look that I like.

 

Then there's the alluminium case from Misteraddons. Only sold in limited batches and quite expensive to get them here in UK, these are considered by many to be the best. They certainly look premium in terms of quality. Passive cooling so doesn't need a fan. I'd like one of these but can't justify it with my existing setup.

 

Those are the three main options. There are also other options, but these require a specific i/o board like the Ironclad that lets you use a standard mini-itx case, or the MiSTer-Multisystem, another non-standard i/o board that has it's own 3d printed case.

 

 

Given the case I own ships from Portugal there will be import taxes to pay (I got mine when we were still in the EU). If I were ordering today I'd go with the acrylic case from MiSTerfpga.co.uk.

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7 hours ago, dataDave said:

All the lights remind me of Christmas when I was a kid, which is very appropriate because it still feels like Christmas every time I turn this fucking thing on.

 

yeah i was always planning to build a custom "mid-century-esque" wooden case for mine, but i didn't realise how utterly cool it'd be a with all those LEDs burning, and it's put me off a bit (that, and the time/effort required! :P)

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Yes! Always loved TNZS, from seeing at the local leisure centre to playing the Amiga conversion bundled with the Batman Pack. Was my “gateway drug” into the world of Japanese platform games which dominated the 16-bit console era, in retrospect. The first game I booted up on my completed MiSTer was the PC Engine conversion, in fact.

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