Choose a PC

You may want to check out the devices navigation page first to ensure you're on the right page.

Making a list of minimum requirements is really difficult for something like Batocera as it ultimately depends on how high a system you want to emulate. In a way, the minimum requirements are the minimum requires of the emulator you want to run. With that said, here are the bare minimum requirements needed to enjoy a smoothly scrolling menu and basic gameplay on desktop computers (in order of importance):

Minimum Recommended
1GB of RAM 2GB of RAM, higher depending on desired system
Graphics supported by nouveau/mesa A supported GTX/RX/HD series graphics card
A 640×480 screen At least the resolution of the desired system
A 32-bit x86 processor A 64-bit x86_64 processor

Note that for desktop PCs with genuinely close to 2GB of RAM, it's probably old enough that motherboard/CPU will likely only be capable of running older versions of Batocera. Benchmarks are available below.

A new life for your slightly younger hardware!

Pretty much every “computer” after 2010. These may also be referred to as x86_64. Be sure to activate the official Nvidia drivers if using a Nvidia GPU!

There are a small group of 2-in-1 Intel computer tablets manufactured around 2012-2015 that use a 64-bit CPU on a locked-down 32-bit UEFI bootloader, only allowing 32-bit operating systems to boot (yeah). There is no (yet) known way to check for this, aside from reading the support documents. This doesn't apply to the massive majority of computers anyway. Read more here.

There are also a few handheld PCs on the market. Notable ones include the Aya Neo, the OneNetbook OneXPlayer and the upcoming Valve SteamDeck. Some of these devices might need specific setups to run Batocera. You'll find more information on this page.

The component that will usually make or break these systems is its graphics card. In case your graphics card is not supported, the system will be very slow and unplayable. Most GPUs are supported - even integrated GPUs on modern Intel CPUs give decent results.

Exceptionally old Nvidia GPUs may need to use the Nvidia legacy build instead (and miss out on all the new features added to Batocera since then). It's worth testing if it can work with the current Batocera first. Support cannot be provided for the legacy build, it is offered as a last-resort. Older integrated Intel and AMD graphics processors are more compatible, and don't need these specific drivers to function correctly (they'll usually not have a lot of performance compared to discrete GPUs though, but for retro-gaming this is a non-issue).

If you have to choose a new GPU, recent Nvidia GTX and AMD Radeon RX cards are supported well in the main Batocera image, and usually give very good results. A combination of an Intel i5 4xxx CPU + Nvidia GT1030 GPU will support all emulators up to the PS2 for a reasonable cost.

Required Accessories

  • A storage medium (hard-drive, SSD, USB, anything that the motherboard can boot from)
  • Keyboard and mouse (for standalone emulator configuration/light gun games, most emulators can be configured with just a controller though)
  • Display and speakers

Performance

The sky's the limit! Virtually no limitation LOL

However, depending on your hardware (mostly CPU and GPU), the performance of the emulators can vary significantly. For some of them, if your hardware is powerful enough, you can even use upscaling to improve the rendering beyond what the original consoles were capable of. Having a powerful CPU/GPU helps for the more intensive emulators (PS2, PS3, Wii, WiiU, 3DS, etc.). Some comparative data can be found below.

A new life for your hardware!

Pretty old (pre-2010) computers, Batocera is all about giving new life to old technology! May also include some more recent “ultra thin/portable” netbooks (not likely, though). You can typically discover if your machine is 32 or 64-bit by researching the name of the CPU it uses. May also be referred to as x86 (without a 64 at the end). Being 32-bit, some of the newer 64-bit emulators will not work. Be sure to activate the official Nvidia drivers if using a Nvidia GPU! If you have the option, try and get a 64-bit PC instead.

There are a small group of 2-in-1 Intel computer tablets manufactured around 2012-2015 that use a 64-bit CPU on a locked-down 32-bit UEFI bootloader, only allowing 32-bit operating systems to boot (yeah). There is no (yet) known way to check for this, aside from reading the support documents. This doesn't apply to the massive majority of computers anyway. Read more here.

The component that will usually make or break these systems is its graphics card. In case your graphics card is not supported, the system will be very slow and unplayable. Most GPUs are supported - even integrated GPUs on modern Intel CPUs give decent results.

Exceptionally old Nvidia GPUs (such as ones you might find paired with a 32-bit CPU) may need to use an older version of Batocera. Batocera 5.26 (direct image link) was the last 32-bit version to feature the legacy Nvidia drivers, the more recent legacy build is 64-bit only. It's worth testing if your 32-bit computer can work with the latest 32-bit build of Batocera first, performance with the default open-source drivers may be perfectly acceptable. Support cannot be provided for older versions of Batocera.

Older Intel and AMD integrated graphics cards are more compatible, and don't need these specific drivers to function correctly (they'll usually not have a lot of performance compared to discrete GPUs though, but for retro-gaming this is a non-issue).

If you have to choose a new GPU, recent Nvidia GTX and AMD Radeon RX cards are supported well in the main Batocera image, and usually give very good results. Just make sure your chosen GPU is compatible with your given motherboard (old ones may have a limited PCI slot length or require a “micro” form-factor GPU to fit in the case).

Required Accessories

  • A storage medium (hard-drive, SSD, USB, anything that the motherboard can boot from)
  • Keyboard and mouse (for standalone emulator configuration/light gun games, most emulators can be configured with just a controller though)
  • Display and speakers

Performance

Pretty variable, but by virtue of being 32-bit the hardware used will be a bit older and you will be locked out of the few 64-bit emulators (mainly 6th gen and above). Benchmarks below.

These tables give you an idea of the performance you can expect with several PC configurations, with the Batocera release they've been tested with.

In order to give more meaning to the table (as most x86 PCs can run most systems beyond full speed), we've appended the following values to systems that can go beyond the native resolution:

  • 0 = did not run full-speed
  • Full-speed = Full-speed for emulators that don't support upscaling
  • x1 = Full-speed at native resolution
  • x2 = Full-speed at x2 upscaled resolution
  • x3 = Full-speed at x3 upscaled resolution
  • and so on…

All systems that did not run at full speed will either have a 0 or the average FPS (if that data was available at the time).

If you'd like more information about the comparative performance of X CPU versus Y CPU, you can look up their benchmarking scores on websites such as Passmark, Geekbench and the CPU section on the community-driven comparison site Userbenchmark. You may need to switch between single CPU and multi CPU to find the model you're after! For GPUs, you can instead look up the 3DMark results, as that puts both the CPU and the GPU to the test, or the GPU section on the community-driven comparison site Userbenchmark for direct graphics cards comparisons. For really old cards, like back in the wild-west of graphics cards before everything got standardized, you can check out VGA Legacy MKIII, just note that Batocera does not support the majority of these cards.

If a particular CPU or graphics card is performing out of the ordinary for that card it will be noted with a footnote. This will pretty much only apply to laptops, which tend to have underclocked cycles or less execution units (both resulting in lower performance).

By default Batocera will use the open-source Nouvaeu drivers for Nvidia GPUs. While these are compatible with more Nvidia cards (especially older ones), they perform quite poorly compared to the official Nvidia drivers. To activate the official Nvidia drivers, enable them in the boot config.

If you'd like to create your own benchmark for Batocera to put here, check out the benchmarking for Batocera guide page!

CPU GPU Low-end GameCube (Mario Kart Double Dash) High-end PSP (God of War: Ghost of Sparta) PS2 (God of War)
Intel i5-2415M (Mac Mini 2011) Intel HD 3000 x1 0 0
CPU GPU Low-end Dreamcast (Soul Caliber) High-end Dreamcast (MK Gold) PSX Low-end N64 (Banjo-Kazooie) High-end N64 (Goldeneye 007) High-end PSP (God of War: Chains of Olympus)
Intel Celeron N2830 Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) 1) 1x 0 Full-speed x1 0 0
CPU GPU DOS (PCPlayer Benchmark) Low-end GameCube (Mario Kart Double Dash) 3DS (Super Mario 3D Land), Libretro/Citra High-end PSP (God of War: Chains of Olympus) PS2 (God of War)
Intel Celeron N3450 Intel HD Graphics 500 20.5 0 0 x1 0
Intel Pentium 4405U Intel HD Graphics 510 30.9 x2 x2 x2 0
Intel Core i5-4250U Intel HD Graphics 5000 32.9 x2 x2 x2 0
Intel Core i3-4130T Intel HD Graphics 4400 39.9 x1 x2 x2 0
AMD Athlon 3000G AMD Radeon Vega 3 44.4 x3 x1 x3 0
Intel Core i3-8109U Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 49 x4 x4 x4 0

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vSdHiY7S_vsfAnxYBpzxYXy3Civ_eT19xXLsGAXC5r2nGIopE4imbYDPFCHyGStuW12Ktaxu5za4mii/pub

CPU GPU DOS (PCPlayer Benchmark) Low-end GameCube (Mario Kart Double Dash) 3DS (Super Mario 3D Land), Libretro/Citra High-end PSP (God of War: Chains of Olympus) PS2 (God of War)
Intel Core i5-4440 Intel HD Graphics 4600 44.9 x1 x2 x2 0
Intel Core i5-4440 NVIDIA GTX 1050 44.2 x7 0 x8 x2
Intel Pentium G4500 Intel HD Graphics 530 52.8 x2 x3 x4 0
Intel Core i3-8109U Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 49 x3 x4 x4 0
Intel Core i3-4360 Intel HD Graphics 4600 48.6 x1 x2 x2 0
Intel Core i3-4360 NVIDIA GTX 1050 48.9 x6 0 x8 x2
Intel Pentium G3220 AMD Radeon RX 550 40.7 x6 x5 x9 x2

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTQ-_vBM4RwW4x6Ctj4dFZFAX45JoUqPs1AXG1yjiGPqOWm2vTB2BapeBjN5TyH2mMGf6xte0_y4ks2/pub

CPU GPU DOS (PCPlayer Benchmark) Low-end GameCube (Mario Kart Double Dash) 3DS (Super Mario 3D Land), Libretro/Citra High-end PSP (God of War: Chains of Olympus) PS2 (God of War)
Intel Core i5-4440 Intel HD Graphics 4600 47.9 x1 Full-speed x2 0
Intel Core i5-4440 NVIDIA GTX 1050 46.2 x7 Full-speed x8 x1
Intel Pentium G4500 Intel HD Graphics 530 55.8 2x Full-speed x4 0
Intel Core i3-8109U Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 51.4 x3 Full-speed x5 0

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQNX3998uWkXajZ-axD6dxhqcNAGu7WSshye04QASkiutt1LXIbwg9acAf7R7XiDItvr8vis7JqjZ1Y/pub

CPU GPU DOS (PCPlayer Benchmark) Low-end GameCube (Mario Kart Double Dash) 3DS (Super Mario 3D Land), Libretro/Citra PSP (Gran Turismo) PS2 (Bloody Roar 4)
Intel Celeron 1037U Intel HD Graphics 2500 23.6 x1 0 x2 0
Intel Pentium B960 Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge) 27.5 x1 0 x2 0
Intel Celeron G1610T Intel HD Graphics 2500 30 x1 x1 x2 0
Intel Core m7-6Y75 Intel HD Graphics 515 34.9 x1 x1 x2 0
Intel Celeron G1610 Intel HD Graphics 2500 33.7 x1 x1 x2 0
Intel Core i5-3427U Intel HD Graphics 4000 34.5 x1 x1 x2 0
Intel Core i5-4250U Intel HD Graphics 5000 32.6 x1 x2 x3 0
Intel Core i5-6200U Intel HD Graphics 520 41 x2 x3 x5 x1
Intel Pentium G3220 Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) 42.3 x1 x2 x3 x1
Intel Pentium G4500 Intel HD Graphics 530 53.9 x2 x3 x5 x1
Intel Core i7-4770T Intel HD Graphics 4600 48.2 x2 x3 x4 x1
Intel Core i3-8109U Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 49.6 x3 x4 x8 x1
Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3 Intel HD Graphics P4600 54.7 x2 x3 x4 x1
Intel Core i7-4790 Intel HD Graphics 4600 56.6 x2 x3 x4 x1
Intel Core i7-4790 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 51.9 x6 0 x10 x5

Source https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQKnVvgY9qUKveAU8JRQeJkl6NsLuTOT9JiX-MMfKhf1KyFV4GbhzQhteU2cIXy4aaUu3QjAwhKDRBt/pub


1)
The Intel HD Graphics for Intel Atom Processor Z3700 Series iGPU in this laptop runs with only four execution units and is underclocked to 750 MHz (compared to 896 MHz), making it perform worse compared to other Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Lake) iGPUs.
  • choose_a_desktop_computer.txt
  • Last modified: 5 days ago
  • by atari