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I just ordered the $299 Onyx version of the console to strictly boot into Windows as a dedicated Hyperspin/Launchbox emulation gaming machine .  I've been looking to build a mini small form factor pc or purchase a prebuild and I stumbled across this Atari VCS.  I like the look and design of the system and the fact that it's a mini pc.  I could care less about the Atari OS.  My goal with this machine is to boot into Hyperspin for retro console and arcade Mame gaming.  

 

I've researched the internal M.2 SSD, memory upgrades, BIOS password issues, OS booting issues etc., and have a few questions.

 

1.  Memory upgrades - I'm confused about which memory upgrade to pull the trigger on.  I've read that the 32GB memory can't run at 3200MHz, so what 32GB memory is the best upgrade for this system?  Should I simply settle for 16GB 3200MHz memory?  If I choose the 32GB option, how many GB should be dedicated for the graphics?  I read somewhere that 12GB was optimal?

 

2.  BIOS - Most of the information regarding this system is 6 - 8 months old, so what's the latest status on the BIOS lockdown?  

 

3.  Windows - What are the current issues with installing Windows 10 to an internal M.2 SSD and have the system boot into windows on startup?

 

My goal is to complete max out the performance on this system, so your knowledge and input will be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I'll be running this 2TB Hyperspin arcade drive listed below and plan to copy the contents of the drive onto the internal M.2 SSD:

 

https://www.romcollector.com/hyperspin-arcade-drive-p-155.html

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10 hours ago, ConstititutionalCommando said:

I just ordered the $299 Onyx version of the console to strictly boot into Windows as a dedicated Hyperspin/Launchbox emulation gaming machine .  I've been looking to build a mini small form factor pc or purchase a prebuild and I stumbled across this Atari VCS.  I like the look and design of the system and the fact that it's a mini pc.  I could care less about the Atari OS.  My goal with this machine is to boot into Hyperspin for retro console and arcade Mame gaming.  

 

I've researched the internal M.2 SSD, memory upgrades, BIOS password issues, OS booting issues etc., and have a few questions.

 

1.  Memory upgrades - I'm confused about which memory upgrade to pull the trigger on.  I've read that the 32GB memory can't run at 3200MHz, so what 32GB memory is the best upgrade for this system?  Should I simply settle for 16GB 3200MHz memory?  If I choose the 32GB option, how many GB should be dedicated for the graphics?  I read somewhere that 12GB was optimal?

 

2.  BIOS - Most of the information regarding this system is 6 - 8 months old, so what's the latest status on the BIOS lockdown?  

 

3.  Windows - What are the current issues with installing Windows 10 to an internal M.2 SSD and have the system boot into windows on startup?

 

My goal is to complete max out the performance on this system, so your knowledge and input will be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I'll be running this 2TB Hyperspin arcade drive listed below and plan to copy the contents of the drive onto the internal M.2 SSD:

 

https://www.romcollector.com/hyperspin-arcade-drive-p-155.html

Yes, the memory can run at 3200 MHz if you access the BIOS and change the DRAM timing.  I have done it on my Atari VCS.

 

A few safe & useful things I did following the steps in this video I have linked on this reply is as follows (the default setting in the BIOS are based on the stock 8 GB of DD4 2666 MHz memory so these should be adjusted to reflect the specs of the upgraded memory and allocate the additional memory to the GPU to optimize performance).

-------------------------------------------------

  • Set the memory speed in the BIOS to ensure that clock on that is matches the rated speed for the memory (when I upgraded the memory in my Atari VCS I put in 3200 MHz memory to replace the 2666 MHz stock RAM)
  • Allocated more system RAM as video memory (I increased the allocation to 4 GB since I have 32 GB installed in my Atari VCS and that will be a nice boost in games that use a lot of video memory and this is double the default 2 GB that was based on an Atari VCS with the stock 8 GB of memory).

 

*One other thing shown in the video was how to change the TDP from 35W to 54W but I did not set this on my Atari VCS since put any undue stress on the system and risk damaging or overheating it (for those who want to do this it is advised to replace the stock thermal pad with Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste to enhance the cooling as this has been show to reduce temperatures on Atari VCS consoles when the owner did just that).

 

 

PC Mode (I advise using this method as opposed to the WInToUSB method that Atari instructs as you will not get a Windows 10 license and the max partition size is only have a 127 GB partition.)

 

The best method is as follows:
1) Connect a SATA III drive a PC internally (I recommend unplugging and other driver so that the boot loader doesn't get altered)
2) Boot the Windows 10 installation Media that setup on USB memory stick
3) Let the pre-install setup process copy files to the drive. As soon as the install restarts the PC turn it off before Windows 10 starts to boot
4) Disconnect the SATA III SSD from the PC and put it in the USB enclosure
5) Connect the USB enclose to the Atari VCS and power the Atari VCS on. This will boot from the USB drive and complete the setup process.
 
 
As for PC mode issues I high advise that you check out my 2 very detailed topics
 

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On 10/10/2021 at 1:44 PM, ConstititutionalCommando said:

2.  BIOS - Most of the information regarding this system is 6 - 8 months old, so what's the latest status on the BIOS lockdown?  

The BIOS password is well known

 

On 10/11/2021 at 1:00 AM, Tidus79001 said:

3.  Windows - What are the current issues with installing Windows 10 to an internal M.2 SSD and have the system boot into windows on startup?

It seems that the eMMC still takes boot priority over internal m.2.   There are a couple of options

1. Install something like reFind on a USB key.   This is a boot manager.   You can tell it to boot Windows by default, but this consumes a USB port.   This is probably the easiest and least risky option at the moment.

2. Install a boot manager on the eMMC (There's a thread about that in these forums).    This is trickier than #1

3. If you don't care about AtariOS, you might be able to render it unbootable forcing the BIOS to boot from m.2 by default

4. Finding BIOS settings that cause the system to always boot m.2 by default over eMMC.   I've tried.   The best I can do is a temporary override, but defaults to Atari OS on next boot

 

I'm currently using #1.   But if anyone has luck permanently changing boot order in BIOS, I'd love to hear about it.

Edited by zzip

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