While the MiSTer system clones a tremendous amount of hardware, you’d be surprised to learn that you really only need a few core components to get started and that a basic rig can be assembled for under $200. There is no cheaper way on this planet to be a retro collector using this system. You can literally own almost all vintage computer systems, game consoles, arcade cabinet games, and much more for about .01% of what you’d pay if you threw cash at ebayers all day long for the actual dying hardware items this system clones accurately. I made up the .01% but I’m sure it’s close as I’m continuously adding more free systems and software to my own rig. It’s like unlimited retro Christmas all year round. Do yourself a favor and consider the possibilities here. Look at some youtube videos showing off the MiSTer and tell me if this isn’t the dream machine of all time.
Okay, enough of my opinion. Let’s start from the top. Forget about ebay! These unaffiliated sellers are looking for the next sucker to come along willing to pay double for a DE10-Nano. Don’t be that sucker. Tell me why you would want to hang out on the scammer’s dream site ebay looking for a $200 DE10-Nano that might even be fried? Use your noodle and go with $130 and a warranty.
- The DE10-Nano is only $130 from Altera’s own web site.
- Digi-Key offers the same DE10-Nano for the same price with fast shipping. They keep a huge stock so you’ll get it in a few days!
The DE10-Nano has an HDMI port which carries the video and audio for most of the MiSTer cores, and all are being upgraded recently to do proper HDMI. So, you do not need an I/O board with VGA if you’re not planning on using a VGA monitor! The same goes for the audio jack. Why use the jack on an I/O board when the HDMI cable carries this audio to your receiver.
You’ll probably need 3 other items to get started: a USB OTG adapter or hub, a USB keyboard, and an SDRAM daughter board although some cores don’t require the SDRAM. You’ll still want the SDRAM. You’re looking at maybe $55 total for these items depending on what you already own.
I’m confident that you can set up a basic MiSTer system for well under $200 and then over time add the bells and whistles depending on the requirements of your favorite cores. If you have an old PlayStation 2 controller, pick up a cheap adapter and use it with all of the MiSTer cores! You’ve probably got various console controllers in a box in the attic or closet, so start digging and you might find lots of stuff that the MiSTer can already use through the USB port.
So, my final plea is to ask you to quit throwing cash at ebay scammers where you end up with a 5 tons of old retro hardware that’s impossible to maintain or repair, and look at what you might be really after which is the retro experience in the least space possible. This is the MiSTer system.