Wednesday, June 22, 2016

HOW TO: Building a Pump It Up Arcade MK6 v1 Main Logic Board

This blog post provides technical information on how to put together a Pump It Up MK6 v1 arcade main logic board.

Why Choose MK6v1?
Throughout the years of Pump It Up AC releases, we have seen many main boards such as: MK1, MK3, MK5, MK6v1, MK6v2 (aka MK7), MK9v1 and MK9v2 (MK9v2 being the latest at time of writing). In short, the MK6 v1 allows the widest selection of playable arcade games, allowing Exceed 2 through to Prime (Yes, with 2-4GB, F2/Prime do run correctly). MK1 - MK5 have proprietary hardware and while being costly to build, it will only support older games. MK6v2/MK9v1/MK9v2 boards do not have the correct sound chips to provide sound in games such as Exceed 2, Zero and NX.

The MK6v1 was originally Shipped with Exceed 2, Zero, and some NX cabinets. When taking a peek inside a factory MK6v1, you will expect to see the following:
  • Motherboard: GA-8IPE1000MK (rev. 1.x)
  • CPU: Socket 478 Intel Celerons
  • RAM: 128MB or 256MB DDR1 (varies)
  • HDD: 160GB+ HDD (Exceed 2 - NX used IDE stock drives... Some NX and NXA and onwards used SATA)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 AGP (The factory videocard is very unreliable due to a defective heatsink design. Replacing with a retail / off-the-shelf card is strongly recommended. The vast majority of surviving MK6s do not have their original videocard)
  • IO: Official USB PIUIO and JAMMA Interface
  • Security: A USB security dongle.

Here is a list of compatible parts in order to obtain the BEST upgrade when building an MK6v1 main board. If you purchase different hardware to these listed, then the official drives will not boot as they require specific hardware to run correctly. In some cases, they may boot, but have side-effects like no sound.
  • Motherboard/s: Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK (rev 1.X or 2.X) or GA-8IPE1000MK (rev. 1.x) - These motherboards have the necessary Realtek ALC655 CODEC sound chip for Exceed 2, Zero and NX. Otherwise, games will not have sound.
  • Processor: Pentium 4 Socket 478 - 3.4 GHz, 1M cache, 800 MHz FSB (MAX on both boards)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR SDRAM 400mhz PC3200 (MAX RAM SETUP on both boards) - More Info
  • RAM Notes: Exceed 2 through to Prime and Infinity (1GB is fine... More RAM (2GB) required for Fiesta 2 and up)
  • Video Card: Geforce FX5200 256mb AGP (Low Profile Preferred to fit in case - Not Essential). Any memory (128mb, 256mb etc), any manufacturer (Pny etc) and any output type (VGA, DVI etc) will work.
  • HDD: Image official drive (with security dongle) or put in any IDE or SATA drive to run emulators like StepF2
  • IO: Official USB PIUIO and JAMMA Interface
  • Security: A matching HDD USB security dongle for an official mix, or no security required when using emulation.

Of course, if you are ONLY interested in building a system for emulation (Running Stepmania, StepF2 etc), then there is really no point spending more money on old MK6 hardware. You would be better off buying something current as it would be not only easier to find, but also cheaper. Again, you will not be limited by the limitation imposed by old motherboards and such. It's also the cheapest option! You would just need to purchase a J-PAC (or something similar) to get your computer to "talk" with the arcade cabinet. The J-PAC is a replacement for BOTH the PIUIO AND the PIU Jamma Interface parts.

The best (and most expensive) solution would be to build an MK6v1 machine as outlined in this post and also place a secondary drive inside the system. You could install Windows XP SP3 on this secondary drive (I say Windows XP due to the old hardware, so it would run faster than Windows 7,8,10 etc - and also Windows, because StepF2 is Windows only software and is a really great pump it up simulator). I personally have a bunch of ~160GB drives will many OS' and games pre-installed. It's very easily to swap them out when you want to play a different mix. The possibilities are endless!