Quoted from playboywillis:
How powerful are these Raspberry/Retro pies? Like what year do they hit their limit? Whats the moat advanced game they can run smoothly?
I know a Raspberry Pi 2 model B can run N64 games smoothly. I haven't tried a Raspberry Pi 3 yet to see what it can run.
I have my RetroPie just hooked to my TV (its case mimics a mini NES) and I have USB versions of the different console controllers for whatever I feel like playing.
I loaded every NES, SNES, Genesis, NeoGeo and a few N64 games up when I first started with it.
As for a Mame cabinet, if you shop around, you can find some decent kits that you could assemble in a day with just a few tools. Add your own PC/monitor and just install what games you want and forget the rest. Sure, you could install everything you could ever find and use Hyperspin as the front end...if you want to spend several weeks just working on configuring everything. Just start slow, and add/configure games over time.
Just remember to create a full backup of your machine every so often in the event something catastrophic happens.
That's how I picked up my cocktail MAME, someone I knew built it up and then some time....and a storm later, he just had a cocktail cabinet. Fried the computer and his monitor. He was going to throw it away until I picked it up and added the cheapest PC Walmart had (I completely reformatted Windows to get rid of the bloat ware) and I installed an actual 19" arcade LED screen. I just set up about 10 games within Hyperspin so I could test the rest of it out. Popeye, Pacman, Galaga, Digdug...they play fine.
I do need to work on the controls, I think the "keyboard" input board is the reason the controls sometimes get wonky. Either that, or he used really cheap joysticks and buttons. I'll have to look at putting in some illuminated controls someday.