Gaming computer ideas

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Skitterbug
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Argus - Hope the workday goes very well! I'm retired so working isn't on my list of things to do. :laugh:

This has been an interesting venture and I may very well end up purchasing a PC for myself eventually given what I have learned about them. It would really be fun to build one - something that I've never done. I've torn them apart before, but starting from scratch and building one - nope. It would definitely be a new experience. (yep, I'm rambling)

There seems to be a decent supply of this computer (19 in stock) so I am checking with his parents, and the rest of the money gift givers of the family to see if they want in on this purchase. And I'll definitely be interested in any thoughts you may have after a closer look.

Thank you for the time you've invested in this "study". I really do appreciate the help!

Sandy
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Argus
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

Hi Sandy, sorry it took some time (work and loss of Internet connection etc.).

First observation; during the last 10-15 years we have seen more of these type of different levels of "handmade", pre-built, computers for gamers or other purposes, although not built on demand (and some may do that), using parts that anyone can purchase, more or less, apart from cases, in some, eh, cases. That's good; you can work and modify the PC far easier, get support from different sources, since some may have used some of the parts, and built something themselves. Usually though all support goes via the seller.

They specify almost all parts, which is good. (In some cases one could perhaps see a firm changing some minor part for something equivalent without mentioning it.) As far as I can see, they don't mention the brand on the graphics card, or the PSU.

In the latter case one can see a Cooler Master MWE 650 White, in some picture, which match the spec. 650 W. (They are also well known for computer/CPU cooling.) When it comes to PSUs one can't always say that this brand is better than that, since they have different series (some are built by someone else). But Cooler Master has had, as far as I've seen the last 5-7 years, some really good PSUs, among the more expensive ones. This is a standard PSU, with the lowest efficiency rating, 80 Plus. Shouldn't be a problem. A 375-450-500 W PSU would also be OK, I think, as a minimum. The little motherboard has got some extra Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, that add to the total, but probably not much, but in all it will be the GTX 1660 Super, when running at full pelt, that draws the absolute majority of power, and could perhaps go a bit above 125 W (i.e. it will use power from the slot plus a 6-pin cable. But as we know it's not all about "wattage"; we want stable components and I think we can trust them.

As for not mentioning the brand/model of the graphics card, then we are almost into esoteric territory. :grin: It could be very interesting for some, and test sites do of course find some (very) minor differences between different brands built on the same NVidia platform. That said I would be happy with a 1660 Super. :laugh: I didn't mention, but the more recent graphic cards have, no surprise, quicker memory, GDDR6 (for example I believe there are some "older", below this one, still in the 1600 series using GDDR5.) So that's also good.

The more obvious; this little desktop has a Mini-ITX form factor on the motherboard, i.e. it's quite a bit smaller in both directions. They usually come with only two slots for RAM. But as mentioned 16 GB will be fine (and I believe they can take up to 64 GB, :grin:). That's the difficult part when not being a gamer; one would think that recent games have higher demands on RAM, but apparently that's not always the case.

They mention ASRock B560M-C/ac; I haven't found that but B560M-C and B560M-ITX/ac; could be a typo, or what they call it, since some results point in their direction, or I have missed something. But I believe it's the B560M-ITX/ac. A less expensive Mini-ITX board from ASRock, with quite a lot of features; I haven't seen any major complaints, rather people happy with a small computer. The mobo has got an Intel Ethernet controller/NIC, and I like that. And being new its (only) PCI slot supports (the new higher speed) 4.0 x16.

Some say the smaller motherboards and thus cases can sometimes get problems with heat, if using powerful CPUs and/or GPUs. It has got a smaller heatsink, and isn't built for extensive overclocking; but there’s apparently no problem with OC on the RAM. (And I believe the mobo has some connections for fans if needed.)

Here is one short overview of Intel B560 motherboards, and a short description of B560M-ITX/ac.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/16519/th ... ket-lake/7

I guess we don't have to discuss other aspects of the hardware (motherboard). When people build their own, they can, as you know, choose from a rather large amount of parts; it usually starts with a budget and a choice between Team Blue or Team Red (Intel, AMD), next thing is if they need more than one graphic card, sound card etc.; extra SATA or USB-connections, M.2-SSD-connections etc. or if they want a smaller computer case, all this is put against any budget limitations and what's available. In this case a Mini-ITX motherboard doesn't offer, for example, that many USB-ports, but it should be enough.
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Skitterbug
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Argus!
Argus wrote:
03 Nov 2021, 17:18
Hi Sandy, sorry it took some time (work and loss of Internet connection etc.).

First observation; during the last 10-15 years we have seen more of these type of different levels of "handmade", pre-built, computers for gamers or other purposes, although not built on demand (and some may do that), using parts that anyone can purchase, more or less, apart from cases, in some, eh, cases. That's good; you can work and modify the PC far easier, get support from different sources, since some may have used some of the parts, and built something themselves. Usually though all support goes via the seller.
I'd given some thought to maybe visiting a local independent business but decided on MicroCenter instead. I've purchased Apple products from them and have been happy with the results so I'm also hoping this translates into their PC merchandise as well.
They specify almost all parts, which is good. (In some cases one could perhaps see a firm changing some minor part for something equivalent without mentioning it.) As far as I can see, they don't mention the brand on the graphics card, or the PSU.
Always a concern that manufactures put parts in that suit but not always the same from one unit run to another. Way back - in the late 90s, our school purchased 36 units of the Windows 98 PC. I found that they were not "all the same" but they worked just fine. It was an interesting experience and a learning lesson for this lowly tech. <chuckle>
In the latter case one can see a Cooler Master MWE 650 White, in some picture, which match the spec. 650 W. (They are also well known for computer/CPU cooling.) When it comes to PSUs one can't always say that this brand is better than that, since they have different series (some are built by someone else). But Cooler Master has had, as far as I've seen the last 5-7 years, some really good PSUs, among the more expensive ones. This is a standard PSU, with the lowest efficiency rating, 80 Plus. Shouldn't be a problem. A 375-450-500 W PSU would also be OK, I think, as a minimum. The little motherboard has got some extra Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, that add to the total, but probably not much, but in all it will be the GTX 1660 Super, when running at full pelt, that draws the absolute majority of power, and could perhaps go a bit above 125 W (i.e. it will use power from the slot plus a 6-pin cable. But as we know it's not all about "wattage"; we want stable components and I think we can trust them.

As for not mentioning the brand/model of the graphics card, then we are almost into esoteric territory. :grin: It could be very interesting for some, and test sites do of course find some (very) minor differences between different brands built on the same NVidia platform. That said I would be happy with a 1660 Super. :laugh: I didn't mention, but the more recent graphic cards have, no surprise, quicker memory, GDDR6 (for example I believe there are some "older", below this one, still in the 1600 series using GDDR5.) So that's also good.
It would be a nice touch if the components were just a bit more higher end but we know what that would do to the price!
The more obvious; this little desktop has a Mini-ITX form factor on the motherboard, i.e. it's quite a bit smaller in both directions. They usually come with only two slots for RAM. But as mentioned 16 GB will be fine (and I believe they can take up to 64 GB, :grin:). That's the difficult part when not being a gamer; one would think that recent games have higher demands on RAM, but apparently that's not always the case.
The RAM could eventually be increased but I have a feeling by the time that demand is made, it may be time for upgrading - probably to a newer gaming computer. By then, this one may be useful for school work! <LOL>
They mention ASRock B560M-C/ac; I haven't found that but B560M-C and B560M-ITX/ac; could be a typo, or what they call it, since some results point in their direction, or I have missed something. But I believe it's the B560M-ITX/ac. A less expensive Mini-ITX board from ASRock, with quite a lot of features; I haven't seen any major complaints, rather people happy with a small computer. The mobo has got an Intel Ethernet controller/NIC, and I like that. And being new its (only) PCI slot supports (the new higher speed) 4.0 x16.
Motherboards are the heart of the computer. They are also the most confusing part of the mix. The "pieces" have to fit and be compatible. Trying to figure that part out is technical enough that it makes "my brain hurt".
Some say the smaller motherboards and thus cases can sometimes get problems with heat, if using powerful CPUs and/or GPUs. It has got a smaller heatsink, and isn't built for extensive overclocking; but there’s apparently no problem with OC on the RAM. (And I believe the mobo has some connections for fans if needed.)
I hope that there isn't a need to overclock and that he can play games with the unit as it is set up. But who knows what he may want to try - eventually. Right now, I think he'll just start it up and play!
Here is one short overview of Intel B560 motherboards, and a short description of B560M-ITX/ac.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/16519/th ... ket-lake/7
I haven't read this one yet but plan to for my own knowledge. It is on my bucket list that I build my own unit - when prices stabilize and I feel like I can do it!
I guess we don't have to discuss other aspects of the hardware (motherboard). When people build their own, they can, as you know, choose from a rather large amount of parts; it usually starts with a budget and a choice between Team Blue or Team Red (Intel, AMD), next thing is if they need more than one graphic card, sound card etc.; extra SATA or USB-connections, M.2-SSD-connections etc. or if they want a smaller computer case, all this is put against any budget limitations and what's available. In this case a Mini-ITX motherboard doesn't offer, for example, that many USB-ports, but it should be enough.
A gaming computer shouldn't need many ports. Keyboard/mouse/headset or maybe he'll use a controller. There wouldn't be a need for printer, etc.

All in all, I am fairly satisfied and the purchase will be made!
The knowledge/wisdom that you have freely shared is very much appreciated!
Thank you! :clapping:
Skitterbug :coffeetime:
A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.

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Skitterbug
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

I wanted to followup on this thread and let everyone know that the grandson was thrilled to get this computer. We have our gift exchange during our holiday of Thanksgiving and have since named that day as "ThanksMas".
After some hiccups with selection of Win11, we reverted back to Win 10 and all was well. Drivers are updated, etc. He is pleased and that was the goal!

Thank you for all of your help and the sharing of wisdom!
Skitterbug :coffeetime:
A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.

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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by HansV »

:thumbup:
Regards,
Hans