Gaming computer ideas

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Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Not sure how to ask but here I go. Does anyone have any suggestions on what should be considered when buying a gaming computer that won't break the bank? We have a 10 year old that currently plays on his Play Station system and now he would like to use a computer system. He wanted my recommendation. It has been ages since I've done anything with a windows hardware or O/S and even longer time since I've checked " under the hood ". So it is difficult for me to make any recommendations currently. I wouldn't want to have to try and build it (physically) except on an order sheet :laugh: but it would be good to know what processors, etc. would work. If that is possible to suggest?

Thanks for ideas!
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by HansV »

It depends on the budget of course.
A dedicated gaming PC is relatively expensive - it'll come with a high-end processor and a high-end graphics card. Gaming monitors don't have to be very expensive.
For most gaming purposes, a slightly less capable processor and graphics card will be sufficient.
For what it's worth, I'd recommend:
OS: Windows 10 or Windows 11 64-bit. Home or Pro is not really important.
CPU: Intel i5 or higher, or an equivalent AMD processor.
RAM: at least 8 GB.
Storage: an SSD of 512 GB or more.
Graphics card: graphics integrated on the motherboard don't have enough power for gaming. Get a separate graphics card - Nvidia Geforce GTX or RTX, or AMD Radeon. Which one to get depends very much on the budget.
Monitor: 20" or more.
Regards,
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hans - Your thoughts are always 'worth a lot'! :thumbup:

Of course - more questions! :grin:
Intel seems to be the industry standard but does AMD match them fairly closely now?
Does it matter what brand we choose? Dell used to be the go to industry.
Thanks for the info about monitors because I'd wondered what I would want. I figure the size of the screen may be something to think about......
AND thanks for replying! It gives me a place to start from! :yep:
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by HansV »

The AMD Ryzen series of CPUs frequently beats Intel nowadays, and they offer a lot of value for money.
Dell is a dependable brand (I have a Dell desktop and laptop), but not the cheapest. It's worth checking out their website for special deals.
Regards,
Hans

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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

It does seem that when it comes to computers there are lots of items to think about! If money wasn't an issue, then the sky would be the limit! :grin: but this is a young boy and he'll probably want something different in a few years. And too, in a few years technology becomes outdated. I'm rambling..... :yep:
Bottom line - I appreciate the information and time that you share - always!
Thank you!
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by JoeP »

Dell has Dell-branded gaming PCs and has owned Alienware for a number of years. Look for deals at Dell. Check the outlet store. I've had very good luck with machines from the outlet store at Dell. Some may be one generation older CPU-wise but I doubt you'd notice. Often a "scratch and dent" system will be a great bargain. Gaming PCs can become very pricey very quickly. I would recommend a system with at least 16GB RAM these days. Other than that, I agree with Hans on a base configuration. Everything else depends on budget.
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by BobH »

I can't really add anything but a question, but it might be pertinent.

I've always found that the cheapest and most effective upgrade for PCs is more RAM. I'd up Hans' 8 GB to 16 GB or more. As to specs on RAM, I'm not up to date and defer to Hans, JoeP, et al
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

I pretty much agree with Hans. For example, an i5, or (with good performance/money ratio) an AMD Ryzen 5, i.e. mainstream CPUs.* Of course several gamers buy higher ranked "performance" & "enthusiast" CPUs (as you and other mentioned there is no limit to gaming PCs, and it doesn't stop with the CPU), but these mainstream CPUs leave some extra money to spend on the graphics card which is the important component, still without the CPU becoming an bottleneck (unless really high demand games or applications).

The problem now, the last 1.5 year, and for quite some time, at least here, for DIYs buying individual components and building their desktop is lack of graphics cards and higher prices. Some months ago it was ridiculous; almost empty in all major stores and then some high end $1,000+ GPUs. I haven't bought a branded desktop for decades, but given the above, scarcity & higher prices for individual components, and not having to build the desktop, it seems like a good idea to look for a Dell or similar.

As for technology becoming outdated after a few years, yes in some aspects especially linked to this subject, but I'd say that this is less of a problem with a desktop. Many have upgraded the graphics card after some years or so (in the old days that could at times be a problem with branded desktops with odd solutions for motherboard & computer case size). As you say, in a couple of years probably want something different, so not that much of an issue in this case.

I agree about RAM, 16 GB; it's rather cheap; on the other hand, usually the easiest part to add later, if one can't find a desktop with the right combination of CPU, GPU and other hardware.

And finally, I would recommend that you take a look at the benchmark sites below; it can make it easier to compare the different computers and their components you find.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/
https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/

* I'm on Intel at the moment, years ago AMD, and I'm going back to AMD next time. I can understand if it can be a bit cryptic if one is used to one of the brands, team blue or team red. When I used AMD a long time ago, Intel's different CPU models didn't tell me anything, it was like BMW's different generations; E36 what? :grin:
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by stuck »

I know nothing about gaming PCs but before you splash cash on a brand new PC, consider a refurbished machine. You might get more 'bang for your buck'. These pages are on a UK site but they might give you some ideas:
https://microdream.co.uk/desktop-pc/gaming-pcs.html
https://microdream.co.uk/laptops-and-ne ... ptops.html

Ken

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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Good morning Joe, Bob Argus, Ken and Hans (well, it is still morning here! LOL)

I do agree about the RAM being increased. It seems like there is never enough of it but adding it later is also an option so long as the motherboard supports it? I look at the various specs, information and wonder where I got lost at - so much seems to have changed but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. So Joe and Bob, I agree with both of you, more RAM!
Argus - I'll check the benchmark sites because it never hurts to try and understand what may suit and fit my grandson's needs. I also understand that AMD must have improved their standards as well. Competition is great for the consumer. I also figured I'd get one already built just for the reason you mentioned, parts are difficult to find currently and then too, what part matches the motherboard, etc.
Ken - definitely agree about refurbished as also mentioned by Hans and Joe. I've purchased MAC machines that way (the only way I can afford them :laugh: and have not been disappointed so far. So it would follow that PCs can also be reliable and maybe more so if they are put through the paces after the fact rather than being newly dumped off the assembly line.

So there is mental work for me to do and decisions to be made! But now at least I have information to start the process!

Thank you very much for all the time and information you all have shared! I really do appreciate it very much!
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by stuck »

Skitterbug wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 15:30
...So it would follow that PCs can also be reliable and maybe more so if they are put through the paces after the fact rather than being newly dumped off the assembly line...
You might hope so and my refurbished Desktop PC (that I got from the site I linked too) has been more than adequate for my needs. I'll probably repeat the trick when Win 10 reaches end of life (CPU in current machine is not Win 11 compatible). I must note though there was a bit of a wobble within the first year, the SSD failed but it was within warranty and the company replaced it without quibble and the replacement drive has been problem free.

Ken

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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Ken,

Yes, my Mac laptop had an optical drive that failed but the warranty year that was given with a refurbished unit covered the problem for me! I've had a few other computer units since then and have been pleased. This is MAC/Apple though, but I'd expect the same from any reliable business.
Another example of refurbished is the camera that I sunk some money into - Canon's 7D Mark II. It has performed nicely without problems. I would never have been able to justify paying the price for a new one of those. But my point is that I do trust refurbished equipment so long as I can find what will fit my needs. So there is still "work" that needs to be done! The family seems to think I am a tech guru but I am far from being one. Research and excellent resources shared here from the true gurus of the field are the reasons that I've managed to be helpful to them.

Thanks for replying!
stuck wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 16:13
Skitterbug wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 15:30
...So it would follow that PCs can also be reliable and maybe more so if they are put through the paces after the fact rather than being newly dumped off the assembly line...
You might hope so and my refurbished Desktop PC (that I got from the site I linked too) has been more than adequate for my needs. I'll probably repeat the trick when Win 10 reaches end of life (CPU in current machine is not Win 11 compatible). I must note though there was a bit of a wobble within the first year, the SSD failed but it was within warranty and the company replaced it without quibble and the replacement drive has been problem free.

Ken
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by jonwallace »

Not to disparage any of the fine people who have commented so far, but a couple of thoughts (garnered from reviews and tech videos on YouTube)
8GB is not enough, 16 is better. If you plump for AMD (and I would unless you can afford silly prices for the latest Intel CPUs) make sure that the memory is two sticks of ram (apparently the Ryzen uses dual channel ram.)

Most tech sites wouldn't recommend Dell (even Alienware) or HP, especially the lower priced models due to questionable component choices and proprietary components such as motherboard and power supply units limiting the upgrade route.

I recommend youtube as a resource, if you choose wisely (I quite like Linus Tech Tips. It's a bit techy, but it's up to date and they have a couple of videos specifically about choosing a new PC).

Be prepared for the horrendous price for recently released game, but pleasantly surprised at how cheap(ish) last year's (or older) titles can be. Also prepare for the install size of modern PC games, I think at least a 1TB drive should be on your radar.

One last thing. It is as true today as ever was that advances in graphics and cpu power are drive by gamers. Modern games require a lot of grunt.

Have fun choosing (hope I wasn't unhelpful...)
John

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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

jonwallace wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 23:17
Most tech sites wouldn't recommend Dell (even Alienware) or HP, especially the lower priced models due to questionable component choices and proprietary components such as motherboard and power supply units limiting the upgrade route.
I agree, John. I tried to allude to that; it could (severely) limit the upgrade route. Even if more recent GPU generations have lower power demands, you usually don't know what you get when it comes to motherboard and power supply with these branded PCs (or GPUs for that matter; remember hard-core gamers can argue back and forth about the same GPU but from different brands, or different models of the same GPU; but such esoteric questions is of minor to no interest for a young person moving to PC games, at least for a start :grin:).

(I didn't mention that I'm a bit impressed how capable the built-in graphics are in modern CPUs; that said, my 5 year old CPU can probably only play 10+ year old advanced games, with far from maxed settings on graphics. :grin:)

My guess though is that it is a tiny bit better on the PSU side, since quite a lot has happened the last 20 years related to quality & efficiency ratings. Still, they are usually not built to do major upgrades, you get a 240-290 W PSU, or similar, on the smaller desktops.

You usually don't know what type of connectors you get from the PSU, as some more may be needed with a more power hungry card. I believe there can also be some limitation on maximum power from the PCIex16 slot for the graphic card on small form factor desktops (as compared to mini-tower etc. form factors), so those are best avoided. 75 W is the standard for the slot as we know, not a problem if you buy standard components and build your own PC, and add an adequate PSU with some extra, but can come as a surprise if you go for a branded "office PC". It will be fine with a GPU that draws 75 W (if there is no limit on the slot), but a GPU that needs 120-150 W will have an additional 6-pin connector, some an 8-pin, and will need a cable from the PSU etc. And it is quite possible that there is no extra 6-pin cable on "smaller" power supplies from these manufacturers, below say 290 W.

I guess there are plenty of community threads about this, since they are so common, here is one example from Dell user community.
https://www.dell.com/community/Optiplex ... -p/7855479

Some more about that below.

To summarise this part; some branded office PCs are out of the question, usually small form factor etc. and even if it comes with an entry level gaming card, an upgrade to a slightly more advanced card could mean a new PSU as well. And then we still know next to nothing about the quality of the motherboard. But a smaller upgrade can work if the PSU is up to it and comes with extra cables.

(And it is also a bit sad, if these branded desktops are some peoples only experience of what a PC can be.)

But I also tried to balance all this in my comment to this being a first gaming PC for a 10-year old. Several people also see their computer as a complete unit, when it's no longer up to scratch it is replaced, or allocated as second or third.

As for graphics. Entry-level graphic cards can put some limitations on screen resolutions and frame rates in games, i.e. you can use higher game settings and still get better performance measured in frames per seconds etc. in lower resolutions such as 1080p compared to using higher 1440p etc. But one can have plenty of fun with 1080; and I think that would be a recommendation.
jonwallace wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 23:17
I recommend youtube as a resource, if you choose wisely (I quite like Linus Tech Tips. It's a bit techy, but it's up to date and they have a couple of videos specifically about choosing a new PC).
I agree with youtube (and Linus and some other) as an added resource in this case, but also when it comes to individual games and their demands on the hardware, as well as info about gaming sites such as Steam (although the young user perhaps starts with something else).

I would like to add that sites such as www.guru3d.com do several tests that can be of some value, since they test both hardware and games (so that one can see power demand, and expected performance from different cards). And also www.notebookcheck.net. The benchmark sites I mentioned are just a quick way to rank different models with a single benchmark when comparing alternatives.
jonwallace wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 23:17
Be prepared for the horrendous price for recently released game, but pleasantly surprised at how cheap(ish) last year's (or older) titles can be. Also prepare for the install size of modern PC games, I think at least a 1TB drive should be on your radar.
Good of you John to mention install size of modern games; I've heard they're big. (It's possible that one could add a second HDD to store some things, to leave some space on a SSD. I didn't touch the subject of storage since it can usually be solved later.)
jonwallace wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 23:17
One last thing. It is as true today as ever was that advances in graphics and cpu power are drive by gamers. Modern games require a lot of grunt.
I also agree with your final point; and it could also be one path of research in this case, one starting point, together with what is available, refurbished or not; i.e. what type of games is of interest; one can also search for game titles in combination with GPU type, and see what other people say. (I know, what's of interest is almost bound to change after some time as the user discovers more. Or rather, it will change! :grin:)
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

As for refurbished PCs. It's great, that said I don't have any. In my part of the world we see for example several sites selling business laptops (Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.), and I've looked at them at times. They usually have a lot, from quite old to more recent, in different conditions, but they often have rather high prices to add extra RAM, or change from HDD to SSD, or change the size of them, and then you usually don't know what brand you get on the components. (The other extra they offer is usually useless, apart from perhaps warranty.)

Another thing with these firms selling refurbished PCs is that they sometimes can make it difficult to compare individual PCs; they boast that one PC has this or that, and almost forget to mention it on another, even if it has the same capabilities. Could be because they have plenty of one, and want to get rid of them. Also pretty impressive that they can't use a standard format, table, for presenting all details; they can simply omit something, even if it is there. Just look at the examples below, on one they mention the PSU under a separate heading ... And they do not always mention max RAM capacities (remembering they are selling branded PCs with lord knows what motherboards), so there may be only two slots with 8 GB RAM in total, and to go to 16 GB you'll will have to swap memory sticks, which they will sell.

If I take a look at the desktop page Ken mentioned, and I guess it is a good example, since mentioning gaming cards, I'll do this exercise just as an example of what one can find out there, and with some odd results. Two of the desktops come with what is, or has been, considered a rather good but low entry-level gaming card, GTX 1050 Ti (some 5 years old) (and one with GT 1030, which isn't much to write about). One can compare it with other NVIDIA cards as bellow, but there is also AMD Radeon as mentioned by Hans, such as Radeon RX 5500 4 GB from 2019 as the GTX 1660 Ti, with a G3D Mark of around 8700, i.e. it sits between 6300 for 1050 Ti and around 11700 for 1660 Ti, however it requires more power, max TDP is 150 W. All this if planning upgrades, but benchmarks is of course interesting when comparing different computers as well.

The computers seem both to be SFF (small form factor) cases, with only low-profile motherboard slots, equipped with 240 W PSUs, which should be considered the absolute lower limit in this case, as mentioned above. No matter them being mentioned as gaming PCs, this will limit upgrades. 240 W is obviously fine for the 1050 Ti included (max 75 W; CPU, disks, mobo and fans will add perhaps another 80-100 W), but there can be troubles if one finds or is given a second-hand GPU that is more capable.

Of the two examples it is the cheaper one that comes with a newer CPU, i5-4590, and Windows 10 Pro; the other one has an older i5-3470 and Windows 10 Home ... but it includes at least a DVD-RW and the HDD is 1000 GB instead of 500 GB. Is it worth it? I would easily, if they were my only choice, pick the cheaper one with a newer CPU, and Win Pro, even if the small difference between 4590 and 3470 isn't noticed in most cases; HDDs/SSDs can be changed. It's possible that there are other differences that I have missed.

Below you can see a benchmark comparison, Skitter; obviously even a 2 GB GT 1030 is an upgrade compared to built-in CPU graphics, in this case I added 4th gen. Intel HD 4600. The built-in and GT 1030 can be used for low demand gaming or old games.
Intel HD 4600 vs GeForce GT 1030 vs GeForce GTX 1050 Ti vs GeForce GTX 1660 etc.png
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Jon,

Good information to consider and no - you were not "unhelpful" but thoughtful! I shall save a copy of this thread and go through it piece by piece and hopefully I'll be able to shed some light on what may be my grandson's best choices. I already know that he will want to make the decision about what he might like. He's counting on lots of "gift money" for the coming holidays. And I suspect that he'll be looking for chores that his Mom and Dad may appreciate him doing.

Thank you for your reply!

Sandy
jonwallace wrote:
29 Oct 2021, 23:17
Not to disparage any of the fine people who have commented so far, but a couple of thoughts (garnered from reviews and tech videos on YouTube)
8GB is not enough, 16 is better. If you plump for AMD (and I would unless you can afford silly prices for the latest Intel CPUs) make sure that the memory is two sticks of ram (apparently the Ryzen uses dual channel ram.)

Most tech sites wouldn't recommend Dell (even Alienware) or HP, especially the lower priced models due to questionable component choices and proprietary components such as motherboard and power supply units limiting the upgrade route.

I recommend youtube as a resource, if you choose wisely (I quite like Linus Tech Tips. It's a bit techy, but it's up to date and they have a couple of videos specifically about choosing a new PC).

Be prepared for the horrendous price for recently released game, but pleasantly surprised at how cheap(ish) last year's (or older) titles can be. Also prepare for the install size of modern PC games, I think at least a 1TB drive should be on your radar.

One last thing. It is as true today as ever was that advances in graphics and cpu power are drive by gamers. Modern games require a lot of grunt.

Have fun choosing (hope I wasn't unhelpful...)
Skitterbug :coffeetime:
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Argus,

You've touched on a few more points that I'd been thinking about - motherboard and its capabilities, and how many slots it has. Also the various graphic cards that will be costly no matter which one is chosen. It has to be able to produce good visuals for gaming.

Your point about refurbished PCs not quite having what is needed and then cost being added when the upgrades are made is spot on. I've looked at some and none of them have all that may be needed.

Plenty of RAM, decent motherboard, good graphic card, decent heat fan (forget the right name for it), and the power to be able to run it all. Can't forget plenty of space needed on a hard drive.

Grandson is worried about Frames per second and I'd think Ping capability would also play into all of this. Not sure what actually governs these two other than solid, good preforming equipment.

As mentioned in my reply to Jon, I am going to print this and make a list! :laugh:
I ought to check out bench marks but I have to confess that I've never truly understood what all that data means. :scratch: In the end, I just want the child to be happy with his purchase and then be able to game happily. He can also use it for his school work! :yep:

Hope your day was a fun one! And thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Sandy


Argus wrote:
30 Oct 2021, 09:02
As for refurbished PCs. It's great, that said I don't have any. In my part of the world we see for example several sites selling business laptops (Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.), and I've looked at them at times. They usually have a lot, from quite old to more recent, in different conditions, but they often have rather high prices to add extra RAM, or change from HDD to SSD, or change the size of them, and then you usually don't know what brand you get on the components. (The other extra they offer is usually useless, apart from perhaps warranty.)

Another thing with these firms selling refurbished PCs is that they sometimes can make it difficult to compare individual PCs; they boast that one PC has this or that, and almost forget to mention it on another, even if it has the same capabilities. Could be because they have plenty of one, and want to get rid of them. Also pretty impressive that they can't use a standard format, table, for presenting all details; they can simply omit something, even if it is there. Just look at the examples below, on one they mention the PSU under a separate heading ... And they do not always mention max RAM capacities (remembering they are selling branded PCs with lord knows what motherboards), so there may be only two slots with 8 GB RAM in total, and to go to 16 GB you'll will have to swap memory sticks, which they will sell.

If I take a look at the desktop page Ken mentioned, and I guess it is a good example, since mentioning gaming cards, I'll do this exercise just as an example of what one can find out there, and with some odd results. Two of the desktops come with what is, or has been, considered a rather good but low entry-level gaming card, GTX 1050 Ti (some 5 years old) (and one with GT 1030, which isn't much to write about). One can compare it with other NVIDIA cards as bellow, but there is also AMD Radeon as mentioned by Hans, such as Radeon RX 5500 4 GB from 2019 as the GTX 1660 Ti, with a G3D Mark of around 8700, i.e. it sits between 6300 for 1050 Ti and around 11700 for 1660 Ti, however it requires more power, max TDP is 150 W. All this if planning upgrades, but benchmarks is of course interesting when comparing different computers as well.

The computers seem both to be SFF (small form factor) cases, with only low-profile motherboard slots, equipped with 240 W PSUs, which should be considered the absolute lower limit in this case, as mentioned above. No matter them being mentioned as gaming PCs, this will limit upgrades. 240 W is obviously fine for the 1050 Ti included (max 75 W; CPU, disks, mobo and fans will add perhaps another 80-100 W), but there can be troubles if one finds or is given a second-hand GPU that is more capable.

Of the two examples it is the cheaper one that comes with a newer CPU, i5-4590, and Windows 10 Pro; the other one has an older i5-3470 and Windows 10 Home ... but it includes at least a DVD-RW and the HDD is 1000 GB instead of 500 GB. Is it worth it? I would easily, if they were my only choice, pick the cheaper one with a newer CPU, and Win Pro, even if the small difference between 4590 and 3470 isn't noticed in most cases; HDDs/SSDs can be changed. It's possible that there are other differences that I have missed.

Below you can see a benchmark comparison, Skitter; obviously even a 2 GB GT 1030 is an upgrade compared to built-in CPU graphics, in this case I added 4th gen. Intel HD 4600. The built-in and GT 1030 can be used for low demand gaming or old games.
Intel HD 4600 vs GeForce GT 1030 vs GeForce GTX 1050 Ti vs GeForce GTX 1660 etc.png
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

Hi Sandy, another lenghty post, but that's the only way to address this. :smile: (So, please don't quote my ramblings.)

As you might know or guess, GPUs come in generations as CPUs; such as in NVidia’s case in recent years 1000, 1600, 2000 and 3000. And in each generation there will be entry-level, mainstream, and enthusiast cards, no surprise there, and neither that there is a link to resolutions, i.e. 1920x1080p etc. and frames per second these can achieve (and other features they have). But all that depends on what type games someone is playing, and for each game there are usually settings that can be tweaked depending on hardware. But an entry-level gaming card can be enough for plenty of fun.

The benchmark sites (for CPU & GPU) I mentioned are just a simple quick way to compare two or more computers/components; if there are, for example, two almost similar in price, perhaps one with less RAM, but it seems to have better graphics, you can check and get some basic idea about performance; we really don't have to understand what's behind the numbers at that point.

(That said, some year ago PassMark software "recalibrated" the scale, since the more recent hardware has far better performance, so an old value for a 4th gen. Intel CPU with a benchmark of say 7500 became around 5500, I think, but since they did that for all, it's of minor interest; but it did upset some.)

And as you know, and mentioned above, there are other sites that do far more in depth testing; related to frames per second, features, and what not.
Skitterbug wrote:
31 Oct 2021, 00:05
Grandson is worried about Frames per second and I'd think Ping capability would also play into all of this. Not sure what actually governs these two other than solid, good preforming equipment.
As for ping, I guess it's outside the scope of this thread, :smile: since it's about the Internet connection at the young user's place. It's true that some motherboards come with features that manufacturers (Asus, MSI, Gigabyte etc.) say can boost the Internet connection, or give priority to gaming etc. (But you usually don't find those motherboards in office or refurbished PCs, unless dedicated gaming PCs, only when you buy and build yourself.) I don't think they change much at all, may get in the way, and may need extra more or less useless software installed. I tend to look for a good NIC from Intel or similar, and then I'm done with it. But then I'm not a 10-15 year old gamer. :grin: (I.e. more bling is better, even if it doesn't change a thing, or even make them worse.)

Back to graphic cards, and different generations. If I look at around 2016-2017, and what some called the sweet spot for 1080p gaming (i.e. it could very well be done with cards below, but this one could do most you could throw at it; you went above that card if you wanted higher resolutions and more features), GTX 1070 had twice the amount of memory, more than twice the amount of transistors, and had a bandwidth of 256 GB/s compared to 84/112 GB/s for a GTX 1050 (Ti). That said, 1070 wasn't cheap, far from. GTX 1050 was considered a good entry-level the years after, 2017-2019. I'm not sure now. But, and this is important, it all depends on the games someone is going to play.

One could perhaps think that a later GTX 1660 (from 2019-2020) is better than a 1070; new microarchitecture (Turing instead of Pascal), and "higher" model number, but no, it isn't, but it is far better than a 1050 as shown in benchmarks.

A GTX 1650-1660 has twice the amount of transistors (6.6 billion) compared to 1050 (3.3), but not as much as the old GTX 1070 (7.2); 1650-1660 has 4-6 GB RAM, compared to 8 GB for the old GTX 1070 and 4 GB for 1050; and the bandwidth is between 192-336 GB/s (highest for GTX 1660 Super).

As you can see in a quick benchmark below, and then I haven't looked closer as they do in tests (frames per second, features etc.), the top of the line in the 1600 series, 1660 Super, is getting close to the old 1070, but with less memory that may have an impact. And also, the new microarchitecture, Turing, makes it draw less power, but being if not equal close to.

To summarise this part; as I mentioned there is a huge lack of cards, and prices have gone up quite a lot(!), and you are looking at a complete PC anyhow, which will probably make it cheaper, (prices in SE doesn't make sense since they are more expensive here; but I checked some at other sites), just to compare, say, GTX 1050, 1660 and 1070 (which together with 1050 is very difficult to find new):

GTX 1050 Ti $285-400
GTX 1660 (basic, Ti, Super) $500-650
GTX 1070 $490-750+

Refurbished older ones can be found in the lower range or below. This just as an example, but it would have been better 2 years ago since prices are bonkers, and two of the cards have almost left the market (for new ones) if you want to buy individual components. As you can see, in comparison with the benchmarks, you get almost the same performance (I know plenty would object) with a top 1660 as with a 1070, for a lower price.

I think one can say, unless you can find a second hand gaming computer, an entry-level card (using max 75W from the slot) with a PSU that has at least one 6-pin cable, and enough power to upgrade the card if one later on finds another second-hand would be the best, until buying a new one some years later.

In this discussion the CPU is of less interest; I know there has been or are discussions when a CPU becomes a bottleneck but then you are usually discussing top graphic cards and more recent triple-A games with high demands. So even a couple of generations old mainstream CPU, 2013-2017 (i5, AMD Ryzen 5) is OK, since it's more or less all about graphics, then RAM and CPU.
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti vs GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER vs GeForce GTX 1070.png
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Skitterbug
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Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Argus,

I appreciate all the information. Your explanations are at my level so I can understand them! I am learning! :smile: And it is fun to know that others "ramble" too. I've been accused of this quite often! :smile:

And so if this isn't too much of an imposition, what would you think of this computer? (or am I not supposed to point to a specific selling place? Guess I'll find out!) Computer possibility?

I think that if I ever do run into a problem with it, I can take it back to this business to have it repaired but I'll look more closely if I would purchase this one or some other one from them. They are about an hour and a half drive from us. I don't like the trip but it is doable. Or the grandson's mom could run it over. Heh heh.

Again, I want to thank you for all of your time and help! Hopefully I can end up with a happy grandson!

Sandy

Argus wrote:
31 Oct 2021, 20:35
Hi Sandy, another lenghty post, but that's the only way to address this. :smile: (So, please don't quote my ramblings.)

As you might know or guess, GPUs come in generations as CPUs; such as in NVidia’s case in recent years 1000, 1600, 2000 and 3000. And in each generation there will be entry-level, mainstream, and enthusiast cards, no surprise there, and neither that there is a link to resolutions, i.e. 1920x1080p etc. and frames per second these can achieve (and other features they have). But all that depends on what type games someone is playing, and for each game there are usually settings that can be tweaked depending on hardware. But an entry-level gaming card can be enough for plenty of fun.

The benchmark sites (for CPU & GPU) I mentioned are just a simple quick way to compare two or more computers/components; if there are, for example, two almost similar in price, perhaps one with less RAM, but it seems to have better graphics, you can check and get some basic idea about performance; we really don't have to understand what's behind the numbers at that point.

(That said, some year ago PassMark software "recalibrated" the scale, since the more recent hardware has far better performance, so an old value for a 4th gen. Intel CPU with a benchmark of say 7500 became around 5500, I think, but since they did that for all, it's of minor interest; but it did upset some.)

And as you know, and mentioned above, there are other sites that do far more in depth testing; related to frames per second, features, and what not.
Skitterbug wrote:
31 Oct 2021, 00:05
Grandson is worried about Frames per second and I'd think Ping capability would also play into all of this. Not sure what actually governs these two other than solid, good preforming equipment.
As for ping, I guess it's outside the scope of this thread, :smile: since it's about the Internet connection at the young user's place. It's true that some motherboards come with features that manufacturers (Asus, MSI, Gigabyte etc.) say can boost the Internet connection, or give priority to gaming etc. (But you usually don't find those motherboards in office or refurbished PCs, unless dedicated gaming PCs, only when you buy and build yourself.) I don't think they change much at all, may get in the way, and may need extra more or less useless software installed. I tend to look for a good NIC from Intel or similar, and then I'm done with it. But then I'm not a 10-15 year old gamer. :grin: (I.e. more bling is better, even if it doesn't change a thing, or even make them worse.)

Back to graphic cards, and different generations. If I look at around 2016-2017, and what some called the sweet spot for 1080p gaming (i.e. it could very well be done with cards below, but this one could do most you could throw at it; you went above that card if you wanted higher resolutions and more features), GTX 1070 had twice the amount of memory, more than twice the amount of transistors, and had a bandwidth of 256 GB/s compared to 84/112 GB/s for a GTX 1050 (Ti). That said, 1070 wasn't cheap, far from. GTX 1050 was considered a good entry-level the years after, 2017-2019. I'm not sure now. But, and this is important, it all depends on the games someone is going to play.

One could perhaps think that a later GTX 1660 (from 2019-2020) is better than a 1070; new microarchitecture (Turing instead of Pascal), and "higher" model number, but no, it isn't, but it is far better than a 1050 as shown in benchmarks.

A GTX 1650-1660 has twice the amount of transistors (6.6 billion) compared to 1050 (3.3), but not as much as the old GTX 1070 (7.2); 1650-1660 has 4-6 GB RAM, compared to 8 GB for the old GTX 1070 and 4 GB for 1050; and the bandwidth is between 192-336 GB/s (highest for GTX 1660 Super).

As you can see in a quick benchmark below, and then I haven't looked closer as they do in tests (frames per second, features etc.), the top of the line in the 1600 series, 1660 Super, is getting close to the old 1070, but with less memory that may have an impact. And also, the new microarchitecture, Turing, makes it draw less power, but being if not equal close to.

To summarise this part; as I mentioned there is a huge lack of cards, and prices have gone up quite a lot(!), and you are looking at a complete PC anyhow, which will probably make it cheaper, (prices in SE doesn't make sense since they are more expensive here; but I checked some at other sites), just to compare, say, GTX 1050, 1660 and 1070 (which together with 1050 is very difficult to find new):

GTX 1050 Ti $285-400
GTX 1660 (basic, Ti, Super) $500-650
GTX 1070 $490-750+

Refurbished older ones can be found in the lower range or below. This just as an example, but it would have been better 2 years ago since prices are bonkers, and two of the cards have almost left the market (for new ones) if you want to buy individual components. As you can see, in comparison with the benchmarks, you get almost the same performance (I know plenty would object) with a top 1660 as with a 1070, for a lower price.

I think one can say, unless you can find a second hand gaming computer, an entry-level card (using max 75W from the slot) with a PSU that has at least one 6-pin cable, and enough power to upgrade the card if one later on finds another second-hand would be the best, until buying a new one some years later.

In this discussion the CPU is of less interest; I know there has been or are discussions when a CPU becomes a bottleneck but then you are usually discussing top graphic cards and more recent triple-A games with high demands. So even a couple of generations old mainstream CPU, 2013-2017 (i5, AMD Ryzen 5) is OK, since it's more or less all about graphics, then RAM and CPU.
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti vs GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER vs GeForce GTX 1070.png
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Argus
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 19:07

Re: Gaming computer ideas

Post by Argus »

Skitterbug wrote:
01 Nov 2021, 03:23
And so if this isn't too much of an imposition, what would you think of this computer? (or am I not supposed to point to a specific selling place? Guess I'll find out!) Computer possibility?
Hi Sandy, glad you got some new info from what I and other have talked about. From my point of view everyone is free to point to specific places (as long as they don't have any connections to it, or mention it).

I have to run for work, but a quick answer, from a quick glance, yes, I think that would be a very good first gaming computer. (BTW, it's using a NVMe M.2 SSD, 500 GB; so there's room for plenty of HDDs should there be need for extra space, as long as they can fit in the rather small case, but it looks fine.) But as you say, one has to look at what is available.
I'll return when I've had a closer look.

I don't think any 10-12 year old could complain about that one. :grin:
Byelingual    When you speak two languages but start losing vocabulary in both of them.