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I did build a niche gaming PC!


Dave
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Disclaimer: for fun only, I very probably won't do/buy this. :lol:

 

I'm looking for the smallest, cheapest, most energy efficient way of obtaining a constant 60fps at 1080p ultra on a cycling training program/game I use called Zwift.

 

Anyone fancy knocking up a configuration? I quickly get lost when considering power supply, cooling etc.

 

Requirements:

 

1. Only for Zwift, nothing else.

2. Masses of storage space not required, a tiny SSD is fine.

3. Don't need 120fps, or 4K resolution etc, that's just overkill. A bit of headroom would be fine.

4. Will need a Windows 10 licence.

5. The game apparently relies heavily on the GPU, so a dead fast modern CPU isn't necessary.

6. Ignore peripherals, including monitor.

 

Game specs: https://support.zwift.com/en_us/what-are-the-minimum-device-requirements-for-zwift--S1C6I6OB7

 

Benchmarks for comparison: https://zwiftalizer.com/benchmarks

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Doesn't have to be all brand new kit btw, if the same components can be purchased from CEX or whatever. I'm a bit confused as to how/why there are seemingly a million manufacturers of the same graphics cards, for example.

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Guest firetotheworks

This is right down my alley like. Nerd fight incoming.

 

I'm guessing this kind of s*** will mean AMD is the way forward but the hardcore gaming lads aren't gonna like that.

 

Whatever's best bang for your buck though innit? AMD still aren't anywhere near Intel are they?...Or are they? Please advise.

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Reason I'm asking here is that most people who use this software seem to either have a  (to me) massively powerful gaming PC already or are using an iOS device. There's no in between; something that simply runs it well without taking into consideration a bunch of other uses that I don't want or need.

 

Might not even be feasible or worthwhile tbh, I'm just curious really. If it's going to be like £600 there's no benefit over just buying a gaming laptop.

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This is right down my alley like. Nerd fight incoming.

 

I'm guessing this kind of s*** will mean AMD is the way forward but the hardcore gaming lads aren't gonna like that.

 

Whatever's best bang for your buck though innit? AMD still aren't anywhere near Intel are they?...Or are they? Please advise.

 

Depends what you're looking for. Intel has better single core performance, and thus is deemed better for gaming, but the AMD Ryzen chips are certainly competitive at certain levels. AMD don't have anything that will be massively competitive at the highest level, but when you're looking at i5s, especially the newly announced ones, then AMD seems a much better choice imo.

 

On the newly announced note, Intel muddied the waters further, by basically turning their old "i7" level chip into "i9". It's a confusion topic that would probably be better elsewhere tho.

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Doesn't have to be all brand new kit btw, if the same components can be purchased from CEX or whatever. I'm a bit confused as to how/why there are seemingly a million manufacturers of the same graphics cards, for example.

 

Simplification time, no nerd assault pls: NVIDIA and AMD release the GPU chips and "reference cards", which are example versions of how to use their GPU. All the various manufacturers like PNY, EVGA, Asus, Zotac etc, release versions of these cards with the GPU, but ultimately the design of the card is their choice. The most noteworthy element being the cooling I suppose? And amount of onboard memory. I assume they have to adhere to certain standards/layouts/designs/things that are defined by Nvidia/AMD, but idk.

 

(and thus certain versions of graphics cards are more overclock friendly, if they have cooling that allows for it... tho people can also just remove the cooling and put their own cooling solution on)

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:thup:

 

Are some noticeably 'better' than others or is the idea that they're all capable of the same basic performance?

 

Different amounts of memory is a fairly significant factor, and their cooling ability is important, because it affects how a company can clock the card. The same chip could be clocked to play it safe and never get hot, or clocked to gan mental, but this is only good if the card has adequate cooling.

 

But, all of this is a lot more relevant at uber-gaming-pc levels, where you're trying to eke out every little bit of performance. At mid-level, I'd be paying attention to reviews, in case it's just a crappily made card, but I wouldn't be getting too deep into it. Probably just get what was most budget friendly.

 

Oh, I guess another element is AMD vs Nvidia, and your software's compatibility with each manufacturer. Certain games work much better with Nvidia.

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Do you run it on something today that gives you less than 60 fps for comparison?

 

Looking at the "extreme" requirements (assuming if you meet the extreme requirements you will get the FPS you need) you would be best off looking for a ~2-3 year old computer second hand imo. You should be able to get something equal or even better for under £600. Might be hard to find a small cabinet solution like that though.

 

https://www.gumtree.com/p/desktop-workstation-pcs/i7-gaming-pc-computer-ssd-16gb-ram-gtx-970-windows-10-pro-fortnite-overwatch-gta-etc./1316408450

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Guest firetotheworks

Reason I'm asking here is that most people who use this software seem to either have a  (to me) massively powerful gaming PC already or are using an iOS device. There's no in between; something that simply runs it well without taking into consideration a bunch of other uses that I don't want or need.

 

Might not even be feasible or worthwhile tbh, I'm just curious really. If it's going to be like £600 there's no benefit over just buying a gaming laptop.

 

This is how it starts I tend to find. :lol:

 

I started out wanting something that was cheaper but more powerful than my PS4 for around £3-400. I achieved that on PC Part Picker fairly quickly, but then I got into benchmarks and getting bang for my buck and ended up selling my MacBook so I could build a £1,200 PC. :lol: Totally worth it like.

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Put this together super quick, not sure what zwift needs but the benches I found showed over 60 FPS with a 1050 level card (bear in mind GPU prices are stupidly high right now). You could probably save some money (£50) by going for the 2200G CPU instead, which for swift is probably fine. Rest I just found something cheap, you can probably save a few quid by looking for alternatives.

 

Alternatives

 

CPU - AMD Ryzen 2200G 4 cores 4 Threads - £50 Saving

GPU - Look on ebay for GTX 1060 or Radeon 570/580s maybe

RAM - could cut down to 4GB, but I wouldnt recommend it

 

Windows you can get a key online for £10-20

 

http://i66.tinypic.com/5feu0i.jpg

 

This all assumes you have a screen, mouse and keybaord lying around

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Guest firetotheworks

Here's one I did based on a mix of cheaper parts and higher quality, second hand (CEX - 2 year warranty) parts for the GPU and CPU.

 

zywWmcZ.png

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How much would a mid-grade ready-made desktop PC set you back over there?

 

Probably shitloads with the Brexit premium.  I built a PC recently and most of the parts cost exactly the same in pounds as they did in dollars.

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Do you run it on something today that gives you less than 60 fps for comparison?

 

Looking at the "extreme" requirements (assuming if you meet the extreme requirements you will get the FPS you need) you would be best off looking for a ~2-3 year old computer second hand imo. You should be able to get something equal or even better for under £600. Might be hard to find a small cabinet solution like that though.

 

https://www.gumtree.com/p/desktop-workstation-pcs/i7-gaming-pc-computer-ssd-16gb-ram-gtx-970-windows-10-pro-fortnite-overwatch-gta-etc./1316408450

 

Just running it on my Yoga laptop which gets me 22-25fps on 720p basic at present. Integrated HD 610 graphics.

 

To be honest I kind of thought it might be possible for under £300 with budget parts and not having to go high end for the GPU but it seems I'm way out. :lol:

 

Thanks anyway folks. :thup:

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Guest firetotheworks

£300 is possible like, I just copied Adam's budget. :lol:

 

Change the GPU, CPU, and Motherboard on mine and you'll easily get under £300 with 60fps average on that game, you just probably won't be future proof.

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Guest firetotheworks

Close enough.

 

bwa7jVw.png

 

Personally I'd go second hand with CEX and get a much better PC like. They have that 2 year warranty, so it takes away the worry and you'll probably be able to get the first one I posted for nearer £300 and it'll be a very decent PC.

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I'd be careful going for a dual core, until you do some research in to Zwift and how much CPU it uses. A super fast GPU will be bottlenecked by a slower CPU, a second hand Ryzen or even older generation i5 would be a good choice. Plenty of stuff on ebay with people selling old motherboards and processors together same goes for graphics cards.

 

Something like this, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gigabyte-GA-H61M-D2H-USB3-Motherboard-Intel-i5-3570k-3-4MHz-CPU-6GB-RAM/223179361102?hash=item33f686cb4e:g:9yQAAOSwvK1bufPT would be worth a punt up to about £60 maybe a bit more as it comes with RAM and ram is stupid money these days.

 

CEX you buy parts individually in general, they might have some parts bundled together. Only thing you need to make sure is that the socket on the motherboard matches the CPU and the RAM you buy is the correct type either DDR3 or DDR4 rest of the parts will work regardless.

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Guest firetotheworks

Probably, you'll need to know what the socket type (1150, 1151 etc) on the motherboard is first and where you can actually add a GPU at all, then go from there. If you can find the name of the motherboard we'll be able to see what's possible.

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