Building new system for son

Feb 12, 2021
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I am venturing in to building a gaming PC for my son. He's 12 and he primarily is going to play minecraft Java, Roblox, Ark, and Fortnite. I have some components that were given to me but I'm not sure if they are worth using. I was hoping someone might have some input:

Case: Panteks Eclipse SeriesP360A
Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming
Processor: Unknown
RAM: 2XPNY Electronics 4GBH1X04F1AA28-15 4GB
Power supply: 400W (I think)
GPU: Nividia GEFORCE GT 710
1TB HDD (going to get an SSD)


Any thoughts would be great. If I need to replace some of these I'm fine to but I don't want to spend too much money right now.

Thank you in advance.
 
Feb 2, 2020
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Look into the system requirements of each applications/games and check if your current system can handle even at the minimum. Your processor is definitely an AMD AM3+, though we cannot specify the exact model.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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Of all the games ARK has the highest spec requirements:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 60 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 2048 MB

Does that help? I know we're not clear on the processor but the rest looks like the system can handle assuming the processor can.?
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Some one please check my work as i am not as well versed in AMD stuff, But i think this chip should work. According to a Review the person was talking about his build so i searched that chip.

Chip 130

Ram 45 The board is capped at DDR3 but that should be fine.



Your talking just under 200 dollars. the big Q is do you wanna spend slightly more and get a good boost. If you did plan on updating the vid card in the future, and maybe adding another 8GB of ram, i could easily see this comp lasting 4+ years. The card upgrade could also just swap right into a new build then. Basically when the 3060 TI's are around that would make a super solid upgrade to this and you'd be gaming in style, though that would require a power supply upgrade as well. Basically my thinking is to use as many of your parts as you can, and slowly upgrade over time.


That said, If you really wanted to future proof and spend just a we bit more to start, it is really hard to go wrong with a Z490 (you can find um for around 150) + 13100 (between 100-120) + 16GB ram (around 150) Then add a new PS+ vid card in the future. You could also do something very similar on the AMD side of things for again around 300 or so.

So the q you need to ask, How much do you wanna spend, How much do you want to upgrade, How long do you want this comp to work. Just adding the ram and chip you should have no problem playing those games you listed, and a vid card upgrade, even something like a 1660 would be a very doable upgrade an should work with out upgrading your PS either. a 1060 would be another option. AMD also has stuff in the similar range and power consumption, but again someone else might wanna jump in with which RX series is similar in power usage. is it the RX570? I wanna say that's the one. but vid cards are all over priced atm so your going to be using that one for the next 6 months would be my guess.
 
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Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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The GT 710 is the main problem people, I think Minecraft and Fortnite may work at very low resolution but might take some work arounds to get them working . The FX 6300 will play a lot of things still but that GPU wasnt for gaming when it was released and its like 8 years old now.
 
Feb 12, 2021
17
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Some one please check my work as i am not as well versed in AMD stuff, But i think this chip should work. According to a Review the person was talking about his build so i searched that chip.

Chip 130

Ram 45 The board is capped at DDR3 but that should be fine.



Your talking just under 200 dollars. the big Q is do you wanna spend slightly more and get a good boost. If you did plan on updating the vid card in the future, and maybe adding another 8GB of ram, i could easily see this comp lasting 4+ years. The card upgrade could also just swap right into a new build then. Basically when the 3060 TI's are around that would make a super solid upgrade to this and you'd be gaming in style, though that would require a power supply upgrade as well. Basically my thinking is to use as many of your parts as you can, and slowly upgrade over time.


That said, If you really wanted to future proof and spend just a we bit more to start, it is really hard to go wrong with a Z490 (you can find um for around 150) + 13100 (between 100-120) + 16GB ram (around 150) Then add a new PS+ vid card in the future. You could also do something very similar on the AMD side of things for again around 300 or so.

So the q you need to ask, How much do you wanna spend, How much do you want to upgrade, How long do you want this comp to work. Just adding the ram and chip you should have no problem playing those games you listed, and a vid card upgrade, even something like a 1660 would be a very doable upgrade an should work with out upgrading your PS either. a 1060 would be another option. AMD also has stuff in the similar range and power consumption, but again someone else might wanna jump in with which RX series is similar in power usage. is it the RX570? I wanna say that's the one. but vid cards are all over priced atm so your going to be using that one for the next 6 months would be my guess.
Some one please check my work as i am not as well versed in AMD stuff, But i think this chip should work. According to a Review the person was talking about his build so i searched that chip.

Chip 130

Ram 45 The board is capped at DDR3 but that should be fine.



Your talking just under 200 dollars. the big Q is do you wanna spend slightly more and get a good boost. If you did plan on updating the vid card in the future, and maybe adding another 8GB of ram, i could easily see this comp lasting 4+ years. The card upgrade could also just swap right into a new build then. Basically when the 3060 TI's are around that would make a super solid upgrade to this and you'd be gaming in style, though that would require a power supply upgrade as well. Basically my thinking is to use as many of your parts as you can, and slowly upgrade over time.


That said, If you really wanted to future proof and spend just a we bit more to start, it is really hard to go wrong with a Z490 (you can find um for around 150) + 13100 (between 100-120) + 16GB ram (around 150) Then add a new PS+ vid card in the future. You could also do something very similar on the AMD side of things for again around 300 or so.

So the q you need to ask, How much do you wanna spend, How much do you want to upgrade, How long do you want this comp to work. Just adding the ram and chip you should have no problem playing those games you listed, and a vid card upgrade, even something like a 1660 would be a very doable upgrade an should work with out upgrading your PS either. a 1060 would be another option. AMD also has stuff in the similar range and power consumption, but again someone else might wanna jump in with which RX series is similar in power usage. is it the RX570? I wanna say that's the one. but vid cards are all over priced atm so your going to be using that one for the next 6 months would be my guess.
Thanks for all of this. I'll admit some of this took me googling to understand it... ;-)

The Z490 is the MB, is the 13100 the chip?

I did order another 16 gb RAM, it was reasonably priced so I figured why not. I've seen how crazy priced all of this stuff is but especially video cards.

Going to give that all a try and see how it goes. I'm quite sure some updgrades are in my future (if not an entire new system build) but given that this was all free and this is my first build I figure why not learn on something that's not going to upset me if I break it. So far, so good. Got it POSTing so just waiting on a few SATA cables and an SSD, RAM and a wireless/bluetooth card and I should be on my way.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Of all the games ARK has the highest spec requirements:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 60 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 2048 MB

Does that help? I know we're not clear on the processor but the rest looks like the system can handle assuming the processor can.?

The Gt 710 is not above minimum specs for this. Not by a long chalk, sorry to tell you.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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The GT 710 is the main problem people, I think Minecraft and Fortnite may work at very low resolution but might take some work arounds to get them working . The FX 6300 will play a lot of things still but that GPU wasnt for gaming when it was released and its like 8 years old now.
Thanks. Any suggestions that won't require additional upgrades? I was given another GPU (PNY..no idea what model) but it is much smaller and I'm not sure it will work. Sorry for my ignorance on this but it looks like it may be for a different slot. (the board is shorter than the PCI slot).
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Much smaller then the GT 710? Interesting can you post up a picture of the card?

I dont usually like these comparison sites but to give you an idea on the GT710's performance..


You'll need a new GPU to play ARK at least, and they are hard to find at the moment.

You might be able to find a new GTX 1050Ti. Preferably one that doesnt require a PCI-E power connector as your PSU is small capacity and of unknown quality.

In the U.S?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N2W8MJ9?psc=1&th=1&linkCode=gs2&tag=pcp0f-21

I understand your situation, but I am recommending this through gritted teeth because at the moment everything is so overpriced. This GPU is not worth that much money, but if you need it now its just about the only option new unless you can find something second hand.

If you could find something second hand for 50USD like an AMD RX 550/560/460 or Nvidia GTX 750Ti/950 as long as they dont require an external power cable from the PSU they would be much better than the current card.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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OP: now that i realize my mistake, Kaamos is right, your best upgrade atm is a new vid card. Add that ram which is great, but keep your eyes pealed for a new vid card. Feel free to check back every few weeks and see if a good option opens up.

And sorry, yes the z490 is the MB and chipset, and the 10300 is a 4 core 4.3Ghz CPU which is very solid for gaming and a very reasonable price. Most games don't use over 2 cores anyway, and typically multitasking while you game outside of tabbing to the internet is all most do anyway. So i find the 8-12+ core high GHZ chips kinda a waste, or at least if you are on a tight budget.

If you could find something second hand for 50USD like an AMD RX 550/560/460 or Nvidia GTX 750Ti/950 as long as they dont require an external power cable from the PSU they would be much better than the current card.
Thanks Kaamos for that info. I honestly was thinking the OP had a GTX 7 series, i guess the 710 is not that. That said i have a win 7 gaming computer that is a 8400 duo core, 4 gb ram and a TI 550. I built the main part in 2008 and upgraded the vid card in 2012. You would be very surprised on how well it can handle new games. I even ran Battletech on it a few weeks back. It did take a while to load but i was shocked how well it ran. I was not expecting it to be playable to be perfectly frank.

with sata 6 SSD prices where they are i think i'm even going to upgrade to 240 GB, It's just an e-machine with back up gaming duty so that will be 40 bucks well spent.

Just a quick Q can you explain why you were saying don't get a card with an external power adapter? A computer like his will have some extra 4 pin connectors that run a HD or dvd ect. You can get one that typically hooks to 2 4 pin then converts to 6 pin power connector. They work great, I use them in my old win 2k legacy comp for playing old mech warrior/mech commander games that for the life of me i can't get to work on win 7 or 10. :(
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Thanks Kaamos for that info. I honestly was thinking the OP had a GTX 7 series, i guess the 710 is not that. That said i have a win 7 gaming computer that is a 8400 duo core, 4 gb ram and a TI 550.

Just a quick Q can you explain why you were saying don't get a card with an external power adapter? A computer like his will have some extra 4 pin connectors that run a HD or dvd ect. You can get one that typically hooks to 2 4 pin then converts to 6 pin power connector. They work great, I use them in my old win 2k legacy comp for playing old mech warrior/mech commander games that for the life of me i can't get to work on win 7 or 10. :(
We're all trying to help here. The naming/numbering schemes are quite convoluted for both AMD and Nvidia. For example the GTX 760 is actually a slightly cut down GTX 670, the 680 is the 770, and the AMD HD 7850 is also both the R9 270 and R9 370. The R9 280X(also the HD7970 Ghz edition) is a bit faster than the R9 285:ROFLMAO: ... There are many more examples.

Toms Hardware has a list of the current cards available ranked by speed here There's also a handy list over at OCN thats useful for quick reference with older cards.

The GT710 is something you put in when you want an office machine to show the desktop and MS Office. Apparently, it will play fortnite at 30 FPS at 720p according to Youtube. So it can be used in a pinch for now.

I wouldnt recommend anything without an external connector because the PSU is an unknown 400 watt thats most likely at least 5 years old and probably out of warranty. We dont even know if all of those 400 watts are on the 12v rails and those AMD FX chips are quite power hungry. Better safe then sorry.

@cjmariani I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but better to know these things. If you are hunting for second hand cards you could use the lists linked above to give you an idea of what might be useful.

If you could open up your case and take a pic of the psu label it would help to recommend a card.

The one that looks something like this:

 
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Sep 21, 2020
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Ok, i see your point. I will add that until 2014 i never even bothered with worrying about a PS or modular or what ever. I know the difference between a good one, i just never bothered to spend the extra cash. It's nice to have a quiet, cool running effcient PS though. I always ran lower values on no-name stuff. But it never hurts to open up the case and check, it should have the info on it. I'm guessing by his stats on the rest that it most likely would work.

I also initially thought he had no CPU at all, but you are correct, a vid card is a must for that system. You are also right that a non-powered card is easier and less likely to have a complication, but i also think that chance of said conflict is low.

Just a thought :)
 
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Sep 21, 2020
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Ok, so i did a little searching on E-bay and found this... It is a min spec card and honestly the price doesn't look totally terrible. The seller also has over 300 items sold and lots of comp stuff so he seams legit.


the person did raise the price, he has a some left, sold a bunch over the last 3 months. Not a terrible option. I do think it needs the extra power adapter though. I looks to have the Dual 4+4 and a 6.

PS info and proper connectors become a must for this particular card.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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Thanks all. Lots of really good information here (that I'll have to get out my secret decoder ring to fully understand...LOL).

Sorry if I've caused confusion. I had two video cards that were given to me. The aforementioned 670 and this other one. What I meant by "smaller" is its physical size and the size (legnth) of the board itself compared to the slot it was going in to. The video card that I put it now is this one:


This is the power supply:

 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

Nvidia and AMD make the graphics chips and board partners like Asus/ MSI/XFX/Gigabyte etc etc sell them with different coolers. If you are looking for a second hand card the most important part is the Nvidia or AMD designation. NvidiaGTX550Ti or AMD R7 270 for example. A GT 710 is a GT 710 whoever puts their name on it :)

The lists in the links from Overclock.net and Toms in my post hopefully would allow you to estimate the reletive performance of cards should they be available at the same price for example.

The power supply could be much worse, but is still not the best and quite old already. I would still try and get a GPU that doesnt use an extra cable from the power supply to play it safe if you want the system to last a while. If the power supply pops it can take everything else with it.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

Nvidia and AMD make the graphics chips and board partners like Asus/ MSI/XFX/Gigabyte etc etc sell them with different coolers. If you are looking for a second hand card the most important part is the Nvidia or AMD designation. NvidiaGTX550Ti or AMD R7 270 for example. A GT 710 is a GT 710 whoever puts their name on it :)

The lists in the links from Overclock.net and Toms in my post hopefully would allow you to estimate the reletive performance of cards should they be available at the same price for example.

The power supply could be much worse, but is still not the best and quite old already. I would still try and get a GPU that doesnt use an extra cable from the power supply to play it safe if you want the system to last a while. If the power supply pops it can take everything else with it.
Thanks again. Maybe a stupid question, how do you know if it requires an extra cable from the power supply?
 
Feb 12, 2021
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OK, I'm REALLY sorry to have confused everyone, including myself. As I mentioned earlier I have 2 GPU. One is a GT710 (PNY), the other is a GTX750Ti (Zotac).
 
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Kaamos_Llama

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@cjmariani The 750Ti would game O.K but would still be under requirements for ARK. It might be possuble to run it with some tinkering with settings. Much better than a GT710! Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft will probably be O.K, although I cant say first hand.

These are PCI-E power connector slots. theyll be on top of the card, I believe some 750Tis had a single 6 pin but I think most took all their power from the motherboard slot.




@JC games I just noticed your posts about the PSU and the GTX 770. The 770(GTX680) was a high end card at the time, it can use over 200 watts if memory serves.

PSU's well, its not about efficiency really. Bad power regulation wears all your components over time. The low end units themselves often only get 2 or 3 year warranties, and if they blow one of their cheap capacitors up they can take everything else with them.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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@cjmariani The 750Ti would game O.K but would still be under requirements for ARK. It might be possuble to run it with some tinkering with settings. Much better than a GT710! Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft will probably be O.K, although I cant say first hand.

These are PCI-E power connector slots. theyll be on top of the card, I believe some 750Tis had a single 6 pin but I think most took all their power from the motherboard slot.




@JC games I just noticed your posts about the PSU and the GTX 770. The 770(GTX680) was a high end card at the time, it can use over 200 watts if memory serves.

PSU's well, its not about efficiency really. Bad power regulation wears all your components over time. The low end units themselves often only get 2 or 3 year warranties, and if they blow one of their cheap capacitors up they can take everything else with them.
Thanks, I really appreciate all the help. I'm not inclined at this point to spend money on parts that I can't use when I build his next machine, other than the RAM that I bought. So I'm gonna see how this one goes and then decide if I want to upgrade and what I start with.

Again, I appreciate the help.
 
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Feb 12, 2021
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No problem at all. Good luck to you :)
So a friend just offered me a GTX760 SC that he has and isn't using. But in reading it looks like it needs the connection to the PSU and has to have a minimum of 500W, which I don't have. Do I have that right?


  • 500 Watt or greater power supply with a minimum of 30 Amp on the +12 volt rail.
  • PCI Express, PCI Express 2.0 or PCI Express 3.0 compliant motherboard with one graphics slot.
  • An available 6-pin PCIe power connector and an available 8 pin PCIe power connector
  • Windows 10 32/64bit, Windows 8 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64bit, Windows Vista 32/64bit, Windows XP 32/64bit
So it would seem I would need a new PSU (which eventually I'm going to need anyway and from the sounds of it you're thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace what I have.

Any suggestions on a PSU that would fit my needs?
 
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