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.
 
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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.
 
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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.?
 
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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.
 
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Kaamos_Llama

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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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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.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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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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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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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?
 
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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.
 
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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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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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Kaamos_Llama

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760 is quite a jump up on a 750Ti both in power and power requirement so yes I suggest you pick up a new PSU.

Whats your budget?

Something like this would do, its the same price as the 550W model, so may as well take the extra.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/cY2bt6/corsair-cv-650-w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-cp-9020211-na

PSU's also seem expensive at the moment, hard to find much for cheaper. I dont like to recommend anything I cant find a review from a legitimate site for, but EVGA has some cheaper models and at least i know their warranty is good FWIW.
 
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760 is quite a jump up on a 750Ti both in power and power requirement so yes I suggest you pick up a new PSU.

Whats your budget?

Something like this would do, its the same price as the 550W model, so may as well take the extra.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/cY2bt6/corsair-cv-650-w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-cp-9020211-na

PSU's also seem expensive at the moment, hard to find much for cheaper. I dont like to recommend anything I cant find a review from a legitimate site for, but EVGA has some cheaper models and at least i know their warranty is good FWIW.
Thanks again!! Found an EVGA that seems to fit the bill and was reasonably priced.
 
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I would just use that GTX card you have and go from there. Adding that ram is still an ok thing to do, you bought it so put it in. Just make sure you DO NOT use your current ram with it, It most likely does not match for speeds. Basically rule of thumb you always match ram.

But seeing you have everything now, you could get a power supply that you could use for future builds as well.

So getting a new PS wouldn't be a horrible idea if you can swing it. I personally would get a 650, that will let you use one of the newer generation cards and if you end up getting said new card in the next few years it would save you from having to buy another power supply.

Here are two i found, Had i seen this one a few months ago i would of grabbed it. :) It's got funky colors which look cool through a glass side case. A solid PS either way.



This one is a little more budget minded, save yourself 25 bucks, but it's still fully modular. (all wires plug in verse some always there) It makes for cleaner builds and less extra wires that do nothing which sometimes is a lot.



this is the PS i bought for myself. I'm going to be adding a 3060 TI GPU eventually so this will be a perfect card for that. It's a gold verse bronze rating. which honestly i don't really know if in the end there is a huge difference. I think in theory the golds are better, but i've also used 40 dollar PS's and never had an issue.

Thanks. I picked up a 650W PSU arriving tomorrow and my buddy has a GTX780 he's going to let me borrow until the prices come down. I put the RAM in last night and worked no problem, the speeds were the same (I double checked before I bought it).
 
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awesome! Let us know how it works. BTW are you doing a fresh install? You also might wanna check the bios version as well, see if it needs any critical updates while your at it. Just jump into the bios when the comp is starting and check the version. Then exit with out saving. You might need to to a little adjusting anyway, but it's always worth checking that first. Sometimes they get a stability patch after they launch.

Nice you found matching ram, i always find that an issue if i'm buying something years old. I wanted to add 4GHZ to my system as i'm converting it to a encoding machine but my only option was just buy all new ram, i could not find the match, seams like it's not made anymore. I still might as DDR3 is actually getting harder to find. I figure this system will do that job for years to come, so it's worth having a spare :)
Thanks for the advise on the BIOS, I'll def check it out. Did a fresh install of Windows 10 last night, everything seems to be working so far. Got minecraft Java up and running so once I hand the machine over to him we'll see how it plays.

Been a fun experience. I haven't even opened a PC is over 15 years, I'm a Mac guy personally. So it has been cool to learn about all the new tech and yet at the same time how really not much has changed fundamentally.
 

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