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RyanPGUK

How practical is 1 CPU 2 Gamers?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Me and my partner are going to be upgrading next year and I wanted to know just how practical is the 1 CPU 2 Gamers approach?

 

Are there any pro's/con's?

 

Any help or generic guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Valkyrie Lenneth said:

if u dont even know the answer to that question , dont even bother with it ;v its not that simple to setup, and that doesnt include al the problems that come with it

I think this is quite a poor answer. I've setup something like this before for a temporary amount of time, i've also got 2 unraid servers for different purposes. However I'm trying to investigate the benefits of it if any...

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Just get 2 separate setups.


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Cost shoots up exponentially when core count goes up. R5 2600 costs $145, TR 2920X, essentially a pair of R5 2600 glued together (and better bin so it overclocks a tad better), costs $600. Even the 9600k, a much better gaming CPU than the R5 2600 when the GPU is good enough, costs $250.


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With the right hardware, very.

 

Not a perfect setup, and I would recommend bare metal over virtualization for the average consumer, but I would never discourage you from trying.

 

I am not running "2 gamers", per-sey, but I am running 2 virtualized systems off of one tower. Nothing fancy either. An 8 core CPU and 16GB of RAM splits nicely into two 4c/8GB RAM setups. One gets a beefy GPU for gaming and the other gets a less powerful one really only to be used as video out, but its compute is still useful.

 

am, however, upgrading to 32GB RAM and one of the rumored 16c/32t Ryzen CPU's should they ever surface. This would allow me to leave 8 cores and 16GB for the gaming rig, and then split the remaining 8 cores and 16GB RAM in two to allow a tri-system setup with the third setup being a macOS KVM as Linus demonstrated.

 

The largest drawback is probably power consumption of a build powerful enough to run a 1 CPU X Users setup. It does not nicely scale to equal that of 2 systems. As my build sits (specs in bio), it supposedly consumes 710W. Mind you, I used Outervision which is known for making you feel well endowed about your power consumption, but the point stands to be made that that is still well more than double that of a normal box.


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34 minutes ago, Jurrunio said:

Cost shoots up exponentially when core count goes up. R5 2600 costs $145

Except you could realistically run two gaming VMs on a Ryzen 5. You'd have to rely on threads to a certain extent, but you could probably get by. It wouldn't be pretty and Ryzen 7 would definitely be recommended, though.

50 minutes ago, RyanPGUK said:

Me and my partner are going to be upgrading next year and I wanted to know just how practical is the 1 CPU 2 Gamers approach?

 

Are there any pro's/con's?

 

Any help or generic guidance would be greatly appreciated.

It really depends on space and budget, I would say.

 

I could do that in my basement for me and my brother, but it wouldn't make sense because we easily have the space for two separate gaming machines.

 

Budget comes into play a little bit. If you can afford two gaming rigs, that'll be more pleasant for everyone than having to set up and configure a 2 gamers/1 CPU setup.

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1 hour ago, RyanPGUK said:

just how practical is the 1 CPU 2 Gamers approach?

4/10, it can work but I don't recommend it.

 

The cost of building 2 computers isn't much higher and you'd be saving yourself a lot of effort.

14 minutes ago, Crunchy Dragon said:

Except you could realistically run two gaming VMs on a Ryzen 5.

Yes, but you'd need 3 graphics cards - one for the host and two for the virtualized guests. Even if you get a trash tier card for the host it still has to take up the first pcie slot which means at least one of the "beefy" cards would have to settle for a lower speed slot - and motherboards with 3 full size slots are not cheap either.

43 minutes ago, SenpaiKaplan said:

am, however, upgrading to 32GB RAM and one of the rumored 16c/32t Ryzen CPU's should they ever surface. This would allow me to leave 8 cores and 16GB for the gaming rig, and then split the remaining 8 cores and 16GB RAM in two to allow a tri-system setup with the third setup being a macOS KVM as Linus demonstrated.

I think it's a bit of a misconception that you need to "split" the cores - it all depends on what you're running, and even if you peg all VMs the scheduler will take care of balancing the load on the physical cpu. You can assign all cores to all virtual machines and have them coexist pretty peacefully.


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-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

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A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Sauron said:

Yes, but you'd need 3 graphics cards - one for the host and two for the virtualized guests. Even if you get a trash tier card for the host it still has to take up the first pcie slot which means at least one of the "beefy" cards would have to settle for a lower speed slot - and motherboards with 3 full size slots are not cheap either.

I've noticed that most high end ATX boards have them, however they're usually not all electrically x16 slots.

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1 hour ago, Sauron said:

I think it's a bit of a misconception that you need to "split" the cores - it all depends on what you're running, and even if you peg all VMs the scheduler will take care of balancing the load on the physical cpu. You can assign all cores to all virtual machines and have them coexist pretty peacefully.

I am planning on running Unraid, which to my knowledge requires allocating/splitting cores to every VM.


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Depends on what you need.

 

But in short, not very.


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I would vote against it - but it would really depend on a lot of things. Which cpu? What games? what resolutions? what gpus? what frame rate targets? (also... why?)

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This depends on what you want to do with this PC. If it's just text editing or simple daily work, some $200~500 cpu on 2 in 1 is very efficient on a limited budget. But if you want to play 3a games or do video , 2in1 may be more expensive than buying 2 computers.

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6 hours ago, SenpaiKaplan said:

I am planning on running Unraid, which to my knowledge requires allocating/splitting cores to every VM.

KVM doesn't require it, and as far as I know that's what Unraid uses - there may be some Unraid specific restrictions but in theory nothing prevents it.

8 hours ago, Crunchy Dragon said:

I've noticed that most high end ATX boards have them, however they're usually not all electrically x16 slots.

Exactly, and as you said most high end boards have them


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Sauron'stm Product Scores:

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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

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A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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So it is viable if you pick the hardware for it.

 

The thing is you still need double everything except CPU , motherboard, psu, and case.

 

Now the thing is by the time you invest in a CPU and motherboard that has the optimum cores and pci-e lanes... then you would have probably built two machines for less or around the same price.

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Alternatives that would be less headache;
 

  1. Build a pair of matching ITX systems if space is a concern.
  2. Use a dual system case, ATX + ITX.


 

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I think that there's use cases if you know how to do with with reasonable hardware. If you go big and your starting point is a Threadripper then it's not feasible vs 2 systems.

 

However say you want one main, mid to top range rig and a secondary one that is more than just a virtualized one and can actually do some light gaming.

 

That use case would fit very well for something as simple as a 2700 rig with a 1560ti and a 1050ti on it: You could do 4/8 and 4/8 but I would actually consider 5/10 and 3/6 or even 6/12 and 2/4 if the secondary virtualized machine is just a very light gaming proposition then you really are only investing in another GPU and using everything else off the main rig.

 

This kind of thinking is very cost effective but you have to come it with the expectation than a 1050ti/1650 or so is about the best you can actually get performance out of without really needing to bump up your main rig.

 

I think that Ryzen 3 would probably change this by quite a bit: if we can get 12 or 16 core chips at reasonable prices then you can potentially just invest a tiny bit more on a beefy PSU and get away with a lot more performance. But for the time being my rationale would be taking a high end/top tier rig and saying "Can I sacrifice a few cores and some PSU juice to powering a secondary machine without going up to HEDT set up?"


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49 minutes ago, Misanthrope said:

I think that there's use cases if you know how to do with with reasonable hardware. If you go big and your starting point is a Threadripper then it's not feasible vs 2 systems.

 

However say you want one main, mid to top range rig and a secondary one that is more than just a virtualized one and can actually do some light gaming.

 

That use case would fit very well for something as simple as a 2700 rig with a 1560ti and a 1050ti on it: You could do 4/8 and 4/8 but I would actually consider 5/10 and 3/6 or even 6/12 and 2/4 if the secondary virtualized machine is just a very light gaming proposition then you really are only investing in another GPU and using everything else off the main rig.

 

This kind of thinking is very cost effective but you have to come it with the expectation than a 1050ti/1650 or so is about the best you can actually get performance out of without really needing to bump up your main rig.

 

I think that Ryzen 3 would probably change this by quite a bit: if we can get 12 or 16 core chips at reasonable prices then you can potentially just invest a tiny bit more on a beefy PSU and get away with a lot more performance. But for the time being my rationale would be taking a high end/top tier rig and saying "Can I sacrifice a few cores and some PSU juice to powering a secondary machine without going up to HEDT set up?"

Zen2/Ryzen 3 will certainly make or break OP's question in terms of the average person.

 

Everything in my build I got for well under retail value (except the CPU), so I got out way ahead.


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CPU: Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6 GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor  (Purchased For $200.00) 
CPU Cooler: be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler  (Purchased For $88.09) 
Motherboard: MSI - MEG Z390 ACE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  (Purchased For $229.00) 
Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory  (Purchased For $130.00) 
Storage: Crucial - MX300 1.05 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive  (Purchased For $200.00) 
Storage: Western Digital - Green 1.5 TB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  (Purchased For $0.00) 
Storage: Western Digital - Red 8 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  (Purchased For $180.00) 
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda Green 1.5 TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive  (Purchased For $0.00) 
Storage: Seagate - 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (Purchased For $0.00) 
Storage: Seagate - 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (Purchased For $0.00) 
Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 670 2 GB Video Card  (Purchased For $30.00) 
Case: Fractal Design - Define R6 ATX Mid Tower Case  (Purchased For $139.99) 
Power Supply: Corsair - HX Platinum 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply  (Purchased For $130.00) 
Optical Drive: Asus - BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer  (Purchased For $75.00) 
Monitor: Dell - U2417H 24.0" 1920x1080 60 Hz Monitor  (Purchased For $0.00) 
Monitor: LG - 34UM69G-B 34.0" 2560x1080 75 Hz Monitor  (Purchased For $0.00) 
External Storage: Western Digital - My Passport Slim 1 TB External Hard Drive  (Purchased For $20.00) 
External Storage: Seagate - Backup Plus 1 TB External Hard Drive  (Purchased For $20.00) 
Total: $1442.08
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-06-27 10:40 EDT-0400

 

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45 minutes ago, SenpaiKaplan said:

Zen2/Ryzen 3 will certainly make or break OP's question in terms of the average person.

 

Everything in my build I got for well under retail value (except the CPU), so I got out way ahead.

How do you get stuff for less than retail value, do you just mean used stuff or like stuff on sale? 


Specs: 

 

  • i5-8600K 
  • Evga Black RTX 2070 
  • 16GB DDR4 2400MHz 
  • ASRock Extreme 4 Z370 
  • Fractal Design Meshify C Light TG 

Location: UK 

Plays: Minesweeper at 1000 fps. 

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15 minutes ago, bradwiggo said:

How do you get stuff for less than retail value, do you just mean used stuff or like stuff on sale? 

Used market, sales, e-waste.

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16 hours ago, SenpaiKaplan said:

it supposedly consumes 710W. Mind you, I used Outervision which is known for making you feel well endowed about your power consumption, but the point stands to be made that that is still well more than double that of a normal box.

That build only uses about 350-400w, when you run your cpu at stock 65w then it will use 65+150+150=365w + lets say 35 w for the rest of the system, but that is only the peak power.

In normal use it will be closer to 150-250w.

 

 

Also it is not logical that it is double that of a normal box. The only thing that is different is that 1 extra gpu, the rest will still use the same amount of power.

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