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Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p for $200!?

Like the title says, I wanted to see if I could build a PC for $200 that would run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p resolution. TL:DR; my upgraded Optiplex 390 runs the benchmark (on low settings  of course) at an average of 42FPS with a floor of 33FPS. Success!!!

 

Parts List and Prices

Base PC: Dell Optiplex 390 Mini Tower - $52.50 on eBay

CPU: Xeon E3-1225 at 3.1GHz (this is the gen 1 LGA1155 version) - $19 on eBay

Motherboard: Dell M5dcd - included with base PC

Case: Dell Optiplex 390 - included with base PC

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel cooler - included with base PC

Thermal Paste: If you don't have any lying around, just use mustard, lol - free

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz - one stick included, $10.50 for the second stick

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 7870 - $47.50

SSD: NEW Silicon Power 256GB SP256GBSS3A55S25 - $28.50

SSD 2.5" to 3.5" Adapter and Dell Hard Drive Caddy - $7.50

Hard Drive: 500GB 7200 RPM - included with base PC

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA500 80+ PSU - $35

Other fans, cables, etc: whatever came in the base PC

Windows 10 Pro License - included with base PC (upgrade from Windows 7)

Total: $200.50

 

When procuring parts, I would check Craigslist (or local equivalent) first for deals, especially on the base PC. I had to buy all of my parts, except the new SSD, on eBay, which took quite a bit of digging. Fortunately, my labor is not included in the budget!

 

Build Log

  • For the base system, any mini tower with an LGA1155 socket will probably work. We only really care about the case, motherboard, OS license, and at least one 4GB 1333MHz RAM stick. A hard drive is a nice to have.
  • I used the stock case, motherboard, and CPU cooler. I had to settle for a board that only had two RAM slots, officially capped at 2x4GB of RAM (though the internet tells me that I could probably upgrade to 2x8GB). None of these parts are great, but they're cheap and they got the job done.
  • Xeon E3-1225 processors are cheap four core, 3+GHz processors that are sufficient to avoid bottlenecking the graphics card. While Xeon processors are usually not listed as compatible for the PCs you'll find for $50, theoretically they should work in almost any 1155 motherboard. An i5-2400 costs a little more for the same performance and (almost) guaranteed compatibility. Prior generation i5-760 processors are cheaper but noticeably slower, and prior generation i7s are more expensive and slower. Newer generation CPUs of any flavor are significantly more expensive. Note that I don't like AMD CPUs from this era and did not seriously consider them - let me know if I screwed up!
  • RAM selection is unremarkable, just get 8GB of 1333MHz and try to match your sticks.
  • For the graphics card, I was able to find a Radeon HD 7870 for $47.50. If you prefer team green, GeForce GTX 760s offer slightly better performance for about the same price. You may need to dig a bit for a deal.
  • You'll need an SSD. I spent a few extra bucks for a new 256GB drive, but you can save $5-$10 here with a lower capacity or used drive. I'm picky about mounting so I purchased a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and one of Dell's special mounting sleeves to mount the SSD properly.
  • The PC came with a 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive which I wiped and converted to extra storage.
  • Finding the power supply was probably the trickiest part of the build (honorable mention to the GPU). I ended up with an Antec Earthwatts EA500 PSU. JonnyGuru liked it back in 2010, so it probably won't blow up the rig, and it had the two six pin GPU connectors I needed, so no adapters required. eBay usually has a couple of old, lower-tier-but-non-explosive 500w power supplies available at around $35.
  • I included Windows 10 in the list above as you should be able to find a PC with a Windows 7 Professional license (possibly already upgraded to Windows 10). It's nice to have an activated copy of Windows 10, especially if you got it for free!

All that remained was assembly, a Windows 10 installation, and unsupported BIOS update, and a lot of nail biting while the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark ran. Remarkably, the rig cleared the 30FPS hurdle and averaged 42FPS, as you can see in the screenshot. Shadow of the Tomb Raider actually doesn't look all that bad on low settings. Also, the rig runs Fortnite on high settings at about 45 FPS and chews through CS:GO at 100+ FPS, so it can game (;

 

Hope y'all enjoyed,

pgpcs

 

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20200905_221001 - Copy.jpg

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5 minutes ago, pgpcs said:

Like the title says, I wanted to see if I could build a PC for $200 that would run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p resolution. TL:DR; my upgraded Optiplex 390 runs the benchmark (on low settings  of course) at an average of 42FPS with a floor of 33FPS. Success!!!

 

Parts List and Prices

Base PC: Dell Optiplex 390 Mini Tower - $52.50 on eBay

CPU: Xeon E3-1225 at 3.1GHz (this is the gen 1 LGA1155 version) - $19 on eBay

Motherboard: Dell M5dcd - included with base PC

Case: Dell Optiplex 390 - included with base PC

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel cooler - included with base PC

Thermal Paste: If you don't have any lying around, just use mustard, lol - free

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz - one stick included, $10.50 for the second stick

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 7870 - $47.50

SSD: NEW Silicon Power 256GB SP256GBSS3A55S25 - $28.50

SSD 2.5" to 3.5" Adapter and Dell Hard Drive Caddy - $7.50

Hard Drive: 500GB 7200 RPM - included with base PC

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA500 80+ PSU - $35

Other fans, cables, etc: whatever came in the base PC

Windows 10 Pro License - included with base PC (upgrade from Windows 7)

Total: $200.50

 

When procuring parts, I would check Craigslist (or local equivalent) first for deals, especially on the base PC. I had to buy all of my parts, except the new SSD, on eBay, which took quite a bit of digging. Fortunately, my labor is not included in the budget!

 

Build Log

  • For the base system, any mini tower with an LGA1155 socket will probably work. We only really care about the case, motherboard, OS license, and at least one 4GB 1333MHz RAM stick. A hard drive is a nice to have.
  • I used the stock case, motherboard, and CPU cooler. I had to settle for a board that only had two RAM slots, officially capped at 2x4GB of RAM (though the internet tells me that I could probably upgrade to 2x8GB). None of these parts are great, but they're cheap and they got the job done.
  • Xeon E3-1225 processors are cheap four core, 3+GHz processors that are sufficient to avoid bottlenecking the graphics card. While Xeon processors are usually not listed as compatible for the PCs you'll find for $50, theoretically they should work in almost any 1155 motherboard. An i5-2400 costs a little more for the same performance and (almost) guaranteed compatibility. Prior generation i5-760 processors are cheaper but noticeably slower, and prior generation i7s are more expensive and slower. Newer generation CPUs of any flavor are significantly more expensive. Note that I don't like AMD CPUs from this era and did not seriously consider them - let me know if I screwed up!
  • RAM selection is unremarkable, just get 8GB of 1333MHz and try to match your sticks.
  • For the graphics card, I was able to find a Radeon HD 7870 for $47.50. If you prefer team green, GeForce GTX 760s offer slightly better performance for about the same price. You may need to dig a bit for a deal.
  • You'll need an SSD. I spent a few extra bucks for a new 256GB drive, but you can save $5-$10 here with a lower capacity or used drive. I'm picky about mounting so I purchased a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and one of Dell's special mounting sleeves to mount the SSD properly.
  • The PC came with a 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive which I wiped and converted to extra storage.
  • Finding the power supply was probably the trickiest part of the build (honorable mention to the GPU). I ended up with an Antec Earthwatts EA500 PSU. JonnyGuru liked it back in 2010, so it probably won't blow up the rig, and it had the two six pin GPU connectors I needed, so no adapters required. eBay usually has a couple of old, lower-tier-but-non-explosive 500w power supplies available at around $35.
  • I included Windows 10 in the list above as you should be able to find a PC with a Windows 7 Professional license (possibly already upgraded to Windows 10). It's nice to have an activated copy of Windows 10, especially if you got it for free!

All that remained was assembly, a Windows 10 installation, and unsupported BIOS update, and a lot of nail biting while the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark ran. Remarkably, the rig cleared the 30FPS hurdle and averaged 42FPS, as you can see in the screenshot. Shadow of the Tomb Raider actually doesn't look all that bad on low settings. Also, the rig runs Fortnite on high settings at about 45 FPS and chews through CS:GO at 100+ FPS, so it can game (;

 

Hope y'all enjoyed,

pgpcs

 

20200905_210826_-_Copy.jpg

20200905_220846 - Copy.jpg

20200905_221001 - Copy.jpg

 

 

 

 

I have done the same thing with HP Z400 and xw8400:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice! I hadn't thought of using workstations. They definitely support the Xeon CPUs and I am jealous of all the extra RAM slots. Plus, you wouldn't need to buy a power supply upgrade.

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31 minutes ago, pgpcs said:

Like the title says, I wanted to see if I could build a PC for $200 that would run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p resolution. TL:DR; my upgraded Optiplex 390 runs the benchmark (on low settings  of course) at an average of 42FPS with a floor of 33FPS. Success!!!

 

Parts List and Prices

Base PC: Dell Optiplex 390 Mini Tower - $52.50 on eBay

CPU: Xeon E3-1225 at 3.1GHz (this is the gen 1 LGA1155 version) - $19 on eBay

Motherboard: Dell M5dcd - included with base PC

Case: Dell Optiplex 390 - included with base PC

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel cooler - included with base PC

Thermal Paste: If you don't have any lying around, just use mustard, lol - free

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz - one stick included, $10.50 for the second stick

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 7870 - $47.50

SSD: NEW Silicon Power 256GB SP256GBSS3A55S25 - $28.50

SSD 2.5" to 3.5" Adapter and Dell Hard Drive Caddy - $7.50

Hard Drive: 500GB 7200 RPM - included with base PC

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA500 80+ PSU - $35

Other fans, cables, etc: whatever came in the base PC

Windows 10 Pro License - included with base PC (upgrade from Windows 7)

Total: $200.50

 

When procuring parts, I would check Craigslist (or local equivalent) first for deals, especially on the base PC. I had to buy all of my parts, except the new SSD, on eBay, which took quite a bit of digging. Fortunately, my labor is not included in the budget!

 

Build Log

  • For the base system, any mini tower with an LGA1155 socket will probably work. We only really care about the case, motherboard, OS license, and at least one 4GB 1333MHz RAM stick. A hard drive is a nice to have.
  • I used the stock case, motherboard, and CPU cooler. I had to settle for a board that only had two RAM slots, officially capped at 2x4GB of RAM (though the internet tells me that I could probably upgrade to 2x8GB). None of these parts are great, but they're cheap and they got the job done.
  • Xeon E3-1225 processors are cheap four core, 3+GHz processors that are sufficient to avoid bottlenecking the graphics card. While Xeon processors are usually not listed as compatible for the PCs you'll find for $50, theoretically they should work in almost any 1155 motherboard. An i5-2400 costs a little more for the same performance and (almost) guaranteed compatibility. Prior generation i5-760 processors are cheaper but noticeably slower, and prior generation i7s are more expensive and slower. Newer generation CPUs of any flavor are significantly more expensive. Note that I don't like AMD CPUs from this era and did not seriously consider them - let me know if I screwed up!
  • RAM selection is unremarkable, just get 8GB of 1333MHz and try to match your sticks.
  • For the graphics card, I was able to find a Radeon HD 7870 for $47.50. If you prefer team green, GeForce GTX 760s offer slightly better performance for about the same price. You may need to dig a bit for a deal.
  • You'll need an SSD. I spent a few extra bucks for a new 256GB drive, but you can save $5-$10 here with a lower capacity or used drive. I'm picky about mounting so I purchased a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and one of Dell's special mounting sleeves to mount the SSD properly.
  • The PC came with a 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive which I wiped and converted to extra storage.
  • Finding the power supply was probably the trickiest part of the build (honorable mention to the GPU). I ended up with an Antec Earthwatts EA500 PSU. JonnyGuru liked it back in 2010, so it probably won't blow up the rig, and it had the two six pin GPU connectors I needed, so no adapters required. eBay usually has a couple of old, lower-tier-but-non-explosive 500w power supplies available at around $35.
  • I included Windows 10 in the list above as you should be able to find a PC with a Windows 7 Professional license (possibly already upgraded to Windows 10). It's nice to have an activated copy of Windows 10, especially if you got it for free!

All that remained was assembly, a Windows 10 installation, and unsupported BIOS update, and a lot of nail biting while the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark ran. Remarkably, the rig cleared the 30FPS hurdle and averaged 42FPS, as you can see in the screenshot. Shadow of the Tomb Raider actually doesn't look all that bad on low settings. Also, the rig runs Fortnite on high settings at about 45 FPS and chews through CS:GO at 100+ FPS, so it can game (;

 

Hope y'all enjoyed,

pgpcs

 

20200905_210826_-_Copy.jpg

20200905_220846 - Copy.jpg

20200905_221001 - Copy.jpg

 

 

Please post a Cinebench and Timespy score, it would be interesting to see how the CPU and GPU performs.

 

 

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Benchmarks complete! Both ran successfully. The results aren't all that amazing, but that's not surprising given the age of the hardware.

Time Spy Graphics Score: 1599

Time Spy CPU Score: 2273

Cinebench CPU Score: 893

 

Your GPUs did significantly better, though our similar CPUs look like they produced similar results.

BSZuFzA3laOT - Copy.jpg

hsuerdAroW5P - Copy.jpg

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9 hours ago, pgpcs said:

Nice! I hadn't thought of using workstations. They definitely support the Xeon CPUs and I am jealous of all the extra RAM slots. Plus, you wouldn't need to buy a power supply upgrade.

some workstations need an adapter like the hpz400 but the dell 3500 dose not need the adapter. both are x58 both have 4/6 ram slots and both take the same ram and same heat sinks. only this is they dont over clock in the bios but if you got an unlocked cpu then there are 2 programs you can use to get a bitt more. i was only able to get 3.86 with my w3580. if you want 4.0 i think you need the w3590 or just get lucky.

Edited by thrasher_565
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3 hours ago, thrasher_565 said:

some workstations need an adapter like the hpz400 but the dell 3500 dose not need the adapter. both are x58 both have 4/6 ram slots and both take the same ram and same heat sinks. only this is they dont over clock in the bios but if you got an unlocked cpu then there are 2 programs you can use to get a bitt more. i was only able to get 3.86 with my w3580. if you want 4.0 i think you need the w3590 or just get lucky.

The Westmere (Gulftown) chips are the better choice, in my opinion (unless, of course, you meant Gulftown as well since the W3590 does not exist). I was able to attain an easy 4.0GHz with a W3680 in a Dell T3500, just from increasing the multiplier. I never messed with voltage, though.

Your friendly neighbourhood Xeon-sexual. Ask me any questions you have about HEDT/workstations. Love tinkering with 'older' stuff like X58, X79, and X99.

 

Current System

HP Z440 - MB: HP 761514-001 C612 | CPU: Xeon E5-2697 v3 QGEF | GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1070 Windforce OC gen. 2 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2133R CL15

(A great $530 machine!)

Home Server

Dell T3500 - MB: Dell 0XPDFK X58 | CPU: Xeon X5672 | RAM: 6GB DDR3-1333E CL9

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3 minutes ago, Pooky said:

The Westmere (Gulftown) chips are the better choice, in my opinion (unless, of course, you meant Gulftown as well since the W3590 does not exist). I was able to attain an easy 4.0GHz with a W3680 in a Dell T3500, just from increasing the multiplier. I never messed with voltage, though.

oh ya its w36 not 35 haha. all but 1 core can go to 30 and when i put the last core to 30 it crashes in cinabench. you cant change voltages in the hpz400 or dell 3500. only the multiplayer. 

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5 minutes ago, thrasher_565 said:

oh ya its w36 not 35 haha. all but 1 core can go to 30 and when i put the last core to 30 it crashes in cinabench. you cant change voltages in the hpz400 or dell 3500. only the multiplayer. 

I suppose I might have won the eBay silicon lottery, then! Not bad for $50. It was a good chip for sure, but I traded up for a E5-1650 v3 and haven't looked back since. Now that the E5-1650 is cheaper than a W3680 on eBay, and the E5-1650 v2 is only slightly more, it's hard to justify buying or upgrading to Westmere. But I do still use it in my home server!

 

image.png.e1f48f21a5800f92ab6abe503432a104.png

 

Cheers

Your friendly neighbourhood Xeon-sexual. Ask me any questions you have about HEDT/workstations. Love tinkering with 'older' stuff like X58, X79, and X99.

 

Current System

HP Z440 - MB: HP 761514-001 C612 | CPU: Xeon E5-2697 v3 QGEF | GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1070 Windforce OC gen. 2 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2133R CL15

(A great $530 machine!)

Home Server

Dell T3500 - MB: Dell 0XPDFK X58 | CPU: Xeon X5672 | RAM: 6GB DDR3-1333E CL9

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7 minutes ago, Pooky said:

I suppose I might have won the eBay silicon lottery, then! Not bad for $50. It was a good chip for sure, but I traded up for a E5-1650 v3 and haven't looked back since. Now that the E5-1650 is cheaper than a W3680 on eBay, and the E5-1650 v2 is only slightly more, it's hard to justify buying or upgrading to Westmere. But I do still use it in my home server!

 

image.png.e1f48f21a5800f92ab6abe503432a104.png

 

Cheers

ya i cant seem to find a good deal on the Dell Optiplex 390 with 8gb ram full size tower so i when with the hpz400 and dellt3500. i got 12gb ram some had hhd some didnt and i got few of them at once so i was able to pick ram form one pc and put it in another now the all have 12gb ram 2 are missing an hhd and upgrade the cpu in 4 of them. 2 w3670 and 2 w3680.

 

so for a total of  $178 for the w3670 and $195 for the w3680. i did pick up 5x rx 470 that i was going to put in there but decided to sell sepritly for more profit i guess. but the gpus were about $80 each

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Nice budget build 

Hi

 

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14 hours ago, pgpcs said:

Benchmarks complete! Both ran successfully. The results aren't all that amazing, but that's not surprising given the age of the hardware.

Time Spy Graphics Score: 1599

Time Spy CPU Score: 2273

Cinebench CPU Score: 893

 

Your GPUs did significantly better, though our similar CPUs look like they produced similar results.

BSZuFzA3laOT - Copy.jpg

hsuerdAroW5P - Copy.jpg

 

 

Here are my Results:

 

 

TimeSpy_4289.png.a69548cbc87f9e898864a8bc19e82c06.png

Cinebench_1831.png.acdf7b0d87c84fb598ad4d8d1ab24119.png

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7 hours ago, thrasher_565 said:

some workstations need an adapter like the hpz400 but the dell 3500 dose not need the adapter. both are x58 both have 4/6 ram slots and both take the same ram and same heat sinks. only this is they dont over clock in the bios but if you got an unlocked cpu then there are 2 programs you can use to get a bitt more. i was only able to get 3.86 with my w3580. if you want 4.0 i think you need the w3590 or just get lucky.

Adapter for what ? i haven't used an adapter for my HP Z400. Probably you mean for using an ATX PSU.  w3680 and w3690 are basically the same CPU but the w3680 is much cheaper. I overclocked the w3680 to 4ghz using throttlestop.

 

I have 2 HP Z400 upgraded one with an X5690 (not overclockable ) for 50$ and the other with w3680 @4ghz for 30$

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2 hours ago, Biomecanoid said:

Adapter for what ? i haven't used an adapter for my HP Z400. Probably you mean for using an ATX PSU.  w3680 and w3690 are basically the same CPU but the w3680 is much cheaper. I overclocked the w3680 to 4ghz using throttlestop.

 

I have 2 HP Z400 upgraded one with an X5690 (not overclockable ) for 50$ and the other with w3680 @4ghz for 30$

RE the adapter, I know for my build, I needed 2x PCIE 6 pin power connectors for the video card. The workstation power supplies we're talking about usually have the 500 watts of power to run fancy video cards, but they may not include two 6 pin connectors. I actually have a Dell T3500 here that I'm using as a server, and the stock power supply pushes 525w but only includes one 6 pin PCIE power output, so I would need a Molex to PCIE adapter for the second PCIE six pin power output. Perhaps that's the adapter we're talking about?

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4 minutes ago, pgpcs said:

RE the adapter, I know for my build, I needed 2x PCIE 6 pin power connectors for the video card. The workstation power supplies we're talking about usually have the 500 watts of power to run fancy video cards, but they may not include two 6 pin connectors. I actually have a Dell T3500 here that I'm using as a server, and the stock power supply pushes 525w but only includes one 6 pin PCIE power output, so I would need a Molex to PCIE adapter for the second PCIE six pin power output. Perhaps that's the adapter we're talking about?

Well yes i have used one of those, but that not something a HP Z400 specifically needs. I have used adapters in regular PCs as well that's not the "fault" of the HP

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1 hour ago, Biomecanoid said:

Well yes i have used one of those, but that not something a HP Z400 specifically needs. I have used adapters in regular PCs as well that's not the "fault" of the HP

the hpz400 need's an different 24 pin adapter as the pins are different from normal 24 pin. the dell t3500 dose not need it. thats why the dellt3500 is price a bit higher then the hpz400 most of the time. it runs quieter and cooler and uses 2 120mm fan in the front and has a bigger psu. on he other had the hpz400 is atx so if you wanted to move it to another case you could but uses 80mm fans doe come with a speaker thow.

hpz400 24pin.png

Edited by thrasher_565
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4 hours ago, Biomecanoid said:

Adapter for what ? i haven't used an adapter for my HP Z400. Probably you mean for using an ATX PSU.  w3680 and w3690 are basically the same CPU but the w3680 is much cheaper. I overclocked the w3680 to 4ghz using throttlestop.

 

I have 2 HP Z400 upgraded one with an X5690 (not overclockable ) for 50$ and the other with w3680 @4ghz for 30$

hmm what all did you change in throttlestop.? i changed the core from like 27 to 30.

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9 minutes ago, thrasher_565 said:

the hpz400 need's an different 24 pin adapter as the pins are different from normal 24 pin. the dell t3500 dose not need it. thats why the dellt3500 is price a bit higher then the hpz400 most of the time. it runs quieter and cooler and uses 2 120mm fan in the front and has a bigger psu. on he other had the hpz400 is atx so if you wanted to move it to another case you could but uses 80mm fans doe come with a speaker thow.

hpz400 24pin.png

There are adapters to use a regular ATX psu, but i don't meed to change at the moment. I have 2 fully upgraded Z400. I believe i can go up to an Nvidia 2060 with the 475watt PSU

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9 minutes ago, thrasher_565 said:

hmm what all did you change in throttlestop.? i changed the core from like 27 to 30.

If i remember correctly i only did that and it throttles up to 4ghz.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With apologies for resurrecting a dead thread...

 

TL:DR; use a Radeon HD 7870 for this build. Avoid the Nvidia 7xx cards.

 

I built another machine using an MSI GTX 760 instead of the Radeon HD 7870. Specs are roughly the same otherwise (will post shortly). The results for Shadow of the Tomb Raider were disappointing: at low graphics, 1080p, my average FPS was only 29 and my minimum was 13 FPS. I had to decrease the resolution on Shadow of the Tomb Raider to 720p, still at low graphics, to get my minimum FPS to 31. At these settings, the game was only 70% GPU bound. Cinebench and Timespy CPU scores were about the same at 911 and 2309, as expected since I used the same CPU. The Timespy graphics score dropped by about 100 points to 1498.

 

Both machines run Fortnite at about 45 FPS on High settings. The Radeon machine runs the CS:GO benchmark on high settings at 172 FPS while the GTX 760 machine runs at 153 FPS.

 

I also tested a newer machine with an EVGA GTX 770 and it also couldn't beat 30 FPS minimum at 1080p, low graphics, despite the GTX 770 having significantly higher Passmark scores than the Radeon HD 7870.

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