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Upgrading an old PC for Minecraft

Budget (including currency): $250 USD

Country: USA

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: Minecraft java. Literally just Minecraft java.

Other details: Here's what I got.  Its an assortment of free parts I managed to have in a box:

 

Motherboard: SuperMicro PDSMA (LGA775, E7230)

CPU: Intel Pentium D 950 (3.4 GHz)

GPU: GeForce GT 710

SSD: WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SATA III

Memory: 4x 2GB DDR2 533MHz

OS: Ubuntu 20.10

 

I'm genuinely surprised how badly this thing runs minecraft and maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree trying to upgrade it, maybe its some sort of driver or incompatibility issue? I don't know.  Assuming I'm going with the "upgrade the hardware" path, the CPU/RAM is maxed out on the motherboard so I'm guessing I'll have to ditch all 3.  Is the RAM "worth" trying to reuse?  Is that graphics card holding me back?  I'm playing on a self-hosted server and get tons of client-side lag even with my video settings literally turned down to the absolute minimum so I'm thinking no.  I know this is bordering into "minecraft help" and not "upgrading help" but since this computer is ONLY for minecraft its hard to untie those 2 things.

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This is like simply put too old.

 

Really in this case just get some used dell from ebay with a core i5, 8gb of ram and a ssd. Better would be an i7.

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I don't understand why you are suprised regarding the performance. you got here a 10 years old pc with hardware that wasn't that good in the first place.

I would donate this pc to some kid's charity and save a buck for a new pc.

 

this is what I would refer as to the bare minimum for minecraft:

 

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($179.50 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($64.98 @ Amazon) 
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory  ($44.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Kingston A400 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($24.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: Rosewill FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case  ($29.99 @ Amazon) 
Power Supply: EVGA BR 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($33.98 @ Newegg) 
Total: $378.43
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-08 16:45 EDT-0400

 

build notes:

* you should consider overclocking (or enabling auto-oc which also called PBO) the cpu to get the most out of your budget. you can probably do it just fine with the stock cooler but perhaps you should get a better one when needed.

* you have the option to add another stick on RAM in the future, consider doing that when you can.

* If you though about upgrading to a GPU later then you should get a better cpu since 450W aint gonna be enough.

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10 minutes ago, The00Dave said:

Budget (including currency): $250 USD

Country: USA

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: Minecraft java. Literally just Minecraft java.

Other details: Here's what I got.  Its an assortment of free parts I managed to have in a box:

 

Motherboard: SuperMicro PDSMA (LGA775, E7230)

CPU: Intel Pentium D 950 (3.4 GHz)

GPU: GeForce GT 710

SSD: WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SATA III

Memory: 4x 2GB DDR2 533MHz

OS: Ubuntu 20.10

 

I'm genuinely surprised how badly this thing runs minecraft and maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree trying to upgrade it, maybe its some sort of driver or incompatibility issue? I don't know.  Assuming I'm going with the "upgrade the hardware" path, the CPU/RAM is maxed out on the motherboard so I'm guessing I'll have to ditch all 3.  Is the RAM "worth" trying to reuse?  Is that graphics card holding me back?  I'm playing on a self-hosted server and get tons of client-side lag even with my video settings literally turned down to the absolute minimum so I'm thinking no.  I know this is bordering into "minecraft help" and not "upgrading help" but since this computer is ONLY for minecraft its hard to untie those 2 things.

I'll make you a pcpartpicker list and then come back to you

hi, im renata bliss and am ur freestyle dance teacher

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19 minutes ago, The00Dave said:

Budget (including currency): $250 USD

Country: USA

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: Minecraft java. Literally just Minecraft java.

Other details: Here's what I got.  Its an assortment of free parts I managed to have in a box:

 

Motherboard: SuperMicro PDSMA (LGA775, E7230)

CPU: Intel Pentium D 950 (3.4 GHz)

GPU: GeForce GT 710

SSD: WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SATA III

Memory: 4x 2GB DDR2 533MHz

OS: Ubuntu 20.10

 

I'm genuinely surprised how badly this thing runs minecraft and maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree trying to upgrade it, maybe its some sort of driver or incompatibility issue? I don't know.  Assuming I'm going with the "upgrade the hardware" path, the CPU/RAM is maxed out on the motherboard so I'm guessing I'll have to ditch all 3.  Is the RAM "worth" trying to reuse?  Is that graphics card holding me back?  I'm playing on a self-hosted server and get tons of client-side lag even with my video settings literally turned down to the absolute minimum so I'm thinking no.  I know this is bordering into "minecraft help" and not "upgrading help" but since this computer is ONLY for minecraft its hard to untie those 2 things.

what psu do u have

hi, im renata bliss and am ur freestyle dance teacher

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55 minutes ago, Seban said:

what psu do u have

an EVGA 450.

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Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  I am surprised about the performance because my other 10 year old pc manages much, much better.  That one has a Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3.0 GHz) a GT 730 and also 8GB of DDR2 memory.

 

I'll end up keeping the case, ssd and psu (its actually the same PSU you recommended and now that I remember its the only thing I bought).  So I'm on the hook for CPU/MB/RAM.  I'm guessing from your build you think the Ryzen integrated graphics would be OK?

1 hour ago, kendrick lamar said:

I don't understand why you are suprised regarding the performance. you got here a 10 years old pc with hardware that wasn't that good in the first place.

I would donate this pc to some kid's charity and save a buck for a new pc.

 

this is what I would refer as to the bare minimum for minecraft:

 

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($179.50 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($64.98 @ Amazon) 
Memory: Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory  ($44.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Kingston A400 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($24.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: Rosewill FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case  ($29.99 @ Amazon) 
Power Supply: EVGA BR 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($33.98 @ Newegg) 
Total: $378.43
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-08 16:45 EDT-0400

 

build notes:

* you should consider overclocking (or enabling auto-oc which also called PBO) the cpu to get the most out of your budget. you can probably do it just fine with the stock cooler but perhaps you should get a better one when needed.

* you have the option to add another stick on RAM in the future, consider doing that when you can.

* If you though about upgrading to a GPU later then you should get a better cpu since 450W aint gonna be enough.

 

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For starters: you might be better off getting some really bespoke advice on a Linux forum as most PC users will be on Bedrock these days and I know the Java version is VERY resource hungry.

 

Overall - that PC is VERY old and probably far better starting again (just port the hard drive into something ~5yrs old)... the standard approach for building a budget gaming rig is to get a ex-office PC. For example, a 3rd gen i5/i7, make sure it has a ~300W* PSU + 2x4Gb RAM and put in an entry level gaming card like a 1050Ti or 1070 if you find something with a good PSU). *you MAY get away with a lower spec PSU, but this will depend on your choice of CPU + graphics.

 

I built my son a Minecraft PC in an old HTPC: an H61 eBay motherboard and then some unsold parts from my old my old gaming rig from a few years ago, with the key components being an i5-2500K and 2x8Gb DDR3 sticks and a 1050Ti. I think the case only has ~250W, but we're not overclocking and it all runs fine.

 

The BIG difference is he's playing Bedrock on win10, but it will run 1920x1280, all details at max and I think it's running ~32chunk render distance.

 

Side by side comparison with his Xbox* OneS: the PC runs better quality, significantly higher render distance AND he can also use an xbox controller and play all the online servers without the "console tax" of >$10pcm for Xbox Live!

My mid-budget workstation/gamer: Ryzen2700X @4.25Ghz, Noctua NH-D15, ASUS Prime B450, Palit 1660SuperOC, 32Gb Vengeance DDR4-3200C16, M.2 EVO970Plus, M.2 WDSN550, 2x 8Tb WD80EFAX, PCP&C 610W, Carbide330R+ 4x NF-A14's, Gigabyte M27Q (27"/1440P/170Hz), 2x Asus PA248 (24"/1200P/60Hz), G110 kbd, G502 mouse. 

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9 minutes ago, BahnStormer said:

For starters: you might be better off getting some really bespoke advice on a Linux forum as most PC users will be on Bedrock these days and I know the Java version is VERY resource hungry.

 

Overall - that PC is VERY old and probably far better starting again (just port the hard drive into something ~5yrs old)... the standard approach for building a budget gaming rig is to get a ex-office PC. For example, a 3rd gen i5/i7, make sure it has a ~300W* PSU + 2x4Gb RAM and put in an entry level gaming card like a 1050Ti or 1070 if you find something with a good PSU). *you MAY get away with a lower spec PSU, but this will depend on your choice of CPU + graphics.

 

I built my son a Minecraft PC in an old HTPC: an H61 eBay motherboard and then some unsold parts from my old my old gaming rig from a few years ago, with the key components being an i5-2500K and 2x8Gb DDR3 sticks and a 1050Ti. I think the case only has ~250W, but we're not overclocking and it all runs fine.

 

The BIG difference is he's playing Bedrock on win10, but it will run 1920x1280, all details at max and I think it's running ~32chunk render distance.

 

Side by side comparison with his Xbox* OneS: the PC runs better quality, significantly higher render distance AND he can also use an xbox controller and play all the online servers without the "console tax" of >$10pcm for Xbox Live!

Yeah...one of these days we're gonna get the whole family switched over to bedrock...but for now they are playing on a crazy old Java world that nobody wants to lose.  In the end I just have too many piles of junk and hacked together rigs that sorta are good enough, I think I'm going to try and do less of that sort of thing.

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Technically you can port worlds from Java to Bedrock.... but be warned, chunk borders get messy and you'll probably have to rebuild every Redstone contraption, so IMHO it's better to just make a clean break of it... (start again)

 

I can confirm the dedicated server for Bedrock is pretty good now (do NOT waste your money on Realms!!!). On the hosted game / dedicated server, the render distance is simply amazing: I'm running the family (4player) server on an old NAS and I've got the tick set to 12 chunks and render to 72 Chunks... when I get into the End, I can see all the outer islands.... and when I get to the islands, I can just pillar up and see dozens of end cities in enough detail to work out which ones have ships. After that the remaining debate is sweeping edge vs trident killers 🙂  I had the decision made for me: my kids were playing on Android tablets, so Bedrock was the only option.

 

Back to the original question: look up OzTalksHW - he has some great ideas on budget gaming PC's...  but the summary is probably going to be the same: aim for a old office 3rd Gen i5 (i5-3470 or i7-3770) and a 1050Ti... not that you'll find them in office PC's, but avoid the K skews (3560K/3770K).... absolutely brilliant CPU's, but likely that it will have been overclocked to hell and back, plus not worth paying a premium for them - the non-K i7-3770 is pretty decent by itself and great value!

 

I'm not sure on 2nd hand prices, but new hardware is normally 1:1 USD:GDP (UK Pounds) and I can definitely build some very viable gaming PC's for £200-£250, especially if there's no need for more storage (you already have a 1Tb SSD).

 

My mid-budget workstation/gamer: Ryzen2700X @4.25Ghz, Noctua NH-D15, ASUS Prime B450, Palit 1660SuperOC, 32Gb Vengeance DDR4-3200C16, M.2 EVO970Plus, M.2 WDSN550, 2x 8Tb WD80EFAX, PCP&C 610W, Carbide330R+ 4x NF-A14's, Gigabyte M27Q (27"/1440P/170Hz), 2x Asus PA248 (24"/1200P/60Hz), G110 kbd, G502 mouse. 

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I've had a quick look around at 2nd hand graphics cards - I'm sure there were GTX1070's for ~$100 18 months ago.... that was at the time the GTX1660Super was ~$250 as they came out... but even the 1070's are all >$300 now!

 

Stick to a GTX1050Ti - demand is still inflated as people are desperate, but not enough cores to be of interest to any miner.... and you can probably get them for about $75-$90, $120 tops. (UK eBay has them for <£100)

 

Here's a comparison of a GT 710 vs a GTX1050Ti: 800% improvement: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GeForce-GT-710-vs-Nvidia-GTX-1050-Ti/m77649vs3649

 

... the GTX1060 gets a 1400% improvement https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GeForce-GT-710-vs-Nvidia-GTX-1060-3GB/m77649vs3646

 

... and the GTX1070Ti gets a 2700% improvement: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GeForce-GT-710-vs-Nvidia-GTX-1070-Ti/m77649vs3943

 

Note that you need to have the CPU to actually drive each graphics card though.... That said, honestly, you could just try any of those cards in your LGA775 system, it will be a way better than what you have.... but you will still be VERY heavily bottlenecked... CPU and RAM. Better to spend the money on an old office PC and a 1050Ti.

My mid-budget workstation/gamer: Ryzen2700X @4.25Ghz, Noctua NH-D15, ASUS Prime B450, Palit 1660SuperOC, 32Gb Vengeance DDR4-3200C16, M.2 EVO970Plus, M.2 WDSN550, 2x 8Tb WD80EFAX, PCP&C 610W, Carbide330R+ 4x NF-A14's, Gigabyte M27Q (27"/1440P/170Hz), 2x Asus PA248 (24"/1200P/60Hz), G110 kbd, G502 mouse. 

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10 hours ago, The00Dave said:

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  I am surprised about the performance because my other 10 year old pc manages much, much better.  That one has a Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3.0 GHz) a GT 730 and also 8GB of DDR2 memory.

 

I'll end up keeping the case, ssd and psu (its actually the same PSU you recommended and now that I remember its the only thing I bought).  So I'm on the hook for CPU/MB/RAM.  I'm guessing from your build you think the Ryzen integrated graphics would be OK?

 

I chose ryzen because they have better gpu capabilities in general.

for Minecraft specifically you don't have to get external gpu but for other heavier games it may be essential. you don't need to spend much, a GTX1050TI would be fine.

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Regarding the Core 2 Quad versus the Pentium D.... it's in the the name: one is quad core and the other dual core.... so the dual core will REALLY struggle if you're trying to game AND host a multiplayer server with redstone contraptions, ticking, etc... you might get away with a quad core for gaming + hosting, but better if it was multithreaded too (8 logical processors).

 

Possibly just try hosting the game on the C2Q?

 

Honestly - I used a Core2Quad processor until a couple of years ago (C2QX6850) - compared to the Pentium D, the three years difference in age belies the gulf in performance... the C2Q's are VERY capable CPU's.

 

If $250 is an absolute max, then it will most likely be ex-office PC only (<$100 for a 3rd gen i5/i7 with no drive), then add a 1050Ti for graphics... an i7 3770 + GTX1050Ti will be the best you can hope for on that budget... but its a short term win...

 

Alternatively, take Kendrick's CPU+mobo suggestion, but reuse your case, PSU and SSD.... And TRY to get 2x RAM sticks, even if it is just 2x4Gb...it will make a huge difference if you're using onboard graphics.... That gets you in at $300 and will be a decent platform to add a discreet GPU later (and CPU upgrade, etc in time).

 

The Ryzen 5 3200G's built in Vega 8 APU/iGPU (onboard graphics) is 5x faster than what you have! 

https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-RX-Vega-8-5000-iGPU-vs-Nvidia-GeForce-GT-710/m1415260vsm77649

 

The Ryzen 5 3400G would be a great stretch target: it won't give you much more for graphics, but they're sometimes similar prices (ignore PCPartPicker though!) and it'll give a bit more CPU grunt if you're planning on still hosting that Minecraft world on the same system.

 

Personally, if I had $300 and was willing to fish around for when these were in stock:

https://pangoly.com/en/build/share/2021/4/9/custom/bd15a15b-4bc1-49cc-9c06-01c747256fae

ASrock B450M-HDV

Ryzen 5 3400G

Crucial Ballistix 2x8Gb DDR4-3200 CL16

 

If you're in a rush, then you will pay a silly premium for the CPU in particular - so consider downgrading that to the Ryzen3.

My mid-budget workstation/gamer: Ryzen2700X @4.25Ghz, Noctua NH-D15, ASUS Prime B450, Palit 1660SuperOC, 32Gb Vengeance DDR4-3200C16, M.2 EVO970Plus, M.2 WDSN550, 2x 8Tb WD80EFAX, PCP&C 610W, Carbide330R+ 4x NF-A14's, Gigabyte M27Q (27"/1440P/170Hz), 2x Asus PA248 (24"/1200P/60Hz), G110 kbd, G502 mouse. 

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