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Economic build for a capable LAN station, need to build 4 PCs

EricSartor
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https://pcpartpicker.com/user/ericsartor/saved/#view=cbrm8d - The build I came up with, I'm looking for opinions, suggestions, criticisms, etc.

 

So I want to build a dope LAN station with 4 PCs.  I want them to be able to run most games at mid level 1080p settings, 60 FPS.  Not trying to create a monstrous build or anything, just something reliable that won't bankrupt me after building 4.  We won't be playing any particularly demanding games, mostly stuff like PUBG, Dead By Daylight, Rocket League, GMOD, etc.

 

Ideally, I'd rather small form builds, such as Mini ITX or MicroATX, and I'm not worried one bit about appearance.  They'll likely just be sitting under a table, out of sight.

 

As far as IO, I just need USB, HDMI and Ethernet, but I can't imagine there are builds that wouldn't include those.  USB would be the main thing, I'd like to have a minimum of 6 USB ports on the back, I don't imagine the front IO will be getting any use.  1 mouse, 1 keyboard, 1 USB headset, 1 Xbox controller, and then 2 - 4 spares would work fine.  So we'll say 6-10 rear USB ports if possible, but obviously I could get USB hubs if necessary. Only using 1 monitor per computer and I'm not picky about which connection is used, since I'll using USB for the audio anyways and won't be running anything over 1080p or 60fps.

 

And as far as a budget goes, if I could build each computer for around $1000 Canadian, that would be pretty nifty.  The build I came up with comes in at $945 with a Wifi card, mouse, keyboard, headset and monitor.

 

So what do you guys think of what I came up with?  The GPU/CPU would be the main things I want opinions on, I'm far from an expert at picking them.  I have a G4560 with a GTX 1060 in one of my current computers, and I've been very happy with that pairing, so I imagine going down the 1050TI would be a pretty safe bet.  I also have heard that AMD GPUs can get warm/draw a lot of power, so if I'm going to be running 4 in the same place, I figured it might not be a bad idea to just stick with the Green Team for this.  I've only ever used one AMD GPU and I wasn't particularly happy with it, so that's left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

 

I'm also wondering if the dual 4GB RAM sticks is a better choice over a single 8GB stick.  I imagine it is, but if it was entirely inconsequential, sticking to one in the small case I have would be better.  I actually have my current main build in almost the exact same case, and the RAM caused some spacing issues with the CPU cooler I have, so it would be cool to avoid that, though the cooler I picked is reasonably small.

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The pentium seems to be a bit underpowered for some of those games you want to be playing.

Want to know which mobo to get?

Spoiler

Choose whatever you need. Any more, you're wasting your money. Any less, and you don't get the features you need.

 

Only you know what you need to do with your computer, so nobody's really qualified to answer this question except for you.

 

chEcK iNsidE sPoilEr fOr a tREat!

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4 minutes ago, bob51zhang said:

The pentium seems to be a bit underpowered for some of those games you want to be playing.

I haven't tried it with PUBG, but it certainly works fine for Rocket League and Dead By Daylight.  I can't imagine GMOD would be too difficult to run...

 

What would you recommend instead?

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How with a 1400 for the extra cores. A 1050ti will do well but for a bit more an RX 470 is a good bit better. The whole AMD furnace thing doesn’t apply to this gen of cards

That's an F in the profile pic

 

 

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You could just buy four used Dell Optiplex machines with some i3 or i5 processors or even i7s .. for example search eBay or local places for Dell Optiplex 9010 or 9020 series, those should have some i5 and maybe even some i7s

 

here's an example : https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Dell-OptiPlex-9010-MT-Intel-Core-i7-3770-3rd-Gen-3-4-GHz-8-GB-500-GB/253241872535?

 

It's a regular mATX so full height graphics cards can be used. It's got 2 x 4 GB DDR3 and i think the mb has 4 slots, so you could add another 8 GB if needed - DDR 3 is only around 40-50$ on eBay while new DDR4 is now close to 80$ for 8 GB

 

The downside is that these come with a 275w power supply, but that's good enough to install a GTX 1050ti in them, these would use only 75w or less - the i7 3770 and the memory and the 500GB drive won't use more than 100w so there's enough power to add a GTX 1050ti. May even be enough spare for a GTX 1060, those go up to 120w or so. Alternatively, you could just buy another power supply, i don't think these have proprietary connectors.... the idea is that you get everything but graphics card at a small price, around 350$ canadian (after shipping and import taxes) , probably around 50-100$ less than if you'd buy parts separately. Oh, and you also get Windows 10 licenses , hurray ..

 

 

If you want new, G4560 is kinda weak.

AMD also has some pre-Ryzen processors made to work on socket AM4 which are very cheap, for example the 60$ AMD X4 950 is quite a bit faster than G4560 and it's 20$ cheaper. The motherboards cost about the same.

 

60$ AMD X4-950 (4x3.5 Ghz) : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113456

50$ ASRock A320M-HDV AM4 AMD Promontory A320 : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157766

78$ GSkill 8 GB DDR4 2400 Mhz  : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231963&ignorebbr=1

.. add hdd, case, 30-40$ power supply etc  if you want you can spend 15-20$ more for a motherboard with B350 chipset, because that would allow overclocking (but those x4 950 processors don't overclock, though could be useful if you'd upgrade to some Ryzen cpu later on)

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, mariushm said:

You could just buy four used Dell Optiplex machines with some i3 or i5 processors or even i7s .. for example search eBay or local places for Dell Optiplex 9010 or 9020 series, those should have some i5 and maybe even some i7s

 

here's an example : https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Dell-OptiPlex-9010-MT-Intel-Core-i7-3770-3rd-Gen-3-4-GHz-8-GB-500-GB/253241872535?

 

It's a regular mATX so full height graphics cards can be used. It's got 2 x 4 GB DDR3 and i think the mb has 4 slots, so you could add another 8 GB if needed - DDR 3 is only around 40-50$ on eBay while new DDR4 is now close to 80$ for 8 GB

 

The downside is that these come with a 275w power supply, but that's good enough to install a GTX 1050ti in them, these would use only 75w or less - the i7 3770 and the memory and the 500GB drive won't use more than 100w so there's enough power to add a GTX 1050ti. May even be enough spare for a GTX 1060, those go up to 120w or so. Alternatively, you could just buy another power supply, i don't think these have proprietary connectors.... the idea is that you get everything but graphics card at a small price, around 350$ canadian (after shipping and import taxes) , probably around 50-100$ less than if you'd buy parts separately. Oh, and you also get Windows 10 licenses , hurray ..

 

 

If you want new, G4560 is kinda weak.

AMD also has some pre-Ryzen processors made to work on socket AM4 which are very cheap, for example the 60$ AMD X4 950 is quite a bit faster than G4560 and it's 20$ cheaper. The motherboards cost about the same.

 

60$ AMD X4-950 (4x3.5 Ghz) : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113456

50$ ASRock A320M-HDV AM4 AMD Promontory A320 : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157766

78$ GSkill 8 GB DDR4 2400 Mhz  : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231963&ignorebbr=1

.. add hdd, case, 30-40$ power supply etc  if you want you can spend 15-20$ more for a motherboard with B350 chipset, because that would allow overclocking (but those x4 950 processors don't overclock, though could be useful if you'd upgrade to some Ryzen cpu later on)

 

 

 

Reading the reviews on New Egg for that X4-950, it seems that it would bottleneck a 1050TI.  This is the main thing I'm struggling with, finding a good match up of CPU to GPU on the lower end of the price scale.

 

The idea of buying a pre-built then upgrading it certainly interesting, I'll have to take a look at that!

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4 minutes ago, EricSartor said:

Reading the reviews on New Egg for that X4-950, it seems that it would bottleneck a 1050TI.  This is the main thing I'm struggling with, finding a good match up of CPU to GPU on the lower end of the price scale.

 

The idea of buying a pre-built then upgrading it certainly interesting, I'll have to take a look at that!

The x4-950 should be about 10% more powerful than G4560 ... it's a bit weaker per core, but it has 4 real cores, while the G4560 has 2 cores and 4 threads. It has very good value for money.

The G4560 can also be "bottlenecking" a modern video card, the slightly higher single thread performance won't be significant enough to NOT bottleneck ...

The AM4 platform would also be more suitable for future upgrades, you'll still be able to buy more powerful processors in the future, while all the new 8th series processors from Intel would require new LGA1151 motherboards.

 

As for those pre-built machines, keep in mind that you may find some very attractive deals for those desktop systems which are thinner , small form factor.  They're OK but the problem with them is that you'd be forced to use half-height video cards with them which are sometimes more expensive or hard to find.

 

The one I recommended above has MT in name, which is short for mini-tower, you can find for example 9010 without MT and those are half height only and with 250w psu instead of 275w.

 

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I really don't see the economic value with this build.

There could be lot's of stuff to reduce the bills and make it more efficient and truly economic.

 

1st

Since you going to build 4 machines, scrap the 1TB HDD from each machine and build NAS with at least with 2TB drives to accommodate all machines, the idea all machines would be using same resources

 

2nd

with first thing to do, then wireless is out of question, get a Gigabit switch instead, just get one and Cat5e or cat 6 cable.

 

3rd

It's pentium, I don't see how 3rd party cooler going to add value into this economic build.

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1 minute ago, mariushm said:

The x4-950 should be about 10% more powerful than G4560 ... it's a bit weaker per core, but it has 4 real cores, while the G4560 has 2 cores and 4 threads. It has very good value for money.

The G4560 can also be "bottlenecking" a modern video card, the slightly higher single thread performance won't be significant enough to NOT bottleneck ...

The AM4 platform would also be more suitable for future upgrades, you'll still be able to buy more powerful processors in the future, while all the new 8th series processors from Intel would require new LGA1151 motherboards.

 

As for those pre-built machines, keep in mind that you may find some very attractive deals for those desktop systems which are thinner , small form factor.  They're OK but the problem with them is that you'd be forced to use half-height video cards with them which are sometimes more expensive or hard to find.

 

The one I recommended above has MT in name, which is short for mini-tower, you can find for example 9010 without MT and those are half height only and with 250w psu instead of 275w.

 

But if I'm only interested in gaming, why would I be worried about anything but single-threaded performance? Do most games (especially the type of games I mentioned) not generally only use one core at a time?  It seems to me like I'd be better off to go with something with better single threaded performance, which seems to be Intel.  The i3s seem to be a good choice.

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1 minute ago, Blebekblebek said:

I really don't see the economic value with this build.

There could be lot's of stuff to reduce the bills and make it more efficient and truly economic.

 

1st

Since you going to build 4 machines, scrap the 1TB HDD from each machine and build NAS with at least with 2TB drives to accommodate all machines, the idea all machines would be using same resources

 

2nd

with first thing to do, then wireless is out of question, get a Gigabit switch instead, just get one and Cat5e or cat 6 cable.

 

3rd

It's pentium, I don't see how 3rd party cooler going to add value into this economic build.

Yeah, I'm thinking of bumping up to an i3 and probably scrapping the CPU cooler, as I wouldn't be able to overclock with those anyways.

Is it really viable to run games off a NAS?  I mean, I've never tried it but it certainly sounds far fetched to me...it could be worth looking into tough!  But ultimately, would it really save me that much money?  Maybe about $110 bucks or so, but I guess I'd need to do some research on it.

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No, not really. More and more games use a lot of cores, because all consoles these days have up to 8 weaker cores, so it's easier to port these games to regular computers and leave the optimizations for many cores in place.

 

Also, remember that you have the game threads (main game flow, game ai thread aka how enemies and npcs think , threads that load background music and sounds and play them while you play, threads that load game levels in background while you play and so on)  and you have the video card driver threads and you may have other things running in background as well (like maybe facebook or something in a browser, or discord for voice chat

 

Just two cores in 2017 and in a G series cpu is a bad choice... now an i3 with 2 cores and 4 threads, it could be a bit better but it's also more expensive

 

Here's 7 games compared, at least for this guy the AMD cpu seems to produce better fps :

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, EricSartor said:

Yeah, I'm thinking of bumping up to an i3 and probably scrapping the CPU cooler, as I wouldn't be able to overclock with those anyways.

Is it really viable to run games off a NAS?  I mean, I've never tried it but it certainly sounds far fetched to me...it could be worth looking into tough!  But ultimately, would it really save me that much money?  Maybe about $110 bucks or so, but I guess I'd need to do some research on it.

It's starting point, you will do less maintenance in the future, also since all use same resources when your games updating it only updating once.

Someone made a thread before

 

It's so easy to build, practically you can even use old computer as long it has gigabit lan.

 

as for using Athlon X4, you better getting prebuild haswell/ivybridge machine with i3 or even better an i5/i7 with it.

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