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Thread: Seeking advice on new desktop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    carmel valley, ca, us.

    Default Seeking advice on new desktop

    The time has finally come to replace my old XP computer. My goal is to have a machine that will easily handle MSTS/OR in particular. I'd hope such a machine would also handle other sims as well. While this is important to me, my prime directive is as stated above.
    Given that there are specific requirements necessary to accomplish this, I'm thinking a custom built computer would be best for my needs.

    I'd like to share here the proposal my local vendor has prepared, in the hope that this process will enable me to purchase the best purpose built computer for my needs.

    IntelCore i5-10400F 6core 2.9/4.3 GHz LGA1200

    Asus PRIME H470M-PLUS MicroATX LGA11200

    2X Crucial Ballistix Red 8GB DDR4-2660 (16 GB total RAM)

    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive (SATA3)

    Video card:
    Asus Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 2GB Phoenix Fan OC Edition PCI-e 3.0

    Asus 24X DVD +/- R/W SATA

    Microsoft Windows 10 64bit OEM.

    My vendor believes this will get the job done. Your thoughts?
    I do appreciate all who will be taking a look and/or offering thoughts/suggestions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW MO


    A couple things.
    Skip the DVD drive and get another smallish SSD for just your OS and other "modern" software.
    Just use the 1TB SSD for your trains and such.
    I know video cards are ridiculously expensive right now but a 1030 isn't going to do what you want. You'ld be much better off with an older 970 w/4GB Ram.
    I had a 1050, which is a better card than a 1030, and swapped it out for 970 and it was night and day.

    While sitting here typing this up I went and priced video cards. OMG



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Lubec ME USA


    DVD drive might be useful if you want to load older software, like MSTS for instance. They are pretty cheap these days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    known universe


    Quote Originally Posted by jonpd View Post
    DVD drive might be useful if you want to load older software, like MSTS for instance. They are pretty cheap these days.
    Maybe, but considering that the norm is moving towards no DVD --- if you need a DVD, I'd go with a usb DVD and put in the extra SSD drive that Randy suggested. I would definitely get a faster CPU if possible, i7 at least...or a i9 if budget allows.

    Don't know much about the relative merits of graphics cards, but with bitcoin nutz mining the costs of GPUs for the rest of us are artificially inflated.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.


    I built a system late late summer - a budget system. Both OR and Flight simulator run fast and smooth and my trains, planes and scenery are far from default - and loaded trains and objects. (and I only have an i5!!)

    Intel Z490 Core i5 Configurator 1 $1,253.00
    Case iBUYPOWER Element MR Mirror Finished Tempered Glass ARGB Gaming Case
    Case Fans 3x [Black] be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm All Black Fan
    Processor Intel® Core™ i5-10400F Processor (6x 2.90 GHz /12MB L3 Cache)
    Processor Cooling iBUYPOWER 120mm Addressable RGB Liquid Cooling System - Black - Free Upgrade to iBUYPOWER DEEPCOOL GAMERSTORM RGB 120mm CASTLE 120EX Liquid Cooler
    Memory 16 GB [8 GB X2] DDR4-3000 Memory Module - Certified Major Brand Gaming Memory [Free Upgrade to 16GB DDR4-3200 TEAMGROUP T-Force Delta RGB]
    Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER - 6GB GDDR6 (VR-Ready)
    Motherboard ASUS PRIME Z490-P - WiFi, ARGB Header (1), USB 3.2 Ports (4 Type-A), M.2 Slot (3)
    Power Supply 800 Watt - High Power - 80 PLUS Gold (White Cables)
    Advanced Cabling Options Standard Default Cables
    Primary Hard Drive 500 GB WD Blue SSD -- Read: 545MB/s, Write: 525MB/s - Single Drive
    Sound Card Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy FX [PCIE] -- 5.1 Channels, 192KHz/24-bit
    Network Card Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
    Operating System Windows 10 Home w/ Windows Recovery USB - (64-bit)
    Monitor Cable DisplayPort to HDMI 6 Feet Gold-Plated Male to Male Cable

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Lubec ME USA


    If you are building your own system, I found this site useful

    You need to register to take full advantage of it. Then you can put together and save various combos and price them out.

    You can compare various parts, see reviews, and find the cheapest source. For example I found the cheapest source for my Intel CPU to be Wal-Mart. Who woulda thought to look there?


  7. #7


    Check out -
    for pre made gaming system or build your own, I have been dealing with them for over a decade and they are gr8
    An nvidia 1030 is 2 generations old, and not really good. we are on the 30 series now so your going to shoot yourself in your foot by doing this for a new build
    meaning even a gtx 1080 is going to give you 100fps jump on average and that's a four year old card
    -Don't forget to get a decent PSU @ least 800w
    -Processor cooling solution -either air or water, but ya need something
    Also consider how much you use the pc, If you are clocking 1000+ hours a year on it, then why sell your self short. the difference between
    a mid level system like what you have listed vs a high level system is approx $1200. over five years is approx $22 extra a month.
    micro center has in stock an I9 with 32 g ddr4 with a gtx 3080 in for $2600, that I think is a gr8 deal considering gtx 3080's are going for
    $2000k + on ebay right now.
    Hey its only money and ya can't take it with you!
    good luck on your new rig no matter what you decide!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    I would never pay any crypto-premium on video cards these days. I would wait it out until the crypto scene stumbles, take very good care of my existing video card keeping it dust-free, not abusing it, etc.

    That 1030 is about equivalent to the GTX 745 that came OEM in my 2015 system. Replaced after purchase with a GTX 970. The 745 was capable of running OR maxing out around 115 FPS. Back then paid $1100 for my system and $330 for the 970 upgrade. I got it all for $1450 and would say no to any $2600 today.

    You probably could do a little better in an interim video card for the time being. A GTX 1650 is $209[ADL]%20[Shopping]%20[PLA]%20-%20{Long%20Tail}&utm_term=4580428009562293&utm_con tent={Long%20Tail}%20-%20Bing&utm_source=adl-umbase-p

    1650 vs 1030
    Last edited by geepster775; 06-12-2021 at 11:53 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW MO


    If you're not dead set on buying new, this is a pretty good deal.
    I may look at upgrading myself.
    If you want new, cutting edge, go for it.
    If you want a decent rig for OpenRails this will do handily.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Pacific Time


    "Get the job done" ... all of us have various quibbles. Basically, your vendor is proposing last year's mid-grade system with an old, old GPU. Yes, for now, it'll "get the job done" for OR, maybe even FSX. But ... you could do much better for not much (if any) more money, except for the GPU...

    Is your old computer a home-built? Is it in a good case, with ventilation, and standard ATX? If so, you might be able to re-use it and build a new computer inside.

    Moving up the list from the bottom...

    Starting with Windows: it's worth the money to get Pro, and a retail version rather than OEM. Pro has a lot more configurability than Home, and OEM is locked to the hardware you initially buy - upgrades are very limited. Retail can be used for hardware upgrades as long as you want to keep using Windows.

    DVD: others have said you don't need one. I disagree. But it's not worth spending money on one in the computer. If your old computer has a SATA DVD or CD drive, move it over. But spend your money on a USB Blu-Ray writer (also does DVD and CD of course). With most movies on Blu-Ray now, you'll probably want to be able to play Blu-Ray anyway. I got one from Amazon last year for <$100.

    GPU: GTX 1030 is truly bottom of the barrel, and a couple of generations back (though at least it's Maxell or Pascal architecture so driver support will last another year or more). Be very careful about the chip architecture - nVidia just dropped driver support for the Kepler architecture (most of the GTX 700 series and older). 1030 is a generation newer so it'll be supported a bit longer. But if you can find the cash (sorry, any GPU worth buying from a tech standpoint these days has a scalper premium), and want to stay in the 10 series, a 1050 or 1050ti would be noticeably better. If you have to stick with something that's PCI-only powered (no extra power plug), you could try to find a 1650 as well, but those are new enough to be solidly in the scalpers' sights. FWIW, I have an old 750ti (1st gen Maxwell, so it'll probably go out of support next year) that, in a new computer, delivers (if unconstrained) 150+ fps in Open Rails with most routes.

    That said, a 1030 is enough to run Open Rails, is *relatively* cheap, and gets you going with the prospect of replacing it if prices ever calm down.

    GPU driver support is mostly a matter of compatibility with new games. If you don't play those, you probably won't care much. Rarely, there's a security update too, and you DON'T want to miss those. Then, MS has a clause in their Terms of Service for Windows that lets them cut you off from further Windows updates if the OEM no longer supports something - they've only used that a couple of times for obscure products, but it's there, and with Windows 11 on the horizon those of us with older hardware might lose out.

    HDD: a TB SSD is OK. Seagate doesn't have the world's best reliability rep, so get something else (a USB TB disk of some kind) and make backups religiously. Samsung has a very good rep for reliability and performance, but they're very pricey, and the chip shortage is making SSDs a little hard to get (meaning higher prices) now too.

    RAM's fine. For most uses, 16GB is all you really need. My new computer has 16 and I've only rarely seen RAM usage exceed 25% even with Open Rails and a nice route in full cry.

    Motherboard: I like another commenter's suggestion of a Z490 motherboard rather than the H470 proposed. The price difference often isn't large, if there's one at all (when I was ordering, I originally was getting a H370 that the vendor ran out of stock on (and refunded me) after the order was placed; substitute was a Z490 MSI Pro board (no RGB bling!) for all of $10 more. The Z490 chipset supports a few more things, and would allow you to use faster memory even with a locked CPU. Check carefully to see if the motherboard has all the ports you need; I did, and it does, but barely - could have used a couple more USB for comfort. Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth might seem to be a bonus, but having it on a separate card allows you to upgrade more easily, and with standards changing quickly you probably will want to upgrade you networking hardware long before the motherboard and CPU need it.

    Finally, the CPU is fine unless you're doing serious gaming or (Photoshop etc) graphics. It's a generation old - you might ask the vendor why the current (11th) gen Intel isn't proposed, or even AMD. AMD probably isn't proposed because it's mostly unobtainium unless scalper premiums are paid, but if you could get a Ryzen 5 or 7 of the current generation it would be much quicker (though a little hoggier on power) than Intel. The newer-gen Intel is quicker as well, and while expensive is not as pricey as AMD. And you can get Intel - few shortages. Note that the F version simply indicates that the on-board graphics are disabled; it's for use in a system that has a separate GPU; if you want to play overclock games, you need one that also has a K - more expensive, but they were available in the 10400 line.

    Edit: the new one I built about 3 months ago has a 10400F, 16G RAM, and a Z490 motherboard. Runs rings around the old Core2 Extreme, and burns about 1/2 the power. So mid-grade isn't necessarily bad.

    Didn't see any listing for power supply. For future-proofing, I'd get one with at least 550W capacity - that's enough for a lower-mid grade GPU (someday) that requires a separate power plug. If you expect to get a high-end GPU within the 3-5 years a PSU can be expected to last, you might want something beefier.

    Since you're buying it from a vendor, you might have less flexibility than if you're doing it yourself. Good luck. Get more than one bid!

    -Mike B
    Last edited by mikeebb; 06-13-2021 at 01:29 PM.

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