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Thread: New Rig

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    545

    Default New Rig

    Hello fellow TrainSim lurkers;
    I am looking at upgrading my 8 year old computer, that has been running just as long. While doing my searching and due diligence, I came across this:



    The Specs are:

    Brand New from Competitive Technology: Premium Desktop Computer - newly built PC (shipped from a central location in the United States).Upgrade your current computing rig with this Premium Desktop PC from Competitive Technology: 16GB of Ultra-Fast DDR4 RAM (w/ RGB lights) and AMD Quad-Core Processor (with 3.8GHz Max Turbo and 3.5GHz base clock speed) allow you to run multiple high-intensity programs at the same time! Premium Desktop PC renders fast-paced action smoothly without screen tearing and has dual storage drives (1TB HDD +m.2 SSD) for saving all of your favorite games and day-to-day software programs!

    Windows 11 Pro (operating system) introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen. High-efficiency OS with broad compatibility for highly intensive computing tasks and software downloads. NO BLOATWARE - EVER. Added Features: Newest version of Microsoft Office Pro (which includes: Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Publisher, and extra OneNote features) is included for no additional cost. (However, if you are NOT interested in this free fully-activated MS Office upgrade please tell us in advance, before shipment is made, so this additional software can be deleted).

    Powerful Desktop Processor: AMD Quad-Core Processor (with 3.8GHz Max Turbo and 3.5GHz base clock speed) and AMD GDDR5 GPU combine to enable superior graphics processing that delivers aggressive yet power-smart performance for a wide range of high-intensity day to day activities.16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 RAM: High-bandwidth DDR4 RAM (w/ RGB lights) can operate at a maximum memory frequency that allows you to smoothly run a wide variety of applications and browser tabs all at once.

    Massive Storage Space: 1TB hard drive offers massive storage space and the system's additional 128GB m.2 solid state drive (SSD) provide a competitive blend of storage space and speed. Overall, this powerful PC offers over 1.12TB in total storage space that makes it easy to download your favorite applications and work files, while also providing fast boot up and load times.

    Wireless Network Connectivity: 1200Mbps WiFi and built-in Ethernet LAN port lets you plug into your network while offering two options for connecting to high-speed internet without lag time.

    Competitive Technology’s Mid-Tower case can accommodate large-sized components in a compact and elegant design. Versatile cooling solutions and advanced cable management allow users to keep their systems shining, cool and beautiful - all at the same time. Massive Transparency is provided by the see-through Tempered Glass side panel, the case presents a clean and tidy framework that turns this Powerful Desktop PC into a truly pro-level system. Compact and Efficient Design allows much larger interior space with better cooling performance and cable management. However, its compact exterior dimension takes up less desktop space in home office spaces.

    Abundant USB Ports: Front Panel is equipped with high-efficiency USB 3.0 ports, letting you easily connect multiple peripheral devices and accessories for charging or data synchronization. Not only do they offer fast data transfer, they can also keep all your USB devices connected for all of your daily activities.Back Panel: Specific cable inputs available for individual PCs might vary slightly in relation to the pictured example, depending on which motherboard models are currently in stock. Since this PC comes with a graphics card, please remember to plug-in your monitor using one of the graphics ports in order to see your display (rather than any of the monitor inputs connected to the motherboard). DisplayPort and DVI-I dual link port comes with an additional HDMI monitor cable input along with USB 3.0 ports and USB 2.0 ports for supreme connectivity.

    Now, I come to you all for your opinions. The AMD GPU is a huge sticky point with me, because I know awhile back MSTS did not play nice with AMD graphics cards. I know there is a bug fix out there, but I would like to take a cautious step towards buying a computer that costs me a good chunk of money.

    I run MSTS, although I do have Open Rails. I do have TSRE on my computer...but it is horrible slow, and truly not worth running it. I am a route builder, not a route runner. I have a route on my computer almost ready for release, so I need a lot of compatibility right off the bat.

    I humbly request your opinions. Price is an object.

    Cody



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Hi Cody,

    From what I'm reading two things bother me. First, nowhere do they say anything about what type or generation the CPU is, other than a "AMD quad core". It sounds like an older model - definitely not a RIZEN. Second, I don't get the impression that there is a dedicated graphics card. My feelings is that the graphics is integrated in the CPU. This is probably a mid-grade unit that is most suited for business use and not for serious game playing. Just my $0/02!

    Larry

    Oh and I forgot, if you're a route builder, you are going to want a bigger SSD that 128 GB. You could off-load your work to the hard drive, but it would be slower.
    Last edited by phydeaux; 07-01-2022 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something
    Larry Steiner
    Grand Rapids, MI
    (CSX Country)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eltham, Victoria, Australia.
    Posts
    7,204

    Default

    Hi Cody,

    As this article does not specify the hardware, I would not go near it, you also don't mention the price.

    You need a 1tB ssd as a boot drive at least, then a 2tB ssd as the second drive to get good speed from Open Rails.
    Cheers
    Derek

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    known universe
    Posts
    2,791

    Default

    I would not buy it, you're paying for some blue lights.
    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
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    898

    Default

    That advertising copy reads like a late-night TV infomercial...

    As Derek already mentioned, the boot SSD should be 1TB -- enough for the Windows folder (which will inevitably grow over time as updates are added) plus room for performance-sensitive applications.

    1TB of additional hard drive space is OK. Nothing special; you'll find plenty of systems offering more. SATA SSD's are more popular than ever. Spinning rust HDD's are fine for storage and run-of-the-mill productivity applications. But it's not worth skimping on quality there -- at least use a decent 7500 RPM drive. But there's nothing specific about what this is, so expect a cheap 5400RPM drive that may or may not last beyond its warranty period.

    "Ultra-Fast" DDR4 memory? All modern systems use DDR4. Memory clock speed isn't especially critical unless you're building a high-performance, overclocked computer. Adding fancy RGB lights to RAM sticks doesn't make them go any faster. Memory is fairly inexpensive these days, anyhow, and at least they put in 16GB which is fine for gaming and reasonable workloads. (16GB used to be higher-end, now it's pretty common. 32GB used to be outrageous and now it's typical in higher-end gaming computers. Software just keeps getting hungry for memory.)

    "Quad-core" AMD probably indicates a Ryzen 3 CPU. They're inexpensive, not hard to find, and suitable for general-purpose use and light gaming. Nothing fancy, but not bad. It's probably one with an on-board GPU -- so other than being able to play streaming video smoothly, it's not really set up for graphics workloads of any kind. Dedicated GPUs and graphics cards are still in short supply, so this is an easy way to cut corners and puff up the advertising claims.

    For a Ryzen 3 CPU, there's an abundance of small commodity-grade motherboards with built-in wired and wi-fi networking, adequate USB support, and one or two PCI expansion slots. But nothing particularly outstanding.

    The case is a decent commodity-grade one from Cooler Master, a reputable company at least. You could rip everything out and still have a case to build a custom system into.

    No mention of the power supply or CPU cooling. Most likely if you want to add a graphics card, the power supply will have to be upgraded. Easy to do in a standard case like that. Just know that it's practically a given that you'll need to. AMD's stock CPU coolers that they include with their retail CPU's are quite good -- but they don't generally include them with CPUs sold in bulk to system builders. It's probably a barely-adequate little fan/heatsink combo typical of small desktop and home computers. Nothing fancy, but not particularly efficient or long-lasting. But also easy to replace with an inexpensive aftermarket one. Like the power supply, just expect to replace/upgrade it.

    All in all, it's just a basic desktop/light gaming PC in a nice-looking case with some blinky lights. Whether the price is a good value or not is hard to tell with prices going crazy anyway.

    If you do expect to ever have to run the MSTS route editor, you'll have to find an Nvidia graphics card. Doesn't have to be the latest and greatest, but you'll need something that can run off of the GeForce drivers. Depending on the card, a power supply upgrade is pretty likely. So consider that there could be some additional spending money to spend on GPU, power supply, and more storage.

    Changing out the M.2 boot drive for a larger, more useful one is probably the worst task. They're small and fiddly (don't lose the tiny screw in the case! ) and since it's the boot drive, you'll need to back up all your data and have copies of all your software and drivers on hand to manually re-install after installing Windows from scratch. (Cloning is possible, but there are times when it can fail.)

    Most everything new comes with Windows 11 these days. If you find you hate it, you can downgrade to Windows 10 and the OS will still be activated/licensed. Just make sure there are Windows 10 drivers for the motherboard and networking components. There usually are, but they can be hard to find for some oddball, off-brand boards.

    All in all, unless the price is absolutely fantastic, you'll probably find something with a little more storage and maybe even a better GPU out there if you keep hunting.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    Open Rails and MSTS blog -- Back on the Web as of December 2021


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas, USA.
    Posts
    545

    Default

    OK, hows about:
    AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Eight Core Processor @ 3.0GHz
    16GB of Ram
    Win 10 Pro v21H2
    1Tb HD
    NVidia GPU: GeForce GTX 1090



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eltham, Victoria, Australia.
    Posts
    7,204

    Default

    Getting better,
    Motherboard?
    power supply,
    case,

    and the price?
    Cheers
    Derek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    736

    Default

    That'll do most anything you will want it to.
    I'd use an SSD for the operating system with a separate partition, or drive, for everything else. Everything else meaning stuff you don't want to lose if your OS crashes and needs to be reinstalled.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Default

    I'm currently running a i7 with a RTX 3050 -- I've yet to see OpenRails drop into low framerates, and TSRE plays well with it as well.

    Those initial specs didn't show a single USB-C port, which would concern me because that's the evolving standard. There's no need for USB2 if you have USB3 and USB-C available.
    Last edited by eolesen; 07-05-2022 at 05:49 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    I'm currently running a Ryzen i7 with a RTX 3050 -- I've yet to see OpenRails drop into low framerates, and TSRE plays well with it as well.

    Those initial specs didn't show a single USB-C port, which would concern me because that's the evolving standard. There's no need for USB2 if you have USB3 and USB-C available.
    "Ryzen i7"....I wish I could find that combo motherboard!

    I would not rush to lose USB2 as you might need to boot off a USB thumb drive. In my experience some of these new fangled USB3, USB3.1, USB3.X ports do not work as expected at all. I cannot boot off of them. A USB2 port is a life saver. USB-C, remains to be seen. I still have not seen USB-C thumb drives locally. I think you will have to look into a USB-C hub with older USB connectors to accommodate your older stuff...like keyboards, joysticks etc.

    You are lucky to have found a RTX 3050 with the cryptocurrency histeria at a reasonable price?

    Steve

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