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building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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I got my girlfriend into pc gaming (yes!) and her favorite types of games are usually indie games like Inside, Limbo, Doki-Doki Literature Club (*shivers*), and similar. I gave her an old 780 Dell Optiplex (Dual Core Pentium) with a Raedon HD 5450 in it and it has served her well until a week ago - where some games shes trying now are unplayable due to the old hardware, or won't even boot (Little Nightmares). I don't have a huge budget but what I do have is an AM3+ cooler, a 700 watt psu, and Nvidia 760, and some DDR3 ram sitting in my basement...

I'd love to put the psu and the 760 in the optiplex... but anyone who knows dell might also know they like to make things wierd and the optiplex is a BTX chassis.... meaning that even if the psu magically would fit... the graphics card mounts upside down meaning the case can only support a single slot card. So I've come up with a few options.

1. buy an Nvidia 640 or something - the optiplex has a 300 watt psu. I don't think I could get away with going red if chose this option since the good red team gpus like their power force fed to them by a direct line from the nuclear power plant. This would definitely prolong the optiplex's life.

2. Try to find a used AM3+ Mobo/CPU combo, take the HD from the optiplex, and wallah. Once I add my parts, full system, if a gen old.

3. I found some realllllyyyyy good deals on AM3 cpus and boards.... is AM3 still relevant for her use case? if so, what chip would you suggest? I don't have much experience with AM3.

What do you think will offer the best performance for the cheapest cost? She's not really playing AAA titles, and the computer sits hooked up to her tv, running on 1368x786.

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Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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Hi All! Thanks for all the help and opinions - I definitely agree atlasminor @black_zion that under most circumstances that holding off for the Ryzen APU's would make the most sense, but, I'd really like to make it sooner rather than later and it feels like a waste to let the gtx 760 just get dusty when I can use to it get such a good price/performance ratio.

leyvin​ - Thanks for the info about the FM2+ Chips, that was super helpful to making my decision and gave me an idea of what to expect from that gen of hardware.

With that said, I decided to go the past-gen route and I'm putting together a system like this -

FX-6300 --- $49 ( New + Warranty, got a discount because of damaged packaging)

Took a risk on the Mobo  - $40 on fb - seller said I could bring the CPU and RAM and make sure the board posts. worst case senario I don't come home with the board and buy a 70 dollar one new.
the gtx 760 i had

the DDR3 ram i had

hard drive and disk drive from the optiplex

and the gf chose the case! I'll make sure to post the build!

I was considering the FM2+ until I saw the deal on the 6300, because $100 made a comfortable budget. All and all pretty happy with the quality of PC I'll be able to put together for <$90!

Cheers!

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Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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Hold off until next month. AMD will be releasing the Ryzen based APUs which will have plenty of power for her casual games. Price out a system using $99 for the APU price on a Socket AM4 system and whatever you want for your AM3+ system and see what the cost difference will be.

RL1080_average_fps

Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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Great Suggestion - I didn't even think about the new APU's.

So assuming this cpu/board combo: a $99 dollar apu and a budget Micro ATX board lets say about $60-70ish


Only problem is the price of DDR4 ram right now... since I have DDR3 just lying around I could possibly get comparable performance with older parts since I don't have to budget out the ram cost.

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Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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True, but you're also buying into a dead socket if you go AM3+, whereas AM4 is supported until 2020.

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leyvin
Miniboss

Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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DDR4 in Single rather than Kits isn't overly expensive., probably because most people don't buy them Individually but instead in kits of 2x4 / 2x8 / etc.

Still with this said., an R5 2200 is going to set you back £90 then a B350/450 will be £65 plus 4GB (£40) ... you're still looking at a bare minimum of £200, although realistically £235-240 as you'll need 8GB if you're using Integrated Graphics.

Conversely speaking you could grab an AMD Athlon X4 845 (Non-K) for about £40, plus an FM2+ Motherboard for about the same (£40-ish).

Paired with the GTX 760, it'll definitely get respectable performance for most titles; especially for your Girlfriends needs.

It should run Fallout 4 900p/Med, Heroes of the Storm 1080p/High, Civilisation 6 1080p/Med and Final Fantasy XIV 1080p/Standard(Desktop) at near or very close to 60 FPS.

Just makes more sense.

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atlasminor
Challenger

Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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You could hold off as suggested above, but i would recommend a newer ( sorry man have to recommend something new) because everyone loses if you wont...

People tend to think your way when they know and love really old games, big super gaming rigs and super out-dated hardware that they knew cost thousands and thousands of dollars at some point in time way back 20years ago and sit on Emu Servers running Xp

So go new and its going to be a lttle cheaper than say you buy into AM3+ which will still be new price tags, unless you find a second-hand shop. Buying used online is a huge risk, you stand to lose every dollar on something that will break 1 month after receiving it. . AM3+ isnt old when comparing prices, so grab a new i3 7th gen OR AMD Ryzen-3 1300x  (which is quad vs intel's duel core)

Activate Win-10, install all your games. Run a full backup, takes new windows-10 backup about 5min on a slow storage drive, or 1min on a SSD when using new usb 3.1+ external always for me. Then game away.

Both those CPU's cost under 99$ and Yes you or anyone else using this new PC will still be able to run BF3 if desired, but she wont have to worry about that.

Just remember what i mentioned about the EmuServers , thats a scary business to get yourself into with all the second purchase ( YOU WILL ) have to make.

GL and happy gaming M8

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Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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The problem with that is the current shortage of graphics cards means the OP will pay much more for a CPU + dedicated GPU than an APU.

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leyvin
Miniboss

Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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What I suggested wasn't Resale., but Retail.

AMD Athlon X4 845 Quad Core Processor(3.8GHz,2MB Cache, FM2+ Socket)- Silver: Amazon.co.uk: Computer...

Gigabyte F2A68HM-HD2 Motherboard (Socket FM2+, A68H, DDR3, Micro ATX, PCI Express 3.0): Amazon.co.uk...

Brand New, Under Warranty, Retail.

The Performance difference between that and the R3 1200/1300X/2200 is marginal as it will Clock up to 4.3 - 4.5GHz (out of the box, with the Stock AMD Cooler) ... they're all 4 Thread CPUs.

If he already has an available GPU (GTX 760., which is perfectly respectable performance) and DDR3 Memory., this simply makes more sense.

As he can get both Motherboard and CPU for < £90 as opposed to spending £90+ on just the CPU/APU then a further £45 - 70 on a Motherboard, a further £45 - 90 on DDR4 Memory (of the same Performance Rating as most DDR3 / 1600 - 2400MHz).

This much more achievable while still retaining a AAA Minimum Specification Performance... this will contently allow his Girlfriend to play what she wants now, plus providing enough performance to tempt her to play other things (Overwatch, Destiny 2, Fortnight, Sea of Thieves, etc.), to then maybe get her to want to get something with a bit more kick to it.

This gives them something to then later talk about and plan together to build "Brand New"., or be actually looking at getting Current Gen Top-Tier when the Cryptocurrency market floods the market with old Hardware as new becomes available (or as is more likely the market collapses... either way A LOT of hardware will flood the market place as they try to Firesale their inventory).

Right now, is the best time to get "Interim" Hardware.

Re: building a Indie Game PC for my gf - a few budget options/questions

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Hi All! Thanks for all the help and opinions - I definitely agree atlasminor @black_zion that under most circumstances that holding off for the Ryzen APU's would make the most sense, but, I'd really like to make it sooner rather than later and it feels like a waste to let the gtx 760 just get dusty when I can use to it get such a good price/performance ratio.

leyvin​ - Thanks for the info about the FM2+ Chips, that was super helpful to making my decision and gave me an idea of what to expect from that gen of hardware.

With that said, I decided to go the past-gen route and I'm putting together a system like this -

FX-6300 --- $49 ( New + Warranty, got a discount because of damaged packaging)

Took a risk on the Mobo  - $40 on fb - seller said I could bring the CPU and RAM and make sure the board posts. worst case senario I don't come home with the board and buy a 70 dollar one new.
the gtx 760 i had

the DDR3 ram i had

hard drive and disk drive from the optiplex

and the gf chose the case! I'll make sure to post the build!

I was considering the FM2+ until I saw the deal on the 6300, because $100 made a comfortable budget. All and all pretty happy with the quality of PC I'll be able to put together for <$90!

Cheers!

View solution in original post

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