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morron76

Black Friday help for a computer-illiterate? Need to buy new desktop, right away....

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Hello all!

 

First & foremost, thanks to everyone here for helping to keep WWII flight sims alive!

 

So: my secondary (i.e., can be used for games) computer died last week & I need to replace immediately but am on a tight budget. I hate doing it; but the big blue & gold box has a deal running & I can get a "gaming" computer and put it on monthly payments with no interest. Or, do you think it's possible to have a "computer guy" set something up for $800-ish? That's about what I can reasonably spend. Our family computer guy/shop has retired but the place that repaired a dvd player for me eons ago is still around & I trust him.

All I would use it for is Win 10, internet, etc. and Il-2 Great Battles (well, also Silent Hunter III and Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942). No need for high-res or VR; 1080p will be a treat & surely will keep me occupied for a couple years -- as you can see I'm a good decade behind the times.

I'd like to be able to have maximum settings in 1080p, at least for a one-on-one down in the weeds in single player. Purely for prettiness. Other than that, just run reasonably high settings with a good number of aircraft at once. Probably offline for the most part, if that makes a big difference.

 

 My old setup is/was dual core & GTS 450 (I think?) so......yeah......I'll probably be tickled pink just to have rounded hills and curvy roads to look at 😄

I have been trying to read up on it, but am completely lost on computer components (twelve years ago, or whatever it was,  I just showed up at the shop with Il-2: Forgotten Battles box in hand and said "I wanna play this - here's a check, build me a computer"...but money is tight right now)

I know they are probably the kind of "gaming" computers that some well-meaning grandma would buy for a teenager....but would one of those AMD Ryzen 2700/Radeon RX580 4GB deals at Best B. be feasible? I like the idea of being able to return it if something goes wrong, and on payments it's basically beer money so no big deal. On the other hand, I assume computer guy can do something with similar specs & much better build quality (and without a bunch of flashy lights/transparent case...do people actually prefer that?) but paying cash is hard to justify to the boss of the house 😓

 

Or maybe I am way off base and at this price level I shouldn't even try to run Il-2 Great Battles at all??

 

*** building it myself is not an option, sadly. would be sleeping on couch if I screw something up after money is spent on components, although I would like to try it in the future once business picks up for me ***

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers, & hope you all have a pleasant weekend!

--Dan

 

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Sometimes those "gaming" computers are decent enough. I've had a look at the odd one and they can be ok. It kind of depends how they built it and sometimes its hard to determine.

 

A friend of mine tried to go the cheap route and bought a pretty basic box thinking he could upgrade it. It was a Dell system I think (but it could have been one of those other mass market PC companies too) and it was a nightmare - the PSU was a custom one that only fit in a Dell box. You couldn't upgrade it at all. Try and fit a better GPU in there? Nope. Most GPUs wouldn't fit.

 

Make sure if it is a gaming PC that it's got a good tower and there's no weird power supply running the whole thing.

 

If money is tight right now... I'd suggest spending money on getting some components and save money on others. So go for the 8GB DDR4 (don't go below 8GB but 16GB is not strictly necessary). But DO go for the fastest CPU you can afford (a Core i5 9600 or 8600 on the Intel side, that Ryzen 2700 on the AMD side should be fine too) so you don't have to mess with that later. A GTX 1050 (or 1050ti) will probably be a good bargain option in the GPU department.

 

That way you have a solid core (the CPU) and you can upgrade the RAM, GPU, etc. later. If you can swing it ... make sure the primary drive is a SSD drive and there's a secondary drive for storing big files. The SSD drive performance is pretty useful and nearly critical for titles like IL-2 and it will make operating the PC so much faster. Typically they don't command a price premium like they used to (I just bought a 512gb 860 EVO SSD for $99 Canadian on sale).

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First, don't worry about "gaming" marketing nonsense; all the components inside are the same whether it's a gaming computer or office machine.

 

Fortunately, the requirements for Il-2 on a 1920x1080 monitor aren't that high. You'll need to make sure the computer has the following components for good performance at fairly high settings:

  • 8 GB of RAM
  • GTX 1050 or equivalent graphics card (use benchmark sites such as UserBench to compare different GPUs)
  • CPU that scores at least around 1800 on this benchmark

 

11 hours ago, morron76 said:

but would one of those AMD Ryzen 2700/Radeon RX580 4GB deals at Best B. be feasible?

Yes. That would actually run the game very well.

 

 

 

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First, don't worry about "gaming" marketing nonsense; all the components inside are the same whether it's a gaming computer or office machine.

 

Old gamer adage: "Any game machine can make office job well, but not all office machine can play games well, not matter if have the latest type of CPU." 😀

 

Unless some very specialized and expensive "boutiques" selling game machines, the best game machine is the one that you build, but since this is not option look in offers like these:

 

https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/page/MegaSpecial/

 

Anyway avoid typical office machine like Dells, HP, Compac due the mentioned proprietary issues. 

 

How much you want spent?

 

 

Edited by Sokol1
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58 minutes ago, Sokol1 said:

Old gamer adage: "Any game machine can make office job well, but not all office machine can play games well, not matter if have the latest type of CPU." 😀

Of course, but what I meant is that a particular CPU/memory/graphics combination will have the same performance no matter the marketing. OP seemed to be afraid of "gaming" computers, which might not be justified when looking for a basic Il-2 machine.

Edited by Mitthrawnuruodo
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14 hours ago, morron76 said:

but would one of those AMD Ryzen 2700/Radeon RX580 4GB deals at Best B. be feasible?

 

Regarding the CPU, right now the best value (for a gaming PC) I think is a Ryzen 5 2600. Much cheaper than Ryzen 7 2700 and higher base clock. If you don't plan to overclock, you can also pair it with a cheaper motherboard.

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Wow, thanks for all the quick assistance you guys!!!!

 

Yes, couldn't care less whether or not I get a "gaming computer" but seems like anything with a video card is included in that category on Best B. website. The only difference it makes to me is that I'd rather avoid all the lights and weird shaped cases (yeah, I'm not much fun!).

Am really trying to keep it at less than 800 dollars. Basically, I want something that I won't have to open up at all. Then if something fails, I can honestly say I didn't mess with it at all. And if I purchase at Best B., then I can go physically return it (very important to me, I won't put up with call center baloney over the phone). Need to have a "backup" computer at all times for work, so I really should pull the trigger by tomorrow night.

 

45 minutes ago, Seb71 said:

 

Regarding the CPU, right now the best value (for a gaming PC) I think is a Ryzen 5 2600. Much cheaper than Ryzen 7 2700 and higher base clock. If you don't plan to overclock, you can also pair it with a cheaper motherboard.

 

I see; thanks. They actually they have this setup for $699. CPU is supposedly 3.4 ghz

 CyberPowerPC - Gamer Master Desktop - AMD Ryzen 5-Series - 8GB Memory - AMD Radeon RX 580 - 2TB Hard Drive + 240GB Solid State Drive - Black
 
Had been looking at this one for $769. CPU supposedly 3.2 ghz
CyberPowerPC - Gamer Ultra VR Desktop - AMD Ryzen 7-Series - 8GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 - 1TB Hard Drive - Black
 
The first doesn't mention speed of the RAM, second one says 2400 mhz. so maybe first one has low(er) quality RAM? Or maybe is cheaper because of processor? I dunno.
But second one does not come with SSD.
 
Then there is other one I had bookmarked, offered for $779 and 3.2ghz CPU
HP - Gaming Desktop - AMD Ryzen 7-Series - 16GB Memory - AMD Radeon RX 580 - 1TB Hard Drive + 128GB Solid State Drive - Shadow Black With A Brushed Hairline Pattern
 
So it has more RAM and has SSD, but lower ghz processor. Also it is HP brand, so maybe it is worse quality/more likely to have non-standard fitting components (like ShamrockOneFive pointed out above) than Cyberpower brand - not sure how I would tell. It DOES have the benefit of being in a plain black case....hehehe
 
If any of these sound to you guys like they could run the game with at least decent graphics settings at 1920 x 1080, I'd be ecstatic! I need to spend a couple bucks on a stick too (hopefully CH still exists) and pedals in a couple months.
 
 

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"Ryzen 5 series" or "Ryzen 7 series" are kind of vague descriptions. You have to find out the exact CPU model.

 

Going by the frequencies, those should be Ryzen 5 2600 (or the OEM Ryzen 5 Pro 2600) and Ryzen 7 2700 (or the OEM Ryzen 7 Pro 2700).

 

A SSD I'll say is mandatory for a PC in 2018/going into 2019 (but you can buy one later). A cheap 240GB-256GB one would cost you about $50-$60.

 

For the graphics card try to not get lower level than GTX 1060 6GB (not the 3GB version) / RX 580 (8GB version preferable, but it can be the 4GB version, if the price is right).

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23 minutes ago, Seb71 said:

Going by the frequencies, those should be Ryzen 5 2600 (or the OEM Ryzen 5 Pro 2600) and Ryzen 7 2700 (or the OEM Ryzen 7 Pro 2700).

 

Yes correct; all 3 are "second generation", none of them are "pro".

If I am stuck with 4GB on the RX580 (I think I am for less than $1000 in pre-built) then I could probably upgrade in a year or so? 

 

If I get something that's like $40-50/month, that really makes it easier to justify spending a couple bucks later on for a better video card (or whatever).

 

 On another note -- is there anyone that makes a decent joystick for left-handers? Have searched and doesn't seem to exist other than CH (which I used to have & liked)

 

Thanks again!

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T.16000M is good for the price. Works both for left and right hand (ambidextrous).

 

It's now on sale on Amazon for $40. I'll say to get one while it still is at that price.

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Cool, thanks Seb71! Will check it out. 

Thanks again to all who've helped in this thread; I'm EXCITED!!! Will be honored to act as cannon fodder for all you guys once I get things up & running.

 

--Cheers,

Dan

 

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9 hours ago, morron76 said:

but lower ghz processor

Be careful with this. The frequency is not a reliable indicator of performance. When possible, most CPUs will boost to a frequency much higher than the base. Try to find the exact model and look up benchmarks. High-end CPUs with more cores will often have lower base frequencies despite being stronger in real-world performance.

 

The good news is that all three desktops that you mentioned are adequate for Il-2. 

9 hours ago, morron76 said:
Then there is other one I had bookmarked, offered for $779 and 3.2ghz CPU
HP - Gaming Desktop - AMD Ryzen 7-Series - 16GB Memory - AMD Radeon RX 580 - 1TB Hard Drive + 128GB Solid State Drive - Shadow Black With A Brushed Hairline Pattern

This is probably the best value. SSD is necessary for quality of life. 16 GB of RAM is nice even if it's not strictly necessary. Although the exact model isn't listed, Ryzen 7 processors are usually better than Ryzen 5s due to higher boost frequencies and additional cores. 

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Ryzen 5 2600 has 3.4GHz (base)/ 3.9GHz (Precision Boost 2)

Ryzen 5 2600X has 3.6GHz (base)/ 4.2GHz (Precision Boost 2)

 

Ryzen 7 2700 has 3.2GHz (base)/ 4.1GHz (Precision Boost 2)

Ryzen 7 2700X has 3.7GHz (base)/ 4.3GHz (Precision Boost 2)

 

In most games, including Il-2 BoX, single core performance is important. And 6 cores are already plenty for current games.

 

In that PassMark Single thread link, Ryzen 5 2600 has a score of 2004, while Ryzen 7 2700 has a score of 2007. Basically the same, while the two CPU prices are very different.

 

Only Ryzen 7 2700X has a clear performance advantage (score 2192), but it also has another big price increase.

 

You can overclock all of them, but by how much it will depend on your MB, cooling solution and luck.

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Thanks guys! 

Think I'm gonna go with option 1 (the R 5 2600 for $699). Might as well pull the trigger & get it done. If I'm under budget, I can justify getting new monitor with it right away, too. 

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On 11/25/2018 at 1:26 PM, morron76 said:

Thanks guys! 

Think I'm gonna go with option 1 (the R 5 2600 for $699). Might as well pull the trigger & get it done. If I'm under budget, I can justify getting new monitor with it right away, too. 

 

That was this one right?  CyberPowerPC - Gamer Master Desktop - AMD Ryzen 5-Series - 8GB Memory - AMD Radeon RX 580 - 2TB Hard Drive + 240GB Solid State Drive - Black

 

That looks decent enough to me. Good CPU, decent amount of RAM, decent enough GPU, and useful hard disk configuration. Later... if you feel the need you should be able to toss in another 8GB of RAM (for not that much extra money). But the fundamentals appear good! Good luck and happy gaming!

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Thanks, feels better hearing that. Supposed to pick it up Saturday, so will surely be back here with at least a couple dumb-guy questions by Sunday :) 

 

 

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Would definitely use the money you saved to buy another 8 gigs of ram, 16 gigs is the bare minimum I would recommend anyone use in a gaming PC nowadays. 8 gigs is really cutting it close.

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Yeah that was a concern; I figured I would open it up & pull out memory before doing anything else (seemed to be no indication on what brand) to see what it will be that I might need to buy. Will post here & maybe you guys can tell me if it's a decent enough brand to just buy more of same, or if should be replaced.

Trying not to think about it too much; the anticipation is getting to me!!

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Otherwise it sounds like a solid computer setup, should run the game no problem. In my experience it will be some relatively slow 8 gig stick. Probably 2400mhz.

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Hey there! Sorry to pester you guys again, but got my new computer & have couple more questions, if anyone is able to help:

 

1) monitor doesn't work with video card HDMI output on startup?

LG monitor with two HDMI and one DSUB input. RX 580 card has HDMI, DVI, and 3 displayport outputs. The monitor came with an HDMI cable, so I used that. No signal every time, so I connected old monitor (DVI), worked fine. Long story short, new monitor only works if I connect it by HDMI after booting up with old monitor & then switching. Reboot gives same "no signal" message. But after some googling, it seems that DVI is preferable to use anyways unless one is connecting a t.v.? Since the only other option on the monitor is DSUB, should I get a DVI-to-DSUB cable? I thought DSUB was outdated.

(I've checked for drivers & such, only thing that seems to work is doing the ol' switcheroo after booting up).

 

2) This is my RAM (pic attached)....too crappy or would it be ok to add another stick of the same? 

 

3) I gave my old CH flightstick pro to a buddie's kid (dumb move) & have some garbage Logitech stick. Is the TM16000m actually that nice? Everybody says they're good for the money, but they look suspiciously "plastic-y" for lack of a better term...$40 versus $80 for a new CH, but the CH really felt solid. Yes, I'm left-handed.

 

Cheers, 

--Dan

 

 

 

RAM.jpg

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The rams pretty crap, literally called the speed, 2400mhz, if you can find another stick CHEAP get it, if not grab a nice 16 gb kit at 3200mhz with a much lower case latency, 14-16.

 

The hdmi thing I am not sure, might be driver related, I don't want to sound like I am calling you dumb but are you sure you are plugging it into the actual video cards hdmi port? The new ryzen computers have onboard graphics now.

 

Third I use a t16000 and it's very decent stick for the price. It's worth it IMO.

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2 hours ago, 392FS_Jred said:

 I don't want to sound like I am calling you dumb but are you sure you are plugging it into the actual video cards hdmi port? 

Hehehe no worries, I appreciate the help tremendously!!! 

As a wise man once said -- "You can call me dumb; just don't call me an ****ole"  :drinks:

 

But yeah it's plugged in at the video card. On startup, just doesn't want to send signal through HDMI, I guess. Tried drivers that came on dvd with the equipment, LG website, windows update, etc. Seems like I should be able to tell video card "prefer HDMI output" somehow, but haven't seen anything in the video card or control panel settings. Guess I'll have to order a DVI to VGA adapter off Amazon; just drove to 4 stores & not gonna pay their extortionate prices (will get T-master joystick too, since you guys all say it's built solidly).

 

Will look in my stocking for some new RAM on Christmas morning, too...

 

For what it's worth, fired up the game last night real quick after a twelve hour day and flew in a 4-ship of LaGGs vs 4 Ju88 & 4 He111 over Stalingrad at 500m, with all settings on highest -- didn't notice any stutters.

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Thanks! Link for memory saved & will be my stocking stuffer request; less pricey than I thought.

 

Good point on cable; tried two different ones (other than one that came with monitor) but they're both probably three or four years older, so maybe "new standard" of HDMI cable would do the trick. Monitor works perfectly fine coming back from sleep/power saving mode; just no signal after fresh boot-up unless I connect something to the DVI rather than HDMI on video card & then switch over. Probably some simple, Radeon-specific issue that's common knowledge to everyone & I've just loused it up!

Maybe I'll order an HDMI cable along with an adapter, and see what works.

 

Mainly ticked off that monitor came without 15-pin cable, despite printed manual clearly showing it as included, and sales-kid at Best B today says "Well, my online item lookup doesn't mention it, so ya gotta buy one separately I guess..."

(per your avatar -- just imagine 'Hank Hill Deals With Teenage Retail Customer Service'...……. but the kid was really nice so I couldn't bear to give her a hard time)

Will post back with results after I get stuff in the mail.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by morron76
missing ampersand :)
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The DVI-VGA (D-SUB) is just a passive adapter. It only works with graphics cards with DVI-I. Newer graphics cards which still have a DVI, have a DVI-D type connector, which lacks VGA signals. I think your RX 580 is the same (with DVI-D). You can tell which type of DVI it is by looking at the DVI connector. DVI-VGA adapters won't work with graphics cards that have DVI-D and not DVI-I.

 

You would need some sort of converter to get VGA signals (such as HDMI-VGA). And VGA (D-SUB) is bad quality anyway. Skip this option.

 

I'm not sure why the monitor does not get any signal at boot. It's not a driver issue. Drivers only come into play later, not at boot.

 

Maybe take a look at the settings from the monitor's menu. Disable all power savings features you might see there. It's worth a shot.

 

Have you tried both HDMI ports from the monitor?

 

And make sure the correct HDMI input is selected from the monitor's menu. This is also important. It might not auto-detect inputs. Or not fast enough.

 

Can you test the monitor with another PC and the PC with another monitor (using HDMI)?

 

Do you have a TV with HDMI to test your PC with?

 

Could be the HDMI cable, but you said you already tested with 3 cables, so unlikely.

 

If DVI works, you could get a DVI-HDMI adapter and see if your monitor works this way, but then it should also work when connected HDMI-HDMI, so maybe this option won't work either.

 

Another possible option to test is a DisplayPort-HDMI cable or adapter.

 

Regarding the memory - if you can get an identical module with the one you have (100% the same) for a reasonable price, I would go that route.

Faster RAM gives better results in benchmarks, but in real life the improvements are hardly noticeable.

The most important is to have enough RAM for the software you use (by software I mean the OS and all the applications you run at the same time). If RAM is not enough, you clearly notice the difference when you add more (and on the other hand, you don't notice any difference if you already have enough RAM for the software you use, but you still add more). The speed of RAM comes at a distant second place.

 

Or you could even just keep it as it is (with only 8GB of RAM), since you said the Il-2 game runs fine. Unless some other game or application you use requires more RAM.

Edited by Seb71
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Is the TM16000m actually that nice? Everybody says they're good for the money, but they look suspiciously "plastic-y" for lack of a better term...$40 versus $80 for a new CH, but the CH really felt solid. Yes, I'm left-handed.

 

T.16000M...

 

 

...is the "best" option in "entry level" 3-in-1 (+throttle and twist rudder) joystick, main axes (X,Y) share the same contactless sensor of Warthog (or X-55/56) in a similar gimbal.


But twist rudder and throttle use ordinary potentiometer that soon o latter will worm out and spike - Tm don't sell replacements parts for their "entry-level" sticks.


CH stick too use potentiometer, but a better/durable model and (at least in the past) sell replacements. CH sticks require dedicated rudder pedal.  

T.16000M is one of few options for left-handed persons, other is VPC(VirPil) Delta grip, and in "future" VKB Kosmosima, but are above ~$200 options.

 

Edited by Sokol1
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Yep, I'm a dummy! 

Sorry for wasting your time, guys. I had freesync off on the monitor; switched to "on" & computer recognizes it just fine now. D'oh.

If you guys ever wind up in my neck of the woods, I owe you a steak :biggrin:

3 hours ago, Sokol1 said:

main axes (X,Y) share the same contactless sensor of Warthog (or X-55/56) in a similar gimbal. But twist rudder and throttle use ordinary potentiometer that soon o latter will worm out and 

I see...Well, I intend to get pedals and throttle quadrant sometime relatively soon; real estate business seems to be picking up so can hopefully I can get some new toys in a few months. I think I'll try the TM16000 and then if I don't care for it, can give it to my niece or the boys next door & buy a CH. As long as I have something with no slop in the middle, it's fine for me for now. Doubt I will use twisty rudder anyways.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but have a (worn) Logitech stick defiling my new computer. Simply dreadful.

 

Thanks again to all, and sorry for wasted effort on monitor issue!

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