Advice on upgrading my PC (TS12, T:ANE and *maybe* TS19?)


Now T:ANE I can get into
Hello friends,

My crummy PSU is on its last legs, and seeing as how we live in rather interesting times at the moment, I figure that I can take advantage of being stuck indoors to finally upgrade the rest of my stock, entry-level, Acer PC along with it, thereby giving myself a more respectable Trainzing machine.

As it stands, here are my current specs (please don't laugh):

Model: ATC-280-UR11
Processing: AMD 64-bit Quad-Core A10-7800 APU @ 3.50 GHz (w/ AMD Radeon R7 graphics)
Hard drive: 2 TB SATA III @ 5400 RPM
RAM: 12 GB DDR3 1600 Memory
PSU: 300W Power Supply
OS: Windows 10 (Home) 64-bit

I have a broad understanding of what I need to do here, and I've located all the constituent pieces of hardware within the case, but I was hoping that some of the more seasoned vets here could offer some advice/recommendations/suggestions regarding what I could/should be looking to replace them with.

My primary concerns are building/running gigantic DEM routes (think lots of baseboards, lots of tracks, lots of trains) in the version(s) I've specified in the thread title. I'm also interested in some Blender modeling on the side.

I'd obviously like to avoid breaking the bank (i.e. dropping $1k on a GPU is probably out of the question), but I'd also like to build something that will last me a few years.

Outside of Trainz, the vast majority of games I run on this PC can be dated to some time in the previous millennium, so I'm not particularly concerned about game performance outside of this context.

Thank you!
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My specs: Ryzen 7 2700, 16G dual channel memory, RTX 2070.

I like large layouts: current one that I am working on is 160 bases. I laid the main track: 2 wide, 110 miles long. Placed one loco on track and ran it. Nothing was being used hard at all: RAM usage was 6g, video RAM was 4G, CPU was loafing. Then, I added 17 more tracks. Nothing really changed. But, I then put consists on all of those tracks. Main track was capable of running 5 consists with ease and with no AI. I checked computer usage again. The ONLY thing that changed noticeably was the CPU usage. No longer was it loafing, but it was working hard. I was showing most cores running at or near 100%. And this was whether or not the consists were moving or just sitting still.

Do not skimp on the CPU. Mine is fast but was maxing out almost. The video card worked harder, but just a little and it was nowhere near maxed. Ram usage went up just a little.

If you are planing on a lot of consists, you will definitely need a strong CPU.
I've had issues in the past with excessive CPU usage, so I will most definitely be keeping an eye on that.
As for lots of consists, yes please! It comes with the territory when you're looking at modeling rapid transit style operating patterns.
The minimum I would go for:
9 series i5 (6 cores)
32gb RAM particularly if merging routes or DEMs
A large SSD dedicated to trainz and a smaller one for windows - your current 2tb drive as additional storage
RTX2070super 8gb - supports TurfFX and clutter AMD does not
minimum 600w PSU to support the 2070
This will allow muliple consists to coexist at good fps but with some sliders like draw distance reduced and medium shadows. all others on max.
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If I was looking to buy a value spec for TRS2019 at the moment I would go with

-i5 (or i7, price differential is not really that much)
-16gb RAM (unless you will be doing huge routes merges, then maybe look at 32gb). TRS2019 runs fine on 8gb if your are not into merging routes.
-Min 256 SSD for Windows and your TRS2019 install (larger if you download a lot of content). Plus min 1tb hard disk for all that other unimportant stuff like docs, music, video and photos, and other apps. And really, if you have to put your Trainz data on a recent release HD its no biggy. I run TRS2019 of an SSD, and TANE of my hard disk, and rarely notice the difference.
-GTX1660ti. Or Maybe RTX2060 if you can stretch. Beyond that the value for money declines exponentially. The RTX2060 has ray tracing where as the GTX1660ti does not. But as TRS2019 doesn't use ray tracing, and you say Trainz is your most demanding application I wouldn't bother.
-450w PSU is plenty for a GTX1660ti/i7 config.
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For TANE/TS19 you want a score of 10,000 or so the link allows you to look at value as well. I quite like the RTX 2070 in terms of price performance but that is personal preference. nVidia fits Trainz a little closer than AMD. Watch the size of the GPU and make sure it fits. Watch the height as well as the length.

I quite like a tower case, Dellrefurbished has some reasonable workstations from time to time but not this morning. Dell look at their G5 gaming range.

Cheerio John
I recently upgraded from a GTX 770 to rtx 2060.
That's probably an indulgence, the 1660 should be fine.

Before you get the components, check that your motherboard will cope - eg memory slots, headers for additional components.
You'll need to check cooling of the CPU, and probably chance case as well.