New System - What Do You Reckon?


Remember the Withered Arm
This system is available on ebay as a "Gaming Machine" for £329. What do you think of the spec? Will it be likely to run Trainz 2012 lightning fast with all sliders at maximum? How about running Train Simulator 2013 and creating Scenarios? My present computer struggles like crazy with the Railworks Editors!

[h=1]Item Description:[/h]
The PC Customiser VAM124 Desktop PC features an AMD Bulldozer FX 4100 Quad Core Processor running at a blistering 4.0Ghz! Coupled with 16GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM for Excellent Performance. It is designed as a Gaming PC which will of course also be able to handle all your day to day tasks with ease.

Please check out the detailed specs below, and of course if this particular PC is not quite right for you, why not take a look at our eBay shop where you will find hundreds of different PCs to suit every need and budget. And if you can't find exactly what you need here on eBay, please don't hesitate to contact us and we can design the PC exactly as you want it.

[h=1]Item Features:[/h]


  • AMD Bulldozer FX 4100 Quad Core Processor / CPU running at 4.0Ghz
  • 16GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM
  • AMD / ATi HD 6450 Graphics Card With HUGE 2GB Dedicated DDR3 Graphics Memory
  • 1TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • 24x DVD-RW Optical Disc Drive
  • MSI 760GM-P21-(FX) uATX Motherboard (Full specifications of this board can be found here)
  • 500W Quiet Power Supply featuring large 120mm fan
  • High Quality Vantage-BLUE Desktop PC Gaming Case
  • FE 10/100 LAN
  • 6 X High Speed USB 2.0 Ports on Back Plus 2 On Front
  • 8 Channel HD Audio
  • 4 X SATA II 3GB/s Ports
  • 1 X PCI Express X16 Slot
  • 1 X PCI Express X1 Slot
  • 1 X PCI Slot
  • 2 X PS/2 Port (For Keyboard / Mouse)
  • 1 X VGA Port
  • 1 X DVI Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port (With audio over HDMI)
  • Run 2 Monitors at the same time
  • Includes UK Mains Power Cable
  • Includes all relevant Driver Discs and Manuals.
  • PLEASE NOTE: An Operating System is not included with this PC.
The graphics card is far too weak to run games at a respectable level. It will play them, but don't expect much. Otherwise that's an alright system that is 99% the same to my girlfriends with the only difference being the motherboard, which runs most games she throws at it. These being games like Team Fortress 2 bear in mind. Also the lack of an SSD will affect the load times of routes, which can cause freezing. Honestly for Trainz, this is quite a poor system.
Thanks for that! It looks like it's about the same as my present system then, except that mine runs at 2.82 Ghz. My graphics is ATi 5670 with 1Gb but, apart from those differences, there's not a lot else apart from a pretty case with flashing lights!
If you could post the specs of your current system we could judge what would make a for reasonable upgrade. The 5670 is quicker than the 6450 just so you know.
I actually think that system will be decent enough to run trainz. If you look in my signature at Desktop Two you will see the specs are similar to that you are looking at(save for the Phenom II CPU) and it can run everything I throw at it just fine. I am unsure as to how good the ATI graphics card is as I prefer Nvidia.

At some point getting an SSD for trainz should be a goal for you though it definitely makes trainz run a lot smoother, I can now load the most detailed route in about 5 seconds, then wait another 5 seconds or so for all the objects to load into place.
My system was a Dell Inspiron until a motherboard failure 12 months ago! It has been rebuilt using a G4ID3+ Mainboard and possesses:

Intel Pentium 4 Processor running at 2.82Ghz
ATi Radeon 5670 Graphics Card with 1Gb RAM
2 X 1Tb SATA Hard Drives operating at 7200 RPM
2 X DVD/RW "Lightscribe" Drives
USB Soundcard

Operating System Win 7 64 Professional

Thanks for looking!
At some point getting an SSD for trainz should be a goal for you though it definitely makes trainz run a lot smoother

Three silly questions - will an SSD fit my existing computer and will I have to replace a SATA hard drive or can it be additional? Are they easy to install? A Wikipedia articlke states that a hybrid drive will give "near SSD speeds" for most applications. As hybrid drives offer more storage, would that be a better option for me as I run Train Simulator 2013 as well as Trainz?
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An SSD can essentially be placed anywhere within a case, even in places that you couldn't use. Reason being it has no moving parts so you can quite literally Velcro it to the side of your case(if you don't have a 2.5 inch mount).
You will not have to replace your existing hard drive, you can just install it along side your mechanical HDD and just install trainz and TS2013 onto it. A hybrid drive would be a good option if you want to have everything to have a slight performance boost with one drive. While I only use a SSD for trainz, as that is the only program that I require to be as fast as it can be, I don't need windows to start at the speed of light.

A Hybrid drive is good for holding more data and at a slightly faster speed, while an SSD is good for maximum speed with a lot less storage(unless you spend a lot of money on a larger capacity SSD) but for Trainz a 120-240GB SSD should suffice.
Really annoys me when on line sellers and some high street shops advertise PC's as gaming machines and stick an entry level graphics card in an otherwise good machine.
There was a reasonable spec PC in one of angelah's threads for £380

  • AMD Phenom II 955 Quad Core
  • 8gb (2x4Gb) Branded RAM DDR3
  • 1 x 1Tb Seagate/WD SATAII 7200rpm SATA HDD
  • ATI RADEON HD7770 2GB min 1.0Ghz GPU SPEEDS PCI-E 3.0 GDDR5 Graphics Card
The bulldozer CPU is not up to the "hype" surrounding it, the GPU is weaker than my laptop, a single 1TB drive @7200 RPM is going to suck. That is all.
If your existing card is faster that the offered one, why not swap the cards?


That could be the start of a plan - Things I can't quite get my head around though are why my graphics card with 1Gb of memory should be a better spec than an ATi card with 2Gb? Would 16Gb RAM on the new machine be better than the 8Gb I have now (and my Mainboard can't accept more than that - 8Gb is its max capacity.) Would I be wasting my money to buy something new? (My present machine plays Trainz at an acceptable 25FPS usually - a bit slower on the ECML, but definitely not a slide show. Train Simulator 2013 struggles but is playable.)

Would I be better off upgrading my existing computer to include an SSD or Hybrid Drive and forget all about a new machine?

If I bought a SSD or Hybrid Drive and put it in an "IcyBox" with USB 2.0 connectivity, how much speed would be lost?

Sorry to sound a bit thick, but although I am capable of a few things with computers, I am nowhere near expert level!
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More memory doesn't auto make it a better card, also factor in what's inside of the card.
16 gb is better than 8gb, you'll never use more than 4 gb though not on trainz alone.
Unless your mobo supports sata 3 there's no point getting an ssd, I did and mine doesn't, no faster than the raptor it replaced.
The 6450 is a £30-40 card, no use for trainz unless your desperate.
If you must upgrade get a good i5 or i7 cpu and a decent sata 3 mobo and use your old comp parts to make the rest up, case included.
Graphics cards are a minefield, three types of memory used, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR5, with a memory bandwidth of 64bit, 128bit, 256bit and 384bit upwards higher for both is better, bare minimum for Trainz in my view is 128 bit DDR3 preferably 256bit DDR5, then you have to consider off the top of my head, shaders, stream processors, pixel fill rate, Texture fill rate, core clock speed memory clock speed and so on. Sticking 2GB of DDR3 on a 64 bit card with a low number stream processors and low clock speeds is pointless, it won't help graphics intensive games.
Common mistakes made are assuming a newer card is better - wrong, it depends on the specs, a higher numbered card in the same series is better - With Nvidia mostly but not always, ATI again out of touch with them either way check the specs.

Older highend cards will perform vastly better than entry level latest cards and sometimes better than the equivalent newer model. Then to add to the mess it depends on who actually assembled the card, an EVGA or ASUS is going to be better than say a Sparkle, and again is it using stock settings, factory overclocked, or user overclockable and has it got a decent cooling system, and have they cut costs by sneaking in DDR3 when others are using DDR5, again don't expect to get much out of a cheap card.

Not up on ATI AMD at present however with Nvidia for 4xx series to 6xx don't consider any model number under x50, check proper reviews of cards and don't mislead by the advertising blurb

In simplest terms your Ati 5670 is better as it's a 128 bit card, the HD6450 is a 64 bit one.

Same could be said about, is newer better, regarding AMD's processors at present, the quad core Phenoms seem to perform better than the newer quad core much hyped Bulldozers in most areas that gamers are going to need. The Bulldozers fell way short of the claimed performance boosts. Remains to be seen if the Piledriver which is a tweaked Bulldozer improves anything by much.
I see lot of trainers mentioning sites to visit regarding building new Gaming PC's.
At the risk of getting my hand slapped, I have been visiting where I have my present configuration almost ready to order.
You can build systems to your hearts content, Save them ["How Fast Do you Wanna Spend?"] and being able to say [Mine's in the Top 16 ratings and I'm only gonna pay $1016.00 plus S&H.

Good luck.