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Thread: I want to convert my ATX home-built PC into a Trainzing machine.

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb I want to convert my ATX home-built PC into a Trainzing machine.

    What hardware do I need?

    I want to retain full MS Windows 7 64-bit compatibility with the option to change to Windows 10 or other edition later on. I want max Trainzing performance with settings maxed out and routes thick with 3D content even with the latest Trainz version offered. How cheap can I get all the parts rounded up and where?

    Will probably need the following new parts to replace older ones:

    1. 120 mm case fan, mobo-speed-controlled
    2. PSU, modular cable management
    3. mobo
    4. solid-state drive
    5. processor, heat sink and cooling fan (Intel or AMD inside?)
    6. graphics card
    7. RAM (I believe Windows 7 supports up to 16 GB)
    8. any necessary hardware attachments (cables, connectors)


    Here are the build specs on my current PC:

    Item Source Description Price Notes
    HARDWARE
    Badge for front of case CorporateConnection.com plastic engraved plate (office door sign)
    Blu-ray Optical Drive, internal Amazon.com Pioneer Electronics USA, BDR-209 DBK (this drive writes Blu-ray disks, CDs and DVDs) $68 with extended protection plan Replaced 5-year- old HP DVD writer in November 2014
    Building Supplies/
    Tools
    (various) Philips screwdrivers, ruler, plastic locking cable ties
    Cooling Fans/heat sinks as needed n/a 1 on heat sink supplied w/ processor, 1 supplied w/ case, 1 supplied w/ power supply
    CPU Fry’s Electronics AMD® Athlon™ II 620, 64-bit, 4 cores, 2.6 GHz clockspeed, 2MB cache Supplied w/ AMD fan and heat sink
    Fastening hardware as need (various) supplied w/ case
    Graphics card if no video onboard mobo Amazon.com XFX CORE Edition FX-777A-ZNF4 AMD Radeon HD 7770, 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0 x16, HDCP Ready, CrossFireX Support Video Card


    • 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5
    • Core Clock 1000MHz
    • 2 x DVI (1 Single Link, 1 Dual Link) DVI 1 x HDMI HDMI 1 x DisplayPort DisplayPort
    • 640 Stream Processors
    • PCI Express 3.0 x16
    $100.00 Purchased and installed May 2013
    Hard Drive, internal Amazon.com Western Digital Blue 1TB SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive (WD10EZEX): Serial Number: WCC6Y4KC94D9 $52.95 Replaced original Seagate 500 GB drive on Oct. 25, 2017
    Keyboard and mouse Amazon.com (keyboard), Fry's (mouse) Adesso 3-color illuminated compact desktop keyboard, wired: Logitech wired mouse, optical
    Memory card reader/writer, internal, 3.5” n/a (none)
    Memory, RAM Fry’s Electronics/Amazon.com DIMM DDR3 2GB 1600 DUAL x 4, CMX4GX3M2A160069, Corsair = 8 GB total
    Monitor Fry's Electronics, Sacramento, CA Samsung 20" LED $200.00 Includes 2-year protection plan, purchased May 2013
    Motherboard Amazon.com Skytech
    • Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3 Socket AM3+
    • Chipset: North Bridge AMD 760G & South Bridge SB710
    • Memory: 4x 240pin DDR3-1333+(O.C.)/1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Max Capacity of 32GB
    • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot, 1x PCI Slot
    • Windows 8 Ready
    • CPU: AM3+ socket Support for AMD AM3+ processor,AMD AM3 Phenom II processor / AMD Athlon II processor
    • Memory: 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory / Support for 1333+ (O.C.)/1066 MHz memory modules
    • LAN: 1 x Realtek GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
    $79.95 NOTE: has Asurion 4-year plan, purchased Feb. 6, 2018, $8.02 extra

    BIOS Version: F1

    Serial Number: 4/A/HBA027 01810

    Model: GA-78LMT-USB3

    Revision: R2 (Rev.1)
    PC case Fry’s Electronics ATX form factor: Antec™ New Solutions NSK 4480B II w/ original 380w Earthwatts power supply and 120 mm fan, not mobo-controlled Discontinued Enclosure: PSU replaced 2/16/2018, replaced front panel switches and LED lights 2/16/2018
    Power Supply Amazon.com Services, Inc. EVGA 450 B3, 80+ BRONZE 450W, Fully Modular, EVGA ECO Mode, 5 Year Warranty, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-B3-0450-V1 $49.95 Replaced original PSU 2/16/2018
    Sound Card if no sound onboard mobo n/a supplied w/ mobo
    Speakers Wal-Mart Onn external amplified desktop speakers, pair
    Wireless Adapter card , internal w/ driver n/a (none)
    Wires, cables, connectors, adapters as needed (various) several USB cables for remote USB hubs, printers, etc.-monitor cable, wireless Ethernet bridge Cat-5 cable, power cable supplied w/ case
    SYSTEM SOFTWARE
    Copy of operating system installed on build Fry’s Electronics, Roseville Microsoft® Windows 7® Home Premium/64 Bit
    OEM COPY

    PRODUCT KEY: ____
    $119.99 Builder, ME!!
    Any drivers for internal components as needed (various) various supplied with extra devices on discs, Windows O/S and downloaded
    Thermal paste Amazon.com Deb Lope ARCTIC ORACO-MX40001-BL MX-4 Thermal Compound Paste, Carbon Based High Performance, Heatsink Paste, Thermal Compound CPU for All Coolers, Thermal Interface Material - 4 Grams $6.95 to reinstall CPU heat sink on Feb. 16, 2018
    Switches/LEDs front panel Amazon.com Warmstor 2-Pack Computer Case LED Light Red Green ATX Power Supply Reset HDD Switch Cable 27-inch Long ATX Case Front Bezel Wire Kit

    Replaces burnt out status leds on ATX cases PC ATX Power Reset Switch Cable
    PC ATX Power Reset Switch Cable;Design : H.D.D LED, Power LED+, Power LED-, Reset SW, Power SW
    Sometimes it's the small parts that can make a big difference. Replace your burnt out LEDs and worn out switches with this handy ATX front bezel wire kit. The five-piece kit comes with two switches (Power, Reset) and three LEDs (Power, Hard Drive Activity, Sleep). Each switch and LED is clearly labeled to make installation easy. Make sure your computer still looks and works as great as the day you bought it with this replacement kit
    LED Number : 2;LED Light Color : Red, Green; Cable Length : 68cm / 27";Material (External) : Plastic
    LED Number : 2;LED Light Color : Red, Green; Cable Length : 68cm / 27";Material (External) : Plastic
    $7.99 Had to modify front panel LED holes from original 3mm holes to larger holes to press-fit larger LED's: original LED's were both blue: had to file down power switch operating pushrod that connects with on/off button in panel for reliable operation

    This PC was originally built late 2009.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; July 28th, 2021 at 06:05 PM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

  2. #2
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    As soon as you stated that you wanted Trainz maxed out with heavy 3D scenery, you needed at minimum a $1,000US graphics card. 16 gig RAM will be fine with either Win7 or 10, but your RAM speed is too slow. Your processor is too slow also: an 8 core would be highly recommended or at least a very fast 6 core. My own opinion would be to keep what you currently have and use it for something else: replace it with a complete new system.

    I am like you and love very heavily wooded areas especially right at the track. My system is a Ryzen 7 2700 with an nVidia RTX 2070. 16G of 3,000hz RAM. When I drive one particular stratch of heavily forested area, with everything on max setting except post-processing, I can drop to less that 30FPS. And this is system is optimized for Trainz because it is the only thing that I do in Win10. Everything else is through Linux installed and a seperate SSD. And I almost forgot that: you really need an SSD rather than a spinner.

    Hope that helps a bit. I really would be looking for a new system completely.

  3. #3
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    I want to keep the case and just swap out the guts inside. You know, like shoehorning a 454 Chevy into a Vega body.

    autodctr is your gamer a store-bought machine or home built? Build sheet please.


    How does this build look?


    fan, be quiet! Pure Wings 2 120mm PWM high-Speed, BL081, Cooling Fan, $12.99


    psu, EVGA 210-GQ-0650-V1 650 GQ, 80+ GOLD 650W, Semi Modular, EVGA ECO Mode, 5 Year Warranty, Power Supply, Black, $79.98


    graphics card, ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 OC Edition Graphics Card (PCIe 3.0, 4GB GDDR6 Memory, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, 1x 6-pin Power Connector, IP5X Dust Resistance, Space-Grade Lubricant), $384.88


    drive, SSD, Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, up to 560MB/s - CT1000MX500SSD1(Z), $114.49


    memory, TEAMGROUP T-Force Dark Z 16GB Kit (2x8GB) DDR4 Dram 3200MHz (PC4-25600) CL16 288-Pin Desktop Memory Module Ram (Gray) - TDZGD416G3200HC16CDC01, $76.99


    mobo, MSI Arsenal Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 DVI HDMI Crossfire ATX Motherboard (B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II), $104.43


    processor, AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler, $287.99


    Amazon Total (incl. tax and shipping): $1,157.31

    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; July 29th, 2021 at 12:43 PM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

  4. #4
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    The memory SSD, and PSU, and CPU look good. The Ryzen is really good at that price (comparable to the 8700k). I also have that exact SSD. Its a good one.

    I wouldn't get that 1650 though. Its definitely NOT worth $400. I got a GTX 1060 6GB new from zotac for $180 (though that price is inflated now), and its much better than a 1650 for $400. And while playing trainz, the 1060 is the bottleneck. At that price, you could get a 1070ti, and with a little more money, you could get a 1080/ti (which is way better). You should check out user benchmark to compare cpus and gpus to make sure you are getting a fair price: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compar...650/3639vs4039

    Here are my computer specs:
    Dell Precision T1700 Workstation
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060(6GB)
    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790k
    16GB DDR3
    1.5TB SSD

    Here are some of my videos running those specs on TRS19 with medium settings:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sa_...annel=JBVector
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM3V...annel=JBVector

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by dundun92; July 29th, 2021 at 02:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    It's funny that everything electronics (with few exceptions) gets cheap when it matures on the market. Plasma TVs cost the price of a new car at one time then got bicycle cheap by the time they went out. Gaming PC components (particularly graphics cards) don't seem to follow this trend. They seem to get pricier everyday.

    It's not how much power that's on the market: it's the biggest bang for your buck.

    I've been Googling around lately. The graphics card market seems like it favors sellers and not buyers at this time. If I pay $400+ for a card I expect it to last at least ten years and not be buggy. Amazon.com offers $76 4-year protection plans for cards. Is it worth it? Does Trainz tend to burn cards out fast? If they can mass-produce TVs so cheap, why not cards? I've been also reading reviews about people getting gouged on these cards. Some people have even said Zotac was high-priced crap.

    Should I hold off until times get better for buyers?

    I happened across this video:

    (84) Why Are Graphics Cards So Rare And Expensive? - YouTube

    COVID seems to have thrown a money wrench into the works.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; July 30th, 2021 at 06:43 AM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    I think (and hope) that GPUs will come down in price in a year or two. That GTX 1650 is not going to work for what you want: your FPS will likely be in single digits or very close at times. My opinion is that you are wasting your money on that.

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    I scratched that particular GPU from my amazon wish list. I'm holding off on the whole notion of a gaming PC for a while. People on eBay are asking an arm and a leg for used cards even. What is the actual production cost of these China-made cards? $5.00 US?

    Higher-end processors might come down in price later on.

    How many years of service have Trainzers here gotten out of their higher-end GPU's?

    There is this cheapie at amazon.com:

    Amazon.com: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR6 128-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16520F-10L: Computers & Accessories

    At $299, can this handle TANE SP1 maxed out?
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; July 30th, 2021 at 12:23 PM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    I scratched that particular GPU from my amazon wish list. I'm holding off on the whole notion of a gaming PC for a while. People on eBay are asking an arm and a leg for used cards even. What is the actual production cost of these China-made cards? $5.00 US?

    Higher-end processors might come down in price later on.

    How many years of service have Trainzers here gotten out of their higher-end GPU's?

    There is this cheapie at amazon.com:

    Amazon.com: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR6 128-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16520F-10L: Computers & Accessories

    At $299, can this handle TANE SP1 maxed out?
    Not a chance. M RTX 2070 (Amazon $800+) barely handles it. BARELY.

  9. #9
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    Does Trainz actually put more strain on hardware than typical shoot-em-up type PC games? Does Trainz have to really be an expensive hardware affair?

    I just ordered this:

    Amazon.com: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR6 128-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16520F-10L: Computers & Accessories

    I'll see if it even runs TS12 to my satisfaction. It is returnable.

    I ordered all the PC hardware upgrade other stuff, too, including the AMD Ryzen 5. Over $900 total (to re-gut my 12-year-old tower) with tax!! Free shipping.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

    Realistically you want 10,000 3D benchmark so a 1660 is just about usable. A 1650 I wouldn't even bother with. Newegg.com have them for around $400.

    the solid state drive will add maybe .1fps. The CPU is going to give you 10% on the PS, the GPU will give you 90% on the frames per second. Spend the $900 on a good GPU as far as bang for the buck goes. Don't forget switching the CPU will cost you an additional $100 or so for a new windows license.

    However

    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...heap,5717.html you can get one for $30.

    What is your current CPU?

    Thanks John

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    Does Trainz actually put more strain on hardware than typical shoot-em-up type PC games? Does Trainz have to really be an expensive hardware affair?

    Actually, it does. And, the bigger the layout, the more strain. The more scenery, the more strain. The more consists, the more strain. 10,000 trees on your layout mean 10,000 pieces of scenery to display in 3D. Trainz puts more of a strain on my machine that any game I have ever tried. And you stated that you want to run everything at maximum video values? You are not going to do it with that video card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autodctr View Post
    Does Trainz actually put more strain on hardware than typical shoot-em-up type PC games? Does Trainz have to really be an expensive hardware affair?

    Actually, it does. And, the bigger the layout, the more strain. The more scenery, the more strain. The more consists, the more strain. 10,000 trees on your layout mean 10,000 pieces of scenery to display in 3D. Trainz puts more of a strain on my machine that any game I have ever tried. And you stated that you want to run everything at maximum video values? You are not going to do it with that video card.
    If you choose the content very very carefully it might just work but Middleton for laptops is very niche.

    Cheerio John

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    My recommendation right now would be to get a 1660 Super for $250, which is between a 1060 and 1070 (https://www.microcenter.com/product/...op+%28Batch%29)
    Or wait and get a 3060ti for $400 (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/nvidia-...&skuId=6439402). But I can tell you right now you will regret that 1650, as its comparable to the 1050ti (a somewhat poor gpu). If you're looking for smooth gameplay with maxed out settings, you're probably going to need something better than the current upgrade: https://forums.auran.com/trainz/show...55#post1880555

    I've also had my 1060 for 2.5 years, overclocked all the time, with no issues.
    Last edited by dundun92; July 30th, 2021 at 10:32 PM.

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    This seems to me that he has gone for what is available currently at an affordable price.
    The GTX 1650 is one below a GTX 970 on Benchmarks UL, a 1650S would have been slightly better than a GTX 970. As a 970 Ran TANE here for a year or two can't see why a 1650 would be any worse, as a stop gap on moderate settings until prices drop it will probably be OK. Note he is running TANE not TRS19 and not all 1650s as with any card are equal, Zotac tend to be on the better performance end than some of the other manufacturers, sore point as my ZOTAC GTX 980 Ti AMP! Edition albeit over clocked is within 5 fps of my Gigabyte Aorus GTX1080TI although the 1080TI runs a lot cooler.


    Heck my lowest spec PC runs TRS19 on mid settings so long as I don't go over 5000m draw distance, Phenom 1090T x6, 16GB of DDR3, 6Gb GTX1060 and it did have a GTX970 in it at one point, does take a long time to load and the CPU and probably motherboard is bottlenecking the GPU which could obviously do better with a newer CPU.

    I have and have used GTX970, GTX980TI, GTX1060 6GB, GTX1080TI on TANE and TRS19 and other than lower frame rates on the lesser cards all are capable at running TRS19 or TANE on reasonable settings.

    This GPU pricing has got out of hand, even the local Second hand Computer / phone shop where you could get good / refurbished second user PC components for a few quid has jumped on the band wagon and is selling GPUs at way over their original cost.
    Malc


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    Remember that in his opening post, the OP stated that he wanted to "I want max Trainzing performance with settings maxed out and routes thick with 3D content even with the latest Trainz version offered." He is NOT going to do that with what some people are suggesting! I still argue that to actually do what he wants, he needs something closer to the RTX 2070 or better.

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