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Advise please wanted for my budget racing PC proposals...

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Adam Farmer, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer


    I've asked at a PC forum about a potential new machine, but really wanted to ask the advice of you racers, because that is all I will use this computer for.

    I have an iMac (core 2 duo, ATI 2400xt GPU) that I will carry on using for all my computer needs. Currently I have windows 7 (32 bit) on it and can play netKar Pro on it's lowest graphic settings, rFactor doesn't really work, Race On is too jerky, GT Legends is barely playable.

    I want to be able to play these properly. Possibly rFactor 2. I don't know if the PC I'm proposing to build will run the likes of F1 2010? For now I really want to get netKar Pro running on it's best settings. And I am interested in rFactor 2 when it comes out.

    I'd really appreciate any advice on the following. I'm considering getting 64bit Windows 7 home basic edition. I have a mouse/keyboard/Momo wheel/19" monitor, and 2 barely used 3.5" hard drives, one is Ultra ATA, and the other IDE. This will all do me fine.

    My budget is tiny, and the following exceeds it, but I guess I'll go for it, so desperate am I to be able to play these games smoothly and in detail!

    Casecom Silver/Black Mid Tower Case - No PSU
    It's a case, it's cheap, but has good reviews. Would I need to buy a front and back fan for it? The case has spaces for them. Will the PSU/CPU/GPU fans be enough?

    Casecom Silver 500W PSU - With 12cm Red LED Fan, 20+4pin 1x SATA, 1x PCI-E
    I realise I'm taking a bit of a risk here, but this has good reviews, and the next model that filled me with confidence was over twice the price of this one. If it's got enough power for this system then I'm willing to risk it for now. It 'should' work perfectly.

    Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW & DL SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black
    Good reviews, something I'll rarely use.

    Asus P8H61-M Intel H61 Motherboard mATX Revision 3.0 90-MIBF20-G0EAY0GZ
    Gigabyte was the rival, but this costs less and claims to do the job. I believe it'll take all these things I've listed, along with the Ultra ATA, and IDE hard discs I have.

    Intel Core i3 2100 3.10GHz Socket 1155 3MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
    This seems best for performance/price - and should comfortably run the racing games.

    Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V
    Good reviews and I've been happy with crucial in the past.

    TP-Link Wireless-N150 PCIe card
    Cheap, but should connect me to the internet with a N wireless connection.

    Solely on recommendations I currently have two graphics card options, the first of which is cheaper:

    MSI GTS450 Cyclone OC 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card
    XFX HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Mini Display Port Out Graphics Card

    Any advice or thoughts on the above would be really welcomed. Money is a problem which is why I've gone cheap on a few options, but I believe I'll be spending well on the motherboard, CPU and GPU.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    You mention that you are going to be going with windows 7 home basic for this system. I would avoid that at all costs personally. That edition is going to be very limiting even in the 64 bit edition. Minimum I would buy for the OS would be Home premium, though ultimate would be better due to the virtual XP environment that it can run.
  3. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer


    Sorry, I just checked and I have home premium (including 32 and 64 bit), I was confused by all the different versions!

  4. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Heheh, ok, that is much better but still won't have the ability to run programs in XP virtual machine.
  5. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Hey Jim what up. so i got my HPE 510f and HOLY @#$% did it ever make a difference in gameplay. Frame speed, graphics, loading times all improved.So i bought new copies of Race/Evo and installed to new computer. I have G27 connected to tower and my DFPRO to my laptop and i have 23.5 inch monitors for both computers. I had a friend come over the other night and we did some head to head racing. lots of fun!. unfortunately im back working five days a week from three so now time to play is a issue. Also because my gf and went pretty much halfs on purchase, she has been hogging the new pc :frown:. Tragically, she is off work this whole week:frown: :D (for my gf) i know you check out my postings from time to time, its nice to have you at home for the week but I WANT MY TURN!:D
  6. Hey Adam, that PC will run any game including F1 2010 quite well, you might need to turn the settings down a little but my system is much weaker and it runs F1 2010 fine at 1920x1080 with somewhat lowered settings.

    I would go for the Radeon 6850, it's a significant upgrade over the Geforce GTS250. Good rule-of-thumb comparisons can be found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-radeon-hd-6990-geforce-gtx-590,2912-7.html

    Be sure to install the 64-bit Windows 7, otherwise you won't be able to use all of your RAM. I wouldn't worry about the XP virtual machine - modern games are made to work on modern operating systems.

    Another thing is, I wouldn't suggest using a wireless connection if you are planning on racing online. This is a common cause of lag and disconnections. You should use a wired connection if at all possible.
  7. Adam Farmer

    Adam Farmer


    Thanks for the advice. I think the 6850 will be the one, the link was really helpful thanks.

    I'll have to race wirelessly, but that's what i do now and it seems to work ok.


  8. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Whats Virtual XP Environment? Curious because my new pc has Windows Seven Ulitimate.
  9. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Basically it is like running XP as a stand alone in it's own memory and disk space. Just like you had XP installed and not Windows 7. I would have to look into it further to explain how to get things running in it, so if you need advice give me a couple of days :)
  10. Hmmm, does it work though? Maybe this could have something to do with the issues we've been experiencing in the nKP club over recent weeks. I'm not blaming you in any way Adam, far from it, but I know Paul and Andrew have exhausted all options with resolving the problem. Maybe there is a conflict between you and Andrew, it might be worth letting them know that you are on a wireless connection, and maybe we could arrange some testing with both you and Andrew present.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, and see you soon in the nKP club.
  11. Hi Adam, looks like your build will do nicely for a budget PC. Between the listed graphics cards I would definitely pick the 6850 however, I would say these are better choices:

    Nvidia GTX460 1GB: similar performance to a 6850 but for a few $ less
    ATI 6870: better performance for $30 more than a 6850.

    I know you are budget focused but at the low end (450 and lower) price/performance is not that good even though prices are a bit more friendly. $150 -220 is the right amount of cash to spend on a mid range card.