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Old Jul 2, 2022, 09:09 AM   #1
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SubCog
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Default Low-price gaming PCs, now and future

My kids are getting old enough for lan gaming. Ages 13, 8, and 5. My youngest mainly just plays minecraft, but she's getting pretty good. 13 & 8 play minecraft, fortnight, roblox, and want to get into some esports stuffs. I'd love to introduce them to lan classics like Quake, UT, CS, etc. Over the next 18 months or so, I intend to install a permanent lan-gaming center in my home, with a computer for each member of the family (including my wife). That will allow us to run family game sessions, or allow my kids to have friends over for lan parties.

That means I will need to build/purchase 4 gaming machines (I already have one for myself, of course). They don't need to be power-houses, but should run modern games at reasonable settings and smooth framerates... but don't need to do 4k, ultra settings, etc. I already have plenty of monitors, keyboards, etc... so I'm only counting the cost of the computer itself.

I'm hoping to get machines for ~$500 each, but price is flexible. I could possibly build systems with whatever the latest generation of APUs happens to be... those are getting better and better all the time. But I'm also intrigued by the Steam Deck concept... Maybe just buy several of those? Or I can imagine something similar being sold in the $500 range, but without the portability (screen, controls, etc), maybe with more powerful graphics... basically a basic gaming pc in the form-factor of an xbox.

Thoughts or predictions? What's a reasonably-priced way to acquire 4-5 gaming PCs over the next couple of years?
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 04:53 AM   #2
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Steam decks, or something comparable, is awfully tempting.

To do it affordably... catch some sales at the right time or go used? I'd agree that AMD APU's are likely the best route. Then if they ever need or want to upgrade, you have a path.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 08:39 AM   #3
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I'm super tempted to go with something like this for ~$140: https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Optiplex...=15Z2RW6VWDC58



Just need to find a reasonably priced GPU to pair with it... One with a slim form factor and small power draw. Best thing I'm finding in the $200 range is a 6500xt... but that's pretty weak, even for kids computers.
https://www.newegg.com/powercolor-ra...82E16814131793

Maybe later this year, when the new GPUs come out, maybe the 3060s will drop in price? I think pairing a 3060 with the computer I listed above would make a fabulous lan system for my family.
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To be honest I never even found doom 3 to be scary since I have a big dick since birth.

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Old Jul 5, 2022, 10:55 AM   #4
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My son was using a GT 1030 in his PC for the last couple years until we just built him a new computer. That should fit in that case.

It worked great for 1080p gaming as long as you don't try to run any demanding modern games, and I assume the 6500XT would be similar. He played a lot of indie pixel art type games, Source engine games, and Minecraft. Would definitely also work great for fps classics like you mentioned.

But if you want to run more demanding modern games you'll likely need to go up to a GPU on par with at least the GTX 1060 or maybe RTX 2060, but then you might run into physical size constraints in that SFF chassis. Look into it though. If an RTX 2060 will fit it could be a good choice at around the $300 point.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 01:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubCog View Post
I'm super tempted to go with something like this for ~$140: https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Optiplex...=15Z2RW6VWDC58



Just need to find a reasonably priced GPU to pair with it... One with a slim form factor and small power draw. Best thing I'm finding in the $200 range is a 6500xt... but that's pretty weak, even for kids computers.
https://www.newegg.com/powercolor-ra...82E16814131793

Maybe later this year, when the new GPUs come out, maybe the 3060s will drop in price? I think pairing a 3060 with the computer I listed above would make a fabulous lan system for my family.
I have had access to those for years. You hit the nail right on the head.

You need a low profile, low power draw GPU for gaming. The unfortunate part is those don't really exist anymore. Especially without a PCI-E Video connector(which these towers do not have).

You could try looking at old XPS fullsize towers or Optiplex fullsize towers. However you need to double check if they do or do not have the PCI-E videocard connector and how many pins.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meteor_of_War View Post
My son was using a GT 1030 in his PC for the last couple years until we just built him a new computer. That should fit in that case.

It worked great for 1080p gaming as long as you don't try to run any demanding modern games, and I assume the 6500XT would be similar. He played a lot of indie pixel art type games, Source engine games, and Minecraft. Would definitely also work great for fps classics like you mentioned.

But if you want to run more demanding modern games you'll likely need to go up to a GPU on par with at least the GTX 1060 or maybe RTX 2060, but then you might run into physical size constraints in that SFF chassis. Look into it though. If an RTX 2060 will fit it could be a good choice at around the $300 point.
The kids mainly play minecraft, fornite, roblox, etc. I'd like to be able to do esports games at 60fps, maybe Valorant or LoL... esports games are usually not too demanding though. If a $200 gpu could do that, I'd be happy with it.
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Originally Posted by KAC View Post
To be honest I never even found doom 3 to be scary since I have a big dick since birth.

Ryzen 5 5600x - radeon 6700xt - 32 gigs memory


Nintendo: NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, Gameboy, Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Color, Virtual Boy, 6 GBAs, DS, 3ds
Sega: Sega Master System, Genesis, 32x, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear
Sony: PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP
Microsoft: og xbox, xbox360, xbone, series 3
Atari: Atari 2600, 7800
Neo Geo: Neo Geo Pocket Color
Other: Colecovision, Intellivision, Vectrex

riva tnt
tnt2
geforce2mx
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 02:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trunks0 View Post
You could try looking at old XPS fullsize towers or Optiplex fullsize towers. However you need to double check if they do or do not have the PCI-E videocard connector and how many pins.
Good tip. I'll watch for that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAC View Post
To be honest I never even found doom 3 to be scary since I have a big dick since birth.

Ryzen 5 5600x - radeon 6700xt - 32 gigs memory


Nintendo: NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, Gameboy, Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Color, Virtual Boy, 6 GBAs, DS, 3ds
Sega: Sega Master System, Genesis, 32x, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear
Sony: PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP
Microsoft: og xbox, xbox360, xbone, series 3
Atari: Atari 2600, 7800
Neo Geo: Neo Geo Pocket Color
Other: Colecovision, Intellivision, Vectrex

riva tnt
tnt2
geforce2mx
kyro 2
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radeon 9800pro
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 05:36 PM   #8
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I used to recycle these Optiplex Slim and fullsize towers relatively often. Especially the 3000, 5000, 7000 and 9000 series stuff. And the biggest hurdles to using one for a quick n' cheap gaming rig is no PCI-E video connector, half-height cards needed OR the PSU isn't standard ATX(either in size or the connector to the Mobo). So swapping in a more powerful PSU's can be challenging to acquire.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 07:50 PM   #9
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Low price gaming? HA have you seen the price of gp..... Wait nevermind. Yes, you can.

For $500 though, I'd look on FB Marketplace. There are a billion decent CPU/2060 laptops out there that you can do an external monitor to for $500~, and people on FB marketplace are /always/ negotiable.
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Old Jul 15, 2022, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubCog View Post
...esports games are usually not too demanding though.
*Halo and Call of Duty have entered the chat*

Honestly, I'd look for used XPS towers, used MSI towers, or used ASUS towers and go from there. $500 doesn't get you too far on the new market.
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