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Anyone tried gaming on a Gen8?


psykix
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I'm thinking of adding something like a GTX 750Ti low profile card.

 

I have a E3-1265LV2 CPU in it.

 

Just wondering what sort of gaming performance I'd get at 1080p?

 

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The performance will be the same as any other machine with the same components. You will probably find it quite noisy with the GPU fan going full tilt trying to keep it cool, and the main exhaust fan probably running at similarly high speed to get all that heat out of the case.

 

If you are really determined to use the G8 as a gaming machine, make sure your total power draw is within what the PSU can handle (150W, IIRC). You should probably stay below 80% of it just to be safe, and measure it on the wall side using a kill-a-watt.

 

A good place to start might be to test the power load without the GPU using something like prime95 to fully load the CPU, and a disk I/O benchmark running concurrently. Then see how much power budget you have left spare and how close you are to the thermal limit on the internal components without the GPU. Then consider how powerful a GPU you are comfortable with adding in. I am happy with running an E3 1290 v2 CPU in mine with the stock heatsink, but I wouldn't consider adding an a 750Ti on top. Something like a GT 630 or GT 730 might be OK, though, but you probably won't get decent frame rates at 1080p out of games more intensive than something like L4D2.

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A quiet rig of gaming power is going to have to be correspondingly large to allow for few (or even one) large, slow fan(s) and large passive heatsinks.

 

Small, fast, quiet. Pick any two.

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I use my Gen8 mainly for Mezzmo and Plex media streaming, but I also use it to game on. 

 

I'm not running anything spectacular, just a CPU upgrade to an Intel Core i3 3240 on passive heatsink (more on this shortly!) and an MSI Geforce 750ti which I got from BTShop for £85.

 

In terms of performance, the stock CPU would not play GTA 5, it was like a slide show, so I got the i3 from ebay for £40 and shoved that in... Performance wise, it runs a constant 60fps no problem with most details on high or ultra and I've not even switched my Xbox on to play GTA since.  It looks better on the PC (also less idiots on there) and runs equally as well, not had one performance issue related to the spec of the Gen8.

 

Now for the one minor issue... the CPU cores are nearly running flat out, so leaving the thermal options in the BIOS as default this causes the system to shut down after about an hour.  I remedy this by changing the exhaust fan to max if I want to do any gaming.  It's noisier, but I don't generally care as the surround sound takes care of that!

 

I've not tried any newer more taxing games, I would imagine some of the new FPS it may start to show the hardware up, but I can say categorically that GTA 5 in high detail settings on maximum draw distance runs a treat and looks better than it does on the latest gen consoles.

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Can you clarify what temperature exceeds shutdown threshold? I ask because I hammered my E3-1290v2 with prime95 for hours without getting anywhere near overheating temperatures, so presumably the problem arises due to the extra heat generated inside the case by the 750Ti card.

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Correct, the MSI card generates a fair old chunk of heat in the case, so after an hour or so it shut down.  I think it was around 62 to 63 degrees Celsius when it shut itself down.

 

With the exhaust fan on max, temps don't go above 56 for the CPU.

Edited by KungFuSpaghetti
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I would probably stick with something passively coolable (GT630 / GT730) for a microserver. I haven't had a problem with running a GT630 in mine, but I am also conscious of the power budget because with the E3-1290v2 that's 87W of the PSU's 150W gone. Add 25W for a GT630/GT730 card, and that's 102W accounted for. 4 HDDs at typically 8W each and that's 134W accounted for. That leaves only 16W for _everything_ else in the system, including the ILO, motherboard chipset, etc, which is probably optimistic.

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Ouch, didn't realise the CPU consumed so much power!  I guess I'm lucky as the UK PSU's are 200w, but my CPU is only 55w and the GPU I've tested and it's only using 58w maximum draw.

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