Question: Desktop Computer For Streaming Races, etc...for Vital's tech savy!

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11/10/2018 7:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/10/2018 7:29 AM

Hey guys. Well, like everything else in life, I turn to you guys. smile This is kinda long but want to give details. I'm a musician, not very computer tech savy so I need some advice.

My situation. No high speed where I live. Long documented. I use a Verizon old tech USB aircard that has an old old Alltel UNLIMITED plan that is no longer available thru Verizon but it is grandfathered in. It's a USB aircard that uses VZ Access.

It works pretty decent hooked up to my Samsung 65" 4K but it's by the window which is prob only reason it works well. Doesn't work well anywhere else in house. So I never move it. Always plugged in to an OLD OLD Dell computer that has...yikes...Vista. Yes, I know. It was my Mom's before she passed. It's a super cheap computer but despite all this I can watch Netflix, Youtube and even stream practices like Raceday or NBC Gold. Pretty decent at least. But it has to run on lowest visual settings to work. Def no HD here. Blurry as hell.

So, before SX season starts I am going to control what I can (since they refuse to run high speed here) and buy a new desktop computer to hook to TV thru HDMI. My MAIN goal is to use my limited but serviceable internet (since it is unlimited I can use it all day, every day for like $80 a month)...to use it to watch Raceday Live or use the NBC app to watch practices. I usually watch the MX races on Mav/NBCSN since again thru desktop it is super low res to work. Want to be able to run smoothly and run with high settings so I can actually see what's happening!

I'd also like to play some PC racing games here and there but it's not really the priority. Though it's def not my favorite, I've had MX Sim since 07 (I have the disc version which is no longer available) so it would be cool to at least have something that can run it or MVA or whatever to a decent degree. But gaming is not the priority. I use the Xbox One X for my gaming, mostly. The streaming of practices, races, YouTube, etc is the priority. But the gaming would be cool.

So my question. What, tech spec wise, do I need? As far as computer specs. Again, just looking to buy the core tower. It will be plugged up via HDMI to my Samsung 4K. Tech specs, brands, etc? And I'm looking to keep it around $500 for something new with a warranty. Or might be willing to trade for something used. I know $500 is a far cry from what people spend on gaming machines but again basically trying to get the best I can to use with this somewhat jacked up internet situation for my practices/races/Youtube.

Thanks, as always.

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11/10/2018 7:28 AM

The prices of hardware has gone though the roof. With a budget like that i would personally try to build a PC from secondhand parts.

You should be able to build a decent PC that will run MXS and MVA from 2014-2017 parts.

Sign up on https://www.tomshardware.com/ or https://linustechtips.com/main/ and ask those people to help you on finding a good solution!

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11/10/2018 7:30 AM

I don’t have an answer to your question but regarding the high speed internet, do you have access to a 3G or LTE cell phone connection? I hear there are unlimited plans available in the US for cheaper Thanatos $80 a month. That connection could be shared from your phone to your computer.

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11/10/2018 7:36 AM

Get a dell mini tower. It’s going to be powerful enough to do what you want and be around $600 ish...

https://m.cdw.com/product/Dell-OptiPlex-3060-micro-Core-i5-8500T-2.1-GHz-8-GB-500-GB/5132432

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11/10/2018 7:47 AM

Computer won't change the quality of your stream. That's on your internet service provider. You're stuck with what you have until they bring in high speed or until you move somewhere else.

For gaming, no lower than Intel Core 5/i5.

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

11/10/2018 7:54 AM

Thanks for the input, guys. Actually I've tried tethering with my phone and it just doesn't work hardly at all. There is a satellite service offered but I think what I have is better. Can't do updates on gaming though as the USB air card is not compatible with gaming systems. I go to a buddy's house to do my updates. it's a pain but it works.

I was looking at a IBUYPOWER for around 600 but not sure if that is better for streaming or gaming. Or if there is a difference.

I've got a super nice home that's paid for. Been here 22 years. With lots of room to ride. So I'll stay but try as we may we can't get high speed here despite a growing community around here wanting it. It's about .5 miles one way and 1 mile the other way. Just in a dead zone.

The only thing about a mini tower is that I can't expand it. I put a better video card in my old Dell but its such a small casing there is just no room for expansion now.

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11/10/2018 11:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/10/2018 3:47 PM

Have you looked at refurb Dell Optiplex desktops? Little workhorse PCs.

TigerDirect or Microcenter has them in your price range.

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11/10/2018 1:33 PM

DPR250R wrote:

Have you looked at refurb Dell Optiplex desktops? Little workhorse PCs.

TigerDirect or Microcenter has them in your price range.

Is there a partciular model number you'd recommend?. I can go to Tiger next week.

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11/10/2018 2:41 PM

call Dish Network and get their satellite internet service. They can literally provide hi-speed internet to anywhere on earth. Problem solved.

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11/10/2018 3:29 PM

CozMan wrote:

call Dish Network and get their satellite internet service. They can literally provide hi-speed internet to anywhere on earth. Problem solved.

Directv offers it as well but a friend of mine has it and said it sucks. What I have isn't great but it's ok I guess. I think it is as good as satellite from what I am told. Not 100% though.

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11/10/2018 4:51 PM

cram as much RAM as you can in it..the more RAM the better/faster computer

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scte3.0 pro-line trinity tekin

11/10/2018 5:12 PM

-MAVERICK- wrote:

Computer won't change the quality of your stream. That's on your internet service provider. You're stuck with what you have until they bring in high speed or until you move somewhere else.

For gaming, no lower than Intel Core 5/i5.

This about sums it up. i5 6700k's are reasonably priced if you can get one in a pre-built system. MXS is a CPU hog so that would help a bit.

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Might order a pizza, take a nap, doesn't really matter.

11/10/2018 6:35 PM

flatout111 wrote:

Is there a partciular model number you'd recommend?. I can go to Tiger next week.

I cannot recommend a particular model as I have not pulled the trigger yet. But I plan on one of these being my streaming device.

Right now I AirPlay through my phone and Apple TV which works most of time but sometimes will crap out mid moto (MXoN for example).

My previous company used desktops over laptops as they did not want people working remote and they use Optiplex machines. I was always impressed with how well they held up. I had 3 under my desk with two I used for analytics that would sit and crank through models all day every Sunday. I know this does not mean squat for streaming but I do believe they are reliable machines.

I was going to go with at least at i5 and a HDMI video port. If you go to Tiger and tell them what you are looking for maybe they can recommend something. I have no idea how they would do for gaming.

These are what I am referring to. Also, I know you can run video and audio through a Display Port (D-Port) on some machines. That is what I do right now with a laptop.
https://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntk=all&sortby=pricehigh&N=4294967292+519+4294821133&myStore=true

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11/11/2018 7:53 AM

flatout111 wrote:

Hey guys. Well, like everything else in life, I turn to you guys. smile This is kinda long but want to give details. I'm a musician, not very computer tech savy so I need some advice.

My situation. No high speed where I live. Long documented. I use a Verizon old tech USB aircard that has an old old Alltel UNLIMITED plan that is no longer available thru Verizon but it is grandfathered in. It's a USB aircard that uses VZ Access.

It works pretty decent hooked up to my Samsung 65" 4K but it's by the window which is prob only reason it works well. Doesn't work well anywhere else in house. So I never move it. Always plugged in to an OLD OLD Dell computer that has...yikes...Vista. Yes, I know. It was my Mom's before she passed. It's a super cheap computer but despite all this I can watch Netflix, Youtube and even stream practices like Raceday or NBC Gold. Pretty decent at least. But it has to run on lowest visual settings to work. Def no HD here. Blurry as hell.

So, before SX season starts I am going to control what I can (since they refuse to run high speed here) and buy a new desktop computer to hook to TV thru HDMI. My MAIN goal is to use my limited but serviceable internet (since it is unlimited I can use it all day, every day for like $80 a month)...to use it to watch Raceday Live or use the NBC app to watch practices. I usually watch the MX races on Mav/NBCSN since again thru desktop it is super low res to work. Want to be able to run smoothly and run with high settings so I can actually see what's happening!

I'd also like to play some PC racing games here and there but it's not really the priority. Though it's def not my favorite, I've had MX Sim since 07 (I have the disc version which is no longer available) so it would be cool to at least have something that can run it or MVA or whatever to a decent degree. But gaming is not the priority. I use the Xbox One X for my gaming, mostly. The streaming of practices, races, YouTube, etc is the priority. But the gaming would be cool.

So my question. What, tech spec wise, do I need? As far as computer specs. Again, just looking to buy the core tower. It will be plugged up via HDMI to my Samsung 4K. Tech specs, brands, etc? And I'm looking to keep it around $500 for something new with a warranty. Or might be willing to trade for something used. I know $500 is a far cry from what people spend on gaming machines but again basically trying to get the best I can to use with this somewhat jacked up internet situation for my practices/races/Youtube.

Thanks, as always.

For less than $200 you can get a good used Win7 box with Intel Core i5-i7 processor and 4-8GB ram. No need to buy new. Worst you might have to do is buy a better video card. (About a year ago I scored a HP8200 with 8 core I7 and 4GB ram for $140 on Ebay. Slapped a generic NVIDIA card in it, and run Zwift full screen on one monitor and watch racing full screen on monitor 2). Works great. Your biggest concern will actually be the video card. You can have all the processor and memory you want, but if the video card sucks then you get crappy video

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

11/11/2018 3:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/11/2018 4:08 PM

flatout111 wrote:

Hey guys. Well, like everything else in life, I turn to you guys. smile This is kinda long but want to give details. I'm a musician, not very computer tech savy so I need some advice.

My situation. No high speed where I live. Long documented. I use a Verizon old tech USB aircard that has an old old Alltel UNLIMITED plan that is no longer available thru Verizon but it is grandfathered in. It's a USB aircard that uses VZ Access.

It works pretty decent hooked up to my Samsung 65" 4K but it's by the window which is prob only reason it works well. Doesn't work well anywhere else in house. So I never move it. Always plugged in to an OLD OLD Dell computer that has...yikes...Vista. Yes, I know. It was my Mom's before she passed. It's a super cheap computer but despite all this I can watch Netflix, Youtube and even stream practices like Raceday or NBC Gold. Pretty decent at least. But it has to run on lowest visual settings to work. Def no HD here. Blurry as hell.

So, before SX season starts I am going to control what I can (since they refuse to run high speed here) and buy a new desktop computer to hook to TV thru HDMI. My MAIN goal is to use my limited but serviceable internet (since it is unlimited I can use it all day, every day for like $80 a month)...to use it to watch Raceday Live or use the NBC app to watch practices. I usually watch the MX races on Mav/NBCSN since again thru desktop it is super low res to work. Want to be able to run smoothly and run with high settings so I can actually see what's happening!

I'd also like to play some PC racing games here and there but it's not really the priority. Though it's def not my favorite, I've had MX Sim since 07 (I have the disc version which is no longer available) so it would be cool to at least have something that can run it or MVA or whatever to a decent degree. But gaming is not the priority. I use the Xbox One X for my gaming, mostly. The streaming of practices, races, YouTube, etc is the priority. But the gaming would be cool.

So my question. What, tech spec wise, do I need? As far as computer specs. Again, just looking to buy the core tower. It will be plugged up via HDMI to my Samsung 4K. Tech specs, brands, etc? And I'm looking to keep it around $500 for something new with a warranty. Or might be willing to trade for something used. I know $500 is a far cry from what people spend on gaming machines but again basically trying to get the best I can to use with this somewhat jacked up internet situation for my practices/races/Youtube.

Thanks, as always.

You need to look at purpose built PC from most likely a gaming company. Something sold by Frys, NewEgg, TigerDirect, etc. Pushing a 4k tv/steaming/gaming with a $500 ready made tower(like a Dell,HP,etc) is like trying to buy a 450 for the price of a 50 to race Nascar. You need a card that can actually do 4k and the stuff to back it up. Graphics card needs a good powersupply. Those 2 alone is 300-500 if you have to be real cheap(combo kids cheapen stuff like this down though).

You also want to buy/build something that is "overkill" somewhat if you want it to last and run efficiently. Just because you may be able to run it, doesn't mean it will for that long and do it smoothly. Think of a 125 on the autobahn. A ready made tower would be roughly 900-1k for what you sound like you want. With Cybermonday deals you could do it for cheaper(better deals if you build it yourself).

Note: It's been a few years since I built a PC, so prices may be a slightly off. Also know, even with the best PC your internet will limit you. What are the speeds of your service now? If you don't know go to https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ and that should give a rough idea. I'm also busy with the kids atm so I may have missed something.

Edit: Buying used isn't a bad idea if you know what you are getting. Just my 2cents. Refurbished is not a bad way to go either if you are dead set on a standard Bestbuy type PC.

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11/11/2018 3:50 PM

CozMan wrote:

call Dish Network and get their satellite internet service. They can literally provide hi-speed internet to anywhere on earth. Problem solved.

Been down that route and my experience was not a good one...Sprint 4G off a cell tower worked better. Thank goodness DSL came to our neck of the woods or I'd still be pulling in a signal from the cell tower.

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11/11/2018 3:58 PM

I agree with the folks recommending the Dell Optiflex...great pc's for the price!

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11/11/2018 4:01 PM

-MAVERICK- wrote:

Computer won't change the quality of your stream. That's on your internet service provider. You're stuck with what you have until they bring in high speed or until you move somewhere else.

For gaming, no lower than Intel Core 5/i5.

Maverick is spot on. Until you get a good net connection speed wise from your internet provider, all the fastest PC hardware isn't gonna do you much good.

I was in a similar position, not having wired internet service to my house. I live in the foothills with 300' pine trees all around.I had a few company's come out to provide satellite internet. The only company that could get a line of site to the sky was ViaSat, who has teamed up with Dish TV.

I've had it for about 4 months. Speed averages between 45-50 MBS. Not bad for a satellite connection. I stream just about everything offered, without hardly any glitches, works good.

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11/11/2018 5:45 PM

Is there not a radio isp in the area? Problem with satellite providers is they throttle service after so much usage. Radio providers are a mixed bag but some have options for non throttled service.

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11/19/2018 7:38 PM

Well flatout111... I blame you for finally getting me to pull the trigger.

I had been putting this off for some time. The MXoN was the final straw. The screen was jittery, would freeze and I would flip out. I was using an older laptop with a Display Port which just could not handle it. Apple TV screen mirroring was throwing errors about 5 minutes after starting the stream... ovee and over. That really was the race I needed my setups to work most for and they let me down.

So... I found a used Dell Optiplex SFF 3050 for $175 shipped on ebay. Went with this model since it had both a HDMI and a Display Port.

So far so good. Great picture on my 60” LG, no lag or jittery screen. It’s small, silent and fits right in my entertainment center.

Once again though, I am not a a gamer and have no idea how this would do. I am using it as is with the stock video card.

Thanks for the post and getting my behind in gear.

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11/20/2018 2:06 PM

I live in the sticks in Colorado.. well outside the reach of cable/fiber providers. I use Viasat for internet and get their 25mbps down package, which works fine for streaming in 480p.. which is fine by me cause I bought more dirt bikes instead of a 4k TV. I don't have any issues with throttling and stream plenty.. You should see if they have service available in your area. It's not the cheapest, nor the fastest.. but it'd work a heck of a lot better than a 3G usb dongle.

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