Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A comprehensive guide for the aspiring botter (Hardware) Part 4

Basic hardware:

Last week we talked about naming your bots, this week, as promised will be about basic hardware to start with for your first few bots.

MTGO Library Bot is not very resource demanding, you could actually run at least a bot or two on most computers.
I started running my first two bots without problems using only a really old Core 2 duo CPU and 1.1 GB ram each. These were parts I had lying in the attic and worked well as a first dedicated computer/server to run two bots.

Per bot you will need at least: 
       •  1.5 GB RAM (Memory) down to 1.1gb if you're ready to do some work and have an extra HDD                  (harddrive) lying around.
       •   5-10 GB HDD space.
       •   1.5 GHz CPU (Processor), preferably better
       •   1280x1024+ Screen Resolution

Then of course you need a motherboard that can run all these components together, a PSU(power supply) with high enough wattage and a GPU(graphics card) with at least 128 MB video ram(memory) and support for DirectX 9.
These are highly dependent on what other parts you choose so I can't give you any definite answer exactly what you'll need without knowing your other parts.

Using something along the line of these minimum requirements will let you run a bot or two and is a good way of starting out in the beginning.
I would however not recommend you to buy hardware that is this shitty unless you can get them for a few bucks second hand.
If you do not have a computer around that meets these requirements I would recommend getting something a bit more powerful to make room for expanding later on.

My first botting computer ran the following hardware: 

       •   4gb DDR2 RAM                                      
       •   Intel Core 2 Duo CPU at 2.8 GHz
       •   128GB SSD
       •   512 GB HDD
       •   Nvidia GTX260 GPU
       •   GA-73PVM-S2H motherboard
       •   500W PSU

All these parts except the SSD were all crap I had lying around but enough to easily run my first two bots.
I would recommend starting with something similar.
The GPU is however unnecessarily powerful, MTG doesn't require a GPU nearly as strong as this one.
The SSD is also unnecessary and you're better off spending your money on other parts that will drastically increase your performance. And the PSU only needs to be as powerful as the other parts require.

Another thing to keep in mind is that old hardware doesn't necessarily mean that it's cheap.
You can probably find a computer similar to these requirements second hand for almost nothing.
But when you buy old parts in stores they are usually hugely overpriced, since they want you to buy a new computer package with all hardware and software they'll try to trick you to get instead of repairing your old one. They also know that most people who buys the old stuff don't have much choice since the newer parts won't fit their old computer and hope that you'll decide to get a new one instead.

For example a quick check shows that the cheapest 8gb (2x4gb) DDR2 memory cost $165, while the cheapest 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 which is twice as fast cost $53. So you could get at least twice, maybe thrice as much memory that is also at least twice as fast for the same price if you buy new components and not the old inferior ones.
So make sure to check prices, you might be better off buying all new parts instead of replacing that one old part you need for your old setup to work.

More on hardware next time and as always I'll gladly answer any questions you might have in the comment section.

-Tom (Sitrec)
Archbot MTGO Store: ArchBot, ArchBot2, ArchBot3, ArchBot4 & ArchBot5


  1. Old parts are usually overpriced new largely because of supply and demand constraints. They have to keep inventory on hand, but it is unlikely to move, so a higher profit margin has to be there to ensure net gains. It has nothing to do with wanting you to buy a new computer. On the contrary, big box retailers have minimal margins on complete computer systems, but hefty margins on components. If you buy a $1000 new computer, they typically make between $30 - $50 profit. This is about what they would make in profit for a couple sticks of DDR2.

  2. @35944194-e960-11e2-86b8-000bcdcb5194 At the same time, a basic computer package they'll try to make you buy, usually includes the OS, Norton, Office, a shitty wireless mouse and keyboard, speakers and some ridiculous extra warranty and or insurance. Those are the stuff they get most profit from I'm pretty sure. Otherwise more electronic stores would sell parts, most brick-and-mortar stores here at least doesn't even sell parts, only whole packages.