Question Budget Gaming Build Dell T3600

Nov 30, 2021
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I am trying to help out a family that has been hit with some hard times during Covid. Their son wants a computer to do school work on and some gaming. He plays COD and similar games. They only had $250 dollars to spend but didn't know anything about what type of computer he needed. I work in an engineering office and we have spares laying around. They are older Dell Precision T3600's with Xeon 1607 processor, 8GB of 1333 Hz ECC ram and 500 GB hard drive. The current video card is a budget Quadro.

Looking for the best bang for the buck on improvements to allow him to play games. I know realistically this machine will not get top performance but his current setup is barely working so anything is an improvement. My first thoughts were upgrading ram, new video card and maybe a SSD drive. I also looked at changing from the 1607 to a Xeon 1650 but wasn't sure if that was worth it. Also, wondering about video card. Dell sells a Radeon HD 5450 that will fit the case (they are small) but wondering if it would be worth stepping up from that. Ram I am going to bump to 16 GB.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

SSD, yes
Ram, you could drop in a dual channel 2x8GB DDR3-1600Mhz non-ECC ram kit. Please do not mix and match sticks of ram.
GPU wise, which one do you have from this list?

I think you're going to be limited with the PSU, considering it's age and that the platform is proprietary, so you either shell out a lot for a replacement with higher wattage or forgo a discrete GPU with more power draw. How old is the current PSU, at this point?

In it's current state, make sure that the Prebuilt is on the latest BISO update prior to dropping in any upgrades. Also, what OS are you going to look into installing?
 
Nov 30, 2021
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That is the RAM I just purchased for it. I also picked up a new old stock 635 W power supply to upgrade from the original 425 W. The graphics card is the hard part. In our office we upgraded a few of these with GTX 1080 graphics cards. It was a tight fit. I was looking at the GTX 1050 ti but right now the prices are insane for an outdated card. Hoping to keep the GPU at or under $150. I have a few extra SSD's laying around so that should not be a problem.

OS wise I was going to upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro since we have spare seats laying around our office.
 

geofelt

Titan
That is the RAM I just purchased for it. I also picked up a new old stock 635 W power supply to upgrade from the original 425 W. The graphics card is the hard part. In our office we upgraded a few of these with GTX 1080 graphics cards. It was a tight fit. I was looking at the GTX 1050 ti but right now the prices are insane for an outdated card. Hoping to keep the GPU at or under $150. I have a few extra SSD's laying around so that should not be a problem.

OS wise I was going to upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro since we have spare seats laying around our office.
GT1030 is about the minimum new card that can be considered as gaming.
A new one can fit your budget. It would be hard to find anything stronger in low profile.
But, if you were able to fit a GTX1080, you can probably use a more conventional sized card.
Look on ebay. Here is an excellent GTX750ti for $150 buy it now:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/275047468623?epid=220472986&hash=item400a1b4e4f:g:gJwAAOSwvuthpqaV&LH_BIN=1
At auction, they go for about 120 if you want to bid on one.
I use That exact evga card for a backup pc, and it will even drive a 4k monitor at 60hz via displayport.
 
Nov 30, 2021
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I have the ability to pickup a Zotac GTX 960 in good condition for cheap. Any input on that? I run a lot of quadro's on my work computers until I recently did a build with a RTX 3090 so it's been a while since I looked at pure gaming cards.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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1050Ti is the cheapest viable gaming card at the moment and yes they are ridiculously priced because of the semiconductor shortage.

Older substitutes like the GTX 960 are selling for about the same money.

CPU wise, the 1650 would be a significant upgrade, it has 2 more cores and hyper threading, so 3 times as many threads as the 1607. This would unlock decent performance in newer games.
 

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