Question Sanity Check and Opinions on E5-1650 v2 build?


Feb 21, 2009
Hi gang.

About a year ago, I gave an old DIY system to my nephew; Phenom II x3 720 be (with 4th core unlocked) @ 3.0, 8 GB DDR3 1600 and a GTX 750 ti. In the last few months, he's been getting into video editing which is dragging down the system. Then Apex Legends dropped. The developer set the minimum system requirements to an FX-4350. The game requires SSSE 3 instructions (which AMD did not integrate until Bulldozer) and refuses to load. He's also teaching himself Python and would love to be running a virtual machine on top of Win 10.

I've been waiting to see what AMD drops with Ryzen 3. If anything looked good, I would build myself a new system and give my nephew my old i7 3770 system for his 8th grade graduation. I'd keep my current Ryzen 5 1700 workstation and whatever I built new. If I don't build something new, I wasn't planning on gifting him another computer.

So, my options, as I see them are:

Pick up an FX-series proc. His motherboard is a Gigabyte 880G/SB850 AM3+ and certified for FX - 4xxx, 6xxx or 81xx.
I have access to a "refurbished" (off-lease) HP Z420 workstation with E5-1650 v2, 16GB RAM, 80 GB HDD, 600W PSU and Quadro K600 for $300. I have a spare GTX 960 and 500 GB SSD to swap in.

It seems silly to be throwing more money at an AM3 system in the first option.
The E5-1650 v2 seems to make the most sense.

Am I insane? A 6-core/12-thread Ivy Bridge @ 3.5-3.9 GHz sounds more than capable for what he needs. Did HP use standard ATX hardware in the Z420? I haven't spent much time with Xeons. Is there anything I need to know before I jump in? I know overclocking isn't an option with the stock motherboard.

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I was looking at pictures of the Z420 and it looks like standard ATX. I was concerned about power, but you say it has it 600 PSU, so that is all good. Ivy Bridge pairs nicely with the GTX 960, so this sounds like a very nice solution. I bet it will outperform your i7 3770, It would be better than dropping an FX processor. You may need to drop in a fan or 2, but otherwise I would go with the Z420.
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