Make A Budget Gaming PC from Cheap eBay PC

So there are cheap i7 pc's second hand on ebay. I'd need to get something that will run Doom, Rising Storm 2 Vietnam. Could I buy a system like this and then just chuck in an ok graphics card and maybe an SSD if it's needed?



    Or this as the i7 is 3.4Ghz


      Yes they make great gaming PCs. You will need to get a new case and a new power supply (for the graphics card).

      Don't get the one in the original post as that's first generation. On the 2000/3000 CPUs the 2/3 stand for the generation so the one you linked here is 3rd generation. Don't forget to use cashrewards when you buy it :)


      Consider the generation before clock speed.

  • +3 votes

    Yes, an Optiplex with an SSD and a graphics card makes for a fantastic budget gaming PC. However, a Core i7 is unnecessary for the vast majority of games as they are unable to efficiently utilize hyperthreading. Given that you are on a budget, stick with a Core i5 and throw those extra bucks you just saved into your graphics card! A GTX 1050ti would be my recommendation given the components you'll be pairing it with, but you could possibly swing a GTX 1060 if the PSU is up to it.

    Also you should give the first generation of core iX's a miss, they are starting to show their age. Go for a core i5 2400/2500 or an i5 3470/3570, they'll give you better performance.

    • +1 vote

      I disagree.
      If you run a Stock 3.7GHz Core i5-2500 with 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM, and let's say a GTX 1060, you will see bottlenecks on modern games.
      Now, let's do slight upgrades system-wide on the same motherboard:
      Firstly, let's say you upgraded to a slightly more efficient Core i7-3770k.
      And then you overclocked it to 4.4GHz.
      Then you upgraded the RAM to 16GB amount.
      And you overclocked the RAM to 2133MHz.
      Now the GTX 1060 will not be bottlenecked anymore, and your performance should equal the modern Core i5-7500 or Risen 1400…

      ….which is still a tier behind the Ryzen 1500X and Core i5-7600k… and another tier behind the Ryzen 1600 and Core i7-7700k… and another tier behind the Ryzen 1700 and Core i7-6900k… which is another tier behind the Core i9 and Threadrippers… which are behind another tier the Supercomputers xD

      So my conclusion, unless you get these systems for really cheap… they're not worth it anymore.
      Ryzen has so much instant and longterm value, that you may as well just build a fresh system now.

      • +2 votes

        If you run a Stock 3.7GHz Core i5-2500 with 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM, and let's say a GTX 1060, you will see bottlenecks on modern games.

        Sure, which is why my primary recommendation was a 1050ti. I mentioned the possibility of a GTX 1060 because sometimes people will pay some more for increased performance even if it runs into slight bottleneck, just so they can achieve a particular level of performance i.e. consistent 60FPS in their favourite game.

        Firstly, let's say you upgraded to a slightly more efficient Core i7-3770k. And then you overclocked it to 4.4GHz.

        That'd be great to get an unlocked i5, but none of these old Optiplexs I've seen have the unlocked "k" variants of CPUs. I still stand by the fact that an i7 is absolutely not a good investment at this price point for such a budget build.

        So my conclusion, unless you get these systems for really cheap… they're not worth it anymore.
        Ryzen has so much instant and longterm value, that you may as well just build a fresh system now.

        I agree Ryzen is a great investment if you have that kind of cash to splash around, but it's really in an entirely different league and price bracket to a second-hand Optiplex build. OP didn't mention his budget for some reason, if he has roughly ~$1k for his budget go Ryzen for sure, but given he was looking at Optiplexs I'm assuming his budget is substantially lower.

        • +2 votes

          There's a sizeable performance rift between the GTX 1050 and Ti and the GTX 1060.
          The GTX 1060 is the perfect 1080p graphics card, and it will remain competitive for some time. However, the GTX 1050Ti will not age as gracefully. I would recommend the 1050Ti's for either laptops or prebuilts or really tight budgets… though you could possibly get a used R9 290 instead or a used GTX 970.

          Last year I built a great system, from work, dumpster diving, eBay, gumtree, and OzBargain parts.
          I was fascinated by these low-cost pc's and wanted something that rivals the consoles.

          Here's my build (now in possession of sibling):
          …it's similar to this!
          From Work: (Main Unit) Dell Optiplex (good condition, not working)
          Dumpster: (Donor) Dell Optiplex (bad condition, needed the PSU, free disk drive, no the dumpster was clean!)
          Dumpster: Keyboard (Logitech, great condition)
          Dumpster: Mouse (Microsoft, great condition)
          Dumpster: Cables! Yay!
          Gumtree: Gamepad
          eBay: Hard-Drive
          OzBargain: Solid State Drive
          Umart: Clearance No Thrills RAM Sticks
          Umart: Clearance No Thrills Slim fan (didn't need it, figured it was worth the $2 upgrade over the stock fans)

          Cleaned everything, reapplied thermal paste, switched stock fan to a No Thrills one
          Partitioned the SSD to tripleboot, split into roughly 333GB/128GB/64GB.
          I then tinkered with the Bios/Uefi… which was experimental but I risked it.
          And followed some instructions from random russian sites lol
          But I managed to get the Core i7-3770 (non-K) to Overclock stable.
          Also managed to overclock the RAM up from the standard 1600 speed (but not very stable).

          So here are the current specs:
          —I named it the Hell-Box One (console killer)
          - 333GB Windows 10 Pro (with the spyware settings disabled)
          - 128GB OS X 10.11 (Hackintosh/El Capitan running stable)
          - 64GB Free boot slot partition

          Dell Optiplex 9010 SFF DeBadged
          Core i7-3770 (non-K, Overclocked to 4.3GHz)
          32GB-DDR3 (2133MHz)
          525GB SSD (2.5" 7mm) Crucial MX300
          2TB HDD (2.5" 7mm) SeaGate 5400rpm
          DVD/CD Writer 3.5" 10mm stock
          GPU: Intel's HD4000 iGPU
          Controller: Xbox One Slim Bluetooth
          - Total price so far (AUD): $0 +$5 +$90 +$148 +85 = AUD$325
          - It runs retroArch (neat), Kodi (meh), and Windows Media Centre (sweet !)

          - Can't really go any faster, besides a (limited) GPU upgrade
          - Only has USB-3.0, which is okay I guess, but not USB-C-ThunderBolt3 crazy
          - Lacks Wifi, I could install a slim from the miniPCIE slot, but that "free spot" is taken up by the HDD
          Although it sits close to the modem, to just plug in the Ethernet cable, and there are USB-Wifi Adapters too

          Future Upgrades:
          - Install Android (x86 PheonixOS) into the Free 64GB Partition
          - Install a Physical Switch to conveniently boot the OS of choosing without having to goto Bootloader Settings
          - Swap the DVD Writer for a ($90?) BluRay drive
          - Install a LowProfile GPU, the 4GB GTX 1050Ti ($170?) that uses only PCIE port for power

          - Aimed at Emulation (gotta get Pokemon).
          - It can do from Atari, Sega, NES, SNES, GBA, N64, PS1, PSP.
          - The iGPU struggles with PS2, DSi, Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U emulation.
          - It can do earlier titles without much tinkering.
          - It doesn't do modern games, maybe with tweaking but not really worth it.
          Almost got a 2GB GTX 750Ti-LP for very cheap, nice bang-for-buck, but it got sold before I could pick it up. Though, the system should have no trouble with these emulators once I put a Pascal in there. In terms of benchmarks, I think it will do 1080p/High Settings/60fps on modern titles such as Doom, GTA V, Watch Dogs 2, Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, BF1. So it should beat the PS4 Pro by a small margin, not too shabby. The bottleneck is now the visual latency to the TV.

          I recommend this one for $313, it could do with a PSU change, and install a Non-LP GPU that is slightly short/mini variant.
          It offers more options than the SFF variant, however, it doesn't blend in next to a TV like the beautiful SFF does.


          @Kangal: So that pc you recommended does it have a regular PCI slot? My pc case I had to hack it with a saw to fit a GPU in, I don't mind doing that if I have to. Or just get another cheap case. I want it to run modern games like you mentioned, Doom, GTA V etc on high.


        • +1 vote


          There's a lot 'Optiplex' gaming desktops featured on Youtube.


          It'll show you how to upgrade the system and they talk about limitations (mainly size constraints and power supply upgrades)



          The MT (Mid-Tower) has a Regular PCIE slot. However, the slot's far-back (right) position isn't fully open, so you can't fit a GIANT gpu in there. No KINGPINS. However, some regular, and practically all Mini-version GPUs will fit.
          The biggest problem with the MT is the PSU. Upgrade that first, test it, and then look into a GPU.

          The one I built also has a Regular PCIE slot… however, the slot's width (Z-axis) isn't open.
          Meaning if you put a regular GPU in there, the side panel will not close. And if you wanted to have a half-exposed PC, I wouldn't recommend it, and it will require some cutting of the mounting bracket. What will fit in there without a problem are LP (Low Profile) cards.

          If you want a list of some LP cards:
          GTX 750 (too old/slow)
          GT 1030 (cheap HDMI 2.0)
          RX 550 (meh)
          GTX 750Ti (bang-for-buck)
          RX 460 (meh)
          GTX 1050 (meh)
          GTX 1050Ti (best performance)

        • +1 vote

          @Kangal: When I see an sizeable comment like that I know it's Kangal.


          It's funny because its true!!

  • +2 votes

    A GTX 1060 won't be bottlenecked by an older Core i5 3570 system. Here's some proof….

    I did some benchmarks just to show you that i5 3570 can still play ball with a Ryzen 5 1600x — at least when it comes to gaming performance.
    Note: both systems are using the exact same graphics card, a factory overclocked GTX 1060 6GB from MSI. Both also have dual channel 8GB of RAM.

    As you can see, the framerates in Time Spy saw little to no improvements, although the Physics benchmarks were much better.

    Non-gaming benchmarks show a massive difference thanks to the Ryzens' additional two cores and 'hyperthreading'.

    So, don't look down on the ol' 3570 just yet, if you're on a tight budget there's nothing wrong with going for a used desktop.


      Agreed, the 2nd/3rd i5 and i7 CPUs are still perfectly capable of 1080p gaming. Running a i5 2500 and RX 480 8gb,only bottlenecking in very cpu intensive games looking at you battlefield 1.

  • +1 vote

    buy computer ebayu and put 1060 um 6gb neweggs


    haha bit confused now. Should I go with the pc kangal recommended? Is that going to be the best bang for buck for me? I'm also worried that the case will be too small for a 1060 and that I'd need another psu? Thanks guys


    Also what would be the best bang for buck 1060 gpu at the moment?


    • +1 vote

      There are two variants of the 1060, a 3GB model and a 6GB model.

      6GB gives you better performance when you're dealing with super high resolution textures. Doom could require 5GB of more of VRAM but that's only if you're really itching to see the game at it's best settings, but if you're not going to gawk at the graphics of the game you're playing, you could settle for the cheaper variant.

      we've seen it go as cheap as $291 with free shipping with ebay codes.


        I'm concerned with fitting it in the pc kangal recommended. Would it just be a matter of hacking the case, taking the side off or just getting a new case? Also would I have to upgrade the PSU? I'm about to watch those youtube vids thanks

        • +1 vote

          I'm not confident enough to say it will fit a full size dual slot GPU, (won't give you bad advice). You'll have to watch those videos and read the comments on YT to see if you will need a smaller GPU or a certain PSU.

          Here's a helpful video. It recommends not buying cards that are too long, so it'll make sense to buy a GPU that's as compact as possible.


          @scrimshaw: Thanks. I just bought the one kangal recommended. I thought it was slim form factor, but it was phat. So now I just need to chase down a GPU.

          Thanks guys


          @subywagon: Oh nice, since it's phat you can prob get away with using that case. It'll be a tight squeeze and no gurantee the GPU will actually fit in though. You might have to do some mods within the case as I know a lot of those OEM ones have weird metal plates in them or huge pieces of plastic you will have to get out of the way to install a GPU. Just need GPU + new power supply and you're set.

          3GB -
          6GB -


          @Agret: Yeah, my current pc I had to cut away some annoying metal plates with a reciprocating saw to fit the GPU in… and it was a gaming case apparently…

          I've got a month to do the rest of the build in, so hopefully a sale will come up for a GPU. Thanks for the links!

        • +2 votes

          You did the right thing going with the MT (Mid Tower), it will support many more PSU's and GPU's!!!
          I will say the one I have, SFF looks awesome much better, but its very limited and a asspain to work with. Wouldn't recommend it much.
          Here's what I want to show you, but someone has thankfully made a video:

          Ok, now the biggest limiter is the PSU.
          So that's the first thing we need to change.
          I recommend you check gumtree and eBay for any used/cheap ones (<$40). Or your local PC stores/scrapyards (<$20).
          Otherwise; we're basically looking for something like a 500W unit (15 x 14 x 9 cm) with at least +80% Bronze rating.
          Here's an example that should work well:

          Now is the fun part, the GPU.
          Couple months ago it was awesome cheap, and there were constant bargains.
          Now there's little to no bargains, and availability is spotty; thanks miners! We had RX 470's for $230, now they're $370. We had RX 580's for $300, now they're $500. We had 1060's for $260, now they're $550. We had 1070's for $500, now they're $620.
          But in terms of used:
          R9 290 (<$200)
          GTX 980 (<$300)

          And in terms of new:
          RX 470 (<$300)
          RX 570 (<$340)
          RX 480 (<$360)
          RX 580 (<$380)
          GTX 1060-6GB (<$400)
          …do note, the 3GB-1060 gives you better Bang-for-Buck and is fast enough to stay relevant for 5 years, however, I come from the future and in 5 years I tell you that card is disappointing because we have 4GB as the baseline memory for 1080p GPU's so it chokes memory constantly. Hence, why even older cards should ideally be 4GB rated.

          Again, here's an example that should work well:
          $399 EVGA SuperClocked GTX1060-6GB Mini

          edit: I found this on Clearance if anyone's interested


          @Kangal: Thanks for the help Kangal! Yeah, I thought the SFF looks awesome too, but I was worried about not having space and stuffing around too much. At the end of the day, the tower is going to be under the desk anyway.

          Yeah, I noticed all the bargains back then too. I was waiting for an awesome price on a 1070 for my current PC, I should have just bought a 1060 back then!

  • +1 vote

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but my pc is ruined. I have a thermaltake 550w psu and radeon 5850 gpu. I mainly play heroes of the storm/sc2/dota

    Could you guys recommend me a pc from ebay?

    I clicked the ebay link kangal provided, but seems gone now. Much thanks.

    • +1 vote

      Here's an alternative, also PINCH code.

      but unfortunately there is a shipping charge, so you will end up paying $354 dollars or something like that.

      It is slightly old but you should also consider buying some new parts and build a new PC. If those games are all you play, you could consider getting a Ryzen 3 (coming soon!) processor, 8GB of RAM and a budget B350 motherboard.

      I think it'll set you back:

      $140 for the CPU
      $60 for the RAM
      $85~100 for the motherboard

      Optionally $55 for a DeepCool Tesseract case if you don't have a case that has USB 3.0 ports.

    • +2 votes

      This is an absolute steal ($125 shipped). Can fit one of these low-profile 1050Ti's for $221 after discount with PINCH code (only consumes <75W so you shouldn't need to replace the power supply), and you've got a decent system (might want to add another 4GB RAM and perhaps an SSD), which should bring the total to ~$434. Have read of a few people running this sort of config (Optiplex 790 + 1050Ti) with no issues.

      Should have no trouble activating Windows with the key from your current PC.


        These are solid recommendations. That system is great value at $125, not as good as mine (literally free haha).
        + 1


        Hi thanks for that! One last thing, ill be connecting that pc to wireless, can you recommend me an ethernet adaptor?


          Wireless adapter? Depends really on how much you're willing to spend. What router have you got? I had one of these because I'm cheap and I can't differentiate between it and my A6200 as far as stability and general performance goes.

    • +1 vote

      No problem. I always think that threads like these help other people with their problems. Good luck!


      There's also this one:

      Although its not as good as the one I posted earlier/subywagon bought.
      It's still cheap at $160 (PINCH voucher). Though you might want to do some thrifty upgrades to it like a used Core i5/i7, cheap SSD, and no-name RAM.

      Also, scrimshaw is very knowledgeable… so if you message him, he can help you out too.


    I would look for a Dell Precision T1700 (4th Gen Intel i5/i7).

    Upgrade the PSU, RAM(if required), install SSD, and use anything up to GTX1080Ti in it without issues.

    Lately I've seen T1700's with i5 4570/4590, 4GB DDR3, HDD, selling for $250-$300 on Gumtree Perth.


    I bought one of the dell optiplex 9010s for my wife (maybe you guys will believe that because she sure doesn't) Added a 525gb mx300 ssd and the 1050ti low profile. This thing runs awesome! My personal computer has a gtx 970, to me the 1050ti is almost as good…..


    Im an occasional gamer only - just upgraded my own PC from an i5 2400 with xfire 6850's to an i7 3770s for $100 and a GTX670 for $85. Should be fine for most games on high at 1080p. Will certainly smash xbox and ps4. I should have got a 4gb 770 though - ($120)

    I personally recommend looking for a cheap, custom i3 system with a good case, decent MB, psu, and SSD - then upgrading the CPU and GPU. Go for an older gen higher end GPU imo as the new prices atm are ridiculous.

    I think you will get a better deal that way as not many buyers will consider the true value of a good case ($80) a good PSU ($150) and an SSD ($100).

    Used business pc's have very weak mainboard and really limits your potential. Avoid.

  • -1 vote

    Better off with a Pentium G4560 build. Without the GPU and SSD, you could do up a build for around $350 with 8GB of RAM. (~$300 would be comparison price as one you linked is 4GB)

    That way you get full warranty/consumer rights, a newer CPU, choice of case/PSU (though the ugly branded (ie thermaltake) combos are cheapest), etc.


    Well I think the PSU that came with the OptiPlex 9010 MT is 265W. There's no 6 pin PCI-E plug but I'm considering keeping the PSU and using one of these sata to 6 pin PCI-E cable adapters. Bad idea?

    Also a larger graphics card will hit the disk drive bay in the bottom right corner of the case. I'm considering removing (cutting out) the top half of the hard drive caddy cage thing so a larger card will fit. I'm concerned though if the car would clear the RAM. It seems pretty close but I can't tell until I cut out the caddy, but I don't really want to cut it out unless it's absolutely necessary! Does anyone know if a larger card will clear the RAM?

    I'm asking specifically, because I was loaned a card by a friend.


      The PSU is only 275watt, so I'll upgrade the PSU… just have to decide what to get!


      Heh, I drove south for a Dell 790 last weekend. Haven't done much to it yet. Can't find my W7 disc and don't wanna waste 3Gb downloading it.
      Might chuck Vista on for now.

      8GB ram /2TB HDD. According to BIOS log, was last used July 2014. Service tag (history on Dell site) says deployed June 2012. Two years; seems about right for Gov contract.

      Not sure on cards, but I'll be keeping stock PSU so the ti variant I suppose.

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