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Old 12-21-2021, 08:34 PM   #1
shovenose
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Default Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Alright folks, today I present my latest "build", consisting of mostly spare parts with a few things off eBay.

Parts List and Pricing

CPU: 3/0GHz 4C/4T Intel Core i5-7400. Nothing exciting here, got it off eBay for $80.

RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR4-2400. Had it floating around. Free.

Motherboard: Gigabyte B250M-Gaming 3. Because I had it floating around and the model number contains gaming so it must be better, right? Free.

Storage: 240GB WD Easystore SSD. As far as I know, it's just the Best Buy rebadge of the WD Green 240GB SSD. But, who cares, at least it's not a mechanical hard drive and it was either that or waste a 500GB WD Blue SSD on this PC and that wasn't gonna happen. Free.

Video Card: nVidia Tesla C2050 3GB. Well now this is an interesting one. It's basically a slightly worse GTX480 but with more VRAM... and it arrived DOA. The eBay seller is shipping me another. In the meantime I got the defective one to work by ghetto-reflowing it with my generic Amazon SMD rework station heatgun thing. So, assuming the replacement one works out of the box and this one stays working and they don't want it back, I'll have got two GPUs for $40. So we'll say this one cost me $20.

PSU: 300W Delta DPS-300AB-36B (Dell OEM PSU) This one is courtesy of Topcat. I bought a Dell Vostro from him and this was thrown in. He did a very nice job recapping it before shipping it out and I replaced the stock 80mm fan with a Noctua I had floating around because why not? For price, well, $10 is how much a Noctua NF-R8 is worth, a few bucks for the capacitors although I didn't personally pay for them, and $7 for two SATA to PCI-E power adapters gets us to $20.

Case: Rosewill SRM-01B MicroATX. This came with an 80mm in the front, which I replaced with a random used 120mm fan. While the Newegg listing boasts "Build an office PC within the compact and sturdy steel mini tower computer case. Enjoy lasting performance, a spacious interior and versatility for all your current hardware and future upgrades." I think what they meant to say is... why is there still a 90s-style 80mm fan cutout above the CPU cooler area on the side panel and why is there still an optical drive bay? Anyway, since I had it just sitting here, although it cost $30 originally, we'll say this one was free.

CPU Cooler: China RGB CPU Cooler. This is by far the "best" part. Advertised as having "superb cooling performance: Aluminum Fin permutations and combinations of science, with enhanced air duct system, cooling performance is more superior" this cooler also has "Quiet design: the outer and inner quiet move to achieve the perfect combination of performance and silent." Sadly it didn't include thermal paste, so I used a dab of Noctua NT-H1. Price: $14.

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64. Didn't bother with activation, the not activated message in the bottom right isn't a deal breaker. Price: Free.

So, in total, this PC cost $134. Given I could probably sell it for at least that much, I have no complaints yet.

The Build

Overall, assembly was easy, with no fitment issues. In fact, reflowing the GPU took longer than the entire rest of the build process. As you can see by the photos at the bottom of this post, I took cable management very seriously... not.

The CPU cooler came with no instructions, but it was easy enough to figure out. It's not particularly secure but given that it weighs about the same as a pill bottle I'm not concerned about it falling off. The RGB LEDs are a joke, since the included fan is 3-pin only (a PWM fan would have cost too much, duh) and so unless you're running it at full blast/12V only a few of the LEDs come on somewhat dim and flickery. This bothered me so I put a different random non-RGB 92mm fan on there. Temps maxed out at 57C after several hours of [email protected], so, hey, it works.

I wasted a lot of time troubleshooting the video card before simply attempting to reflow it and getting it working. The latest drivers off the nVidia website listed for the card refused to install, however Windows Update came through and installed some drivers from 2015. Good enough!

Testing, Benchmarks and Gaming, Part 1/2

Unigine Valley: at 1280x720 with quality: low and all other settings at default, we benchmarked at a respectable 89.8FPS average with a benchmark score of 3759 points.

FurMark: Technically 0FPS since the 300W PSU nopes out on us and reboots almost instantly. I guess I'll swap in a larger PSU and continue testing. To be continued...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20211221_182543.jpg (259.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 20211221_182556.jpg (137.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 20211221_183304.jpg (239.4 KB, 14 views)
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Old 12-22-2021, 12:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Testing, Benchmarks and Gaming, Part 2/2

Overwatch was perfectly playable and enjoyable at Low settings at 60Hz/1080P. Only once in the whole match did it stutter for a moment.

GTA V at "Normal" settings at 60Hz/1080P was also perfectly playable. No hiccups at all! Sure this game is a few years old but it's not exactly known for being easy on the PC...

Conclusion

Can you build a gaming PC that can manage 60FPS at 1080P for $150 even with the current GPU shortage situation? Yes!

Edit: And that cheap China RGB LED fan is pretty cool... at full 12V.
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File Type: jpg 20211221_191318.jpg (103.5 KB, 10 views)
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Old 12-22-2021, 12:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Keep in mind quite a lot of that was free parts, not everyone has friends

Also not everyone has parts 'floating around'
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Old 12-22-2021, 01:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Yes, I need some stuff to float my way.
Five finger discounts don't count.
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Old 12-22-2021, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

The 300w PSU is definitely pushing it a bit (which it looks like you already found this out) given how inefficient that GPU is (looks like nVidia rates it at 238w max draw), otherwise looks pretty decent for a mostly "stuff I had laying around/got cheap build).

A GPU that old is likely to hold the rest of the parts back, but I know the GPU market is nuts right now.
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Old 12-22-2021, 10:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

I always thought the 'tesla' cards had no video outputs on them; as they were tailored for mining cryptocurrency....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Keep in mind quite a lot of that was free parts, not everyone has friends
I'm still waiting on a V5500...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Also not everyone has parts 'floating around'
...but some do!!
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Old 12-22-2021, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I always thought the 'tesla' cards had no video outputs on them; as they were tailored for mining cryptocurrency....
Most don't, kind of surprising for one to have an output. They aren't so much for cryptocurrency mining specifically (though they are often used for that these days) as high-performance processing in general. At work we have some servers loaded a bunch of Tesla cards to run our voice analytics platform (which goes through all the customer service call recordings, coverts to text, and looks for patterns, etc.).
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Old 12-22-2021, 12:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
At work we have some servers loaded a bunch of Tesla cards to run our voice analytics platform (which goes through all the customer service call recordings, coverts to text, and looks for patterns, etc.).
Wow, that sounds pretty cool actually!
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Old 12-22-2021, 01:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Wow, that sounds pretty cool actually!
This is what we use: https://www.nice.com/engage/nexidia-...ter-analytics/
it is a fairly interesting rabbit hole (and most major companies have something like it, so anytime you make a customer service call they're getting a ton of data from it).
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spare Parts + eBay's Finest = Worst Gaming PC of 2021?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovenose View Post
Testing, Benchmarks and Gaming, Part 2/2

Overwatch was perfectly playable and enjoyable at Low settings at 60Hz/1080P. Only once in the whole match did it stutter for a moment.

GTA V at "Normal" settings at 60Hz/1080P was also perfectly playable. No hiccups at all! Sure this game is a few years old but it's not exactly known for being easy on the PC...


Edit: And that cheap China RGB LED fan is pretty cool... at full 12V.

I've grown to like the side HDD/SSD "pan" that your case (and others, Fractal?) use. Makes for a nice tunnel for intake air, when/if you install front fan(s).

At least scrounge up a rear exhaust fan; unless the power supply fan ramps up, your "radiator fan" could end up recirculating.
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