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Old Jan 25, 2015, 02:13 PM   #1
tevion5
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Location: UCD, Ireland
A free gaming rig for college?

My university has thrown out some great stuff for me this year, including a fully specced out Power Mac G4 Quicksilver (2002), complete with monitor! Every so often they put all their garbage bound stuff in a heap under the stairs in the Computer Science building where I attend lectures, and I am allowed to take whatever I like!

Anyway, this week, they were throwing out around 20 Dell PC's. I don't usually get excited about early 2000's Dimensions, but there was some gold hidden in there. The only two things that caught my eye were a Dell PowerEdge 2600 enterprise server, and a Dell Optiplex 780 (The fat one).

As a networking nut, I was eager to get the old but formidable PowerEdge back to my room. (My friends helped me carry the 45KG beast balanced on my bike!). However, while most everything I get from "The Pile" is outdated and only interests me as a tinkerer and collector, the Optiplex 780 was a very late Core 2 Duo PC with 8GB RAM, PCI-E and Windows 7. They had even left the 500GB drive inside, unwiped! (I will do a fresh install of Windows).

It is still a very useful computer in an office in 2015, being only around 4 years old. I am wondering now what to do with this machine. In my college room, my main setup is my MBP hooked up to an Apple Cinema Display. I do my work, audio production and general entertainment with this. However, my MBP is no gaming machine in the slightest. At home I have a powerful gaming PC, but up in college I'm starved for a steam library.

What do you think I should do with this thing? It has a weak Radeon HD 3450 in it for now, but with 8GB RAM and 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, pairing it with a cheap second hand albeit more modern card (say, 50-60 at the most?) could turn it into a machine well suited to Counter-Strike:GO or other medium tier games. Plus, it might be handy to have a Windows system at my disposal for development purposes. Or do you think it would be better to sell it?

I still can't believe I got such a modern machine for free!

Last edited by tevion5; Jan 26, 2015 at 03:06 AM.
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Old Jan 26, 2015, 02:54 AM   #2
Dirtyharry50
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An old dual core PC isn't worth anything really in terms of resale. However, it sounds like for cheap money it could provide a nice value for you. I'd keep it and toss a midrange video card in there which should open up plenty options for games on Steam that aren't too demanding.
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Old Jan 26, 2015, 03:01 AM   #3
tevion5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtyharry50 View Post
An old dual core PC isn't worth anything really in terms of resale. However, it sounds like for cheap money it could provide a nice value for you. I'd keep it and toss a midrange video card in there which should open up plenty options for games on Steam that aren't too demanding.
I was pretty much leaning this way alright. Half to hear the same idea from someone else. PC's don't have Mac resale value of course. It can be a gaming rig away from gaming rig.
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Old Jan 26, 2015, 04:32 AM   #4
Wardenski
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As said before, put a mid-range GPU in there and maybe a cheap SSD for the OS.

Personally, I would avoid the "low end" GPUs since the mid-range cards offer much better performance for the price.

e.g rant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sph6cjJeRdI
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