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Offline Sim_8_3  
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 20, 2016 4:24:52 AM(UTC)
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I'm thinking about buying an old maybe Dell Optiplex 390 and fully upgrading it, I can get them for around $60-75 and upgrade will probably cost close to hundred or so, has anyone done something like this? I realize that the motherboards being as old as they are, they probably can't take more than first gen CPUs and maybe DDR3 memory, so I don't know if this is the right route to go since I need to build something I can play at least 30 FPS games mostly RTS occasionally faster to stream off, any thoughts?

Thanks

Offline Blackhawk8100  
#2 Posted : Saturday, August 20, 2016 2:40:00 PM(UTC)
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Most of those systems you'll find (and I've done my research, trust me) have older Core 2 Duo or Pentium processors, however, if you want to go down that route, go for it. Generally, if found in bulk, it is old school computers being tossed/sold out. Craiglist will be your friend in this case :D
Offline digitaldd  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 4:50:39 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Sim_8_3 Go to Quoted Post
I'm thinking about buying an old maybe Dell Optiplex 390 and fully upgrading it, I can get them for around $60-75 and upgrade will probably cost close to hundred or so, has anyone done something like this? I realize that the motherboards being as old as they are, they probably can't take more than first gen CPUs and maybe DDR3 memory, so I don't know if this is the right route to go since I need to build something I can play at least 30 FPS games mostly RTS occasionally faster to stream off, any thoughts?

Thanks

Biggest limitation will be the power supply and the available cooling. If you plan to add a videocard you'll find the power supply is under powered for most of the cards you might want to add and/or you don't have enough extra connectors to connect to the video card. Also Dell uses a lot of proprietary fans, heatsinks and shrouds which may cause you to run into overheating issues if you upgrade the CPU beyond a certain level.

On the small form factor models you might find that you can't put a faster CPU on them due to thermal issues even though the chipset and hardware support said chips. Also the max memory in the small form factor models will be gimped as opposed to the same model in desktop flavor. say the desktop version of the system supports up to 16GB RAM max the SFF may only support 4 or 8..

Offline jacobwilliam1985  
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 25, 2016 1:37:42 PM(UTC)
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Anybody who doubts that mainstream PC sizes are a function of underlying form factors should harken back to the AT and Baby AT designs of the late-'80s through mid-'90s. These 386-era behemoths were immensely popular but saddled designers with certain problems, such as a large chunk of the motherboard resting under the drive cage. The smaller you tried to build the system, the less convenient the machine became to work with. Killing boards by not inserting the power cables correctly was another minor problem.

When one talks about media center PCs, the assumption is that one means a mini-tower in an office setting and a CE-friendly desktop design in the living room. Strictly speaking, these aren't really small form factors, although the sleek styling from case manufacturers like Antec and SilverStone sure make you think twice. Fortunately, microATX does allow for some size shavings beyond these dimensions.

Offline Sim_8_3  
#5 Posted : Friday, August 26, 2016 5:07:25 AM(UTC)
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All great food for thought, I'll have to reconsider my limited options, thanks guys.
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