Build from scraps

Hey all.  First post here so be gentle.


I have recently acquired a Dell Optiplex 780 from a going out of business sale.  It has a C2D 8400 with 4GB of 1333/DDR3.  Watched Logan's "Cheap Ass Gaming Rig" video and I got thinking that I could use what I have and save even more money.  I don't have the specs of the mobo so I dont know what memory it will support.  Also, the case is a small form factor case, so I wont be using that.

My question to you is, based on what I have, what would you suggest I do to get gaming again? 


Thanks to all in advance!

Just be a cheap ass and buy all the cheap ass parts. The Dell may not support DDR3, in which case you end up spending $100+ just for 4 GB of DDR2. I thought about upgrading my rig for gaming, then realized I would have a huge headache and spend just as much as I would on a brand new rig without any performance increase. So, I just bought new parts and build the damn thing. You should too.

Woah woah... I did not give you permission to use my name in your thread title!

It has DDR3 in it now, I just dont know how fast the mobo will support.  Currently has 1333 on it. I guess Im just wondering if the proc is worth it and if so, where to go from here.

My appologies.  No seriously, I mean it! (Where is the, "I'm not being a dick, just sarcastic" flag?)

UPDATE:  I have a system speced out if nobody can suggest any decent upgrades to this system.  Also, the mobo only supports 1333 4GB max there's that.

lol @ scraps, I actually read this thread name in my head as "build for scraps"

its a decent build, what do want to play and how much cash do you have

Top three games right now are Skyrim, Forge and I want to get back into EVE.  I can spend a few hundred on upgrades or I may just build the Cheap Ass rig from Logan.  Would prefer to use what I have if it is worth it.

So what I have found out, by researching other mobos to put the C2D onto is that it will still only support 1333 RAM.  Can anyone help me in confirming or debunking this?

look at my specs, (e7300, gigabyte p45 MB with ddr3), I played new games with no problem, the hd 4870 is almost equivalent to a gtx 460 (550 ti), and few games get bottlenecked from CPU (and I don't play them :P). Yes it supports up to 1600 (and up depends on motherboard), and the e8400 has 400 fsb so you should be fine. I overclock sometime too but I'm most stable when using the default multiplier (I guess it's the motherboard). I reccomend a P45 or X48 or nvidia chipsets.

you'll be fine on your CPU and such, just get a really good GPU, but don't spend all your money on it so you can upgrade your motherboard and CPU later on, You'll need a better PSU too

This GPU and this PSU 

After you saved up a couple hundred then you should get an updated motherboard and CPU, and ram as well

I would look into Set FSB or Nvidia Tools with ESA support if you have a Nvidia board, and up the FSB by 7


The FSB is not 400 on the e8400 it is 333 or Quad Data Rate of 1333 thus only supporting 1333 ram, if you have a board that overclocks you can OC to 400 QDR of 1600 but he has a dell, so he'll have to use Set FSB or Nvidia tools with ESA support and get minor OCs because he won't be able to change voltages

so witha FSB of 340 that will bring you to 1360 on your ram freq, surely it can handle that.


Thanks very much for the suggestions.  I was really just wanting to know if the CPU and RAM were sufficient or what was needed to make them sufficient.  You cleared it up perfectly....and then you started talking about OC.  I havent done any OC to date but am absolutly interested in becoming familliar with it.

its not lagging to far behind a sandybridge pentium Dual core


now when you get into higher levels of overclocking, you have to worry about temps and voltages and a bunch of complicated stuff, but since your running a dell, you won't be able to change most of that, which means you won't get a very high OC which means you probably won't have to worry about temps getting too high

a CPU has its core freq. for the e8400 its 3Ghz, deeper than that it has its Front Side Bus, nearly everything runs off this, so when changing this changes a lot of things.

the FSB for the e8400 is 333Mhz, for its Qaud Data Rate (QDR) its the FSB times 4, that is which the speed your ram runs at, in this case 1333Mhz

now you get your core freq. by the FSB times the CPU core multiplier, in this case its 9


so when you change your FSB from 333 to 340 it changes the core from 3Ghz to 3.06Ghz and the ram to 1360, now that isn't much, but it will be better than stock


you can probably raise the FSB higher than 7, but I would not raise it higher than 15 (348) because you might not have enought voltage pumping to it and you ram might not run stable at that point, but no permanent damage will occur you're OCing in software, the worst that will happen is that you have to go in safemode and disable the settings on boot up


some tools and information

good info dude, i'd give you rep or something, but here's some consolation text-gratitude.

Outstanding post Gig.  Thanks again.  Having this info and the product suggestions saves me about $150 over the rig I had speced.  HUGE help.