I’ve been using PC since the early days. Got first one at age 12. Today this might not be something special, but back at those days it kinda was. Those who know what it is Intel 80486 with 33Mhz and 8Mb of RAM will understand me. My PC didn’t even have a sound card, but still playing Doom 2 was something to remember!
One of the more major upgrades was close to school graduation, where I got at that time beast (at least to my eyes) AMD Duron 800Mhz with 256Mb of Ram and Nvidia GeForce 2MX, where I already tried first more modern 3D games like GTA 3. After the Doom 2 graphics were unbelievable!
Then, I have started my studies and PC was inconvenient so I decided to move to the laptop form-factor and stayed with it until basically now.
Gaming was replaced with Xbox 360, then Xbox One, but always I had some secret wish to go back to PC gaming, but that move didn’t have much material rationale… So I never did.
At least, until COVID-19 quarantine began I had plenty of time being at home! And to kill extra time I started growing an idea of building a PC.
I will skip my thinking process, how I ended up with this build, but it was plenty of thinking and calculations to end up with probably the best value for my needs.
I had few criteria initially:
- Should be cheaper than 500 EUR
- Should play modern games at high settings at 1080p/60FPS
- Should be able to serve as a video editing machine for 1440p videos
- Should be the best value for the buck
I have ended up with this:
- Case+Motherboard: Dell Precision T3600 (150 EUR)
- CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 8C/16T (80 EUR)
- GPU: Nvidia GTX-1060 6Gb (110 EUR)
- RAM: 32Gb of DDR3 ECC RAM (16Gb came with T3600, another 16 +40EUR)
- SSD1: Toshiba XG3 M.2 NVMe 256Gb (50 EUR)
- HDD1: Seagate Barracuda 2Tb (50 EUR)
- SSD2: Samsung 830 256Gb (free, came with T3600)
- Cables, adapters, thermal paste ~20EUR
- Total: ~500 EUR (all prices include shipping)
All parts were used except HDD and cables/adapters. Here how this thing looks:
And here are some benchmarks:
And here is some game-play using this build:
As you see above, it’s nothing spectacular, but quite a decent build. Games run well at Ultra/Very high settings 1080p/60fps. PC handles 1440p video editing smoothly. Windows and standard apps just fly. So I’m happy with the build, which I think also came up reasonably priced. I believe for the money it’s possible to have an equivalent new gaming rig, but I think it would be much more difficult to achieve workstation-like hardware with 32Gb RAM; 8core CPU and NVMe for the money. Let me know what do you think or what you would do differently.
For those of you who will be thinking about the similar build (or at least using T3600 as a basis), few of my lessons:
- This doesn’t work with Radeon cards, Nvidia only
- It’s hard to boot NVMe SSD, but doable following manuals online here and here.