Description

Alright, when my GF moved in I always felt bad for her playing on her craptop while I was playing the same game (with her) but at much higher settings... So I dug out our old Dell XPS 8300 and started tearing it open!

When I opened up the case I was relieved to see it had plenty room for a GPU, I was only going to be having problems if I went for a triple fan card. I hadn't used the XPS 8300 for a long time, so I didn't really even know what it had under the hood. I saw an i7 sticker on the front so I got excited, but sadly its only got an 860 (first gen) :P It was advertised as a "full HD capable gaming computer" when I bought it, and it had a GTX 310 in it ROFL!

The board was bare-bones and dated, but it would do. PSU was crap, and the HDD was bad (wouldn't boot). Good thing there was a windows product key sticker on the case, because I had long since forgotten where I put the install discs!

It had 6GB 1333 RAM, not ideal... but it would work.

So, the stuff I needed was; HDD, PSU, and a GPU

When I started looking for a PSU newegg was just so happening to be trying to get rid of refurb CX600s so I manged to grab one for a measly $30! WITH FREE SHIPPING! I don't care how much flak the CX series gets, that is a hell of a deal lmao.

I found a 7850 on CL for $80, talked him down to $60. He was a cool dude, actually friends with him on steam now haha. He was upgrading to a 290x so he let it go for cheap.

And lastly I went to microcenter for the HDD and got the standard WD blue 1TB for $40.

The GF has always used her dual core pentium craptop for all her games, so the "massive power" of the 7850 blew her away rofl. She only plays on a res inbetween 720p / 1080p (only other monitor we had) so the 7850 actually does quite well once I overclocked the **** out of it. For a $130 upgrade I think I did pretty well!

=================

The only problem I had was that with the case only having a single 80mm fan as exhaust, the temps from the heavily overclocked 7850 really raised the overall board, GPU, and CPU temps. I solved this by utilizing the intake holes on the front of the case by mounting a 120mm fan inside right up-against the holes. The fan pulls air in through the holes right up off the floor and forces cool air throughout the case and towards the GPU.

This tiny upgrade actually dropped temps by over 5C. Well worth the thought. The 120mm fan was a stock fan that came with my 300R that I no longer used, so I didn't include it in the price.

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Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 6 points

Nice work mate! I love seeing old office PCs get a breath of new life.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

You could always tap some extra fan mounts if you needed to, or water cool the CPU to ease the inside temps. i7-860 is nothing to sneeze at, it may not be the fastest by todays standards but still meets the needs of most games. The only suggestion I would make is to get dual channel ram (not a huge performance boost due to having a GPU but still worth it), and to add a SSD (no rig is complete without one).

Good job mate.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I feel like that cpu was way ahead of its time when it was first released, in a good way.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

You should get a rag, some rubbing alcohol and wipe the outside of the case down.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Love it!

Good job giving an old pc a new lease on life.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice to see office PCs with decent specs get turned to gaming PCs. <3 +1

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree with MKC, glad to see an office pc turned gaming. And I like when builders reuse old parts!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I would see if you can overclock it, and if you can, buy an aftermarket cooler and go for it.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

If I could, I dont think id get very far on that board. But actually, the main bottleneck of this rig is the GPU! Wouldn't benefit all that much from a CPU OC as its main purpose is gaming :P

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

We still have an 8300 but with a i7-2600 and an R7770 1GB, works like a charm (granted, my mom uses it so I can do light gaming if my PC in the basement is in the process of being upgraded... lol)

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

2005: Now this can run Crysis 93! 2015: *cringe

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

?

  • 47 months ago
  • 0 points

"So I dug out our old Dell XPS 8300 ... I saw an i7 sticker on the front ..."

You just happen to have an i7 quad-core with hyperthreading laying around doing nothing? I find this hard to believe. If so, you must have too many electronics collecting dust that could be doing marvelous things. Either way, nice build. I plan to buy a refurb i7-860 machine for my GF to game on since her laptop is garbage and my old i5 is working as a media server.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The computer in this build had stopped working before I knew much about computers, so I figured it was totaled. When I built my first rig I was less educated than I am now when it comes to hardware, so even as I was building my new one I figured everything in the 8300 was worthless. A year or so later when I actually had a reason to build another one, I remembered the 8300 and began to investigate.

By that time I was pretty much an expert compared to how I started, so I knew right away it was more than enough for what we wanted from it.
Now that my GF is hooked onto PC gaming, we built her a new one. https://pcpartpicker.com/b/YnRG3C

The 8300 is still running all the same hardware but now its been donated to my mom so she can browse the web and play bejewled, lol. It can still run all the new games no problem, and my GF's mind was blown when she played on this rig after she was used to her dual core pentium laptop. Hopefully yours has a similar experience! Good luck.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, okay. Makes sense. I was once like that, before computer knowledge. I would have misc. parts stored away like PSUs and old Mobos. Now I take whatever computer I can find for free like people throwing computers in the garbage or people giving them away for free, because I eventually want a computer hooked up to every TV in the house for movie/music streaming since my i5 machine works as a media server/slight gaming (R7 250X is garbage but I wasn't smart at the time).

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Same! I've flipped multiple computers on craigslists just by throwing in a PSU and GPU and selling them as gaming computers.

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