PC rebuild


Is it cheaper to rebuild my PC, or buy a new one?
Looking to upgrade my 6 year old PC. Or buy a new one.

I don’t do video, photo, audio editing.

I have an MSI P41-C31 Intel G41 Socket 775 MB w/ duel core E5400 CPU
5400 RPM HDD
nvidia 9400 gt

Only games I want to play is GTA 5 and the new Forza, if Forza doesn’t fit my budget, but I want play GTA 5 at the minimum.
To play Forza would probably be over $700. So that’s probably out.

So I would need a descret GPU.
If I buy, I do not want and pripertary parts or connectors. If I need to fix or add something, I want to be able to use off the shelf parts.

What I need, AMD or Intel, doesn’t matter. I’m not brand loyal.
USB 3 ports.
At least 250GB SSD.
Intergrated audio is fine.

At this point I’m not worried about 4k, but in the future I may do a 4k. So at least the MB and CPU can support 4k. I can always switch out the GPU later on then.

With Windows 10. I’ll be using the insiders preview. Like I have been for the last year with no issues.
If I rebuild, I would be reusing the 600W power supply, keyboard and mouse, DVD drive, and(maybe) the case, or maybe pick up an inexpensive case.
The case I have is an Apevia X-Pleasure Black Aluminum AXT Mid-Tower Case. Which, I hate that stupid door the hinge broke. It’s hard to dust it all the way and keep it clean, the vents are a pain in the ass to clean.
I also want(I don’t know what it’s called), where if I need to change the SSD or add more storage. I can pull on a draw to slide out the drive. So I won’t have to open up the case. I can just press a button and open up the drive bay doors.

All for under $300.

When it comes to mother boards and video cards, I don’t know what to look for, besides just looking at the recommended specs for the CPU and GPU.
What’s the difference betweem a regular MB and a gaming MB?

Is it possible to but it for $300?

Comments (12)

12 responses to “PC rebuild”

  1. 180

    Well, that's some ancient history you're running right there. I would highly recommend replacing the whole thing, including the power supply. More modern CPUs have various low power modes that will fail and cause the system to crash or lead to instability (or even not start) if the PSU doesn't support the new standards, and my guess is the PSU there is 6 or 7 years old now? The capacitors will be on their way out, and you don't want to start replacing components only to fry them with an old power supply. Replace it.

    You can't get there from here. Not for $300, and play GTA V. But we can maybe get you close, if you can spend a little more and wait for rebates:

    Step down on the PSU. You don't need 600W, modern computer hardware sips power in comparison to what you have before. You can go down to 500W, maybe even 400W. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027 is $50 down to $30 with rebate.

    For gaming I'd recommend an i5 minimum to get true quad cores, but you can't afford one. i3s start at $120, http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=core+i3&ignorear=0&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    $55 cheap motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132735&cm_re=socket_1151-_-13-132-735-_-Product

    8GB DDR4 for $38 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313770&cm_re=8gb_ddr4-_-20-313-770-_-Product

    Samsung's 750 EVO is a great value SSD. 250GB is $80 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA12K4819911&cm_re=samsung_750_evo-_-9SIA12K4819911-_-Product

    $323 total. You won't run GTA V on it, but you can add a GTX 950 for $120 after rebate in a few months. This is what I'd do in your situation.

    • 1377

      In reply to Polycrastinator:

      Bit of a tangent, and I could do the research myself, but I'm lazy.

      With no moving parts, do SSDs use less power than HDDs with mechanical parts? If so, what's the difference? Isn't the main power use in higher-end PCs for the fan and cooling system?

      • 180

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        SSDs do use less power than HDDs, but HDDs themselves don't use a lot of power, it's a tiny proportion of the system, a few watts. The main power sinks are the processors themselves and, when you have one, the GPU. The CPU on a system will typically use 50-100 watts - that's just the chip itself - with AMD producing a chip that uses 220W! GPUs will often come in between 150 and 200W (although that's for the whole card, not just the chip). Those big tower coolers don't use a ton of power. It doesn't take a lot to spin a fan fast. But with so much electricity going through a small piece of silicon, you need a big cooler to stop the damn thing from lighting on fire.

    • 5496

      In reply to Polycrastinator:

      I had to look, I thought is was 600 watts. But it's 700W.

      It's http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171037

      What do you look for a PSU. What should I be looking for? Besides the connectors.

      Why can't I reuse mine. The one that you showed is like a year or 2 newer then mine.

      More then likely I will look for a CPU/MOBO combo. Maybe see if I can find a RAM/MOBO/CPU combo, most likely I can't. 


      What's that site that you pick out parts, and it tells you if they are compatable with each other?


      How about nucs. Can I be able to play GTA V on one of those?

      • 180

        In reply to lordbaal1:

        So I had a quick look over things. Basically, the problem is that with Haswell (4th generation Core Processors), Intel introduced a couple of new sleep states, C6 and C7 that can drop the CPU power usage as low as 0.5A. The problem is that before Haswell, a lot of PSUs were taking power from the 12V rail and converting it for the 3.3V and 5V rail, and if the CPU power usage dropped that low while there was still significant load on the 3.3V and 5V rail, the 12V rail voltage would spike out of acceptable tolerances. Your power supply is pre-Haswell, and it is not on the compatibility list.

        All of that said, you can just go into the BIOS and disable the C6 and C7 sleep states. It should work. My real concern is that PSUs don't last forever, and they're the thing that's powering everything else in your rig. The older they get the less reliable, and personally, I'd just rather get something new that's fully compatibile and which I know won't give up the ghost because it's too old, potentially taking other hardware with it at the same time. Capacitors don't last forever.

        The site you're thinking of is PC Part Picker.

        NUCs in your price range won't run GTA V, and have the down side of not really being all that upgradable. They're great little office machines, but I don't think they're what you're looking for here.

  2. 1377

    If your machine has 4GB RAM and you believe you need 8GB, can you upgrade it to 8GB? If not, it'd seem you need a new machine.

  3. 1996

    If you have all those components you can re-use, I would recommend you just buy the parts you need if you are comfortable putting them together.

    CPU and motherboard support for 4k does not matter unless you use an integrated GPU.  Most modern discrete GPU's can handle 4k in Windows.  Keep in mind a HDMI 1.4 display will only handle that at 24 Hz.  You'll need HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4 support in your display and GPU if you want 4k at 60 Hz.  Also, 4k gaming is not going to happen unless you fork over a lot for a much nicer GPU.  You should be able to watch video at 4k, though.

    What is the exact model of your power supply?  You need to find out to make sure it will be compatible with a modern motherboard.  Most of them require a 24-pin 12V EPS conntector.

    You don't need a gaming motherboard.  This usually means it has overcloking features as well as higher quality components which make overclocking more stable.

    Also, $300 is slightly low for a motherboard, CPU, RAM, and graphics card.  I put together a build.  It's $400, but I believe meets all your other requirements.  It includes a 4 GB GPU since GTA5 loves graphics memory.


    Here's how the GPU handles GTA5.  Please keep in mind they are using a much higher-end CPU, so your FPS will be lower.


    If this is too much money and you can't wait to save up the additional $100, you could try your luck on eBay or Craigslist for used parts.

    Good luck!

  4. 4563

    Like you said you can probably keep the power supply since 600w should probably be ok.

    A gaming motherboard will allow you to overclock your cpu to get better performance out of it. With overclocking you are also looking at spending more on cooling so that will drive your cost up.

    I don't think you can build much for 300.

    I would recommend something like i5-6500 or i5-6600K Intel skylake CPUs  (low 200$ range for CPU only). An ok MB will probably cost around 120-160.


  5. 5496

    if it is going to cost me more then $300, I would just buy an Xbox one S.

    that's why I said I wanted do it for $300.

    I just upgrade my pc with a SSD. Cause I think my hdd is starting to go bad.

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