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Question Refreshing Old PC - What would you do? $20 for i5, $40 for i7 (SB)

blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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I've got one last old PC in the house and I am dressing it up for... some reason? Boredom?

Anyway, I just got a $50 GTX 1050 from Craigslist that is currently on a ~48 cool down in my garage and now I am turning my focus to the CPU.

IVB support on this board is spotty *at best* with many complaints online about it never properly supporting IVB, so getting a SB based CPU is likely the low risk option.

One does not simply walk into eBay and buy i5/i7 processors - I've found it much more budget friendly to shop for somewhat arcanely named Xeons that likely have been recycled in huge numbers and are on sale in big patches from recycling companies. Even prices on these have increased sharply in the last few weeks, hunting turns up old listings still available.

I've got these options, all prices include shipping:

E3 1225 ($18) - HD 3000 Graphics, 3.1/3.4 Ghz, 4C/4T
E3 1230 ($35) - No Graphics, 3.2/3.6 Ghz, 4C/8T
E3 1245 ($42) - HD 3000 Graphics, 3.3/3.7, 4C/8T

I think the value of the 1225 is just so solid... but I think it would be fairly easy to recoup the extra investment into the 8T parts... I think the $7 is probably worth so it could be used without a video card and get that last little bit of clockspeed...

What would you do and why? (a very small curse on you if you go snipe my watch listed CPUs :p)
 
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Shmee

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I would go with the 1245 do to both higher clocks, and integrated graphics. 2nd choice would be the 1230, but I would highly recommend spending the money on one of the 8T parts either way.
 
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blckgrffn

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If you want an old Sandy Bridge, why not head over to the For Sale/For Trade forum here and put out feelers for a proper 2600k?
Those regularly bring $65 or more and are really the same CPU... why pay more for the same thing? For resale, I am pretty sure Xeon even sounds as fancy as i7. I’d feel a little bad sniping an i7 from someone undervaluing it. I guess I could see if someone wanted $40 for a 2600k here vs dealing with eBay...

Shmee - I was trying to talk myself into being convinced was worth it for the 8T parts at this point in time too, and I prefer the video built in since it’s a Z68 board and otherwise the onboard ports don’t work and it can be confusing/annoying if they don’t. Thanks for backing that.

Right now it’s an i3 2100 (pretty classic budget CPU which actually replaced a G620 years ago) and even that $18 Xeon would be effectively 100% better between the extra cores, cache and frequency boost potential.
 

blckgrffn

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Overclocks. They hit 5 GHz on air, frequently. Not sure if the Xeons can be hacked to overclock fully.
That’s fair, I am just not going to pay a premium for that. I can set the Xeons to run all the cores at the single core turbo frequency, but I have a stock i7 cooler at the moment and a case that is a limiting form factor so I don’t see pushing anything that would take additional voltage.
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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I've got one last old PC in the house and I am dressing it up for... some reason? Boredom?
Excellent! I've got a pair of Asus H81 ITX boards with 4 SATA ports (only two SATA6G though), PCI-E x16 (2.0?), and a pair of G3258 CPUs. Only have a pair of 2x2GB DDR3-1600 RAM for them, wish I had a couple of 2x8GB kits still. Sold / used most of my big kits of RAM on "bigger iron".

Just need some case/PSU (Newegg has a Rosewill combo case/PSU for $49.99 right now, and the 400W PSU claims to have *two* PCI-E 6+2-pin connectors! Whoa!), and some GPUs (could re-use my RX 580 and RX 470 "mining edition", with only DVI-D output), and could give/sell cheaply, as a last-years gaming rig, or something for kids to stay home and play around on fairly cheaply. I figure the whole shebang is going to be around $350 worth with a 480GB SATA SSD bought before the rise in prices, probably sell the whole thing for less than that.

I have a open question, on how (older) games (e-sports, mostly), will play, on a rig with only 4GB of DDR3, with a GPU with 4GB of GDDR5, considering whether or not Windows mirrors GPU RAM in system RAM, and using the SATA SSD for paging. (Darn, I wish I had some more 2x8GB kits of DDR3. Maybe I'll break down and buy them, and make these rigs worth $400. Only problem is, they're not quad-cores, but I could drop in some i5-4570K CPUs too.)

So yeah, I'm in the same boat, kinda. Just looking for a project. Sorry to interrupt your thread.
 
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VirtualLarry

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but I would highly recommend spending the money on one of the 8T parts either way.
To answer your question, OP, I totally concur. For a gaming rig that has older parts, and has any chance of playing modern titles, more than 4 threads would be VERY useful, IMHO.

My rigs are going to have 2C/2T, so not really useful other than e-sports titles with low requirements.

Right now it’s an i3 2100 (pretty classic budget CPU which actually replaced a G620 years ago) and even that $18 Xeon would be effectively 100% better between the extra cores, cache and frequency boost potential.
That's a good point too, as far as not throwing good money after bad, the $18 Xeon would most likely be a fairly sizable upgrade already.

One thing to consider, however, is PC ports of games written for the soon-to-be-released consoles, that are going to be 8C, at a minimum. Having a CPU with 8T might allow those games to boot, and play with minimal settings, versus possibly not being able to run at all. (We've seen that before, with some games that were so poorly ported, they wouldn't even launch on less than 4T CPUs, and wouldn't even run at all on the G3258, which otherwise had enough performance once OCed to 4.0Ghz or above, because of the lack of CPU threads, and poor programming on the port, being inflexible.) Hopefully, the industry has learned its lesson about thread counts and PC CPUs and poor ports. But who knows? Maybe they hire some teenager from India to do the port in a day for them for pocket change. Could happen. (Not trying to be racist or anything, just obliquely referring to the common practice of "outsourcing" coding.)
 
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SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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e3 1230 v2 if possible,
the ivy bridge has a decent power use reduction, also it will perform higher than the base clock comparison since the turbo is a little higher and there is a small ipc increase, the 30 v2 performs like the 70 "v1" or a little better and it saves some power.
 

DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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e3 1230 v2 if possible,
the ivy bridge has a decent power use reduction, also it will perform higher than the base clock comparison since the turbo is a little higher and there is a small ipc increase, the 30 v2 performs like the 70 "v1" or a little better and it saves some power.
Ivy Bridge doesn't work reliably on his board.
 

SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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Ivy Bridge doesn't work reliably on his board.
that sounds odd, it should support it or not with 1155 afaik,
in any case, if it's not possible,

I would go with the 1230 (cheap and HT) or e3 1270 (still cheap and basically a 2600 with no igp)

IGPs are fine but HD3000 is really not great, Intel didn't even bother making new drivers for Win10 (there are working drivers, but OpenGL is not totally functional)
 

Shmee

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He already has the GTX 1050, so the onboard graphics isn't really necessary, just an added bonus. That said, which board do you have? As mentioned another option would be a 2600k with a light OC.
 

blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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Thanks for the feedback all here. I was hoping to create some discussion.

Here's the deal, the 2600k and 1230v2's are regularly $70+. I am trying to decide if ~15% performance increase from a 1225 to a 1245 is worth $25 where the first step from what I have costs $18 and is an increase of 100+%. We are way into diminishing returns on this, especially when gains are based on overclocking.

I am likely aiming at selling this rig for ~$250 on Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace if I am not giving it to a friend or family member. The thing is I am thinking Fortnight, Starcraft 2, Apex Legends and other games the GTX 1050 can really handle aren't really going to care about the those extra threads anyway? For general use, I am not convinced that those threads will really be something you can feel with the seat of your pants? My wife has been using a 3570k for... well, forever and it doesn't seem like it's doing terribly in day to day usage and light gaming (like Borderlands GOTY :D)
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Starcraft 2 is at most a 2T workload. It won't care. Apex Legends can allegedly spawn up to 12 working threads. Not sure on Fortnight.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
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Here is my mobo:


Seems like it supports lots for IVB CPUs, but I had a 3770k that I attempted to install and basically had the same experience as this guy:


Then I had a heck of a time getting it to boot with the i3 again. IDK, I am not willing to pay more to have a bigger headache.

I went ahead and offered the guy with the e3-1225 $17 and he accepted it. The utility to cost ratio was just super compelling. I found a i5 2500 immediately after for $20 shipped, but what are you going to do? That's like a dollar per 100 mhz :D

That and the increased secondhand prices turned my mind towards spending less. About six weeks ago I picked up a 1240 for $30 shipped, and those deals just aren't out there right now. That e3-1240 was also installed in a system with a massive cooler, 16GB of ram, 500 GB SSD, etc. and it's at my parents house so my kiddos have a PC to mess with when they are there. Prior to the pandemic, sometimes my kids would stay there for a week at a time for spring break or during the summer. Someday that will happen again. Anyway...

The 1245 was also shipping internationally and I didn't want to wait that long. I am being impatient here. If I can turn this I can turn my eyes to my AM2+ 940 system as a refresh target ;)
 

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