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What's the lowest spec PC that could still run most games at 1920 x 1080i ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Let's say that you wanted to have a second gaming PC in the house. As low end as you could possibly get away with, so you can just barely play pretty much everything from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, etc, etc. Maybe not strong enough to play something like Metro Last Light, or any of the super demanding PC games that are going to come out this year, but a PC that could play 85 to 90 percent of everything out there from 2011 and prior, in 1080p.

Basically, I'm wondering what level CPU, Motherboard and memory, I'd need to have. Intel and AMD, which CPU's, motherboards, memory, could I get away with to run current gen games?

I'm going to look at used PC's on Craigslist, to see if I could get something at a super low price, and then just add a video card to it, to update it, and have an extra gaming PC for the house.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Let's say that you wanted to have a second gaming PC in the house. As low end as you could possibly get away with, so you can just barely play pretty much everything from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, etc, etc. Maybe not strong enough to play something like Metro Last Light, or any of the super demanding PC games that are going to come out this year, but a PC that could play 85 to 90 percent of everything out there from 2011 and prior, in 1080p.

Basically, I'm wondering what level CPU, Motherboard and memory, I'd need to have. Intel and AMD, which CPU's, motherboards, memory, could I get away with to run current gen games?

I'm going to look at used PC's on Craigslist, to see if I could get something at a super low price, and then just add a video card to it, to update it, and have an extra gaming PC for the house.

They're out there. I was trying to sell my Q9550@3.6GHz, GTX295, 8GB tower on Craigslist for ~$350 and nobody wanted it. (It's a fine for gaming). So if you look you can find good deals.
post #3 of 12
Quad-core with at least 4MB cache, 8GB of RAM, a mid-range graphics card with 1GB of GDDR (No DDR2 cards allowed!), and a decent sized SSD will take care of you. You'll likely need a power supply upgrade for this recycled desktop, so budget for that too.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post

Quad-core with at least 4MB cache, 8GB of RAM, a mid-range graphics card with 1GB of GDDR (No DDR2 cards allowed!), and a decent sized SSD will take care of you. You'll likely need a power supply upgrade for this recycled desktop, so budget for that too.


Ok, but which Intel processors or AMD processors are we talking about actually? Like, which ones should I keep my eye out for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

They're out there. I was trying to sell my Q9550@3.6GHz, GTX295, 8GB tower on Craigslist for ~$350 and nobody wanted it. (It's a fine for gaming). So if you look you can find good deals.

This is exactly what I'm thinking about. Finding a guy on Craigslist that has a decent gaming computer from say 2009, that they are trying to get rid of, and basically just lowball the guy. See if I can end up getting a steal.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Let's say that you wanted to have a second gaming PC in the house. As low end as you could possibly get away with, so you can just barely play pretty much everything from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, etc, etc. Maybe not strong enough to play something like Metro Last Light, or any of the super demanding PC games that are going to come out this year, but a PC that could play 85 to 90 percent of everything out there from 2011 and prior, in 1080p.

Basically, I'm wondering what level CPU, Motherboard and memory, I'd need to have. Intel and AMD, which CPU's, motherboards, memory, could I get away with to run current gen games?

I'm going to look at used PC's on Craigslist, to see if I could get something at a super low price, and then just add a video card to it, to update it, and have an extra gaming PC for the house.

Why not just build it yourself? You should be able to put a low end PC together for less than $ 800.00 or so. It should last 2-3 years before you have to start over again. AMDs are pretty good low end CPUs to build around.
post #6 of 12
Hell, the machine I was selling (still am) has a 1000w PSU and, DVD burner, etc. More than good enough for gaming. A Q9550@3.6GHz is more than good enough for what you're looking for. Look for something like that or a low-end Sandy-Bridge.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I found this guy locally that is selling what appears to be a decent older rig for $300. I was going to offer him $250. Here is what his ad says:

For sale here I have a custom built gaming rig. Specs are as follows:

Full size antec case with 7 fans
Q6600 intel quad core 2.4Ghz overclocked to 3.4Ghz
Nvidia gtx 460 1gig
4 gigs ram
Very nice arctic freezer pro 7 heatsink
Asus motherboard p5n-d
Lots of blue led's, case looks awesome and stays very cool even in games.

Will include a Saitek Eclipse II gaming keyboard, razer death adder gaming mouse and razer exactmat gaming mousepad.

$300 cash only, price is negotiable.



I asked him what kind of power supply it has, what kind of hard drive, dvd drive, and if he had any games already installed on the hard drive. If the power supply and the hard drive are decent, then I was going to offer him $250 for it. I figure it can run games from 2009 and 2010 pretty good, most likely. Might need to improve the vid card a bit, not sure how good a 1 gig 460 can perform on more recent games...
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm still looking for some insight on this... Can anybody comment on those specs above? I'm not sure that deal is still available, but it's likely I'll end up with something similar in that price range. Is that good bang for the buck?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

I'm still looking for some insight on this... Can anybody comment on those specs above? I'm not sure that deal is still available, but it's likely I'll end up with something similar in that price range. Is that good bang for the buck?

Yes, it is. The 1GB 460's are still going for like $150, and will play games at 1080p medium/high no problem.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

I found this guy locally that is selling what appears to be a decent older rig for $300. I was going to offer him $250. Here is what his ad says:

For sale here I have a custom built gaming rig. Specs are as follows:

Full size antec case with 7 fans
Q6600 intel quad core 2.4Ghz overclocked to 3.4Ghz
Nvidia gtx 460 1gig
4 gigs ram
Very nice arctic freezer pro 7 heatsink
Asus motherboard p5n-d
Lots of blue led's, case looks awesome and stays very cool even in games.

Will include a Saitek Eclipse II gaming keyboard, razer death adder gaming mouse and razer exactmat gaming mousepad.

$300 cash only, price is negotiable.



I asked him what kind of power supply it has, what kind of hard drive, dvd drive, and if he had any games already installed on the hard drive. If the power supply and the hard drive are decent, then I was going to offer him $250 for it. I figure it can run games from 2009 and 2010 pretty good, most likely. Might need to improve the vid card a bit, not sure how good a 1 gig 460 can perform on more recent games...

Thats decent for the money. If you can get it for $250, I'd say go for it.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, his ad has disappeared, so I guess somebody else snagged it. I need to try to get a list together of CPU's that have the necessary umph to play some up to date games.

Here are some various recomendations I got from dudes on Tom"s Hardware Guide...


Core 2 quad (Q9xxx are still great cpu's) (consider a q6600 and overclock it), core 2 duo (look for e8xxx)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450

Phenom II 955 BE

Core 2 Duo E6600 (maybe kinda low end)

E8400 with a nVidia GTX 560ti 448 core (one guy was running this combo with good results)

Q6600 and E8xxx CPUs.

Core 2 Quads 8000/9000

Phenom II's

Core 2 Duo e6850


Is there a list somewhere that has a hierarchy chart for the CPU's that came before the Sandy Bridge line ? I don't know how to put these in order from top to bottom. I'm guessing the Q9XX are the best I can get. Which one of them is the best, I have no idea.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Is there a list somewhere that has a hierarchy chart for the CPU's that came before the Sandy Bridge line ? I don't know how to put these in order from top to bottom. I'm guessing the Q9XX are the best I can get. Which one of them is the best, I have no idea.


Tom's has updated, monthly lists for gaming cpu's and gpu's. It has plenty of older models in this lists. It provides a good comparison of older to newer hardware.

And a Core2Quad combined with a GTX460 is still a very nice combo.
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