Description

Earlier this year I stripped down my old gaming PC for parts, with the intent of replacing it with a brand new computer. This was going to be a 1440p high refresh beast with a Ryzen 7 or Coffee Lake I7 CPU, high end GPU, custom water cooled and running exclusively solid state storage.

However, real life got in the way and the ££££ I'd put aside for it had to go on other, more practical things.

I was getting the itch to get back to PC gaming, so decided to take an ordinary Dell workstation (like those that I use every day for work) and upgrade it to be a budget gaming machine to use for the next 6 - 12 months.

I was able to find a good condition Dell 7010 on ebay from a seller with good feedback for just £145 delivered. Specs are:

  • Intel Core i5 3470 (up to 3.6ghz)
  • 16GB DDR3 ram
  • 250GB WD Blue HDD
  • ATI 7470 1GB graphics card
  • Full Windows 10 Pro licence

Thankfully it booted first time and everything seemed to work as expected.

Out came the ATI card, the DVD drive and the HDD. In went a 240GB SSD for a boot drive and 1TB 2.5" drive for storage. I had the second drive already so that was free. For graphics I picked up low profile MSI GTX 1050ti. Took a bit of cable management to make enough space for it to fit but as it gets its power from the pci-e slot it was simple to install.

Installed Windows 10 Pro on the SSD and then was straight back into gaming. Very happy with this little budget build. It isn't the quietest, the fastest or the flashiest solution but it works well and I'm able to play games at 1080p with high settings while maintaining 60fps for under £400.

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Comments

  • 28 months ago
  • 6 points

Awesome build! You bought a PC with 16 Gigs of RAM for the same price as 16 Gigs of RAM :)

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I know right, crazy situation

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats a sweet machine. I really like when people give a new life to old workstations like this one

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. The form factor may put people off but all it took was a little creative cable management to get everything to fit.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Always love these budget builds. Ah, if only I could find a deal on a used sandy/ivy machine...

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Just keep your eye out. I was on ebay every 2 - 3 days for over a month before this one came up. Lot of overpriced dual core models with 4GB ram but occasionally one like mine will turn up :)

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta love budget sleeper builds. +1 :)

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, do you think that as it is such a sleeper I can sneak it into the office and no-one will be the wiser? ;)

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

This should hold you over for a while, I like it!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. So far it has handled everything pretty well. Been playing a lot of Stellaris lately and as a 4x strategy game with lots of moving parts and pretty graphics I wondered if this could cope.

Need not have concerned myslef - 1080p, high/max settings, super smooth until late game when there are so many units on the screen even the quad core can't quite keep up lol

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd like to see more builds like this on this site

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Me too, with so much churn in the office space with desktops and a lot of auctions (both on ebay and in the real world) with this kind of hardware I am surprised there aren't a lot more examples on here

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice job! Reminds me of my first gaming machine, an HP Pavilion a730n with a HD7770.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. For me this felt like a blast from the past as, which doing the work, it did feel like upgrading a PC from 10 years ago. Felt very retro lol

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, I like your build, I have something similar. Just wondering, where did you get the 2.5" caddy to fit the dell case?

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, I purchased the caddy from Amazon. It was called a 'Zheino Aluminum SATA 2nd Hard Disk Drive Caddy'. I did some research and for this model of Dell you needed the 12.7mm version not the 9.5mm version.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, only seeing this now, moved house about a month ago and just got my internet connection switched over this week!

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

wait, sorry, checked the pictures again, i meant the blue sled type one?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

The blue sled one came with the machine, thrown in by the ebay seller. I don't recall the brand.

What I described above was the DVD drive replacement.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers!

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  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds good, definitely bargains to be had if you keep your eye on 2nd hand stores or auction sites. This has been performing really well and will still be a capable hand-me-down system to one of my nieces/nephews in a few years