Description

This is an early Christmas gift to my younger brother whom like i did alot of "gaming" on old and cheap prebuilts from mostly Dell. My brother has a hand me down Dell inspiron 3847 that was also a Christmas present from my parents when it became too slow for them to handle. He has had the Dell Inspiron 3847 since 2015 and back then i knew very little about computers so i like my parents thought it was too old and not worth saving.

Story time, not required to progress through the chapter

Cut to the Summer of 2017, i was bored one day and as usually went on to my computer which was also extremely slow went on to youtube and saw a video from Linus Tech Tips reviewing a Dell Inspiron Desktop which was actually designed for gaming and it got me intrigued into the world of PC building. I soon fell into the PC building Youtube rabbit hole ( i have actually watched hundreds of hours of PC building videos from early 2017 onward ).

Cut, again, to October of 2018 when on my usual binge of watching PC related videos i came across the community of PC builders who specialize in making sub $500 fully fledged PC's capable of more than just simple gaming. This shocked me because Dell and HP computers at sub $500 had really bad specs and almost no upgradability. That was until i saw people putting in cheap graphics cards and SSD's into old dell optiplex'es from 2012 and seeing nice gaming results, which resulted in me doing "research" into my brothers computer, the two things i needed were the CPU generation and a PCI-Express x16 Slot and after opening up his computer and looking at his internals ( yes he was fine with this as i promised him i could make his computer much faster and much better at gaming for a cheap price ) i got to doing some more research, only this time on my own.

Upgrades i made

I bought all of these parts new, this was my brothers only request.

His model had a Haswell compatible motherboard which was locked but let's be honest, Dell was and still is too cheap for overclocking. I chose the I5 4460 because it was a supported CPU and had solid quad core gaming performance. I got this brand new from amazon for around $125.

I was originally going to get an RX 570 or RX 580 but i couldn't find out if this PC was compatible with AMD gpu's ( some of the higher end 3847's had GT 720's ) but found no results in anyone putting in AMD gpu's so i decided to play it safe and stick with Nvidia cards. I saw the performance potential of the GTX 970 and it's low prices on ebay but then a sale occurred on the GTX 1050ti for only 169.00 and a free 500W PSU so i got the 1050ti.

I know, some of you will be disappointed in the fact i didn't buy 16GB of ram and instead bought a new kit of 2x4GB of ram but i don't think my brother will need 16GB for a while. So i bought some cheap DDR3 ram.

I knew buying an SSD was going to make the biggest difference in his day to day life, so i did some research into SSD's and found out that Kingston had a good track record with their A400 series and provided a unbeatable value for the money. I bought the 120GB version because i wanted to use this as boot drive and put a few important games and programs to him on here.

The HDD from the original build stayed, it was 7200RPM and 1TB so good for mass storage. Just needed a good cleanup ( im surprised there were no viruses on this old drive as nobody in my family is really tech savy )

Issues i came across

First issue i came across was that i couldn't replace the exhaust fan because the motherboard had sensors added onto it to make it only work with that specific fan.

Then i couldn't replace the CPU cooler due to its proprietary mounting holes which only fitted the included CPU cooler.

The video outputs on the motherboard ( ie the HDMI and the VGA ) were disabled Hence the message saying that i needed to connect the montior to the video card. But i also only had 1 monitor that didn't connect solely to VGA ( which the 1050ti doesn't have ) which is why you see two different monitors and why the final monitor is small.

The GPU sparked on first boot, had to send it back to newegg. Newegg sent me a new one in 3 days free of charge.

Final Thoughts

I ran two benchmarks on his PC which were Userbenchmark and Cinebench and i was pleasantly surprised with the results,

His original model came with a Intel Pentium g3240 dual core processor, 4GB DDR3 ram at 1066mhz. No GPU, 1 TB HDD, some random 300 watt PSU that im also surprised hasn't exploded at this point.

Possible Future Upgrades

I might add on a better wifi card or USB stick because despite the fact hes only 5 feet away from the router his internet speeds are still really slow. I also might add on a PCIe USB 3.0 Card because theres one available PCIe x1 slot left.

Also i know my camera is bad but its the only one i had and i got it for free

Part Reviews

CPU

Nice Quad Core Performance in games.

Memory

Cheap, reliable good enough for my brothers needs.

Storage

Slower than most other SSD's but a good value..

Storage

Slow, but i think thats more due to age its been around since 2014 in near constant use and abuse.

Video Card

The first one i received sparked and stopped working after first boot. Went through customer service and got a new one free of charge.

Good at gaming and it has 4GB of VRAM which should be enough for light 1080p gaming into the near future.

Power Supply

Its non modular with ugly ketchup and mustard cables but since the case doesn't have a side panel window and that i got this for free makes up for it.

Custom

Didn't fit in my 3.5 bay although this was my fault it wasn't really a worth while investment.

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Comments

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Hope he appreciates it. Looks pretty good but that GPU might get loud :D

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

1050 Ti's are so ridiculously power efficient that even a tiny cooler like that one can keep it below 55 C at less than 60% fan speed. My Zotac Mini version runs super cool and is almost inaudible at idle.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

ah nice. Might do a budget build with one at some point and see if it can run fallout 4.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually his system is nearly dead silent.

The only part of the system that really makes much of a noise is the hard drive.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build, I don't know what he was using before the upgrades, but I'm sure that a nice bump in performance.

Such a shame he didn't feel confortable in buying used cpus, I think you might've got lucky and found a good i7 for that price, and that would've increased the lifespan of this pc by a lot. Still good value though.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know what he was using before the upgrades

His original model came with a Intel Pentium g3240 dual core processor, 4GB DDR3 ram at 1066mhz. No GPU, 1 TB HDD, some random 300 watt PSU that im also surprised hasn't exploded at this point.

Such a shame he didn't feel confortable in buying used cpus

I totally understand with the whole used CPU point especially since this was a locked motherboard it would've even better. Next time i do a build like this it will be a used parts build.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

At the end, you said you might get a better wifi card, but if he's 5 feet away from the router, why haven't you just connected it with an ethernet cable?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

All the Ethernet ports are being used and our house is old so powerline isn't an option either.

If it weren't for the included wifi on the motherboard he wouldn't have any option to connect to the internet.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

You could try a switch to split one of the ports.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

seems like the PC went from a old raft to a decent motor boat. (only in speed not anything else)

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, nice and budget friendly. Holds up in games like minecraft, fortnite and roblox quite well. He finally got a better desk because the one shown in the build is an old beater hand me down from my parents.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I could see that the desk seemed old and I thought it was a nice desk over just a foldable table

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