Is building a 2500k machine today worth it?

fluidityG

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Hey everyone, I lost my old account I first made about 10 years ago. Glad to see this place is still around!

So my friend wants to get into PC gaming but doesn't really want to invest in anything modern. He just wants to play like low-end games nowadays like Smite, Fortnite, etc, and some old Steam games (Skyrim, Tomb Raider, etc).

I've been out of the hardware scene for a good little while, but I immediately went to the old 2500k machines, for they still hold up well these days. I just don't know if there is any similar priced tech that would have a big advantage over it.

Right now I have these priced from ebay/amazon:

2500k -- $30
hyper 212 cooler -- $20 (only 10 more than stock and will give OC performance)
random mobo (upgrade later to OC) $20
shitty 500w -- $20 (probably worth spending the extra 10 for something decent)
8gb DDR3 -- $20
Radeon HD7950 -- $50 (this may honestly be overkill since anything remotely modern wont use the GPU at all hardly)
256gb SSD -- $30
random case -- $30

I was just wondering if there are any better cpu/mobo/ram/gpu combos out nowadays that you could build for around $250-300 that would smash the above in performance. Thanks for reading.
 

Dan_D

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Your a bit off the mark with the GPU. Virtually all games will be GPU bound more than CPU bound.
 

fluidityG

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Your a bit off the mark with the GPU. Virtually all games will be GPU bound more than CPU bound.

negative at least for the games we like to play. i have an identical build and haven't had the gpu go over 20%. in fact i sold my second 7950 because it was useless. Dauntless is the most recent title I've played and it's still CPU bottleneck.

Any build suggestions or thoughts relating to the title would be appreciated though.
 
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Dan_D

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negative at least for the games we like to play. i have an identical build and haven't had the gpu go over 20%. in fact i sold my second 7950 because it was useless. Dauntless is the most recent title I've played and it's still CPU bottleneck.

Any build suggestions or thoughts relating to the title would be appreciated though.

Fortnite should use the GPU more than that.
 

fluidityG

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Fortnite should use the GPU more than that.

What would you suggest for a build then at the pricepoint listed? are there any processors that have come out in the last half decade that are better than the 2500k in price/performance? Maybe something around 50 that is twice as fast?

Same for the graphics card. What is the budget solution in the last half decade?

Is this setup still worth building?
 

Dan_D

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What would you suggest for a build then at the pricepoint listed? are there any processors that have come out in the last half decade that are better than the 2500k in price/performance? Maybe something around 50 that is twice as fast?

Same for the graphics card. What is the budget solution in the last half decade?

Is this setup still worth building?

You should probably opt for a Core i7 2600K instead of a 2500K. The Hyperthreading would be a benefit at this point and it shouldn't cost too much more.
 

mvmiller12

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Just to pipe in, if you dig a little you can find some good deals on older used i7 business machines that can take a graphics card. Just make sure to look for a machine that isn't "low profile" and you should be pretty good. There are a lot of deals to be had here from system liquidators peddling old off-lease desktops. Google will be your friend with this (Machines on eBay tend to be a bit more expensive).

Edit: You can upgrade the areas in which it is deficient (like getting an SSD) and get something pretty decent and stay within your budget.

Oh, and I love Smite - but I can tell you from experience with the Core i5 in System 4 in my sig that the game has weird frame dips and feels a little "choppy" on 4-core 4-thread CPUs. You either want a 4-core with SMT/Hyperthreading or a 6-core for good performance in this particular game.
 
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fluidityG

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Just to pipe in, if you dig a little you can find some good deals on older used i7 business machines that can take a graphics card. Just make sure to look for a machine that isn't "low profile" and you should be pretty good. There are a lot of deals to be had here from system liquidators peddling old off-lease desktops. Google will be your friend with this (Machines on eBay tend to be a bit more expensive).

Edit: You can upgrade the areas in which it is deficient (like getting an SSD) and get something pretty decent and stay within your budget.

Oh, and I love Smite - but I can tell you from experience with the Core i5 in System 4 in my sig that the game has weird frame dips and feels a little "choppy" on 4-core 4-thread CPUs. You either want a 4-core with SMT/Hyperthreading or a 6-core for good performance in this particular game.


Thanks for the tips!

Do you have a specific recommendation for the HT cpu? I looked up the 2600k and it’s $75 compared to $30 for the 2500k.

I actually do run smite and the other hi res games without dipping below 60, but I have rarely seen those Chops from time to time or when I tried 4x AA. Paladins actually is the one for me with weird frame drops! HiRez games hmmm...

144hz would definitely suck though. He’s coming from Nintendo Switch so the typical MR comforts aren’t quite as necessary.


So right now for my budget I could invest in the 2600k, or invest in a decent mono and overclock the 2500k. Hmm
 
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mvmiller12

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Thanks for the tips!

Do you have a specific recommendation for the HT cpu? I looked up the 2600k and it’s $75 compared to $30 for the 2500k.

I actually do run smite and the other hi res games without dipping below 60, but I have rarely seen those Chops from time to time or when I tried 4x AA. Paladins actually is the one for me with weird frame drops! HiRez games hmmm...

144hz would definitely suck though. He’s coming from Nintendo Switch so the typical MR comforts aren’t quite as necessary.


So right now for my budget I could invest in the 2600k, or invest in a decent mono and overclock the 2500k. Hmm

if you have no objection to NewEgg, this may fit your bill.

It checks out as a full mini-tower form factor and a little google-fu shows it to have a PCIe x16 slot available. This model comes with a Core i7 2600 and 4G of DDR3 and a 500G HDD. More RAM and an SSD boot drive are easy additions. Unsure if the power supply has a PCIe power plug though. Definitely not a bad base to be working from for a system that is only $168 with free shipping and a 1-yr warranty from the refurbisher. It comes pre-installed with Windows7, but you can still do a free upgrade to Windows 10 using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool and a USB stick.
 

pendragon1

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go for it at those prices but look at a better gpu. those 7950s are real, real old now.
 
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go for it at those prices but look at a better gpu. those 7950s are real, real old now.
But, being GCN, they also still receive new driver updates :)

Sure, but for $10 more on eBay you can get an RX 470 4GB card.

if you have no objection to NewEgg, this may fit your bill.

It checks out as a full mini-tower form factor and a little google-fu shows it to have a PCIe x16 slot available. This model comes with a Core i7 2600 and 4G of DDR3 and a 500G HDD. More RAM and an SSD boot drive are easy additions. Unsure if the power supply has a PCIe power plug though. Definitely not a bad base to be working from for a system that is only $168 with free shipping and a 1-yr warranty from the refurbisher. It comes pre-installed with Windows7, but you can still do a free upgrade to Windows 10 using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool and a USB stick.

I think this is the right play. A Z series board that will allow you to overclock is going to blow your budget sky high. An older Optiplex that you can get off your local Craigslist/FB Marketplace will do what you need it to do. I see the i3/i5 variants selling for $30 - $60. Pop in a 2600(skip the k), an RX 470, some more ram, and you're in the game. I do this all the time for flips and it works great. Sometimes you can get lucky and find people selling newer kit than that for the same price. I see Haswell variants sometimes for the Sandy Bridge prices, because they don't know what it is, and they just sell it at the same price as everybody else.
 

sabrewolf732

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I built a system for my nephew using a fx 6300 and hd7870 system with 8GB ram, it actually does fairly well with fortnite.

I also built a system for my friends nephew using a 2500k and an overclocked gtx670, it also does very well with fortnite and even runs apex pretty well.
 

horrorshow

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You should probably opt for a Core i7 2600K instead of a 2500K. The Hyperthreading would be a benefit at this point and it shouldn't cost too much more.

This is absolutely correct.

Invest a couple bucks more in a 2600K and buy a used RX 470/570 instead.. (I got a 570 4gb reference model for my brother over half a year ago for $75 shipped)
 

n64link

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It depends on what you can get for the price. I built a system for my stepson with a 2500, that I just swapped for a 2600, a few years ago. Both CPUs are non K, as I didn't bother OCing his PC. It was running games just fine: Gmod, Wolfenstien the new order, TF2, fallout 3, New vegas, and some other games off my steam library. That machine is an Intel 2500, 8GB DDR3, ASUS p8h67-v, and one of my old Strix GTX 980s. (not ti.) I never really bench marked the PC but the CPU held up well in that older generation of games. A 2600 will do better, because of the extra threads. Hell, I still rock an AMD fx-8320 and game just fine. The 7950 only has 3GB of RAM, which might cause issues with newer games or higher res textures.

If you can actually find what you listed for those prices, that is a solid build. I'd go up on the GPU and PSU. check ebay. I found a "refurb" Rosewill 80+gold 800w PSU for $40 shipped a few months ago. And just got an RX 580 8GB for $80 shipped.
 
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