Heres a quickie for you all--
The story begins with a free Optiplex 990. Yes, free. My father works for a local attorney-for-hire business, and is pretty high up in the company. One night he off-handedly mentioned that the business was hiring new employees, and replacing a few of their dated PCs. Ramsden, the owner of the business is obviously pretty close with my family. He knew I quote unquote "knew a thing or two about computers", to which I replied that I certainly did. He told me that if I wanted the old Office PCs, they were mine. Otherwise they would just go to the recycling center.
Obviously, I wasn't going to let a few PCs go to waste.
My first payload my father brought home after a work day wasn't too special. Two Optiplex 760 units running DDR2 and Core 2 Duo chips. The second night, however, is where things got interesting. A third 760, and the Optiplex 990 that we are looking at today. What really caught my eye was the Core i5 sticker on the outside. It should be obvious why I chose this one to be my first to clean up.
Inside, I was amazed at the specs I got for a free PC. An Intel Core i5 2500, predecessor to the LEGENDARY i5 2500k, 4GB of DDR3, a Radeon HD 6350 dedicated GPU, and a 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive loaded with a full, OEM version of Windows 7 Pro. By then I figured out that I could totally put ~$150 into this PC and have a very nice budget/sleeper gaming build.
I had more pressing matters over the next few months, however. Christmas was coming, and I was focusing on my new main Ryzen build, Mother War. (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/rqNQzy)
My grandpa had off-hand mentioned to me that he was interested in a new computer, as his Pentium D furnace of an HP Pavilion was, er.... Showing it's age, to say the least. I set him up for Christmas. I cleaned up one of the Optiplex 760s for him, and threw some DDR2 I had laying around, as well as the HD 6350 I had from the 990, into his new machine. It works very well for his needs.
This, of course, meant that I was stuck using the Integrated GPU. It was okay for web browsing, Youtube, and GTA San Andreas. Beyond that, it was horrid. Thing couldn't even run Roblox. After just recently completing Mother War, I had a new project at stake.
My original plan was more Ram, and a GT 1030. That all changed when the GT 1030s started getting hit by the Crypto train as well, going to prices into the $120s. I decided at that point to try out the used market. It treated me well. After about a weeks worth of watching the local listings on Facebook Marketplace, there was a guy in a city about 30 miles away selling a plethora of computer hardware. I shot him a message, asking him if there was something he had for a GPU I could toss in this Optiplex that was low-power. He messaged back, mentioning only a 750 Ti. I remarked about the power draw, and he offered to throw in a 500W PSU for $10. In total, I paid $70 for a 750 Ti and a 500W PSU. Good deal. Only drawbacks were driving for an hour to a semi-sketchy house. Both the house, and subsequently the parts, absolutely REEK of Marijuana odor.
As for Ram, I was initially just going to buy a 1x4 stick of DDR3 from Newegg and call it good. That all changed last Saturday, when luck struck me good. My stepmother's friends are moving out of town, and the husband of the two had tried selling off their Home Server with no success. The husband, Tom, offered the server to me for free, as it didn't have a PSU. Of course I took it, so now I have this server that I have no idea what to do with. (Hence my forum post about the ES Xeon chips, if anyone saw that.) However, the server had 12GB of DDR3 loaded up onto it. I took 4 of the identical Sticks, 8GB in total, and loaded them into the Optiplex. Worked perfectly, even better because it was a free Ram upgrade.
Overall, the 750 Ti has earned my title of "Little *** Kicker". For it's age, this thing is still beastly, especially considering how cheap they go for on the secondhand market. Very ballpark/Guesstimate Benchmarks I conducted are as follows;
Fortnite: Battle Royale 1080p, Medium Preset Averaged ~60FPS most of the time
Unturned 1080p, High Settings Averaged ~60FPS most of the time
ROBLOX 1080p, Max Avera- Is this even relevant? It ran fine. It's Roblox for Christ sake.
CS;GO 1080p, Max Averaged ~100FPS most of the time
Team Fortress 2 1080p, Max Averaged ~160FPS most of the time
Battlefield 1 720p, High Averaged ~60-70FPS most of the time
Im a 16-year-old PC gamer living in a divorced shared-custody situation. My main Ryzen rig, mother war, is located at my mother's house. I didn't have a half-decent PC at my father's house up until now. So far, I'm very happy with the results. The 750 Ti absolutely blew away my expectations. My general setup is less than tidy, but it certainly works.
Thanks for checking out my new "build"!
Bottlenecks occasionally, but runs well most of the time
Used for $60. Absolute tank, can even play modern games at lowered settings.