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My $500 Budget 6-core build

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Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Ryzen fever had me thinking, how can i do that but cheaper? So when i saw online that the E5-16xx Xeons were unlocked, i started on a hunt. What began as a conversion for an HP Z620 motherboard budget project turned into this. How cheaply (but still include mostly new parts) could i build an X79 rig? X79 is notoriously overpriced for good boards, especially on the used market. Same for socket 1366 boards. Scarcity must have driven the prices up or something. However, the CPUs themselves are CHEAP. A Sandy Bridge 6 core with a base clock of 3.2ghz and a turbo of 3.8ghz? I could get on board with that. But wait, it can overclock too? Well hot damn, i need to find me an affordable motherboard.

Then reddit.com/r/hardwareswap came to the rescue. I was willing to spend up to $150 on a motherboard, which wasn't really enough so i may not have gotten anywhere at that budget. However, i was offered an EVGA x79 SLI motherboard that had 5 bent pins in the socket that supposedly made one of the DIMMs not work. I can deal with 3/4 working DIMMs. Offered him $100, and it was a deal. Last i checked, this exact board goes for $230 on ebay.

Received the board and made a trip to a jewelry repair shop and despite some odd looks, i convinced the guy there to take a stab at fixing the pins. He did his best, didn't even want to charge me.

The CPU itself, $93 on ebay. Awesome price. Once i received it, threw it in the board with my tester PSU and put a stick of RAM in each DIMM and verified with BIOS that all DIMMS were detecting that stick of RAM. Repair was successful!

So the eventual buildout began and once complete, the overclocking began. Got as high as 4.6ghz but settled at 4.5ghz on all cores and man, this CPU is a beast. Im still torn whether or not to switch from my main rig to this rig for my primary machine (would increase the ram and switch the GPU over of course). Main use is gaming + light rendering work (editing videos in premier). Primary rig specs are in my sig.

Specs of the Xeon build:
-$93 Xeon E5-1650 [eBay]
-$100 EVGA x79 SLI Mobo that had bent socket pins repaired [reddit /r/hardwareswap]
-$55 Corsair Vengeance 8gb DDR3 1600 [jet.com using 15% off promo]
-$84 Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 AIO [Amazon]
-$80 GPU [used] (original goal before re-using an existing one]
-$55 Seasonic M12 620w full modular PSU [jet.com with 15% off promo]
-$50 Raidmax Delta I case [newegg, $15 mail in rebate sent in too]
Grand Total: $502!


Check out my video on this build!
Pt.2 video with final overclocking results, temps, benchmarks, etc. coming soon. Really happy with/proud of this build. In the end, with the OC, initial benches have this performing on par with a stock R5-1600x. What do y'all think?

 
Last edited:
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Great build + Video.

I love this build style. I have often thought about doing something like this myself. 6 core 12 thread Sandy-EP.

Thank you for the kind words. Honestly though i'd opt for the e5-1650v2 ivy bridge-ep model, but it was like $60 more so i decided against it. The usual reason some people like sandy over ivy (soldered IHS) is a moot point on the Xeons. The ivy Xeons (and all Xeons as far as im aware) have soldered IHS, so theortically the v2 ivy should OC just as good as the v1 Sandy, and the slightly improved IPC would come in better handy for the long run.
 

ChinStrap

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
…Honestly though i'd opt for the e5-1650v2 ivy bridge-ep model, but it was like $60 more so i decided against it…

I wouldn’t. I believe you did this correctly. Every dollar you save putting this together helps with your ‘Bang-for-the-buck’ value rating. IMO. It’s always easy to throw extra money at a build. Remember, Entry X99 is ~ $625. I think the farther you can stay away from that number the better.

$190 Asrock X99 on Newegg.
$320 5820k MicroCenter
$115 4x4GB 2400MHz
~$625
 
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
I wouldn’t. I believe you did this correctly. Every dollar you save putting this together helps with your ‘Bang-for-the-buck’ value rating. IMO. It’s always easy to throw extra money at a build. Remember, Entry X99 is ~ $625. I think the farther you can stay away from that number the better.

$190 Asrock X99 on Newegg.
$320 5820k MicroCenter
$115 4x4GB 2400MHz
~$625

Well then i guess i made the right choice :)
 
OP
Helgaiden

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
I haven't finalized this video yet (need to update the thumbnail) but since its uploaded and ready for watching, figured i'd share it here! The benchmarking and temp results and final thoughts video.