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Worth upgrading computers from craigslist?

Last response: in Systems
June 14, 2014 2:28:39 PM

I have been looking to buy a desktop capable of playing new releases on high-ultra settings for as little money as possible. I have been finding some good ones for $250-$350 on Craigslist (used). One option is a Dell XPS 8500 for $280 with bad graphics cards (theres two- HD 7570 and GT 610) but with good other parts (cpu, ram), and peripherals I would otherwise have to buy as it would be my first setup: 2 monitors, keyboard, and mouse. The other options are $300 desktops which have a (relatively) good graphics card, but much worse other parts (eg. HD 7850, 8gb ram, pentium g850 2.9ghz, 500gb hdd) and without the peripherals. I am currently leaning to the xps 8500.

The Dell XPS has:
-16gb ram
-i7 3770 cpu
-1tb hdd + 30gb ssd
-GT 610 and HD 7570
-Dell U2412M and Asus PA238QR Monitors (quite nice monitors)
-Keyboard, mouse, headphones and hdmi cable (not too relevant)
-An unfortunately small case

The graphics card is not good at all, so I would have to upgrade it. I am looking to get a HD 7870, maybe this (dell was selling a config with the HD 7870 card). I have researched a lot, but I have two issues:
- The XPS seems to have a 460 watt PSU, and the minimum requirement for the 7870 is 500 watts.
- A dell employee on a dell forum claimed that the PSU couldn't be switched.

I have never upgraded a desktop before, and I really don't want to buy then break the dell. I also have a rather low budget, but can spend slightly over it if I find it worth it.
Any help/response/advice would be appreciated!!!
Thanks! :) 
Note: this is my first post, so I hope I did everything right.
Update: I'm also thinking of the option of upgrading the graphics to a GTX 750 ti as the Wattage is 400w..
Update again: The desktop is most likely not in my reach anymore.
June 17, 2014 4:52:23 PM

Lol the gt610 is a bad over power eating card. If I were you Id get:

Gtx 650TI-----100$
Gtx 750TI-----115$
2 GT320's-----60$
You can upgrade the PSU don't listen to the support listen to us

June 17, 2014 4:53:06 PM

Though it will be hard because its a factory made computer
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June 17, 2014 8:13:23 PM

Thanks, although I don't think I have the computer in my reach anymore.
I also have 3 other questions:
Where would I get the cheapest prices for parts, used or unused, open box or not (I'm in Canada)? I can't seem to find any of your prices when searching new online. Also, is getting parts on ebay safe?
Is it worth it to build a gaming computer for less than $400? Considering that I can get a used full system w/ keyboard, speakers and mouse HD 7850, 8gb ram, pentium g850 2.9ghz, 500gb hdd, for $300. I will learn how to build a little (at least old systems) soon, but is it safe/will I need some help from experienced others to build(never built before)?
And if you know, do you think those craigslist prices are OK?
Thanks again!
June 17, 2014 8:38:49 PM

Gtx 650 and 750 are on amazon and I got my gt320 on eBay for 28$
June 17, 2014 8:41:00 PM

And for 400? No. but 600 and beyond you can get /build a good one

Best solution

June 17, 2014 8:41:27 PM

Get a semi good computer off craigslist and upgrade and go from there
June 17, 2014 8:49:16 PM

Thanks! I will be looking at amazon as my first choice from now. One last question. Are these ~$400 combos/upgrade kits worth it?
Will I be able to get a good complete system with this + $100?
And what would you expect to end up with with $500-600? (vague specs).