My youngest brother has complained to me that the old computer our parents have isn't letting him game very well, and I offered to research a build list that he could afford as a teenager with an allowance. Looking to go well under $500, potentially sacrificing gpu/ram/cpu for the potential to upgrade later, it just needs to be better.
Well I have a basically unused Antec EA430D, so anything that can use that would be good. I don't know what the old dell has for processor (dual core pentium D I think, it's 5-6 years old) but it has a gigabyte 4550 fanless gpu right now, so it shouldn't be hard to step up. He won't need a monitor or OS.
Here's a preliminary list I picked up from some other threads, I still don't know what to do about a processor/mobo. Really looking for a mobo that can take a new processor in 2 years or so, which I think limits me to AMD, because intel is always changing their chipsets/sockets. I should note that the case is a Micro. I'm not hung up on micro, if another reasonable atx case is cheap then form factor doesn't matter.
All of that would seem fine, except the motherboard. Really poor reviews, seemingly bad reliability (which I recall from much older builds I've done with MSI gpu's). Price is about what he's looking for, though I think he probably has to buy part individually, due to a limited monthly budget. Still everything else seems reasonable.