I got my girlfriend into pc gaming (yes!) and her favorite types of games are usually indie games like Inside, Limbo, Doki-Doki Literature Club (*shivers*), and similar. I gave her an old 780 Dell Optiplex (Dual Core Pentium) with a Raedon HD 5450 in it and it has served her well until a week ago - where some games shes trying now are unplayable due to the old hardware, or won't even boot (Little Nightmares). I don't have a huge budget but what I do have is an AM3+ cooler, a 700 watt psu, and Nvidia 760, and some DDR3 ram sitting in my basement...
I'd love to put the psu and the 760 in the optiplex... but anyone who knows dell might also know they like to make things wierd and the optiplex is a BTX chassis.... meaning that even if the psu magically would fit... the graphics card mounts upside down meaning the case can only support a single slot card. So I've come up with a few options.
1. buy an Nvidia 640 or something - the optiplex has a 300 watt psu. I don't think I could get away with going red if chose this option since the good red team gpus like their power force fed to them by a direct line from the nuclear power plant. This would definitely prolong the optiplex's life.
2. Try to find a used AM3+ Mobo/CPU combo, take the HD from the optiplex, and wallah. Once I add my parts, full system, if a gen old.
3. I found some realllllyyyyy good deals on AM3 cpus and boards.... is AM3 still relevant for her use case? if so, what chip would you suggest? I don't have much experience with AM3.
What do you think will offer the best performance for the cheapest cost? She's not really playing AAA titles, and the computer sits hooked up to her tv, running on 1368x786.