well, im looking for a specific list rofl, not something general. id be able to give recommendations for tech based on the games he wants to play, but id need to know exactly what he intends to play. giving a list then saying 'oh yeah and crysis 3' kinda changes the name of the game, you know?
tf2 isnt very graphics intensive, thats true, but its optimized for shit nowadays, so it likely wont treat old cards/cpu combos very well. youll get decent framerates, but likely not avg over 50 fps.
old hardware is hard to speak to with any reliability, and new hardware isnt worth the price. depending on how long you want this rig to take you, i dont think i would invest in anything out-of-the-box that is older tech than two years, but buying a computer right now is damned hard anyways. the tech hasnt gone anywhere in the past few years, the haswells arent that much superiour to the sandy bridge, and the new gen affordable gfx cards are the same. software, however, hasnt stopped cranking forwards, which means alot of enthusiast computers still have issues running intense games at ultra settings.
in terms of the tech investment, any 'new' gear you buy will last you probably two years without becoming obsolete just from the fact that nothing substantially better has come out recently, unless intel comes up with something crazy, which there hasnt been any rumors of.
in terms of tech-for-gaming investment, a game six months from now will push anything you buy.
the flip side, though, anything used is a mighty roll of the dice unless you know who you are getting it from.
if you are motivated to buy a computer, id either see what all you can pick up used here, or, and only if worst came to worst, id set a budget and price out gear from about a year/two years ago and get something out-of-the-box.
also, shiiiit i wish i could say a $130 gfx card is expensive. you punks are lucky: my next build will likely have to be on a $10,000 budget. damned render programs...