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This is the first PC build I've put together myself. The first custom PC I owned was an i5-2500K inside CM Scout case, and my cousin had basically bought it with my money, and put it together for me, as I was still learning. He set me up with an ASUS P8Z68V-LX motherboard, which treated me well, and to "start me off", an EVGA 8800 GTS graphics card.
Four years later, I figure it's time for some change in scenery. My mother's Dell Optiplex had nope'd out on us, so she needed another build as well. To my convenience, I had found two old Apple Power Mac G5 computers. I did a little Googling, to find that the G5 mod was a more than common practice, so I decided to take it on. The computers were released a little over 10 years ago, but are still a gem to this day.
The plan was simple. Take my current i5-2500K build, and transplant it into one of the, (gutted), G5 cases. Easy enough. With the other G5 case, I would start building my new creation.
In order to take on, (not just one, but two), of these G5 builds, one needs to convert the rear of the case to standard ATX form factor. This is because when Apple made PC towers, they made them to their own proprietary standards. The gutting alone was quite a process. When it came down to the conversion, I had few options: Lian-Li, MountainMods, or TheLaserHive. The one that stuck out to me the most, was TheLaserHive, because after weighing many pros-and-cons, it seemed more important for the mod to appear and function native to a true ATX PC. The fellow at TLH cuts exquisite pieces for these mods, and is willing to work with anyone, regardless of location. I live in the USA, and my parts were being shipped overseas from the UK.
With the parts from TLH, there are options for a standard ATX board layout. The motherboard can either be placed high in the case. towards the top, lower, towards the bottom, or have an integrated PSU mount in the top corner of the case. When people do these G5 mods, it is somewhat common to convert the ATX PSU into a form that can be used in the G5's stock PSU case. I decided I liked that idea, and I'd mod my PSU to fit the case. It seemed like a daunting task to me, but well worth it. Plus, it cleans up the look a TON.
That meant that I'd use TLH's High ATX kit, that came with a 120mm fan mount to replace the G5's stock 2x80mm fans. As far as the i5-2500K build, my mother is currently dating an IT consultant, who strongly advised not to mod any PSU ever. So we came to a general consensus to just use the integrated PSU mount for a little extra cost. Both mods required an ATX power cable for the stock power button/front panel to function. These, I purchased for a small fortune from BlackCH mods, and they function perfectly.
Once the i5-2500K components were put securely into the G5 build, (which I am not detailing nor picturing), it became time to pick the parts for my own build. As many of you know, there are options when building a new system today. Originally, I was planning on using the i7-5820K as the cornerstone of the build, but after coming to the realization that I have no true need for hyperthreading, I settled on the new i5-6600K, (Skylake), CPU. Even though there are those who still prefer Devil's Canyon, due to the price:performance ratio, I decided to invest in speed and the new features; it'll last me more than long enough. Currently, I have it overclocked at 4.6GHz, and VCORE sits at just under a volt.
In my old, now my mother's, i5-2500K build, I was using an incredibly outdated 8800 GTS graphics card. It worked, but it more than certainly had it's drawbacks to my flow. The GTX 980Ti was a no-brainer at this point, and from EVGA, it came super-superclocked with an 1102MHz Base Clock, and overclocks like a beast. All things considered, it has 90% the performance of NVIDIA's Titan X, at 0.5x the price. Really blows my old 8800 GTS card out of the water. It really does pull it's own weight; there's a reason it's been given the prestigious "Ti" label.
This was my first time using a liquid cooling solution, albeit an AIO radiator, and I am blown away by the temperatures I'm getting, (or should I say not getting), with the CPU. The i5-6600K sits at 26°C.
The monitor I use is an Apple Cinema Display 24". It runs at a full 1920x1200 resolution, with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It matches my case, my color scheme, and keeps everything simple, just the way I like it.
Last but not least, I have today recieved the prodigal missing piece to my build. From TheLaserHive, I have had made a Power Mac G5 window, and boy does it complete the system. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Now that I see I've written a novel of a build, I thank you for reading. As I said, this has been my first true PC build, and I ask for criticism. I do have few more plans as far as customization goes, and will update the build for those interested.
I welcome your questions, criticism, and your drool, as you sit back and stare with me at this new build.
Upgraded from i5-2500K. Although the performance improvements are only a few percent per-generation, this is a big increase from Samdy Bridge. Overclocks like a champion. Hit 4.6GHz with little to no trouble stabilizing; that's a 1.1GHz increase from stock.
Keeps my i5-6600K super cool. Idle is 26°, high 60°’s under load.
I'd like to see improvement with the flexibility of the tubing, all while keeping the system secure and just as functional. The tubes block my Corsair LED, and I frequently worry about breaking them.
Insanely fast, and from what I can tell, reliable too. For the price, you'd have to give me a reason not to use it.
Reliable HDD at a steal of a price. No problems after 6+ months. Fast for a traditional HDD.
Phenomenal card. For any user that prefers not to spend the $900+ for a Titan X, this card has the performance of it, with a more realistic ceiling. Not one single complaint.
Mouse works 90% of the time.
Remaining 10% of the time it stops functioning, but the optical sensor at the bottom remains on. A simple on/off foxes this, but it gets annoying.
Fast and reliable, looks great, and all at a more than decent price tag.
I would enjoy a longer USB cord, and as far as the USB itself, the housing around it could be thinner. It has trouble fitting inside my rear IO USB port.