I had this old Dell Vostro 220 with a Core 2 Duo and maxed at a whopping 4GB of RAM. Woo hoo. [BARF]
A couple years ago, I bought this 10,000 RPM hard disk, which has served me well. Except, it can only work as fast as the old POS I have it in.
What do I do? I start looking into building my own damn beast.
Thanks to the help of a couple friends (and of course my vague experience of computer hardware), I pieced together a decent build that will last me a good 10+ years before I need to consider replacing it.
For the record, I'm not even a gamer, but I am a software engineer. I just needed a powerful machine to cover everything I need and last me a while. That's why I haven't bought the graphics card yet.
After about 9 months of using this computer, it still runs great. Definitely better than any other computer I've used. I still don't have a graphics card, but I plan on buying one soon from a friend of mine. I also haven't added any lighting yet - I'm a bit picky on that topic and want things to be perfect. Also as far as the cooling, I do understand there are more customizable ways to do it, but this is what I had to work with.
I have also corrected the radiator and moved it to the other side of the case. This also helps because the wall behind it, where the radiator faces, is always cool, even in the summer.
I also messed up. One day, I took the front cover off to clean off the dust filter. When I went to put the cover back on, although I had it lined up, I was off by barely even an inch, and one of the pegs on the front cover poked into the giant front fan. So... I'm updating my parts list with the replacement fan I had to buy, so that my desk would quit violently shaking.
I also need a new SSD. I'm thinking of a 2TB one at least, but when I get in that range, plus high speed, I'm also looking at a good sized budget, which I don't have.
PS - The last two pictures are as of now, 9 months later. Yes, I know I need to clean it out. Yes, I know I need better dust filters :)
So far, I am extremely impressed. The specs say it runs on average about 40 degrees on idle, yet it stays around 30 degrees even when doing a lot of work. Partly due to the liquid cooler I have, but still does an excellent job.
Great addition to keep the CPU nice and smooth, looks neat and really does its job. Also has some additional tools to help monitor it, and a changing LED. However it is rather cheaply built - for example, the back plate is made of plastic. Probably because they know nobody's going to see it in most final builds.
Just like the CPU, I'm extremely impressed at what this board has to offer. Changing how everything works is very simple and mostly automated, and it's nice to be able to use a mouse in the BIOS. And of course the board itself looks slick.
This is overkill considering my purpose. But it still is great to know I have good reliable RAM. My only complaint is that the fan which comes with it is noisy, and I had to modify it to stay at a low speed.
Buying this disk was a very last minute decision, just minutes before I started building it. I had another old disk I was going to temporarily use for my initial install/setup, but decided not to wipe it and that I should take advantage of an SSD. Unfortunately, the store I went to only had this one available. It does the job as it's meant to do, but it's definitely not what I really would like to buy for this build.
This is a great disk which has served its purpose for years. Very quiet (unless you're putting a big load on it) and of course fast. Only reason I gave it 4 stars is because it is slowly coming outdated and I anticipate all SSDs in this build eventually. But for now, this is the disk where I have all my media, so I need to re-use it.
This is by far a very interesting case, due to the fact that there are many interchangeable parts and extremely flexible layout options. The entire case can rotate, any of the 4 sides can be moved to the next side, and mounting fans is a breeze [pun intended]. However, it is very cheaply made and could have used at least a bit thicker metal.
So far, so good. Hard to give a review on a PSU on a new build, except for how it looks, and perhaps complications during the build. Otherwise, it's serving its purpose just fine, and it's great that all the wires don't come out in one tangled cluster.
Definitely better than the one which came with the case. I accidentally broke a blade off of the old one while putting the front cover back on. So this one replaced the original. It seems much smoother too, and looks slick.