Hey guys, Mr. Pants here, back with another pair of builds. I called this project Hybridization, due to its multi-build nature. You can see the other part here: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/kMxYcf .
This project was a rebuild my parent's desktops. My mom lost her laptop in the November 2013 tornado, and my dad's system hasn't been cleaned in years, and seriously needed a rebuild. What I ended up doing is buying parts for one system, and then making two systems out of a mix of new and old parts.
This one is Hybridization Alpha, and is based off of my dad's old system, revamped with a new motherboard and processor. Let's take a look at the parts:
APU: We wanted a cheap upgrade to my dad's old Phenom, capable of general desktop use, media streaming throughout the house, acting as a general server for the house, and the occasional bit of Runescape. I figured a quad-core A8 would be perfect for this task, and since it has good integrated graphics, we don't even need a separate GPU.
Cooler: We are running stock ATM, but as temps are idling in the 40's, I think an aftermarket cooler is in my future.
Mobo: This was my first mess-up. We were going to order the F2A88XM, but due to a ordering error, we got the full-ATX variant instead. Luckily the case fits full-ATX, barely... Interestingly, it can regulate the speed on 3-pin fans, a nice feature in my book.
Memory: 8GB of good, solid G.Skill Ares. The color adds to the rig greatly, it adds some pizazz to a generally dull system. It was cheap, fast (perfect for an APU), and I know G.Skill to be as reliable as the rotation of the Earth.
Storage: We used the WD blue from the old system. May as well, as it has all the files and is free anyways. If we had more than one drive bay I'd have pushed for an SSD as well.
Case: My dad's old Elite 360 was reused for this. It's a decent case, but the lack of cabling options is quite annoying for making anything look nice. Didn't help that we had no cable-ties.
PSU: OEM that came with the case. Good lord this is sketchy, it's rated at 350W, but the rails add up to less than 240, with only half of that on the 12V rail. It also doesn't even have PFC, using a voltage redoubler switch instead. We will be replacing ASAP with a better unit.
Optical Drive: We're getting a Blu-Ray drive, but it isn't here yet, so for now it's just a hole in the front of the case.
Fans: A single 120mm Cooler Master fan came with the case. I set it as a filtered intake (rather than the stock exhaust, I stole the filter from the ML03 in the other part) to help keep dust levels down.
The build time was largely taken up by cleaning up my dad's old system, involving a damp paper towel and my breath (we didn't have canned air). After it was clean, the build went pretty smoothly though. I accidentally forgot the IO shield at first >:( , luckily I had only put in two standoffs when I noticed. Cabling on this is a nightmare. I really don't trust that PSU at all, especially with only a 4-pin CPU connector. The build looks pretty good to my eyes, except for the cables really... I didn't bother with an out-of-the-case test, to save time. It worked on the first boot just fine :)
Tell me what you think! If you have any questions feel free to ask!
Update: The Blu-Ray drive is here and installed, as well as a new desk and a 23" Dell monitor. My dad has finally hit HD!