Description

This is the story of an old store bought PC transformed into a formidable gaming computer.

My stepson, Micheal, has been gaming on PC for a long time, yet has exclusively played on one toaster after another. He wanted to build a new PC but I informed him that with a few improvements we could turn his Best Box Store PC into something much better. And when he saved up the $300 to do so, we did. We removed every component from the HP case (except the power supply) and separated everything we intended to use. Then we removed the CPU cooler, cleaned the cooler and the CPU, applied some Cooler Master thermal paste I had left from previous builds, and put everything back together in the new case.

The up-side - The case fits all of the components and a non-modular PSU. The R9-270X has more than enough power to run games at his 1360x768 resolution. And, strangely enough, the old Foxconn motherboard not only accepted the old 2x2 1333 kit that came with it and the new 2x4 HyperX 1866 kit that we added, AND the thing runs the two kits at two different speeds! The former at 1333 and the latter at 1866. I didn't know this was possible, but all my checks confirm that is the situation. Crazy, right?

The down-side- I cannot recommend the Rosewill FBM-01 for a couple reasons: There is no room at all for cable management - as you can see by the photos I ran the cables from one free cage to the next and tied them in. There was nothing else to do about it. Secondly - a microATX motherboard barely fits between the I/O shield and the cages. It took some serious finagling to get it in there. Also the Saphire Radeon R9-270X is not a quiet card. I read many reviews and none complained about the noise. But it is certainly noticeable in a quiet room. We bought it for its status as the cheapest of the chipset at the time of purchase, but I must recommend others save a few dollars for something else. Lastly, despite clearing the CMOS at the pins and at the battery, I cannot access the BIOS on this old motherboard. So I cannot investigate the strange memory speeds. Oh well.

Enjoy the view. I know Micheal is!

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Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice work, but check the placement of your ram. Doesn't look like it's in dual channel mode - Normally you should have your sticks installed in slot 2 and 4 first

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought the arrangement strange as well. But that's how the memory channels on the older Foxcon motherboards are arranged. Weird right?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the noise generating from the fans on the Sapphire card or is it the vibration in the case ?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Could be both. I removed the side panel to allow it better access to air but it didn't change anything. It is certainly the whoosh of fans but there may be a component of resonance in the total effect. The FBM-01 is a very cheap case with no protections for such things.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I was going to do something like this for my friend. He has a Pavilion, and the CPU and motherboard are pretty good, and he wants to upgrade some other parts and his case. Was the IO Shield removable from the HP Pavilion case? Cool restoration btw, +1

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, the shield was just like any other. Best of luck!