I built this system as a basic home PC with enough space for family photos, files, music, videos and perhaps some light gaming. Mainly I use it to stream Pandora while working from home and doing taxes, but if the mood strikes someone might want to use it for gaming so I built it with some headroom for future growth.

It isn't pretty but it is fast. The build reuses an ULTRA case from 2007 that originally was free rebates. It's sturdy but the power supply sits on the top (unlike most new cases) and it has no built in cable management.


1.) Price – Kept the entire build under $800 ($799 including 7% tax and shipping), the net will be closer to $700 after a $20 rebate and sale of old parts sold on eBay for $75.

2.) Samsung SSD – Amazingly fast. I bought the Pro series for the 5 year warranty (noticed many other only had a 2 year). Windows 7 Pro 64-bit boots in under 15 seconds.

3.) Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H Motherboard – Feels solid and performs well. My last board was also a Gigabyte and it had no issues whatsoever.

4.) Memory – Not the speediest, but certainly performs as expected.

5.) Intel i5-4570 CPU – with on-board video

6.) Hard Drive – Western Digital Black 1TB series, again for the longer warranty. Also re-used an older 500 GB Seagate.

7.) Performance – Overall Windows Experience score is 6.7 due to the two Graphics metrics. Processor rated at 7.6, RAM at 7.8 and primary hard disk at 7.9.


1.) No video card, but for now the graphics are fine using what comes out of the CPU

2.) Case is ugly as sin. I may replace it, but initially felt bad about tossing something that is still very functional.

3.) No separate CPU cooler (don't need it not overclocking)

Overall I am very pleased with the results and have no regrets other than the lack of visual appeal.

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  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Can we get a shot of the front of the case as well? Have you considered moving one of those drives to a lower bay to get more airflow around them? You may be getting a lot of heat buildup in that triple-filled bay.

Also, someone recommended the Coolermaster Hyper tx3 Evo to me (I have the same mobo with an i3 processor). Under full load, my i3 will hit in the high 70s C so it's not absolutely required, but lower temps tend to extend CPU life somewhat.