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Build

The Electrikitty

by conductoshark

24
43 Comments

Details

Date Published

Jan. 2, 2016

Date Built

Jan. 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

2.66 GHz

CPU Temperature Under Load

40.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.006 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5 GHz

GPU Temperature Under Load

90.0° C

Description

After so long... Finally! I can build my very own computer! I know you readers have likely read many other first-time-builder posts, so I'll get straight to the description.

Budget was certainly a heavy factor in choosing my parts. Though I didn't have any budget in mind, I wanted something that was well worth the money. Ebay was a very VERY helpful resource for "The Electrikitty". The cpu, motherboard, and ram all came in one package from ebay for 47.50 (including shipping). I already had the hard drive salvaged from a broken hp all-in-one. I bought an extra 4gb of ddr2 ram on amazon (hopefully it delivers from hong kong or wherever from) to fill the last two dimms on the motherboard (woo! 8gb!). I'm running ubuntu from a flash drive right now, and when I get the hard drive set up, I'll install wine so I can use some windows-only programs.

What am I going to use this computer for? Well, like others, I'll be doing some gaming - on the casual side - some school work, and some content creation (video editing, image editing, and hopefully some 3D rendering).

Now to the parts:

Q8400 This was actually listed as a Q8200 on ebay, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the 2.66Ghz when I first booted to BIOS. All I can say, it's a huge improvement over my laptop cpu (apu a6-4400m dual core at 2.7, boost to 3.2). I haven't tested it yet, but I know it's going to satisfy my needs.

DQ45CB The motherboard was something that concerned me more than the other parts because I got it from ebay, and there wasn't much indication on the listing of its quality other than used. I didn't know whether or not it would include the back plate. The main reason I went for it was because of the quad-core and 4gigs of ram, which would justify the price if the motherboard was a failure (luckily, it isn't! [so far... :D]). It didn't include any other accessories like the standoffs or any screws or SATA cables - except for the I/O plate, so that was nice.

4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-800Mhz Yeah, I know, it's not DDR3 but if it costs cheap and it works nicely, then it is valuable.

Seagate Barracuda 750GB It's really handy to have a spare hard drive layin' around! Can't use it yet because I forgot to order the SATA cable XP.

MSI GT 740 1GB This part I went back and forth on. I know the 750 Ti is a better value gaming card, but it wasn't permitted by the budget. I went with Nvidia because they supposedly have better driver support than AMD (I don't know much about that, but I'm fairly sure that an AMD card would perform just as well for its worth). I was in the market for a card that could do some decent gaming for a relatively low price. I was initially aiming for an "old-but-gold" card that might perform better in games, but most of the candidates required at least two six-pin connectors, which the CX430 doesn't have. I also needed a gpu that had an hdmi port because my TV/monitor does not have a display port or a DVI port. So I settled for the 740. It has a nice, low power requirement and it looks good in the Source 210.

NZXT Source 210 Now, I know what some will say: "A budget build with a not-so-budget case, huh? Don't you think you could have cut costs a bit there?", to which I wholly answer, yes, totally. The thing is, I like the option of cable management, good looks (exterior and interior), and extras (the extra standoffs and screws saved my behind on this one). It's a nicely sturdy case, and not too heavy for itself. It has a LOT of hard drive bays - more than I'd ever imagine using. There's room to mount dual radiators on the case's ceiling and (I think) the front, but I don't think that will be necessary.

Corsair 430W ATX12V It's a good psu for almost any kind of pc. The 80+ bronze rating means a lot to me, even though I'm not running a totally demanding setup. I give it my thumbs up!

I'll probably review the parts once I get to use them for a good amount of time.

Other notes: I mentioned that the motherboard came with the I/O plate, and it works with the case, but it was a real pain to click it completely into place so the motherboard's screwholes would match the standoffs. I got it eventually, but is that normal? should I be concerned? Another thing, since the motherboard didn't come with screws, I used some from an old bag of screws from a motherboard of long ago. They should be shown in the pictures. They screw the motherboard onto the standoffs firmly and there doesn't seem to be any issue. I'm wondering if I should have to only use a single type of standoff screws (even though these other ones work just as well). (Couldn't have done this without my lunch. I salute you, chicken, toast, cranberry jam, and water. )

Any insight would be helpful. If you notice in the pictures that I am doing something totally wrong that would cause my machine to cry battery acid and erupt into flames prior to an implosion resulting in the evacuation of the nearest homeless squirrel facility, then please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

1 / 12 / 16 U P D A T E

I just got the extra 4GB of ddr2 ram today, and was anxiously surprised to see the speed on the two dimms as "666" (yes, really), and I thought it might seriously hamper the performance since my two pre-loaded *800mhz 4GB dimms. I threw them into the slots and booted to bios for a quick check, hoping I wouldn't have to overclock anything, and strangely enough, it's not a daemon 4gb of ram from hell (though I might figure, since it was cheap for ddr2 and it took weeks to arrive). All four sticks of ram are happily running at 800mhz - or so my motherboard says - so I'm satisfied.

This is the first computer I've had that has a full 8GB of ram, and even though it isn't the current ddr3-gen ram, it feels special to me. I'm certain I'll be able to tell the difference between the time I've used this pc with 4gb and the time from now on.

I haven't gotten around to temps and don't plan to, but if anyone is interested, give me a comment and I'll put them up. Thanks for reading!

1 / 22 / 16 U P D A T E

Just got the sata cables today. I should mention that a bit after the last update I've been using a sata cable from one of my teachers. When I booted the OS for the first time, I discovered that Windows 7 was still on it from the HP it was salvaged from... Neat! So I have that running, but I have the ubuntu waiting for the SSD (which is why I ordered 2 SATAs). I'll put in some time in the future. For now, I'm happy with the system. It performs well at 1080p in games like Warframe, Hawken, Need for Speed : Hot Pursuit, and other less demanding games. Blender runs nicely too, but I haven't rendered anything as of yet (probably be some time before I do, hehe).

I ask myself: Why do I still find myself still putting part lists together? I have a pc, it does all I ever need to do as a teen in high school. It's fun building PCs, and can't wait to build my next one. Thanks for reading.

1 / 23 / 16 U P D A T E I just ran some benchmarks with Catzilla and I added the temps. Seems kinda weird that the cpu got only up to 40* C. Something strange that happened was a cpu clock spike from 2.66Ghz to 3.68Ghz - it wasn't during a cutscene. Not sure if that's normal or not, but I sure would like to know how to maintain that kind of speed! Thanks for reading!

Part Reviews

Video Card

Great first-build casual gaming card! (but recommended for the enthusiasts!) Also consider the ram sizes/speeds (I didn't notice).

Case

It's really just simple and fun to build in this case! Good air-flow, good cut-outs for cable management, good motherboard sizes, all these drive cages and fan setups are nice!

Power Supply

It's holding up well, but I wish it had two pcie power connectors for a better gpu (though I suppose that's why it's just a 430 watt psu, eh?). Solid component!

Comments Sorted by:

Kimchi 8 points 40 months ago

Reminds me of Scrapyard Wars from LinusTechTips

+1

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 3 points 40 months ago

Haha, yeah this was kinda like that, what with the core 2 quad and all! Except dat R9 290 doe! :P

Kimchi 1 point 40 months ago

It would have been amazing if you got a 290 lol

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Yeah, actually I did see a 290 on ebay for 250, not sure if it's still there. It sure would be awesome to see something like that in the third scrapyard wars

Kimchi 1 point 40 months ago

It would have been nice but your PSU wouldn't support it.

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

yeh, for sure

[comment deleted by staff]
OGbobbywilson21 1 point 38 months ago

Yes indeed

jaredt 1 Build 5 points 40 months ago

Dude infinite respect for putting what is a competent system for less then I paid for my cpu. A+

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Thank you so much!

cia24 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

First build looks good. I am glad that you took care of the wire management from the start. I'm sure this wont be your last build! Most people who build their first desktop often don't care about wire management I;m glad you did.

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Thanks! My old dell's cable management was awful and I ended up disassembling it, washing all the dust out (didn't have the air-spray), drying the case, re-assembling it, and fixing the cables to the side of the case. The NZXT makes it a whole lot easier with the cutouts and whatnot!

cia24 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Well it looks good. I have faith that when you build in the future you will get even better. Pc's are expensive and I don't like it when people don't take their time to build them correctly.

fn230 9 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Nobody dislikes a scrap build. Well done, and bonus points for Linux. +1

JuniorVid 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Haha, one of your builds is called The Stray Cat and this build is called Electrokitty.

Haha

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Actually, I did notice The Stray Cat build in PCpartpicker. It's a cool name and it makes me feel warm inside ( :3 ). I actually thought up the idea of an electrikitty one day after school. These were my thoughts behind it:

What if the "C" in electricity was a solid C? (Why do I even think these types of things?)

Then it would sound like electriKitty, and that made me think of a cat surrounded by electricity. I just decided to name this build that because it was a surreal idea I'd like to remember.

I even edited some pictures together to conjure some idea of what an Electrikitty might look like. Maybe I'll put it in the pictures.

fn230 9 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I'm honored that you noticed. Your build's more impressive in my books, since you researched and built it yourself. :3

Also, please do. I'd like to see it.

JuniorVid 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

lol that cat looks awesome!

fn230 9 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

What's even funnier is that they're similarly specced, too. The Stray Cat has a Core 2 Quad Q8300, 4 GB of DDR2-800, and just received a GTX 750 Ti recently.

[comment deleted by staff]
VincesanityJr. 1 point 40 months ago

Dang...wish i started with that computer. what budget were you on?

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I was looking for parts that would cost about or a little over 100 for parts excluding the gpu and the rest of the budget up to 200 for the gpu, so I guess the budget would be 200 total. I might have preferred to cut back on some of the parts to maybe get a GTX series graphics card, buuuuuut, I mean, I'd like to have a properly functioning computer in the end, you know?

LeMMingSlayeR 23 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Very awesome build! I love the amount of performance you got for your dollar. I am always happy to see older generation parts find new homes. Your build reminds me of the computer I built for my son.

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/sZKZxr

+1

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Awesome, and will still play. Great job.+1

nuked24 4 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

The motherboard has a built-in FireWire port!

Also, 4GB of DDR2 is really cheap for what prices I'm used to seeing for it, really nice deal.

insert Core2 Quad jealousy here

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Oh! Wow, yeah I saw that and wondered what it was. I wonder if there's some tangible way I could use that

nuked24 4 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

If you can find something to use it, sure. I'd probably use it for a USB hub lol

Claymoresama 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I respect that you had the bravery to use older used parts. I hope it holds up well. If I may make a suggestion, when you have some more $ later in life I think you should throw a small SSD in your pc also some more ram if possible.

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Thank you. The SSD is definitely the first upgrade this build gets. I've ordered an extra 4GB of ram alongside my current components, but the shipping is international, so it's taking longer. I'll update the build when I get the ram.

Claymoresama 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Awesome I look forward to seeing how those upgrades turn out.

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Okay, the ram arrived today, and the build is updated. I'm not sure how to add it to the current parts though. Next thing is the SSD (will get that down the road).

ajpinton 11 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I really love seeing old parts revived in to a new build. That is some decently fast DDR2 you have, you dont see DDR2 running at 800MHz very much as it is normally 667 range (it can be found as high as 1066 but that is really rare). You also have an interesting motherboard, its not common to see dual DVI on a mobo that old and really strange for it to not have VGA on board. Really good looking build my friend.

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Thanks! Yeah, I don't know about the two DVI's. DVI seems really popular in gaming, but my monitor doesn't have any ports, so it's hdmi for me!

Moltraze 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

"I went with Nvidia because they supposedly have better driver support than AMD" AMD has definitely ironed out their driver issues. I'm using a 380x and it's magnificent. They fixed their issues within the release of the Crimson drivers. Just wanted to give you a heads up :)

Lovely build, my friend is currently trying to build something similar to this, except he went with a 950. +1

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

oh cool! Then I look forward to considering AMD in any future build! Thanks!

IDontMasterRaceThings 1 point 38 months ago

Would this be a good first time pc? I really have no knowledge in pc building right now :p

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Oh hey! Sorry for the kinda late reply. You know, it's definitely a good performer for casual gaming - I'm sure that some AAA games like Bioshock infinite, Tomb Raider (*not Rise of the Tomb Raider), Dirt 3, and others up to 2014 (I might say 2015) would run just fine on this build, given a few minor tweaks in some games. The most demanding games in my library are Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and 404Sight; they're both really great-looking games and run at playable frame rates. I can post some benchmarks here if you want, just let me know.

tl;dr version if you wanted to build a pc to play the more modern games like Far Cry Primal, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, this is not the computer for you. HOWEVER: If you want a nifty computer for your school/work-work, some content creation - blender, source filmmaker, gimp, etc - and some casual gaming on the side for a price that beats Best Buy, iBuyPower or some other overpriced computer manufacturer, then I'd say this computer is damn awesome!

If you have questions about performance (game performance or other... ), about the pricing (such as how I got the prices for the items in this list), or anything else, please ask me and I'll be obliged to answer your questions as best as I can!

ThePacklemore 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Do u have a cat?

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

There's the thing; I don't have a cat . I just think they're funny. The names come from the pictures I happened to make.

ThePacklemore 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Are you ever going to get one?

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Maybe some day when I have a full-time job

ThePacklemore 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

Look at my profile pic that is my cat

conductoshark submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Awesome! Is that a maine coon?