So a little background story: This project happened to cross paths with the fact that my buddy needed a functional PC. He has been using the same Surface tablet since 2012, and that thing is on its last leg. He's made it through nursing school on an ORIGINAL surface tablet...and on top of the fact he is going to be the one performing the service/marrying my fiancee and I next month, I'd say this gift is well-deserved.
Anyhow, as the title states, this was a "$0" build. All of the parts here were either gifted recycled, or pulled literally out of the trash, with a couple things (like the power supply) bought new for obvious reasons. However, there was no money paid out of pocket, as selling older parts paid for the couple that were actually purchased....so I suppose it's almost a "zero-dollar" pc.
CPU and RAM: These were gifted to me in a package by a new coworker, a 60 year old air force veteran who has a passion for flight sims. I couldn't believe it....such kindness to simply pass on a good old 6 core Phenom 1100T and some HyperX Genesis memory. CPU runs like a champ, and still handles modern games well. Amazingly, he also provided the ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z mobo and Corsair AIO liquid cpu cooler that is in my current build. Again, I can't believe how fortunate I am to simply be handed off this stuff. You never know what a simple conversation with someone can turn into!
Motherboard: I was taking out the trash one day at our old apartment complex, and I saw this ASUS M5A99X EVO sitting there in a box on top of a pile of garbage. It was even inside an anti-static sleeve. I thought, "this thing HAS to be dead". I sat on this mobo for over a year before getting an AM3 cpu to test it out. Imagine my surprise when it booted to the UEFI!!!
Video Card: Pulled from a (Dell?) desktop. My grandpa had this sitting in a box, in a barn of all places.
Storage: HDD: WD 500gb Caviar Blue out of a compaq desktop. My old man claimed it "got struck by lightning" after lightning did in fact strike my parent's house, though windows disk scan shows no errors...
Wireless PCI adaptor: Also a victim of the "lightning strike". Tested working.
Razer Imperator: My fiancee said that years ago, her ex-boyfriend gave her back a box of her stuff after they broke up...and this was in it. Strange, but hey it's a free mouse lol.
SSD, PSU, and T2 cooler: All purchased from micro-center, using funds from selling and old laptop that the lady had. So no money technically out of pocket.
Case: Used funds from selling a portable HDD I've had for 6 years. Shoutout to the nice guy I met over r/hardwareswap and who hooked me up with an awesome masterbox for $30, with all screws, parts, etc. included.
That's it! My buddy already has a monitor, and I have an old keyboard I'm adding in.... so this tower is being brought to his place later today. Hope you all enjoyed the story, and please excuse the dim lighting in all of the pictures lol.
Thanks for reading!