I decided that since I had some old workstations and unused arcade-PC parts lying around, I would make a PC for browsing and making dream builds on PCPartPicker. For that, and playing some old GoldSrc games on Windows 7, it works. I'm even able to develop small programs in Visual Studio since I added the extra 1gb of RAM.
Wow. I did not expect this. The second- or third-best mainstream Core 2 Duo, this CPU handles desktop and lightweight programs beautifully. Windows 7 runs great, Ubuntu 15/16/17 run great, Windows 10... well... was not made for Core 2 Duos. But it works and that's more than I expected when I pulled it out of a 2006 IT-education workstation.
Hah, I'm just kidding. Running the UserBenchmark test led to a "No compatible Direct3D devices found." Although, GoldSrc games all run fine at max settings, 1440x900 @ 75Hz.
Hell no. BIOS doesn't save since I took out the PSWD jumper to reset the system and counts the RAM every startup even with the jumper back in- which is not very fast at 667 MHz. Unlocked CPU, locked BIOS. Terrible proprietary form factor, probably the biggest HTPC-size motherboard. If ever you find yourself with an HP OEM case, though, I guess you have no choice.
I would review the RAM seperately, but I really can't tell a difference. 3GB is a MASSIVE upgrade from 2GB, I actually don't run out of RAM in everyday circumstances now. I can't tell a difference in speed from DDR3, even though on paper it is half the speed. Overall usable.
HDD 1: WD Blue 160 GB
I think I actually have the 2009 version of this HDD, it runs at like 50 MB/s almost unused. Nice for free.
HDD 2 + 3: Caviar Green 500GB and Toshiba 640GB laptop HDD
I put these together because they run in a RAID 0, otherwise they'd be painfully slow, a HDD designed for low performance and a worn-out laptop HDD from 6 or 7 years back. Really fast, read up to 200 MB/s, write hovers around 100.
Nothing negative to say about this case. Its sheer usefulness trumps all the terrible looks. Everything is modular, the PSU and 5.5" and one of the 3.5" bays swing back, a hidden second bay lurks under the PSU, and there's enough room between the unattached CD/DVD drive (only 3 SATA lanes) for a 2.5" HDD, though it technically isn't supposed to be there.
Well, that wraps up my third build. I hope you enjoy this thing that cost me $8 CAD (thermal paste).
WAY better than I expected from 2006. DO NOT use this unless you get it for free like I did.
A little bit unreliable. One stick is faster than the other, but they both seem slow when your motherboard counts their quantities in megabytes each startup.
For free, I would totally recommend this. 50MB/s read, about 40 MB/s write. Random speeds measured in bytes but that's OK.
Unreliable. Wears out fast. Slow even in a RAID. Don't buy this just get it.
I can't imagine why you'd pay for this