Description

Long story short, I had 500 Euros wanted to be transformed into a new pc. My problem was that the new build should at least match the performance of a Mac Pro 4.1 dual X5550 that was being used by my wife OR me, decided by will strength (So mostly her). The alternative would be to build a cheap "pink" pc for the wife mainly for office, internet browsing etc, freeing the mac pro for me (office, internet browsing, and Dragon Age III, Fallout 4, and other games).

So, I ended up building this little imp, using the GPU, SSD and mouse from the Mac, for the 40" TV in the living room and given the budget I believe I did well: 1. Booting time: a few seconds compared to a few minutes for the Mac; 2. Sata III instead of Sata II; 3. Upgradeable in every way. The Mac can't be really upgraded, except for the gpu. (Actually there is a way to upgrade to dual X5670 and 1600MHz RAM, but one X5670 still costs more than 1000Euros!); 4. Better performance for Fallout4. I believe this will be true for DAIII and any other game I'll try.

Things I would change if I really could: 1. A semi-modular psu to cut down about an hour trying to hide the extra cables on the back from the building time; 2. A windowed case and a better looking cooler for showoff. I believe I will be trying to cut a window in the near future... and ending in buying a new case!

UPDATE: I replaced the 2 Cooler Master fans that came with the case with 3 Arctic Cooling F12 pwm fans, and I added a second ssd (Samsung 850 EVO 120G for Windows and Programs, and 840 EVO 250G for games) and an s/pdif out I salvaged from an old pc. I added some better quality pictures as well.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 3 points

Nicely done +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Clean cable management +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

I think you did pretty well for the money, but aren't you still limited to one computer between the two of you?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. No, the mac is still working with its original gpu (GTX285 Mac edition) and a new 120G ssd. Also we had two mice according our preferences and needs so all is good!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a nice looking build! :-)

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Bring out the Imp.

Nice build!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 For using old-gen GTX GPU

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Extremely cost effective, smart build.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Just one small mistake. You said 40' instead of 40." At least in US, that means a 40 foot TV.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Corrected!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

If it doesn't kill you, you also misspelled "cheap" and forgot a space after the "..." Forgot space in 4th line second paragraph.

I do like the build, if it's any consolation. You did a good job on cable management, especially with a non-modular psu.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

(Actually there is a way to upgrade to dual X5670 and 1600MHz RAM, but one X5670 still costs more than 1000Euros!)

Maybe if you're buying the CPU brand new. =P

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for potato camera :D

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I am in the middle of speccing out a very similar build (Exact same CPU and mobo, same amount of SSD and RAM). I appreciate your comments about the PSU, the windowed case and the cooler. I have been going back and forth on that myself.

I know it doesn't affect performance, but it does affect how I will like looking at the darn thing every day with the open case vs closed.

Very nicely done for the 500 Euro target.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I was also troubled a lot about the case and the PSU.

PSU: While I was trying to decide what PSU to buy I came across a list of PSUs grouped in tiers by quality/durability (google: PSU tier list 2.0). The xfx I chose was in tier 2 together with PSUs way more expensive, at least in my country. I don't regret buying it since I was able to hide everything on the back, although it took me a lot of time and effort. If the case you will end up buying offers good cable management and you are tight on the budget I highly recommended it. The only downside I can think of is the presence of coloured cables in the 20pin cable which is the only one sleeved.

Cooler: I was reading that the stock cooler was enough for the 6500 and that was very true indeed. The cpu temperature while idle is about 21-22 C and under load (Prime95) is around 65 C with just moments of 67-68 C. Regarding noise, while idle it is acceptable I think, but under load (prime95) is quite noisy. I'll stick with it for now, but I would like to buy a less noisy after-market cooler in the near future. I like the cryorig H7 and the be quiet! pure rock, although I am not sure if the latter will be a tight fit or if it would fit at all.

Case: This troubled me the most! I was initially looking for a htpc case but the decent ones were getting me way out of my budget, so I started looking for micro-atx towers. The N200 seemed very nice for its price and I ended up buying it. I can honestly tell you that it is really nice, robust, spacious for its size, with very good cable management capabilities and it offers a few alternatives for the hdd/ssd placement. But, the moment you'll close the side lid I can guaranty you that you will get disappointed for not having a window to "admire" your new rig - even with the stock cooler or the old gpu. I think the same stands for the windowed version, since it is a narrow one. As I wrote in description above, I will definitely try to cut a window similar to the Corsair Obsidian 350D. As of now, I haven’t found anything like the 350D on the size of N200, but if you don’t mind having an atx case there are a lot of alternatives.

By the way, I was heavily OCDing about the lonely RAM stick and yesterday I bought the second 8G ram that I was planning for when I'll wanted to play a game that requires 16G. I now sleep without thinking about it! :D

I hope this helped somehow.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Ended up getting a Fractal Design Core 1300 closed case (just couldn't justify the bling upgrades) but I did get a semi-modular PSU after reading your comments. Depending on how I build it with parts I have lying around, the computer may have somewhere between zero and two attached drives. I did order an onboard M.2 SSD.

A non-modular PSU would look freaking ugly, especially in the zero attached drive scenario.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! Nice build! How many PCi express slots are there?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The motherboard has 1 for the gpu and another 2 that with a double pci gpu remains only 1.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

ok thanks!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Really enjoy this build.

The i5 6500 is a really good choice for a CPU. It is very powerful, and compliments the GTX 760 very well. Now, the 760 is also a very good choice. The GTX 760, while an older generation GPU, is still very powerful and can run most modern games at 1080p60fps at High settings.

One thing I would change is the storage on this build. Personally, I built a starter PC about a month ago and instead went with the 525GB Crucial MS300 SSD. You can go with the combination of the SSD and the HDD but I personally like to go with a combo.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comment. Indeed the GTX760 still holds for 1080p. It was a surprise for me that fallout4 and dark souls 3 play at 55-60fps although it gets quite hot (65-70C).

About storage, I tend to download a lot of staff on this pc and I don't prefer to do that on an ssd.

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