Also considered: Frankenstein's Hamster
Some months back, I posted a build I did for a friend of mine. Basically, he couldn't even play online chess on his HP 110-210 Pavilion Desktop PC because it was so slow. I took a look at it and discovered it wasn't an actual PC, but a laptop in a box. I didn't have the skills to modify the case and turn it into a real computer at the time, but I vowed that one day, when I did, I would do just that.
Well, that day still hasn't come. I tried anyway. I will have you know, however, that no other PC was harmed during the process. I used scrap metal from the build as I built it to make little parts and improvements (read: fix and cover up mistakes).
Disclaimer: I don't hate or even dislike HP. I'm just disappointed in them. If you buy one of their professional grade products, you'll likely be happy. When it comes to consumer grade products, unfortunately, they can be cheap and short-sighted. My ripped off friend has vowed to never buy another HP product.
In the process of creating this beauty, I learned how to use a Dremel tool, power drill, and pop-riveter. It was a blast. So, I am really fond of the little guy, even if he's a bit underpowered and not particularly great at anything. (I know, people have dogs that are just like them.) Anyway, this build isn't for anything or anyone in particular. It's the principle of the thing. Righting a wrong done against PCs in general. And, if you were just doing basic computer work, surfing the internet, a little gaming, etc., it would be plenty fast.
Lame rationalization: People that make Persian carpets intentionally put one mistake into each one, because to make a perfect thing is willful arrogance. I didn't want to take any chances, so I left, um...more than one.
Trying your patience: HP continues using a version of this same backplate and case to this day in its Pavilions. In fact, it used this exact backplate for one of the original funky helmet design Pavilions--the 550-114nf--and even put a real computer in it. It was difficult to find one where they actually used the cutouts, though. That's a shame, because the structural pattern is really versatile for making different part configurations, depending on how you they cut it out.
In addition to my case modding challenges, I had plenty of problems with this build. I did the cutout for a PS that wouldn't fit across the top horizontally with the original optical drive (note to self: measure twice, cut once), so I had to switch to a smaller PS and do some more cutting. I ended up having to wedge one side of a shelving bracket behind the mobo mount to create a support bar for underneath the PS. Cabling was still pretty tight between the PS and Optical drive. This build also utilizes my patented EZ PCIe Card Retention Assembly Par ExcellenceTM system, which speaks for itself, unfortunately. (I've included photos of the EZ instructions for your reading enjoyment).
I did reinstall the original HDD but, with the SSD drives there, didn't bother to actually connect it. The data and power connectors go nowhere (a Winchester Mystery Build, for you SF Bay Area folks). I just needed some ballast for the bottom left, because this thing is top-heavy, and I didn't want to accidentally tip it over. I used metal I removed from the backplate to cover up the back of the HDD, which was ugly even by my standards.
I have no clue what to do with this thing. I hate to part it out at this point. Any ideas? (Keep it clean.)
Some of the parts:
Gigabyte mini-ITX MB. Nice board. It's pretty easy to work with for being so small. Not sure why they put dual ethernet ports on a mini-ITX. I love the M.2 slot on the back and the PCIe X16 slot on the edge.
Radium 8GB Memory DIMMs. Just cheap RAM I found on Amazon. Both DIMMs passed MemTest86 and they run at 2400, so there's that.
i3-7100 Processor. Nice basic processor that runs fast enough to do basic computer work and some gaming. It runs in the 30s and 40s mostly and idles in the high 20s. I don't know what typical temps are for this CPU, but that seems okay for an Intel chip in a case without much ventilation.
Zotac GTX 1050. It benchmarks really well compared to other 1050s, especially considering that it's a mini version.
EVGA G3 650W PS. Massive overkill, but the only PS I had that would fit in this build. I didn't realize before that not all PS cables will work with all PSs. The EVGA would not supply power with any of the non-EVGA cables that I tried.
Noctua NH-L9x65 Cooler. Also overkill for this processor, but the HP 110-210 has suffered long enough.