This computer started as a Gateway DX4300 that I bought for about 600-700 bucks a few years back. After having to replace the mobo a couple times, needing a new CPU, then rebuilding partitions on the HDD, I decided it was time to upgrade some components. That has led me to where I am today. Completing my first ever build.
I have scavenged some parts, well, one part really (HDD), from the DX4300. Everything else is new.
The DX 4300 came with a Phenom II X4, which was nice. But after having to replace the old Foxconn mobo, which was destroyed because my little girls liked to press the power button and turn the PC on and off constantly, and being inexperienced with thermal paste(oops), I decided to upgrade to the FX-6300. I am assuming it was around the same time that the Foxconn went bad that the HDD became corrupted and I had to rebuild the partitions, which was no small task given my inexperience at the time. So, after replacing the mobo, with another identical Foxconn, rebuilding the partitions on the HDD, and subsequently frying the Phenom II X4, I decided to start fresh. I bought the FX-6300 and an ASUS M5A78 mobo. Obviously Windows does not like it when you change components like this, so that took some time to sort out, but once that was all set I was flying again. I experimented with some light OCing, but the stock heat sink and fan were having none of that. It was around this time that I stumbled upon PCPP. I started fiddling around with components and looking at different builds. The first thing I did was buy the Hyper 212 EVO. Big problems, it wouldn't fit in the DX-4300 case. So, I went from there, picking out my dream PC. That is until I saw the price tag of what the finished product would cost me. No way the wife would allow me to go that route. Back to the drawing board. Slowly but surely I have acquired the parts. I purchased the Commander G41 because I liked the look and features such as cable management and screw-less drive installation. Grommets would have been nice, but I couldn't argue with the price. I transferred everything over to the G41 and installed the Hyper 212 EVO. Now we were getting somewhere. I started doing some more experimenting with OCing the FX-6300 with the Hyper 212 in place. Idle temps dropped from 15 to 5 degrees above ambient. Under load I have not seen temps above 50-55, not too shabby. I started small, made some mistakes along the way (damn Turbo boost), but started to get the hang of it. Got it up to 4.1 GHz, but it would not hold that speed very long. The M5A78 was throttling the OC. Did some more research and realized that this was the wrong board to be OCing with. I can't say that I was thrilled with this epiphany, but I was not all that bummed out by it either. The M5A78 does not have a front panel USB 3.0 header, so I had been running the front panel USB 3.0 ports through an adapter to one of the front panel USB 2.0 headers on the board. Now that I would have to upgrade the mobo, I would be able to take full advantage of the USB 3.0 ports on the front panel.
This journey has brought me here, to a point where I have the ability to expand and upgrade at will, hopefully. The FX-6300 is a great CPU and I cannot wait to unleash it and really see what it is capable of. I know my current GPU is regrettable, to say the least, but as I am not a gamer, it works sufficiently for me, though I plan on upgrading soon. My main goal here was to build a PC that was quiet, powerful, functional and easy on the eyes. I believe that is what I have achieved.
(Let's see how many of you actually make it all the way through all of that!)
Update: OC up to 4.5 GHz. Running stable and cool. Verified with Prime 95. Upgraded GPU to Sapphire Vapor-X R9 270X and custom sleeved cables from Ensourced.
Let's see how much I can get out of her now!
Exceeded expectations. Fantastic CPU cooler.
Only 4 stars because of the locations of the chassis fan connectors.
Great product from a trustworthy brand.
Never knew how great it would be having an SSD. Lightning quick boot times.
Scavenged from old computer. Decent storage.
Excellent cable management, unless you are hell bent on grommets. Liking the front panel USB 3.0.
One word, modular. Never going back.
Cheap and functional optical drive. No bells and whistles.
Great monitor, or I could just be ASUS biased.