This was my first build even though technically it was not a build from scratch.
I had a 2008 Dell XPS that was awesome in its day but now was falling very short. I mainly play World of Tanks and Starcraft 2. I had a tight budget and could not buy a new computer and since I did pay a premium back in 2008 I didn't want it to go to waste.
I got the Pentium G3258 and MSI Z97 PC mate as a bundle at Micro Center for only $90 and after mail in rebate it went down to $80. I was able to over clock the CPU to 4.0 GHZ using the stock heat sink. It runs very cool at 45C idle and 65C when gaming.
I used the case, optical drive, keyboard/mouse, monitor, and power supply from the XPS 630 since I love the look of the case and the power supply is 750W.
It was much easier than I thought to put it together. I now realize that since I got a Z97 mother board it gives me the option to upgrade the CPU in the future if I ever want to get into more serious games.
The only thing that was heartbreaking was that fire wire is no longer supported but, if I ever want to use fire wire I could just get a PCI card.
So the moral of the story is that you can give new life to an old PC.
The original PSU that I was planning on keeping started to make a strange sound. Saw the XFX PSU on sale and jumped on it. Installed the PSU and was up and running right away. Cable management is a pain on this old DELL but, I was able to keep it somewhat tucked away.
I also added the Cooler Master CPU cooler. Now my temps run 30-35 C idle and 40-45 while gaming overclocked at 4.2 GHZ. I was going to overclock more but, after running the MSI program I saw that 4.2 was the sweet spot. As you can see in my picture the Cooler Master barely fits in my case but, it was well worth it. I replaced the stock fan and added two Cooler Master blue LED fans on push pull configuration, since the fans were dirt cheap. There is no speed control on the fans because they are 3 pin but, I don’t hear them at all.
I wanted USB 3 in the front of my case so I got the USB add on that fit in the 3.5 inch opening in the front of the case.
As you can see I bought 4 Cooler Master blue LED fans, 2 to replace the front fans and 2 for the CPU cooler. When I installed the fans to the front of the case, they were too loud. They looked cool but, I broke down and placed the old fans back. When I did take out the old fans, I noticed that they were of very high quality so no loss.
The cost that you see are after sales, discounts and, mail in rebates.
Found a fairly new EVGA GTX 960 for $100 on craigslist. Put that GPU in and now the games i play are all on ultra or maximum with a FPS in the 60's. I also put more effort into my cable management with the limited space the old DELL XPS case gives.