Description

There's just something satisfying about building or rebuilding a PC with old parts amiright? This was my first self-bought/self-built system from 2009 which included the CPU, mobo, RAM, and the case (hence the original pricing)- the rest were purchased later for upgrades, or new for this particular build.

When I put these parts [back]together around nine months ago I had the intention of giving it to my dad so he could play SWTOR with me; the short backstory being that we used to play pc games together when I was a teenager, but he's long been reduced to consoles. Sad. Thinking I could give him a cool birthday gift (he's impossible to buy for anyway) I purchased the power supply and the SSD for ~$100 and the rest of it I had lying around.

I had a great time building this, and my dad was super stoked when he came home to find a new rig set up in our old 'computer room' (which is now the office and occupied by a single Mac lol). We didn't get around to ever playing together all that much, but I loaded tons of his favorite Bioware single player games on there so he could play those too.

During the holidays I was over at their house, so I thought I'd see how the ol' girl was running. I went to power it on, but it wasn't posting. Odd. I questioned my father who admitted that he hadn't used it in a while, and didn't even know it that wasn't turning on. Baka. Apparently. he doesn't remember how to use mouse/keyboard effectively anymore, and it's too much trouble to relearn. Nani? I was disappointed to say the least, but my I suppose I should show some sympathy to the guy since he's always been a bit of a tech-dingus and it's only getting worse the older he gets. I took it home and fixed it of course, but it's been over well over a month and I don't know if I'm going to give it back. Until then, it can be the garage PC on my workbench.

Other than the sort-of interesting story of this build, I guess I've gotta tell you about the case- this mysterious, anonymous, unlabeled case. Purchased at a Fry's in southern California for ~$55 and came with a 450W power supply. I chose it because it had a viewing window WITH glowing fans IN the window. This is January of 2009 we're talking here, so these features were not only new to me, they were near the coolest thing I had laid eyes on. Aesthetically, for me the exterior of the case is nearly perfect. I love the shape, the colors, the mesh-like ventilation coverings, and it has a nice solid/sturdy feel. When I look at cases nowadays, I use this one as my baseline for the kind of geometry/aesthetic I'm looking for. While the inside of the case may not be as stylish, it is functional and is roomy enough for SLI/Crossfire & most of those longer GPUs. Plenty of drive sleds and expansion bays. If you recognize this case please let me know! I've been trying to figure out for years where it came from, and even googling the serial number sticker (the only marking of any kind) has produced zero clues.

Part Reviews

CPU

This chip is a decade from release, and it's still got some juice left. I was far too green to attempt any overclocking when I was using this chip in my main rig, but holy crap you can really crank this thing up! With a normal tower fan I got somewhat stable 3.8GHz, but the temps weren't great- so we settled for 3.4Ghz which is a modest 20% OC. With AIO or liquid cooling I'm sure that you could achieve even better results.

CPU Cooler

Picked this cooler up in 2014 for my Haswell build. I liked it because it had a front facing fan, a low profile without covering ram slots, and didn't stick out in the case like the 212. It's a great fit for small form cases, and it's fairly inexpensive.

Motherboard

Who came up with the color scheme for this series of motherboards? Why yellow ram slots? Why red sata ports? Who knows.

Great micro ATX board, and still kicking 9 years later. The BIOS is older, but still easy enough to use after a bit of reading.

Memory

This kit still looks pretty cool, the spiked radiator fins are a nice touch. 4GB won't go far with new games, but it's plenty for older ones.

Storage

Inexpensive, blazing boot times. Need I say more?

Video Card

This thing is power hungry and incredibly inefficient compared to its modern counterparts, however it still rocks 1080p and is a viable option for a budget build if you're ok with medium settings for newer games. I used this as my main card for almost 4 years before replacing it with a 1070.

Comments

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Appreciate the use of old parts my dude! +1

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Even though its old it looks so clean and brand new:) what games are you playing on that system?

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

It's got Bioware games from 2008-2012 (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, SWTOR) loaded on it, and plays them all pretty well.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Coooool!!!

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

If you want to attempt to push some newer games You can buy a PCI-E extender and slap an pcie to m.2 converter on it. Then slap in an Intel optane and set it as your Paging file. That will probably remove your problems with ram requirements. (If you try it please let me know the results as I am trying to find more uses for the stuff.) THANKS! Should be around $40-50 to give that a go. The reason I say to use an extender is for GPU OVERHANG and Possibly The end of your PCIE X1 slot wouldn't want to have to force it into it or have to physically modify it for a PCIE X2 card, Better to modify an adapter (IF NEEDED.). Should push about 6GB/s through a X1 Slot too! (Theoretical Max). Which for a PC that uses SATA with a theoretical max at 300 MB/s Should be a God-Send.