Built with new and spare parts.
Jeny's Rig: The untold back-story
This machine originally started as a dedicated Steam Machine running SteamOS. I built it, set it up, and ran it once. It collected dust for about a year and a half. I actually had it listed here on the site as a completed build. (I've since deleted that build. Sorry.)
I built it with a bunch of spare parts and a few new ones. Motherboard, case and ram was bought new. Everything else was either an old spare, previous upgrade, or given to me by a friend/family member. I can't really be specific because I can't remember all of it. The point is that it worked really well, I just never used it.
Fast forward a year and a half to now. A lot can change in that amount of time and a lot did. Specifically, meeting the world's most awesome girlfriend. She games, but was mostly playing consoles because her laptop wasn't cutting it.
It only took 9 months for me to have the great idea of building her a Rig, however, money was going to be an issue with all the other expenses I currently have at the moment. Cleaning up the office, I ran across the Steam Machine and it just clicked. I jumped on Amazon and began the process.
First I set a three ground rules: 1. Utilize two of my spare EVGA GTX 670 FTW's in SLI. 2. Use the case I already had (my GF really liked it). 3. Use as many parts, that I already have, as possible to keep costs down.
My first issue was the original motherboard. It didn't support SLI, so it needed to be replaced. The CPU is just fine for what this machine will be doing, so I was going to be limited to the LGA 1155. No big deal, right? No. Finding a micro ATX 1155 board for a decent price is practically impossible. Time to switch gears and check my inventory.
Luckily, I had another i5 given to me by a friend. It was a LGA 1150 socket chip and finding a micro ATX 1150 board supporting SLI wasn't much easier, but I did manage to find the MSI board for about $75.
The ram and most of the HDD's were also from a friend. It came from an older machine that was headed to the trash. The rest of the parts were from the original Steam Machine.
I did have to buy the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers/headphones.
For anyone feeling sad about the i5 LGA 1155 chip that didn't get used, don't worry. I found it a home in another build.