Many on this site have been building computers much longer than me. I have no obscure systems from the 90's. But I do have this. My first build from 2008. Since then I've built probably 15 computers with the most recent a Haswell based machine with a friend. But this was my first. Like the first time you do anything, I had no idea what I was doing. The online resources did not exist or I was not as internet savvy as I am now. Likely a combination of both. Anyways, this was the start of a great hobby and sometimes more of an obsession.
I only actually got to use this computer for a few months before life decided that gaming wouldn't be a priority. Since then it has survived 5 moves and cumulatively several years in storage units across the country. The processor died at some point and I replaced it with an Athlon 64 X2 that I got on Amazon for $10. A few weeks ago, over a lunch break, I plugged it in and pushed the power button. Nothing. I jiggled some cables and re-seated the graphics card and tried again. Into the BIOS I went! I hurried home after work. I didn't even remember what was on this thing. It wasn't as dirty as you might think for as old as it is. I still have the original box and that is where it has spent most of it's life not collecting dust.
After some cleaning, reassembling and cable management, I booted into a hot mess of Windows Vista. What crap! There wasn't much here that was good to see. Bioshock was still in the disk drive. I never finished it. So I have a new game to play. There's that. I found various other....unmentionables, deep down on the hard drive. As well as lots of other stuff you seem to accumulate just by being on the internet. In the music folder was a rip of Katy Perry's "One of the Boys" album. Yeah. 2008. And over there are shortcuts to Kazaa and Limewire! This wasn't the glorious time capsule I had hoped it to be.
I can't add reviews for most of the parts since the majority aren't on here. But there are a few I'd like to describe. I enjoy looking at old hardware and seeing how things have changed. The prices in the parts list are what I paid for the parts originally. You can certainly get a lot more for your money these days. And such variety.
The Antec Twelve Hundred is a heavy case. There is very little plastic and nothing is modular. I really like the 3 blue LEDs on all the fans. They are a little more subtle than many you see today. And that top fan moves tons of air. Fans! It comes with 8 fans! The middle hard drive bay is set up with a push/pull configuration. And that is i perfect since it will blow directly on the graphics card. Which brings me to that.
The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a silly graphics card. It's a dual card which isn't really anything special I guess. It has a 197 watt TDP. Being a proud owner of an FX 9370, this doesn't bother me. But the blower style cooler seems to do nothing. It idles around 70*C and no amount of air flow will make it anything other than hot to the touch. It worked pretty well for the games of its day though.
The AMD Phenom 9950 was probably good. I don't remember. I didn't get to use it much. You can still get one for thirty or forty dollars. The Athlon that replaced it sits at about 32*C when running Prime95. So that's cool. (Pun intended).
The original Zalman power supply (rated 80 plus) got plugged in where it shouldn't have been a few years back and was replaced by a Thermaltake unit. This time with a Bronze rating. Semi-modular. It has ugly cables.
Thermaltake V1 I like it. Probably my favorite CPU cooler. Also pictured is a Zalman CNPS9700. I don't know why it is in there.
The Samsung Syncmaster monitor was purchased in 2008 and I still use it every day. It is on behind me as I type. 1980x1200! Going strong.
Crosshair II Formula. I now own a Crosshair V Formula Z. I've unintentionally become loyal to the Crosshair name. And when the Crosshair VI comes out for Zen, I'll probably own that too. Unless Zen bombs. Then I'm jumping ship and swimming over to the Intel boat.
Patriot Viper 4GB. Those timings!
So that's it. After owning it for 8 years, I feel like I finally got it assembled correctly and I appreciate it more now. I'd like to use this machine or at least parts of it again. It would be a good case for water cooling if you wanted to cut out the front drive bays. I would probably replace the Ye Olde Antec 3-speed fans for something a little quieter though. I'll do something with it. I can never stop building and tinkering. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!