Description

I got this after I built a friend a new desktop for his office. It was free, so what the heck, why not. It had 4gb (1gb x4 ) of ram, two 500gb 7200rpm drives and a AMD Athlon Dual Core 4450B. I tore it apart and started cleaning it, air, towels, alcohol wipes. I masked off the parts and case. I did 2 very light coats of flat black on the motherboard after covering all the port and taping a few chips off. I painted the inside of the case orange, the psu and back of the case flat black. I decided to give it a little extra horsepower and I already had some parts. I put in 8gb ( 2gb x4 ) of ram, a sound card, nvs 300 pci x1 video card and replaced the two drives with two western digital caviar blue 500gb drives. The cpu and heat sink where were baked together and I had to gently pry them apart. I cleaned and Lapped the Heatsink, re-applied some thermal paste and slapped it back on. I also used some wire loom to clean up the wires and black them out. I still need to do a couple touch up places on the paint, but overall it isn't to bad. Why did I do all of this? I guess because I could. I've had it running for 24 hrs straight and its been running great. I thought about throwing a boot SSD in and maybe white or orange led lighting for the front part of the case where the front panel has holes. Its not a Zero dollar build, I did buy wire loom, $4, orange paint, $4 and black paint, $1. Temps are good idle is 30c, stress test was about 42c.

Update I gifted this to someone that needed a basic computer for web surfing, document viewing and editing.

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Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 5 points

great job on the paint, it reminds me of the first half life game

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes. This!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

He should definitely paint something like the half life logo on the outside or something similar, that would really make this look even better.

Id buy it even though the hardware is complete junk =P

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmmmm, I should paint that on the outside. The hardware is defiantly S**t haha.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

That's awesome! Did you take the hard drive cages out to paint them separately or did you paint everything whilst it being in the case?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The cage is attached with rivets. I left it and painted it, the hard drives have caddies, so I was able to pull those out, I left them the blue plastic color. Same for the sata cables, they are a specific length and I figured a little contrast was ok.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Ah, I'm assuming you did the same thing as well with the optical drive cage? It was probably attached with rivets as well.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I pulled the DVD drive out and painted it black, but the optical cage had rivets and I painted it orange.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Ah, sorry for so many questions but when painting the power supply did you put tape over where the wires exit the inside? So no paint got In it?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I masked off all the holes as close to the holes as I could. Then after its dried, take the tape off, you can just "mist" it or use a brush.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

You have dedicated a lot of time on that PC!

+1

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, maybe-5-6 hrs.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

You can teach an old dog new tricks

Thumbs up. Looks great.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Orange with a hint of 'mustard' is the new black. Thumbs up for keeping dell alive.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I have an Optiplex 320 that I got for free with a 1.6GHz Celeron, 2x 512mb of RAM, and 160GB 7200rpm drive. It's the same chassis with less plastic on the outside. Unfortunately, as it has a Celeron, it came with the smaller version of the cooler- same plastic shroud and mounting system, but the heatsink itself is much smaller and it's quite annoying.

Ended up cannibalizing the RAM for an old ASUS board and the drive for my main rig after I gave up on trying to get decent performance out if it with 2GBs of RAM(it only has two slots) and 2.8GHz Pentium that kept throttling.

Will probably end up recycling it, but this is a much better use for one of these machines. +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ya, at some point the tech is just to old to be useful anymore. 2gb of ram is the bear minimal for me and normally I don't use Windows with that, some kind Linux works ok.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow this is so awesome, jazzing up an old office PC. What kind of paint did you use? I have never seen someone paint an entire PCB black like that before. It looks way more cool! Also never seen someone use accordion-style wire looms for cables.

I love the orange+black combo, because Half-Life. You should totally throw in an SSD boot drive like you mentioned and see this thing zip right along. +1 !

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I used regular ole rattle can paint. I did some research and also did another build that I painted, but didn't paint the MB on that one: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/yLM8TW

So far the first one has been running for almost a week without any problems and the temps are better than they were before. That's probably because the dirt and the super old thermal paste :-). I figured that I'd give this one a a shot with the motherboard painted. Of the research I did, most didn't go well, but honestly on those, it looked like they did a poor good of masking and sprayed heavy coats of paint. The wire loom is super cheap and on something this low budget I think it looks ok, much better than the rainbow wires anyway. I found a 128 gb SSD, so I'll probably throw that in and re-image it. I'm working on a couple of other builds right now and may try something on one of the builds that I have already competed. I saw something at the store that sparked an idea. More to come later.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, I know, I sold a dell dimension 3000 a year ago for $50, I'd had that since it was new in 2005.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

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