Description

This is my first build in over 10 years. Before that, I built a lot of computers as a paid professional. Sometime around 2002, I bought a laptop and never looked back. My desktop PC's became antiquated and sat there gathering mold until they got misplaced somehow or another. After my last laptop (a MacBook Pro) had a failed graphics card for the second damn time (I'm DONE with Apple. DONE !!!), I was relegated to an old HP Pavilion Slimline with 3GB RAM and so decided it was time.

This wasn't an easy "reentry" build by any stretch:

First RMA; ASRock FM2A58M-VG3+ R2.0. Amazon (or whoever) sent me an open box/broken seal and it would not POST. I'll be damned if I'm going to mess around with a part of unknown origin which may or may not have passed factory QC (no matter how bad that QC is). I decided to go with the Gigabyte board instead and I'm glad I did. More expansion and USB 3.0.

Second RMA; the EVGA 750w PSU. It had a short somewhere so every time the computer was touched (even a slight nudge), the power would go out and it would reboot. I decided to just get another one of those cuz it was "easier" than researching another brand and I was so tired of the HP Pavlovillion (arf, arf). It has been running for a few weeks now without incident.

I used two WD 500GB Black HD's that were laying around and a set of four 1TB WD Black in an OWC RAID case (stripe 5) for backups. Anyone who needs to access Mac HD's without a Mac should try MacDrive (5 day eval).

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

It's hard to believe this bit of gear set me back less than $12. It's whisper quiet and matches my RAM.

Case

The Rosewill case is pretty great for $25. It was even cheaper than that last time I looked. Of course it was. Anyway, I modded the case a little (and made it non-returnable but it's cheapness permits experimentation) by cutting out/drilling some ventilation in the front panel with a Dremel tool and adding a screen mesh to the front fan. My only complaint with it is the pesky non-removable HD holders. You have to remove the motherboard if you want to access to the HD's. Either that or remove the CPU cooler (oh that's right, they're called "APU's" now ha ha ha !!!) which is way more trouble than it's worth. But what should I expect for $25? It's definitely not a "mini tower" as it has a lot of more space than one of those.

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Comments

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it. Picture quality could be better, though.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, they could. When I opened them in Lightroom, I was aghast. Better pics next time I promise. Thanks.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

You, on the other hand, have some nice photos. Did you take those with a DSLR or an iPhony?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Not even. Just my old Nexus 5.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Well damn.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

My eyes!

Blurry pics aside, nice job.

Thumbs up.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, Gooberdad.

[comment deleted]
  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm scared now.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Built this same setup for 170$ for my mother-in-law, crept I used an a10 6800k/Asus fm2+ pro/ hyperx 8gig 1866 off eBay I got for 110$. I got the case off amazon for 19$ and the rest I had laying around. I used the old win 7 key off her old tower. :) I think I measured the power draw on it 220 watts maxed out at the plug so I just put in a 30$ corsair psu.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like the Asus? I used to use them exclusively but thought I'd try something different. I'm real happy with my Gigabyte. Next PSU might could be Corsair.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

It was a great mobo to work with, I have used them last 4 builds and no dead mobos yet !

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

What model? Your builds say AM3+.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Minesweeper at 60fps

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Totally. And Mahjong on the high setting smokes.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

How is it playing solitaire?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

I was having the same issue with my EVGA 430w PSU. I wrapped some electrical tape around the power cable so when i plugged it in it stayed in place better. I probably should have RMA'd mine, but i figured that i only paid $30 for it and i could deal with it.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I originally bought a $20 "Apevia Venus Series" 450w for this but I chickened out when I read someones review that it went down in flames literally. Maybe true; maybe not who knows but not taking that chance. So what do you think I used to build and test most of this PC while I waited for the new EVGA? Yep, Mr $20 and it worked just fine. It probably would be OK if I just left it in there. But anyway... I have it for backup and testing.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

I love budget builds!

Keep it up :)

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, thank you so much.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Second RMA; the EVGA 750w PSU. It had a short somewhere so every time the computer was touched (even a slight nudge), the power would go out and it would reboot.

electro

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

LOL, I met him once while building a PC. Sent me flying.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

had a failed graphics card

Well, couldn't you have just opened your MacBook Pro and...

Oh wait.


Still, nice budget build. =-)

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, there it is. You got it. $2500 new in 2011. Still... fixing myself a possibility though. I have to take it the "genius bar" for an eval. Thinking of selling as is if I can't fix. Thanks.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, and if it ever comes back to life, I will put Ubuntu on it.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

At least you didn't get one of the new Mac Minis. Apple decided that it would be 'best' for all models to be dual-core i5s, onboard graphics, and after the most recent refresh, non-user upgradable.

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

They aren't going to stop until the MacChip is implanted in everyone's head with a direct link to Langley, VA. And people will walk into walls a lot. Oh wait, they're already doing that.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Wait! Wait! I found a great new use for the new MacBook if you're extremely rich!

A 'stylish' paper weight!

It can double as a portable e-mail machine as well!

Can't watch 1440p YouTube videos, though. Don't put this in the ads.

In all seriousness, the MacBook Air is more 'Pro' than the new MacBook Pro is now. Sigh...

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

You sound a lot like Louis Rossmann. I was never a fan of Apple's computers either. Stick to their iPods and (some) iPhones. DON'T BUY AN IMAC OR MACBOOK. My grandma wants one. I want to tell her, no, but she keeps saying it's fine. I'll let hr see for herself.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I was wondering if that EVGA 750W power supply came with two CPU power cables?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm doing a budget build and wanted to know if the $12 cooler was worth it, I heard that that CPU runs hot and need to save some money on a cooler.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

I added an EVGA GT 710 2GB graphics card and a BenQ GW2270 21.5" 1080p LED Monitor. In the mail is the AMD Athlon X4 845 Quad-core (4 Core) 3.50 GHz Processor. Just taking the graphics load from the CPU has boosted speed considerably. Can't wait to add this new CPU. Later, I will upgrade to 16 GB RAM and bigger HD's. I have the two internal HD's in a Windows RAID stripe 5.

Minesweeper will be faster than ever !!! I may even try Tetris.

There has been zero hardware failures so far (going on 2 years).

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Why did you use a 750W power supply?

Better to get a 550W.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I just took the front fan out of mine for ventilation (and then both fans), and it didn't even do anything to temps. But you do you, I guess. Noice.

[comment deleted]
  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks !!! I forgot how much fun it is. I swear I'm gonna build a water cooled monster next. Just need some bucks.

[comment deleted]
  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Will do. Might just be a "radiator" to get my feet wet lol. Sorry, I couldn't help it. :D

What I really want to do is the real deal with hoses and reservoirs and stuff. Researching is half the fun.

[comment deleted]
  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.