Description

This is a computer I built out of random and recycled parts so I could have a workstation in my workshop, and not have to either interrupt my server computer, or run to the other floor to use my personal computer. Its just going to be used for some internet stuff, running tests, email, all that basic workshop jazz. Some of the parts were ones I either had from past jobs, or recycled from disposed computers. The rest I either bought from Amazon, Ebay, or from random stores.

First off, this case is plenty usable, but caused me a number of headaches along the way. It shows up with no manual, just a small paper that says it passed inspection. Instead of using screws to hold things in place, the manufacturer chose to use small rivets, rivets that constantly got in the way. I wanted to mount the Noctua fan on the inside, but was unable to as there is a rivet blocking one of the mount holes. If I tried to put in the same mounts inside the front panel, then the fan blocks the panel mounts. There is a space to mount the fan lower, which is what I used, but as the holes here were drilled smaller for whatever reason, I had to drill the holes bigger to fit the fan screws. it comes with a fan exhaust installed, but I removed it to put in a basic led fan I had. it does come with mounts for the motherboard already installed in the case, along with extras. I just used the case ones as adding mounts made the board sit too high.

As for cable management space, there is some, but not a lot. I would say to invest in a modular psu, but if one is doing that, then you might as well invest in a better case. I ended up being able to do some cable management, but still had to stuff cables wherever they would be out of the way of airflow. It comes with tempered glass which looks nice, but i'm assuming is the reason why rivets were used instead of screws maybe. If that is true, I'd rather them have just used acrylic for the window, and used some screws to allow people to remove things like the drive mount so that things can be done proper.

The case does have a nice feature that the usb 3.0 port cable has an optional cable to connect it as a 2.0 instead, which I used. I found that to be a nice touch.

The processor I found as a deal on Amazon. For $2, why not? it works, it does CPU things, its great.

Since I had a processor, I needed a motherboard for it. I found this lovely Zotac board being sold for cheap, refurbished, with the box and all its parts. The motherboard has built in wifi which saves me from having to run more wires through the building to have a connection. even without the antenna attached and a floor away from the router, the signal was a solid 81%. I did have to use a cable adapter for the 4 pin cpu as the Lepa PSU has an 8 pin for it. The 8 pin from the psu can be split into two 4 pins, but there is no room for it as the cable is sleeved and the motherboard has a heat sink nearby. The I/O shield fits mostly okay, except for the top two usb ports, where it fits a little off, but I'l blame that on the case, as the case was responsible for every other headache. The board run great, it does the things I expect a motherboard to do. The bios is nice, and plenty usable. Its not a fancy bios, but its very easy to navigate.

The SSD is one that I was originally going to use to build my parents a new computer to replace their old windows 8 one, but I ended up refurbishing an All-In-One for them instead. So the SSD got used here. The sata data cable doesn't really attach too well to the SSD, it doesn't really click in like it should, even other cables I tried on it had the same issue. To mount it in this case, there are two screw holes, and two metal tabs to slip into the SSD.

The HDD is one I had from someone who gave it to me because they bought the wrong one for their upgrade. It runs fine, and now it has purpose.

The ram is a fun story. I originally had two 2gb sticks of crucial ram installed, but ended up getting these unopened Mushkin ones for free. The girl that gave them away got them from her boyfriend to upgrade her computer, but said she didn't like the name of the brand, claiming it sounded "too girly". She ended up taking the crucial sticks I had, even after I explained they were a downgrade, and payed me to install them. First time I ever got payed to do a downgrade, but hey, free parts right?

Originally the power supply I used to test the computer was a crummy Diablotek I salvaged. After I confirmed everything was working (as can be seen in that one picture), I made sure the Diablotek got recycled for scrap, and got myself a fine Lepa PSU. The PSU has plenty long enough cables to reach everything in the case easily, unlike the Dablotek which couldn't reach some of the plugs with its tiny cables.

Originally I was using an old stock cooler I had, but its kinda worn, and kinda loud. So I got a new Arctic one to take its place. It fits nicely on this board and doesn't overlap anything. It comes with stock paste on it, but I had to remove it after my dog decided to stick her nose into it. The gold paste works plenty well in its place. everything stays nice and cool.

The optical drive is just a basic CD/DVD drive. Just wanted something in case I needed to run a disk, without having to go fetch the external optical drive. it runs, it reads disks, it is a little noisy when it first powers on though, but not horribly so.

The Noctua fan is something I wanted, I always want at least one intake fan and one exhaust fan, and I want at least one of them to be a Noctua. This fan is slim enough to fit under the front panel with room to spare. When it runs it can't even be heard, and moves air like nobody's business. As Noctua products do, it came with plenty of extra cables and silicon mounts. I tried to use the silicon mounts, but the rivets from the case ruined that and I ended up tearing one of the silicon mounts in half.

The Apevia fan has a bit of a story too. It was part of a deal I got from a store that just wanted to unload a bunch of stuff that was crowding their stock room. I actually only ended up going in this store and browsing through stuff to feel better after being stood up. I ended up with a case of cheap fans for a $1. Lucky me?

So, in conclusion, Thanks to a series of random events, recycling efforts, and a bit of lucky shopping, I have a lovely PC for my workshop for an almost nothing budget.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Fits nicely and doesn't block any components even in a mini-itx board. I will say that having to remove this from its mount after installing is a task. But for the price and the effectiveness, a worthy buy.

Motherboard

Works well and would be great for a small build.

Memory

Does ram-based things. Has a fine name.

Case

Rivets used instead of screws in many places which get in the way constantly. There is minimal room for cable management, but just a bit above having none at all. For whatever reason the lower front fan mount holes are made smaller than fan mount screws. Decent enough for a budget case, just has odd manufacturing decisions. Has glass, which is nice, but doesn't offset the obvious design defects.

Power Supply

Runs things, feels like it is made well and not made of old cans, and has plenty of cable length to work with. good price for a solid psu.

Case Fan

Comes with both molex and pin hookups to suit one's needs. It glows and does the windy thing. Does everything I expect a basic fan to do.

Case Fan

Fits into the front panel of my build with room to spare. Runs so quietly I have to look to see if its on.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Nice case ;)

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Is it good as a gaming pc?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Not really. it just uses the integrated graphics so at most it could probably run just some minimalist games. Not really what I designed it for anyway.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

how well could it hold up to minecraft?

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 point

It can run the java version well enough, but I wouldn't try to run modded Minecraft on it at all.

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 point

alright, thanks!