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Build

For a loving Grandad

by Woody1999

27
23 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 30, 2015

Date Built

May 29, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.3GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

29.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

56.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.25GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.2GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

62.0° C

Description

EDIT: New graphics card has arrived! A great addition, I can run BF3 on max settings, 60FPS - but resolution only 1280x1024. 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark was ~11,000.

Recently my grandad's PC, which had been left neglected for years, just stopped working. It was an old system, with an E6700 and an HD 5450, but it had been left on 24/7 for months at a time, and had eventually clogged itself with dust and stopped working. Having built a few computers before, I decided to step up and build him a new PC from scratch.

The computer is used by my grandad simply to check his emails, manage his bank account and do his budget on a spreadsheet, so the emphasis wasn't really on performance. Every now and then, when I'm over, I'll play some games on the PC, so I chose to include a really cheap (but solid performing) graphics card.

The build was unfortunately full of issues! I ordered an extra case fan to mount in the front, an Arctic Cooling F12 PWM. Anyway, it was a right pain to mount with the screws provided with the case - they just wouldn't go in! After I had spent over 15 minutes fiddling with a single case fan, I realised...the PWM fan header on the motherboard was too far away! So I had to unscrew both the included rear exhaust fan and the new fan, swap them both around (another 30 minutes spent!) and plug them into the nearest headers.

Next was another issue with the case. The case has no mounts for 2.5 inch SSDs, at all. There is supposedly a mount on the floor of the HDD cage, but once you fit the SSD, there's no room to fit the SATA cables in! This lead me to resting the SSD on the bottom of the optical drive cage. After installing Windows onto the SSD, I tried to install the old hard drive, inherited from the previous computer. However, the hard drive would not fit into the drive bays! This lead to another drive being rested in the optical drive cages. Luckily, I had some foam pads spare from the packaging of the processor, and could insulate both drives from the metal cage with them.

Lastly, and certianly not least, was the graphics card. It turns out it was DOA. After many hours of troubleshooting, I just couldn't get the PC to boot with the graphics card installed. I've sent for a replacement off Amazon, hopefully it should be here pretty soon!

As far as the parts go, it was a pretty straightforward to choose them. Nothing that my grandad does requires more than a single core, and therefore decent single thread performance was needed. The PC would be on most of the time, so a quiet cooler was needed. Aesthetics was important, as the case had to fit in with the room.

Cable management was quite hard. With only two very short zip ties included, and only 20mm of space behind the motherboard tray, getting the build to look neat and putting on the side panel again is frustrating! I had to combine the two zip ties to form one bigger one, that's how short they were.

Anyway, the build works fine, I've got a modest overclock on the processor, nothing too extreme. Just waiting for the replacement graphics card to arrive!

Woody

Part Reviews

CPU

A fantastic little chip! Very good single thread performance, and overclocks very well. I'm not hitting more than 54C under a Prime95 torture test at 4.2GHz. Perfect for any entry level build.

CPU Cooler

Surprisingly good little cooler. According to TechPowerUp, it performs as well as the Hyper 212 Evo, and is much, much smaller. With only a 92mm fan, the tower is very small, but it cools really well! Messed up with the thermal paste, though - whoever thought a tiny packet would be easier to apply than a pipette?

Motherboard

Cheap motherboard, basic features, nothing more to say. Didn't need anything more than the bare minimum, so the motherboard was a good choice. Slightly weird fan header placement!

Memory

Very cheap, low latency RAM. Heatspreader looks decent. 2x2GB kit for the most performance at 4GB.

Storage

Fantastic SSD! Solid performer, very fast and looks great as well. Very cheap in comparison to the other high end SSDs.

Storage

Old hard drive, pretty slow. Only used as a mass storage drive, no OS or games.

Video Card

After the first one was DOA, the second one was great! 3DMark Sky Diver hits 11,000, which is 5.2 times more than a typical office PC we could have bought for £350! Can max out most games, but only at 1280x1024.

Case

Looks fantastic, good manufacturer...shame the case isn't very good. No SSD drive bays, hard drives don't fit properly. Only two zip ties provided! Getting the side panel on with only two zip ties to hold down cables is incredibly frustrating.

Power Supply

Love it. Black sleeved cables, high quality caps, great voltage regulation - and only £34!

Comments Sorted by:

Growliff1234 7 points 37 months ago

Your dad can max out minecraft ! But he can't play the notoriously performance hungry minesweeper ;-;

Memo1010 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Lol

Veizin 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I have heard of a lot of people taping SSDs with double sided tape, but the HDD is a bit trickier in that being held in place in a absolutely horizontal position benefits its longevity from what I've heard. Maybe you could rip out a drive cage from the old case? :D

I would seriously expect better from NZXT though.

Anyway, it looks like a terrific upgrade for your granda! Hope it lasts him a long while.

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Yeah, the lack of drive bays was annoying. The old drive bay was held by pop rivets, and I wasn't willing to destroy a perfectly good drill bit to drill out the bay. Even so, the case is utterly beautiful.

Woody

bigg_critter 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

that's cool man. everybody should build their own or have a family member that will. I never realized how easy it is to build these til i tried it! Dude I'm not gettin a Dellll...

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Yeah, it took a while to persuade him. I just didn't want him spending £350 on a computer more suited to being a paperweight than a PC. I'm definitely not cheaping out on the case from now on though! I've built in the S340, that's a fantastic case for the price, but this was just...ugh.

Woody

ajpinton 11 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

good looking build and you have a ton of picks, also invert random mac.

+1 for sure.

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 37 months ago

Cheers mate! Random Mac is Random Mac, must have somehow snuck into the pictures.

ajpinton 11 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Its a Mac and it wanted to be seen. :) I would add it to the parts list at this point to be funny. :D

drbleedr 1 point 37 months ago

I think this is great. I'm actually building a pc for my future father-in-law for the same reason you did--his old '03 dell xp desktop came to a full stop. If you wanna see it I'll post a link here when the parts deliver and the build is done.

Always cool to help someone out with a computer build. +1

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I'd love to see that! Those old Dell Dimensions are pretty cool, we still have one up and running with a Pentium 4.

linkleo 3 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Good for you pal

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 37 months ago

Thanks mate! It was a pain to get going, never getting a Source 210 again, even if they look that good. Glad to hear you appreciate it!

braydendan 1 point 37 months ago

he has a makebook thats like $1000 but he cheaps out on his pc ;D im kidding, nice build!

Laavza 1 point 36 months ago

Did you had to update the BIOS in order to use the Pentium and Overclock it?

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

The board comes with BIOS 6.5, which supports the Pentium just fine. However, I had to update it to 6.6 in order for it to save my overclocking settings.

Laavza 1 point 36 months ago

Oh, thanks! So that means I can use the CPU right out of the box with the motherboard, nice.

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Yup, no issues there.

Laavza 1 point 36 months ago

And what method did you use to update it?

Woody1999 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I used M-Flash, where I downloaded the new BIOS version onto my USB drive and loaded that up from the BIOS. It's very simple.

casheesed 5 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Yes!!! I love this cpu cooler. More people should know about Raijintek because they make some good stuff imo. Looks cool and runs cool. Glad to see I'm not the only one to get in on this great bargain of a cooler.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Nicely done.

JR2020 1 point 30 months ago

I get this was on a budget, But that case was not a place to cheap out on I mean you would be able to get something much better even close to that price point especially if you went to a much smaller case as you seem to have tons of room. The build otherwise is great but I would strongly recommend that you convince your grand father to invest in a better set up for everything. The cheapest way to do that would put a filing cabinet ( can use one in the house or get second hand) and put it to the left of the desk and put the printer on top so that it will be around the same hight and he can put those papers and any banking stuff in a nice file and all organized in the cabinet and as long as the cabinet brings the printer to the same hight you can take that pc off the carpet and have it beside the printer so you won't have to worry about it falling off the desk. Getting that pc off the carpet will keep it from overheating and show off all ur hard work. with the extra desk space id centre the monitor and put it on a wood riser so that it is at eye level and really get the most out of your pc and you can place your speakers on either side without them being obstructed. You may be able to do this for little to no money and you will get more out of the pc men if it is just for emails, banking and the odd gaming.

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