Description

This build started out as an attempt to do something with a bunch of parts I had lying around mixed with with some new stuff and a fancy name, then stuff got moved to a smaller case with some different parts and and a couple of different Linux distros to try out. So now, what we're looking at is:

Fans - I swapped in these Thermaltake fans because they were cheap, low rpm out of the box, and I liked the look (being clear w/ blue LEDs).

OS - I went from testing Elementary OS to Linux Mint w/ Cinnamon to Linux Lite. Eventually, I decided I liked Linux Lite best, but I finally put Windows 10 on it so I could see how it did with Windows games.

ODD - Because I had it, and installing it keeps it out of the landfill (and it still works).

Power supply - Bought for another build, put aside as a spare when the owner decided to go with a bigger one right from the start (along with a better card). Works and is quiet.

Case - The Z1 Neo was on sale cheap at Frys, so I went for it, figuring it would be easier to cable manage than the Antec Solo I had everything in before (I'm the original owner of the Solo). I was correct, but the Z1 has some flaws. (Detailed below).

Video card - This was a PNY single fan GTX950, but for the sake of using as many older parts as I can, I swapped in this Radeon HD 7850 out of my "High Mileage" build. EDIT: I put the 950 back in, sadly it was faster.

HD - I had bought 3 of these on sale a few years ago to have as replacements / upgrades / expansions (just like a lot of you out there, when the family computer takes a dump I get that call or email); got 1 left now. Amazing it still works.

SSD - Originally bought for my gaming build, and swapped for a 250GB EVO when I saw that on sale. I kept this knowing I'd find a use for it some day.

RAM - Got this on a Promo code sale at Frys. I've had good luck with Patriot RAM before, and it was blue, so I went for it.

MB - Bought on sale. Has run ok so far (I've usually had good luck with MSI). BIOS isn't UEFI though; means it was easy to make it a Linux box and not have to remember to turn Secure Boot off. Supposedly it's 125w-capable so I dropped my FX-8120 in here, but the VRMs don't have heatsinks like my "High Mileage" build does so I'll be keeping a close eye on temps (and probably not overclocking it for now).

CPU Cooler - This is the Antec Kulher 620 AIO I was going to use in version 1 (the Solo case) that wouldn't fit because of the support rod in the case. The configurator says it's incompatible with this Z1 Neo, but as the pics show it'll work just fine. The Antec fan had no LEDs and was louder than the Thermaltake exhaust fan, so I used the Thermaltake instead.

CPU - Yep, it's a FX-8120. The one out of my "High Mileage 2.0" build. That's how long I've had this chip. The IPC is less than my FX-6300 (which is sitting in "High Mileage" now) but it made for a quick, responsive Linux box and I'm hoping it won't be too bad under Win 10.

OS - Finally, Win 10 gets on this box. I installed it from a USB key and activated it with a Win 7 Home key from my ancient, dead gaming laptop (a generic Clevo I bought from PC Club years ago that I upgraded from Win 98 a year or two after I got it) so, yeah, paying full price for Windows ended up being worth it. (Damn-near 10 years later.) After spending all day on the install, activation and updates, I still had to go back and kill all the telemetry that got turned back on after the updates got done. sigh (I like O&O ShutUp10 for that.)

Accessories - Found the Kingwin RGB strips at Frys; they weren't too expensive so I decided to get them and try them out to add a little bling; same with the PCI-E extension.

Notes - I ended up not using the StarTec thermal pads in the pictures; they're crap. I had some Antec Formula 6 thermal paste (appropriate for an Antec cooler, I'd think) so I used that instead. The Z1 case is very lightly built (might be why it was so cheap); even though the chassis has 3 51/4 bays and 2 31/2 bays, only the middle 51/4 is accessible thru the front panel (so no running a BluRay drive and fan controller in the bays at the same time). There are no fan mounts in the top of the case or sound deadening panels either. Yes, I know the 7850 sags; I haven't decided how to fix that yet. EDIT: Putting the GTX 950 back solved that. ;)

Comments are welcome.

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Comments

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! Are you gonna leave the RGB remote in the case or velcro it to the side of the case? I always have to mess with things that change colors. :P The case looks like it did alright for cable management, good job with that on your part!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the comment! I may put another piece of Velcrotm on the back somewhere so I have the option of either inside or outside for the remote (I do not want to lose it!).

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

I can understand that! You should trademark the remote as well, and start producing them yourself! lol

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Too late! The Kingwin folks already trademarked the remote! :(

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

This is such a fun build from spare parts. I really like to see some used parts get some love once again. As for the GPU sag...a hair dryer and some pressure. Or I can sell you two XFX Black Editions R9 380X's O.C editions ;)

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

sigh Tempting... but moot since right now I couldn't afford to make you a decent offer on even 1 of them. arrggh!

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Or you could always zip tie it to a string that's hung from the top of the case.... like I might have maybe done in my ghetto Frankenstein build. Lol, It works dammit !

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, job well done on cable mgmt. My favourite line you wrote: "Because I had it, and installing it keeps it out of the landfill"

Keep that up, wished more made a point of doing that. https://www.ifixit.com/Manifesto

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It's actually become my everyday surf/ Spotify/ Skype (occasionally)/ Google/ DuckDuckGo/ buy stuff/ Windoze patches get vetted here 1st box. Oh and copy/ print iFixit manifestos box as well. :) (Thanks for that link!) The OG plan was to sell it but it became too damn useful to have around.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Very cool. Nice work!

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahhhh.... Diamond HD 7850. This is nice to see.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I need to update the list, it has a 1050 Ti in it now.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Surely that is better but i like older and some even retro parts that were great choice in their own time. And 7850 was a beast.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Well... I moved my FX-8320 to this build as well, and it makes a good combo with the 1050 Ti (the bump to 4GB of VRAM made running World of Tanks on medium a lot smoother, with framerates in the 90+ range) for the things I do and play. I have an Athlon X2 6000 that the 7850 might end up with as a retro game box. It's not going away just yet. :)

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm still getting use outta this box, I just haven't changed the parts list. After I put my 8320 on this board, I moved my GTX1060 3GB here (I sent my cousin the FX8120/ 1050Ti combo to play Rocket League with) from my R5-2600 game machine. Why? That box got a GTX1660 to play with. :)

[comment deleted]
  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comment! I'm gonna leave the fan out front though. The screws holding the fan on don't go all the way to the back of the case, just the threads on the radiator, so I can just pull the fan without dismounting the rad. The steel in the case is so thin that using the spacing washers meant that the long screws would just barely grab the threads on the rad; without the washers, the screws would go into the fins (mounting the fan in back). It's more secure this way and I can see the LEDs. The offset to the fins seems a little different between the front and rear screw holes on the radiator.