Thank you for stopping by for yet another one of my budget builds. I decided to take the month of June to focus on building budget systems that I could turn for a profit. This is my first venture into trying to get into a higher bracket of profit. Usually I start by looking for a prebuilt at my local thrift shop computer store. I typically can purchase older prebuilt that are complete that are rocking second or third gen i5's or the occasional i7 for around 55-89 dollar depending on the system specs. These systems come tested and carry a 30 day warranty. I was making my normal round when I spotted the system that would become the basis for this build
I found this system that was running windows 10 that was rocking a 4th gen I5 and appeared to have been a custom built system. It is very rare that something like that gets put out on the floor so I grabbed it up as fast as I could. Aside from the obvious dent in the original case, everything worked as it should have. The core system came with the following specs. My plan was to case swap the guts from this system into a new case and throw in a GPU for a planned budget of 150 dollars.
-i5 4440 -2X4 GB DDR3 1600 RAM -250GB Seagate 7200 RPM HDD loaded with Windows 10 -cooler master cx 400 PSU -Gigabyte H81M Mobo -Older LG DVD drive.
The first thing I did was to take apart the old system and clean each component. The first thing I noticed when taking apart the system was that the stock intel CPU cooler was bent and not sitting flush against the CPU. I was able to locate a new old stock replacement Intel cooler for three dollars. I cleaned everything up and waited for the new case to arrive. The second issue I ran into was that the new case has a USB 3.0 port on the IO panel and I did not realize the Mobo had a USB 3.0 header. I ordered a 3.0 to 2.0 cable so that the port would function (there are several USB 3.0 ports on the back.) I got all the components into the new case as I watched the local market and Ebay for the graphics card that would bring this beauty to fruition. I was able to snag an auction on a GTX 960 4GB model for 37 dollars plus shipping for a grand total of 54 dollars and some change. The final issue became apparent when I finished rebuilding the system. That issue would be that it appears that one of the RAM slots is dead.
So the issue with the RAM slot put the whole build in jeopardy of being a waste of money. So when I place the system into dual channel, it causes the computer to go into a boot loop. The system will not post, but will power on for about 5 seconds, cut off, and restart for as long as you leave it on. The single channel side of things work great. I tested a dual channel configuration with multiple sticks of RAM and all of the sticks worked in single channel, but any of the sticks in dual channel it would cause the boot issue. I attempted to undervolt the RAM slots and underclocked the RAM and there is no change. So this leaves me in the issue of either leaving the system at 4 GB of RAM or purchasing a single DIMM of 8 GB.
Once the system is back in single channel configuration, the system are runs like a champ! system temps are great. I applied a small overclock to take the system from a base clock of 3.1 GHz to 3.5Ghz with a turbo boost of 3.9 GHz. The core clock on the GPU was 1.127 GHz and I pushed it up to 1.3GHz stable. I am currently updating the system and will push for some benchmarks tomorrow. Does anyone have any Ideas as to how I can repair the Mobo? I am thinking of just buying the 8gb stick and selling as is. The system components are listed out to show what the system consists of and they are included in the 75 dollar price of the custom part added.
great budget processor for gaming! holds an overclock very well
This board has a good amount of details but one of the RAM slots died so 3 stars
it is pretty fast for a HDD
great budget card. finding it in the 4GB ram variant is the better bet for futureproofing this card. It is great for 1080P gaming at medium frames
great budget case for the money. Best 20 dollar case I have worked with. It has plenty of room to work in and it allows for fairly decent flexibility in parts orientation. The HDD mounts are weird.
This was given to me by a coworker and he had it in his build for 3 years.