Foreword: Scrappy v1.0 was never uploaded due to the GPU breaking shortly after the build was completed. I bought a new video card a few days later and am now uploading this as Scrappy v1.1. There is also a build video up on YouTube of v1.0 being built.
THIS IS IT
After 4 months of having all the parts, I'm finally building today! In the hours before IwannaPC and I take on this challenge, I will write up as much as I can about the history of this build; and for that I'd better start at the beginning...
Flashback to October of 2016, I've done all my gaming on my Acer Aspire with a mobile i5 and a GTX 940m. This had suited me well for over a year and I was pretty contented until that fateful day. My mom's work was closing a division and selling all their old towers for $20 a pop. I grabbed one along with a couple old 4:3 monitors and opened it up. Inside, I found an i7 3770, 8 gigs of ram, and a Radeon HD7450 (among other crappy low quality HP parts). I thought, "Wow! This is great! I'll just pop in a GPU and hard drive and I'll have a great PC!"
However, it was not that simple. It turns out that the motherboard was not ATX, and took 2 6 pins and a 4 pin instead of a 24 pin for power. The power supply was also not ATX, and was only rated at 300W. To compound it all, the Case only fit weird form-factor HP parts. This all lead to my big decision: Salvaging the CPU, GPU, and RAM and building my own PC.
Later that month I got a hard drive as a gift to help get me started, and then I proceeded to order the parts. I got a CX450M, but as it turned out, this old behemoth would need something a little larger.
Pre-Build Thoughts: This I pulled out of the old HP PC. Other than the slight IPC improvements, it performs comparably to the i7 6700.
Post-Build Thoughts: Performs great! It had a Cinebench score of 680, which is slightly more than the average 3770.
Pre-Build Thoughts: I got this as a gift for my birthday. The tower did come with a cooler, however it was a real turd and I figured that the PC needs good cooling.
Post-Build Thoughts: It runs silent and cools great! It really is a great cooler.
Pre-Build Thoughts: This I ordered refurbished from Newegg without an I/O shield. lga 1155 motherboards that come with ivy-compatible BIOS are a real pain to find, and one from Newegg at only $65 was a real steal. It comes with decent audio and 3 pcie x1 ports. I actually quite like the blue color, even if it doesn't fit with the black and grey theme.
Post-Build Thoughts: The BIOS is very easy to get around in and it allows me good control of fan curves. The 3 fan headers was a plus, too. The best thing about this motherboard is the heavenly Intel sound when booting.
Pre-Build Thoughts: The part picture is misleading, the RAM is actually green. Not much to say here.
Post-Build Thoughts: Works.
Crucial MX300 275GB SSD:
Pre-Build Thoughts: Not noticeably slower with 25 more gigabytes than the 850 evo for $10-20 cheaper? Yes, please!
Post-Build Thoughts: Very fast. My computer boots at lightning speed and the only loading times I’m getting are from slow internet.
WD 1TB Caviar Blue:
Pre-Build Thoughts: Originally given as a gift to get the old PC up and running, I just kept it to use in the new one.
Post-Build Thoughts: Have hardly touched it, I’ve been focused on the SSD.
Gigabyte Windforce 3X OC R9 290x:
Pre-Build Thoughts: I had been in the market for a GPU for this build for a couple months and decided to check our local Microcenter's listings for the umpteenth time, but this time included GPU's below $150... and I saw this. $127 for a GPU that performs around the 970! I drove over the next day and picked it up! Only afterward did I come to find out that it has peak power draws of up to 400 watts. RIP my CX450M.
Post-Build Thoughts: It ran great… until I discovered it had VRAM issues. The screen would begin artifacting and then go black after 10-20 minutes of use. Exchanged for an RX 470.
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470:
Pre-Installation Thoughts: I was deciding between the 470 and the 480 models of this card, I went with the 470 because I feel like I really don’t need the extra performance.
Post-Installation Thoughts: Only had it for a short while in Scrappy v1.1, will be the main GPU for Scrappy v2.0.
Cooler Master N200:
Pre-Build Thoughts: My good friend IwannaPC used this case in one of his builds, and he was happy to help me build the PC so I figured why not? The $20 MIR only accelerated the choice.
Post-Build Thoughts: Eh. The inside of the case is easy enough to get around in. The real trouble came with the cable management room. The rear side panel space simply was not long enough to fit some of my cables.
EVGA 750W B2:
Pre-Build Thoughts: This was on sale at newegg for $50. It's a great unit and has plenty of wattage for my power hungry GPU and CPU.
Post-Build Thoughts: Never again in an mATX case. The quality of the unit is alright, but it hardly deserves the title “semi-modular”. It had far too many cables soldered to it. It took half an hour of struggling to fit them all in the cable management space.
HP Optical Drive:
Pre-Build Thoughts: Came out of the old PC. Putting it in just for the sake of having it.
Post-Build Thoughts: Used it once to install the OS. It was obnoxiously loud.
Pre-Installation Thoughts: IwannaPC is lending me this until I can get a real card. Post-Installation Thoughts: Duct taped a radio antenna to where the old one used to be. A little faster but still only about 100-500kb/s.
Pre-Build Thoughts: The stock case fans. Post-Build Thoughts: They’re pretty quiet and keep the PC plenty cool.
Dell 2007 FP Monitor:
Pre-Build Thoughts: I grabbed this, along with another one that went to my dad, from my mom's work. Decent size and it's got S-PLS which means decent colors with a little vignette. Will upgrade to a 1080p monitor at some point.
Post Build Thoughts: It’s ok.
Logitech g300s: Bought this a couple years ago. 9 fully customizable buttons and 2500 dpi make it a great choice.
Dell KB216 Keyboard: I am a big fan of chiclet keyboards. This fit the requirements and was cheap.
Logitech Z200 Speakers: They give out decent sound. They do get distorted at high volumes, though.
The heart of the build issues can be described in one word: CABLES!!!!!
Jack (IwannaPC) came over at 12:00pm and we worked on the PC until 6:00pm. Our first issue came when we realized that the DVI to VGA adapter we had (I only had a VGA cable) was for DVI-I and the GPU could only output DVI-D. We had to order a DVI-D cable using PrimeNow and it arrived mid-build. The second issue came when we realized I didn’t have any SATA data cables. This issue was resolved when my stepdad came in with a care package of 3 of them. The third issue came when it was time to do the cable management. The B2 750W came with too many pre-soldered cables and the N200 had too little cable management room, causing a very difficult half-hour long struggle to squish the cables down as much as possible in order to fit the rear side panel back on. I still have yet to take that panel off as I really don’t want to go through that again.
And then, something miraculous happened. After the cable issues and a few hiccups involving me sucking at screwdriver use and Cryorig making it difficult to mount the m9i if you screw the supports in all the way, we finished! At approximately 4:45pm, we plugged the computer and monitor in and pressed the power button. It booted! Everything went swimmingly after that. We downloaded all the necessary programs and drivers (The order went Chrome>GPU Drivers>Discord>Everything Else). He spent his last hour at my house helping me download benchmarks and other useful tools.
PS: The whole thing went pretty well all things considered. I wasn’t the most prepared cable-wise (which is a lesson I’m glad I learned), but at least it booted the first time. All the issues were easily identifiable. For future builds, I’m definitely going to spend more on a better case and more modular power supply. I hope you guys like it, and feel free to give any feedback or advice for what I should do with it. Be seeing you on the forums!
Works great! Couldn't be happier.
Cools my CPU just fine without an OC. Never gets too loud.
BIOS is great, startup sound is great, features are great. Overall a great board! The 3 fan headers including the CPU fan header is a real plus.
Fast, decently large, and small size. What's not to love?
Works. That's about all I can say.
Performed pretty quietly all things considered. I had to return it as mine came with bad VRAM, though I bought it open box so I don't fault Gigabyte.
It was ok to build in. Could have used a bit more cable management room.
It's a quality unit but the lack of meaningful modularity dissapoints me. It's also pretty loud and the cables are ketchup and mustard, and it's huge! I would recommend a different power supply such as a CXM or G2/GQ instead.
Works. Is very loud though.
Wireless Network Adapter
The unit I had had a broken antenna, but I replaced it with a long radio antenna. It is unbearably slow.
Works. A bit of vignette and not the best quality, but whatever.
I love this mouse! 9 programmable buttons, a great sensor, high DPI, and a high polling rate make it a great choice.
They're cheap and put out pretty good sound. Don't use them if you're playing anything loud though as the sound gets distorted at high volumes.