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Prologue: My mom brought home a computer from her school that placed near the dumpster. She knew I was into that kind of stuff so she gave it to me hoping it would be useful. About one month passes and I've tinkered around on it with Linux (Mint, but later Ubuntu) because it was a locked version of Windows 7 for schools. I became very interested with the possibilities of gaming on the machine. I pick up a GT 730 for around $35 on eBay; an improvement over the Intel 2500 Graphics. From there, I am able to view Youtube videos easily and play some light games. Nearing Christmas, my brother and I are pressured by my mom to get something because my grandparents enjoy buying us stuff. My brother mentions an upgrade for our main rig (b/dKFdnQ) and then I just tell him we can build a new PC. He advises we take advantage of the i5-3470 within that Linux PC.
The original plan was to purchase a 1050 for the computer and be done. After a little research and many topics on the LTT forums, I realize that a 1050 would be a gamble with the included proprietary 220W PSU. To keep the 1050 safe, I opted to upgrade the PSU. Upgrading the power supply would mean that the motherboard could no longer be used because it's also proprietary and uses custom headers for power. The plan then comes to a new GPU, PSU and Motherboard. Everything ships okay and we build inside of an old HAF 912 laying around. Everything is okay, except for the RAM. 4GB doesn't do the trick at all. Searching around on Amazon, I picked up 6GB of DDR3 1066. Admittedly, it is slower but it fills up the DIMMs and that's all that matters.
My passion for the custom case came with the size of the old HAF 912. That's why I ditched it in the first place. After brainstorming ideas, the Thermaltake Core P5 became my inspiration. My dad and I picked up some wood and poles from the garage and went to work painting. Mounting then became my only concern. How were stand-offs going to work? It turns out, plumbing washers are the way to go. They provide elevation and are rubber so they are not conductive. The motherboard stands and is very stable. The PSU and drives were mounted with Velcro. The plexiglass on the front finished the build nicely and gave it some protection against bumps while moving. The graphics card was mounted with Velcro on the side of the plexiglass and stays in place well enough. I really got lucky with the GTX 1050 not needing PSU input.
Prior to actually constructing any of this build, I had to make sure the ugly stock cooler was pretty enough to sit on the CPU without an eye sore. Using just some electrical tape, I was able to cover the cable and provide a clean look.
Cable management was rather simple with a semi-modular power supply. Plus, the cables are black because Corsair is awesome. Using the included black zip ties made the build neat. The only draw back is the lack of length to reach the CPUP header without going across the motherboard.
During the first couple of days in this new case, I turned on the PC using a paper clip and the I/O header. I later disassembled the again, proprietary I/O cable on the old HP PC case and plugged it in with it resting next to the hard drive.
I am very pleased with this build and am ecstatic to finally build a PC out of the norm a little. Thanks for reading.
This CPU makes perfect sense for anyone who can pick it up for $1. Newer generations are far better. The four cores prove great performance and temperatures remain low even during stress.
The motherboard was a mandatory pick for the 1155 socket. This socket doesn't have any great value motherboards. The BIOS is fair. I've picked up compaints about audio quality coming from my mic that were not existent prior to upgrading to this motherboard. The USB and 3.5mm jacks are not the highest quality. The best part of this motherboard is the Intel sound when booting.
Provides great performance but I wouldn't recommend if you can get it for $25 or below.
Although this SSD may be dated now in 2017, it is still going strong two years later.
WD Black > WD Blue. I feel very secure with my data and the speeds are great for a mechanical.
The GPU provides great performance for the price and I wouldn't get the 460 any day. The fan remains silent under load. I would go for a 1050ti if you can push a few more dollars.
The fan is silent and the cables are black. Amazing.