Description

This computer was mostly made from extra parts in my garage, with the exception of the cooler and case which I purchased for the lowest price possible. Yes, I know I'm a cheap motherf*cker, but it wouldn't have made sense to have an expensive fancy tempered glass case for this type of computer. I'll tell the story of how I got all the parts in a second.

The motherboard doesn't have a 3.0 port so the USB3.0 port on the case doesn't do anything. I taped over it. Also I didn't have the I/O shield for the GPU or for the motherboard so it's just kinda open.

I'm part of 4-H, and I run a computer project where my dad and I teach local 4-H youth ages 9 and up how to construct, deconstruct, diagnose, and repair all kinds of computers. Since we run the project, we have a huge amount of assorted computer parts in the garage. Many people in the community have made generous donations to the project (special thanks to Davis, CA Freecycle and NextDoor members) When the project starts again next year, this computer will go to someone in the project or someone in the 4-H community in need of a computer. It could even become a desktop at the 4-H state office.

CPU and Motherboard

These were from some gutted desktop someone gave us. The cooler was missing, so purchasing one was necessary. The i3-550 is actually a decent processor. On this build, I put it through quite a bit. In the meantime when I was waiting for the cooler to arrive I accidentally booted it up without a cooler on the processor and it survived! The motherboard is the board for a Dell Inspiron 580 so the specific board in this system isn't on PCPartPicker.

RAM

This was the maximum amount of RAM I could have in one computer. 11GB is a weird amount of RAM and this computer has some weird off brand stuff but it boots and has no problems recognizing the RAM even though the specific types I have aren't even recognized on PCPartPicker.

HDD

Some pretty average 1TB drive that's been in the garage for awhile. Nothing special.

GPU

Someone actually gave me this, brand new, in the box. It's kinda cool looking and it can fit in both full size and slim cases. The performance of it is barely better than integrated graphics, though. No gaming with this except for maybe CSGO or some old/low intensity games.

PSU

A friend gave me this in exchange for helping him build his brother's computer. Probably the most expensive part here, except I got it for free!

Cooler

This is a pretty trash cooler. 6 dollars. You definitely get what you pay for with this. Read my review for more details.

Case

The star of the show. I love this case. It was really easy to work with and looks quite nice as well. Read my review for more details.

Other Parts

The optical drive was just some off brand junk I had laying around. I don't think the exact model is on PCPartPicker. It works, and I got it for free, so I can't complain, but it's very loud. Keyboard and mouse are just ****** standard Dell models that we have tons of in the garage.

Part Reviews

CPU

Decent chip. Performs well considering its age. I even accidentally booted the system up while the CPU didn't have a cooler and it survived.

CPU Cooler

This cooler was dirt cheap. 6 ******* dollars. It came packaged in a plastic bag (not even a cardboard box) with a couple mounting pieces and an instruction manual for AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COOLER. Figuring out how to install it took about 30 minutes. No thermal paste either. At least it works. I guess you get what you pay for with a 6 dollar cooler.

Video Card

Pretty trash. Barely better than integrated graphics. At least it can fit in both a full size case and small size case.

Case

Actually a really nice case considering I got it for under $30. Easy installation of parts and easy cable management. No side window but for this PC looks wasn't really a priority. The included fans are pretty good and the blue LEDs are a nice touch. It looks very stylish for such a cheap case. You can even mount a fan on the side panel (which I did)

Power Supply

Good and reliable power supply, I have always trusted corsair products

Operating System

It's windows, I guess. 7 and XP were better but at least 10 is better than 8 or 8.1.

Case Fan

I like this fan. Don't remember how I got it but it was new in its package so I decided to use it. I mounted it on the side panel of the case. It actually spins really fast (hurt my finger to stick it in) and makes almost no noise. It's a good fan. Even comes with some fancy rubber mounts instead of screws, which I like.

Mouse

some dell mouse I've had for awhile, it does its job

Comments

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Why exactly would you build this???

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

read the post :/

[comment deleted]
  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the comment and +1!

Yeah I'm not sure what was up with the cooler. I didn't expect much from a $6 cooler, but maybe the missing thermal paste was unintentional. Still, says a little bit about Zalman's quality control. The CPU seems to be running fine on the crusty old paste so I don't really mind too much. It's a decent "junk" rig I guess.