From Ewaste to Gaming Rig

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bgorichanaz
Ben
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Technician / Businessman
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From Ewaste to Gaming Rig

Preface: I am primarily an Apple user. I've been switching off between my 5k iMac , 2,1 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro for quite some time depending on the task. I also run a small repair shop and as a hobby enthusiast run a lot of VMs of different systems to play with. I am constantly running out of system resources on my machines.

Primary reasons for building this system:
1. To house a few different Operating Systems including: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, Debian, Arch, & a Hackintosh.
2. To play video games with my friends on Windows only titles (even though the main games I play are StarCraft II and League of Legends (which are pc/mac)).
3. To explore the untapped potential of old hardware and save some parts from ewaste.
4. To have an ever changing system that will be upgraded slowly over time based on sheer luck.
5. To not spend too much.

I started out by gathering components destined for the foundry (we work with a local recycler that parts out ewaste and eventually melts everything down. After a few months of hording supplies I was finally able to begin this.

I started out with a 500w Thermaltake TR2 PSU, a Dell OEM board and cooler, an i7-2600, a 120GB Kingston SSD, an HD 6770 1GB and 12GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz. I threw these in an old Cooler Master Elite 342 case and scrounged up a Purple Corsair AF120. This was a good start but then I began to yearn for more @.@

So I grabbed a White Corsair Carbide Spec-06 off the shelf, a few Corsair AF 120 and 140mm fans and got to work.

The HD 6770 evolved into a GTX 950 SSC which then again evolved into a GTX 970 Reference Model. I added a cheap PCIEx16 extension cable to utilize the cases' built in vertical mount.

The Dell OEM cooler turned into a Noctua NH-C14 that was kicking around my shop for the last few years never knowing the pleasure of cooling a system.

I had an extra Corsair Lighting Node Pro and one RGB strip kicking around so I threw that in too. I currently have it set to a dull white and a marquee type pattern.

My sole Kingston SSD was soon joined by a 250GB Intel SSD, a 2TB Seagate Barracuda, a 3.5" 1TB Seagate Barracuda, a 2.5" 1TB Seagate Barracuda and a 2.5" 1TB Toshiba HDD. Now I had plenty of independent drives to run separate installations on.

I wanted the USB 3.0 capabilities of my case so I added a cheap USB 3.0 Startech PCIE expansion card that features an internal header. I also ended up adding a TPLink GIGABIT ethernet card as well - the dang drivers for my Dell XPS 8300 board kept getting overwritten by Windows 10 on boot and would cause me to have to uninstall and reinstall literally every time I fired the damned thing up.

Then I got a hankering to play Elite Dangerous so I bought an Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset and a Thrustmaster Hotas X... Which this platform supports perfectly.

I have these paired up with a Cooler Master Master Keys Lite Mem-chanical keyboard and a Logitech G203 Prodigy mouse. I have the original Razer Kraken 7.1 SS headset and a Logitech 2.1 SS speaker system. I am using a Blue Snowball-Ice microphone. Though these peripherals are actually carried over from my iMac (I've since gone back to using the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard 2 on that machine).

As far as displays go I have a very cheap 28" ViewSonic 60hz 1080p from Amazon and a 23.5" 60hz 1080p Samsung SyncMaster from ewaste. They are both on a dual monitor stand. Nothing special about these displays.

Honestly I am at a point where I will probably be buying a second desk (the same L shaped one I already have) and make a nice horse shoe desk to house all of my systems. I have my work flow going, my gaming stuff and I need to have at least one or two test systems going at a time.

I am always resurrecting old Apple Hardware and playing with it (Such as my PowerMac G4 project!)

All was well for a few weeks until some new ewaste treasure has landed in my lap. I got my hands on an i7-3770 and an ASUS Z77 board. I've been running some tests at work and am able to clock the 3770 to just over 4.5GHz and achieved a Passmark CPU score of over 11000! Which is great. I will be swapping out the boards and processors soon! Before I do I want to run some tests and see how high I can get the i7-2600's clock to go.

- With the Stock Intel cooler (Both CU core and Al variants) I was able to sustain a clock of 4.2GHz before hitting Thermal Junction in stress tests. In case you were wondering the Copper Core cooler lasted a few seconds longer before hitting TJMAX.

When I do that upgrade I have a 650Watt Thermaltake TR2 to throw in instead of the 500 I have now!

This has been a fun and rewarding experience thus far. It continues to grow! I can play all the games I want at really decent settings. I am particularly in love with Wolfenstein II at the moment. I've been exploring a lot of crazy things in VR, I am glad for the experience!

Thanks for checking out my build.
Color(s): White
RGB Lighting? Yes
Cooling: Air Cooling
Theme: Color
Size: Micro-ATX
Type: General Build

Contests

This build participated in 1 contest.

Hardware

CPU
$ 214.96
Intel - Core i7 2600
Socket: LGA 1155
Cores: 4
Motherboard
$ 108.08
Graphics
$ 269.00
NVIDIA - Founders Edition
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: GTX 970
Storage
$ 198.89
Intel - 520 Series
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 240 GB
Storage
$ 45.00
Kingston - UV500
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 120 GB
PSU
Thermaltake - PS-TR2-0500NPCBUS-B (discontinued)
Wattage: 500
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Bronze
Case
$ 250.07
Corsair - Carbide SPEC-06
Type: Mid-Tower
Side Panel: Tempered Glass
Cooling
Noctua - NH-C14
Type: Air Cooler
Size (WxHxD): 130 mm
Accessories
$ 64.99
Accessories
$ 169.98
Monitor
Samsung - SyncMaster 2493HM
Size: 24 Inch
Panel: VA
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Monitor
$ 199.63
ViewSonic - VA2855SMH
Size: 28 Inch
Panel: VA
Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
Keyboard
$ 39.00
Cooler Master - MasterKeys Lite L
Interface: Wired
Type: Full Size
Mouse
$ 39.99
Logitech - G203
Interface: Wired
Unable to dertermine total build value (missing part value)
151
9
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