Minimalist GPU Test Bench 2.0

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Minimalist GPU Test Bench 2.0

So, some of you might remember my first Minimalist GPU Test Bench.

This is basically a 2.0 version of the same build.

The majority of the things has stayed the same. I am still using a very old industrial ITX mainboard that uses a dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ CPU paired with a single 2GB DDR2 SODIMM.

I chose this board mainly because the seller was giving them away for only around 10 USD with shipping and it came with everything I needed to quickly test a GPU for functionality: a CPU, RAM, a PCIE x16 slot (it's PCIE 2.0 I believe) and SATA slots for an SSD. It is not a real benchmarking PC because the CPU bottlenecks pretty much any card in existence. However, I am not looking for the most precise benchmark, just testing for functionality. I mostly buy and sell stuff stuff up to the GTX 900 series and GTX 1050 TI cards, and AMD equivalents.

Another reason why I chose this board is because I have very little space right now and I wanted to save as much space as possible. That is why I chose an ITX board. And the best way to save space was to simply mount it on top of the PSU. The 120GB Samsung SSD is hidden between the mainboard and the PSU. The 600W 80+ Gold PSU by Cooler Master is semi-modular, which saves space by mostly removing unnecessary cables, and it has both a 6 pin and an 8 pin GPU connector. For the rare occasion that I test a 2x 8 pin card, I have an adapter lying around. I wish I had a fully modular PSU because I could then remove the 4+4 CPU connector entirely. This motherboard only uses a 20 pin connector and doesn't require the additional 4 pins on the big connector nor the 4+4 CPU connectors. But I managed to mostly tuck away the unnecessary cable as best I could. I added some rubber feet to the PSU so that it doesn't choke and overheat.

This board has ethernet, USB, additional SATA connectors and what I think is an IDE connector. That allows me to test other peripherals if I ever need to. I have added a simple power button to it so that I wouldn't have to always short the pins when I want to test something. And the last modification I did was to make a motherboard cover to cover up the ugliest parts as best as I could. I made it from a piece of black cardboard and electrical tape.

The goal was to make a test bench that was as cheap as possible because I am mostly dealing with very cheap stuff anyway, to save as much space as possible, and to be able to do the testing quickly, which is why I wanted an open bench. If Lian Li and all the AliExpress sellers think that I will spend a 100 bucks or more on an open case, they are insane! (JK no hard feelings I'm just stingy). I just wanted something simple where I can pop a GPU in and out as fast as possible.

I managed to connect all the parts with a bit of tape and a few cable ties. It's pretty sturdy considering everything. I am very happy with the results and I have managed to test about multiple dozen GPUs since I have assembled the 1.0 version. No longer do I need to chose between selling a GPU that I didn't test beforehand and opening my personal PC, undoing the neat cable management and reinstall different drivers to test something I am going to sell anyway.
Color(s): Black
RGB Lighting? No
Theme: Technology
Cooling: Air Cooling
Size: Mini-ITX
Type: General Build


This build participated in 2 contests.


$ 99.68
AMD - Athlon 64 X2 4400+
Socket: LGA 939
Cores: 2
$ 209.99
ASRock - X470 Fatal1ty ITX
Chipset: X470
CPU Socket: AM4
Size: ITX
$ 12.39
SK Hynix - RAM PC2-6400
Type: DDR2
Capacity: 2 GB
$ 218.70
Chip Manufacturer: AMD
Chip: HD 4650
$ 20.00
Samsung - 650 EVO
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 120 GB
$ 30.00
Cooler Master - Silent Pro
Wattage: 1000
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum
$ 474.00
$ 24.50
AMD - Stock Cooler
Type: Air Cooler
Estimated total value of this build:
$ 1,089.25
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