This is my old computer from 2010 that I've upgraded over the years. This PC holds a special place in my heart since it was my transition from Athlon 64 X2 and DDR2 to a Quad Core Core i5 and DDR3. I've since moved on to more modern hardware, but this build meant so much that I wanted to refresh it one more time before I sold it to it's next owner.
CPU - This guy has been a champ throughout the years. I only started overclocking it when I was dabbling in Twitch in early 2014. I definitely got a ton of value from it during the 8+ years I used it. Still runs below 65c on all cores at 4.0Ghz today.
CPU Cooler - Before I refreshed this build, I had to finally retire the old Zalman 9500U cooler I had in this build. I was a big fan of the flower-style cooler that Zalman made back in the day, so I bought another one for this system when I built it. Damn that thing is ugly for modern standards, so I had to swap it out with something budget, yet powerful enough to maintain a decent OC. I got the Thermaltake cooler on /r/hardwareswap for $20 in a bundle, which I was pretty happy about. The cooler has a HUGE heatsink and two very powerful and loud fans. Overall the temps were below 65c at load so the cooler did a good job. My only complaint is that it still used a manual fan speed controller that you needed to add to a PCI slot on your case.
Motherboard - As far as I know this line of ASUS P55 motherboards were really solid. At the time, my friend and I bought these boards and they were really stable. The color scheme also makes it super easy to match with blue led strips.
Memory - This is probably the weakest part of the system when I first built it. I should've just bought a 2x4gb kit but I was looking forward to upgrading my system with another 8gb stick. This never happened and I was too cheap to add another to this budget system.
SSD - It's early 2019 and SSD's are now ~$30 for 240gb. No brainer here and I really like this brand.
HDD - Nothing special here. I removed the old 640GB HDD I had since it had some bad sectors for sure. If I had a 500GB HDD lying around I would've thrown one to cut costs.
GPU - The original video card I had in this system was the legendary GTX 460 Fermi. It died after 4 years and my guess was I played way too many hours of World of Warcraft on it. I replaced it with the GTX 750 Ti and never looked back. I really love these budget cards and the value I got out of them is amazing.
Case - The actual case I used was the Lian-Li - PC-K62 ATX Mid Tower Case. My first case I ever bought was an Apevia, and I loved it. I love budget chinese brands so I always admired Lian Li for its quality products. A premium, chinese brand, with progressive features? Sign me up. This case had it all at the time: removal HDD bays, mesh front for airflow, 140mm led fans, tool-less design. We take a lot of these features for granted today. Going from an Apevia, to Antec, then to a Lian Li, you really felt the difference in quality from this $130 case.
PSU - The original PSU for this build was an OCZ Modstream 520W (remember them?). It's not surprising this was the first component to die and it probably took my old GTX 460 Fermi with it. I was pretty devastated at the time at the potential failure, but I am thankful I only had to replace my PSU and GPU in the process. Ended up going overkill to prevent this from happening again and this PSU ended up being extremely reliable. Probably would've kept it around if it had black sleeved cables.
Other features - Added a cheapy $15 wifi card and some cheap chinese LED strips from eBay. More chinese stuff I know, but these strips were $2.50 for 2 and I love the way they look. These are especially a must if you're trying to re-sell your PC locally or online. They're even cheaper if you stock up when eBay does their 15% off everything sales.
If you've made it this far, thank you for coming on this journey with me. I really wanted to keep this case around for sentimental reasons, but with modern cases being so feature rich nowadays, I couldn't justify the space for this guy. Ultimately I sold the PC to a dad buying a gaming computer for his 12 year old son. He was using a Phenom II that kept giving him blue screens while playing Fortnite, so I'm really glad someone can still put this computer to use. Couldn't have asked for a better home for my first PC after college. Cheers and see you on my next build.