Paying It Forward (1 Viewer)

I agree. Current game engines make much better use of the GPU, CPU and RAM nowadays.
I built this monster back in 2007 when I was living in an apt out in Lancater PA. (single, no kids and working a boatload of OT)

An i7 in 2007? Time flies when you're getting old, Tommy. :cool:

2009, maybe?
Doh, I just bought a new tower last week! I really need to learn more about this because I think I could easily do it.

Just learn like I did, piece by piece. Add some RAM, upgrade your DVD drive, then your graphics card, then add another hard drive, etc. Eventually you'll have done all the pieces and be familiar with how it all goes together.

I'm actually quite surprised how many chippers are techies, figured I'd be dealing with folks who were more into fixing cars (of which I have no clue, I can check my oil and change my tires and do a battery jump or change a fuse or lightbulb, that's about the extent)
An i7 in 2007? Time flies when you're getting old, Tommy. :cool:

2009, maybe?

Or maybe, just maybe...................

The biggest thing I've been holding out for is a significant drop in SSD prices, really want to get into that technology, but didn't want to get anything smaller than half a terabyte for the drive. Right now I'm rocking:

If you're not in SFF, you should definitely do a 2-drive system - SSD for the OS/swap/temp, and HDD for the cheap data. SSDs have gotten faster enough that this makes a big difference in performance and "feel" of the machine, and the prices have dropped low enough that it's worth the dollars - except for your data disks on a desktop machine.
I used to build my own PCs and servers. Now I just use SFF and laptops at the desk, and virtual servers.

For several years in the mid-2000s my main machine was a caseless art-piece wall-hung custom build that was pretty unusual...

I had a big 3/4 inch plywood sheet covered in black fabric, hung on the wall behind my desk.
In the middle of it was the motherboard, screwed directly into the wood.
All cabled components - power supply, hard drives, discs, card readers - were screwed to the board around the motherboard. The wires were channeled out to the components.
It was intended to look like an exploded diagram of a PC and components, but actually working.
I had all SilenX fans and power supply to keep it quiet.
Had to deal with drive heat - was surprised how hot the hard drives got when not screwed into a metal cage that can act as a heat sink!
I spent a lot on cables to have particular appearance or to have enough length - especially the power cables from the PSU to components.
All the "external" wires hung straight down to my desk.

It looked pretty cool, and a surprisingly broad group of people enjoyed it, but I don't have any pictures. It certainly made checking or tweaking the hardware really, really easy!
Sounds pretty cool Nomad, I know I've seen stuff like that in case mod designs online, but never in person. I don't have pics, but my wife LOVES Christmas so I did up a case mod where there were tiny light-up trees inside her windowed case. And then I had a rig where the motherboard fan had multi-color blinking/flashing lights which looked pretty cool.

Now you guys are making me want to build some cool looking PC's! :p
I seriously considered doing a custom desk with a glass top where the PC was INSIDE the top of the desk... but opted for the wall-art version, instead. I spent (wasted) a lot of time contemplating different ways to make a case, and different things to build a PC into. Mico and smaller mobos were fairly new, then... but I wanted a full-powered and expandable rig, so I mostly focused on bigger designs.

If I did the desk, I'd probably still have it, but I did the wall art - which was more obvious in the room, and much, much easier than the desk would be. But when I was through upgrading "parts" of the wall-art, there was no cool case to "save." So now it's just a memory. (Although most of the components eventually went into cases as cheap parts for other people.)

I encourage you to go cool! If you're a maker, you'll enjoy it more than a standard case. But my case-building and even PC-building days are behind me... <sigh>
Just as a quick help (and because most of the work is already done) here is a recent budget gaming rig recommended by TomsHardware:,4065.html

Note that their pricing isn't always exact, given that you may not be able to find these prices at all, or you may have to shop via multiple vendors (thus missing out on combined shipping, etc)

I generally get the majority of my components via I find their selection to be excellent and their pricing competitive overall.

This particular build utilizes an ASRock motherboard, I'm not much of a fan of that brand. For budget systems I usually go MSI, although I prefer Gigabyte or Intel for stability.

This build also utilizes an OEM version of Windows 8.1 I'm not a fan of that OS, but I do love me some Windows 7. I usually get mine from snagstuff, they ship you a branded disc (from Dell, HP, etc) and I've never had an issue getting it working/activated legally on my OEM builds for a reasonable price (70-80 bucks)

They also recommend a Radeon 280 graphics card for $180, but that may be more card than a "budget" rig should be looking at. I'd lean towards the Radeon 260 2GB card as more than adequate for a budget gaming rig capable of handling games at acceptable frame rates and visual quality. These run around $120, so helps to get you closer to that $500-550 "budget" mark a lot of people are looking for.
....I'm actually quite surprised how many chippers are techies, figured I'd be dealing with folks who were more into fixing cars....

Well, the two aren't mutually exclusive. I do the car thing, but I've also been building computers since the early S100 days (both Altair and IMSAI, Intel SDKs, later Heath/Zenith Z-89,90,100, etc.

I got my ham radio license in 1959, and my local ham radio club actually acquired a military surplus vacuum tube computer in 1961 -- two eight-foot racks of it.

I remember the first Dell I ordered for work -- went to upgrade the ram and found the chips were on sub-boards soldered in place.

I made my living doing real-time programming (and a lot of hardware interface work) since 1977, then a bunch of real-time satellite control systems, with involvement in network development since ARPAnet circa 1983.

Joe of PGI is also a ham operator, and I believe he's also a bit of a car guy.
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Damn Larry, that's quite the history! I, uh.... had a black & white tv with the rabbit ears and a TRS-80 from Radio Shack (although my fondest memories are from my Commodore 64/128 and Amiga 2000). Didn't get into the PC upgrading/building game until around the Pentium III era though.

I had bought some off-brand PC from Sears, Tri-Gem or something, I think it was a Korean company. Then I bought a Packard Hell. Needless to say I didn't have positive experiences with either system and started learning the DIY route.
I'm impressed with the techs in here. My skills aren't nearly as ambitious in the building area...I just like tweaking machines and configurations. And I seem to have issues with letting machines go. Heck, I still have an Atari 1040STfm with monitor here that I used to get my degree.
Would love to tackle a mineral oil PC one day...

Here is the first video in a really good step by step series from Linus Tech Tips (good youtube channel for computer related tips).

you should write up a quick recommendation for a low cost slap together desktop or OTS laptop, both $500-$1K and under $500. It would be easier for you and help more than one person. Answering the eternal question "I want a PC for Internet and low demanding applications for a budget price" for other forum members might be a bigger bang for the buck.

Should call that a Super Low Budget Rig. :D
I think optical drives will be gone in the next 5 years. Haven't used mine in close to 2 years.

It's amazing how much PC you can get for so little. I agree on optical drives, everything is streaming over the internet and eventually we'll have movies on digital sticks or just digital rights with high-speed internet to access our libraries.

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