As I previously said I got scammed out of my good PC and had to downgrade to one with an i5 2310. I promised myself to keep fighting to get the money to turn this into a better PC, and so I did.
After many hours of work doing odd jobs over the past couple of weeks, I finally managed to get the two most important new parts for this build: a decent PSU and a good enough GPU.
My specs before the upgrade I'll detail in this post were:
HD Graphics 2000
8GBs of DDR3 RAM
240GBs of SSD and HDD space (120 for each)
A Kmex 200w PSU
A Duex H61Z M2 motherboard
So, let's get on with the upgrades!
Yesterday, the PSU I purchased from Pichau (A Brazilian PC parts shop) arrived. It took only 2 days for it to get here, but that was 2 days too many, as I had already taken the old PSU off my rig in case anyone gave me an offer on it on Facebook (I'm selling it for very cheap, alongisde a 3.5" 80gb HDD).
And this is the PSU I got! A KCAS (probably pronounced Kickass or something) 500w 80 plus bronze PSU by AeroCool.
I heard good things about this PSU from some friends and while the consensus on Brazilian forums about KCAS PSUs is that they're "bombas" or unreliable, it's what I could afford.
Not to mention that according to OuterVision's PSU calculator, even with all the upgrades I intend on making (I'll get to that later on), the PC will still draw only 351 watts.
That's not a whole lot, I'm pretty sure a 500w 80 plus bronze PSU can handle it just fine.
It'll take at least a year until I can fully move platforms and maybe even get an RTX card, so until then I'll definitely upgrade to something more reliable and more powerful, like maybe a Corsair RM850.
For now, this is enough, it has to be enough, at least - and I sure as hell don't plan on overclocking this thing.
And this is how the previous PSU looks like btw. Definitely doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence...
As for the GPU, I went with an RX 570 that I found for relatively cheap on Facebook marketplace, $100. You can probably find better deals in first world countries, but this is Brazil we're talking about, paying just R$500 for something that will bottleneck my CPU and can run most games out there just fine is totally worth it.
So, I went ahead with the whole setting up!
Getting the PSU into place was easy enough, but it's evident that it sags a little diagonally. I made sure it wouldn't cause any trouble and tightened the screws as much as I could so I'm pretty confident it'll stay in place.
The real issue were the cables.
The previous PSU had very few cables, so it was a lot easier and cleaner to install everything, this one in the other hand was clearly meant for gaming.
2 PCIe 6+2 pin cables, tons and tons of SATA connectors, 4 molex for God knows what, etc etc.
There's no way in hell I could get this thing looking clean because of how small the case is.
It looks absolutely horrible.
But you know what? I don't really care.
If I were doing this job for a client, I'd definitely do a better, more methodical, slower, well thought out job... but this is for me. As long as it turns on and doesn't show any issues, it's fine for me.
If you've got a good eye you might've noticed that there's a hole where the PCIe "protector thingies" used to be, well, the GPU didn't want to fit. So I had to rip that part out. It worked out in the end, it's kinda ugly and a definite entrypoint for dust.
And if your vision is 20/20, you might've noticed something weird.
Why the hell is there electrical tape there?
Well, I tried securing the GPU so it wouldn't sag using cable ties, and that helped a little, but I quickly found a better, more stupid solution...
I simply took the other PCIe 6+2 cable that branches out from the one in the GPU, pushed it up, and secured it with tape. That keeps the GPU pretty stable. It might be a terrible solution, but it works. It's my botch mentality taking hold, and to be honest, I was already tired at that point, after trying to get all the cables in and getting everything as tidy as possible.
This build was excruciating because of the small case.
I ended up scratching my hand on the side rails of the case. This doesn't look particularly painful or ugly, but because of the cold it hurt more than it should have.
I also did a little f-up when plugging the cables in by accidentally plugging the CPU power cable in the wrong orientation. The space between the PSU and the CPU port is really tiny, so I couldn't see it properly.
When I went for the smoke test, the PC wouldn't post. But I quickly figured out the issue and resolved it - that could've gone pretty badly though, I'm lucky my CPU wasn't fried.
This is definitely a little less modest PC now. Something I didn't mention in the build is that I tried out a 1TB hard drive I believed to be broken out and it worked with good speeds and a PASS on the SMART info.
Kinda happy about that, that affords me a lot more space.
Now the system I've got is:
AMD RX 570
8GBs of DDR3 RAM
1.2TB of SSD and HDD space (120 SSD, 120 HDD, 1TB HDD)
A AeroCool KCAS 500w 80 Plus Bronze PSU
A Duex H61Z M2 motherboard
- What's Left?
I'm still not done yet!
There are still upgrades I want to do to this system so it's even better.
More 8GBs of RAM using shorter RAM sticks, because the normal tall ones won't fit due to the cooler being so big.
A USB wifi adapter that can do 5GHz because this motherboard only takes 100mbps
And finally an i7 3770!
These aren't too lofty of goals, I believe I can achieve them within 1 or 2 months of work. AliExpress will be of definite help in this quest, as long as I don't get import taxed @_@
But we'll see! There's still time and work to do. This will eventually be a better PC than it is right now.
What I can do right now, is testing out games! I'm gonna throw some real heavy stuff at it to see what this CPU can pull off, maybe I'll be surprised, maybe it'll be just as I expected. We'll see!
Thanks for reading!