This is a Re-build of an old pc I had built back in 2002. I took my brothers old AMD Athlon system and my old P4E system and have built a new rig for him with just a few new parts and a complete overhaul of my old case.
All of the prices listed are paid at the time of purchase. I wanted the price to reflect what we had in it as an actual cost. Not what you could get it for today. All the custom parts were bought in 2002-2003. The HDD in 2005. The rest of the parts are within the last 2 years. If you bought all of this today it would be about 20-30% less cost.
My brother had been running on an old AMD Athlon build that i did for him back in 2007. He was using an ECS 780 board that was starting to lag behind tech, and wasnt keeping up. I went in a couple years ago and upgraded him to a Phenom II to try and breathe some life into it. It helped for a bit but the board wasn't able to OC very well so we bought a 990FX-Gaming board. This way we could still use his parts but OC the crap out of that 6 core Phenom II.
I love this old case, and was actually going to use it for my Taichi build until I saw the Lian-Li PC-08 case and decided I had to have it. It was sitting in my closet when the time came to upgrade his system. Since it required me to pull the whole board out I figured i would suprise him with a custom build.
The Black Pearl
When I bought this case back in 2002 getting a pc case like this was unheard of. Windowed cases had just started to hit the market and to get one that was solid aluminum and anodized on the inside as well as the outside required shipping it out to a custom shop that offered powder coating or anodizing. While i was shopping for a good price for the paint (anywhere from $250 to $400) I stumbled on a blog where a guy overseas had bought a case directly from a Chinese manufacturer. These cases weren't available in the states yet. He set me up with the phone number and contact number. one month and $250 dollars later I had a flat out smoking hot case that was one of a kind in the states. The next year this case popped up all over from 4 or 5 different companies that were obviously buying from this little known company called SuperFlower. I believe Inwin, Chieftec, and a couple others started rebranding it. Needless to say for its time and even today it is amazing. Its an extended mid-tower that holds EATX boards. The motherboard mounts on a completely removable sliding tray. It has 4-5.25" bays, 3- 3.5" bays and a removable cage mounted to the inside base that hold another 4 hard drives. It has mounting for 5-80mm case fans and the optional plexi-glass with a single fan mount and funnel blowing right at the cpu. The front Intake fans also have a removable dust filter. Not bad for a 15 year old case.
Not many options today on 80mm fans. I went with 5 new black and blue Autolizer fans.
I went with the Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming from their ultra durable series. It let me reuse the Phenom II CPU that I had recently upgrded from an Athlon. it also gave us new tech like the M.2 and the USB3.0 and 3.1 ports. For bells and whistles it has an ambient LED strip built in plus Hi-Def Audio and metal shielding to strengthen the PCI-e slots. After a $20 rebate i snagged it on sale for $72.98..............say what!
The Phenom II 1045T has got to be one of the best pound for pound cpu's AMD has made. I know alot of people prefer the 1055T or the unlocked black series. Straight out of the box stock 2.7Ghz I went straight to 3.97Ghz without touching anything but the FSB. No voltage changes at all. That's a 47% OC and I haven't even began to tweak it yet. I heard a few people say they have reached 4.3Ghz on air. I will leave that up to my brother if he wants to start pushing some heat out. I am curious to see what it will do.
As I stated in my Taichi build, I am not a fan of water cooling. Other than the visual aspects of a custom circuit, I don't see the need vs the risk. After seeing how well the Enermax T50-Axe cooled my 5820k down I decided to try another Enermax product. The ETS-T40F black edition. It comes with a cool blue LED fan with PWM control. When first started things up i thought HWmon was giving me a false read so I loaded the Giga-tools and RealTemp. They all said the same thing. Idle temps at a cool 22C and after running prime95 and stress on CPU for 4 hours it had only hit 34C. The Enermax T40 and T50 series coolers are most excellent.
He only had 4gb of memory running @1033mhz. I grabbed an 8gb set of blue/black G.skill@2133. Double the speed and double the capacity. Never used G.skill before but couldn't pass up the price. So far so good.
Currently reusing the old 250Gb SATA1 HDD he had in it. I'm looking to catch the new 960M.2 when it's released and a couple of 850EVO 500gb SSD's on a good sale. Maybe after the 860 Evo comes out. With SATAIII limits at 600gb/sec i cant see them being much better than the 850 series.
The MSI-730gt is the card that I was running in one of my old desktoprigs. It's DX11 native and capable of playing todays games on low to medium settings. I picked it up a year or so ago when TESO released the Thieves Guild update and kicked out any player that was still running a DX10 card. I thought it was pretty crappy of them to do with no notice, but I did understand the need to continuously improve. This card will get upgraded when more funds are available or I catch a big sale with rebates. Yeah........ that's how I roll! Probably be a 1050Ti or a 1060 series.
He had been running dual Radeon HD 3870X2 cards in crossfire. They still ran most games, but aren't native DX11 and don't have alot of VRAM. Suprised to see the little 730gt just kick its butt in performance. That's one 730 vs four 3870.
EVGA 750W Supernova Gold+ series. EVGA is the best (Superflower power). I just have had to many problems with any other power supply I have tried over the years. Four EVGA PSU and I have never had one fail. Can't say that for my Corsair or my Seasonic. Although I do have a 15 year old ATX Superflower SS430 from my P4E build that i use as a test bench. A whole bunch of short circuits and smoked LED series but it still runs.
I decided to be different. The pics currently show the ASUS 24x DVDRW. I took that out and have a slot drive and a Silverstone 5.25" Slot drive adapter and cable shipping to me. This will give the face a smoother more unique look.
Keyboard and Mouse:
Unknown- I dont know what he has at home
I reused the old Vantec fan controller I had. Only because it added some Blue LED to the front of the case.
I added some Clear acrylic feet with blue LED inserts to the bottom of the case
I have a couple 4" UV cold cathodes and two 12" UV cathodes to put back in when I'm done rewiring the switch panel I made. I took one of the front bezel covers and added 5 rocker switches with blue LED for individual control of the 4 cold cathodes and the LED feet on the case. They can also be used as fan control if needed. The original wiring job I did I was never happy with, so I am in the process of a redo. My cabling and wiring skills are much better these days.
I am also going to make the USB2.0 header cables to plug in the front panel of the case. The original cables were an internal to external that ran from the inside front of the case through a hole in one of the pci slot covers and plugged into the back ports on the motherboard. Older boards back then didn't come with internal USB headers. I know I can buy them both for $20 but I like a good challenge. An old card reader, soldering iron, some cable sleeve and heat shrink we should be in business. All of this I have left over from previous builds or tear downs.
Always happy to build a rig for somebody else. It gives me an opportunity to keep up on new tech and always presents a new challenge.
A couple of wiring challenges but no show stoppers while building this rig. This case was made for modding even by modern standards. Only thing that holds it back is the 80mm fans.
Maybe see some custom sleeved cables and an upgrade to an FX 8 core AMD or a full swap to an I7 in the future.
I will be sure to add some more pics and specs when i'm done with all the upgrades and mods. For now its back on his desk running some Tanks I'm sure.
Thanks for checking out the Retro Redux!
Updates for 2018:
Swapped out CPU for an FX-8350
Upgraded GPU to a GTX1070 Windforce
Bumped up the memory to 16gb
Installed Win10 on a 960 EVO M.2 and added a 850 EVO SSD for game drive. Moved the HDD over to file storage.