Packrat System Build

I tend to accumulate computer parts over time as I upgrade older systems or replace them.  I also keep an eye out for good sales on parts that I can either keep on hand as spares for current systems or use for new builds/upgrades.  So when the upgrade bug struck recently I already had a number of parts on hand, including a 500GB SATA drive, DVD-RW drive, a couple of ATX power supplies (including a really high-end Enermax 450W unit), and a really nice Cooler Master Centurion case.  I started looking around at motherboard and CPU combos.  What I wanted was a motherboard capable of supporting dual monitors and a multi-core AMD CPU.  I was also intending to run Linux, so as I came across motherboards I checked for compatibility of video, LAN, and audio drivers.

I eventually settled on the following setup from

Not exactly bleeding edge, but I got all three of the above for $150, which is pretty good for a new system build.  While waiting for the parts to arrive I pulled the Enermax PS from another case where it had been sitting.  That was when I noticed that it had the older 20-pin ATX motherboard connector, rather than the 24-pin connector that the motherboard required.  Now some motherboards will run without the extra four pins (you just plug the 20-pin connector into the first 20 pins of the 24-pin connector on the motherboard).  However, the manual for this motherboard did not mention this as an option so I ended up having to shell out another $50 for an Antec Basiq 500W power supply.  A bit annoying, and now my budget build was starting to fell somewhat un-budget.  grin

But this was the only hiccup, as the system went together really smoothly once I had all the parts together.  I think it only took about an hour total to get it assembled.  Since my phone was handy I snapped a few photos for posterity (which also prompted my previous whining about user interface annoyances). 

Cooler Master Centurion with Antec PS installed, awaiting installation of components:

Motherboard and CPU:

Optical and Hard Drives:

All components installed:

There’s something satisfying about taking a bunch of boxes and parts and converting them into a pile of trash and a working computer.

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