I overhauled my girlfriend’s computer the other day. It used to be a 5 year old click-and-wait with a 1.4GHz Athlon XP with 768megs of ram (512 of it added from my previous computer), 60GB harddrive, and a GeForce Ti-4400 (also from my previous computer). I’ve been trying to convince her to get a new computer since she loves to play Team Fortress 2. The thing was she didn’t want to spend very much money to get a new computer. So even though I could get a new computer for her for $500 she wouldn’t take it. Well, with the advent of Christmas, Steam slashed their price of TF2 by half, from $20 to $10. So I bought it for her and that has convinced her to get a new rig 😀
The hard part was lowering the price of entry of a new, TF2-capable computer. We went super cheap and bought only the parts necessary. Luckily I have an extra powersupply and 4x1gig ram, so I donated the PSU and 2 slower gigs for her use and got her to buy an E5200 (faster than mine! but for about the same price), a ZOTAC mobo, and a GeForce 9500GT. The total comes to around $200 after all the rebates. Not bad for practically a new computer! Best of all, it operates pretty smooth and fast in Windows 7 even on a slow IDE drive. Only trouble is she can either have 2 harddrives or 1 harddrive and 1 DVD drive. We might get a new SATA drive for her but there isn’t much need other than her desire to play Sims2.
Yesterday a friend came over to have me help her build her new rig. She’s been wanting a desktop forever to play TF2 (I also got her addicted). I had given her a list off of newegg a while back and she bought all the parts to it. So here she is with her (empty) case (she’s very excited in case you can’t tell).
The case is pretty sexy (it's an Antec 300)
Kim wonders what those cables and “seat-belt” looking things are. (They’re IDE cables)
Here is the motherboard with CPU, heatsink/fan assembly, and memory [E5200, same as my girlfriend’s, stock cooler, and 2x2gb GSkill DDR2-1066mhz ]. All of which put in by her (for the most part). She seems to be pretty happy with putting everything together, with my supervision and guidance of course. Putting the fan in was quite an ordeal. Intel really made it a workout to jam that last pin through the hole and lock it in.
Putting the motherboard in the case
Here is a shot of the graphics card. I really wish I had gotten a card with the same two-slot form factor. The extra cooling prowess probably lengthen the life time of the card.
8800GTS 320meg cause it's only $90
And it’s finished! Just need to install Windows 7 and the game! Time for a TF2 Lan fest!
Brand new $500 pc paired up with a 15" old school 1024x768 LCD
So a recap of the specs: E5200 (2.5GHz, 2MB L2; 4GB DDR2-1066; EP45-DS3R; 8800GTS 320MB OC; 640GB Western Digital; 550 Watt PSU)
It’s still here in the living room. It was too late for us to help her take it back to her dorm since visitor’s hours were over by then. Oh well, it shall remain here until our real TF2 Lan fest this weekend to celebrate Chinese New Years! I think we will have about 5 computers competing on a 7mb/s connection 😦
Hope there’ll be more frags than lags.