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Relegated: the 2009 xmas grand prize system.

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I went from active user to lurker in the last ten years, but I thought the place wouldn't mind some light reading.


I won the OCC christmas grand prize in 2009. The economy hadn't fully crashed yet and I was packing up to move across the country when Bosco called to tell me I won. I was astonished and was sort of slowing down my serious gaming in life (kid, work, wife, house, etc.) but this was a new injection. So a few months later, a big box showed up with all the goods. Most of which were supplied by Corsair and sponsors. So I built it, then moved. Over time it served me Very well. Very very well. And in my mind is proof that spending more money early on for the better components and using it for ten years will be the future ticket to any build for me...except for the GPU, as that gets replaced more often. (except for video cards) So as of yesterday, the system, which can still game very well, was prepared to move on to greener pastures... in the basement for use down there. However, in the process, I may have inadvertently extended its usefulness. Heres a spec list


OG system:

Phenom II X4 965 @ 3.4ghz

gigabyte MA790xt ud4p

8gb 1333mhz dominator ram with cooling fan (which began a bearing rattle after 4 years but never outright failed)

2x HD5850 gpu's

2x SSD's

1tb storage

Corsair Obsidian 800D case (ginormous)


H50 cpu aio liquid cooler


I kept it like that until about 2 years later when I sold the incredibly huge and awesome flex piece of a case to my brother in law and put everything into a Corsair 550D silent case with factory foam sound deadening. Honestly, that 800D was way too big for the living arrangement I had and the noise....invasive to the rest of the house. Anyway now silent, It lived like that happily for years and years and indeed lived up to its name as a silent case. I highly recommend that.


Then I started having video problems with my 3 monitor setup and later discovered it to be a monitor cable. That's it. But troubleshooting leads me to procure an R9-280 GPU which as a single unit had 50% more ram and was better and faster than the crossfire HD5850s. Then the brother in law was going through parts faster than I was at the time and I swapped that out for a GTX-770 and sent the R9 to the nephews who were dying in Fortnite and had no chance with their gear....now they are living well. I bought a 16gb ram kit because I noticed I was running low on ram...8gb was not enough! But then that was with windows 7 and games weren't crazy intensive like today. So in goes the 16gb....at a slower speed by accident. This last year the brother in law sold to me his GTX-1070 and I gave up on selling it on...I'll keep that one for a good while longer.


So this is just the history of anyone else's computer. But this one has evolved and was still holding strong. It lacks USB3 and SATA3 and PCIe 3.0, I just have version 2 of everything. I started to feel I was missing out on throughput and speed and what not. I moved the OS to a 128gb SSD five years ago and that's decently faster and nice but I just don't like bottlenecking myself. So I planned the next computer as a Ryzen 2600 and M.2 drives, etc. But in moving this to a new case to get the nice case ready, I bought some PCIe cards. One for USB3.0, and another for SATA3.


(I definitely should have cleaned the filters a bit more often. That's about 8 months worth Now that I think about it.)




The USB3 is a gem. Perfect. I now have 2 ports in the back and the front ports connect up. I'm golden there. The SATA card works! It actually boots from PCIe now without any drivers yet, and the SSD speed? If anything it's a little bit faster but then that 830 samsung isn't nearly as fast as the 850's or 9xx one's today. My steam library is on 3 x 500g segates in raid-0. The read speeds on that are 100gb/s. Ptshhh! That's going M.2 as well as the OS next build. But the SSD speeds are now in the low to mid 300's on that SATA3 card. Not a bad $24!


(new home, new 600w Tt PSU, just need cards and cooling)




So I have, with the Pci band-aids, still a very decent computer. Never for video encoding or any of that but for casual games, good resolution on 1080i, and everything I need to do I could probably be just fine for another 5 years as I reach nearly 50 years old but the video cards will begin to be constricted in the pcie 2.0 slot. So It will work in the basement soon, running the Zwift cycling training software, MAME stuff and possibly file server duties now with now 10 SATA ports.


So here it is, in the Thermaltake V31 case (I highly recommend using one of these. They have a lot going for them) until cyber monday comes along and I order up the new goods.



But there is a thought in all of this. At what point is the right point to upgrade and still have some sort of value to your craigslist/ebay parts? This is well beyond that but still very functional. 


Anyway thank you for reading. Someday when you win the grand prize, you can have the same joy of nearly free computing for 9+ years. Thank you, Bosco and OCC, for being a great place for all of us techies.

Edited by robAP
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BTW, the new case is also a return to louder fan lyfe.

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Wow!! That was a great read - thanks. I am willing to believe that many PC users have gone thru similar upgrades. It is just the way of our world.

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Cool great read! I think it's a neat thing to keep using a case over and over, I still have the same case in my pic, 3 system builds later.

Edited by Black64

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Cool great read! I think it's a neat thing to keep using a case over and over, I still have the same case in my pic, 3 system builds later.

It's been fun. I took the parts out then cleaned out the case with a shop vac and 3" paint brush. It will do wonders to really make it look new. Advances in case design have mixed quiet with visuals now so this 550d case is now reaching obsolescence. The Fractal R6 has sound deadening properties and with the air flow allowances most cases have today with fan controllers, quiet is guaranteed through smart building instead of sound deadening brute force. So this case is now going to the brother in law for his server board. I got a 280x corsair crystal on the way. But it was a good many years with this one.

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