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Completed $35 Case? (Budget almost as tight as the case)

sswilson

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Heh.... so that particular build was sold (minus the sound card and with a GT 1030) and then I discovered that the Acer i3 board I had kicking around would indeed run newer cards (I thought it was limited to pre-UEFI cards but it just required a little bit of massaging to get it working with them) so I did a very similar build using some of the same parts, but mostly different hardware......
 

sswilson

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Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
21,098
Location
Moncton NB

The only new hardware purchased for this build was this case which is over 1" taller than the previous case but has the benefit of a 400W PSU for only an extra $25 over the other one. It also has the benefit of not having that hateful 5 1/4 support column thus wasn't a major PITA to work in. On top of that.... the front panel has louvers on the side which should allow for a lot more air flow than the previous case's single opening at the bottom.

V2 main side open.jpg

Very similar internal case structure outside of not having the column. There's a dedicated 1 3.5" drive bay accessed from the rear and a spot for an SSD on top of it.

The board (Acer i3 3220) runs memory @ 1333 so I was able to use a 2X4 set of patriot sticks that has issues posting at 1600, and topped that up with 2X2GB 1333 sticks for a total of 12GB in dual channel.. That's a whopping 120GB SSD doing OS duty with a 1TB Seagate HDD doing data duty in the back.

As with the previous build, it's got an RX 560 (4GB) sandwiched in between a dedicated sound card + it's daughter board (for optical out).

V2 main 212 Noctua.jpg

The OEM cooler was starting to exhibit the occasional high speed wobble (would go away if you gave the case a rap) so I swapped in this Hyper 212 paired up with a Noctua redux. It's absolute overkill for a stock i3, but I had them both on hand, and the fan never breaks 600 RPM under full load. :) This case came with a 3 pin 120, and I had the same model fan left over from the previous build so I threw one on the front and one on the top (it was originally exhaust on the back but I felt the exhaust of the noctua would probably interfere with it's normal operations thus moved it to exhaust up top). Both inlet and exhaust fans are run off of one header with a splitter, and because the board doesn't play nice with DC fans when a PWM fan is running off of the CPU I slapped a reducing resistor onto them so that they run somewhere between 600 and 700 RPM.

V2 back cable management.jpg

I can't remember the last time I did cable management on a PSU which didn't have sleeved cables, but considering the price of the case it went rather well I think.

V2 rear case.jpg

V2 front case.jpg

No window on this one, but it's a decent enough looking basic case, and the temps are perfectly fine with sub - 800 RPM fan speeds under full GFX and CPU load.

This PC is doing exactly what I wanted it to do (music + Plane 9 visualizer @ 4K) in a relatively small package and it ate up a good portion of my older orphaned hardware. :)
 

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