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Thunderbolt - Personal Rebuild (Courtesy of the USPS)

by Khaosix



Date Published

Jan. 3, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.8 GHz


Build Date : 02JAN2017

Build Name : Thunderbolt

The HTPC has an AMD A10 APU. "Thunderbolt" is a variation of the A-10 air frame used by the USAF, another variation being "Warthog" in which my friend's identical system is named after.


For the sake of following my template that I use for my builds, the request came from myself. Some of the people that know me on this site know that I just recently moved from Germany to the USA. In the process of that, I shipped some items that I would like to have sooner than the 90 days it would take to receive the bulk of my house hold items; one of those items being a computer that I was using as an HTPC. Once the USPS got a hold of the box, it looked like they played soccer with it, or maybe it fell out of the delivery truck... Multiple times... Anyways, I had insurance on the box and since I was planning on rebuilding the computer anyways, I took all the components out and verified everything worked and took the broken box and case to USPS. They reimbursed me $50 and I set off to Amazon and bought a proper HTPC case.


This computer was built almost exactly 4 years ago and at the time, I was looking for a cheap quad core that I could use to do h.264 encoding through a capture card from my main computer. The computer was great for that purpose, but once I upgraded my gaming rig to an i7, I was able to do the encoding on it and this computer became an HTPC/storage device.


Stock fan cooler. It originally had a Cooler Master 92mm cooler on it (can't remember the model), but once I stopped using it for encoding, I took that cooler off and put it into a refurbish/upgrade that I did for a friend.


The motherboard was bundled with the APU at the time and had everything that I needed for the intended use.


It was originally a set of 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix, but sometime in the past 4 years, a stick of 8GB Ripjaw found it's way inside.. But honestly, I don't remember doing that.. Thanks RAM Fairy!


I got the green drive since I didn't need a 7200RPM drive and there was a deal that made it significantly cheaper than the WD Blue or the Cuda' drives.


Integrated APU.. Good enough to power my TV and play very simple games, but once again, the computer's original purpose didn't require graphics at all, in fact, it wasn't even hooked up to a monitor for several years.


Ok finally something new to talk about. After the Rosewill case (RIP) got beat to death by the hammer wielding midget army that works for the USPS, I wanted a proper HTPC case and after a quick browse around and a measurement of my current TV stand, the Silverstone ML03B was perfect. It looks great and has a fantastic layout. I am very pleased with this case and I can say that it is my favorite mATX HTPC case that I have worked with. My next HTPC build will most certainly be in mITX format using this same line of cases. Absolutely Excellent.

Power Supply

It's not great, but it doesn't suck. I got it for $9.99 after a $20 MIR. Yes you read that correctly.

Lessons Learned

Don't ship computers overseas with the USPS..

Additional Notes

I spent some time cleaning everything and remounted the heat sink with new paste and got everything installed, reformatted and looking neat. I've gotta say that I am really happy with the outcome and also that all the components still worked after being used as a pinata at some USPS worker's birthday party.

Builder Comments

I am still in the process of moving and organizing stuff in my new house, so the photos of the build aren't up to par with my other builds but I was itching to do a build after being away from it for a couple of months. In the next few months, I will have my personal computer business back up and running and I will start uploading builds again.

As always, if you have any questions at all about the build, please ask in the comments below or send me a private message.

Thanks for reading!

Comments Sorted by:

ImperiousBattlestar 4 points 26 months ago

An AMD build called Thunderbolt? I thought Thunderbolt is an Intel thing. Oh well, +1 for the name and the USAF reference. :)

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

I am in the USAF, lol.

Glad you agree on the awesome reference!

Thefan630 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

Wait, you're in the USAF but moved from DE to the US? So you were working overseas then?

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Yes, I was stationed in Germany for 4 years.

new_kojak 3 points 26 months ago

Bro, fastest feature ever, ....the Gods of PCPP have spoken

FACUNDO 13 Builds 3 points 26 months ago

My friend still has his a10 5800k PC... It works like charm :)

ATXON 3 points 26 months ago

+1 For entertaining story! The RAM Fairy works in mysterious ways...

I had a similar experience with trying to ship a PC I built to a friend in Croatia, but it was my poor GTX 960 that bit the dust and not the case T_T

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Glad you enjoyed the story!

I was really lucky that everything worked as normal. I would have caused a scene if this happened to my primary machine. Hope you got everything worked out with the 960.

CQC 11 Builds 3 points 26 months ago

I've been using the same case for roughly three years as my HTPC and I really enjoyed it. My cable management wasn't nearly as good as yours though! It's an excellent case for darn near any entertainment center. Company always would say, "Why do you have a VHS player?" which my wife and I would get a good laugh from.

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

You know, now that you mention it, it does look a lot like a VCR. I am a little excited now for somebody to ask me about it; lol.

Benji420 1 Build 2 points 26 months ago

Ok for the tooth fairy you basically put your tooth under your pillow to get money. So the question is how does it work with the ram fairy? c:

Gentleman00 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

You get newer RAM sticks if you hide your old under the pillow :D

Benji420 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

I'm gonna put my whole PC under my pillow in this case. c:

zangadorian 2 points 26 months ago

+1 for the "hammer wielding midget army."

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

There is no other way that the box got dented up that bad.. It's the only explanation..

Franko74SR 3 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Coming from an American who has lived here his whole life, USPS is the worst

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Oh, I'm American. In fact, the entire time I lived in Germany, anything that was shipped from/to America was through the USPS. I am so glad that I can ship stuff via FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

yeah, I personally really like UPS, never had a problem with anything being crushed, destroyed, and it is always on time.

peypey0212 1 point 26 months ago

You mean USPS right, as in the United States Postal Service?

Franko74SR 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

yes, I have had a good bits of problems, mostly late shipping tho

Justiceinacan 7 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

rip fbm 02

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 3 points 26 months ago
Justiceinacan 7 Builds 1 point 26 months ago


WirelessCables 1 Build 2 points 26 months ago

R.I.P. pictures 2-7

garpace 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

I love this case - have built two computers for family in it now. Obviously you were working with what you had, but for anyone else out there, I HIGHLY recommend a modular (at least semi) PSU, especially if you plan on using the DVD tray (where the OP stashed all the extra cables). This is also personal preference, but I like the hard drive on the stand thing on the mobo side of the case vs under the DVD - think it gets better airflow from any 80mm fans you install on that right side (as you're looking at it). PS while the case is asewsome, it doesn't come with any fans, so pick up some 80mm nocturas so you have fans like the OP has in his pics.

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

This man speaks the truth. This case doesn't come with any fans. Also, I took the little stand thing out since I didn't use it. A modular PSU would have been amazing in this case as it would free up SO much space and would almost be necessary if using both HDD mounts and an optical.

+1 for your comments.

garpace 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

+1 for your build!

Hanime 4 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Better love story than Twilight. Congrats on the rebuild and feature!

adaverso 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

No one can be trusted

Wolklung 1 point 26 months ago

I don't want to rule out the RAM fairy theory... but I wonder if the USPS guys that decided to play warehouse hockey with your box, ended up feeling bad and gave you little a upgrade?

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

I like to imagine that all computers are used as pinatas, and when they break open, all of the components fall out and the workers put them all in sorted boxes and when computers come through that they can't break open, they upgrade them instead.

I am still going with the RAM Fairy theory though.. It's much more believable.

Wolklung 1 point 26 months ago

Oh man! Now you're giving me ideas for my next nerd party.

ATeensTwoCents 1 point 26 months ago

K fam lol. GG

gugu96 19 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

That is quite a severe beating. Congrats on your new VCR!

bradenfontaine 13 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

I dig it :)

elvenson 5 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

I love that case. Its a little tight for drive mounting, but it looks awesome under a tv and is great quality.

jedi5200 1 point 26 months ago


gogo809 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

How loud is the stock cooler on that A10? I have always heard AMD coolers are the worst. While I rock an AMD system, I have never had the stock cooler. Just wondering since it is an HTPC. If it is annoying enough, check for compatibility and then look into a cheap Cryorig M9i for a $20 replacement.

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

the M9a would be way too tall for this case. However, I have considered a Cryorig C7 if temperatures are not ideal in this case, but it seems that the airflow with the stock AMD fan and the 80mm exhaust fan is providing more than sufficient cooling.

I am only using the PC for what amounts to basic web browsing and storage/backup, so it typically tops out at around 20-30% CPU Usage. After about 8 hours of netflix and chill with the wife, the CPU maxed out at 42c and was quiet the entire time. A large portion of that might be due to the fact that it is isolated inside of the TV stand.

I guess to answer your question directly.. The system is very quiet, but I don't push the CPU to the max. If you are interested, I can throw prime95 on there and see how loud it gets; lol.

gogo809 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Naw, not worth all of that. I had heard it was loud from users here, then a co-worker experienced it and told me about it. That's all. ;)

Enjoy your shipping carrier funded case replacement!!!!

I have several computers I have hooked up to televisions with ATX sized motherboards. Some day I will put them into HTPC cases meant for such, but right now they are just in whatever was lying around. (It was especially fun moving my Intel Core 2 Duo series Dell into a Thermaltake V3.)

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

I knew what you meant, buddy.. lol

Gentleman00 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Rest In Peace, Rosewill Case [*]

imakepcsdealwithit 1 point 26 months ago

Poor thing

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Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 10 points 26 months ago

The RAM Fairy is real dude.. This wasn't a product alcohol or sleeplessness either.. I haven't cracked open that machine since I took the capture card out and I know for a fact that I didn't put anything in it.

As for the USPS, that makes a lot of sense actually.. I did have bubble wrap and packing paper cushioning it on all sides, but you're right, I didn't have the original case box. That was partly due to the fact that I never planned on shipping it and also that the case was only about $25. The box that I did put it into was in worse shape than the case was. If I hadn't taped the keyboard and mouse to the case, they very well could have been lost somewhere in transit. Thanks for the tips!

TechBank 1 Build 5 points 26 months ago

That sounds almost exactly like the time I opened my storage PC that I thought had a E8200 in it, but to my surprise, I found a Q9650....Really weird stuff.

Also Thanks Jipster for those tips...Probably explains why my $5 Optiplex came to me with as bashed sidepanel ;)

Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 3 points 26 months ago

Classic CPU Fairy.. Lol

AwesomeBuilderXE1901 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Parts fairy?

Drokovian 5 points 26 months ago

I remember once that my dad's friend pranked him by swapping out his GPU with a cardboard cut out of one and my dad couldn't find out for his life what was wrong with his computer for a week or two XD

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dragoon20005 4 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

oh i saw this on a documentary on how the parcel company mistreating packages.

they do the toss and fling action pretty from start to finish and they were caught on hidden camera and CCTV footage as the customer's home.

I was shocked when i learn how they simply just toss the item over the fence and the item just hit the ground. Or their Frisbee skill of throwing the item towards the door and hitting the door with a thud.

so if you are planning to ship fragile items, it prob best to pay a larger sum for a reliable shipping company and yes insurance for the items to be shipped.

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KYBL 1 point 26 months ago

That doesn't really surprise me. When I was at UPS, you had to go fast. So properly handling packages wasn't always top priority. Or the ever present jam on the conveyor belts so stuff was falling off the sides.

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manirelli staff 8 Builds 11 points 26 months ago

Sometimes I just approve cool stuff from the queue and then feature it.

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gugu96 19 Builds 4 points 26 months ago

it's the feature fairy!

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Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Thanks bud.

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Khaosix submitter 20 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

The only thing for this build that I purchased was the case. Everything else I purchased back in January 2013 for a total of $390 according to the Newegg invoice.