Description

Through some Craigslist, Letgo, and Facebook Marketplace effort, and through some great friends, it was possible to make this gaming PC for just $150.

My friend Trevor was the only one in our squad who didn't have a computer yet, (He tried to have me build him one at christmas but his mom wouldn't allow it, and thought $350 wouldn't be enough to build a satisfactory gaming PC. Also he's still in school without a job.), but one day as we walked through another friends garage, we found a windows vista PC that his family was planning on giving to goodwill. Immediately I wanted to try whatever it took to get this PC to run games so that Trevor could join the PC Master Race. We booted it up, checked specs, and benchmarked it. It had a core 2 duo e4400, 4 gb ram, and mobo integrated graphics. CPU scored ~80 in Cinebench R15. Things obviously didn't look bright.

Our other friend Noah was willing to donate a GTX 660 he had laying around. That was great but now we needed something a little better than a 250 watt PSU. Noah had a friend willing to donate a 500 PSU, but that friend lived an hour and half away. Next morning it was road trip time. We got the PSU, hooked it up, and it worked great. So now we had good graphics, but the CPU was stilling holding us back a ton. I got to looking on places like craigslist, and after 3-4 days i found someone selling a CPU, MoBo, and 8 GB ram. All of which were about twice as good as his current specs. Trevor sold some of his console games and controllers, and we were able to go through with the craigslist deal for $60. To top it all off we stopped at Fry's on the way home, and bought a CPU cooler, WiFi adapter, and case with the rest of the money. We also threw in a 500 GB HDD from his PS4.

We got the PC all set up. Cinebench scores were way better. I think somewhere around 350. Overclocked it a bit too just for a little extra power. he's been able to play basically every game at medium to high settings at 768p. This little project turned out pretty awesome, and I'm very happy with it, and so is Trevor.

Oh and also, I know the cable management is garbage, and yes the disc drive is forced to stick out of the front because it's abnormally long.

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Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

You guys are good friends! Awesome resourcefulness :-)

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Yeah it was all able to work out perfectly thankfully

[comment deleted]
  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job with the build. And an awesome story. Friendship is incredibly important in life. Take care of yours.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Glad my essay-type post actually got some appreciation

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Don't you love how the case has two 51/4 bays but front access to only one? Cheap case, indeed. This is what it looks like with some cable management. Nice spare parts build you guys got together. +1 for building it and keeping stuff out of the landfill (and introducing your friend to PC gaming) and still making it useful.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Nice build you got too, looks good with cable management. Also yeah the front bays thing really confused me

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

The thing with the front drive bays threw me as well at first. I think that Zalman has a different front panel (or whoever builds the cases for them) for this chassis so they can easily make more than one model of case from it. I hit Frys looking for a cheap case to drop old stuff into and this fit the bill so I bought it. What I ended up with probably deserves a better case though. Have you had any problems or weirdness with the headphone jack up front?

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't believe so, my friend plugs his headphones in there all the time

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Good. Most of the time the jack works ok, but sometimes it's resistant to making audio connections when I plug my headphones in. It was a cheap buy, so you gotta expect something wonky, right? Still, it's a nice spare parts build you put together.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Gotta give you guys props for the dedication and overall cost.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks!

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow! currently my budget is at aprox = $650!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep you can do a lot better than this then lol

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

The gtx 660 is still a great card. It may be old but damn its a work horse, i still have one in one of my desktops and it runs bf1 high settings without aa around 50 fps on 1080

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah it still works great even like 4 years later