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In mid 2016 I decided that I would finally get a desktop tower that was better than my laptop. A friend at my highschool had a relatively old, but capable, system that they were trying to sell, for around 130, which in hindsight seemed a little high, but buying the same componants at the time I bought it would have cost twice as much, so I cannot really complain about that, and it was really the only option at the time.

Picture of Setup

CPU GPU RAM Motherboard Storage Case PSU
Core 2 Quad Q6600 NVidia GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 4 x 1GB DDR2 800MHz Kingston Asus P5B Deluxe - P965 Chipset 120GB 5400RPM Laptop drive + 200GB 7200RPM Storage Drive Antec P182B Mid-Tower Antec Neo HE550 - 550W 80+ Bronze

So what about the specs? What did this thing actually have and how capable actually was it? The CPU was an intel core 2 quad Q6600, a 2.4GHz 4 core CPU from ~2006/7, I have always been told that it is a reasonably good CPU, and that for what it is at least. The graphics card was an 8800GTS, to be fair it was not a great GPU, not to mention that it was a little bit faulty, it actualld died after a short amount of time. It was only a 320MB card, and was really wan't great compared to its 768MB GTX brother that was actually pretty decent and a whole lot better. For RAM there was 4GB (4x1GB) of some pretty basic 800MHz kingston memory... of which one of the dimms didn't work properly. The motherboard was an Asus P5B Deluxe a P965 chipset board, capable of running with 8GB of ram... Looking back at this board it wasn't that great, 8GB didn't really seem like enough, even though I couldn't actually get a hold of and 2GB dimms, however one thing that did irritate me was the limit of 800MHz on the memory, I had access to 1066MHz RAM and the CPU I was using could go even above that, but the chipset could only go to 800MHz, and would be unstable, or wouldn't boot at all when trying to get anything above that 800MHz margin. It had a 120GB 5400RPM laptop hard drive... a hard drive that was a piece of crap... literally it was so slow and had many, many issues, Windows 7 didn't really want to respond to anything... There were other, better hard drives in there, 7200RPM drives, I don't know why Windows wasn't just installed on one of those (it was a much faster and had more capacity, 200GB). The build was all contained within an Antec P182B case, a fantastic case with decent acoustics, amazing expandability, lots of space and solid build quality, rubber drive mounting grommets, quick install drive sleds, dust filters, and so much more. This case was actually really damn good, I hate that it's no longer made, however there were some issues, such as not being powdercoated, and the fact the the front case door would often become brittle and snap off... Other than that

Picture of Setup

A look inside of the 2007 Machine, notice Intel stock cooler over the Q6600, the P5B Deluxe motherboard and the 8800GTS... And the awful cable management...

Picture of Setup

Around the back we get a look at the I/O of the computer, including PS/2 for mouse and keyboard, digital & fibre audio outputs, RS232 serial, FireWire and eSATA, 3.5mm jacks for line-in, microphone, speakers, and surround, 2 Gigabit LAN/Ethernet ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports.

Picture of Setup

The worst hard drive I have ever had to use.

Upgrades People! Upgrades!!!

Seeing as most of the hardware in this thing was faulty from the get go (Other than the motherboard, optical drive and PSU) it really didn't take that long for the whole thing to just die, thankfully the motherboard was un-harmed, though if it was it would have been a good excuse to go and get an X48 (Yes X48 was a thing) 775 motherboard... Some of the things I had to replace included the CPU, GPU, Hard drive, RAM, and even the case (The plastic began to fall apart).

Picture of Setup

CPU GPU RAM Motherboard Storage Case PSU
Core 2 Quad Q9505 NVidia GeForce GTX285 1GB DDR3 - Later changed to a HD4850 4 x 1GB DDR2 1066MHz Crucial Ballistix tracer/Corsair Dominator Asus P5B Deluxe - P965 Chipset 80GB 5400RPM Laptop drive Some strange Russian Mid-Tower Antec Neo HE550 - 550W 80+ Bronze

One of my first selections for this new machine was to select a better CPU, the Q6600 that was in it previously had broken down and had to be replaced by a Pentium D 945, a 3.4GHz dual core that quite frankly was pretty terrible, and really it had to be replaced, so I spent some time on eBay searching for last generation C2Qs, and what I found was a Core 2 Quad Q9505, a slightly lesser version of the Q9550... which was the lesser version of the Q9650, but was still better than the Q6600 and miles better than the D945...

RAM was a little bit different, I was on the look out originally for a set of OCZ gold edition 1066MHz 4x2GB set, however that turned out to be more difficult than I had originally hoped... Even getting a single stick of the stuff, I ended up travelling weekly to the local flea market, where I actually found a reasonable amount of the stuff, I had unintentionally bought a Windows XP desktop there and inside turned out to be a quite nice set of Crucial Ballistix Tracer LED memory, 1066MHz and two gigs of the stuff... unfortunately they were only in 1GB sticks, and becuase my board was P965 instead of X48 I only had 4 memory slots, rather than the optional 6 that some X48 boards had, however it was likely to be more reliable and better quality than the Kingston stuff that was already in there... I went back a few weeks later and found some OG Corsair Dominator 1066Mhz stuff, 2x1GB each, which was also quite nice.

I had originally found a GTX 285 at the flea market for the 2007 Machine, and I had thought that would be the best card for it, however I found myself moving over to an AMD Radeon HD4850 after realising that I only had one PCIe 6 pin connector, and that the 285 required two, I had adapters for Molex... but I didn't really want to run the risk of blowing up my powersupply... It was actually a while after getting my 285 that I decided that I wanted to look for "the cheapest, decent looking grpahics card" on ebay, which just so turned out to be the 4850 at the time for a total of only $10, which I was quite happy with. At the time I didn't think to compare it to my 285, and just got it anyway, I was pleasently surprised to find out that it performed similarly to the 285 whilst only requiring one 6 pin connector, not to mention it also had HDMI and VGA separate to the DVI conector, as it turns out the verson with HDMI, DVI and VGA is much less common than the "normal" version with 2xDVI and an S-Video connector, though you can only output to two at once much to my dissapointment.

Most of the things in this iteration of the 2007 machine were recycled... Well I mean "Used again", such as the motherboard, power supply and other things such as the optical drive. One thing that I had to change, unfortunately was the case, yes, my poor Antec P182B had suffered a bit if plastic decay and I threw it out... the only real problem was the front door falling off... but I decided to throw it out anyway... much to my own regret later on... so I had to find a new case for the thing, and what was the best option? eBay! I went on there, sorted by cheapest with free shipping and this thing came up. I had no idea what it was, but from looks alone it looked perfect for the built I wanted to do, it even had a floppy drive cut-out, perfect. So I built it in that, a strange looking russian made mid-tower computer case. Now this is a story all of it's own because it was really hard to find out who actually made it and what the actual model number was, one of the first things I did was search the model number printed on the case, and one result actually came up - It was a Codegen SuperPower ATX-6202L-CA USB, however I then found more conflicting information, such as it not being manufactured by Codegen, instead by Eurocase, then I found more information backing up the Codegen theory, instead under a different model number: 6055-C9, and not 6206L-CA, and that there was also a beige version that I had no idea about (6055L-1), then there's a version with a slightly different side panel, encorporating side air intakes using a fan, rather than just passively. From what it seems, Codegen just makes one chassis and then changes the front panel design.

In the old P182B, cooling wasn't so much of an issue seeing as it had a load of 120mm fans for ventilation, however in this strange new case the only access to clean air was through a 80mm at the front and back, and the damn thing didn't even come with any fans. Seeing as at the time I wanted to try out some Noctua fans, I decided to go on amazon and buy some, I decided upon two PWM fans, though I couldn't fully utilze that as my motherboard didn't have any more 4 pin fan headers, only 3 pin ones, so I just used the low noise adapter instead. I decided that using something other than the stock intel cooler would be a good idea, and soon after I found a Arctic Freezer 7 pro, a triple heat pipe cooler with a copper base, much better than the intel stock cooler, it was about as easy to install and performed a hell of a lot better, so it's there to stay!

Picture of Setup

Internals of the "new" version of the machine, it is a bit of a mess!

He's Dead Jim!

Final moments passed for the 2007 Machine, it clinged on for dear life for the longest time, but the final piece, the motherboard, gave way and refused to post ever agin, some resusitation was attempted but nothing prevailed, the 2007 Machine has passed on...

Not that I really care to be honest, I was just waiting for the old board to die as an excuse to get a better socket 775 board, that thing had always had issues, since the second day I owned it it had given me trouble, one of the first things that it started doing, way back in 2016 was just giving random errors and acting weird whenever I played any games on it. The next issues were random bluescreens and memory issues, only displaying 3GB of the 4GB installed (and that was BEFORE one of the dimms died). After I installed a Wi-Fi card it started to kick me from the game I was playing every 5 minutes and would randomly restart itself, meaning that I would cut out from the call I was in and time out of the server from the host's end (CathodeRayMan will tell you all about that, though Frontier didn't help either), the CPU then started to have issues and the PC wouldn't post, the the Graphics card died, the rest of the memory followed with that too, the Hard drisk started casuing even more errors and slow down than was "usual" for the computer, and eventually died as well, the only components from that PC to survive were the Intel stock cooler, the PSU which has it's own problems (Broken SATA power connectors, not enough PCIe power connectors, weird non-standard layout etc) and the DVD/CD burner, which has only now started to develop issues (Or that's VLC... which wouldn't surprice me to be honest)... Oh and maybe the floppy drive, which was never even hooked up to the motherboard or PSU originally.

Man this PC was a terrible!