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Acer Aspire milkbox to semi decent rig [finished, pics in post #6]

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Phase 1: Creating a base for future improvement

The original...




These are taken from google, since I forgot to make pictures of the original setup before I took it apart. The actual system also had a low profile radeon 5570 in it, so it was even more crammed.

No wonder this couldn't keep it's cool.

The new situation.

After some purchases and some work...




Decided to keep 2 extra power plugs there instead of tucking them away for ease of adding harddrives in the future. Still looks tidy if you ask me.

The NZXT is really a nice case when it comes down to cable management!

Still have to get a cooler that won't interfere with the Hades sidepanel and make a full hight bracket for the ATI Radeon 5570, I've got a feeling this will be the next item to be upgraded, since the 5570 really ain't a good card.

Future plans for this chassis:
The guy I'm doing this for wants to upgrade in the future, so far I've recommended the following path...

Phase 2: Out with the 5570, in with a Geforce GTX 570
Phase 3: Solid state system drive
Phase 4: Upgrade CPU and mainboard (probably will be Intel based)

When it all will happen is dependant on his budget, but the changes will be posted in this topic when they do.

Update soon!
Edited by simotion - 10/8/11 at 4:17am
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just gotten aproval for phase 2 of the projects by phone...

With that the specs of the system will be:

- NZXT Hades
- OCZ Fatal1ty 550w PSU
- Asus M5A78L-M USB3 (for now)
- AMD Phenom II X6 1035T (from the Acer, for now)
- 6G DDR3 RAM (from the Acer)
- EVGA Geforce GTX 570
- Hitachi 1TB 7200rpm HDD (from the Acer)
- Bluray combodrive (from the Acer)
- Akasa ICR-11 cardreader

Still need to choose for the CPU cooler.

Think it'll be quite an acceptable system once it's finished

Update as soon as new parts get here.

Parts that I'm waiting for:
- 3,5 to 5,25 inch mounting bracket for the cardreader
- CPU cooler
- EVGA Geforce GTX 570
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post #3 of 7
I actually have one of those Acer cases/PSUs and more recently a mobo to go with it (too bad it's almost proprietary, but the compatible mobos aren't hard to find). They make nice small form factor cases for media centres.

You should get a 4th 2GB DIMM of RAM so everything runs in dual channel for the best performance.

What's your budget for the CPU cooler?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
About 40 euro, I've ordered the Grand Kama Cross for it, should do the job I think while still looking pretty good.

Once the GKC comes in I'll finish the build.

You are right about the 4th memory module indeed. It's not my own rig though, building it for a friend so I'm dependent on what he wants to invest in it.

Think it'll follow pretty soon though! Perhaps at the same time it'll get the phase 2 upgrade (SSD system drive).

The acer is a nice platform for a mediacenter indeed, and that's precisely what the left overs will be build up to. Since I'm doing the build for him for free I can have the leftovers, so I was thinking of placing a x3 cpu in it, 4 gigs of ram, 2TB harddrive and an optical I have laying arround here to turn it into a mediacenter for myself. Pretty much all the other things aren't used in the new rig so it shouldn't cost to much to make a mediacenter of it. I do still have my old Onkyo DVD player wich isn't used anymore cause of a defective IR sensor, with sone creativity I should be able to put the hardware into that, and I could also rip appart a media-keyboard to get the buttons on the front of the DVD player working. The PSU and mainboard of the acer are small enough to be able to do it. If I decide to go that route I'll make a new topic of that build ofcourse
Edited by simotion - 10/4/11 at 4:55am
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512GB Samsung 840 Pro Asus DVD-RAM dual layer MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Iiyama Prolite E2607WS (26 inch) 
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Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Got arround installing the cooler and videocard today.

After finishing the build I did a clean install of Windows 7, then clocked the X6 1035T as high as the mainboard allows (3250MHz, unfortunatly the mainboard has a max fsb of 250MHz) and downloaded prime95, cpu-z and coretemp. Prime95 has been running for almost two hours now, max temperature in coretemp is at 39 degrees so far, not to bad I think.

I'll make pictures tomorow as well as do some testing with 3Dmark 2011 to see how it performs.

Specs as of now:
Case : NZXT Hades
PSU : Fatal1ty 550w
Mobo : Asus M5A78L-M/USB3
CPU : AMD Phenom II X6 1035T 2,6 GHz @ 3,25 GHz (from the acer)
Cooler : Scythe Grand Kama Cross
RAM : 6GB DDR3 (from the acer)
HDD : Hitachi 7200rpm 1TB drive
Optical : Bluray combodrive (from the Acer)

I did have some issues with the cooler though. I'd read on the internet that the Scythe GKC left enough clearance for the sidepanel's fan, but I had to remove the dustfilter of the sidepanel's fan to get the sidepanel on. Thought I was having a stroke when at first the panel wouldn't go on. Reason I choose the Scythe cooler was because of the clearance issue with the Hyper 212 plus before. Other than that I realy like the casing.

Here's a screenshot of prime 95 with temperatures and CPU-Z info for now...


and a phonepic of the case


better pics tomorow
Edited by simotion - 10/7/11 at 5:17pm
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My workstation
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 3770k MSI Z77A-G43 EVGA GTX680 FTW 32 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
512GB Samsung 840 Pro Asus DVD-RAM dual layer MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Iiyama Prolite E2607WS (26 inch) 
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Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
And now for the final pics of the system....























Benchmarking...


3DMark score so far: P5390, this is with only the CPU overclocked to 3250MHz Happy so far, but I have that odd feeling it'll put out a higher score by the end of the day

:edit: Overclocked the GPU to 800MHz core / 2000MHz mem clocks, so basicly a moddest overclock to keep things reliable. 3Dmark result so far P5670

Just got green light for an extra DDR3 module to put all memory in dual channel mode.
Edited by simotion - 10/8/11 at 5:43am
My workstation
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Intel i7 3770k MSI Z77A-G43 EVGA GTX680 FTW 32 GB DDR3 
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Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
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Onkyo TX-DS494 DTS Receiver with Bowers & Wilki... 
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My workstation
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 3770k MSI Z77A-G43 EVGA GTX680 FTW 32 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
512GB Samsung 840 Pro Asus DVD-RAM dual layer MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Iiyama Prolite E2607WS (26 inch) 
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Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
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Onkyo TX-DS494 DTS Receiver with Bowers & Wilki... 
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay, final testing done, stress testing done...

Final overclocks, still pretty conservative:
- CPU @ 3250 MHz
- GPU @ 805 MHz
- Video ram @ 2000 MHz

3DMark 2011 score: P5731

Think I'm happy enough with it as it is.
Edited by simotion - 10/10/11 at 7:50am
My workstation
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 3770k MSI Z77A-G43 EVGA GTX680 FTW 32 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
512GB Samsung 840 Pro Asus DVD-RAM dual layer MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Iiyama Prolite E2607WS (26 inch) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
Audio
Onkyo TX-DS494 DTS Receiver with Bowers & Wilki... 
  hide details  
Reply
My workstation
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 3770k MSI Z77A-G43 EVGA GTX680 FTW 32 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
512GB Samsung 840 Pro Asus DVD-RAM dual layer MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Iiyama Prolite E2607WS (26 inch) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech mx3200 Corsair 650w CM Storm Trooper Microsoft wireless 
Audio
Onkyo TX-DS494 DTS Receiver with Bowers & Wilki... 
  hide details  
Reply
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