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[Project] Smallfry - Budget Gaming Build

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, short and simple, my fiancee is a gamer....and loves CS:S but the computer she had was a ~3 year old Dell and just wasn't cutting it. So when we got engaged I promised her I would build her new computer. The premise was simple, be able to play DX9 games well without breaking the bank. Since her nickname is Smallfry, that was the name of the build!

First task was to decide on components and after a lot of thought and countless hours on ebay, OCN classifieds, and Newegg I secured everything I needed.

Specs:
E2140 - $40 new
(2) 7600GT's - $80 new
P5N-E SLI - $50 Open Box
2GB Ballistix Tracer - Free (had laying around)
160GB HD - $30 - Open Box
Zalman 9700NT - $40 - New
Sony DVD-RW - $20 - New
Antec Neo 380 - $19 - New AR
Rocketfish - $48 - New
Cables and Misc mod supplies - $20

Total - ~$350

Not a bad start and after some OC love should be a stout little rig


I wanted to keep the mods simple and understated on this project to match the style of the Rocketfish, nothing like Can U see Me lol. One of the big things I focused on was keeping everything black and green. And I mean everything; black SLI bridge, black cables, green PCB's on the video card, black PCB motherboard, NT version of the Zalman...the list goes on. It was a royal pain in the ass trying to stay under budhet and still find things that were black and green, but in the end I managed it!

Anyway, first task was to tear the case down and paint it. I didn't take pics of the majority of that process since by now everyone has seen the Rocketfish inside and out but here some pics after painting.




Once the painting was complete it was time to install all of the components. Notably the cable management wasn't my best effort but I had no intention of it being visible anyway.


It's been a while since I've done a pure air cooled rig, so I was a bit concerned about air flow and in my distinct overkill style wanted to make sure air flow wouldn't be an issue. I went the ghetto route on this one and zip-tied two 120mm fans in place. I placed one close to the Ballistix given how hot they run.


My fiancee has always been obsessed with my blue gears temp monitoring fan, so I went one step further on her build and picked up one of the programmable LED fans. If you guys haven't seen these, they are amazing. You can program up to 16 separate messages and control how it is displayed. To show off the fan I modded a Lian Li PC-343B drive bay fan, similar to the Kama Bay.




Last step was to add a window to this monster. I went small on the window mostly because I knew there would be a lot of "dead" space in this case and I thought that would detract from the simplistic style of the exterior so I place the window directly over the motherboard and nothing else.





Got it booted up for the first time tonight and am currently installing Vista on it before I OC it and run some benches. Again, I'm not expecting anything spectacular especially since it's running Vista but if I can pull 6k in 3dmark06 I'll be happy.


Comments and opinions welcome!!
    
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post #2 of 12
Very very nice work. I love how it came out. Looking forward to your overclock results.
Craptop
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post #3 of 12
how did you find 7600GTs for $40 each new? i hope they werent $80 EACH, for $80 you can get a 8600GT, which are $50 AR.

the only thing i would have done different is id have got a 3850 512mb for $125
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post #4 of 12
That was very kind (good fiance - have a cookie), thoughtful (green and black) and resourceful (pinching pennies and bargain-hunting is good) of you.

I have heard of those fans that display text, but I don't think that I have never seen one in action before.

Dang! That is cool.

That is a great system for a great price.

Well done.

+
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgdude View Post
how did you find 7600GTs for $40 each new? i hope they werent $80 EACH, for $80 you can get a 8600GT, which are $50 AR.

the only thing i would have done different is id have got a 3850 512mb for $125
Ebay - Two new, sealed in the box 7600GT's for $78 total including shipping I could have gotten a single 8600GT but I really wanted to do SLI on her rig


Syrillian - Thanks for the compliments, from a pro like you that means a lot!
    
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post #6 of 12
That is an awesome cheap build, and it looks great in that case. Great Job!
post #7 of 12
Wow, I've never seen one of those fans before, that is very awesome, do you have a link for them?

Nice job on the case, the window looks elegant and not over the top with it. + for a great job!
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by repo_man View Post
Wow, I've never seen one of those fans before, that is very awesome, do you have a link for them?

Nice job on the case, the window looks elegant and not over the top with it. + for a great job!
Thanks for the compliments!

The cheapest I could find the fan was here
    
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post #9 of 12
Nice build. Hope she enjoys it!!
Main System
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Main System
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Gah, well OC'ing took a bit longer than expected. Had a hell of a time trying to OC on the 701 BIOS, got fed up and flashed to the 901 BIOS and reached a 100% OC (1.6ghz -> 3.2ghz) in less than 5 minutes, I love you ASUS!

Will post some cpu-z and 3dmark06 screenies later tonight
    
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