August 1st 2011 12:51 pm

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Speed and features At the time it was fast and extremely expandable. I also put a TV tuner in it for extra media capabilities. great!
  • Design and form factor I didn't really like any of the cases I saw at the time and the one I got was just okay. It wasn't huge, just a mid-tower. so-so
  • Expandability I had extra graphics card slots, pc card slots, and hard drive slots galore. That's one of the best reasons to have a custom PC. great!
  • Noise The fans in mine definitely could get up to a nice dull roar. I just bought the cheapest 120mm fan I could find though, so it was expected. so-so
  • Size and weight At the time I wasn't going for tiny, and it didn't weigh all that much because the case was aluminum. good
  • Power consumption The thing definitely used up a lot of power. Luckily I had it in college in the dorms and didn't have to pay for the power most of the time. so-so
Detailed review
I built my PC as a general high performance rig with the added bonus of being my media center/home theatre PC. It did the job well and still runs fine today. I upgraded it to Windows 7 and it ran even better than before.

As far as hardware I was running a 64-bit dual core AMD processor at around 3 GHz and a 512MB NVIDIA graphics card. I also had a TV tuner, standard DVD-RW drive, and just 4GB of RAM. Surprisingly the thing coasted through just about anything I threw at it. I'm not a heavy gamer so it was never a problem.

Overall, the process of building the machine and playing with dual-boot Linux/Windows configuration was much more satisfying than buying something from a store and letting it sit under a desk all the time. I tinkered with it a lot and always ran the latest distro of Ubuntu alongside the latest version of Windows.