Back in mid-2012 I put together a custom-built PC. I wanted to build a mid- to high-end machine for $1000. See this page for a full break-down of components and cost.
So, five years on, how is it holding up? What's good, bad, or broken?
|Case||Rosewill GEAR X3||The case has held up nicely. The build was simple. I think that cable management could have been made a little easier with better design. I do not, however, like the side panels. Being the type with tabs on a track, they can be tricky. I do like, however, how the fans are easily cleaned/serviced.|
|Power Supply||Antec BP550 Plus||The modular power supply was a breeze. The power never gave me a moment's problem. I'll definitely use a similar model again.|
|Mother Board||MSI ZG8A-GD65||An ATX mobo with UEFI. I really liked the UEFI. I disliked all the extra software that came along ... I initially installed almost everything and I'm not sure I used any of it other than audio drivers. I am not fond of the documentation ... for a year I couldn't get the USB 3.0 ports, or the internal USB flash card reader I added, to work. As it turns out, I had the cable direction reversed. User error, but it could have been avoided with better docs. The board performed well, but aged quickly.|
|Processor||Core i5-2500 3.3GHz||The processor has, and continues, to perform well. I think in the future I'll simply go for top-of-the-line at the time and not try to save some money on a processor that will age-out quickly.|
|RAM||G.SKILL Ripjaws 4x4GB||One pair of the RAM chips died after about 3 years. I hobbled along at 8GB for quite some time before buying new RAM. I tried switching to some quality Corsair chips, but even though they were the same PC3 12800 chips, the mobo did not like them. I returned them for some new Ripjaws which have continued to work well. Surprise!|
|SSD||Intel 330 120GB||This was a real disappointment. After 11 months it started to fail. Problem was, I couldn't figure out that this is what was causing mysterious crashes and BSODs. It took a long time of trial-and-error, and memory checks, to figure out that this thing was horked. This was a real surprise, and huge disappointment.|
|HDD||Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM||This has been a great drive. Solid, and fast. It has held up nicely over the years, taking on the additional role of being the boot drive.|
|Video||Radeon HD 6850||It's been a fine card. It was a low mid-level device when I got it and is definitely showing its age now. It has performed well, however.|
|DVD||Lite-On DVD-RW w/ Lightscribe||There's not much to say about DVD burners, but I really like the idea of Lightscribe. Unfortunately HP killed it in 2014. The discs can be costly, and you need to get 3rd-party software, but I like it. I suppose for a future build that LabelFlash will be my best choice.|
|OS||Win7 / Win10||The machine was built when Win7 was out, and fully matched compatibility with Win10. I am happy to see that it feels zippier with 10 than 7.|