Repurposed PC build

HIS Radeon X1950 Pro - Old video card!

I’m sure every PC building enthusiast collects old, outdated tech in their closets. These once useful components collect dust in various corners and closets throughout the world. Perhaps, many of you actually donate them to Goodwillls, nephews, and nieces. Well, in my case, it was time to call these veterans back into service. There’s much more work to be done. You all deserve better than a landfill.

It’s time to call them back to service.

  • Motherboard: ASUS P6T – LGA1366 Socket – X58
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-920 – Quadcore @ 2.66 GHz
  • RAM: 4 X 2Gb OCZ Gold Edition Low Voltage 1600 MHz
  • GPU: HIS Radeon X1950 Pro – 512 MB
  • Storage: PNY 120 GB SATA III SSD, 2 X Seagate Momentus 320 GB HDD
  • PSU: EVGA 500W 80 Plus Certified
  • Monitor: Hyundai (Lol, like the car company) Imagequest B90A – 19″ at 1280 X 1021 resolution, vertical refresh max 75 Hz, horizontal refresh max 80 kHz
  • Speakers: Logitech Z313 Speakers
  • WiFi: TP-Link Archer T4E – AC1200 Dual-band Wireless PCIe card

A while back, my brother-in-law gifted his old, outdated PC to me (Thanks Shawn!). I received the Motherboard, CPU, RAM as well as a PC case. I made use of the parts and shoved them into my current case at the time and paired them with a Nvidia GTX 970. It served me well for some Fallout4.

I do not have all that is needed to make a running PC, so to make use of the spare parts, I would still need a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit, Video card) and a PSU (Power Supply Unit). Luckily, I have a spare video card lying around! Introducing the HIS Radeon X1950 pro!

Check it out. With 256 Megs of GDDR3, clocking in at 575 MHz for graphics and 690 MHz memory, this card sort of hacks through some of the competition! A medium-tier card at an affordable price (I forget how much I got it for), this beautiful HIS Radeon X1950 Pro will take you through games of the 2000s.

HIS Radeon X1950 pro

This card had served me well for my very first build. I enjoyed the card’s rendering of graphics such as the medium-low graphics in the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion hit PC game! And look at the artwork! It’s just awesome! What a cool looking sword! Unlike my current beloved Nvidia GTX 1070 which does not have a great fashion sense, I would be proud to hang this HIS Radeon X1950 pro on the wall or in a display case. Sure, the Nvidia GTX 1070 has an aggressive look and it’s so metal that it commands a street price of $720 on Amazon (used).

Back to this build. I mentioned earlier that I needed a PSU, right? So it’s time to go shopping! And where else could I go? Right here in my seat, I could hit up Amazon, Newegg, and TigerDirect (Love the name, BTW). I could also check up BestBuy, but I expect fewer offerings as they don’t specialize in anything. Why not just go to a center that offers all my computer needs? Yes! That’s right! I’m going to Micro Center.

Beautiful, beautiful Micro Center! Located in Northern Virginia, this computer supercenter offers an amazing assortment of PC-related products. Everything from monitors, video cards, processors to build-it-yourself arcade cabinets, soldering equipment, and even luxury gaming chairs. Micro Center continues to survive and thrive, whereas similar predecessors like CompUSA have died out. It is glorious and the only reason people know the name, Nutley Street. Micro Center is the only draw for the Pan Am shopping center. It ought to be named Micro Center shopping center. Or just keep the name and do a tie-in to Cyberpunk 2077!

Panam is considering endorsing this fine shopping center!

3089 Nutley St, Fairfax, VA 22031

As I stated before, I need a power supply unit as I do not have a spare lying around.

PSU and other supplies

Here’s what I picked up:

I will definitely make use of the screws and the SSD/HDD mounting bracket in this build, but the NVMe heat sink is for my current main PC, the solder aid kit would be useful (I wish I had that for my Sega Genesis Shadowrun save game battery replacement) and the RGB gaming mouse pad is for my work. The mouse pad itself is just not necessary, but it would look so cool at my work desk. I also picked up a Plus-Plus Baseplate Duo and the Plus-Plus Open Play Tube – Pastel Mix for the boy.

Now with the equipment at hand, let’s start building!

My CPU was already installed on the board. So first, let’s clean up the processor with alcohol and put some Arctic Silver 5 paste that I have lying around.

I put a “pea” size amount, and stuck my ASUS CPU cooler (not sure of the model) and kinda torqued it down, and then removed it. I see the imprint and I say I needed just a tad more paste.

I’ll finish torquing down the CPU cooler right after placing the board into the PC case. The motherboard screws that I bought earlier made this possible. Next, I’ll install the PSU.

Next, I’ll throw down the video card as well as the sound card (Sound Blaster)

I pulled my SSD, HDDs from my laptop that had the Nvidia 280m card that died. I had since bought another card that was used from eBay, but it still blue screened and crashed often. Too bad, I loved that Clevo D9F laptop that I bought for $~2K back in 2010 from Malibal.com. Any whoo, let’s throw these on some brackets and shove them into the case.

Next, I’ll take a look at the motherboard case connections. The pins on this corner are for the power switch and hard disk activity LEDs. The case came with this handy extender piece that clearly labels where to connect the chassis cables. More PC cases should come with these! Also, I dug out this old WiFi card. Spoiler alert! It does not work! Either Windows 10 did not install the drivers or it was working but so old that it cannot detect 2.5 or 5 GHz signal from my home router.

Okay, we are almost done here. It’s time to connect various cables from the PSU to the motherboard and complete the chassis connections. Oh, definitely the cable management is terrible. I never had a knack for being neat in my cables.

I’ll put the side case on, connect VGA cables from the video card to the Hyundai monitor, and… it posts. Since the SSDs moved from my old laptop the previously installed Windows 10 Home is already loaded.

After getting the Windows 10 boot, I realized that the WiFi card was not working, DVD drive did not even open. Even the video card was not detected. I had to futz around with old legacy drivers on the AMD website. It did not work as the official legacy driver on the AMD website was useless. What I had to do is to get an old version catalyst installed somehow. Eventually, I got it to work but I had to grab the driver from guru3d.com.

Also, I neglected to purchase any speakers. So I ran out to get them from Bestbuy. Then on another date, I head back to Micro Center for a modern WiFi card.

After that, It’s pretty much done. Now to move the whole setup to the small office!

This machine is basically good for just YouTube. Unfortunately, Hello Neighbor and Minecraft (two of the boy’s favorite games) cannot be played. Our Radeon card goes up to Direct X 9.0, and both Hello Neighbor and Minecraft want Direct X 11. The HIS sword is just too ancient to cut it.

Hello Neighbor’s requirements
Minecraft’s (Windows 10) requirements

And well, that is it. This was my repurposed PC build. It would have been a lot more exciting with a decent GPU, however, I don’t have one lying around. Boy, that HIS card sure is purdy! And with the GPU Apocalypse happening now, I doubt they’re a decent GPU to install for the time being. These GPU prices are outrageous!

Well, that’s it for me today! Thanks for stopping by folks. Until next time!

By Jerry Rattanong

On the last very second of December 31, 1999, one man felt a transformation that erupted in his very soul. And in that second, he changed from a mere thug to the something greater than all his accomplishments combined, and thus a new era of his life began, and the world plunged into everlasting darkness.....

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