1) A 2006 build – using an Antec NSK6000 case and installing a ASUS M3N78-VM mobo. Some upgrades to processor and memory have been made – AMD Athlon II X2 260 Processor @ 3.2 GHz was added, and an upgrade on the 8 GBs of memory in around 2016. Makes a great test machine – as an “older computer” – but may do a full upgrade in a few years, since the case is like new (Note: Was going to do the full upgrade now, but decided to start a new build w/ a Rosewill $19.99 case – more on that later).
2) I still believe Vista was one of the Top OSs (still run it on above 2006 build), but wanted to check out the new Windows 7 after it came out. Held back until early 2010 rolled around and some testing of that new OS had been done .. the wait paid off as I found a new Dell computer at Walmart w/ Windows 7 on it for about $225! That included a 22″ monitor! A copy of Windows 7 was about half that price, so I couldn’t pass up that deal. It was a Dell Inspiron 560, and in 2015 I upgraded the Celeron to a Pentium Dual-Core E6700 @ 3.2 GHz processor, and doubled the memory to 8 GBs of new memory. A couple controller cards and a SATA Trayless Hotswap Mobile Rack were added. Still a great little computer – as a backup & testing machine.
3) I’m always looking for good computer component deals – have to spend time doing it, but seems to eventually pay off .. this time, DealNews was pointing to a combo deal @ B&H for a Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor plus a Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P Motherboard, for $266.99 (no tax and free shipping). Thusly, in early 2016 I started a new build – using a Antec Sonata Proto Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case for the new processor and mobo just purchased. Had wanted to move to Intel, in any future new builds, and here was the opportunity @ a reasonable price. $60 new case, $267 for processor and mobo, $145 for G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (same 32 GBs is $185 @ Newegg today), $35 for power supply, and about $100 more on SSD, cooler, etc. Had some extra DVD players and a Hotswap Mobile rack, but still ended up spending over $600 .. more than I had wanted. It’s my main machine, right now.
4) OK .. now on to my new build using the Rosewill $20 case – compact and lightweight, but fits need and limited space right now. Was looking to build or buy a mobo test bench, but those costs were high to astronomically high .. and a wooden built one would probably have warped in a year or so. I can always rip the $20 case down to a basic mobo bench if I decide to later, but I like what I see here, so far.
The following components arrive today: GIGABYTE H310M A LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel H310 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard, Intel Celeron G4900 Coffee Lake Dual-Core 3.1 GHz LGA 1151 (300 Series) 54W BX80684G4900 Desktop Processor Intel UHD Graphics 610, and CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel X99 and 100 Series Desktop Memory Model CMK16GX4M2A2400C16 for a total of $212 .. Rosewill ARC Series 450W Gaming Power Supply, 80 PLUS Bronze Certified and Lite-On DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS124-14 was another $67 .. Rosewill RXC525-2B, 2 Port 2.5” & 3.5” SATA HDD/Mobile Rack for 5.25” Bay Tray (wanted another Mobile Rack and decided on this one because it offered both SSD and HDD in my remaining 5.25″ bay) for another $24 (from eBay). I have some extra SATA controller cards and 2 unused SSD’s so my total costs are about $345 (not including money spend previously on cards, SSD’s and HDD’d). Will use it to test Linux distros on new equipment, for now.
OK .. Some updates & final notes before ending: I use just two monitors .. one with my main machine (#3 above) and share an old 32″ Samsung TV w/ the other two (#1 & #2 above – using a 3 port HDMI “Switch switcher”). Have been downloading some new Linux distros to test this morning – mainly focusing on ones that Windows users might find user friendly .. Zorin (have tested before & didn’t like it, but this is a newer distro of it), Mangaro, Antergos, Linux Lite and elementary OS.