This is my pre-built HP H8-1234 pc that I bought all the way back in September of 2011, which is ancient history in PC years. It retailed for about $700 and was a solid mid grade PC for its time, it has served me well too. I haven't been in the PC gaming market since the late 90s-early 2000s , so far this is the first upgrades this PC has seen and the first gaming build, if you want to call it that, that I've ever done.
This was originally planned to be a basic $200-300 upgrade that ended up being closer to $450. Before you start telling me it's a waste of money let me explain my thought process in planning this. I had been thinking about getting back into PC gaming since early this year, and with my aging current PC and The release of Ryzen and AMD GPUs I had made my mind up. But by the time I planned out exactly what I wanted out of a new PC and how much, things got a little crazy in the market. Also with the revelation that aftermarket support was lagging behind and continued optimization of Ryzen in general, I decided to put that on hold. Enter current build. I initially ordered just a graphics card that was capable of 1080p gaming and planned to try out a few games to get my feet wet. While this is still the goal, I decided to put more into it since this will be my primary source of PC gaming for the next year or so. Also, since I've kept everything and all is still in good working order I plan to use this as a secondary gaming/streaming PC for the bedroom when I get around to Ryzen, and reassemble the original components to keep as a backup/emergency PC or put it on server duty. So I'd effectively have a second pc assuming I get another case to move it into. On to the hardware.
The H8-1234 comes stock with an AMD FX-6120 attached to a Gigabyte M3970AM-HP motherboard with the 970 chipset. This board is actually quite versatile for a pre-built and has features that a lot of aftermarket ones don't even today, but I can't overclock with it which is why I ultimately upgraded. Also included is the Radeon HD 7450, 10Gb of Ram(2x4+2@1600) and a 300w power supply. Also came with integrated HD digital audio, Hitachi 1TB HDD and Bluetooth/Wifi, rounded out with a multimedia card reader, 6 USB 2.0(4rear+2front) and 4 USB 3.0(2rear+2front). I added an LG Blue ray reader/writer shortly after I bought it, which Im still using.
All the parts I bought for the gaming upgrade were bought between June-July 2017 and prices in list were actual cost. There are a few pieces I left off like the fan header spliter and USB 3.0 extension which I'm waiting to ge in the mail. The first thing i bought was the EVGA GTX 1050ti SC, it was the best bang for buck that I could find due to ridiculous inflation that's been going on and I've noticed lately even the 1050 has crept up some although not nearly as much. I thought of getting the ACX 3.0 but at the time it was $30-40 more and I had not decided yet to go as far as I have with the upgrades. Next I ditched the unusual 10Gb config for 16gb worth of Patriot Viper 3 1600, again the best bang for buck I could find at the time, I tried to go as cheap as possible without compromising too much. I played with this for a bit and what i could get out of it was 1974mhz GPU clock and 3744mhz on the vram. By this time I was more decisive on what I wanted to do so I ordered the rest of the parts I wanted, which was the SSD to be used as a boot drive, new power supply, motherboard, new cooler and case fans. I didn't want to buy anything that I didn't absolutely have to in order to get to my end goal so that's why I didn't get a new case and also why I chose the board and cooler that I did. I may end up regretting that later, and I haven't had a chance to try my luck at overclocking the CPU or memory yet but I'm thinking the orientation of the fans and increased airflow will be enough to make up for the small cooler and get me pretty close to what the board will allow. I hope to get 4ghz on the CPU and hopefully 1866 from the memory. I removed the drive cage and just took a dremel to the front make room for the 140mm and then just used small zip ties to mount it, I know it's crude but it works and it will be covered so it wont be seen anyway. There was just enough room for the 120mm between the edge of the case and the I/O, I ended up having to cut slits to peal back the metal a bit so it would clear past the lip and then bent it back when it was in there. With the drive cage gone I move the HDD to the expansion bay were Blueray was and move it to the top slot, no need for two disc drives anyway. The SSD I attached to the side out of the way with a small strip of velcro on the back.
So that's pretty much my build as of now, not quite finished with it yet so I'll update it when changes happen. I plan to do some overclocking and benchmarks this weekend and will post those in an update when I do for those interested. I plan to use this for mod heavy Fallout/Skyrim gaming (waiting for Beyond Skyrim releases) and maybe getting into some CSGO and PlayerUnknown, maybe some of the AAA FPS games too. Also interested in seeing how I like DOOM 2016 on PC, I wasted ALOT of my youth playing DOOM 2 and Quake on a good ol Win95 Packard Bell back in the day along with an array of Sierra and Blizzard titles. Also, I'm still running the factory Windows 7 Home 64 as of know but do plan to upgrade to 10 soon, especially with DX12 being optimized for more cores. However, I would like to hang on to this OS even when I upgrade. Any suggestions on the best way to do that? I know it can complicate things since its factory installed from HP, it is backed up but if I upgrade I'm not sure it would still work if I tried to load it back on the old MB and HDD. ANYWAYS, if you like what I'm doing here let me know what you like and if you have suggestions let me know about that too, thanks for reading my story haha
*Note on Pwr Supply: I first bought a 550w non modular but later found the one I have listed for $10 more, it will be installed soon and the prior returned. Ill update pics when I do.