I have now sold my original Blue Beauty. (As of 05/02/2019).
In a land and time before RGB was even a fart of dust. My very first PC existed. Although I didn't build it myself, I had it in pieces over the years and learned what I needed to know.
I remember seeing that Zalman case and falling in love with it's Alien aesthetic. I was suckered in by 8 cores and thinking this was totally necessary for future proofing and to be fair, it did stand the test of time for a CPU made in 2012.
Now the original build didn't have an SSD, GTX970 and only had 8GB RAM. The original PSU sacrificed itself during a power surge in 2014. RIP Corsair. Luckily, still within the 1 year warranty, I had a brand new one shipped for free (Thanks PCSpecialist).
Around the same time, I added an extra stick of 8GB RAM. I used this machine for virtualisation for Uni projects. Did I mention the PC was funded by Student Finance UK? (Thanks guys).
I didn't feel a need to upgrade again until Far Cry 4 was released (back end of 2014). My GTX760 just wasn't pulling the frames and graphics I wanted. So in came the GTX970, a card still held in the highest regards even today (Early 2019). This card would see the PC until its' departure and it still fares well with current titles. Hard to think that the card only cost me £250, considering what the market is like these days.
I got a free licence of Windows 7 from Uni and this would eventually be upgraded to Windows 10 for free during the first year of it's release (2015). (I think I had it installed the first day it released). I had already lined up an SSD for this process. This was added to the build to boot the new Windows version from. Does anyone else remember the first time they used an SSD after using a HDD?
Originally I had used a 32" TV as a monitor while I lived in student digs and when I moved back to my Dads. At the time, it did the job for me. I weren't hellbent on frame rates unless it was a disaster and I was happy with a max of 60. As for response time, I didn't know it was a thing back then.
After buying my first house, I decided the TV may be needed elsewhere so i picked up a cheap 1080p monitor off a pal. Only then did I notice the lack of input lag while playing games.
Nonetheless, I dual monitored for a while, still using my 32" TV to play games. The last playthrough I did was Far Cry 5 and it still held it's own at max settings at roughly 60fps. Impressive given the age of the machine.
As for keyboard and mouse, for the first few years I used a basic office pairing. I would eventually pick up a cheap gaming pair off Shpock for £15, nothing fancy. They lit up and have extra buttons on the mouse, that did the job for me.
I started to use it less and less and decided it was time to let go after the baby arrived. The TV went in the conservatory and I decided to sell with the monitor as a bundle.
I took it apart one last time to give it a really good clean and cable manage. The fans in the side doors were removed as they generated unwanted noise and after stress tests I noticed it made no difference to temps inside the case, so they were surplus to requirements.
I just hope the PC is looked after and isn't mistreated. Goodbye Blue Beauty.
It really has stood the test of time, bargain if you're looking to put together a cheap build. First time I heard the term "Bang for Buck".
Even at the time I got it, SATA II was on it's way out. BIOS is very basic compared to what you get now and probably what you could get then for similar prices. Lack of USB 3.0 header meant I could never utilise the front USB 3.0 ports. Other than that, it was durable and caused me no issues.
If we're not taking into account it's speed and the fact it's DDR3. From a durability point of view, sturdy RAM that never caused any issues,
Never an issue. Going from HDD to SSD for the first time was a revelation.
Another one that has stood the test of time. Still a good enough card by today's standards. Never had a problem with it. Bargain looking back.
Looks a bit dated now. Power button is on the front panel, so when removing you had to be careful not to pull the wires. The cable management for this case wasn't the best but then there wasn't a full size window where you can see it all. Comes with 5 fans, which sounds amazing on paper but the two 80mm side panel fans are pretty much useless. The side panels are better off being used as vents. This leaves two exhausts, one at the back, one at the top and a front intake. Air flow in the case isn't bad, seemed to have no issues with it. The case itself is very sturdy. It lasted long and nothing broke.
Wireless Network Adapter
Became useless towards the end (LAN FTW). Only picks up 2.4ghz signals. I prefer to use 5ghz in my house.
Decent little runner. Alright for what I paid. Backlight doesn't look great.