The PC I like to call Scrapjack

Being a poor college student without a decent PC, I decided to take it upon myself to construct an incredibly cheep yet fast PC. How would I accomplish such a task? Buying used parts on ebay and traveling to my local electronic waste center.

To start, I wanted this PC to be completely future proof. I decided that an LGA 1155 socket motherboard was the best choice. On ebay I found an Intel DZ75ml-45K Micro ATX motherboard for around $35. Next I needed to find myself powersupply. Because the cost of the system was going to be crucial, i decided to pick up a Thermaltake TR2 600w non 80+ for $30 after shipping. I figured that because the system would draw very little power I could get by on a 600w non80+ psu.

Once I had my mainboard and psu (and a cheap Maxtor 250gb HDD) I needed to get a CPU and some RAM. Out of the entire build the CPU was the hardest thing to find. I couldn't actually find a used LGA 1155 CPU for less than $60. In the end I went with an Intel Pentium G2030. From what I read online, the Pentium was basically an i3 without hyperthreading. At this point I wasn't to concerned with RAM so I picked up a 4gb stick of Micron DDR3 @ 1333Mhz.

Now that I had all of my hardware on hand, I needed to give it a home. By now I had exhausted my funds for the project and it looked like I would have to wait at least a month before I could continue. Then, however, I ventured to my campus's E-Waste center. Off in the corner something black caught my eye. When I investigated I discovered that it was an unused Cooler Master Storm Scout midtower case. I asked the E-Waste lady what the plan for the cas was and she told me that it was due for recycling. A perfectly good midtower case sentenced to death? I think not. Just when I thought that my project would hit the back burner, I get a major breakthrough.

Despite all of my luck, this build was not without problems. Once I had the computer assembled and POSTed I noticed that my GPU was not being detected in the first PCIe x16 slot. After a few hours of toying with it, I still could not get the PCIe slot to work. I gave up and moved the card to the second slot and got on with my life. I assume the seller sold it with (or without) the knowledge that the first slot was bad.

Now I have a fully built and running desktop that only cost me around $140. Despite the few small issues that I encountered, the PC runs great and ran through the Uniengine Heaven benchmark scoring around 850. IT goes to show that with a little bit of searching and cunning, you can make you cash stretch really far.

Here you can see the progression of the build:

Here you can see a detailed part list:

I will do some benchmarks in some games and update this post with the results.

Thanks for reading, and until next time.

~Connor C. Edling

well, I think scrapjack is a good name. :)

I like it. I might do some digging and see what I can manage

Nice work!

Although I have a good computer I still enjoy doing this, it's amazing how many computers I've ended up with which cost me next to nothing.

Best way to learn and it's systems like this I love to overclock even with standard cooling just to see what I can achieve..

Congrats on your eco-build!