Computer Hardware Setups

Main Rig (Sept 2020)

Total: $4,129.90
Asterisked are components that belong to my company, and the prices are only an estimate.

Main Rig (End-of-Year 2019)

Total: $1,615.52

Middle-School-Era PC

Lying around in my home at China is a PC that I held dear the most during my six years of middle-to-high school era. I barely touched it anymore after entering college. Therefore, the computer was only "powerful" as I remembered it, till mid 2019 when I got home (after two years aboard doing my master's; that's six years away from this PC) and discovered just how outdated my old friend is.
Without further emotional reviews, here's the specs:
  • CPU: Intel® Pentium® Processor E5700 (2M Cache, 3.00 GHz, 800 MHz FSB)
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU): AcBel PC7009. 430W.
    • Used price: About $67? CNY¥35 (~US$5.09).
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45C-DS3 (w/o R) with BIOS version F5
    • The on-board CMOS battery needs replacement. With a power outage, the BIOS always falls back to a last-known-good configuration, which holds CPU running at 1.7GHz instead of 3.0GHz.
    • You can get an used one for CNY¥250 (~US$36.32).
  • RAM: 2x2GB=4GB.
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460. I just brighout this back from the USA to China, simply because I had that space in my luggage.
    • Seems that you can get a piece of these with CNY¥160(~US$23.25, about right!).
  • HDD: Western Digital WD Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5".
    • Used: $32.19 (Newegg) or CNY¥120 (Taobao).
  • There are also a DVD reader, a CD burner, and even a 3.5-inch floppy drive in the system, but, hey, who cares.
Now, just a brief summary:
Used Part Price in CNY
in USD
Gigabyte GA-EP45C-DS3R
Kingston KVR1333D3S8N9/2G
Western Digital WD Green WD10EARS
That's a total of US$119.44. All of sudden (not that fast; it has been six years away since I last actively used it), the PC entered a race of budget builds. Now the question is, can it run crysis?
I don't know exactly how much my dad paid for all the parts throughout the years of building & upgrading it, but I'm very sure that it would probably not worth my while investing more time in actually using this machine. Let me see if I can repurpose it.

Philadelphia $200 Build

This is a PC I held for about 15 months when I was doing my graduate studies at Penn. While I have described in detail what this machine came into, let me repeat the specs here for the sake of centralized note-taking:
  • Optiplex 7010 MT: A decent refurb I won from an eBay bidding with USD$70.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460: A little piece of impulse shopping that I got for USD$30.
  • Patriot 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM x 2: Because the stock 4GB memory just won't suffice. USD$40.
  • Kingston SSDNow 30GB: A cheap piece of Solid State Drive that I got for USD$10.
  • DELL S2209W Monitor: A decent 1920x1080 display unit that I got from CeX before it ceased business from the US. I really liked them. $15.
I brought the GPU and the RAM modules back to China because I didn't wanted to waste the space in my checked luggages. They didn't turn out to be all compatible to my PC at home, it turned out.