My previous computer, or second box, or whatever you want to call it, was having some issues. It's been running basically non-stop for more than three years, and was my prime gaming rig for most of that time.
Now it has moved to the spot beside my desk, as second fiddle and home to my LAN's backup drive and printer. It is also getting use as a secondary Internet machine for email and other tidbits.
Lately, the fan noise has been getting to me. The case was a Lian Li all-aluminum chassis that was supposed to be really nice, but I always found it loud and was bothered by little rattles. Compared to my new box, this thing was absolutely too noisy. Along with the rattles and things I'd been hearing ever since I got the case, I was beginning to hear the buzzing sound that signifies an off-balance fan.
Although this is no longer my main system, it still serves some good purposes and I didn't want it to burn up. It turned out that the nasty fan noises were coming from the processor's cooler...so I knew it was time for a few changes. The processor was idling at about 48c, which is really too hot.
The orginial specs -
Athlon XP 1800+ (palomino core at 1.5GHz)
1GB DDR266 RAM
Abit KR7A (VIA KT266A chipset)
Antec 550w power supply
Geforce 2 GTS (the geforce 4 ti 4400 which was in this machine got traded to a friend who had a PC meltdown...so I swapped in my old old faithful 2-series).
I decided what was needed was to finally get rid of that annoying case, replace the CPU cooler (socket A, so I knew I didn't have much longer). I also picked up a DVD burner, partly so it would be black and match the new case, and also because I like doing backups of the backup drive.
Here's the new parts -
Going with the case I recommend for the $1k system allowed me to give it a really good look... swapping all the components over went great, and I am extremely happy with the results. The machine is much quieter overall, and is running very smoothly with a 10c drop in CPU tempurature, and a 6c drop in mobo tempurature.
The case overall looks fantastic, has a good quality feel to it, and wasn't hard at all to work in. The one complaint I have is with the motherboard standoffs and other hardware that was included with the case... it was cheap and rather crappy. It ended up being functional, though...and besides that I have only good things to say (especially for such a great price).