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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Am I the only one that likes IBM/Lenovo desktop PC cases?

I'm using an old black IBM Aptiva mini-tower case. I like it because it takes a full-size ATX motherboard and full-size ATX PSU, but it's mini-tower size, although that comes with caveats. Looks-wise, I like it better than anything else out there that I've seen: ANTEC, LianLi, Cooler Master, etc. They're surely better cases, but I don't really care for how they look and I don't much care for case windows and neon lights either.

I've been thinking about switching to a P4 style ThinkCentre minitower case for a few reasons:
1. There is only 1/4" clearance between the CPU fan and PSU in my Aptiva case since the PSU is mounted sideways. As a result, the CPU fan isn't able to move much air, hence it runs FAST and LOUD. The newer ThinkCentre cases are standard mATX layout so there would be nothing blocking the CPU fan so it should run cooler and quieter.
2. I only have 2 PCI slots occupied in my current machine, so I don't need all the slots of a full ATX board. Plus, mATX boards are quite a bit cheaper. Granted, I could use a mATX board in my existing case, but then I'd still have the cooling fan clearance problem.
3. I'm kind of a minimalist, I don't use the floppy drive, so I don't mind to lose it. However, my Aptiva case has the floppy bezel molded into it which does look nice, but also means I'll have to have a floppy in there forever. It might start to look really dated since floppies have gone the way of 8-track.

Anyone have a ThinkCentre case? I was just wondering if they use a standard mATX motherboard... they look like they do. How about the PSU, is it standard mATX? Standard screw pattern? Any modifications required to get standard parts in? For example, my Aptiva case required enlarging the holes on the PSU holder a little bit with a nibbler tool for my Ultra 600W PSU to fit. It's also not possible without modification to use a PSU with a 120mm fan since the Aptiva case faces the PSU the wrong way.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:35 am 
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I bought a used IBM tower case off of e-bay about a year ago. It now houses my mATX motherboard, a C2D CPU, 2GB of RAM, DVD-RW and GeForce 7300 PCI-E card powered by an Antec 500W Earthwatts PSU.

I'll take pics and post because I do not remember what model the case is from. I did have to modify the front USB headers and the power, reset, and msg pics to work with a standard mobo and not IBM proprietary crap. U hate when vendors change a pin or 2 from a standard part just so you have to go to them.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:05 am 
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GnatGoSplat wrote:
...I don't really care for how they look and I don't much care for case windows and neon lights either.


I couldn't agree more. Neon lights=unnecessary power consumption. And, since my tower sits inside a cabinet anyway, what good would a window do me? Give me a good ol black case that's professional and functional.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:01 pm 
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GnatGoSplat wrote:
Am I the only one that likes IBM/Lenovo desktop PC cases?


No, I like them too. I just love the way they look. They're very attractive :D .
(I have a NetVista A22p and a PC300GL.)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:03 am 
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Far from the only one. I like 'em too! They're Just Plain Well Built. No sharp edges on the innards, good quality sheet metal, excellent RFI suppression (when they're closed, of course), terrific airflow for cooling, etc.

My Z-Pro is going to be here next Tuesday... champing at the bit, as it were...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:18 am 
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i like the style too!!! :D very well built and really, good quality!!! right? :D i bought new case though similar to it at south-pak(dot)com. And it's works amazing too! Just like IBM case. :) Also had a good quality so I'm using both of them. :))


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:33 am 
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i have to confess that a lot of why i bought my ThinkStation D10 was because of the case. :mrgreen:

of course, there were more important reasons but the case was admittedly a large factor.   IBM (and now lenovo) have almost always done desktop/workstation/server cases the right way - clean, black, and functional.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 4:50 am 
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I don't like them they don't appeal to me, and I am an ex ThinkCentre A50 owner...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:07 pm 
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I actually do. My desktop is a NetVista S42, which I like the look of quite a bit. I was surprised to read a review in which the case's aesthetics were panned.

Does anyone know if this particular model of NetVista is upgradable to a more modern motherboard? (A little late now except as a future project; I'm upgrading to a SFF Dell of some sort that I got a good deal on.)

I was thinking of gutting my old Aptiva M, which I always liked, and put in all new innards. The trouble was, when I started to look at how the motherboard fit into the case, it was very non-standard. One of the biggest issues is that on a standard modern motherboard, there are two rows of ports, and a corresponding hole on the back of a standard modern case. The Aptiva has only one row and a corresponding hole (in thick metal, I might add) for that one row.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:15 pm 
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GnatGoSplat wrote:
3. I'm kind of a minimalist, I don't use the floppy drive, so I don't mind to lose it. However, my Aptiva case has the floppy bezel molded into it which does look nice, but also means I'll have to have a floppy in there forever. It might start to look really dated since floppies have gone the way of 8-track.


Personally, I like the dated look. 8)

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:11 am 
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A31 wrote:
I don't like them they don't appeal to me


Same here. For me, looks are important, and virtually all IBM and Lenovo desktops I have seen look weird.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:42 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
A31 wrote: "I don't like them they don't appeal to me"

Same here. For me, looks are important, and virtually all IBM and Lenovo desktops I have seen look weird.


I will agree with you on those weird big rhombus-shaped cases you get with at least some of the ThinkCentre models.

I like all of the NetVista and ThinkCentre SFF units I've seen so far, they are much handsomer than the same form factor from Dell or HP.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:57 am 
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I like the looks of the IBM/Lenovo cases, but the ones that really stand out over the competition is the small form factor - while you will never be able to upgrade the motherboard, they have nice looks, very effective (and quiet) cooling, and are infinitley more practicle than some other ones (think dell, which have a flap over the CD drive that precludes placing it on its side, since it interferes) looks are important, but I have always been a fan of function over form.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:13 am 
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craigmontHunter wrote:
(think dell, which have a flap over the CD drive that precludes placing it on its side, since it interferes)


Don't say that... I just got a really good deal on a Dell SFF... :( Can the flap be removed without damaging the case?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:27 am 
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I don't know about the more recent ones, but yes all the ones I have come accross you can remove the flap. If you are using the stand it is not an issue because it just moves out of the way - if you are using it like a "desktop" (i.e. under the monitor) it flips out and does not fully uncover the usb or cd drive, and it takes up desk space (all my experience is for slightly older systems, please take it with a large grain of salt. It is not too much of an issue, but it is just something I have noticed).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:09 pm 
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I've bought new exactly one retail pc in all my days, a Packard Bell Legend 486SX25 with Windows 3.1... After that I never looked back and built my 2nd PC, haven't to date found a storebought PC that besides the initial "look" of the case had a case that was exactly what i needed.

That being said, aftermarket cases (especially after some modding which I'm big into) offer WAY more variety then anthing the OEM's do... just my 2 cents :O

Currently newegg offers 85 different ones that begin with my current requirements:
Color : Black > Type : ATX Mid Tower > With Side Panel Window : Yes

I like the looks of that LIAN LI Lancool, kinda reminiscent of the IBM towers :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:08 pm 
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ozzymud wrote:
That being said, aftermarket cases (especially after some modding which I'm big into) offer WAY more variety then anthing the OEM's do... just my 2 cents :O


I actually agree. I think I have an unreasonable attachment to IBM equipment. That's part of the reason I jumped on the Dell I mentioned above... to break the habit.

My first thought was to build my own system. But I ended up getting a comparable system, and a Vista OS for a little more than $100 less than it would cost to build a minimal system with components ordered from Newegg without an OS.

You're right about DIY, though. I have built systems that run better than anything you can get on the market. Unfortunately, I can't compete with Dell's prices that include an OS, so I'm going to have to wait to build my own.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:29 am 
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I have looked at big name pc's in the past, but after REALLY doing some research on a particular machine, I would find out that maybe the motherboard is not quite upto snuff or some other component... I'm pretty sure that they are like Wal-Mart... they may buy their motherboards from brand name X, but they are specifically built for "big name" and lack certain features to cut production costs. (After buying a TV from Wal-Mart and struggling with MythTV because of that, It won't happen again :P)

I'm really anal when I build a PC, I will spend literally days researching each part I put into it... when I'm done though, friends usually freak out when they see it performing better or having X as a feature theirs don't that they bought turn-key from a big name place for more $ :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:42 pm 
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I like most of the older IBM desktop and server cases, like the ThinkCentre S50 USFF, and even the xSeries server cases.

Some of the newer Lenovo cases have lost a bit of the good design I think. I got a M90 USFF a few months ago at work, and there are too many shiny bits on the front, which I don't like. I prefer the stealth look of the older machines.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:51 pm 
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I love the Intellistation chassis style. Great to work on, great-looking when closed. Of course the RS/6000 design is one of my all-time favorite "tower" style designs, but that's not quite what the OP was asking... :P

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:24 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
virtually all IBM and Lenovo desktops I have seen look weird.

I have to agree with you, they are all so boring to look at, some of the Dells and HPs out there look great, but of course, if you want looks, you need to build your own PC and get an awesome case like I did, I used the NZXT Lexa S case on my custom-built PC.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:42 am 
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ozzymud wrote:
That being said, aftermarket cases (especially after some modding which I'm big into) offer WAY more variety then anthing the OEM's do... just my 2 cents :O

Nigellus wrote:
I actually agree. I think I have an unreasonable attachment to IBM equipment. That's part of the reason I jumped on the Dell I mentioned above... to break the habit.


AND.... there it is. This has been such a bad week that I just should have known. It turns out my attachment to IBM equipment isn't so unreasonable. My Dell 755 Core 2 Duo desktop running (allegedly) Vista business arrived today.

When I took it out of the box, the DVD drive fell out (actually in). A little unprofessional of the vendor to let it go out in that condition, but what the heck, I know what I'm doing, let's open this baby up and secure the drive.

No joy. In the time it took me to determine that there was no convenient screw hole to secure the DVD drive in my new Dell, I could have opened my NetVista, swapped out the CD for a DVD drive, secured it with a reasonable number of screws, and closed the case. :evil:

Between that, and some other issues, I'm going to be having a little chat with the vendor.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:59 am 
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That's another reason (thankfully a lot of em have moved slightly away from) is all the manufacturer specific stuff inside... non-standard floppies (non issue these days :P), wierd mounting brackets for hard disks and optical drives (why cant they just use the 8 holes on either device that have been standard for years(4 on each side optical, 2 pairs side & bottom on 2.5 & 3.5 drives)

Even worse when aftermarket vendors do it... way harder to find a bracket years later for one of those. I always mount the leftover faceplates somewhere in the case out of the way.

ATX/ITX/etc are standard for a reason, it really should include drive and accessory mounting as well :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:40 am 
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Email notification didn't work, so I didn't realize this old thread I started had come back to life 2-1/2 yrs later! I stumbled upon this old thread after seeing a thread on best looking cases on another forum and realized I must have really eccentric taste, because almost everything in that thread I found to be very ugly; either too industrial or plain like something you'd find in a factory, or too gaudy, like something that fell off a spaceship. It's like teen boys must be their target demographic. So far, IBM cases are the only tower style that I really care for. Just last week, I was watching an old episode of 24 towards the end of season 6, I saw a minitower computer being seized from Bill Buchanan's house and thought, "that's a nice looking case". I believe it was an IBM Netvista.

I'm still using my old Aptiva case, though its innards have changed a few times since. The fan controller in my old Ultra X-Finity PSU kicked the bucket after 4-years of service, and they didn't have any left, so they had to replace it with an X4 850W. Ultra may make lackluster PSUs, but Ultra's lifetime warranty can't be beat!

Anyway, now forced to use a PSU with 135mm fan on the bottom side, I had to drag out the angle grinder and power drill to reverse the PSU mounting orientation since the stock orientation would have the fan right up against the case cover. As a remarkably wonderful side-effect, the fan now on top of the CPU has reduced CPU temps by no less than an astounding 20-degrees. It was idling in the 50s, running about 70C (close to max) at full load and now idles in the 30s and only gets to around 50C at full load. I thought about getting a different case, but I still like the looks of the old Aptiva and the only other case that I like the looks of as much is the Netvista A22p as someone else had mentioned, but that doesn't take a fullsize PSU... although I suppose cutting and drilling could solve that.

Speaking of weird mounting - one of my other favorite case designs was the old Apple Quicksilver G4 case. I had bought one many years ago to try to mod to fit PC components, but nothing would fit. I may have to find motivation to try again as I still like the looks of those.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:20 pm 
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I just got a M57 tower, and I like the looks, and love how quiet it is (I can't hear it unless I have my head right beside it) and also love how easy it is to work on - everything is tool less - slide the cover off, push a button and almost any part of the case falls away, while it is kept very study during operation. the handle is also a very nice feature, it makes it easy to maneuver the case in and out of tight spaces. Ultimately how the case looks does not matter to me, all I want is something that works as quietly as possible.

On a side note, while a Q6700 may not be top of the line, it certainly beets a p4, and core2duo in pure power (according to windows it beats some of the dual core mobile sandy bridge i7's)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:56 am 
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craigmontHunter wrote:
I just got a M57 tower, and I like the looks, and love how quiet it is (I can't hear it unless I have my head right beside it) and also love how easy it is to work on - everything is tool less - slide the cover off, push a button and almost any part of the case falls away, while it is kept very study during operation. the handle is also a very nice feature, it makes it easy to maneuver the case in and out of tight spaces. Ultimately how the case looks does not matter to me, all I want is something that works as quietly as possible.


Is this the style of M57 you have?
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=6075A4U&cat=SYS
I really like that case. It appears to fit a standard size PSU and Micro ATX motherboard as well. There is a similar one on eBay, but it looks really beat.

Here is my Aptiva case. I guess one benefit of my case is it would be like that Best Buy commercial where thieves broke into this couple's house and took everything, but left the computer!
Image
The case goes well with my rare IBM Model M13 keyboard.

The insides won't impress anyone in specs or neatness, but I seldom have to get into it. The guts are 2yrs old and probably due for upgrade.
Image

Had an HDD die once, and then I realized HDD temps were pretty high, so I cut a hole in the bottom of the HDD tray and reduced HDD temps immensely and I haven't had a failure since (knock on wood).
Image

I originally had an Antec Basiq 500W PSU with 80mm rear fan mounted in the unmodified bracket in the original orientation. When that fried, all I could get is a newer style PSU with 135mm fan on the bottom. This case is weird and the original PSU mount was upside-down compared to a conventional mini-tower, so I had to modify the PSU bracket to flip the PSU so the fan faces the inside.
Image
This single change resulted in a huge 20-25 degree drop in temperatures across the board. I probably should have done this many years ago.

I think this Aptiva was probably originally a Pentium II, but it's now an AMD Regor X2 250 overclocked to 3.5GHz with 6GB DDR2 on a Gigabyte motherboard, nVidia GeForce GTS 250 video, 1TB HDD, DVD burner, dual HDTV tuner card, and 850W PSU. I may consider switching to the M57 style case in the future, as although I like the looks of this case and it is tool-free, I don't really care for how the entire cover has to slide off the front. I have to clear off my desk to get inside it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:25 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
That's it - I have been trying to figure out if it is micro ATX (apparently it is). I can also confirm that it fits a standard ATX psu in the proper orientation. I wish it had more than 280 watts of power, but when I upgraded it to a "silent" aftermarket psu (still louder than the stock one), when I upgraded the video card (passive zotac Geforce 430 - not the best, but within the power limits, it does what I need :lol: ) (My T61 has intel graphics if I want to suffer in games), so I reverted to the original, which runs just as well.

On a related note, this M57 (which I got last month for ~350$ CAD) had a Q6700, 3gb ram, DVD multiburner and a 160gb hard drive. I have added a 2tb drive, another gb of ram and a video card, installed windows 7 pro X64, and it looks like it will be my main system for several years (though the case even longer :mrgreen: )

About that commercial - That actually happened to my family - someone broke into our house, stole a whole pile of stuff, including a joystick from beside the computer, and just ignored the computer. (although they did steal a new computer we had just won from a diffrent room) - we had to use the old system until insurance replaced it. The replacement was "custom" and gave me reason to stick with prebuilt systems - unless you spend a lot of time tweaking, a decent OEM system is almost gaurenteed to be quieter and smaller than handmade, especially for the price (I have noticed this fairly consistantly, as I mentioned, a "silent" aftermarket PSU was louder than the stock one in the M57 and a dell dimension 4500)

PS. The M57 case is tools free (except for the psu and motherboard), and it is amazing to work in - in 30 seconds I can have any peripheral out of the system - it is nice and easy to work on.

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Elitebook 8440p, i5 520, 8gb, Samsung 840 SSD
Old/Not Working/Dead Laptops:
T61 7661CC2, 4gb, Windows 7 x64, 240gb intel SSD, 500gb Ultrabay drive
Toshiba Portege 7020ct
Thinkpad T41 23737FU
Dell Latitude LS


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:14 am 
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Location: Norwich, UK
@GnatGoSplat what are the specs of that PC? Looks like you've been upgrading to make it more of a gaming rig judging by the Xbox 360 controller on your desk and the GeForce graphics card inside the machine! ;)

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Lenovo ThinkPad L540 | Core i5 4200M | 8GB 1600MHz RAM | 1920x1080 Display | UltraNav with Fingerprint Reader | Seagate SSHD 1TB | 720p Webcam | 6 Cell 56Wh Battery | Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Past: IBM ThinkPad A31, R40

My custom-built desktop - see pics!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:39 am 
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Posts: 139
Location: Battlefield, MO
I do play games on it, but it was a very low-budget build and pretty outdated by now.

It's currently got:
AMD Athlon II X2 250 overclocked to 3.5GHz
6GB DDR2
Gigabyte GA-MA770-DS3P motherboard
BFG nVidia GeForce GTS 250
Vbox Dual HDTV tuner card
Seagate 1TB HDD
NEC DVD burner
Samsung 244T 24" LCD

Running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
I'm planning some upgrades in the next few months, probably to a Phenom II X4, new motherboard that supports DDR3, and hopefully replace the video card with something with a warranty now that BFG has gone belly up. I know Intel's Core i is better, but I plan to go Intel with my build into a Mac Quicksilver case (so it can also be a Hackintosh) therefore I want to go AMD with this machine.

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