Reviving an old PC, part 2: Shopping

In my previous post, I put together a little shopping list. I’d identified four components inside my aging PC that urgently needed upgrades to make using it an enjoyable experience again.

The CPU

Intel Core i5-3470S CPU

Since the motherboard supports the newer Ivy Bridge line of CPU’s, I wanted to go with one of those. The Core i7 3770K seemed like an obvious choice. But as it turns out, those still cost a lot of money second hand. Probably because it’s still a very capable gaming CPU, and the top upgrade for many older motherboards.

The sensible thing was to go for a more modest i5. I scoured second hand sites for either a 3570 or a 3470, and found a cheap i5-3470S. Quad core, 65W TDP, 2.9GHz base clock and 3.6GHz boost. An impressive upgrade from the measly i3-2100. And for just €50 (which isn’t actually a very good price, but keep reading…).

Memory

The seller I bought the CPU from actually offered to throw in two sticks of DDR3 RAM “for free”, so that was excellent. Buying two items on my list from the same seller saved on shipping. I’d set myself a tight €100 budget, so all in all this was a good deal.

SSD

Philips 240GB SSD

Solid State storage is getting cheaper every day, and low capacity SATA drives expecially can be had for very little money. And since they’re all limited by the SATA bus in terms of speed, I decided to go with the cheapest one I could find. I did order a new one, but it cost only just over €30. I had no idea Philips made SSDs, but there you go.

It’s 240GB, so Windows and a couple of applications will fit just fine. If somebody decides to convert this machine into a gaming PC, they can add a second drive to store the games on.

CPU Cooler

While not technically broken, the Intel stock cooler that came with the PC is just not very good. It’s relatively loud and won’t keep the CPU cool if it runs at full load for a long time. The same online shop that had a good deal on the SSD also sold a Be Quiet Pure Rock Slim 2 for around €24.

This little tower cooler will likely do a much better job. If the box is to be believed, it can cool a 130W processor. Twice the TDP of my “new” i5-3470S.

Spent: €104

Okay, I went a little over my self-imposed budget, but if I manage to sell the i3 for €4 or more I’ll be under €100 again. But I’ll worry about that later. Both packages have since arrived, and I can’t wait to put all these parts together.

Roy Tanck
I'm a freelance WordPress developer, designer, consultant, meetup organizer and speaker. In my spare time I love to go out and take pictures of things.

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