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Building the Green Monster

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September 24, 2008 1:48:07 AM

My 6yr old son and I have started to build our first computer and the only thing he stated was that it had to be Green; the rest is up to me. I have researched this very thoroughly and I think everything should work fine once I assemble all the componets. Tom's forums have been a great help this far and I just want to post everything I have put together to see if anything jumps out at anyone that could be a problem. Here is what I have so far:

The Green Monster Case:


Logisys 650 Watt 24 PIN Green Gamer Power Supply:
http://www.techwarelabs.com/reviews/misc/Logisys-psu/


KINGSTON RAM DDR PC3200(400MHZ) 2 1 GIG Sticks &
an Intel Pentium 4 651 3.4GHz 2MB LGA775 CPU on an
Edit: FOXCONN 661GX7MJ-H Motherboard
http://www.foxconnchannel.com/product/Motherboards/deta...


Western Digital 800JB Hard Drive (Hoping I can Just update the bios without reloading XP)

Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Agp 512mb Graphics Card:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overvi...


I have a new Heatsink & Fan as well, my only concerns are the chipsets and Bios upgrades. Any thoughts?

More about : building green monster

September 24, 2008 1:59:23 AM

Does it really have to be bright green? PCBs of a darker shade of green would increase your choices considerably. The thing is, ancient hardware are rare, so retailers tend to charge unreasonably high prices for them. Moving back into the mainstream will both give you better performance and cost less at the same time.

And trust me, a 6 years old will get mad like anyone else when waiting 5 minutes for the computer to boot up. While lower end hardware is fine for children, you're really overdoing it... :sarcastic: 
September 24, 2008 2:11:53 AM

If you can dump the sickly green motherboard and get something newer, you can throw in a much faster CPU... MUCH faster. Probably cheaper too. 2x1GB Corsair Value DDR2-667 (green PCB) and an NVIDIA PCI Express video card (should be green) should do nicely.

EDIT: A case with no window will hide the lack of green inside :D 
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September 24, 2008 2:15:00 AM

I already have all the shown componets including the Green case & PSU, The Celeron Processor in his old PC is painfully slow. The Pentium 4, 2 gigs of Ram and the graphics card should be overkill.
September 24, 2008 2:16:58 AM

I see. Well it should all work, even if it isn't my taste of colour :kaola: 
September 24, 2008 2:17:28 AM

randomizer said:
If you can dump the sickly green motherboard and get something newer, you can throw in a much faster CPU... MUCH faster. Probably cheaper too. 2x1GB Corsair Value DDR2-667 (green PCB) and an NVIDIA PCI Express video card (should be green) should do nicely.

EDIT: A case with no window will hide the lack of green inside :D 


The Case does have a window with a Black light, notice the latch on the case to open it.
September 24, 2008 2:21:25 AM

toledo_speedo said:
The Case does have a widow with a Black light, notice the latch on the case to open it.

I was insinuating that you buy a case without a window ;)  But I guess that won't happen, so nevermind.
September 24, 2008 2:29:59 AM

I know it isn't the best looking tower ever made but it was $45 on eBay and the Green PSU was a nice touch for $60. The Graphics card was the fastest available for an AGP board, used it was $130. The CPU was the Fastest direct upgade for my Motherboard and I think it ran about $100. We had the Ram already so $335 seems pretty reasonable and this machine should scream.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 2:30:24 AM

You can't put an LGA775 CPU into a 478 board!!

That said if you need a green board get something like this instead.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, it will need a PCI-E card and DDR2. Hmm... well I guess since you already have all the components just make sure you get the right P4.
September 24, 2008 2:39:48 AM

I knew I would miss something stupid like that, I have a FOXCONN 661GX7MJ-H Board but that means reinstalling all my software programs. Well it's probably for the best to start with a fresh Operating System anyways; first post edited to reflect the new Motherboard.

Should I upgrade the 80 Gig Hardrive while I'm at it?
September 24, 2008 2:45:05 AM

Doh, sockets are a pain in the ass :( 
September 24, 2008 9:56:52 AM

I admire your commitment to making everything green. I wish you luck, and have fun building with your son.
September 24, 2008 1:56:57 PM

Thanks for the info so far, I am still curious about the Chipsets and Bios Upgrades..

I Found a 150 Gig Western Digital Raptor Hard Drive for $120 on eBay. Since I am going to have to reinstall the operating system anyway I figured I could keep his old PC together if we need the programs on it and he can use this one just for gaming.

Is 2 Gigs of Ram and my P4 going to be enough for this Hard drive and Graphics Card?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 3:44:28 PM

toledo_speedo said:
The Graphics card was the fastest available for an AGP board, used it was $130.
For less than what you paid for the used 1950 Pro you could have picked up a new (and faster) AGP HD 3850.
I don't know how much you paid for the P4 651 3.4Ghz CPU but I think most of the people here would have recommended an $80 dual core E2220 2.2Ghz as being a more powerful CPU.

The micro-ATX motherboard might look lost inside that big case. Maybe adding a few green case lights will help cover that up.

The WD 150GB HDD isn't such a good a good deal either. Save $80 and get a Seagate 7200.10 160GB HDD.

Chipsets (motherboard) and BIOS upgrades. May not be required. Check the motherboard's website for BIOS upgrade notes.

The P4 651 / 2GB RAM / 1950Pro will be a serviceable build. Those case lights I mentioned might help the system seem faster! :sol: 

September 24, 2008 5:43:48 PM

Yeah, I would have gone a differnet way if I wasn't just trying to just do a hardware swap rather than an entirely new system. I was just trying to get a faster CPU, Graphics card, Green case & PSU; it kinda spiraled out of control after that. I have all these componets and I think this system should be plenty fo him.

The Western Digital Raptor would smoke the Seagate 7200.10 160GB HDD; the WD runs @ 10,000 RPM with a 16 MB Cache. I think it will help make up for the fact that I didn't go with a dual or quad core set up.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 5:45:46 PM

toledo_speedo said:
The Western Digital Raptor would smoke the Seagate 7200.10 160GB HDD; the WD runs @ 10,000 RPM with a 16 MB Cache. I think it will help make up for the fact that I didn't go with a dual or quad core set up.
It will not.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 5:59:10 PM

The WD Raptor will save you a few seconds on bootup.


And games will start a few seconds faster, game levels load a few seconds faster.


Beyond that a Raptor has no real benefits for a mid to low end gaming system.



September 24, 2008 6:08:55 PM

So this couldn't be considered a Mid to High end gaming system? Please keep in mind that it is Green and does have a Blacklight in the case.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 6:21:15 PM

I would have agreed - in 2006.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 6:22:38 PM

If your looking at the 3850, if perchance you have a pci express board, look at the 4670 on newegg for 80 bucks. Supposed to perform on par with 3850 and no external power connector required.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 6:33:41 PM

toledo_speedo said:
Please keep in mind that it is Green and does have a Blacklight in the case.

Yeah, but it's not the Green Alien case with see-through green power supply.

September 24, 2008 6:37:00 PM

The GREEN case and BLACKLIGHT in the case does not make it a gaming system much less a mid to high end one.
September 24, 2008 6:56:45 PM

johnyeah said:
The GREEN case and BLACKLIGHT in the case does not make it a gaming system much less a mid to high end one.


What about all the sweet upgrades I put in it?
September 24, 2008 6:58:57 PM

WR2 said:
Yeah, but it's not the Green Alien case with see-through green power supply.


Yeah, but it does have that 1950's refrigerator look that is all the rage right now.
September 24, 2008 7:54:22 PM

The "upgrades" you put in it aren't really upgrades. They're stuff that're like 2-3 years old, they'll still handle most tasks fine, aside from gaming.
September 24, 2008 8:07:52 PM

Well how far off from a "Decent" Gaming PC am I? My kid does some Cartoon Network Online games against other kids that his old PC was really to choppy for, and I would like to get on for the occasional Call of Duty online butt kicking.
September 24, 2008 8:11:35 PM

If the games you run don't exceed what Call of Duty demands, then you're fine. It'll run those games at decent settings.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2008 8:57:14 PM

toledo_speedo said:
Well how far off from a "Decent" Gaming PC am I? My kid does some Cartoon Network Online games against other kids that his old PC was really to choppy for, and I would like to get on for the occasional Call of Duty online butt kicking.
Of course it depends on the games you're playing. I think though that if you'd told us you had a $350 upgrade budget we might have scraped up better over all performance for what you spent.

Pentium E2180 Allendale 2.0GHz $70 vs Intel Pentium 4 "E" 651 3.4Ghz CPU ~$80
Unreal Tournament 2004: 52.9 FPS vs 51.2 FPS
Serious Sam 2: 88.9 FPS vs 60.5 FPS
Prey: 72.9 vs 55.5
Quake IV: 74.6 vs 58.9
Tom's Hardware - Benchmark - E2180 vs P4 651

HD 3850 vs 1950Pro
Prey: 105 FPS vs 85.8 FPS
Battlefield 2142: 60.7 vs 47.2
Oblivion: 37.5 vs 22.5
Tom's Hardware - Benchmark HD3850 vs 1950Pro
September 24, 2008 9:03:22 PM

Those green hardware are pathetic. X1900 for $130? And on eBay?! A $110 8800gt from Newegg blows it away, and it comes with warranty. Forget the green pcbs. Stick in a couple of those, and your rig will look much greener than using green parts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 24, 2008 9:50:35 PM

dagger said:
Those green hardware are pathetic. X1900 for $130? And on eBay?! A $110 8800gt from Newegg blows it away, and it comes with warranty. Forget the green pcbs. Stick in a couple of those, and your rig will look much greener than using green parts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I Lol'ed.
September 25, 2008 12:37:26 AM

dagger said:
Those green hardware are pathetic. X1900 for $130? And on eBay?! A $110 8800gt from Newegg blows it away, and it comes with warranty. Forget the green pcbs. Stick in a couple of those, and your rig will look much greener than using green parts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


8800gt for my AGP Board Huh? I like the green lights though.
September 25, 2008 1:10:39 AM

toledo_speedo said:
8800gt for my AGP Board Huh? I like the green lights though.


AGP is dead, get a pcie board. Ancient hardware are rare, so they charge extra for it. The cheapest PCIE version 3850 cost $65, cheapest AGP version of the same 3850 cost $120. Your much lower performing x1900 cost $130, on ebay, and it's so old it's not even available in reputable retailers anymore. 2gb of old ddr 400mhz ram cost $50, while the same of 2gb of ddr2 800mhz cost $30, while obviously faster.

You'll end up paying more for a green box of trash than an actual computer. :p 

They throw out old stuff like that. If you can get it for free from the sidewalk, then it's a good deal. But there is no reason to actually pay for it. :D 
September 25, 2008 1:21:43 AM

Couldn't agree more. I was trying to keep as much of my original hardware as possible but I ended spending twice as much making it work. Let me put this mess together and see how it runs, then maybe I'll sell it on eBay and buy a new Dell.
September 25, 2008 5:42:26 AM

toledo_speedo said:
Couldn't agree more. I was trying to keep as much of my original hardware as possible but I ended spending twice as much making it work. Let me put this mess together and see how it runs, then maybe I'll sell it on eBay and buy a new Dell.


The cartoon network games, and games your kid will be playing isn't all that much intensive. My nephew who is around the same age is also always on cartoon network on an old P4 (2.5ghz or around there if I remember) with a geforce 4 card, and experences no problems. In my opinion keep what you built because in all likely hood it will probably run everything your kid will throw at it and than some, the idea of throwing in the higher end parts is nice, but by the time your kid will start playing the newer mainstream games, those parts will be outdated. And lets face it a little kid will get more of a kick out of having a nice green looking computer compared to a computer with more power than they will probably ever use.

And as someone mentioned the green cathode or LED lights, if I was a kid again I would think that looked cool. So it may be worth looking into.

Oh and just a bit of advice, don't use the thumb screws on the case, your kid may eventually get a bad habit of taking things apart and not being to put them back together and lets be honest thats not good. (yeah as a kid I broke too many things taking them apart, fortunately a computer wasn't one of them, but than again thats probably because I didn't have a screwdriver handy)
September 25, 2008 3:16:02 PM

Holy Smoke! I just got the Graphics Card and it is bigger than the Mother Board! I am glad I went with the bigger case.
September 25, 2008 11:42:35 PM

Funny thing is, the X1950 pro is a small card by todays standards :lol: 
September 26, 2008 2:47:30 AM

Wow, I got the Graphics card today and I put in my kid's computer along with the new PSU. I am still waiting on the new CPU but man that Graphics card is Sweet! He got on his game and was able to move around without any delay or chopiness and at a higher resolution. I am excited to see what the new CPU and extra Ram will do.
September 26, 2008 3:27:06 AM

toledo_speedo said:
I am excited to see what the new CPU and extra Ram will do.


If it's a kiddie game, probably not much. Not cpu/ram limited. :p 
September 26, 2008 3:38:19 AM

He plays online against other kids, Kinda like an educational W.O.W or whatever other MMORPG you can think of. He had a lot of trouble getting coins or whatever it is they have to collect b/c the other kids could move faster. He was really enjoying it tonight and I streamed some high def video and it worked a lot better. Plus the eBay kid who I bought the WD Raptor 150 from got in a car accident today and refunded my money because now he can't afford a new HD, so my build total is back to $350.
September 26, 2008 3:40:53 AM

toledo_speedo said:
He plays online against other kids, Kinda like an educational W.O.W or whatever other MMORPG you can think of. He had a lot of trouble getting coins or whatever it is they have to collect b/c the other kids could move faster. He was really enjoying it tonight and I streamed some high def video and it worked a lot better. Plus the eBay kid who I bought the WD Raptor 150 from got in a car accident today and refunded my money because now he can't afford a new HD, so my build total is back to $350.


ROFL. Might as well, the Raptor doesn't make a difference anyway. :D 

Err... I hope he gets well soon. :p 
September 26, 2008 3:50:34 AM

He said nobody was hurt but his POS car was totaled and he needed to save for a new one. Whatever, I am glad it didn't work out. I talked to a guy today that said he did a similar upgrade and he just had to do a couple of Bios upgrades and it went fine. I'll cross my fingers and wait for the CPU and Ram to get here.
September 26, 2008 5:16:31 AM

Well it sounds like it's all comming together, just be nice and post a picture of it when it's completed. I'm curious as to how it will come out, it sounds quite interesting.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2008 5:28:51 AM

Looks like it's turning into a green pit, er I mean monster after all :D  . That system will be fine for the games he's going to be playing. The 3.4 Pentium CPU isn't too bad for those games and the 1950Pro is matched well with it. I don't think putting in a 3850 would have made it much faster. It should give you playable FPS in older games and will squeak by on medium to low settings on new games for a while. If it's fast enough for him to play Unreal 3 and make a head shot, he's fine ^_^. I love that game, even if the ending on the single player was a bit of a let down.
September 30, 2008 2:31:48 AM

Update;

I got the mobo and cpu today, dropped them into the old case with the graphics card and the added Ram. I was pretty excited until I realized that the board I bought did not have a SATA connector on it. I'll be buying an IDE adapter tomorrow; I guess that's why it was such a good deal.

What a newb.
October 1, 2008 2:05:00 AM

Got the case today, the racks for the Cd drive, Floppy and HDD aren't like the racks from my old computer or any other computer I have worked on. I have always used Intel PC's and this one appears to have been and AMB, could this be part of the problem?
October 2, 2008 1:13:51 AM

Picking up the racks and PCI card that has an external and internal SATA jack in the morning. Should be up and running tomorrow night.

How should I handle the fact that the board I got from eBay didn't have a SATA jack on it like it showed in the picture? The board shown clearly had a SATA jack but the one I recieved did not have one. Isn't it unusual for a mobo built in the last couple years not to have a SATA jack on it?
October 2, 2008 1:23:09 AM

toledo_speedo said:
Picking up the racks and PCI card that has an external and internal SATA jack in the morning. Should be up and running tomorrow night.

How should I handle the fact that the board I got from eBay didn't have a SATA jack on it like it showed in the picture? The board shown clearly had a SATA jack but the one I recieved did not have one. Isn't it unusual for a mobo built in the last couple years not to have a SATA jack on it?


It's a different, older board. You got swindled by eBayer. Happens a lot. :p 
October 4, 2008 4:22:11 AM

Yeeee Haaaa!!!!! Holy Smoke! I just got The Green Monster up and running and this Baby Screams!!!!! Far and away the fastest PC I have ever used! I can't wait to fininsh The Blue Flamer (Pun Intended) for my office!
!