The Ultimate Old Skool Gaming Rig

Building The Ultimate Old Skool Gaming Rig (part 1)

Ever wondered what the rig of your dreams would have looked like back in the day? We wanted to see ours, so here we go.

The era we are looking at is the days befor i3, i5, i7, and in the early days of multi core processors, such as core 2 duo’s and core 2 quad’s, on the Intel side and quad cores from AMD like Phenom 2 X4’s. The now legendary Q6600 lead the charge in quad core processing with superb overclocking ability, and a price that didn’t require a second mortgage. The intel 775 socket is where I cut my teeth on overclocking and pushing my system to crazy speeds with exotic cooling solutions. So this era is when we will be looking at, about 10 years ago, give or take

First up we chose a motherboard that could handle everything we were going to throw at it. Choice of chipset was the first thing to get out of the way and we chose to go with Nvidia on this one, with ddr3 support and the ability to do up to 3 way sli as well. The EVGA 790i was one of the boards on our short list, although XFX made a similar one. We got a good deal on the EVGA but would have been happy with either. It’s worth mentioning that intel chipsets were much better for overclocking, but we really wanted the features on the 790 so it’s a trade off.

We wanted the best processor we could get for it, so ended up using a Xeon X5470 Processor a native 771 slot cpu. With some socket modding and bios micro code updating we converted the Xeon to fit our 775 socket board.
Ram was easy, get the fastest supported by the board so we grabbed 8GB of ddr3 2000mhz a much more common integer in those days.

We now have our core componants sorted and just needed to choose the rest of the parts, this is the fun part, because we can opt for a more modern case, psu and storage solution, not to mention graphics card.
We added a GTX 770 as this is a pretty modern graphics card, but not so quick we end up bottlenecking our cpu. Power is supplied by a trusty Corsair 600m and the case we went with is a Cooler Master CM 690 III in white, a mid tower with plenty of room for our needs.


Now for something exotic for our old skool beauty, and due to the limitation of not having sata3 and the poor quality of Nvidia’s implementation of sata2, we thought outside the box a little and went with a pci-e ssd from Plextor

Will it be able to keep up with modern pcs in any way?
Where will we find bottlenecks?
Where will we have to compromise?
What new parts can we add to make it even better?

(Go to PART 2)


Written by Craig Davison

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