Hello, this place has been a great help already


Jan 1, 2019
Happy New Year,

Just wanted to register, check in, and say hi. I've been a mac user for many, many years, but recently found myself in need of a gaming PC, in order to play some games with my son. A chance listing on Craigslist brought me an X51 R1 with the i7 3770, the stock GTX 660, a measly 180w power supply, 8 GB RAM, and a 2 TB HDD for $250. The main game we played ran at anywhere from 15-60 FPS at 1080p.

So that's when I started reading here. I knew nothing about these great little machines, their upgradeability, and the truly unique niche they fill in this space of gaming PC's. This forum has been incredibly helpful.

In the last 10 days, I have pleasantly discovered the listing was wrong and the machine has 16 GB of RAM, somehow running at 1600 MHz despite the R1 chipset. The bios was already conveniently updated all the way to A14. From there, I have:

  • upgraded to a 330w power supply (eBay)
  • Replaced the GPU with a founders edition GTX 1060 (eBay)
  • I also was able to scavenge a 128 GB SSD from an old Mac Mini and got it installed, and I found a cool utility that allowed me to connect and use some nimbus bluetooth game controllers that were made for an apple TV.

So for less than $300 more, I now have built a pretty decent gaming machine, running 1080p games at ultra settings with 80-300 FPS, with the GPU staying below 80 degrees in a form factor no bigger than a console. Needless to say, this has been a fun and gratifying project all around, and I thank all of you for the posts that were so helpful.
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