Project White

Our in-House Power House

 This was a project we decided to do as we needed a PC for the office that had great processing power for high speed multiple jobs all at once and also a show case to show the great level of custom PC builds we are capable of. Project White was the outcome.


Basic Spec:
• Intel i5 6600K Processor
• MSI B150I Gmaing Pro mITX Motherboard
• Corsair Vengeance 16gb DDR4 RAM 3000mHz
• 500gb Samsung 970 EVO SSD – Windows 10 Pro
• 1tb 7200rpm HDD – Storage Drive
• DeepCool Captain 240 EX White liquid CPU cooler
• Thermaltake P1 display (modified)
• Cooler Master 500w Masterwatt lite PSU (modified)
• MSI GT710 2GB fanless graphics card
• Pure white Bitfenix Spectre PWM fans


Starting with the Thermaltake P1 display case. Before assembly, the mounting face of the case where the components are mounted was wrapped in a white carbon fibre effect vinyl. The brackets for the graphics card and the power supply where also modified and then painted white.


The Masterwatt 500w PSU was stripped down and the outer casing was painted white also, and the internal fan was replaced with a white PWM fan. The PSU was then rotated from its suggested mounting position and the bracket holes were re-drilled so it mounted with the fan facing outwards.


Finally due to our choice of mount position for the GPU and PSU, there was a lot of excess space between the front glass and the mounting plate, so we had the steel mounting bars for the glass shortened by 55mm then re-drilled and re-tapped to bring the glass closer.


This case is designed for mITX motherboards only, and the Gaming Pro MSI B150I was a great choice, coupled with the 6600K i5 processor and 16gb of 3000mHz RAM, it was everything we needed.


The Samsung 970 EVO 500gb SSD with Windows 10 Pro has superior read and write speeds and provides awesome performance along with the 1tb Firecuda internal backup drive for daily backups of the machine.


Finally the white DeepCool Captain liquid CPU cooler, with the pure white Bitfenix PWM fans instead of the standard DeepCool fans which had black blades.


We were thrilled with how Project White turned out and it is now running perfectly in our office and attached to x2 AOC 24 inch screens and killing every task we put it up to.

If you would like to configure your own PC, then use the online configurator on our website to let us know what you want.


We hope our project has given you some ideas of what you might like for your own customised PC so please do get in touch, as you can see anything is possible....

Paul's Custom Home and Gaming PC

 Basic Spec:
• AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor

• Deep Cool Captain 120mm Cooler
• Aorus B450 Pro Wifi mITX Motherboard
• Ballistix 16gb DDR4 RAM 2400mHz
• 128gb Crucial BX500 SSD – Windows 10 Home
• 1tb Firecuda HDD – Storage Drive
• Phanteks Enthoo Tempered Glass Case
• EVGA 500w PSU
• ASUS GTX1060 6gb graphics card
• 200mm RGB PWM front fan + 3x 120mm Deep Cool Exhaust fans


This is the first time using a Phanteks case and it didn't disappoint! Nice and spacious inside, rare 200mm fan mounting capability at the from end, an innovative mounting frame for the top exhaust fans, and the sleek white painted metal exterior. Very nice.


The EVGA 500w PSU works great and provides exactly what you'd expect for a reasonable price.

This case is designed for mITX motherboards only, and the Aorus B450 is a great looking and well equipped board, coupled with the 2600 Ryzen 5 processor and 120mm radiator and Deep Cool Captain cooler this beast can handle the day to day jobs and some decent gaming sessions in the evenings!


The 200mm RGB fan gives ample cooling and coupled with the Gigabyte RGB Fusion app, customising the lighting is nice and easy and looks awesome, and the x3 Deep Cool exhaust fans get that warm air out nice and quickly.

16gb of Ballistix RAM is more than enough here so the whole PC looks cool, runs cool, and better yet; runs fast!


The Cruicial BX series SSD with Windows 10 Home works perfectly along with the 1tb Firecuda internal storage drive for daily backups and gaming memory storage.


The ASUS GTX1060 6gb GPU works fantastically, and looks great with it's white plastic mouldings and to top it all off nicely, 2 white LED strips and a Funko POP vinyl figure of Marvel's War Machine really sets this PC off and makes it a welcomed addition to any hard working gamers domain.



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Paul's Custom Home and Gaming PC

Matching Custom Gaming PCs.


We received an entry on our online PC configurator from a great guy called Paul looking for 2 PCs for this sons for Christmas.


We knew what Paul wanted from the info in his configurator details and he also gave us a realistic budget to work with for the spec he wanted. After a quick phone call to iron out some details the below spec was decided on for these twin machines:


• Intel i5 8400 8th Generation Processor  

• MSI H310 mATX Motherboard 

• 16gb DDR4 RAM 2400mHz 

• 120gb SSD – Windows 10 

• 1tb 7200rpm HDD – Storage Drive 

• Intel CPU cooler 

• GameMax mini tower case - White 

• 350w Corsair PSU 

• EVGA GTX1060 3gb dedicated graphics card 

• 3x internal fan air circulation system – coloured LED 

• 1 year internal parts warranty 

• Dedicated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card 

• USB external DVD drive 

• Basic wired keyboard and mouse


The only difference between the 2 PCs that Paul wanted was to have one with blue LED cooling fans and one with green.


Both PCs were assembled, Windows 10 fully loaded and updated, and delivered within a week from Paul placing his order at a very competitive price.


We are looking forward to seeing what Paul's boys think of their new Gaming PCs after Christmas, but we are confident they will have as much fun using them as we did building them.

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Custom Legacy Windows 7 32bit PCs

 

Something a little different here from us......


We have just finished building 3 custom, legacy based machines for a company who is a world leader in testing the strength of medical grade marijuana.


They were slightly different to the norm as the customer requested them to have the Windows 7 (32-bit) operating systems (these days most home and office machines are Windows 7/10 64-bit) and the ability to use an old piece of hardware via a PCI card port for their data transfer.


All 3 built from scratch and out for delivery, fully operational within a week.


Always good to do something different.

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Jo's Dell Vostro Laptop

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Machine; Dell Vostro 3500 Laptop
Problem: Complete hard drive failure, RAM installation issue, battery operating time = 2 minutes, Wifi not working.


We received this laptop from a lady called Jo who was most upset in her thinking that she would have to buy a completely new machine due to this Vostro being completely unresponsive.


The standard spec of this machine with it's i5 processor and good quality screen/graphics makes it definitely a computer worth saving, and saving it would result in costs of well under half the price of a new machine with a lesser basic spec - let's go to work!


Sadly the original hard drive was unsaveable and the data on it was lost, however Jo luckily under our advice had backed up her files to an external hard drive before the failure - Nice work Jo!


The first upgrade was a brand new 120gb Sandisk SSD hard drive. 120gb is more than enough on board memory for Jo as she only uses this machine for emails and surfing the web. We then installed a fresh and fully updated version of Windows 7 Pro (Jo's preferred OS) and recycled her old windows activation key so no additional costs there either.


Our next issue was related to the RAM that was installed previously in this machine. Of the 3gb of chips installed, only 2gb was actually available and being used. This was due to the 1gb smaller chip of the pair being damaged and thus not contributing to the running of the computer. We replaced both chips with a pair of new 2gb Samsung DDR3L chips, which again is more than enough RAM for what Jo uses her laptop for on a day to day basis.


The Wifi problem was an easy one and is quite common on a laptop which is the Wifi network card had become dislodged in it's mounting, thus all the necessary pins were not aligned to allow it to work. So a quick removal and re-seat of the card has the wifi working again perfectly - job done.


Lastly was the battery life and this was again as simple as ordering a new battery, installing it and leaving it to have a good first over night charge - easy.


So, after all this work was completed the new parts bill was under £75 and even with the cost of the time to do the work it has cost Jo a heck of a lot less than she thought when her laptop gave up the ghost last week.


A good job well done and another happy customer.

Mark's Samsung Q35 Netbook

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Machine; Samsung NP-Q35 Netbook
Problem: Slow operation, battery failure, damaged charging port, no windows licence.


We received this netbook from Mark who is a black cab driver in London town. During his down time Mark would get his netbook out and either watch some DVDs or simply surf the net. This sadly was unachievable with this great little Q35 in its current state, not being able to turn on and when it did get a little bit of power, it was too slow to load in time before powering off again.


As mid 2000's netbooks go, the Q35 was a really good spec machine, with its on board CD disc drive, liquid display and Centrino Duo processor pumping out 1.83 ghz it's certainly good enough for an upgrade and bring into 2018 - let's do it!


The first upgrade again this time was the hard drive. what with the original one being an outdated 44 pin drive, we decided to clone Mark's entire hard drive onto a new 60GB mSATA drive in an adaptor case that converts it back to the 44 pin arrangement. This again is more than enough memory to run Windows 7 Pro which was already installed, and if Mark wants to download anything then simply plugging an external hard drive for files will ensure this new drive stays nice and fast.


Sadly this copy of Windows 7 on Mark's laptop wasn't activated, so we did him a favour and applied a new activation key so all this OS can offer is now unleashed - sorted.


Our next issue was an easy one too, just a quick upgrade of the 1GB DDR2 RAM chip to a new 2GB chip to work nicely along side our mSATA.


The major problem with this project was the charging/power issues. This required a full strip down of the machine, removing the motherboard and replacing the charging socket which is soldered to the motherboard. Once done though, and nicely reassembled as if nothing had happened, we replaced the battery and gave it a good over night charge and now this little netbook is back to maximum charging and power capability - game on.


So, with all the work completed once again, the new parts bill was under £100 and again even with the cost of the time to do the work, Mark has a Netbook now that would cost over £200 today for the current equivalent, and he can now eat his lunch in the cab while getting engrossed in which ever movie he so desires!


Another job done and another saved machine.

Amanda's ACER Aspire Laptop

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Machine; Acer Aspire 8930 Laptop
Problem: Very Slow operation, out of date O/S, Battery failure, file backup required.


Todays project is a very highly spec'd 2008 21inch Acer laptop from Amanda. This machine was purchased in 2008 for upwards of £1200, and has been left redundant in recent years due to the battery failure and slow operation speeds. The standard spec of this laptop with a dual core 2.00ghz processor, onboard Nvidia graphics card and fantastic spec screen are just 3 reasons why this machine deserves a new lease of life. 


Amanda was looking at buying a whole new PC to replace it and wanted all her files removing from this one to a new one, but we suggested for a lot less money we can get this Acer running perfectly again - this should be fun!


The first job was to make sure all Amanda's photos and files were copied onto a 500gb external hard drive that we got for her so she could access them after we upgrade the hard drive to an SSD, this one didn't take long and now by leaving the originals on the original drive she has 2 copies of all her files stored if needed.


The first upgrade was a brand new 240gb Drevo X1 SSD hard drive. 240gb is a good amount of on board memory for Amanda, she only uses this machine for emails, surfing the web and watching movies. We installed a fresh and fully updated version of Windows 10 Pro with a new activation key to bring this Acer into 2018 - nice.


Our next upgrade was related to the RAM that was installed previously in this machine. The original spec was 4GB of DDR3 RAM which isn' t a bad amount but to get the absolute max out of the new Drevo X1 SSD we decided to max out the RAM by installing 6GB of Crucial DDR3 RAM which will allow the motherboard to run at maximum speed and will also help with the Nvidia GeForce 9600M onboard graphics card to give some really great output onto that nice big 21 inch screen - 👍


Lastly was the battery life and this was again as simple as ordering a new battery, installing it and leaving it to have a good first over night charge - easy.


So, after all this work was completed the new parts bill was about £200 including the external hard drive for all Amanda's files and even with the cost of the time to do the work it has cost substantially less than trying to buy a brand new machine of similar spec.


This was definitely a laptop that was worth the time and money to get going again and it will now work for a number years to come.

Tom's Toshiba C675 Laptop

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Machine; Toshiba Satellite C675 Laptop
Problem: Screen not working


Today's project was a nice easy one 😁👍


This laptop belongs to Tom who uses it at his very cool job as a motorcycle mechanic at Shaw Harley Davidson in Hailsham, East Sussex.

The only problem is that the screen was replaced not too long ago by another company but it has already stopped working 🤔..........


After asking the company who replaced the screen what's wrong, they told him the screen had died again and would need to be replaced again, but he wasn't convinced so he asked us to have a look at it for him.


After connecting an external screen to check the laptop itself is working OK (which it was), we partially deconstructed it to see the screens power connection inside and it would appear that the connector for the new screen was very loose fitting and come out ever so slightly from its plug, thus causing the screen to not work.


By removing the plug, cleaning the pin contacts and small dab of adhesive to hold the plug in place, the screen came back on after restarting the machine and is now working fine 👌


Tom is very happy with the result as no new parts were needed and it only took around 30 minutes to sort out.


We've been busy with some other projects recently so we haven't had too many machines on the bench but if you think this sounds familiar to you or someone else you know, share this post and we are always happy to help 🙂