5L <$200 PC build using Lenovo All in One motherboard Build Log

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Ah yes, december has arrived, and with it, some good and bad news. First things first. Finally, the sata to m.2 adapter came.


So now for the serious part, the money part. I'll start with the bad news.

The cryptocurrency im using to fund this project's value has cut in half and it doesnt seem to be going up much.

Now for the good news:

I found a way I can probably use my CPU in this indeavor to possibly increase my earnings by almost double. But that'll be at least a week from now until I start getting the double earnings.

I'm kinda in a sticky situation, things may take much longer than I had anticipated.

and for the case design, I'm kinda holding off on that, I don't have much time to work on it. I'll do it eventually, trust me on that.
 
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Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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I know it's been a while but this project is not dead. I finally made a "breakthrough" and found the pinouts of the connector. The yellow ones and the green one seem to be 12V, the gray and purple ones are 5V, and the rest of them (black, blue, brown) seem to have 0V, so they are ground. However, I don't have a cpu or ram to test, and as I'm aware there are certain signals needed in order to possibly activate some of the "0V" lines.

As for the money aspect: I have been saving up, Bitcoin price has gone up, and hopefully soon I'll have ~$80 minimum of crypto currency to work with. hopefully enough to effectively end the base part of building this thing, without a dGPU. Another great thing is that although I might have mentioned it, CPU prices for this motherboard have gone down a crap ton, sometimes up to 30% from when I started this project

Ram: 16.99
CPU: 39.99
Storage: $25 (though I am a bit skeptical buying used ssds)

=$82.99, though there might be some other fees and stuff that need to be taken into account. Hoping XRB gets to $1, then I'll have $100 to work with.

Another slightly unrelated piece of good news is that I actually have a credit card now, and I will be able to start another project soon, one that hopefully won't take months to gather the funds to get.
 

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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update:
I was able to get this from a broken laptop. For free. These things are pretty expensive, and I might be able to get another for 8GB total. This will significantly reduce the time and money to make this into a working system.
Dumpster diving for PC parts is a pretty good idea if you can find somewhere with proper e-waste dumpsters. A lot of very useful stuff to be harvested.
 

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Dumpster diving for PC parts is a pretty good idea if you can find somewhere with proper e-waste dumpsters. A lot of very useful stuff to be harvested.
Tbh I don't know if there are that many near my area. Also I would just go there and take stuff and leave if I were to find one?
 

Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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Tbh I don't know if there are that many near my area. Also I would just go there and take stuff and leave if I were to find one?
Pretty much, though it depends on the site and local laws. Some places don't care at all and you can just go and grab stuff, while some places have locks on their dumpsters and/or cameras watching them. Doing some recon first is a good idea. I've heard of plenty of people just asking for permission and getting it, but of course YMMV. I used to periodically plunder the electronics dumpster at a shopping centre where I used to work, which was in a recycling room needing a key card and with camera surveillance, so I guess I had privileged access there. Security never bothered me about it, though I didn't make it very conspicuous either. Got a few beat up but working laptops out of it that I spruced up, installed Ubuntu on and gave to a local organization helping newly arrived refugees. Also various bits and pieces like laptop RAM and HDDs, plus an LCD that I've (in a very ghetto way) made into a portable monitor. While I haven't tried it myself, I used to work with a guy who said the local university was a prime source of free used computer hardware due to their sheer size and regular upgrade rotation (IIRC he got a lot of stuff directly from their IT department, though he did also literally go search their dumpsters st night).
 
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Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Bigger update: at the best of times, the crypto trade i had set went through. I now have 115 nano(XRB), and literally right at this moment it is at its highest price this month. i had been debating whether to wait or not, but whatever.

115*1.18= ~$135
 
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Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Bought:
CPU(i5-4570s, came with unknown thermal paste) $37.99
SSD(256GB m.2 sata Dell LiteOn) $29.98
Sata 3 to m.2 adapter(I lost the other one) $2.98
cheap AC wifi adapter $5.29(I may have been able to get this cheaper, too late)
Mini PCIe to x16 adapter $5.79
SATA powered fan hub $2
250W Flex ATX PSU $20 (a bit sketched out about this, but if it fails, I can file an eBay complaint and also I wouldn't feel too bad, as I didn't really spend any of my actual money on this build)

I still have about $27 left. I probably will use it to save for a graphics card in the future, although I might try and get a cheap monitor. I do have a monitor already though that was cheap.
 

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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I used all the rest of the gift card on some cheap 60mm Chinese fans, that are 3 pin so I don't have to peg then 100% all the time. I also got a potentiometer type thingy to control it because id rather not have it running 100% all the time.

Also on the gpu side of things, I'm going to at least temporarily use a 1060 from another computer I have. It might fit, just barely. But it will be a bit bottlenecked by the pcie x1 2.0 and I think it would be better for me to use a lower power one so I don't have to cripple the 1060, and I can have better gpu thermals.
 

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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Some parts arrived today, a flex-atx psu and a cpu.


its an i5-4570S, the psu is 250W. I put the CPU in there and realized that zipties wouldn't work. So i had to think of a way on how to fit the cpu cooler. I took the half broken intel mounting mechanisms and secured the cooler in a diagonal pattern, which worked. I don't know how thermals will be and if it has good contact, but it should be fine.


yeah, its pretty ghetto. It was pretty rough, and im worried i may have broken something, but that shouldnt be too much of an issue as the motherboard was $8.

I tried to get a display out, and...

nope. But that is what I was expecting. I was trying to find the 2 pins i would need to short to get the system running, and i may have shorted it. I saw sparks. Maybe i should get the power button assembly, but it is quite literally 3 times the cost of the motherboard(though to be fair the motherboard was $8). So, thats out of the question for now. and I ran out of ebay credit. heres to more waiting.

The other thing it may be is that I wouldn't be able to use a secondary monitor as the primary display. if you look at the motherboard, there is actually a 30 pin LVDS panel. I have absolutely no idea how lvds works. Will I be able to use an adapter from lvds to hdmi or something? Maybe I have to get the specific model of screen that was used in this. maybe I have to get any normal lvds display. but then we run into the same problem again. they're expensive.


So I'm out of options other than wait for my crypto to accumulate to make the next purchasing decision. i've also started redoing the whole case design while keeping the same dimensions, though i may have to start over yet again because of the daugher board or something.

worst case scenario is just that I buy a semi-broken lenovo m73z off of ebay, and those are really expensive (for my budget).\


also idk why but discord images are sometimes broken.

i might be able to get an m71z or m72z power button for cheaper but theres no guarantee it will work.
 

Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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the danger in this part haha
good luck booting it. do you know anyone with a 1150 mobo that you could try the cpu on?
My school might have one. Anyways if the motherboard is killed or something I can get another for about $8
 
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Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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forgot to mention i got the ssd. slotted in to my adapter board fine.

A lot of the other adapters and stuff have really long estimated arrival times, and me being the clueless person I am, just realized its because of coronavirus. Some of the stuff i had ordered are to be expected between mid april and late may. I had planned to get this whole thing finished by march, but I guess that will not be the case.
 

Dapuma

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Original poster
May 18, 2019
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61
After reviewing gpus briefly, i realized that i had a few more options than i previously considered. My requirements were as follows:
must have <130W power draw
must be roughly equivalent to RX 460 performance, or close to GTX 1050 or RX 560 performance after an overclock under 130W power draw.
<235mm in length, though im not afraid to cut off unnecessary plastic bits at the end of the card if its longer.
preferably <$60
≥ 2GB of VRAM

Here's a little runthrough of my process. I am bored and decided to make it sort of a stats battle. Points are as follows:
0 = no, most likely instant elimination.
1 = under standards, but it might work
2 = borderline acceptable, just meets my standards
3 = slightly above my standards
4 = above my standards
5 = fricking great

out of 9 options w/ overclock applied under 130W

Contestant #1: 750 ti

Power draw: 5/5. At a mere 60W, this GPU is extremely power efficient.
Performance: 1/5. Very, very bottom of what I might even consider.
Price: 2/5. readily avaliable on ebay for about $62
VRAM: 2/5. Most I found were 2GB. 1GB ones are a no from me. 4GB ones are more pricey.


10/20, or 50%
passable

Contestant #2: 760 192 bit
Power draw: 1/5. 130W TDP is on the higher end of what I am willing to take, and actual power draw will be slightly higher.
Performance: 3/5. Provides decent performance, not quite 1050 but very close.
Price: 2/5. Like the 750 ti, the 760 can be found readily avaliable for a few bucks over $60.
VRAM: 1/5. Most 760 192 bits came with 1.5GB of VRAM, and the cheapest 3G model was significantly more expensive


7/20, or 35%
DISQUALIFIED

Contestant #3: GTX 950. This was one of my original options.

Power draw: 3/5. 90W power draw
Performance: 3/5. roughly on par with a 1050. idk why, and weirder is that the oem version should theoretically outperform its successor, the 1050.
Price: 1/5. when i first started planning this build out, the price for one of these was about $50 readily avaliable. nowadays, the price is about $75
VRAM: 2/5. 2gb, nothing special


9/20, or 45%
passable

Contestant #4: GTX 960

Power draw: 2/5. TDP of 120W. Its alright.
Performance: 4/5. This thing is pretty fast compared to its competition.
Price: 1/5. cheapest ones I saw were in the range of $75, and not all of them would fit either.
VRAM: 2/5 or 4/5 for 2gb or 4gb respectively. 4gb was at least $5 more


9/20-11/20 or 45-55%
passable to fine

Contestant #5: r7 260X

Power draw: 2/5. 115W.
Performance: 2/5. Not much different performance wise as the 750 ti at stock, but core clocks can be pushed up past 10% without going over my 130W limit
Price: 4/5. I've found it as low as $40
VRAM: 2/5. 2GB. eh.


10/20 or 50%
passable

Contestant #6: r7 370
Power draw: 2/5. 110W
Performance: 2/5. Very slightly better than the 260x. The 260X was built on GCN 2nd gen vs this on 1st, and 260X is a better overclocker.
Price: 3/5. I found a 2GB model for $50
VRAM: 2/5. 2GB. 4GB one is $15 more.


9/20 or 45%
passable

Contestant #7: rx 460

Power Draw: 5/5. At under 75W, this card is very power efficient.
Performance: 3/5. If i were to find one with a 6 pin, overclocking might push it even further. I also have the option to unlock the hidden cores. maybe i can do that with some others, but idk. Tell me if i can.
Price: 1/5. $69. That is quite a lot. 15% over my budget of $60 might not seem like much, but 15% is also about the difference between a $3000 and $3500 pc. every buck matters.
VRAM: 2/5. 2gig cards were cheapest. 4gig ones started at a whoping $77.

11/20 or 55%
fine

Contestant #8: rx 470

Power Draw: 2/5. Its a 120W card.
Performance: 5/5. This card blows away even the 1050 ti.
Price: 1/5. $70. so only $1 more than the 460. strange.
VRAM: 4/5. 4gb isn't bad. the cheapest 8gb models came in at nearly $100. that is wayyy too much.

13/20 or 65%
good --- but if i find one to size.

Contestant #9: rx 560

Power Draw: 5/5. 60-80W is pretty good.
Performance: 3/5. Its slightly better than the 460, though not enough to give it another point.
Price: 1/5. $74 bucks. wow.
VRAM: 4/5. Cheapest card was actually a 4gb model.

13/20 or 65%
good

Im leaning towards a 460 or 260X atm. but hopefully something better can pop up. I find it kinda dumb how some card makers have heatsink stuff hanging wayy off the card making it hard to mod to shorter lengths, so I don't think I can use cheap reference polaris x80 cards without significant modding. to the cards cooler assembly.
 
Last edited:

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
997
755
After reviewing gpus briefly, i realized that i had a few more options than i previously considered. My requirements were as follows:
must have <130W power draw
must be roughly equivalent to RX 460 performance, or close to GTX 1050 or RX 560 performance after an overclock under 130W power draw.
<235mm in length, though im not afraid to cut off unnecessary plastic bits at the end of the card if its longer.
preferably <$60
≥ 2GB of VRAM

Here's a little runthrough of my process. I am bored and decided to make it sort of a stats battle. Points are as follows:
0 = no, most likely instant elimination.
1 = under standards, but it might work
2 = borderline acceptable, just meets my standards
3 = slightly above my standards
4 = above my standards
5 = fricking great

out of 9 options w/ overclock applied under 130W

Contestant #1: 750 ti

Power draw: 5/5. At a mere 60W, this GPU is extremely power efficient.
Performance: 1/5. Very, very bottom of what I might even consider.
Price: 2/5. readily avaliable on ebay for about $62
VRAM: 2/5. Most I found were 2GB. 1GB ones are a no from me. 4GB ones are more pricey.


10/20, or 50%
passable

Contestant #2: 760 192 bit
Power draw: 1/5. 130W TDP is on the higher end of what I am willing to take, and actual power draw will be slightly higher.
Performance: 3/5. Provides decent performance, not quite 1050 but very close.
Price: 2/5. Like the 750 ti, the 760 can be found readily avaliable for a few bucks over $60.
VRAM: 1/5. Most 760 192 bits came with 1.5GB of VRAM, and the cheapest 3G model was significantly more expensive


7/20, or 35%
DISQUALIFIED

Contestant #3: GTX 950. This was one of my original options.

Power draw: 3/5. 90W power draw
Performance: 3/5. roughly on par with a 1050. idk why, and weirder is that the oem version should theoretically outperform its successor, the 1050.
Price: 1/5. when i first started planning this build out, the price for one of these was about $50 readily avaliable. nowadays, the price is about $75
VRAM: 2/5. 2gb, nothing special


9/20, or 45%
passable

Contestant #4: GTX 960

Power draw: 2/5. TDP of 120W. Its alright.
Performance: 4/5. This thing is pretty fast compared to its competition.
Price: 1/5. cheapest ones I saw were in the range of $75, and not all of them would fit either.
VRAM: 2/5 or 4/5 for 2gb or 4gb respectively. 4gb was at least $5 more


9/20-11/20 or 45-55%
passable to fine

Contestant #5: r7 260X

Power draw: 2/5. 115W.
Performance: 2/5. Not much different performance wise as the 750 ti at stock, but core clocks can be pushed up past 10% without going over my 130W limit
Price: 4/5. I've found it as low as $40
VRAM: 2/5. 2GB. eh.


10/20 or 50%
passable

Contestant #6: r7 370
Power draw: 2/5. 110W
Performance: 2/5. Very slightly better than the 260x. The 260X was built on GCN 2nd gen vs this on 1st, and 260X is a better overclocker.
Price: 3/5. I found a 2GB model for $50
VRAM: 2/5. 2GB. 4GB one is $15 more.


9/20 or 45%
passable

Contestant #7: rx 460

Power Draw: 5/5. At under 75W, this card is very power efficient.
Performance: 3/5. If i were to find one with a 6 pin, overclocking might push it even further. I also have the option to unlock the hidden cores. maybe i can do that with some others, but idk. Tell me if i can.
Price: 1/5. $69. That is quite a lot. 15% over my budget of $60 might not seem like much, but 15% is also about the difference between a $3000 and $3500 pc. every buck matters.
VRAM: 2/5. 2gig cards were cheapest. 4gig ones started at a whoping $77.

11/20 or 55%
fine

Contestant #8: rx 470

Power Draw: 2/5. Its a 120W card.
Performance: 5/5. This card blows away even the 1050 ti.
Price: 1/5. $70. so only $1 more than the 460. strange.
VRAM: 4/5. 4gb isn't bad. the cheapest 8gb models came in at nearly $100. that is wayyy too much.

13/20 or 65%
good --- but if i find one to size.

Contestant #9: rx 560

Power Draw: 5/5. 60-80W is pretty good.
Performance: 3/5. Its slightly better than the 460, though not enough to give it another point.
Price: 1/5. $74 bucks. wow.
VRAM: 4/5. Cheapest card was actually a 4gb model.

13/20 or 65%
good

Im leaning towards a 460 or 260X atm. but hopefully something better can pop up. I find it kinda dumb how some card makers have heatsink stuff hanging wayy off the card making it hard to mod to shorter lengths, so I don't think I can use cheap reference polaris x80 cards without significant modding. to the cards cooler assembly.
Your judgements here look pretty good, but remember that any card with high power draw and high performance can normally be undervolted and/or underclocked for significant efficency gains without losing much performance. The RX 470 is a prime example of this. It's unlikely you'll find one in your price range, but if you're able to stretch a bit and can find a good deal, the Sapphire RX 570 ITX is an excellent, small Polaris card. Its 150W TDP is above your target, but you should easily be able to undervolt and underclock it if necessary. If your 250W PSU can deliver its full 250W on 12V alone it should work at stock clocks - I ran mine on a Dell 240W PSU that only had 17A (204W) on its 12V rail, and just barely triggered OCP when pushing the CPU and GPU in combined benchmarks like Fire Strike Combined. Was rock solid at -20% power limit and still performed great. Now that I've moved to a better PSU solution (MeanWell 12V + ArchDaemon) it runs flat out with wall power draw at around 220W in Fire Strike Combined, lower in most games.
 
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Dapuma

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May 18, 2019
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This project is postponed for the next few months due to a few reasons:
1. The prices of pretty much every cryptocurrency took a huge plunge.

2. I'm switching my [email protected] power to a team of a youtuber whose discord server I moderate where I won't be able to earn any crypto. In fact, I might lose some to buy cards and stuff to further incentivize this youtuber's team members to put their computing power towards coronavirus research.
 

Dapuma

Average Stuffer
Original poster
May 18, 2019
69
61
Actually, scratch that, now that I have a card I can buy things with, this project will no longer retain its *Technically free* Name.

Also Idk wtf I will do for the case, so im just going to cut out more pieces of mdf and run hardware on there. The case can wait.

I found an RX 560 for <$50 on ebay, going to snag it before its too late. maybe make an offer for chceaper. same with the power button, turns out i can get that for cheaper if i use the "get offer" button.
 
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