Discount Deep Learning Machine

As a college student with a college student budget, the luxuries I splurge on consist of the occasional restaurant outing, boxes of pop-tarts, and two-ply toilet paper. So, I obviously can’t be dropping $2,000 on a tower (which is very easy to do). But, building computers are fun and I was tired of competing for space in my school’s supercomputer so I figured I’d set about making one.

Luckily, I didn’t have to start from scratch. Since my brother got a new computer after his old one broke a couple years ago and held onto the remains of the old one. So I scavenged what I could from various sources, and ordered the rest to build a PC ideal for training models for a grand total of $563 (80% of which was the graphics card)

I’ll lead with the finished project and let you decide whether to read on (notice the framed “I miss you bitch” courtesy of my brother)


Cooling – Type Unknown – Free (Scavenged): 

I list this first because that was the main problem with the first computer. After opening it up, I was met with with the first snowfall SSI, Georgia has seen in decades in the form of a plume of 3 year old computer dust revealing CPU heat sink coated with enough to build a snowman, After thoroughly cleaning out the case I was able to scrounge the parts inside.

MotherBoard – MSI 760GMA-P34(FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard – Free (Old Computer)

Hard Drive – Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive – Free (Old Computer)

Case – Unknown – Free (Old Computer)

CPU – Unknown – Free (Old Computer)

RAM – 2x Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory – Free x1 (Old Computer) , $63 x1 (Amazon)

Graphics Card  – MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB DUKE OC Video Card – $460 (New Egg)

Power Supply – EVGA 600 B1, 80+ BRONZE 600W – $40 (Amazon)

Display – 3x Unknown – Free (Dump)

Audio – Unknown – Free (Dump)


Besides some hard-drive connectivity and heatsink  issues putting it together was uneventful. After it was all together, I installed Ubuntu 18.04, Tensorflow, CUDA, and cuDNN and my DL Machine was complete.

Warning: Cable Gore


If you made it this far down thanks for reading and feel free to reach out for anything!




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