WIndows 10 Project Lenovo


Target: 2017 Christmas special

Model #: Lenovo™ ideacentre™ 300S-11IBR

CPU: Intel i7 J3710 1.6 ghz [6.5 watts] -hard wired / not upgradable
1x16 PCIe 3.0 slot
1x1 PCIe 1.0 slot

Ram: 4 gig laptop Dimm when purchased.
STATUS: Upgraded to 8GB -maximum allowed.

Video: integrated.
STATUS: Installed Nvidia 710 GT 2GB video ram. -purchased a refurbished HP slim profile card. <$50
Took up the PCIe x16 lane slot

PSU: came with a 65 watt power brick. -No internal PSU
STATUS: upgrade to 90 watt, which is my next planned upgrade. <$20 on ebay.

PCIe x1 Slot: Plan to install a PCIe 1.0 to USB 3.0 Type C expansion card. -those actually exist, but you have to search specifically for "PCIe 1.0 to USB Type C expansion card" in order to find one that isn't PCIe x2 or x4 slot. Probably will order this when I get the PSU upgrade. <$20 on Amazon

USB Type C dock. Enklan brand. Essentially I wanted to get a Type C port on the computer, and a powered dock with multiple ports, including a microSD reader, and and a pass-through USB Type C port. That way the computer won't have any drain on it's meager power brick. But with the +25 watt increase with the new power brick, the computer will have plenty of juice for the remaining USB ports on the 1x1 PCIe 1.0 to USB Type C expansion card. $99 on Amazon.

LAST major upgrade this year: (due to it's expense). A Focusrite Scarlette Solo Studio bundle. Over $250 and the crowning jewel of the setup. -So the user can do podcasting. I plan on having this installed in early May, 2021.

Future upgrade, but not before Christmas 2021: A decent webcam and a background screen that attaches to the chair. Possibly next year.

NOTE: On my main computer, I just installed a Thunderbolt 3 expansion card: Gigabyte Alpine Ridge rev. 2.0.

The entire reason I don't just get this person a new computer is because of two main reasons. The first is that the computer is perfectly usable for the user's current needs, and I'm trying to squeeze out as much as I possibly can get out of the computer, and also have components that are perfectly plug-in-play when the user finally decides to get a new desktop. And the User has no idea I'm planning on gigging his desktop for podcasting.
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I've had to rethink my plans. The expansion card does not have a true USB Type C port. Instead its just a plain USB 3.0 port at 5G that can accept type C plugs. That makes all the difference in getting a USB Type C dock. In as much as I could just get a USB 3.0 hub and a multi card reader and get the same functionality that I'd need out of the spare USB 3.0 port on the desktop. I thought maybe if I could a cheap monitor someplace, I'd use the Type C dock to get a 2nd monitor on the rig, but might run into issues since the Type C port on the expansion card is only a USB 3.0 port as far as it's specs... it doesn't have the muscle to run a Type C dock, especially if you put a couple monitors on it. (Which is pretty much the only reason to get an actual USB dock and not use a hub or multi-card reader, or both, and still save a ton of money.)

So I would be wasting money to install that card and get a Type C dock.
Hence I'll just install an internal soundcard. (Creative Soundblaster). I think the Focusrite Scarlett Solo would be way better than the soundcard, but since the slot is open, I"ll just save even more money and put in a $40 sound card. The onboard, aside from always sounding worse than internal sound, doesn't have a DAC in it, which is pretty standard in sound cards.