After deciding that I was going to construct a desktop computer, I kept two goals in mind. One I wanted to build a solid system that with some upgrades would be a machine that I could use for a few years without feeling like I was using an antique. The other goal was to keep the cost of the project reasonable, that meant shopping on a budget.
Component purchase #1:
Thermaltake V4 Black Edition: SECC/Plastic ATX mid Tower Computer Case
Thoughts: Our current desktop has a Thermaltake case which is solid construction, found this case as one of Amazon's daily deals for under $40 bucks. Happy with the build quality and astetics.
Component purchase #2:
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit OEM)
Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0 GB/S 3.5" Internal HD
G.Skill Sniper 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB)
Newegg's Black Friday sale yielded some goodies. The Windows 7 is a system builder disc which means it's only for one computer. Not a big deal to me and saved me some money on the OS. For my purposes a SSD seemed like overkill and the mixed reviews on some SSDs made me nervous enough to stay with a traditional HDD. I don't store a lot of downloaded content, for example music, so HDD size wasn't a huge concern to me. If I find 500 GB restrictive I will add a second HDD at a later date. Case has slots for extra HDDs. G.Skill memory was also on sale. I will likely purchase 2 more sticks to bring the system up to 16GB.
Component purchase #3:
ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/S USB3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
The motherboard was the hardest decision in the process so far. Decided to go with an Intel board/CPU over AMD. This board got pretty solid reviews, though there are some reports of it being buggy. I got a deal on Newegg as an open box for under $100. Fingers crossed that everything works on the board otherwise it will be RMA time.
Component purchase #4:
Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz 1155 65W
I wanted a solid processor and I wasn't interested in getting into overclocking at this point. Between performance and cost I decided to go with this high end i3 instead of the more expensive i5 and i7 chips. But I may upgrade down the road.
Component purchase #5:
Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
This is one sharp looking CPU cooler. Great reviews, double checked Cooler Master's website to ensure compatibility and I am excited to get this component on sale as well.
The Next Steps:
The actual build will not take place until after Christmas. I am still waiting to see what secondary components I am getting from various family members as gifts, I asked for a wireless adapter, additional memory, additional Thermaltake case fans for the case, etc. The biggest remaining component purchases are an optical drive and a video card. Right now I am in the comparison shopping and waiting for a bargain stage on these. Right now I am leaning towards a GeForce 430 video card and a Lite-On Blu-ray burner.
I plan to cannibalize our current desktop for it's @2 year old 600W power supply. Unless I find a great deal on a new reliable power supply. I have had no issues with our current power supply.