Sunday, December 18, 2011

Diary of a first time PC System Builder: #2 Foraging for Components

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.


  1. could this set up be for TOR?

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