Sunday, September 9, 2012

Building my new PC....

It’s been 13 years since I bought a new PC. That PC was a Micron and lasted many years past it’s expected lifespan. Upgraded memory, video card, hard drive and CD burner at one point or another. I believe I got about five or six years out of it.

Around 2005 I acquired a HP AMD machine from a company where I was working as IT manager. I was never really happy with it, equipped with a lower end AMD chip it could barely keep up with Windows XP and all the software I threw at it. It was free, so beggars can’t be choosy. Basically I will never buy an AMD machine.

My current PC I acquired from a good friend who acquired it new from one of the branch offices. He would not put it on his network since it is a clone and does not meet his network topology standards. The clone is a Intel Core Duo E6550 2.33GHz with a 500GB hard drive, 1GB of ram and DVD-R RW drive. For $200.00 bucks it is an ok deal.

I had to replace the power supply after two weeks since the PC would reboot periodically on it’s own. I added an additional GB of RAM, max is 2GB, and a ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 graphics card which gives me the capability of having three displays, two Samsung SyncMaster 940n I acquired from my time at Pilot Pen and a Dell 15” LCD that I traded a mini monitor for.

The machine came preloaded with Windows XP, I purchased and installed Windows 7 Home Upgrade. Overall the PC has served me well over the last year.

When land a new job I always treat myself to as new electronic gadget of one sort or another. I have finally landed another good full time job after a year of searching and I have decided to upgrade my System.

The new job is full time work from home providing programming and IT support to a lighting retailer. I don’t want to be waiting on my PC. I need to be able to run a lot of different software at the same time allowing me to multitask and efficiently provide services as needed. I hate waiting!

I spent the last few days researching components and systems and decided that if I want my dream machine I would have to build it myself. Below is what I finally ordered today.

I started with the CPU - Intel® Core™ i7-3770K Processor

I balanced need, want, speed and price. 3rd Gen I7 processor with some oomph!

Next the Mother Board - Intel® Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K
Mother board made with the K series chips in mind. SATA ports at 6Gb/s will come in handy as you will soon see. Wi-Fi / Bluetooth and support for 32Gb  DDR3 1600+ RAM.

Now for a little RAM -  Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 SDRAM      Desktop Memory
This I purchased from J&R for $99.88. Maybe later I’ll add another 16gb. ;)
The hardest part was picking the video card. My future expansion includes 2 additional 23” Samsung HD monitors, this will give me a total of four monitors.

Video Graphics card - EVGA - GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card
The next card up is over $500.00, I had to be real. I am already overkill and just could not get the want to override the price. Bottom line I don’t have much time for gaming, but if I ever do I can with the best of them. :P
Anyway you look at, it’s a badass card!
Let’s see what should I acquire next. How about a some Hard Drive? I want to be able to store pictures and video safely and programs to run at light speed.

SSD drive for programs -  Intel 330 Series Solid-State Drive 180 GB SATA 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch
This is what I had in mind looking at the 6Gb/s on the motherboard. Not the best but damn close. My programs will launch at light speed just thinking of clicking the mouse!

HDD for storage -  Seagate - Barracuda 2TB Internal Serial ATA Hard Drive for Desktops
7200 rpm, 64Mb Cache and 6Gb/s SATA what's not to like?

If you're following this you have to be asking yourself what's it going to take to power all these beastly components? Well I’ll tell ya!

Power Supply - Thermaltake - SMART Series 850-Watt ATX Power Supply - Black  
NEED MORE POWER! Don’t think so. Don’t panic I did not pay $999.00, Best Buy $119.99.

Now all I need is a mid-tower case. After much research I descided on a Cooler Master.

Case -  Cooler Master - Elite 430 Mid-Tower Chassis
Dust filtered, support for five fans, water cooler connection if overclocking silliness overcomes me and support for beastly graphics cards like the GTX 670. I think my wife would divorce me if I went with the GTX 690!

Additional fan -  Corsair - Air Series AF120 Performance Edition 120mm Airflow Fan
I wanted at least one additional fan to start with and had a hard time deciding on one so I threw a dart at the board and this what I came up with.

I ordered all the parts today and hopefully have everything by next weekend. most of the items I purchased from Best Buy, 18 month 0%, the SSD from Amazon and Ram from J&R. Total cost $1692.57.

My current side work open receivables will cover most of the cost but liked the idea of 18 month 0% and most of the items are within $20.00 +/- when sourced outside of Best Buy. Either way it’s a business expense.

I am planning on adding a CPU heatsink but want to get everything put together first.

I hope to take the time to provide Youtube unboxing and installation, so stay tuned!


Computers are like air conditioners.  They work fine until you start opening windows.  ~Author Unknown

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