Friday, December 10, 2010

My First Computer Build

Yeah, I've swapped parts or been minimally involved in other computer builds, but this is my first, and it was successful!


My old HP m8200n Media Center PC was dying, and I figured I'd spend money starting over rather than spending money to upgrade. So, for less than $500 (much less after I send these rebates in), I have a nice quad core system with nice graphics and good amounts of space all because I spent a few hours not being lazy.

THE PARTS - I've provided links, but prices have mostly gone up since the holiday. They're still pretty good, though, and Newegg's shipping is fast.



Power Supply, OCZ Falat1ty 550W Modular - I guess I could've gone with more power, but I checked my needs against the parts I purchased, and this is more than enough. I'm happy that I got a modular model (one that has removable connections, so you can use only the cords you need) because the cord situation got a little crazy. It's also 80 PLUS certified and is ATX12V compatible, which is good since these features maximize energy efficiency and output.


CPU, AMD Phenom II x 4 955 Black Edition - So far I haven't really done anything labor intensive, but even with rudimentary tasks I can tell the difference from my old Athlon dual-core processor. I could've gone with an Intel, but for the extra money it just wasn't worth it for me.


Motherboard, Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB 3 - Nice motherboard for a cheapskate who wants to skip an extra graphics card but have HD capabilities. For my old system, I bought an Nvidia 8600 GT to get dual monitor capabilities, but there's no need with this MOBO. I currently have my flat panel monitor and LCD television hooked up and it's just fine. (There's a VGA, DVI, and HDMI out; the last is awesome since you don't have to have a separate cord for audio if you use it.)


Memory, G. Skill 4 GB DDR 1333 Dual Channel - It was well priced and highly rated. So far, so good. Since I'm finally using 64-bit architecture, I'll probably add additional memory at some point.


Case, Rosewill Destroyer ATX Tower - This was probably my biggest deal. This thing is huge and roomy and has three fans, located so that your system stays cool. I had absolutely no problem building inside this thing. Best of all, it was $39.99 when I bought it. Love it!

I finished it off with an LG DVD player and a Seagate 1 TB hard drive. Unfortunately, the Western Digital Caviar Black I bought arrived dead, so I had to run out to the Tiger Direct to grab one.

The 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional I used was super cheap since I'm a student (see http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows/default.aspx for details. You just need an e-mail address ending in .edu.)

So yeah, I'm pleased as punch right now.

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