Building a New PC

I am extremely familiar with the insides and mechanics behind build a PC from scratch.  I’ve put together several machines for both personal use and at (my old) work.  I also have done numerous upgrades to hard drives, RAM, GPUs, etc over the years.  I’ve wired up cases for better cooling and upgraded a PC so much that I rebuilt the original PC with all of it’s original parts.

I’ve never ever bought all the parts at once to put them together as a cohesive whole at the same time.

In the recent move, I’ve gained an office space.  Part of my desire for this office space is that it’s not going to be where the kids hang out to play on the computer.  Unfortunately, I can’t just stick them with one of my extra older PCs, it’ll never work out.  So I’m using the opportunity to build myself a new gaming rig.  Computer components have gotten so ridiculously confusing these days.  The last time I seriously build a PC it was simple.  If the processor speed was higher, it was better.  A 2 GHZ PC was pretty much always going to be better than a 1.8ghz PC.  Unless it’s a Celeron, then it just sucked no matter what.

Now it’s all Cores and i7s, and i3s and Phenom IIs and crazy numbers that are mostly just ePeen related.  Fortunately I am aware than GPU means more to a PC than CPU.  That’s why I started with GPU.  My old machine actually performs much better than I would ever expect considering it’s only Dual core and it’s a stock Dell machine with a new GPU and some RAM.  The key was, I picked out a good GPU when I bought it.

So I did some research on benchmarks and performance and came up with a Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850.  It’s not a top of the line card but it ranks very highly and costs about half as much as the cards ranking similarly.  I’m still being budget conscious with my choices and trying to get the best value I can.

I then did move on to processor.  As I said, modern processors confuse me, so I started off looking into the AMD chip recommended by Amazon to go with the GPU.  It was a place to start more than anything.  I’ve had a lot of AMD CPUs and always liked them.  They used to be the top dog but I was pretty sure Intel had come back to the lead.

Some Google searching suggested that it’s not real great unless it’s overclocked and I’m not really interested in trying to overclock anything.  It’s not that I don’t think I could do it, it’s more than I don’t want to have to buy another $150 processor when I fuck it up.  One thread I found on this chip had several recommendations for the Intel i5 2500 3.3Ghz.  It’s a Quad Core chip.   I did a bit more research and decided to go for this chip.  Mostly my research was into i5 vs i7, but this i5 is supposed to be pretty decent.  Besides, CPU is less important and I’m going to better value with a good punch.

On a side note, I also am hazy on the details but I also know that more cores doesn’t always mean better.  4 cores doesn’t make this a 12 Ghz processor, not every application uses multiple cores.  However I do a fair amount of Photo editing with Photoshop and I do a fair amount of editing with Adobe Premier, BOTH programs I know benefit from using multiple cores.

At this point I threw on a compatible fan nothing fancy, it was cheap and ranked 1st in fans on Amazon so I bought it.  I also threw on a 500W power supply to run it all.  I have a 500W power supply but it’s got some bad bearings in the fans and runs loud.  I could probably fix it but electricity scares me and I am pretty sure power supplies can be dangerous even when un plugged.

all that was left was to tie it together with a motherboard.  I picked up one from the list of recommended ones, it’s listed as Gigabyte Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2133 LGA 1155 Motherboard GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 and is very Blue.

So, because it coordinates, I picked up 8 GB of Blue RAM with flashy cooling fins to go in it.

I didn’t need to get a case, I have a very large and nice case I bought last time I built a machine.  it is absolutely boring as hell in it’s designs but that was what I wanted, something that “wasn’t curvy and swoopy and neon and looked like a Riced up Honda PC”.

I’m not showing this thing off for looks.

I also already have some hard drives.  I have a 1 TB that I’ll probably stick in it out of my current machine.  It keeps disappearing from the OS, but I am 90% sure it’s because that stock Dell Power supply sucks and can’t handle running 3 hard drives and a GPU.

I also don’t need a Monitor.  I ordered a decently large LCD a week ago when I thought I was going to be running a different older machine in the office.

Anyway, I’m pretty stoked.  I also went in for the Amazon Prime trial so everything should be here by Thursday.