Last September, we rebuilt my computer. The old one was a little over three years old, which isn’t so bad, but when Yut’s graphics card broke, I gave him mine since I had a motherboard with built in graphics capabilities. We were going to just buy a new one, but then I thought that Civ V and The Sims 3 had been playing a bit slow.
Also, my old computer case was a little loud. So annoying. Really, it all just adds up to needing a new computer, don’t you think?
- The Set Up, in no particular order. Most items purchased from Newegg which has good prices and lots of reviews. Also, they ship when they say they will. Some things were purchased from Amazon but they shipped late and kept changing the predicted ship date, which is unusual since Amazon is generally really good at this!
- Case: Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E A case for a mATX board, so it’s smaller. Also, it’s supposed to be pretty quiet — I check Silent PC Review for their reviews. Quiet is much more important than you’d think when it comes to computers. Anyway, the case is nice and quiet for sure, but I found putting together the computer pretty annoying because it was so cramped. It did have a slide out motherboard tray which was really helpful. I’m not much of one for opening my computer to mess around though, so it’s basically okay. Yut much prefers his P183 which is humongous. He doesn’t mind the size. We like our computers on our desks but I don’t like the big black box next to me.
- Hard drive: Kingston V+100 96 GB SSD Mostly I wanted an affordable SSD. Dude, if anyone reading this is looking to buy a computer, buy an SSD. It might even be worth it to either pay for the upgrade or buy one to install yourself, if you are at all inclined for that sort of thing. It speeds up boot-up amazingly.
- Processor: Intel i5 2500KSpeedy Sandy Bridge processor — a step or two below the top of the line. Top of the line is too expensive. Usually at around $200-250 is the price/performance sweet spot.
- Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-M A mATX motherboard. The standard one got good reviews and my last motherboard was Asus. Also read good things about UEFI on Newegg.
- RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8 GB Was on sale and didn’t have the super tall heat spreaders because…
- Heatsink: Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 Sooo tall. Almost too tall for the case. It seemed like it should be quiet-ish based on Silent PC Review’s reviews on other similar heatsinks, and it was cheap.
Total: under $700
The old computer. I took the power supply, an old Corsair 520HX which is modular. We still like it and it had the plugs I needed. Also I am reusing one of my old hard drives — the other one was an IDE and the new motherboard doesn’t support that any more. And the optical drive? I don’t remember. It looks like it might be IDE also in the picture.
Here’s the motherboard on the motherboard tray and the processor and heat sink installed. We forgot to install the heat sink before installing the motherboard on the motherboard tray which was a mistake since there’s a part to install on the underside of the motherboard so we had to undo and redo.
After all these months, it’s been fairly quiet. Periodically (as in not every day) there is a high pitched whine sound which is super annoying now. May be something I can figure out and fix but I haven’t yet. I didn’t buy a graphics card because onboard graphics are getting better and I’m not exactly playing crazy high graphics games. It plays Civ fine and if I ever feel like it, I can add one later.
I meant to make this post in September but it took a long time to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer. :)