31
Mar
09

My New Computer – Part 2

Where is the first part of this I hear you ask? Well, it may not be called “My New Computer – Part 1”, but it can be found here.

Well after a lot of deliberation over exactly what to get I finally placed the order for the new parts last night. Thanks go to the tech gurus of the PC Gamer (UK) forum for their help in the process.

From my old computer I am going to keep the HDDs [1] the DVD multi-recorder and the graphics card. I believe that my 512MB GeForce 8800GT is not past it quite yet so I will be keeping that for the time being, it was pointed out that it will be the weakest part of my new computer, but as it is also one of the easiest to upgrade I am not too bothered about that. When I do upgrade this card I will keep it with the intention of using it as a dedicated PhysX card alongside the new one, more on that later.

I am also going to attempt to use my current wifi card but this could cause some problems. It is one that cam with my current motherboard and, though it doesn’t appear to be integrated [2], it does seem to use one of the USB headers on the motherboard and if the new motherboard doesn’t have a header in a suitable position it won’t fit and I will have to get a new PCI card instead.

Well, enough of the old, lets look at the new:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz Socket 1366 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor – £223.02
Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Case – No PSU – £41.56
OCZ 6gb (3x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Gold XTC Triple Channel Memory Kit for i7 Motherboard – £91.30
Antec 650W Neopower Modular PSU – Blue LED 12CM Fan – £71.41
2 x Tricool Fan/120mm Blue Led Lights – £21.14
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 iX58 Socket 1366 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard – £204.70
Scythe Mugen 2 Socket 478, 775, 1366, 754, 939, AM2+ Processor Cooler – £35.87
————
Total inc. VAT and shipping: £804.80
————

I could have gone for a Core2 and got as good performance, maybe for slightly less money, but I don’t want to get stuck with an outdated socket again. I found this out the hard way with my current socket AM2 computer. Hopefully socket 1366 will last a while, but with computer hardware it is always hard to tell. Being an early adopter may not pay off when other motherboard chipsets are produced with better performance than the X58 however.
The motherboard was one of the hardest parts to choose. Despite there being only once chipset available to me, the aforementioned X58 from Intel, the motherboard vendors have still configured in in a staggering variety of ways. All X58 boards will support Crossfire, but some also support SLI. This narrowed down my search considerably as for me SLI is a must, not because I want to run two graphics cards (for this I would be happy to use ATI cards) but because I want to use one card for PhysX, which is only supported by NVidia. Unfortunately, as well as narrowing down my search, it also bumped the price up by about £50. Other things I was looking at in a motherboard were the positions of the PCI-e slots, on some boards the expansions slots are poorly arranged so you would have a hard job getting two dual slot cards in there without overheating problems. I also wanted to get a board that could take a decent speed of RAM, as well as the full 24GB [3]. To this end I settled with the ASUS P6T Deluxe, it has SLI, the PCI-e slots are sensibly arranged and it can take RAM up to 2000MHz if it is overclocked [4]. There are many more expensive boards out there but they don’t seem to do anything this one can’t. While the blurb about the motherboard says it can take up to 2000MHz RAM it also says that to do this means overclocking the processor, for this reason I stuck with 1600MHz RAM.

OK, time for some pictures before I continue.

And we continue.
My case choice came down to two things, the first was cooling, the second was just how impressed I was when I put together my brothers computer in an Antec 900 case. I’m not a big fan of windows in PC cases, it means you can see all the dust that has built up and it looks horrible. The Antec 300 is like a cut down version of the 900, it is missing the front fans, but they can be (and I have) ordered separately, and the top fan isn’t as big, it is also missing a case window but as I said, i don’t really like them. It is also fairly big (only 1mm narrower than the 900) so Hopefully I will be able to fit the huge Scythe Mugen 2 CPU cooler without too much trouble.

A few more pics to finish off.

And I’m done. I ordered all this on next day[4] so it should be with me tomorrow. I shall however be waiting until the weekend to put it together. Expect Part 3 – The Build then.

——————–

[1] 160GB Western Digital SATA HDD, 500GB Western Digital SATA HDD and a 1TB Western Digital SATA HDD
[2] I’m not sure about this as I can’t tell if it is soldered in place, hopefully it will just pop out.
[3] Im sure I will have upgraded the motherboard twice before I need that much but it can’t hurt to have room.
[4] Why order it next day if I am going to wait to build it? Well next day comes with Parcel Force other delivery’s come with Citylink and are always late. We call them Shitylink round here.

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4 Responses to “My New Computer – Part 2”


  1. 1 AJ
    March 31, 2009 at 14:22

    Wow sounds pretty awesome. I hope the i7 works well for you and perhaps you could let us know how you get on with it. Am thinking of upgrading to that when I get my new rig late this year. That said though I read somewhere that Intel were working on an 8 core processor and more on the i7 range will no doubt be available soon too.

    I just hope that when I upgrade I get the stuff which will not outdate fast. I bought my 7950×2 graphics card knowing it was the best one out there at the time however within a couple of months Nvidia released the 8000 series. Is there any one way of being able to forsee when companies are releasing new tech other than guessing?

    Also I am considering getting a SSD hard drive to stick the OS on to make boot times and OS actions a lot faster which could work and I did read it was faster.

    I do however fully believe in waiting for the new OS to come out before I upgrade but currently I think the best option would be to price up everything I really would like in the new system and see whether it is cheaper to build it myself or another company to do it for me. Which probably would be ideal as then I cannot mess it all up haha!

  2. March 31, 2009 at 14:54

    I intend to do another post on this when I build it. Including pictures, or at least start and finish pictures.
    Yeah, there is always better stuff just around the corner, I have learned to accept that. I looked into SSD but they are still over priced.
    As for the new OS, I already have retail Vista so there is no point in waiting for windows 7 as I will always buy retail from now on anyway. I hate OEM copies, particularly when it isn’t a real copy but a recovery image.

  3. March 31, 2009 at 16:48

    Sounds nice.

    Personally OEM suits me, I’m not going to be building a new computer any time soon. But like you it really annoys me when companies only give you a recovery partition or disc. Makes things more difficult and probably includes all the rubbish they pack into new computers.

  4. April 8, 2009 at 13:52

    Re-using HDD? Are you mad sir?

    I like the look of it though. Nice work Jon.

    My PC cost about £600 (ex VAT. God love parents :D) and if it doesn’t keep me going for the next year then something is wrong with the world.

    Q6600, 4GB RAM, EAH4850, 500GB hard drive, 2 Disk Drives, and an Akasa Zen case (Because I’m a cheap bastard).

    Its a very nice PC, and I called it Julie. Planning on naming yours or am I the only one that does that?


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