Thursday, August 14, 2008

New computer

My home computer is old and since we bought a digital camera and a FLIP, disk space recently have started to become an issue. It is an Athlon XP 3200+ with around 200GB of space and 1 GB of RAM. It is old, noisy (since I have to put fans everywhere to cool it) and my case is also falling apart. It is 4 years old ... which in computer age is like decades ... So, I am looking into getting soe more disk space to back up my photos, videos, mps2, and other data - but knowing that it is getting unstable, I decided to go the whole nine yards and build a whole new computer altogether and use my old as a backup.

So, here is my new system (some of these components are recommended by my friend Shawn - so thanks Shawn!):

  • Cooler Master Centurion 5 case
    My old case is small and I still plan to use it to host my old computer to run back up/storage. So getting a new case that is sturdy, flexible, with good air flow, accessible, but not overly expensive is imperative - this case fits all the requirement. Thanks to elpiar to point this out.

  • Corsair CMPSU-520HX
    My MB have been fried twice in the past because of bad/malfunctioning PSU. So this time, I aim to get a decent one and the Corsair has flexibility that allows you to attach/detach cable according to your need. So it is a winner in my book- super recommended.

  • ASUS P5Q
    My friend Shawn who is also building his own system recommended MSI P6N - which is a stellar performer. I choose the ASUS P5Q because of several reasons: more max RAM, faster RAM DDR, more SATA, and my bias toward ASUS - all with the same price as the MSI. Since I am building a machine that will run 64 bit processor, may run VMs, and most of the time is used for image processing, I need god amount or RAM headroom - P5Q allows up to 16GB instead of 8GB.

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 GHz
    Last time I got an AMD, I have to put 3 extra fans to cool it down. So, I am going with Intel now. I went with Q9300 instead of Q6600 or Q6700 because of the newer technology (4.5nm) and also since that is the best I can get for the money.

  • G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
    No brainer here, just the good, reliable, and compatible (this is important) memory according to the MB. I typically don't want to cut corners on RAM, since faulty RAM is really a PITA.

  • WD raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10KRPM SATA
    OVerall, this is probably the killer buy right here. I am super happy with this drive. It is fast, quite and has a transparent cover too! My boot up time is reduced significantly because of this drive.

  • Seagate Barracude 7200.11 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
    Need huge storage to store all my media files? Get this HD. I was thinking about doing RAID etc, but in the end I just bought this HD and run a backup bimonthly to my old 200GB drive. I may get another one of this at some point. Plus this is probably the best bang for the buck HD you can get - $78 for 500GB!

  • Scythe SCNJ-1100P 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
    This is a bad-ass heat-sink right here. I don't have to use this since the Q9300 comes with a factory heat-sink. But it just looks awesome and people highly recommend this heat-sink if you are over-clocking the CPU - which I may do. So, I splurge a little here and got the bad-ass heat-sink.

  • SAPPHIRE 100218L Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
    I won't be using this machine for gaming much and most of my games are RTS (like Warcraft III or AoE) - so I won't be needing the super-duper video card, but I do need a video card that can run dual DVI for my monitors. This card seems to be serving purpose - well balanced with power as well as simplicity and cheap ($35) - a good choice!

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