You may or may not have noticed that I have been mostly absent from the blog since well before the holiday season. What started out as a short hiatus from the blog, to enjoy spending time with the kids and family over break, ended up turning into an “I’ll just take one more day off, before I get back to work” kind of thing. Our water pipes then decided to freeze solid for a week. Our sewer pipes joined in and froze as well. And then, I started getting pretty depressed — not to mention, cold, stinky and quite grumpy.
Also, during this long break from everything, I’ve spent a good deal of time researching new computers and new computer parts. Knowing that my current HP computer has been dying a slow, antagonizing death — I’ve been putting money aside for a new computer for a while now. Turns out that sitting in front of the PC, huddled in my new fuzzy Christmas blanket (thanks hubby!) with my feet as close to the space-heater as they can get, is a great way to get the brain thinking about all kinds of crazy things. Things like how it would be so easy to build my own computer. The mind plays strange tricks on you, when it’s grouchy.
So, I have made lists and computer parts wishlists and done a lot of number crunching into the wee hours of recent nights. I’ve compared video cards and looked into why I would want to go with an Intel build versus an AMD build. I’ve read computer hardware advice forums and computer spec articles until I cannot see straight. Some of the most helpful websites about building a computer have been www.tomshardware.com and pcpartpicker.com. They can also be quite confusing for someone who doesn’t really know what they’re looking for in a new computer. Which is why I have read countless reviews on Newegg and Amazon!
Today, I managed to glance up at the calendar and realize that January is more than half over. Say what? This obsession needs to stop and I need to make up my mind to either just do it — build my own computer — or, not. At this point, I am about 99.8% sure that I want to build and 89.9% sure that I am capable of doing so.
Of course, I had things in mind when I set out to create my own personal PC. A fast processor that will serve me well for a few years was top priority, as was a decent graphics card so that I can play my favorite MMORPG games in their full ultra settings glory. I also want to be able to multi-task; listening to Spotify, watching videos or fiddling in Photoshop while checking my email should not cause my computer to freeze and require a restart.
In any case, here are the parts I am leaning towards for my new work and gaming PC.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($89.74 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk ($90.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.67 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB Video Card ($319.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series 750 Watt Power Supply ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($21.95 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0″ Monitor ($164.99 @ Amazon)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-22 18:55 EST-0500)
I have tried to do something that the folks on the computer forums refer to as “future proofing,” by buying parts that I can upgrade as I see fit. Have I done this correctly? I think so! One thing is certain, if I do go forward, this PC will be about a thousand times better than my off-the-shelf HP with the faulty MOBO! If I do decide to build, I might as well blog about my computer assembly trials and errors!
So, have you ever built a computer, or upgraded the hardware in yours? If so, do you have any advice for this amateur?