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Building a new PC…Finally

I’ve been playing with computers now for quite a while.  I started with an Atari 1200XL, which may give you some sort of time reference.  Then moved up to a PC, with DOS 6.0 & Windows 3.1.  Updated to one with Win98 and got into Linux, upgraded to Win 2k PRO.  Updated to XP.  Still dual booting Linux, it’s a lot of fun!  Then got a laptop with Vista…The laptop is good, Vista – not so much.

Anyhow, I’ve been wanting to piece together a PC since my days with Win98, I just never got around to it.

Well now’s a good time as any.  So I scoured the hardware reviews & buyers opinions and came up with a system that should last me a while… See above, I don’t update too often!  Here’s what I came up with:

For the case I’m planning to stuff everything into a Corsair Graphite 600T.  I guess I shouldn’t say “stuff everything into”, for a mid tower case it’s fairly large, especially compared to the one I have now.  I was looking for a case that I wouldn’t have problems fitting today’s larger video cards into and still keep good air flow around it.  I’ve looked at this case at MicroCenter, and I’m happy with my decision on it.

Speaking of video cards, I’m putting a 2 Gb XFX – Radeon 6950 in it.  It’s not cutting edge, but I’m not a huge gamer,  so it should easily handle my needs.

I’m going to rely on the i7 2600k to do the number crunching.  Worked out pretty well for me, after the sales were halted on the 1155 motherboards, I got a good price on the CPU.

To cool that puppy down, I’m putting a Corsair Hydro H70 on it.

I don’t have the motherboard yet.  I’m glad I waited to get one since I didn’t know about the B2 stepping issue with the motherboard chipset.  When they become available again I plan to use a MSI P67 GD65.  I was going to use a Gigabyte board, but with the rest of my layout it would leave only 1 open SATA connection.  The MSI option will leave me with three open connections to use so it would give me a little extra room to expand.  I have heard the the MSI BIOS still has a few bugs, maybe they can get this worked out while they are waiting on the new chipsets.

As far as memory goes, gee I forgot…No, I plan to fill it up with G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600, 4 Gb modules (total 16 Gb).  I don’t overclock much so the 1600’s should be plenty fast enough.

Getting to storage, I’m going to install the OS on a Corsair 128 Gb SATAIII Solid State drive.  Personal files and settings will be put on two 2 Tb Seagate Barracudas.  These are 7200 RPM drives on SATAII connectors set up as RAID0.

The optical drive will be a Lite-on iHBS112,  Blu-Ray burner.

I’m not a huge fan of onboard audio or surround sound, so I’m tossing in a M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496 sound card.

All this will be powered by a Cooler Master 1000W power supply.

Edit: After doing a little, OK quite a bit of reading on power supplies, I came across a site explaining typical power supply reviews.  What I read made sense to me, so I did more looking into the power supply I had chosen and quickly decided that I wanted to look at other options.  Instead of the one originally listed, I believe I going to install a Corsair AX 850 in my system.

After an unattended install of Win7 PRO 64 bit and a newer version of Office, and I should be good to go.  It might not be the fastest thing on the planet, but should be OK for web browsing & email…hehe!

I haven’t looked into it much, but installing Windows and Linux on a single RAID array may not work too well.  So I may need to throw another hard drive in it for Linux.  Which is why I was looking to get more SATA connectors on the motherboard.

Look it over, if you see anything that don’t look right let me know.

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