11-22-2009, 02:30 PM
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2009, 02:35 PM by CKemu.)
The trick when building a PC, is to pick your CPU first, after CAREFULLY reading specs, reviews and future potential (overclocking etc).
As an example I built my rig in the following way:
Expensive chip, and I could have saved some money by going for the 920, but it was a case of "well if I'm gonna spend this much, might as well". Picked the D0 stepping because its VERY overclockable!
Intel Core i7 950 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 3.06Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - Retail
Next comes your motherboard, its defined by the CPU socket, so check the socket, in this case LGA1366, I picked D0 for overclocking so read a pile of reviews and this board shines at overclocking:
Asus Rampage II Extreme Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
Next step is your RAM, I was planning on going to win7 64bit as I use alot of 64bit capable apps and need the memory for my work (photographer, so work with large RAW images). This bit is the no brainer, just make sure the DDR is supported on the motherboard.
Corsair Dominator 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-14400C9 (1866MHz) Tri-Channel (TR3X6G1866C9DF)
GPU, an important component, I could have gone all singing and all dancing with a GTX 295 kit, but with the nv3xx range out in the near future and SLi being a "not overly worth it" tech, I opted for the 285, its going to have good re-sell value when I go to the 3xx series, and it performs well.
You can get these cards with water cooling blocks, so decide early on if you're going to run the hassle of water cooling, I decided not to.
BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCFU 1024MB GDDR3 PCI-Express Graphics Card
Once the important stuff is decided, now its time to consider addons, HDDs are cheap these days, so don't bother skimping on space, I will eventually get a SSD for my primary OS drive, but for now WD Caviar's are good, and I've never had a WD fail on me.
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (WD1001FALS)
I could have gotten a perfectly good DVDrw Dual Layer Drive, but I own plenty of bluRay discs, so got this, pricey but performs well sofar, and great for large image backups!
Pioneer BDR-203BK 8x BluRay-RW/DVD±RW Serial ATA Dual Layer Drive - OEM
This is the bit you need to be carefull on, whilst not going overboard. You maybe tempted to run for a 800w-1Kw PSU, there's really no need, 650w here does the job fine, larger would have given me more scope for addons and upgrades sure, but I really won't need to upgrade massively for awhile.
One thing to look for, in higher end PSU's you have modular leads, meaing you can pull and old PSU without having to re-wire your motherboard AND not have excess cables clogging space!
Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 650W ATX2.2 Modular SLi Compliant Power Supply
Almost there with the build, next thing is the case. Buy big, it helps airflow, it means you won't have a fiddly build and GPUs are big these days. When I got my old 8800GTX, I had to file away part of the case to slot it in, and SATA leads where pressed hard agains the side of the case.
This case is massive, with front access to HDDs, and the PSU is mouned at the bottom, which makes life ALOT easier.
Zalman GS1000 Aluminium Case - Black (No PSU)
If you're going to overclock read user reviews, and buy big. However make sure it fits. This particular heatsink is massive, with two 120mm fans on it. Obviously make sure its the right socket for your CPU. Even if you're not going to overclock, I'd generally avoid the stock fans, a cooler CPU will have a longer life and stock fans just don't cut it.
Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler (Socket LGA1366)
So there you have it, a wall of text, but when planning to build a PC, its not that hard, just use some common sense and build in a logical order.
When it comes to build day, I recommend a large flat clean surface, plenty of screw drivers, and a steady hand when mounting your CPU, because intel CPU's are horrible for mounting and if one pin goes, you've just wasted ALOT of money! Oh and don't apply to much thermal paste...
Will a machine like this run PCSX2, the answer is "oh hell yes, and at warp speed", will it break the bank, yes, still eating beans here, and will be for some time!
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