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Built My First Complete Computer System


Posted 12:37 am, 01/02/2011

Thanks DF. Right now I don't think AMD can be touched for price/performance ratio. I am no Fanboy, I buy Intel too sometimes, but the Tech is so advanced right now I have no real need for cutting edge. I am considering adding a Radeon HD 6950 or 6970 and making this computer my main gaming system. By design my PSU selection left me headroom for a strong graphics card. Might also switch in a faster 1 TB Seagate 32mb Cache HDD from another computer into this one. An early overclock attempt was stable at 3350 mhz with the stock air cooler. The whole thing turned out better than I had hoped. I named it build1.

Dirty Fighter

Posted 11:08 pm, 01/01/2011

Looks good, Shred. I have been itching to do the same for awhile now. I want to build my own HTPC and convert one of my old desktops to a media server. Problem is when I go to research prices with a budget in mind I always end up with a $1500 total because I want to see what it would cost if I get the parts I really want and not just the ones I can afford, lol. One of these days I'll either break down and spend the extra dough or learn to shop more responsibly.


Posted 10:21 pm, 01/01/2011

After years of buying and upgrading HP/Gateway/eMachine Desktop systems to suit my needs and those of family I recently took the plunge, ordered parts and assembled my first Desktop Computer from scratch. My goal was a super-value Quadcore system capable of HDMI out with built-in graphics capable of full 1080p BluRay playback via onboard HDMI. I have not added the BluRay Player yet as I am waiting for free BluRay Playback software to come available. I think I succeeded nicely, especially given a total system cost incl. shipping of $368.00. Here are the components and costs.

1- Case Apex Full Tower 2 usb 2.0 and Audio In/Headphone Out Front Panel Jacks = $19
2- Motherboard Biostar A880G+ With onboard HD Audio and HD 4250 Graphics w/HDMI Out = $45
3- Processor AMD Athlon II X3 445 Triple Core 3.1ghz unlocked to Quad Core = $74
4- Power Supply Antec BP550Plus 550 watt 80 Plus certified Modular Active PFC = $30
5- Memory GSkill Ripjaws 8 gb DDR3 1333mhz = $90
6- Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s = $50
7- Operating System Windows 7 Premium 64 bit Upgrade (had free XP) = $42
8- DVD RW Asus 24x Multi = $18

Total delivered cost of components and OS was $368.00. Black Friday prices and rebates on the MB and PSU played a real part in keeping the price way down.

I bought a motherboard that allowed me to unlock the AMD Triple Core Processor to a Quad Core at no extra cost. Not all will unlock and run correctly so that was a bit of luck that my 4th Core was a good one. Windows 7 64 bit is running smooth as can be on this system, and I moved an old Hauppauge NTSC/ATSC/Clear QAM TV card into this system from another computer. A surprise to me is that the onboard Radeon HD4250 graphics processor does Digital Sound over the DVI (video) output as well as thru the HDMI output. I did not realize that was possible. All in all it was a lot of fun, and I will probably do it again in the future after collecting more of the right parts at the right prices.

My current out of pocket cost was actually less than listed above because I pulled the HDD from another desktop I upgraded to 1 tb HDD months ago. I just used current market price for the Western Digital HDD. A pal gave me a free copy of Xp which ran great on the system, but when I saw an Upgrade to Windows 7 64bit available for $42 bucks I jumped on it so I could use 8gb of ram.