Building a new PC: Part 1

i5With my birthday next Sunday (only six shopping days for the public left!), my wife asked me what I wanted. And really, there was only one answer to that: I’ve been needing a new computer for some time now. I’ve had my current machine for at least four years and it’s started to cause some problems, despite giving it as much maintenance and love as I can. In particular, I’m running out of storage and have to deal with slower load times for games, not to mention that one of my CD-ROM drives has burned out.

So I got the go-ahead to get a new computer. In the past, I had the mindset of just wanting to buy some pre-built rig, either from a store or online. But everyone I’ve mentioned this to has been strongly advising me to suck it up and build my own machine — “It’s not too hard.” “It’s like building LEGOs.” “For heaven’s sake, you used to be a computer tech who built laptops, what are you scared of, scardey-cat?” OK, that last one might have been me.

Thus, building my own computer for the first time it is. I called up my brother-in-law, who does this sort of thing regularly, and we sat down for an hour to look over PC Part Picker for a good build. I don’t need a top-of-the-line anything, just a general upgrade with more storage. Since my graphics card is relatively new, I can just bring that over, and perhaps repurpose my hard drive to be a secondary one as well.

What we settled on was the following:

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-Bit – OEM
  • Case: Corsair Carbide Series 100R Silent Edition Quiet Mid Tower Case CC-9011077-WW
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU – BX80646I54460
  • CPU Cooler: Enermax Cooling ETS-N30-TAA Black/Blue/Aluminum
  • Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/ac LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6G
  • Power Supply: EVGA New Version SuperNOVA 80 PLUS 750W
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB
  • SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)
  • RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDR
  • Blu-ray Drive: ASUS BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS 12X Blu-ray Internal Burner Drive with Disc Encryption – Black – Retail Box

I ordered all of the parts last night from Newegg and Amazon, so they should be arriving later this week. Until then, I need to do a lot of backups with this computer and make a list of all of my programs that I’ll need to be re-installing. Fun but scary! This will be the rig that I’ll hopefully be using for the next few years, so it’s more personal than professional.

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13 thoughts on “Building a new PC: Part 1

  1. Ranni, the Flamingbard May 25, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    I put a few games on my SSD, one of them being the Witcher 3. The loading screens go by SO FAST I don’t get to read the tips on them. As much as I’d like to read those tips, it’s so freaking cool! Congrats on your new rig and (an early) happy birthday!

  2. Aywren May 25, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Woo! Waiting for all the parts to come in is such an exciting time. Good luck with building yours! 🙂

  3. carson63000 May 25, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Man, I built a few PCs when I was younger, but screw that now that I’m all grown up. Life’s way too short. I’ll still pick and choose every piece but then pay the shop a few bucks to assemble and test for me rather than doing it myself.

  4. AE May 25, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    I’m very interested in this. I need one as well but I don’t know if I have the budget. Will I be able to stretch it if I try this myself or is it like buying parts to build a car (more expensive in the long run)? How much different in pricing would it be? I’m using a laptop now, so would I have to take everything from scratch? Thankfully I already have a monitor…

  5. Silverangel May 26, 2015 / 1:22 am

    I didn’t want to go SSD either for my last PC, but still seems like you want a black drive since you specifically mention load times.

  6. Redbeard May 26, 2015 / 10:12 am

    I’m mostly curious about the graphics performance, but aside from that, happy birthday!

  7. Chestnut Stonebough (@ggchestnut) May 26, 2015 / 10:55 am

    I’ve never built my own rig. Well, I guess sort of. I’ve helped install a new graphics card into a pre-bought rig. But I’d love to see a slew of pictures as you set it up. 🙂 Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND GRATS ON THE NEW RIG!!!!

  8. Syp May 26, 2015 / 11:47 am

    Thank you!

  9. Ocho June 2, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Looks solid. With the announcement of any system having Windows 7 or 8 getting a free upgrade to 10, you can either stick with 7 which is more than acceptable, or upgrade to 10 at your leisure for free and skip 8 entirely. Core i5 is nice, the i7’s hyperthreading is used for more intense applications not having to do with gaming, but DX12, when that drops, could be a game changer as far as actually using all the cores to a gamer’s advantage. But for DX9-11, an i5 works just as well and the performance boost of the i7 is negligible.

    So overall, looks great. 🙂

    I’d leave a few tips, but you posted this a few days back and I’m sure you have it all set up by now.

  10. Ocho June 2, 2015 / 3:06 pm

    Wait… does that say ITX?! Misread it as ATX… yeah, that could be a little tiny, especially compared to a mid-tower case. But ASRock is still decent. Good news is that case temperature probably will never be a problem, and mini boards don’t have that less performance over bigger boards. Bigger boards can just… hold more. Bad news is things may be a little tricky to install due to the size.

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