New Computer Info

2 01 2009


My wife admiring my mind contro- I mean, my new computer

My wife admiring my mind contro- I mean, my new computer

Well, the new computer parts are all ordered.  I’ve bought some stuff at a Fry’s locally, but the rest is winging its way from and will arrive soon.


I’m probably going to do a short mini-series of posts on how to build a computer, from start to finish, along with photos and perhaps some video.  Let me know if that sort of thing is interesting to you.  I’ll probably do it anyway, but I want to know who’s interested.  🙂

Beyond this, I wanted to give you the specs of what I’ve purchased.  By no means is it a top-of-the-line screamer, but it’s going to be something that I think will have functionality for at least a couple years, and if anything, is easily upgradeable cheaply and easily.  Click the jump for all the lurid details! 🙂

Processor: Intel Q6600 Quad-Core processor.  It’s not as snazzy as some of

Q660 - Quad Core plus Affordability

Q660 - Quad Core plus Affordability

the other “Extreme” quad-core processors, but at less than a quarter of the price, it’s nice and does very very well.  If I could, I would have gone with one of the new Core i7 chips, but again, price dictated.


Motherboard: Asus P5QC – It fits the chip!  No seriously, it’s a decent motherboard with all the features I



require (firewire, multiple USB, 3GB/sec SATA, IDE support for my disc drives, upgradeable to 16GB of RAM, and much more) it’s a good board, and ASUS consistently makes good quality and good support.  (My second choice at this price point was Gigabyte, as they also make solid boards that do quite well.  It was kind of a toss-up, and since I had a Fry’s card, Fry’s had the ASUS.  Done.)


Case: Cooler Master’s Centurion 590.  I really like Cooler Master’s Centurion

Cooler Masters Centurion 590

Cooler Master's Centurion 590

 line, as they’re made from metal, not flimsy plastic, and have lots of space with which to work.  They’re laid out well and have all the features I need.


Memory (RAM): I went with a deal on this one.  It’s good, but not amazing.  Fry’s had a sale on Crucial’s 4GB (2x2GB) at 1066MHz.  Again, if I had my way, I’d get 16GB of something blazing fast, but honestly, that alone could have killed my budget.  So this is something to grow upon and upgrade later.


640GB of Goodness. I've got 2. 🙂

Hard Drives: I’ve got one older Western Digital drive that’s 250GB from my current computer.  That’s coming over, but the main two drives will be two 640GB Western Digital Cavial Black drives, both with 32MB cache.  I’ve got pretty good confidence in Western Digital (and Seagate), but chose WD for my familiarity.  Not to mention, the price was right.  I could have gotten higher capacity in a single drive (I could have spent less to get a 1.5TB Seagate drive, for example) but, these higher capacity drives are currently too new for my taste.  Not to mention, then I’ve got all of my data on one drive.  When that fails, everything goes.  This way, I can set everything up on a RAID backup, and not worry about hard drive failure as much.  And of course, I can always add more drive capacity later.

Graphics Card: I wanted to get a graphics card that would allow me to do some gaming, but wasn’t going to break the bank.  Of course, if I had my way, I’d be SLI gaming, but since I’m on a budget, I went with PNY’s GeForce 9400GT


Mine's a 9400GT, not 9600, but it's the same box, practically 🙂

It’s a 512MB card, and can do DirectX 10, as well as HD stuff.  So that is good for the editing, and okay for gaming.  Of course, it’s not top of the line or anything, but it should do quite well for my needs.  This is of course, future-upgradeable, if I need it to be.

Also, I bought two optical media drives.  One DVD-RW, which is a Lite-On, and a DVD-ROM drive that’s from ASUS.  I’m not linking to these, because they’re both pretty standard type stuff.  I just got a slightly better price because of sales.  But nothing to write home about.  I also got an aftermarket CPU fan/heatsink combo, to ensure everything stays chill, but it’s nothing super fancy, but a huge fan/rack of fins.  

Operating System: This took some time and consideration.  In general, I find Windows XP to be stable and useful for most everything, software and hardware.  However, I wanted to work in a 64-bit environment, as I feel that eventually it’s all going there.  So I went with Vista Home Premium 64-bit.  Yeah, I know they’re already working on Windows 7.  Yeah, I know there’s a lot of good stuff going on in the open-source world (And there’s no reason I can’t dual boot down the line.), but overall, I wanted something that would work with what’s out there now, and since SP1, Vista’s been looking pretty good. 

So that’s the PC.  There’s small things like a power supply, and other small hardware, but in general, this is it.  I’m looking forward to putting it together, and showing you all what it looks like in the end.  (I’m more looking forward to the stability of having a good processor with 4GB of RAM behind it.)




2 responses

6 01 2009

So what is that contraption on your wife’s head?

6 01 2009

It’s not really my wife (or my computer)… I’ll put up pics shortly. I’m still installing programs and such to get it up and running where I want it (although I’m typing this response on it now!)

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