Like most of the voters in my poll, I am leaning towards going the self-built route for the next computer.
After a week of digging around, this is what I think I am going to go with:
- Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit System Builder 1pk – $140
The OEM, single machine kit. It may, or may not, be okay for me to use this. But I am going to.
- Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard – $210
I went looking for cheaper alternatives, but if you want an X58 chipset motherboard, you’re going to be spending $200 and you’re going to get SLI support whether you want it or not.
- Intel Core i7 Processor i7-930 2.80GHz 8 MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail BX80601930 -$285
Still on the fence. I might spend $15 more to get the 950 that clocks at 3.06GHz.
- Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler – $27
I weighed all the $100+ units, but reviewers seemed to like this unit unless you plan to push the envelope of overclocking, and it is about $30.
- Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive (WD1002FAEX) (SATA3 6GB/s) -$92
1 TB, SATA 3, and 6GB/second throughput for under $100. Met my goals there.
- Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D Dominator 6 GB 3 x 2 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Memory Kit – $190
Not married to this particular kit, but it works as a placeholder.
- Cooler Master HAF 912 Chassis– $67
The bigger, more expensive HAF cases are… well… bigger and more expensive. I still might go with the HAF 922. I went by Fry’s to look at it. The drive bay architecture is very nice on the 922, I just have to decide if it is worth an additional $35.
- Ultra X4 – 600 Watt, ATX Modular Power Supply U12-40505 power supply – $95
Recommended by a friend and in as a placeholder. It is rated beyond 80% efficiency, but since I’m going with a Cooler Master case, I might just opt for one of their power supplies.
All of which prices out to about $1,100 at Amazon.com. My personal goal was to keep the whole thing around $1,200, so I am in the ballpark.
I was mildly surprised to find that Amazon.com ended up having the best prices relative to ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect, and NewEgg. Plus there is no Sales Tax with Amazon.com, unlike those three, which in my part of California adds 10% to the price of goods. And if I am feeling really frugal, almost all of the items on the list qualify for free shipping.
I will likely buy the case, and probably the power supply, at Fry’s though. I have to support a store that has all of the stuff I’ve list here on the shelf somehow.
The only item not on the list is the video card. My current GTS 250 is still a decent card, runs cool and all that, plus I still have an ATi 4850 card sitting around. So I may just use one of those. Both support DX10 and I can wait a while before I need a card with DX11 support built-in. We’ll see.