The Proposed System Configuration

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.

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.

Still on the fence.  I might spend $15 more to get the 950 that clocks at 3.06GHz.

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.

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.

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  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 ended up having the best prices relative to ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect, and NewEgg.  Plus there is no Sales Tax with, 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.

13 thoughts on “The Proposed System Configuration

  1. Jason

    Awesome looking system. I’d highly recommend buying a GTX 460 at some point in the near future, or bumping your budget up a bit. You can get the 1GB cards for around $220, less if you look really hard. They’re currently the absolute king of price/performance in video cards and with all the money you’re putting into the system, might as well not risk a graphics bottleneck.

    On the case, I’d still recommend going with an Antec 300 series; probably the Illusion. Newegg has it for $10 over the price of the HAF 912 you listed, but the HAF 912 comes with a single 120mm fan vs the Three Hundred Illusion including 2 blue LED 120mm fans up front, a blue LED 140mm fan up top and another unlit 120mm fan in the rear. While the LED fans may be a touch annoying, the case itself is exceptionally well reviewed.

    Beyond that, awesome build list. :)


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Xyd – The blog runs on UTC.

    @Jason – I’ll look at that case. I haven’t pulled the trigger on any of this yet. Waiting for a check to show up first.

    On the other hand, the HAF has spots for a couple additional fans, including a big 200mm fan on the door, and Fry’s has all the Cooler Master parts and such on the shelf. I love that place.


  3. Ogrebears

    For the last 10 years i’ve built every single gaming PC i’ve had. But lately i’ve been thinking about just buying one.

    I used to build them because i would end up spending all my time on that machine, but now that i’ve pretty much switched over to a mac for everything except gaming i can’t really see the need to build one with the highest specs.


  4. Bariwyn

    Is there absolutely no Microcenter near you? If not you may be able to order online. You can get a 2TB hard drive for about $100 through them – it’s a Seagate, but it’s a pretty well-known brand to people who build their own and has been around for a long time. If something is a bit cheaper with slightly less of a rating, I wouldn’t worry abou the rating.

    I’d also look at your other parts on their website and see if they have something comparable, cheaper. For example, Corsair makes a similar power supply you have listed and it’s half the price from Microcenter as listed on Tiger Direct. Same for video cards etc.


  5. SynCaine

    The power supply seems a bit weak to me, especially since you are getting a mb that supports SLI (which over the years has almost gotten to the point of being worth it!). Last thing you want to be doing is a full re-wire in a year when you get a new/second vid card.

    Other than that it looks solid though, especially for the price.


  6. stevex

    Very similar to a machine I put together a month or so ago. So far I’m very happy with it. Someday I plan to add an SSD to complete the picture.


  7. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Bariwyn – There is a MicroCenter in the area as well, but I have never been fond of them. They tend to be more expensive in my experience. Going down the list of parts on their site, they are a few dollars more than Amazon across the board and I’ll have to play the 10% sales tax even if I order online because they have a store front in California. So MicroCenter is no bargain for me.

    On the hard drive, yes, I could find a cheaper drive if I was just measuring dollars per gigabyte. However, SATA3 was also a requirement.

    You also picked the two items I said were placeholders (power supply and RAM) and said I could find cheaper alternatives. Yes, I probably will.


  8. We Fly Spitfires

    I’ve got the HAF 922 case and it’s pretty cool even if it does look like something out of a teenage boy’s wet dream. Very easy to access to components inside and great air flow but be warned, it’s absolutely frickin’ huge!

    Looks like a nice spec and a good price too!


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