Friday, October 25, 2013

The New Machine

I'm a gamer. Once upon a time I was strictly a PC Gamer and had a vanity plate on my car to prove it. My wife bought me an XBox 360 several years ago and I started primarily playing games there but I missed gaming on the PC. The sense of control I have with a keyboard and mouse is light years ahead of anything I ever felt while playing on the console. The graphics also are usually much better on a PC (if your system can handle it).

I have amassed quite a few games on Steam during their "Christmas" and "Summer" sales and many of them have not been played. The other day while thinking about my game collection for the console and the massive quantity of PC games I own on Steam, I realized that buying a PS4 right now would not be the brightest move. What I really needed was a system that was capable of running the games I already own. I cancelled my PS4 pre-order and started working on a list of components to build me a new desktop gaming rig.

My son-in-law recently had someone put him a new computer together so I used his parts as a starting point. He is not a gamer so I knew I would have to make some changes but it was a decent place to start.I asked for suggestions from a co-worker regarding the video card and was initially looking to spend around $100. I went a bit over that amount. I had originally budgeted $600 for the system but I went a bit over that as well.

For the case, I went with the same one my son-in-law has:
Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case       $59.99

Some other components I pretty much matched to his were:
LEPA ATX 500 Power Supply  N500-SA                $39.24
MSI 970A-G43 ATX AM3+ Motherboard               $66.99
Patriot Signature DDR3 8GB (2 x 4 GB)                 $72.29
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit(OEM)          $89.00

On the other parts, I strayed from his build a little bit (in the case of the graphics card, a lot). He told me the fans he bought were a bit noisy so I went with a different choice since they were about ten decibels quieter.
Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm Blue LED Computer Case Fan x 2    $17.40

For the primary hard drive, I think he went with a 60 GB SSD but I bumped that up a bit so I could actually install a few of the games directly to the SSD.
Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III      $99.99

For the processor I decided to go with AMD. I have good success with them in the past and I really liked this 6-core version.
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi AM3+ 95W Hex-Core 3.3GHz      $114.97
For the video card I wanted something quite a bit more than my son-in-law's machine AS I said, he is not a gamer and did not need the kind of graphics power I knew a lot of my games would require. I have always had good luck with nVidia cards in the past and since my last experience with ATI graphics cards left a bad taste in my mouth, I went with the GeForce again.

ASUS GTX650TIB-DC2OC-2GD5 GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB 192-bit GDDR5   $149.99 + 7.56 S&H

I already have a spare DVD-RW drive and currently have no need for a BluRay drive on this machine. I also have a spare secondary HDD for storage.

The grand total for the parts was  $717.42 not including the parts I already had.

My next post will describe the actual task of putting it together.

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