Buying a new PC November Progress

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 22, 2007
Updated • Nov 22, 2007

I let it slip once or twice in the comments that I'm going to buy and build a new computer in the first quarter of the next year. I just once bought a pre-assembled computer and since then decided to select the hardware components and build it by myself. This has some advantages but also several disadvantages which I would like to shortly address.

On the pro side there is the ability to handpick the components that you want after carefully reviewing your needs and availability. This can ensure greater performance and definitely ensures that your computer does not come filled with unnecessary applications and the like.

The cons are that there is no operating system installed, you have to buy it yourself. You also have to ensure that the parts that you buy are compatible, nothing is more disturbing than buying an Intel cpu and a motherboard that is for AMD ones.

I would like to keep track on this development until I buy the computer parts and write a monthly, or even bi-weekly article that describes the components that I have chosen, their pricing and availability. This is also a great opportunity to receive some criticism or suggestions.

My limit for this computer is $2000 not including a monitor because I'm going to use my Samsung 19" TFT. Here we go, I'm using the wish list @ Newegg for this. Other companies might offer lower prices on items.

Motherboard MSI P35 Neo2-FR LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($119.99)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail ($279.99)
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail ($36.99)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail ($139.99)
Case: COOLER MASTER CAVALIER 3 CAV-T03-UW Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ($59.99)
PSU: AeroCool ZERODBA ZERODBA-S500 EPS 12V/ ATX 12V 2.02 500W Power Supply - Retail ($84.99)
Video Card: XFX PVT88PYDE4 GeForce 8800GT Extreme 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail ($289.99)
Solid State Disk: SAMSUNG MCBOE32G8APR-0XA00 1.8" 32GB IDE Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - OEM (placeholder) ($429.99)
Hard Drives: 2 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM ($139.98)

The price is currently $1,581.90 without shipping and handling. I will definitely buy a Solid State Disk. Supply is not good at the moment, I want a SATA-II one with 16 or 32 Gigabyte for a price around $400.

There is no question about the video card, the 8800GT is currently the best card in the power / money rating. I don't really care about the manufacturer though and have to do more research on this matter.

The Seagate hard drives have only 250 Gigabytes which is sufficient for me. I could buy hard drives with additional capacities which do not cost that much more.

What do you think of this setup ? Would you change anything ?


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  1. bmunch said on November 24, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Are solid state drive value for money? From what I know, it is a new technology that will repay you in a few years time.

  2. Ace_NoOne said on November 23, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I agree; quad core is pretty much useless right now, and probably will be for quite some time. (I don’t even know of any games that make good use of quad-core CPUs.)

    I’d go for a dual-core CPU now, and then upgrade in a year or two – that’s still gonna be cheaper in the end (because high-end hardware is disproportionately expensive).*

    * the same principle applies to graphics cards, by the way

  3. kevinn said on November 23, 2007 at 11:11 am


    IMO, programs utilizing quad core ain’t mainstream (yet) – aside from games. Unless you need heavy lifting for video encoding or for render passes you might get benefits from a quad core cpu.

    But for regular home/office tasks, the performance difference might be pretty much nil.

  4. Martin said on November 23, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Paymun that is a really nice offer. I want to buy it in a few months from now on and I would like to come back to it then, if that is ok with you.

    I’m a bit concerned about purchasing components from overseas though ;)

    Still, thank you so much for making this offer.

  5. Paymun Ghaemi said on November 23, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Hi Martin,
    I just wanted to say that I’m an avid reader of your articles. When I read this article I decided why not repay you in some way. I own a private custom pc company. I am sure I can get those parts for cheaper and save you a few hundred dollars. Let me know if you’re interested. Cheers ;)

  6. Martin said on November 22, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks for the tips, some items will probably change anyway in the next months. Talking about cpu and ram for instance where faster ones become cheaper over time.

    Why would you suggest a dual core cpu instead of a quad core one ?

  7. kevinn said on November 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I’d rather suggest to get the e6850 proc.

  8. tinwheeler said on November 22, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    +60 Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Processor bundle – FREE Sword of the New World PC Game, Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Processor 3.0GHz Retail tiger direct
    Only $299.99

    Motherboard = $270 new egg
    GIGABYTE GA-X38-DQ6 ATX Ultra Durable 2, Ultra Cooling Intel Motherboard – Retail
    * LGA 775
    * Intel X38
    * 4×240pin DDR2 1066

    Memory =$109 new egg
    Kingston HyperX 2 GB PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM (KHX6400D2K2/4G)
    2 Gigs of speedy, 800MHz memory with aggressive timing

    Hard drive =$120 tiger direct
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB Hard Drive SATA

    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RP-600-PCAR 600W Power Supply – Retail =$40 new egg
    * ATX from factor 12V V2.01
    * 115/230 V
    * Safety Nemko, TUV, cUL, CE, …
    You Save: $10.00
    ($39.99 after $40.00 Mail-In Rebate)

  9. John said on November 22, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I like the configuration.
    I wouldn’t bother for 4 Gb of RAM. You can use 4 Gb only with a 64 bit OS. Are you planning to use one? Prepare yourself for many nights looking for drivers!!!
    I would go for Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache as my hard drive. I would suggest 4 of them in RAID 0.

  10. Ace_NoOne said on November 22, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I haven’t paid close attention to hardware since assembling my new PC last year – so I’m grateful for this sort of updates.

    Suggestion: Use a table for the components listing; that makes it much easier to read.

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