Build Your Own PC February 2010: PSU, Case And CPU Cooler

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 13, 2010
Updated • Dec 2, 2012

We started the February guide of building a PC with the selection of the computer's cpu, memory and motherboard. This article will add a power supply unit (PSU), a case and the cpu fan to the list of components.

We have selected the Intel Core i7-860 as the cpu, the GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 as the motherboard and the CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 as the RAM for the computer system.

The computer's processor obviously determines the cpu cooler that we need. There are some choices here. Retail cpus usually come with a cpu cooler that can be used. The disadvantage of that cooler is that it does not cool the cpu that well and that it is rather noisy to the ear.

Build Your Own PC: CPU Cooler

We therefor recommend to purchase a separate cpu cooler to increase the cooling and decrease the noise of the system. The choice of the cpu cooler depends a lot on the user's intention with the computer system. A user who needs the computer for Office and work that does not require lots of performance might even be happy with the boxed cooler. But there are also users who want to play games, overclock the cpu or reduce the noise of the PC system by buying a cpu cooler that supports large slow spinning fans.

The cooler that we want to use should be as noiseless as possible but still support performance intensive tasks but no overclocking.

The Prolimatech Megahalems is compatible with the 1156 cpu socket. It received many excellent ratings and combines proper cooling with good noise reduction especially in combination with a 120mm fan. The only drawback is the size of the cooler which means that users need to make sure that it fits in the case and that it does not block any of the slots, e.g. memory.

My Selection

  • Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler ($60)
  • 120mm fan, for example be quiet Silent Wings USC (BL013) ($20)

Build Your Own PC: Case

The case selection is as complicated as the cpu cooler selection. There are literary hundreds of cases available from cheap but functional cases for $30 to advanced cases with all kinds of gadgets and expensive materials for $150 and more.

The Lian Li PC-8NB is a case made of aluminum. The components fit in the case which comes with two fans at the front and back. The fans are relatively noisy and need to be undervolted or replaced by fans that are quieter.

My Selection

  • Lian Li PC-8NB ($100)

Build Your Own PC: Power Supply Unit

The power supply unit needs to provide enough power to the PC system. A PSU with 80 Plus certification was desired. The psu should be as quiet as possible as well. The following two power supply units were selected by us:

  • Enermax Modu 87+ 700W ($200)
  • Seasonic X-650 ($180)

Both power supply units have received a 80+ Gold certification which is the highest possible certification for desktop psus. They are both very quiet and therefor ideal for users who prefer a quiet computer.

So far:

We now have six components for the PC that we are going to build, they are:

Case: Lian Li PC-8NB ($100)
PSU: Enermax Modu 87+ 700W ($200)
CPU: Intel Core i7-860 ($300)
CPU Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler ($60), 120mm fan, for example be quiet Silent Wings USC (BL013) ($20)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 ($120)
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 ($270)

That's a total of $1070 and we still have to pick a video card, hard drives and other components like a DVD drive, mouse and keyboard.

The project aims to build a quiet cpu that can be used to work without distraction and to play the latest games.


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  1. futukabl said on April 17, 2010 at 10:30 am


  2. Antony said on February 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I’m a fan of SECC steel built cases :)

  3. Doc said on February 15, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I’ve noticed that most retail boxed CPUs that come with a heat sink and fan also come with an extended warranty (3 years instead of 30-60 days, in the case of AMD CPUs. AMD’s CPU fans (usually made by Foxconn) are pretty quiet and do a decent job of cooling the CPU, and only add roughly $15 to the cost of the CPU over trayed (bare) processors – well worth the price for the warranty alone.

    Aluminum ATX cases are usually lighter and FAR flimsier than cases made of SECC steel; the slightest pressure warps the aluminum badly.

    PS: I’ve also noticed you misspelled “therefore” in this and several other articles. Not nitpicking, just trying to help :)

    1. Martin said on February 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

      Doc I’m always glad if someone points out spelling and grammar mistakes. Thanks for that.

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