The New Build

by Chris “BeachAV8R” Frishmuth   Clueless Chris Introduction About three years ago, much to the dismay of my friends here at SimHQ, I purchased a new computer from Alienware. Experienced users ribbed me for taking the lazy way out and pointed out that I had probably spent 1/3 or more on the same computer I could have built myself. My defense was that I could both afford the premium price, and that I didn’t want the hassle (and possibly disastrous consequences) of assembling my own system. I’m not what you would call a “fix-it” kind of person and generally have almost no innate mechanical abilities. Nor do I really like spending my time on projects that I dislike doing when I can be paying someone else to do it while I go off tromping through the woods or be clinging to the side of a mountain. So, with my Alienware computer getting a bit long in the tooth, I recently started contemplating purchasing a new system. This time “guod” stepped in and stated, categorically, that I should build my own system, and that I’d get exactly what I wanted and the satisfaction of completing a do-it-yourself project. I was, of course, skeptical. With the help of guod and Joe, we assembled a spec-list of parts that would play nice together and they sent me off to the various sites around the internet to spend my tax rebate check and my tax refund. I figured that since my girlfriend just bought a $26,000 car, I could indulge myself in a few thousand dollars worth of hobbyist hardware. After placing orders at four different vendors, I sat back and waited for the various parts to come flowing in; I would get excited each time I heard the rumble of the UPS or FedEx truck heading down the street. Sure enough, the boxes started trickling in after a couple of days. In the meantime, I peppered guod and Joe with questions (our PM thread stretched to 87 messages!) and started researching what this assembly process was going to be like. I started off by reading the “build stories” of our own resident staff members, “20mm”,“Weasel_Keeper”“WKLINK” and “Chunx”. If I wasn’t nervous about the build process before reading the stories, I was fully terrified by the time I read their accounts of fizzles, no-boots, parts searches, and general frustration. As I stared at the growing collection of boxes accumulating on my dining room table I thought: What had I been talked into??!

Building a New System

The official parts list:

  • Processor – Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
  • Motherboard – ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX
  • Memory – Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 6400 (originally Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8500C5D)
  • Video RAM – BFG 9800 GX2 1GB PCIe 2.0
  • Hard Drive – Western Digital Raptor X 150GB
  • Sound Card – Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer
  • Optical Drive – Samsung SH-203N DVD Burner
  • Case – Antec Nine Hundred
  • Power – Cooler Master Real Power Pro RS-750-ACAA-A1 (750W)
  • OS – Windows XP Pro

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