So the configuration has changed a bit.
Last week I spoke about the system I want to build for myself for giving PCs another shot. To quickly recap, it was supposed to be a Core i7 2600K CPU running on the MSI Big Bang Marshal motherboard with 8GB RAM and a GTX590 graphics card. But then my wife saw the expenses and that was pretty much the end of my dream machine. What I am not giving up is on a three monitor setup.
So I looked for components that were already lying around the office to minimize the financial hit. Here is the revised version of my PC specs. I should have all the components in by today and the build-up process will also commence today.
First up is the chassis- I realized that the MSI Big Bang Marshal Motherboard is of the XL-ATX form factor and sadly none of the chassis available in the region support that. So I decided to go small- real small. I picked up the Silverstone SUGO02 which is an oversized Shuttle XPC supporting microATX. The chassis cost me AED270 (US$75). With that, I got a Corsair 750W PSU which was another AED475 (US$130).
I checked our office for microATX motheboard and we have the ECS H67H2-M sitting with us. This is the older B2 stepping and ECS wasn’t picking it back up so I decided to use that. I am not going to be overclocking this system at start so the H67 chipset seems good enough. Priced at US$90, the ECS H67H2-M has a couple of Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3.0 that I could possibly use.
My choice of CPU got downgraded from a Core i7 2600K to a Core i5 2500K. The reason for that is purely the price- the 2600K was costing AED 1275 (US$350) whereas the 2500K is AED850 (US$230). For games, the HyperThreading functionality is almost useless although the slightly lower cache on the i5 will result in a small but hopefully not so noticeable performance difference.
RAM is cheap and I decied to get two sticks of Corsair 4GB DDR3-1600 at AED175 (US$50) each. Finally, I was lucky enough to find a pretty good VGA card in the office- the MSI R6970 Lightning which retails for almost US$400. Had it not been available, I might have gone for something a bit less flamboyant costing around the $250 mark such as the GTX560 or the HD6950. The MSI R6970 Lightning card is a pretty long card measuring almost 12″ which is another reason I went for the SUGO chassis as none of the other MicroATX casings available here supported cards that long.
I had some drives sitting with me so that didn’t end up costing anything. In this system, I will have a 128GB Kingston SSD for OS and apps while a 2TB WD Black with 64Mb cache will handle all the user data and game installs. Finally a 1.5TB Seagate will take care of all the backups.
So there you have it- that is my system as of now. In all honesty, this is more or less a test platform. If I do end up sticking with Windows, I will probably replace the chassis with a slightly bigger one that can take an ATX board because I do plan on using the Z68 with a 32GB Intel SSD as a buffer for the 2TB hard drive.
To recap, my new system has a Core i5 2500K CPU on an ECS H67H2-M motherboard with 8GB corsair DDR3-1600MHz RAM and an MSI R6970 Lightning Graphics card. All of this is wrapped up in a SUGO02 chassis by Silverstone powered by a Corsair 750W PSU and boots from a 128GB Kingston SSD with a 2TB Western Digital Black Hard Drive for data and games and another 1.5TB drive for backup.
I’ll be back in a month with another blog sharing my experience on using this.