My new PC- part 2

By on June 1, 2011
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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.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • Luay

    You’re not going to get reach maximum settings and 60fps average with one card if you game @ 5760×1200. Not even CF will unless it’s a dual GPU card. If you’re going for lower resolution and settings then you might as well stick with 1920×1200 brother. I thought about it and the best thing I can come up with is:

    i5 2500K and Three HD 6950s Tri-Fire, preferably Twin Frozr III, unlocked and overclocked, on an Asus WS Revolution motherboard. 4GB of RAM and XFX Pro 850W.

    That’s about AED6,400 without the storage, case and cooler. Just make sure there’s enough airflow! As for the displays, I decided I’m not buying anymore TN panels since IPS started taking off. Thanks to Asus and their ProArt 24′er. It’s almost AED2,000 but three of those on my desk is worth it!

    Only thing holding me back is knowing that this year’s video cards are manufactured on the same 40nm chip used on last year’s cards, which explains why their power hasn’t increased much. TSMC, the chips manufacturer skipped the whole 32nm manufacturing and jumped straight into 28nm for this year. Smaller and more efficient chips will be used for cards such as the AMD 7900 series. Wait for 3 or 4 months and you will be glad you did.

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