Why buy a computer pre-built, when you can have all the fun of building it yourself, maybe save some money, and get EXACTLY the computer that you want.
As you may guess, I quite like building my own computers – since working at a computer repair shop whilst studying for my A levels, I have the knowledge needed to start looking into building computers myself. I made a webpage (before I made this blog) about my current computer. You can find that here. Have a quick look – there’s pictures! Basically I am currently running a Dual Core AMD 2.0 GHz desktop with 3GB of RAM, 2 x 1tb HDDs and a nice meaty XFX ATI Radeon HD6850. All it’s details are on the aforementioned page. I acquired the case, board and CPU from work a good year or two ago. I bought some nice OCZ RAM and a PSU, popped those in. Grabbed a nice big terabyte hard drive and slotted that in. Also invested in an ATI HD4650 graphics card which unfortunately died when someone dropped a USB card reader into his open computer case..
I kept adding bits and bobs to that PC, nice fans and lights, and even went so far as modifying the start button cabling to include my own ignition-style key switch. I wish I blogged back then! But this page should tell you enough about it. Go on check that link out, there’s pretty pictures of shiny ram and fans glowing in the dark etc!
After having that PC for a bit, I upgraded to an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (Rev 2) CPU cooler, which was much quieter than the stock AMD cooler, although it did over hang one of the RAM slots – making me worry about this a lot for my new build. I also replaced my HD4650 with a HD6850 (ranked 12th at time of writing on CPU benchmark – google it).
However, now in my second year at university, I have decided we must rebuild. Read the next post for more.
Recommendations: Arctic Cooling coolers and fans are lovely – aesthetically pleasing, quiet, and must shift some air. Tip – if in a university room especially, check your fans every few months at LEAST. My HD6850 was running at about 60 degrees C (with its fan automatic – before I found that you can manually shut it up in the Catalyst Control Center), and when I removed the upside-down card from my PC to clean it, I found the heatsink was caked in dust. I’m sure there are photos knocking round somewhere of that.. it was bad. Also I cleaned the CPU cooler and 120mm Arctic Cooling exhaust fan. (I used cotton buds/Q-tips and toilet tissue – at university, you don’t have all the fantastic cleaning products that you do at home… but it did the job. Also a hoover is a great help, but be careful!!).