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New Computer Build

For a while, I have been wanting to build myself a new computer. I really want something with a little more power than my AMD Dual Core desktop at the moment, and I have wanted an Intel i7 for since the first generation of them came out. I made a page on my old build here.Now at university, and with a little money saved up, I've decided now is as good as any time to built. It begins.

Why build?

Why am I building a PC? Why don't I nip over the road to Currys/PC world, or buy something from eBuyer or Amazon. Partly because high street shops are over priced, but partly because I know exactly what I want. I'd like an i7, a good board that is expandable in the future - lots of ports and space. I'd like an SSD to boot from, and a PSU to power my relatively meaty graphics card. Theres some things that I am pulling from my current build, Graphics card, was going to bring power supply, but decided I need a new one. Hard drives will be coming too. So I didn't really want to pay for these things. I also didn't want to pay £70 for Windows 7. Partly because I dislike paying for software, and partly because our Computer Science department has signed up with MSDNAA (Microsoft software for students thing) which gives me a free copy of Windows 7 Pro. Which should do. Why don't I download a copy of windows 7? I found that I tended to have A LOT more problems with unlegitimate versions. Just random things going wrong, unexplainable. Blue screens, system hangs, random incompatabilities that shouldn't be there. So I'm staying legit for this new build.

Starting out

So I decided I wanted to build another computer. Where do you start? It's a tough one - I started with the processor. I wanted an i5 or i7, they should last for the near future and far beyond I hope. I have always wanted the i7 2600k (I don't plan to overclock it, but hey - if I ever want to, the "2600k" is better for it than the 2600). Whilst looking at components, I created "Idea boards" in microsoft paint, to show the ideas of what I currently wanted, and some of the choices. It helped me choose parts as I could easily see their pictures and prices, and look them up for more info with their full name if needed. This was my first price list of ideas on Aria from a few months ago. This was a more recent idea board, almost everything has changed since then though, as I have found different boards, and CPU coolers, and I have changed from a 60-120gb SSD, due to my current programs already taking up around 60 plus windows files. I also decided I didn't really need 16gb of RAM, and 16gb was pretty much double the price of 8gb, rather than being less than double. My last ideas board is here.


From the processor decision, it was decided I needed a socket 1155 board. This was very hard to choose - so many different ones, with many that are very similar to each other. I considered MSI, Asus, and to a lesser extent, Gigabyte. MSI and Asus looked like fantastic boards, many good reviews, and I happened to go down the Asus route. I found a board I really liked, a P8P67 something. About £90ish, and it had everything I wanted. PCI slots, a few PCIe's, 4 RAM slots, USB3.0 on the back, even bluetooth and a PS/2 port for old keyboards and mice I think. However, a friend told me not to go for a P67 series, go for a Z68. The Z68's apparently are newer - therefore newer chipset, with many lessons learnt I'm sure from the P67's which seemed fantastic. I also heard tell of P67's having trouble with SSDs. So to be safe, I went for a newer Z68.


From there, I needed some DDR3 RAM, and although I loved my shiny OCZ RAM with heatsinks on each side, I had heard a lot of good reviews about this Corsair Vengeance, and a friend reccommended [sp] it to me as good RAM, and even 16gb of it was only £80ish.

Solid State Drives

I also knew I wanted an SSD. I really liked the look of the OCZ agility 3 series, and recently found a Corsair Force 3 for around the same price (£125-130). Both of these drives are SATA3, 120gb, and have read / write speeds of about the 550mb read / 500mb write mark. Very hard choice between the 2, and I'm sure there is barely any difference between them, but in the end I went with OCZ - as I was a big fan of their RAM and PSU from my current build. I heard some bad stories about upgrading the firmware on these devices, and about recalls of the Corsair Force something, and about the reliability of the devices. But nevertheless, I still wanted an SSD.

CPU Cooler

After some Googleing, I was fairly sure I didn't want the stock Intel cooler, as many people say it runs hot, and therefore probably noisy, and one of the key things I want from this system, is for it to be quiet. I looked at Arctic Cooling again, as well as Be Quiet, Zelamon?, CoolerMaster and many more. The Noctua NH-U12 looks to be a fantastic cooler, probably one of the best. However, it looks huge, and I wasn't a fan of its looks with the brown and cream. The CoolerMaster V6 and V8 look amazing, have brilliant performance, and I would really like the V6 especially, however I am very aware of the fact that they are so big they would likely overhang at least 1 RAM slot. I considered the Arctic Cooling Extreme cooler, as I liked Arctic Cooling, and for £28, it was fairly priced. It was large, but it's fan is in the middle, and it doesn't have a fan on the back to overhand the RAM slots, so it may fit, but some photos showed otherwise, and it did overhang on some boards. After a lot of searching online for "best i7 2600k" cooler, I noticed a trend. Although many coolers were being reviewed and they all looked fantastic, one kept popping up, multiple times even on one forum page - the "Hyper 212". It looked as though everyone really loved it, whereas I had dismissed it quickly upon seeing a photo of it, as It looked small and not powerful enough to cool a quad with 8 threads. However, you have to take into account that that fan on the side of it isn't an 80 or 92mm, its a whole 120mm (case size) fan. And by the looks of it, it works very well. After reading more stunning reviews about mainly the "Hyper 212+", it's newer brother, I was decided - this was the one for me. I found a fantastic review of what's in the box: here. I like reviews where you get to see exactly whats in there, as I see there is thermal paste, lots of screws etc. I will probably buy some good thermal paste after reasearching it at some point! I also liked the fact this cooler can have another 120mm fan stuck onto the other side with it's provided brackets.

More on this story when I have another few free minutes! And also a spell check and some pictures. - Work in progress!

Probably change headeres to h5.