Purchasing a new computer

As of March 7, 2012, I have decided to replace my 5 year old desktop computer.  Fortunately, since I have components that are reusable, I am going to reuse them.

I will list the parts that I am going to buy with the price and the reason(s).

  • CPU – i5-2500 $220 or i5-2380P $205

These are the new Intel processors that I find reasonably priced. These are not the newest processors, but I am not willing to pay a premium price for a top-of-the-line product.  I am still debating if the extra $15 for the faster CPU is worth the price.

Intel has letters after some identical processors that tell what they have or have not.  In the case of the 2380P, it does not have an integrated video card inside the CPU.

  • Heatsink – Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $30 (optional)

I always replace the stock heatsink and fan with a heatsink that can hold a 120mm fan.  Furthermore, the heatsink must allow any user to replace the 120mm fan easily.  Therefore, I will always get a cheap aftermarket heatsink that meets the above requirements.  120mm fans produce less noise with more airflow when compared to smaller fans.

It seems that Intel’s CPU’s may come with 120mm fans, but they are not the standard square fans that are cheap and in abundant supply.

  • Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 $135

Gigabyte has several boards that can do more than the one above. Unfortunately, the prices climb fairly quickly with more features.  Therefore, I will have to decide if the extra goodies justify the premium price.

I always get an ATX or larger motherboard.  Motherboards that are smaller than ATX remove one or more PCI slots.  This is a problem for me since the PCI fan holder and the fanless video card take over 4 PCI slots which may result in zero PCI slots for any future upgrading.

  • RAM – Patriot 12800 4x4GB $85

I always do a cost/GB comparison.  Since 16GB is about 2x the price of 8GB of RAM, I will get 16GB.  Furthermore, getting the faster speed RAM chips is always preferred.  Unfortunately, if they get too expensive, I will get the slower ones.

8GB is going to my other computer that can use the newer RAM.  I have 4GB of slower RAM currently installed on the other computer.  Fortunately, the 12800 is the highest speed RAM the other computer can handle.

  • Fanless Video card – Asus EN210 GEForce 1GB $40 (optional)

A separate dedicated video card is a must in all my desktop systems.  Therefore, I look for one that is cheap and fanless.  This graphics card is reasonably priced for 1GB of dedicated graphics card RAM.

I am considering giving the graphics card in the CPU a try.  If the Sandy Bridge is slowing things down, I can always buy a graphics card later and install it.

  • PCI 120mm fan holder – Scythe Kama Stay $24 (optional)

I do not want to see my graphics card overheat.  Therefore, I always get a Scythe Kama Stay to hold a 120mm fan in a PCI slot that will blow air on the graphics card.  This can be reused on future computer purchases.  Furthermore, 120mm fans are quieter than the small fans installed with most graphic cards.

  • Other parts – $0

The power supply, hard drive, chassis, and other components are still working.  Therefore, I will reuse them until they no longer become useful.

  • Total price – $534 or $519

Depending on the CPU I choose, this is the price I will be paying.  Since I can reuse various components, I can cut costs by reusing what I can.

Being able to replace broken parts as needed, I do not have to purchase components that I do not need.  Furthermore, the above components, that are not labelled optional, are the components that need to be replaced when the old computer is getting too slow.  Although, getting a faster hard drive may provide an additional performance boost, reusing the old one is recommended.

New computer update

I have purchased the Core™ i5-2500K Processor Bundle w/ a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard & Patriot Gamer 2 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Kit since it comes in a package with a reduced price of $350.  I will have to see if I can add an additional 8GB of RAM to the package.

I am planning on overclocking my computer this time around and http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/01/07/how-to-overclock-the-intel-core-i5-2500k/1 will provide help in this department.

Upon bringing the parts home, I realized that the old power supply did not have the correct 8 pin motherboard connector.  Therefore, I had to purchase a new power supply that was compatible with this motherboard.

After I got the power supply connected, my hard drive and DVD drive had nowhere to connect to.  They were both IDE connectors which the motherboard did not have.  Therefore, I had to purchase those new with SATA connectors.

In the end, I reused only the chassis.  I guess I should have brought the chassis to the store and asked them to fill it.  That would have been easier instead of making 3 trips to the same store.

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