How I saved $1800 by building my own computer!
As promised as few weeks back, in Build or Buy your next PC?, here is final edition to build your own PC.
Context: I wanted 2 powerful computers (an extra one for my wife) that would run Vista Ultimate and not require any upgrades anytime soon. We work around computers all day so we wanted these computers to be quiet. This adds a few hundred bucks ($300?) to each computer notably in the choice of the case, power supply and video card. I also picked hard disk based on their levels of noise. The video cards are expensive, they are pretty much the best models with no fans and can support 2 screens each.
Here is the data (prices are correct as of 02/05/2007):
(Total about: $1800)
(Total about: $1400)
|Price per Unit||Store|
|Case||Antec P180 silver||Same (this case is a real beauty!)||$129.99
|Motherboard||Asus P5W DH Deluxe Socket 775 Core 2 Duo ATX Motherboard Wifi-AP Green||Same
This model is the standard in the overclocking world
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 ($315.50)||Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 ($221.90)||Free shipping||zipzoomfly.com|
|CPU Cooler||Zalman CNPS9500 LED||None yet. Want to see if this cooler really lowers the noise level||$49.99
|Memory||Kingston KVR667D2N5K2/2G 2GB||Same||$155.50
|Memory Coolers||Vantec Iceberg DDR-A1C Heatsinks only - Retail x 2||Same||$5.49 each||mwave|
|Hard Disk||Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s||Same||$89.99||newegg.com|
|Hard Disk 2||WD 500GB WD5000KS SATA2 16MB 7200RPM||None||$147.40||mwave|
|Power Supply||Seasonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W||Same (This model of power supply is used by the connoisseurs)||$139.99||newegg.com|
|Video Card||XFX GeForce 7950 GT 512MB Pci-E 570Mhz ddr3 Dual DVI (Retail) No-Fan||XFX GeForce 7600 GT 256MB Pci-E 570Mhz Dual DVI ddr3 fatal1ty professional series (Retail) No-Fan||Me: $277
|DVD||Lite-on SH-16A7S Black 16X DVD SATA DVD rewritable drive||Samsung 18X SH-S183L SATA+Lightscribe||About $40||mwave|
|OS||2 * Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Ultimate for System
Builders Single Pack DVD OEM 66R-00765
If you need to re-install your OEM license, you will have to activate over the phone and simply say "that you are not running the previous activation on any other machine", they will then give you a new number to enter. Normally, the oem license does not entitle you to phone Microsoft for technical support.
Don't forget will will also need a few sata cables (best price at mwave.com) to plug the hard disk and DVD players to your motherboards.
Update(02/14/2007): No you will not the motherbaord comes with enough SATA cables....
The total cost comes to about $3200 (with less then $40 of shipping charges).
If you don't have the time, you can buy these nearly exact same systems from this company (i don't know them and have no affiliation with them): http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/sku=p4_775pwrhouse.html but it will cost your over $5000 (instead of $3200). So I saved about $1800 for a couple of days of work...not bad.
With these systems motherboard, you pretty much have an overclockers dream machine. I do not plan to overclock now but in a few years, I might speed up these machines by up to 50% by simply using the overclocking features of the motherboard. This motherboard also come with wifi built-in so you can easily setup a wireless network with it.
Note: I got free "Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter PC Retail" with each of the processors...and a free Valentines gift for my wife ;-)