Description

6/21/2013 - Updated the cable management. Special thanks to Biernot for the examples.

I was thinking about replacing my home PC when I stumbled on an article that talked about building your own. It is something that has always interested me so I started researching it a bit. Then I found PCPartPicker and I was hooked.

I am a software developer and I use my PC for both work and play. There are a couple video games I play but nothing super intensive. I also do some video editing on occasion.

My intent was to build a general purpose PC that could do a little of everything. Plus, I just wanted to have the fun of building one from scratch.

CPU: Based on the original article I found, I started with the i5-3570. Since this is my first build I was a little nervous about doing any overclocking, so I decided against going with the k series. Also, I don’t consider myself a serious gamer.

CPU Cooler: Since I am not overclocking, I probably didn't need a CPU Cooler but I saw the Zalman on sale for $20 and it looked kind of cool. So, I figured I’d give it a try.

Motherboard: I ordered this because it had some decent reviews and it came with 8GB of memory. In hindsight I didn't really need a Z77 (not overclocking) and I probably could have gotten a little better quality board. Still, it’s working OK so far.

Memory: My original plan was to get a total of 8GB. However, the memory that came with my motherboard was a single stick and I wanted to take advantage of dual channel so I ended up ordering another stick.

Storage: I had read about SSDs and I loved the idea of an SSD for my OS and programs, with an HDD for all my files. This has worked out great so far. The PC boots in less than 20 seconds and my programs load very quickly compared to my old machine.

Video Card: As I said earlier I am not really a serious gamer, so I just wanted a solid GPU that would fit in with the rest of the build. I found a GPU Hierarchy chart on “tom’s hardware” and settled on the 660. Plus it came with a free game. Maybe I’ll become a gamer after all.

Case: There was a Silverstone that I really wanted to get here but just couldn't justify the expense (I think it was over $200). Ended up selecting the Fractal Design and am very happy with it. It’s very quiet and the build went smoothly. The case came with two fans. One intake and one exhaust. I ordered one additional 140mm to fill out the front panel. All three fans are connected to the controller that comes with the case.

Power Supply: This is another area where I would probably do it differently if I did it again. I have done a lot more reading since I ordered my parts and am certain I could have gotten by very easily with a 650. But the unit I got was semi-modular and that made cable management a lot simpler. And, who knows, if I get really hooked on building my own PCs, maybe the 750 will last me a couple builds if I decide to upgrade.

OS: I use Windows 7 at work and was tempted to stick with that, but Windows 8 was on sale. Also, I read somewhere that it performs a bit better than Windows 7. Plus, I figured I might as well take the plunge and get used to it.

Comments

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

I think for your first build you put alot of thought in there. Very nice build could do a smige better with the cables but still very nice on managment. An that case is smexy very nice choice.

  • 74 months ago
  • 3 points

For a first build, I reckon that's a pretty decent cable management.

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

Indeed it is. Nonetheless here are two tips as a finishing touch for that case:

http://i.imgur.com/4Jekp.jpg This is my build (same case, Define R4)

  • Between the psu and the motherboard there is a small hole, which is big enough to put through the USB and Audio connectors. This will safe you to route them all across the bottom of the board. I also took the bottom hole besides the psu for the front connectors (power switch etc.)
  • Take the left cutout for the CPU power connector, it's closer to the header on the board.
  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the tips. I am also grateful for the extra detail you provided. I can't wait to try your suggestions.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Tweaked the cables last night. Looks much nicer. Thanks again.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the vote. Just updated the cable management.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. The case worked out really well.

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a great first build. You did a good job acknowledging your mistakes, so you get an upvote.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice first build. Up voted.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a REALLY nice balanced build but I just wish the zalman coolers weren't that ugly brown/tan :/

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I know what you mean about the color on the Zalman. I thought is was a bit more orange/brass colored when I ordered it.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Impressive! Seeing this case everywhere. Very cool choice of heatsink too.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. Really like the case. Super quiet too. Heat sink was definitely a spontaneous purchase. It was on sale and I thought it looked cool.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Does the case being so quiet end up causing less airflow?

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

I haven't had any problems so far. CPU generally runs in the low to mid 30s. I was playing Metro Last Light last week (came free with my GPU) and it got up around 60. If you need more cooling there are a couple panels you can remove and add more fans. So far, I don't think I need to.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

Its pretty cool that they figured out how to make it quiet but still have airflow. Almost wish I had considered this case when doing my build.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the case you picked though. The contrast with the white is nice look.

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Good job all around.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for checking it out.

  • 71 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice. This will be my exact build (almost) in the next week

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I look forward to seeing yours.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

The last of the the parts come in Wednesday. This is my first build so it may take a little time. Yours looks amazing. Can't wait

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

I am sure you'll enjoy it. If you think about it drop me a note so I don't miss it. Have fun.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Man this build came along nicely to part three.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Necro post. I like this. Simple, still valid, well thought out and looks great.

Thumbs up.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Been a few days since I logged in. Appreciate it.

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