I had never considered building my own computer, but this assignment opened my eyes as to the mediocrity of the computers offered by the major manufacturers. Shopping for parts to assemble your own personal box is a great learning experience and you get more bang for the buck. Everyone should consider build-your-own when in the market for a computer.
Assembly should be fairly easy. After grounding myself, I will install the processor and the RAM modules onto the motherboard. Next, I will install the motherboard into the case and secure it with included screws. Next, I would insert the video card into the motherboard and secure it with screws. Inserting the blu-ray, hard drive, and SSD drive in the bays that suit me best would be next. Secure them with screws. Next install and secure the power supply. All that’s left is to use the included cables to wire everything up. Lastly, install Ubuntu.
The Parts (All from Newegg.com):
MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard. $179.99
This MOBO features SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology to deliver up to 5Gbps bandwidth which is 10x faster than USB 2.0. SATA Revision 3.0 compliant internal SATA ports to provide 6Gb/s data transfer rates, and the onboard audio chipset comes with a 24-bit/192KHz sample rate and 7.1 channels for theater-like sound.
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX, $199.99.
This highly rated 6 core processor has Powernow technology to run cool and conserve energy.
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, $99.99.
Besides being the coolest looking case on the market, the Antec offers multiple configuration options and great cooling as well as a side window so you can admire your machine’s guts. This mid-sized case is not too big, not too small.
Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC “compatible with Core i7/Core i5” Power Supply. $159.99.
I stayed with Antec for my power supply knowing that it would fit my Antec case. I also like the 33% less power consumption than other PSU’s offering the same output.
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT51264BA1339
I went with Crucial for my 8 GB of RAM because of past experience when I had to make an exchange with them and they were extremely helpful. $89.99.
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5″ 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD). $239.99.
I was sold on a solid state drive when I recently used a laptop with one. The read and write times are phenomenal and you don’t have to worry about a drive failure. The SSD drive will be my primary and I’ll use the Seagate (see below) for mass storage. This is the most expensive part of my system, but it’s worth it.
Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive. $169.99.
This Seagate drive has data transfer speeds of up to 6Gb/s for bottleneck-free system performance. A computer repair shop owner told me he only uses Seagate drives because in his experience their fail rate is far below the competition.
XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity. $219.99.
This 1GB video card has great performance and HDMI out at a great price. Runs cool with the built-in fan.
LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner – LightScribe Support – Bulk – OEM, $99.99.
The LG WH10LS30 Blu-ray burner has 10X BD-R & 16x DVD±R write speed and is capable of reading and writing Blu-Ray, DVD, and CD.