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Building a computer yourself

Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

Have you ever built your own computer?

I've done it a number of times. The advantage above buying a complete computer is that you can choose the parts yourself so that you can build exactly the computer that you want. It's not a lot cheaper than buying a complete computer. I built a new computer a few weeks ago with the following parts:

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard (with Intel Z68 chipset)
Intel Core i7-2600K processor (quad core, 3.4 GHz)
16 GB DDR3 RAM (Kingston Hyper-X, 1600 MHz)
Gigabyte GV-N580UD-15I video card (NVIDIA GTX 580)
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
2 TB Western Digital HDD
800 W Cooler Master Pro Gold power supply
Fractal Design Define R3 housing (white)
Blu-ray writer
Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B processor cooler
Logitech K800 wireless keyboard

It's ofcourse a very nice and fast machine. Especially the SSD is superfast: it can read up to about 500 MB/s, which is almost 10 times faster than a regular harddisk. Windows boots very fast (in 12 seconds or so) and starting up programs is also incredibly fast (for example Photoshop CS5, not a small program, starts in just 3 seconds!).

When I first turned it on, nothing happened... after "debugging" I found that I had inserted one of the motherboard connectors wrong.

Some photos:


Inspection of the motherboard


The processor


Motherboard with processor, cooler and memory installed


Running for the first time

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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Nice machine, I bet is blindly fast.

I've done it a few times, and its not hard. You are right, its also not much cheaper that getting something close commercially. Up until a few years ago, there were "white box" computer stores nearby, who would build what you want, they provided the labor. I haven't seen any recently, I don't think there was enough margin to keep the businesses going.

Of course, it would boot faster if you used a real operating system :-)
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

Besides Windows I also have Ubuntu installed on it!
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3649
    
  17

Yep, my computer is also custom built. Sadly, I don't have the pictures anymore. I think it's almost three years old now, but it still runs quite nicely. I only updated the video card once, when the old one got fried.

Putting it all apart is half of the fun

Your system looks like it'll eat anything. The heat sink is huge. I have a Scythe Infinity for my system, and I already though *that* was big. I put the motherboard in upside down, because it improved the air flow, and if the heat sink every came down, it wouldn't come crashing into my video card.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Jesper de Jong wrote:Besides Windows I also have Ubuntu installed on it!

Then you know what a good OS is.

More seriously, help me out. I don't grok how folks get all excited about how fast a computer boots. I don't boot my computers. My desktop units run for months without a reboot. Even my laptop only gets rebooted a couple of times a week. I don't sit around looking at the screen while it boots. So I can't see why its worth a couple hundred bucks to have one boot faster.

Even program startup is not a real issue for me. I startup Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Netbeans and stay in them all day. Many times I don't shut them down at night. (if I stop working at night).

Seems to me that lots of RAM is a more cost effective way to make a computer fast. And I mean lots, like 8GB as a minimum these days, and much more for serious work.

What am I missing?
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3649
    
  17

I have to say, I'm very happy with my SSD when it comes to archivers, virus scanning and I have lots of discs running from images on my drive. Sure, these are bulky operations that aren't performed often (which is the idea behind a hard drive); but it's still nice

I don't think people really care about the start up time; but it's often the earliest encounter you have with dramatically improved loading times when you have a faster drive. It's simply a pleasant surprise.
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3097
    
  33

I like the cat inspecting the motherboard And its an awesome configuration.


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Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11525
    
100

Huh. I thought you meant soldering the individual parts to create a computer. The first such computer I built was the TEC-1:



I started assembling computer systems back when having a 286 meant you had a really high powered machine! Most of the time these days I am happy getting pre-assembled systems.


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Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3336
    
    8
Andrew Monkhouse wrote:Huh. I thought you meant soldering the individual parts to create a computer. The first such computer I built was the TEC-1:



-Charles Babbage.


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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Andrew Monkhouse wrote:Huh. I thought you meant soldering the individual parts to create a computer. The first such computer I built was the TEC-1:

That is cool. And amazing that you still have a nice photo of it. Do you still have the computer?

The arduino folks are reviving that culture, get your hands busy with wires and diodes.
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11525
    
100

Pat Farrell wrote:
Andrew Monkhouse wrote:Huh. I thought you meant soldering the individual parts to create a computer. The first such computer I built was the TEC-1:

That is cool. And amazing that you still have a nice photo of it. Do you still have the computer?

The arduino folks are reviving that culture, get your hands busy with wires and diodes.

The link I provided was to the wikipedia article on that computer, which is where the image is from.

Technically I still own that computer, however it is in storage in Australia, and I am currently in America. Really long software development iterations.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

Pat Farrell wrote:I don't grok how folks get all excited about how fast a computer boots.

How fast it boots is not in itself very interesting, it's just something that shows that the disk (or in this case the SSD) is very fast.

I like programs starting up fast. It makes the whole computer feel fast. It's annoying if you click something and then you have to wait for the harddisk to rattle for tens of seconds before you can start working.
Jelle Klap
Bartender

Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 1836
    
    7

Jesper de Jong wrote:Have you ever built your own computer?


Always have, always will
Nice specs on the new gear!


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

Andrew: Look at this 8-bit computer built by a highschool student, completely out of TTL logic:

Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9622
    
    2

Jesper de Jong wrote:Have you ever built your own computer?

I've done it a number of times. The advantage above buying a complete computer is that you can choose the parts yourself so that you can build exactly the computer that you want. It's not a lot cheaper than buying a complete computer. I built a new computer a few weeks ago with the following parts:

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard (with Intel Z68 chipset)
Intel Core i7-2600K processor (quad core, 3.4 GHz)
16 GB DDR3 RAM (Kingston Hyper-X, 1600 MHz)
Gigabyte GV-N580UD-15I video card (NVIDIA GTX 580)
120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
2 TB Western Digital HDD
800 W Cooler Master Pro Gold power supply
Fractal Design Define R3 housing (white)
Blu-ray writer
Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B processor cooler
Logitech K800 wireless keyboard

It's ofcourse a very nice and fast machine. Especially the SSD is superfast: it can read up to about 500 MB/s, which is almost 10 times faster than a regular harddisk. Windows boots very fast (in 12 seconds or so) and starting up programs is also incredibly fast (for example Photoshop CS5, not a small program, starts in just 3 seconds!).



Would you mind sharing the cost that you incurred for this configuration?


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Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

It was not cheap - more than € 2000 in total. The motherboard is one of Gigabyte's most luxurious models, so it was not cheap (more than € 300). The SSD cost about € 220 and the video card was about € 440.
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3649
    
  17

I'm not sure if the next board I'm going to get will be a Gigabyte. I got myself the GA-N680SLI-DQ6; the board itself is quite alright, save for some minor annoyances I can't help but attribute to it. It's just that their online international support sucks hairy donkey erm... tails.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9622
    
    2

Jesper de Jong wrote:It was not cheap - more than € 2000 in total. The motherboard is one of Gigabyte's most luxurious models, so it was not cheap (more than € 300). The SSD cost about € 220 and the video card was about € 440.


Recently I bought a Desktop for one fourth of that price but definitely much lesser configuration. By the way, do you live in Germany?
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

http://www.coderanch.com/t/461737/md/Built-was-Building-Gaming-PC


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Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11525
    
100

Jesper de Jong wrote:Andrew: Look at this 8-bit computer built by a highschool student, completely out of TTL logic:

<snip>

Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14432
    
  23

Joe Harry wrote:Recently I bought a Desktop for one fourth of that price but definitely much lesser configuration. By the way, do you live in Germany?

Yes, you can get a good computer for less than € 2000. I live in the Netherlands.
Arun Giridharan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 30, 2010
Posts: 290

Awesome,Configuration. Damn Fast!!!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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