Building my new PC

Boxed componentsHello Hypothetical Readers, after quite some time wanting and planning I’ve finally pushed through to buying and completely building my new PC from scratch.
In the following article I’ll describe the parts and my reasoning for choosing then, as well as the actual putting together and setting it up working Linux environment.

On first notes, I’d like to say I’m sorry about not blogging in such a long time. I’ve actually bought this PC about a month ago, it took quite some time to get the issues I’ve found hammered down, plus quite busy with work and of course my girlfriend on the spare time.

The hardware parts

  • ASUS Motherboard AM3+ M5A97 R2.0
    Pretty solid and modern board, the best I’ve found available for AM3+ socket, a bit expensive, but worthy with additional connections, high quality components, big heat-sinks for better cooling.

  • AMD FX-6300 3.5Ghz AM3+ six core processor
    I went with AMD for processor for more power with lower price tag, Intel supposedly has more features but for a power like this it would be quite expensive.

  • ATI PowerColor R7 260X 2GB DDR5 128 Bits VGA
    Again went ATI mostly to experiment, first time with an ATI graphics card, and quite a bold move from its wide known lack of support on Linux systems. very powerful card on a low price tag, comparable Nvidia could go for even double the price.

  • Kingston HyperX FURY 4GB 1600MHz DDR3
    High quality memory for high quality PC, two of these summing up to 8 gigs for optimal performance. This specific design has a nice heat-sink that also protects the chip and makes it good looking, nice stock frequency and overclock ability.

  • 600W Black Master PSU
    Don’t really know much about these there is a lot of variety and wide range of quality, reasonable price and sufficient output for what I need. Turned out to be quite heavy and sturdy.

  • Kingston SSD 2.5´ 60 GB V300 SATA III
    I got the cheapest SSD, with quite a price difference to other models, size wouldn’t really matter as this will be used mostly for the root file-system, faster reads for boot time and such.

  • Seagate HDD 1TB
    I already had this one, and been working alright for quite a long time. This will hold only my user files and all that porn.

  • TP-Link Wireless 150Mbps PCIe TL-WN781ND (Atheros AR9485)
    Very cheap and small wireless card, not the best sufficient, and of course, Linux compatible. Very week and lot of times and issues with connectivity, but worth for the very low price.

  • Thermalake V3 black tower
    Nice, spacious, well ventilated and elegant. Something to get all those other things in. Also cheap.

Apart from the tower, I’ve also had to buy a screen and sound boxes. Went with 23″ AOC monitor, average but good, with HDMI and even DisplayPort, for audio a 24W microlab boxes, to really those games and home movies a blast.
Overall it wall fitted very nice together.

Building it up

HardwareEven though I  supposedly already knew everything related to building up the PC from scratch, this is first time I’ve actually done it.

Its pretty straight forward, if have chosen all you hardware parts correctly there won’t be any issue. Things to look out are:
* Proper cpu socket for your desired cpu, also the actual motherboard compatibility, as some might have limits to voltage and power.
* Pick a RAM sitck with frequencies supported by the motherboard.
* Same thing for hard-drives, check out required connections and available speeds.
* The GPU is big thing here, check out if there will be a proper PCI-e slot, also check out if it requires a direct cord from the PSU, and the actual size of the card, if it could conflict with other parts or PCI cards.
* Be sure to pick a PSU with enough to more power expected for your system, the safe margin is to prevent your system going crazy during high-load times and allow proper functioning of all parts.
* Also don’t forget to check out coolers and how they fit, if the case you have proper places and etc.

Building it up is quite simple. I start with the all open case as my canvas, down on the table, installed first the PSU as it is the bulkiest and heavier part; then the motherboard, taking a look for the proper location where everything else will go, and of course the external cables; time for the Processor, be careful as those connectors are the main neurotransmitters of your PC; apply the thermal paste, not too much so it won’t overflow, place the cooler in, careful as these aren’t very strong and break easily, even the support on the MB; place in the GPU don’t forget about getting rid of the case slot; place in the RAM and be sure to read the MD manual to see with slots are recommended; finally place in your hard-drives, CD or DVD driver and everything else you might need; oh, and I almost forgot, the coolers.

Now everything is in place, time to get connect everything up. Be sure to first look the MB’s manual to be sure about internal connectors and some caveats that may have.
First place is the PSU supply cords, as they are the bulkiest it easier to navigate around them later, don’t forget to connect your GPU and hard-drives, tie the cords together when possible so they take minimal space. The hardest part I would say its the internal connectors for the MB, as these are not obvious and may change for different producers, be sure to read the manual and get them all correctly, some connectors are the case power buttons, front conenctors, data from hard-drives.
For last connect the cooler fans, best to connect on the MB, as it will better control the fan.

If everything went correctly, You close up the case, connect all those external cables, push the button and will bright up as a triumph of your will (or at least that’s how I’ve felt).
Building up my PC was a great experience for me, noting that I’m on Brazil, high-end latest available hardware take a long time to come here and when it comes, is very well overpriced too.  All the tower components combined cost me around 2300R$, which is quite expensive, plus the LED monitor and speaker box, sum up to 3100R$. Had it been in the US or Europe it could have costed even half of that in value (converted currency).All considering I think I’ve managed to get a good deal on pretty high-end computer that isn’t normally available around here.

Thanks for reading as this post is already too long, I’m going to leave the OS installing and troubleshooting for the a later article. Cheers!

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