Howdy from the Lone Star State!
I am getting together a parts list for what will be my first build that I do by myself. I have a working computer that is a few years old, and I want to upgrade. I am not in a super rush to get it completed, so I feel like I will have the patience to do it right. The problem is making sure I assemble things in the right order, install Windows and other software properly, etc. I don't know if there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way, hence the need for this message.
I think I have done a proper amount of research on the components below to feel comfortable that I have chosen good quality without breaking the bank. The computer will be our main computer at home, and will do things like e-mail, internet browsing, working with MS Office applications, burning music/data CDs and data backup DVDs, and photo editing with products like Photoshop CS3. I'm not really much of a gamer anymore, so cutting edge speed and graphics are not in my plans.
I am also giving serious thought to trying to overclock the system, but am a little scared about doing it properly. I still need to do some research on this topic.
So here is my parts list:Antec P180 or P182 case
- I'm going for quiet, and I love the design with the lower chamber for the HDDs and PSU. I have been perusing SilentPCReview.com and it's very popular there. I plan to replace the fans that come with the case with the orange Nexus fans and possibly some NoiseMagic NMT-3 fan controlers in order to undervolt these fans to about 700RPM or so, depending on the heat I get form the CPU and graphics card. This is to keep the noise down, but still move enough air to cool the two chambers of the case. I will probably have 4 of the fans in the case - 2 for the CPU and motherboard, 1 for the video card, and 1 for the lower chamber where the PSU and hard drives will reside. At 700RPM each, they should move enough air and still be very quiet.Antec Phantom 500W power supply
- Probably overkill for this build, but with it being in the lower chamber of the P180/P182, the lower chamber fan should keep it cool enough that it's fan never spins up! Silent and efficient power is good. And if I want to overclock, there's enough juice to do so.Asus P5W DH Deluxe WiFi motherboard
- I have heard good things about this board, especially if I want to delve into overclocking. It also has 5 fan headers I think, so I should be in good shape on that.Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo processor
- In my opinion, the best performance value right now of the Intel Core 2 Duos.Scythe Ninja CPU cooler
- More for silence than anything. Depending on the heat output, I might not need to use a fan on the Ninja, but I can undervolt a Nexus if needed.2GB (2 x 1GB pair) of G.Skill DDR2 800, model F2-6400PHU2-2GBZ memory
- I want this just in case I delve into overclocking, and I only want 2GB since I am not using Vista as my OS. I don't think Windows XP SP2 can recognize more than 3GB max RAM, so no need to spend the additional $$$ now.Gigabyte fanless GeForce 7600GT PCI Express x16 video card
- I'm not really a gamer so I don't really need more than this, and again, I'm going for the quiet theme here by going fanless. I do plan to have one of the case fans directed towards it to help evacuate the heat out the back vents. I may even build a baffle to split the upper case chamber into 2 chambers - one for the CPU/northbridge/VRM cooling, and one for VGA cooling. Again, the P180/P182 case makes this really simple.Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1-Channel PCI sound card
- It's cheap, and I could do away with this and re-use the Audigy 2 ZS card from my current PC to save a little cash. I only have a 2.1 speaker system, so surround is really not necessary at this time.Lite-On 20X DVD+-R with 12X DVD-RAM burner model LH-20A1P-186
- I've had good success with Lite-On in my current system. I am on the fence as to whether to install a pair of these, or only use one. It seems easier to copy data CDs by using two drives.WD Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s hard drive
- I will use one of these drives as my C: drive and will install the OS and all software to this drive. It will be mounted in the lower chamber of the case. It's supposed to be a rugged drive, engineered to be in server environments, so it should serve me well as my C: drive.WD Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s hard drive
- I will use 2 of these drives, one internally for data and the other externally in an Antec MX-1 external USB2.0 / eSATA housing as a backup of the internal data drive. This drive gets good noise reviews at SilentPCReview.com.Mitsumi USB2.0 combo floppy/flash card reader
- I have one of these in my current computer, and will either re-use it or buy another. Haven't decided yet. It's really nice to not have to hook my digital camera to the computer to offload files from the CF card!
I will be reusing my monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers from my current computer. That should about take care of the main hardware.
I will be running Windows XP Pro SP2 as I am not ready to jump to Vista yet. I have heard that there are stilla bunch of bugs to be worked out, so I figure I might as well wait until the first service pack is released. Plus, it's cheaper to buy XP right now.
I plan to use MS Office 2003 Pro or Office 2007 Pro as my office suite. I have Office 2003 Pro now, so I don't know if it's worth it to upgrade to 2007 or not. Anyone have an opinion on this?
So what do you think? Have gone way overboard for what I plan to use this thing for? If your answer is yes, I gladly welcome alternative hardware suggestions. My main goal is better performance than my current rig, and also a rig that is near silent without water-cooling.
Thanks in advance to anyone gracious enough to take hte imte to read this and offer their comments (positive or negative).