building my first computer

As a computer geek, one of the many things missing from my unspectacular resume is the building of a computer for myself. I’ve always been of the “buy it assembled from HP” mindset and it has stood me, personally, in good stead over the years. However, now that I have some disposable income, I realize that HP’s customization options just do not cut it. So I decided to finally make the leap and make my very own computer.

I’m not an avid gamer, although I enjoy the occasional sports title. Hence, I will not need to build a computer that looks like it has been put through a composter and then spray painted by a neon-color afficianado. Neither will I need to drop about $2,000 on a machine that’ll probably become outdated in a matter of months. My budget for this computer is about $700-800 and I am hoping to end up with something that outputs video smoothly to my 1080p HDTV and where I can play a decent cricket, basketball or soccer game or two (or three?).

I have already began the process of acquiring parts. Here’s a snapshot of what I’m looking at:

Intel Core i7 Processor
1-2 TB of HDD space hopefully in a RAID array (not RAID0) of some sort
at least 512 MB of dedicated VRAM

I suppose these are the main components. The motherboard is another expensive piece but I won’t start looking at that until I have decided on a processor.

To get started, I have already put in two orders for a couple of components:

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel
antec03 antec04antec02antec01


  • External 5.25″ Drive Bays: 3
  • Internal 3.5″ Drive Bays: 6
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • 3x120mm fans, 1x140mm fan
  • PRICE: $74.94 shipped

After thinking long and hard about what I wanted to buy in terms of a case, I came down to a choice between an NZXT case, a RAIDMAX Smilodon and this Antec. The Antec was slightly pricier but I figured with more drive bays and 4 fans, this product will hopefully last me a little longer.

Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB



  • Capacity: 1 TB
  • Cache: 32 MB
  • Rotational Speed: 7200rpm
  • Interface: SATA 300
  • PRICE: $84.99 shipped

Seagate and WD are my two targets for hard disks and with Seagates still receiving bad reviews for drive failures, I decided on the Caviar Black and was just waiting for a good deal. This is currently sold out on NewEgg (cost $94.99 shipped when it was available) so I figure I got a deal. The coupon I used at SuperBiiz only gave me $10 off my total, though, so I am going to wait for later in the build stage before getting this guy a buddy to RAID with.

That’s all for this update. Hopefully my packages will be arriving in a couple of weeks!

BUDGET REMAINING = $540.07-$640.07


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