New (Dream) Machine (Part 1)

tech comments

I’ve been thinking about getting myself a new computer for a while now. For the past 3 years I’ve owned an Acer 5920G laptop which is slowly dying on me. But increasingly frequent random crashes, as annoying as they are, are not the biggest problem. With me being (at least recently) a web developer and my style of programming I burn through those 2 gigs of RAM in an instant. I thought about replacing them with 4 gigs, but that would just fix the problem for a few months. So I decided to replace my laptop, that gets a 4.7 rating in Windows 7, with a brand new desktop computer.

I chose a desktop computer over a new laptop because of a few simple reasons. First, I’ll still have this laptop if I need one. I don’t really need my primary machine to be portable and with tools like DropBox I can always have the important stuff with me. The second reason is a bit subjective. With a laptop I don’t really feel that I have enough control over the hardware. Yes, you can change the optical unit, add more memory, swap the hard drive, but you can’t really change the important stuff like the CPU or the graphics card. And don’t event get me started with how you can change a thing about the cooling. And you can do all of these things with a desktop computer, hence my choice.

I found quite a nice pre-built computer on an Austrian online shop, but could not order because I don’t live in Austria. So I started reading reviews and test and other whatnots about the hardware out there. I was at it for almost the whole per-Christmas week. But I did it. So let me present you with a list of the components I chose:

  • Asus Sabertooth X58 - a motherboard with a bit of futuristic stuff like USB3 and SATA3, 2 PCI-e slots and quite a few good reviews.
  • Intel i7-950 - a snappy 3.06GHz processor with 4 cores.
  • Corsair XMS3 6GB Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Kit (CMX6GX3M3A1333C9) - 3 times more memory then my laptop should suffice for now. The motherboard will still have 3 empty slots so an upgrade to 12 or 18 GB won’t be a problem in the future.
  • Sapphire 5770HD 1GB GDDR5 - the graphics card that should play all the modern games and full HD 1080p videos on my 24” LCD.
  • Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - a hard drive that is big enough to hold all of my data.
  • Samsung SH-S223C - a cheap DVD burner just so I have an optical unit.
  • LC-Power LC6650GP3 V2.3 GREEN POWER - a 650W power supply should be enough to power all of components above.
  • Antec SLK3700 - an older Antec case to fit in all the parts.

If you know anything about computer hardware (and I think you do if you’re still reading), you see that this will be quite a powerful piece of machinery. And that’s what I wanted. I finally have a computer I always wanted.

So the orders are in and I hope to get all the parts in first week of 2011. I’ll post some pictures of the components themselves as they come in and then the whole rig. So stay tuned.