Good old times
So over the last 1.5 years I was contemplating the idea of getting a new PC. The problem was, that I was unemployed and did not feel dishing out my benefits for a new PC, because I like to eat. Anyway I finally found a job, and today I ordered the parts for my first "homegrown" PC in years.
Let me tell you a little bit about my backstory here: I always have been a primarily PC-gamer. Yes, as a kid I owned a Super-Nintendo (boy, did I mowed a lot of lawn). I grew up in "communist" Eastern Germany, and by the time the reunification hit (and we could get some western money), I kinda was to old for Nintendo already. I had good fun playing Zelda Mario Kart etc, but as I was playing them as a young teenager and I already thought "Meh, these are kinda kids games!". I think after that I directly went to a 486 DX 2-66 in a ridiculous Colani-design. My dad dished out an even more ridiculous amount of money for that thing. Looking back I really have to admire my father, putting so much hard work towards his sons passion.
So this thing could run Comanche pretty good. And of course I "borrowed" all the games from friends. Consoles were almost not existent. I heavily leaned towards games with well ... spreadsheets in them. Patrician, SimCity or Theme Park.
Well, this thing lasted me some years. I could experience the joys of IRQ configuration or installing my first CD-Drive. I then got a much less "top of the line" Pentium 133 based machine. Then finally in 1998 I built my first PC. I was interning at a lokal ISP, which also build websites, and I did some simple on the side website building. These guys (the ISP company were really 3 guys: a mid40ies business guy who seemed to shag 21year-old-girls on a daily basis, a ex-con system administrator who ran the servers from his basement, and a laid back, gay-as-a-picknicbasket pc hardware store owner), paid me in PC parts, so eventually I could build a Celerion 300 MHz based PC. Followed by a couple of years of gaming bliss.
Later I went to university and had my first serious girlfriend, and consequentially neither time nor money. So I really only got back into gaming about 2005, when I moved to Europe's island of peace and prosperity: Switzerland. This meant 1.5 years of a hardcore World of Warcraft addiction (on my MacBook), followed by buying a PS3 and a 360 to cure me (successfully) from this addiction. When Sid Meier's Civilization V was nearing release in mid-2010 I knew it was time for a proper gaming PC. I bought mine from a store that essentially custom builds them like one would do yourself. But now it is time for an upgrade!
The actual PC
So I was pretty anxious about building a new PC. Now it seems like a science in itself. Sure, configuration and such stuff is pretty easy now, but on the other hand so much specialised hardware exists, and things like cooling and airflow are big topics. So it took me a long time to prepare myself. A huge help was the video of Norm & Will from Tested.com building a PC together with Loyd Case.
The moment when I saw this case I was very interested, because it reminds me of the Apple PowerMac G3, which I always wanted back in the day. It would be great to build a modern PC into a bondi-blue PMG3-base, but I am not that crazy. Yes, I am a passionate Mac user. (But PCs are pretty cool, too.) Then again, today my "personal computing" needs are almost covered by my phone. And I do not work at home or such things. Also I have a ThinkPad in the office should the need arise.
There is a slightly never version of a PC-building video here, but with a boring mini-ATX case. So I will use the BitFenix Prodigy case featured in the first video. I had my doubts about this case - mainly that it is to crammed for a beginner - until I yesterday saw this video about what you can do with it:
So today I ordered the parts! Here we go:
- Case: BitFenix Prodigy - Mini ITX, black (the black is not as cool but comes with a mesh front for better airflow)
- Mainboard: Asus R.O.G. Maximus VI Impact, Z87, LGA1150, WLAN, mini ITX
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K BOX, 3.5GHz, LGA 1150, 4C/8T, unlocked
- Video card: Asus GTX-780 DirectCU II OC 3GB GDDR5 (with free Batman: Arkham Origins)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro Black 2x 8GB, DDR3-1600, CL9-9-9-24
- CPU cooler: Corsair H100i, all-in-one liquid CPU Cooler (240x120 radiator with 2 fans)
- PSU: Seasonic P-660 (SS-660XP2 F3) Platinum - 660 Watt
- alternate case fan: BitFenix Spectre PRO 230mm Fan
- Storage: Samsung SSD 840 EVO Basic, TLC, 250GB and WD Caviar Green 3TB HD
This PC will play games and movies and surf the web to e.g. look at QuickLooks. It will be attached to my TV initially. I had my previous PC also on the TV, but it is very loud and big. I hated that. I moved it to the kitchen (yes, the kitchen, I have a tiny flat) and attached it to a 22" monitor. This is great for strategy games which I play a lot (that´s why I got the relatively powerful CPU), but pretty odd for controller games. So small footprint and noise reduction were priorities for this build. It is obviously not small enough to sit under my TV next to the PS3.
I do not need an optical drive or many drives, so I will remove the 5.25" tray and the upper 3.5" trays. This will free up enough room to mount the huge radiator facing the top hole of the case. I am not sure where to place the fans. Either the fans next to the outside or the radiator, and in which direction to adjust the fans. Or just get 4 new silent fans and push and pull - but that seems like a (noisy) overkill. In any case there is still enough room to install the SSD, the new 3TB drive and maybe a 500GB 2.5" drive I have lying around. In the front I will put the big 230mm fan and suck in air (which will be filtered by the front mesh).
The main board will be delivered on wednesday, so hopefully I will have a new PC in one week.
EDIT: Cost is approx. 2350 US-$. Also typos.