Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ordered my CPU and half the intended RAM for my new build and when they arrived installed them.  This beast is now purring as we speak and I'm using it to make this entry.  

Now to the parts......


I checked around for CPU's and got what gave me the most bang for the buck.  I know I had the AMD Phenom II X4 965 in mind, but I  managed to get a deal on the Phenom II X4 970.  The price was only $5 dollars difference and since I intend to Overclock this CPU the difference goes well beyond the .1 ghz of CPU speed increase.  The 965 has a clock rating of 3.4 ghz or 85% of my intended OC speed of 4.0ghz.  The 970's clock at 3.5ghz is 87.5% of that 4.0ghz or a 2.5% power increase with no difference in the average temp.  This CPU at stock speed with my Antec Cooler idles at 30 °C and under load I've not seen it pass 48 °C.  This leaves plenty of room for me to OC as this CPU is rated for up to 62°C.  Since I've yet to get the 3 extra case fans (I have 2), I am waiting to Overclock this beast.

Price $144.99 with Free Shipping at  Other sites were cheaper but had a back log of orders or had a high shipping price that would have made them cost more. 


Due to budget I only installed half the RAM I planned initially, and I'll add the rest at a later date.  Still 8GB of RAM is more than enough for almost any need.  I picked up 2 stick of
 G.Skill Ripjaws Series DDR3 RAM, the stock frequency is 1333, yet can be OC'ed to 1600 which is what they market it as.  The timing on this RAM is 9-9-9-24-2N, and while CL7 memory would have been faster this works extremely well for the price.

Price:  $43.99 with Free Shipping from

As you can see I'm coming out pretty cheap on this build, I'm up to $341.97 including all shipping costs.  A lot of the saving though can be attributed to saving the parts that were viable from the old PC.  I could have easily spent an additional $300 on just a power supply and a newer video card.  Though I may forgo the extra 8 GB of RAM and put that towards a vid card with more umph than the GT520 budget card I have installed now.  The overall upgrade in performance has shown an improvement of about 10fps in games, though they are running much smoother than before due to better loading and data processing times.  Since upgrading I haven't have stutters in game play caused by CPU bottle necking.  All in all it's been worth the upgrading, and since is my first build in years, and first with a bottom mounted power supply I'm finding it rather pleasing to see how this improves cable management.  Here's a couple of pics from inside the assembled PC.

There are very few cables that have to run infront of the board, namely the power cable for the CPU Coolers radiator fan and the 8 pin power connector which is the black and yellow cords you can see there.  Even that bulky IDE cable (Flat Ribbon Cable) is pretty much out of the way.

The cables you see at the very bottom of this pic are unused cables from my PSU, they are bundles and sit neatly on the bottom of the case without blocking any of the mother board.  I like this approach it actually uses gravity to an advantage.  By having a bottom mounted PSU, the cables have no where to hang, this lets you have better control over where they lie.


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