moscardino.net

Building the Heart of Gold

I'm going to build a gaming PC.

I recently decided I wanted to build a gaming PC. I’m calling it the Heart of Gold. It will be fun.

The Name

My devices all have names based on fictional spacecraft:

  • MacBook Pro - Serenity (Firefly)
  • Surface - Tantive (Star Wars)
  • iPhone - Eagle 5 (Spaceballs)
  • iPad - Axiom (WALL-E)
  • Media Server - Red Dwarf (Red Dwarf)
  • Hard Drives - Discovery, Leonov, Aries (2001 Series)

You get the picture. I decided to go with Heart of Gold for this since it will be faster than anything I currently have. I also considered Death Star since it will be bigger and more powerful, but I don’t think it will be sinister enough to justify that name.

The Parts

Let me just say how much I love PCPartPicker.com right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve built a PC and PCPP has been a wonderful help in finding compatible parts. I also love their sample build guides which provide a good starting point.

So here’s what I think I will build:

TypeItemPrice
CPUIntel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor$149.99 @ Micro Center
MotherboardAsus Z170-E ATX LGA1151 Motherboard$119.99 @ Micro Center
MemoryCorsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory$77.99 @ Amazon
StorageCrucial MX300 525GB 2.5" Solid State Drive$119.99 @ Amazon
Video CardAsus GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card$409.99 @ Amazon
CaseNZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower CasePurchased For $64.99 @ Micro Center
Power SupplyEVGA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply$59.99 @ Newegg
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit$129.24 @ Amazon

Building It

Well, I’m not going to yet. I’ve decided that I don’t really want to drop $1200 on this right away. Instead, I’m going to be getting parts slowly. Probably about one per week. I bought the case this past weekend. Next will probably be the CPU and Motherboard (Micro Center discounts them when bought together). Eventually I’ll get to the point where I can put it all together.

Because of this, the parts list above probably isn’t the final parts list. I’ll be checking and re-checking things as I go to make sure I get the right parts for the best price.

Why?

Simply: because I want to play (more) games. More modern games that my MacBook Pro can’t handle (it struggled with FireWatch). And my Surface is basically hopeless for gaming. So I’ll build something that can handle most modern games without any issues and it will hopefully age gracefully. I still love my XBox One (and old consoles), but there are games I want to play that aren’t out on it.

Plus I get to replace my little Plex media server. I’m currently using an i3 NUC with an external hard drive. It’s sufficient, sure, but it has trouble with some transcoding operations. Hopefully the beefier i5 in the new machine will be more up to the task.

Finally, I want to build it so that I get to build something. Building is fun and it’s been years since I’ve built a PC. I’m excited.