moscardino.net

Heart of Gold - Build Update 1

What I have and what I need.

My new PC build, The Heart of Gold, is coming along nicely. Here’s what I have so far:

Processor

For the processor, I went with an Intel Core i5-6500. An i5 is probably the best CPU you can get for the money. Since the PC is mostly for gaming, getting an i7, or an unlocked i5 and overclocking, just isn’t necessary. Plus the most CPU intensive task is probably running Plex, which I currently run on a dual-core, older i3 without issues. The i5 should be more than capable enough to handle whatever I can throw at it.

Plus the locked version comes with a cooling fan. No separate CPU cooler required!

Motherboard

Motherboards are tough to shop for. They are all very similar, and it’s hard to tell why the gaming one’s are so expensive. I decided on an Asus Z170-E. It’s not flashy or crazy complicated, but it seems solid and reliable. Plus is has all of the ports and connections I need.

One quirk, it’s narrower than other ATX boards (I think), so it doesn’t mount to all the available places in my case. This isn’t a big issue, it just means I have to be careful when connecting things to the side opposite the IO-shield.

Case

PC cases are terrible looking. They all look like a transformer got shoved into a trash compactor. Panels and grills and weird edges all over the place. Just look at this thing. No thanks.

Thankfully, PC Part Picker recommended the NZXT S340. It’s simple and, dare I say it, pretty. So far, I love it. Cable management is easy and clean, though it doesn’t have any font-panel slots for optical drives or anything else. Honestly, that’s OK by me. It means I can get better cooling with two big fans mounted behind the clean front panel.

Next Steps: Power Supply, Memory, SSD

I actually have ordered a power supply, it just hasn’t arrived yet. I got a Corsair CX550M from Newegg. It should be here soon.

This coming weekend, I plan on picking up the memory and SSD from Micro Center. Once I get those, I’ll have a barely functional computer, though I won’t be gaming until I get the video card. Even so, I’ll have something that I can migrate my Plex libraries to.

Here’s the build so far:

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor Purchased For $179.99 from Micro Center
Motherboard Asus Z170-E ATX LGA1151 Motherboard Purchased For $89.99 from Micro Center after rebate
Memory GeIL EVO POTENZA 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $69.99 @ Micro Center
Storage Crucial MX300 275GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $69.99 @ Micro Center
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB SC Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card $404.98 @ Newegg
Case NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case Purchased For $64.99 from Micro Center
Power Supply Corsair CXM 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply Purchased For $69.99 from Newegg
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit $47.00 @ Best Buy, after gift card
Case Fan Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition 67.8 CFM 140mm Fan $17.99 x2 @ Newegg
Monitor ViewSonic VA2246M-LED 22.0" 60Hz Monitor Purchased For $0.00 (already owned)

Leftovers: GPU and OS

All I know about the GPU is that I want a GTX 1070. Right now, they range from $400 to $450. Since that will be the single most expensive component, and since I can at least get the machine functioning using the CPU integrated graphics, it’s going to wait until last. I’ll revisit which specific card I’ll get at least a dozen times before I’m ready to actually buy.

That only leaves the OS. Luckily, Best Buy recently screwed up an appliance delivery to my house and is sending me a $50 gift card. I’m planning on using it towards an OEM copy of Windows 10 since that will bring it down under $50. Yeah!

All in all, the build is coming along nicely.