Building a new Intel i7 PC from parts

December 28, 2008 Link to post  Permalink

My current desktop computer just had a power supply failure due to having a too powerful graphics card in the machine. Due to it being a non-standard Dell, replacing the power supply doesn’t solve my problem, and I can’t put a bigger one in that machine.

Time to build a new PC!

Recently, Intel introduced their new i7 processor. Quad core, 2.66 – 3.2 Ghz, tri-channel memory, built in memory controller and a new X58 chipset. Off to Google and NewEgg to get some parts together.

CPU

Intel i7 2.66 Ghz for $299 for the retail version

I got the slowest and cheapest version – at some future time I can upgrade to the 3.2 Ghz and keep everything else if I need to

Motherboard

ASUS P6T Deluxe – $299 from NewEgg

I got the Deluxe version to get the built in SAS controller, I did not get the version with the external module to aid the overclocking enthusiast.

Memory

Corsair 6GB DDR3 1600 memory in 3 sticks – $209 from NewEgg

The cool thing with this new chip is the DDR3 – the CPU memory controller supports this directly and allows faster access than DDR2 for the same amount of memory. The downside is that you need to install 3 sticks at a time to get the best performance. The ASUS Motherboard supports 6 sticks and 12GB currently.

Power Supply

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W supply – $119 from NewEgg

Need power for the graphics card that killed the old machine!

Hard Drives

2 X Fujitsu 147GB 15K RPM SAS drives – $250 each at NewEgg

I’ll mirror these drives with the built in RAID configuration to get reliability and put the OS and application installations here. I’ll be moving the 500GB drive from the old computer into this machine for storing data.

These 15K RPM drives are screaming fast compared to standard SATA drives.

Graphics Card

I recently bought a new Nvidia GTX 280 video card. This will transfer over easily. The ASUS motherboard supports running 3 of these in SLI mode. I’ll stick with a single card for now.

Operating System

Vista Ultimate Edition – The Microsoft Company Store will help me out with this for a good price. We need to be able to run all sorts of PC games on this machine, so Windows is the only way for our desktops.

Optical Drives

I’ll just transfer these from the old computer.

Construction

The parts have been ordered and should be here early this week. Hopefully I’ll have this running before the new year.