DIY Desktop Computer

I’ve always wanted to build my own desktop computer. You get to choose your own hardware, your own OS, and your own software. No more bloatware which you will never use and only serve to clog up your program list & defile your desktop with widgets you don’t care about. If I wanted, I could even “pimp out my rig”, installing LED fans, water cooling with florescent coolants, humongous graphics cards, dual processor motherboards, and so on. Albeit it would cost a bomb.

After entering National Service, I started earning an albeit measly salary (or allowance as they call it), and I could finally afford to build a mid-range desktop. This, coupled with the fact that my mom has started to look for a laptop & I was using one, made it the perfect opportunity for me to build a desktop computer & give my laptop to my mom. So I started searching for suitable PC parts & started looking out for suitable deals, and after about 2 weeks, I finally took the plunge and ordered all the parts.

Without further ado, the hardware specs for my computer:

PC Parts
Case: Crosair Carbide 200R
Processor: Intel I5 4570
Motherboard: MSI B85-G41 PC Mate
Graphics Card: MSI R7850 Twin Frozr
SSD: Kingston SSDNow 120GB
HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB
Power Supply: SuperFlower HX-500
RAM: GeIL Black Dragon C9 2x4GB

The graphics card & SSD were bought from Amazon & shipped with ComGateway. (because of steep discounts) The others were bought from myneXTcom. (because there was free delivery) The cost eventually came up to SGD 1060 including delivery charges. Comparable to the price of a similarly spec-ed computer built by some big computer company.

Now that we have the parts, next comes the actual building!!!Contrary to what I thought, putting the parts together was amazingly easy. There weren’t really many parts & most of the connectors could only fit in one way. The only exception was the power LED, power switch, etc, which required me to consult the motherboard manual. Most of the effort that went into the building went into routing the cables to keep the insides neat & cool. Within half a day, I was done unboxing the parts, crooning over their looks, and cautiously putting them together (to avoid frying my first computer, although I now believe it would be hard to do so).

Assembled PC parts

Next, I plugged in everything and started it up for the first time. It revved up! And then died after a few seconds… And then it revved up again, died and so on. Holy crap! I screwed up! I quickly turned the computer off & turned to google for an answer. Someone suggested online to take out and re-install each component (to make sure everything is installed correctly) and I started with the RAM since it was the most easily removable. I crossed my fingers and turned the computer on again. It revved up… and stayed on!

Running PC Parts

Lastly, the software. These were straight-forward enough. Just insert the disk (or USB stick in my case) and just follow the on-screen instructions. Windows, hardware drivers, miscellaneous windows programs and Ubuntu, in that order,

Yes, Ubuntu. My desktop dual boots! Windows 7 & Ubuntu 13.10. Windows for the many games & programs that support it; and Ubuntu for its terminal, programming ease & freeware.
However, after using both of them for a few days, I’ve uncovered more of the shortcomings of each OS. Perhaps I’ll write another entry about these after I’ve spent more time with each OS.

Desktop Computer

As for how my desktop compares with my previous laptop, I haven’t done any benchmarks, partly because I’m lazy & the benchmark results aren’t of much use to me. However, on games like NFS World, my desktop runs much more smoothly on higher settings as compared to the laptop (which was also recently bought).


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