PC update #2: What’s inside (the final update)

The Rosewill Challenger case comes with a blue-LED fan light, although that’s not why I chose it!

The PC is built, WoW will finish patching by the time this post is published, and things seem to be coming together. Once I finish tweaking my UI, I will be ready for MoP!

With that in mind, I thought I’d share what I put together for this project.

Case: Rosewill Challenger Black ATX case $49.99

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H Intel Motherboard $119.99

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz Quad-core processor $194.99

GPU: ASUS HD7750-1GD5-V2 Radeon video card $109.99

PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W 80 PLUS certified power supply $59.99

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB hard drive $89.99

Memory: Team Elite 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333 Desktop Memory $33.99 -15%

Disk Drive: Samsung 24x DVD Burner (etc.) $17.99

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium OEM 64-bit SP-1 $99.99

All links are to Newegg, because I was able to get everything there for a reasonable amount, and I liked the idea of getting everything at once because I’m lazy, and so on…

After shipping fees and discounts from promo codes, the setup cost came to $766. I already had a mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, and a headset, so I didn’t include those in the cost since I didn’t purchase new ones.

For someone like myself, building on a budget, I was able to put together a pretty sweet computer. I didn’t pick up a Solid State Drive to install the OS on, because that would have made the project impossible with my budget, but it’s certainly something I can add at a later date, along with a sound card, if I choose.

While I was doing research on components, compatibility, and so on, I had to use a bit of discretion when it came to parsing through customer reviews of certain items. The video card and the power supply reviews, in particular, tend to vary widely, and everyone claims to be a tech genius, so I had to take things with a grain of salt. There tends to be a lot of elitism, too – lots of epeen-stroking out there when it comes “this sucks, you can’t build a good gaming PC for under a grand” and stuff like that. However, for my purposes, which are admittedly somewhat modest gaming-wise (while also having standards – I want to raid, and raid well, after all), this PC has plenty of computing and graphical power, storage space, and memory (which I can expand by a multiple of 4 from what I have) for playing WoW and any other MMOs I’ll likely play over the next few years.

Thus, on many levels, building this PC has been extremely satisfying. I made a computer for less than $800, learned how to build it myself (and was successful), and, arguably best of all, it’s better than the iMac that I previously used. That iMac was the first model to come with an i5 quad-core processor back in late 2009, and it cost me more than three times as much as this one. Yes, I had the money for it back then, but it was generally a disappointing machine, and had issues that frustrated me early on (and ultimately it died with a fatally corrupt HDD and a mess of a motherboard). Just eyeballing the iMac’s specs the other day, I noted that the processor is much stronger in the new one (obviously) and the GPU in this PC rates much higher performance-wise on Passmark Software’s Videocard Benchmark site than the one that came from Apple.

Anyway, I’m excited about it, and, as I said in my previous post, I can’t wait to take Mists of Pandaria for a spin next Tuesday with it. It also allows me to blog whenever I want to, since I will no longer have to share my girlfriend’s computer, and to take screenshots again, and do everything else I enjoy. It’s great to be back!

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Select resources I used:

Newegg – “How to build a computer” videos: Part 1 – Choosing Your Components; Part 2 – The Build; Part 3 – Installing Windows

Tom’s Hardware – “Build Your Own” resources

Passmark Software’s benchmark resources

Lissana at Restokin has a great post about building an MoP-ready PC that has several resources as well, and I used several of those. (Thanks again Lissana!)

Of course, I also talked with friends and family, as well as Google-ing various other things in the process…

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I was a complete PC-building baby when Sombramuerte first suggested that I build my own, and a lot of thought and research went into this project. I’m completely not an expert, but I was able to accomplish this nonetheless. If you’re thinking of building a new PC, feel free to follow links from here, but talk to others and look up anything you can think of. Building a PC that is capable of handling WoW very well for a decent price is extremely possible – you don’t have to pay a grand and a half to get something that can make for an enjoyable gaming experience.

Next post: back to writing about World of Warcraft!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!

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2 Comments on “PC update #2: What’s inside (the final update)”

  1. Spencer Nozell says:

    Beautiful computer, have you decided what to name it?


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