It was time to upgrade my desktop. It’s nice being able to do that — my previous main computer was a notebook where all I could do was change the hard drive and add a little memory.
I decided that, after all the mid-range systems I’ve had for years, this time I wanted a fast, loaded computer.
What do I use it for? Web design, email, web surfing, and not much more. Sure, it’s overkill, but fast is nice. The Solid State Disk (SSD) makes it really fast, especially when starting or shutting down the system.
What did I use? Here are the items that I picked for my upgrade…
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3, i5, i7, and AMD Phenom
The PSU is ready for SLI or CrossFire configuration with 2 PCIe connections. There are also 6 SATA, 4 Molex and 2 Floppy connectors.
Fans: 1 x 135mm Fan Main Connector: 20+4Pin +12V
Rails: 2 PCI-Express Connector: 1 x 6-Pin, 1 x 6+2-Pin SATA Power Connector: 6 Efficiency: Typical load 86% Efficiency Over Voltage Protection: Yes Input Voltage: 100 – 240 V
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Cas Latency: 9 Voltage: 1.5V Multi-channel Kit: Dual Channel Kit Timing: 9-9-9 ECC: No Buffered/Registered: Unbuffered Heat Spreader: Yes Features: Compatible with Intel LGA1155/LGA1156 and AMD AM3/Llano/AM3+ platforms Intel XMP support for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Number of Memory Slots: 4—240pin Memory Standard: DDR3 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 Onboard Video Chipset: None Audio Chipset: Realtek ALC898 Max LAN Speed: Dual 10/100/1000Mbps SATA 3Gb/s: 4 x SATA 3Gb/s 1 x mSATA connector (The SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive.) CPU Type: Core i7 / i5 / i3 (LGA1155) Maximum Memory Supported: 32GB
Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Series: Core i7 L2 Cache: 4 x 256KB L3 Cache: 8MB Manufacturing Tech: 22 nm 64 bit Support: Yes Hyper-Threading Support: Yes Cooling Device: Heatsink and Fan included
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full (Retail)
I’m staying with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future. I haven’t heard anything that I like about Windows 8 yet. I’m glad I sold my Microsoft stock.
Why did I get the retail version of Windows 7 Professional and not the cheaper System Builder version?
Several reasons. The System Builder version is licensed for use on only the initial computer on which it is used, just like the version that comes when you buy a computer. In fact, that’s exactly what the license terms say — the System Builder version is for computers being built for sale to third parties. That’s definitely not a PC enthusiast who likes to upgrade his system.
Finally, with Microsoft’s definition that a new motherboard and CPU equals a new computer, the Retail version is actually licensed to be transferred to another computer.
XIGMATEK Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition CPU Cooler with Stealth Aerospace Industry Thermal conductive ceramic coating ALL intel AMD IVY BRIDGE compatible
Awesome heatsink — without the fan (I misconnected it at first), the CPU was still only 40°C. With the fan, the CPU is running 30-31°C.
The big disadvantage of this model is that connecting the heatsink’s backplate to the back of the motherboard was difficult.
Once I figured out that I needed to screw the mounting posts into the backplane before trying to mount it (thereby cutting the threads into the backplane), so I wasn’t trying to cut threads in the plastic while I was fighting the backplate, it went much better. Screw them in, unscrew them, position the backplate, now screw them in from the top of the motherboard to the backplate.
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2BAA 2.5″ MLC 256GB Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Sustained Sequential Read: Up to 500 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s) Sustained Sequential Write: Up to 260 MB/s (SATA 6Gb/s) 4KB Random Read: Up to 45,000 IOPS 4KB Random Write: Up to 50,000 IOPS Power Consumption (Active): 0.16W Power Consumption (Idle): Max Shock Resistance: 1500G Used For: Consumer
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
Thermal compound is necessary to create a reliable transfer of heat from your computer’s processor to its heatsink to keep your CPU from overheating. Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound does this with three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer. It’s optimized for use between modern high-power CPUs and high-performance heatsinks or water-cooling solutions.