2013 PC Build Impressions

I finally finished my building the 2013 PC. It officially belongs to my brother but I had the pleasure of putting it together. Here are some of my impressions of the build and the build process itself.

 Model
ProcessorIntel Core i5 4670
MotherboardASUS H87I-PLUS
MemoryHyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 16GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 8GB)
Video CardPowerColor PCS+ HD5770 1GB GDDR5
OS DriveSamsung 840 120GB
Storage DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM
CaseBitFenix Prodigy (White)
Power SupplySeasonic G Series 550W
CPU HSFSwiftech H220
Additonal FanScythe Slip Stream 120mm (SY1225SL 12L)
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 64-bit
MonitorASUS PB278Q
KeyboardMicrosoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
MouseRazer Death Adder
SpeakersBose Cinemate Series II
OtherMicrosoft Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows

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Watch My Next PC Being Built

Well isn’t this a bit of a coincidence. The guys at Tested.com are building what is essentially my next PC. They’ve recorded an instructional “How-to” video of them assembling it and since I’m waiting for CentOS to install, I’ve decided to give it a watch.

My system isn’t going to be as hardcore or high grade as theirs. It’s not going to sport a Core i7, or a Geforce Titan or a $155 Seasonic PSU despite how awesome it looks. Here’s a spec sheet for a PC if I were building it today:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K – $226.99 @ NewEgg.ca

MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI – $128.99 @ NewEgg.ca
ASRock Z77E-ITX LGA 1155 Intel Z77 – $174.99 @ NewEgg.ca

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 – $93.99 @ NewEgg.ca

SSD/HDD: SAMSUNG 840 120GB – $99.99 @ NewEgg.ca

Case: Bitfenix Prodigy White – $79.99 @ NCIX.com

GPU: Radeon 7850 1GB – $169.99 @ NCIX.com
PowerColor Radeon 7870 PCS+ – $235.99 @ NCIX.com

PSU: CORSAIR HX series HX650 650W @ $119.99 @ NewEgg.ca
Rosewill Capstone-650 650W @ $94.99 @ NewEgg.ca
OR
Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-550-M 550W – $94.99 @ NewEgg.ca
SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W – $89.99 @ NewEgg.ca

Cooler: Corsair H100 @ $116.99 @ NewEgg.ca

It’s not too expensive but like I said I’m not planning to build it now. I am planning to build a new PC for Intel’s upcoming Haswell CPUs which should arrive sometime this summer. I miss getting my hands on new hardware so I’m looking forward to that build very much.

Go Small or Go Home

My current PC utilizes a Micro-ATX in an Antec Mini P180. It’s not the smallest Micro ATX case on the market but it’s a stepping stone down to the smaller and more interesting Mini-ITX form factor.

I’m a fan of small PCs that pack a punch and with the reduction of power consumption and heat output being all the rage these days, my dream of a small, quiet and powerful PC is a real possibility.

silverstone-ft03-mini

I’ve been eying two cases for these hypothetical builds: the SilverStone FT03 Mini and the BitFenix Prodigy. The Silverstone is in the higher end of my price spectrum at $140 CAD while the Prodigy sits below the $100 mark at around $80 CAD.

bitfenix-prodigy

Both look very nice and if I continue looking up prices, I’ll soon find myself researching Mini ITX motherboards and we cannot have that — it’s a slippery slope from there.

The Search for an iPad Case

As with nearly everything I purchase, a great deal of effort has been put into case considerations for my new iPad.

I initially wanted to plop down money on an leather Smart Cover but after spending time with the tablet, I realized that I would like a case that can be propped up in both landscape and portrait mode.

I narrowed my choices down to the following:

I’m a fan of the Joy Factory case. It doesn’t look bulky and it looks like it covers my landscape/portrait requirements. The only thing both of these cases don’t feature is the auto wake/sleep magnet that the Smart Cover has.

The most obvious downside to the Joy Factory case is the cost. It could cost upwards to $95 to get it shipped to Canada. With that in mind, I’ll be keeping my iPad at home and waiting for this case to become available and see how real world pricing shakes out.