Over the next few days, I'll be building Scott Hanselman's computer. My goal today is more modest: build a minimal system that boots.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/07/building-a-pc-part-i.html
I can’t wait to see the “official” benchmarks…I presume you are going to benchmark it?
If that heatsink is going to be on its side (since the case is going to stand up), won’t that cause undue stress on the CPU?
Sorry I’m always paranoid about things concerning CPUs.
If the weight of your heatsink doesn’t provide enough undue stress on your CPU for your tastes, you can always try compiling Firefox, Thunderbird, Xorg, and a few Linux kernels all at the same time. Remember, if it doesn’t smell like something’s burning, you’re not doing it right!
You could build computers for Twitter!
Note to Scott, Jeff’s cat is “in ur serverz making thingz better!!!”
yes it’s true building your own pc is better than buying one. but the problem for me is, i’m using a laptop… for sudden i thought of building my own laptop. previous night i made a surgery on my laptop try to understand the thing inside… but it useless… hahahaha…
anyway, your entry inspire me to try work on my lappie…thanks
Hey now, the geek squad do a good service to old women everywhere… they allow them to look at their chest high pants and crotch high socks… $99 isn’t to defrag… is the entertainment cost
It’s amazing how many people are still intimidated when faced with the option to build their own computer. Ultimately, though, it’s not a ‘cheaper’ alternative for the everyday user anymore. It’s definitely satisfying to me, though.
Re: comments about that HS. Does anyone have any references to the Scythe causing any CPU problems? I’ve thought about grabbing a pair for my box since I saw them in another of Jeff’s posts (possibly regarding quiet PCs).
Jeff: I’m glad your cat could lend a paw. I can’t wait for my fiancee to move out with the cats; they find a way to help you do everything better. Walking is much easier with a cat between your feet.
Write about the “REDIRECT AFTER POST” thing already!!
“Unfortunately, cat helpers aren’t all that… helpful.”
What are you TALKING about?! Those little cats help Twitter run all day long!
Interesting about the p182 arrangement.
Like Simon though I’m a bit confused with your dual 8600gts cards when a single 8800gts card is equivalent in performance to both of those, cheaper, takes less power, and possibly quieter.
Oh…you explain in a comment from that post by Scott Hanselman that you link to (also has the component list) that the two graphics cards are for 4 monitors. Makes a bit more sense, at least as much sense as having 4 monitors can make.
In reply to the comment by Adam above, I have a similar heatsink on the digital audio workstation I built. They work ridiculously well - I put the processor plate on my hand after taking the heatsink out of the box and felt like I was getting frostbite. In the PC, the processor idles at around 80 degrees, and even under full load the AMD dual core 5200 I have in this machine doesn’t go much above 110 degrees. That’s Fahrenheit. I put a 120mm fan set to low speed on top of the heatsink when I built it just for some extra security, but it would probably do nearly as well without it.
The disadvantages to them are that they add considerable weight and are kind of a pain to bolt on. At least on Asus AMD boards the motherboard fan control system only works with the stock heatsink and fan, but with one of these things you won’t need it. Oh, and make sure your case is big enough! Mine is mounted inside a 4 unit rackmount server case, so there are no problems, but there might be space issues with some of the slimmer tower cases.
Chaoticpix93 - Try SiSoft Sandra - http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/
“Makes a bit more sense, at least as much sense as having 4 monitors can make.”
This is an “ultimate developer rig” so it makes sense
Makes a bit more sense, at least as much sense as having 4 monitors can make.
WHAT YOU SAY?!
Dual monitors is nice, but where’s the center? Right in the middle where the border between the two monitors is? With three monitors, there’s a real center.
I’ll agree that four is pushing it, but there’s a legitimate argument to be made for three monitors. (Says the guy who uses 3 monitor rigs at home and at work. Biased? Me? No.)
Yeah, I was also wondering about the two graphics cards… The hard drive choice seemed a tiny bit curious too, wouldn’t it have been better to go for 2x 250gb (or more!) SATA drives and run them in a mirror RAID configuration for ultra high access speeds?
I also do zero gaming, so one of the great decisions I made was to purchase a motherboard that supported two monitors onboard, with todays processor speeds, etc the need for a dedicated graphics card is becoming less of a problem for your average programmer and even designers who aren’t into 3D.
Mine seems to run everything quite nicely, even compiz fusion (beryl) runs smoothly and with no lag.
wouldn’t it have been better to go for 2x 250gb (or more!) SATA drives and run them in a mirror RAID configuration for ultra high access speeds?
Mirror (RAID-1) doesn’t improve performance. Perhaps you were thinking of striping (RAID-0)? Striping does not perform as well as most people think it does, plus it doubles your chance of data loss:
In general RAID [on the desktop] is a lot of complexity for dubious benefit. The only exception is mirroring for redundancy.
with todays processor speeds, etc the need for a dedicated graphics card is becoming less of a problem for your average programmer and even designers who aren’t into 3D.
Even the crappiest, cheapest discrete video card crushes the latest onboard video. And CPUs replacing GPUs? Forget about it. Not for another decade at least.
Unless you’re on a laptop there is absolutely no reason to settle for the severe limitations of onboard video. Just pick up an entry level card, like the ATI X1550/X1650, or the NVIDIA 8400/8500.
Pretty nice article. Although along the years I got quite familiar with building PCs, your review of the used hardware is interesting.
I must still confess that I somehow hate you for it, cause now I feel that I can’t hold much longer before to change my CPU cooling device, my case and my PSU. And you know the drill, while I’ll be at it I’ll for sure need new CPU, therefore new motherboard… And getting that close, buying a whole new computer would allow me to rotate my computers (secondary comp as server/sandbox, main as secondary, and server/sandbox in the closet).
Oh by the way, anyone got advice on how to get the 3d card(s) cool enough while gaming and silent? 3d cards fans I bought so far are pretty noisy, and not cooling all that much (I usually use a Zalman VF700-AlCu, but I live in a pretty warm area at times).
Can haz solderin iron? Kthnx.
you might also dispel the rumor that building your own machine is more affordable. Well, there is one case where it can be.
IF you have a Fry’s close by, you can wait for an older motherboard/cpu/case sale. Sometimes these go for $100-200. Then use an old monitor, video card and ram. You MAY be able to build a pc for the price of a comparable off the shelf dell on sale ($350-450 w/ flat screen monitor).
Actually that is a little harsh, you could probably buy a new video card or flat-screen monitor or ram and still stay under price.
Oh, the other exception is if you are interested in having the absolute best performance for the next 6 months regardless of price. Of course YOU think YOU will NEED that performance, but trust me and everyone who has gone through the cycle a few times–YAGNI.
After 6 months, of course, you’ll have an average PC that runs really hot, uses a lot of power and is difficult to upgrade since bleeding edge components are often based on technologies that go out of style–like the video bus of the day–I must have seen 8 different standards for high-throughput video buses so far. Oh, and it’ll probably be drawing near the max comfortable amount from your power supply anyway.
I used to work for a small PC building company back when build-your-own computers were worth while. The computers were 8086/8 and 286 based. Since the 386, going to a custom building company or building your own just isn’t worth it.
However, you should absolutely not be afraid to replace a component–a t least video cards, hard disks and ram.