Building a PC, Part VII: Rebooting

@ Wouter

I can’t seem to find the articles right now (either form tom’s hardware or anandtech) but benchmarks for z68 ssd caching are not very promising. You really only benefit from reads (writes happen at hdd speed) and even then not as often as you would hope. It’s still much more worth it, especially to a poweruser to just get a big sdd.

@ Courtney

Not all mobo’s/cpu’s support triple channel. I think, but I could be wrong, x58 based (lga 1366) mobos are the only ones. Triple channel memory was targeted towards xeons and high end i7’s. I don’t even think any sandy bridge processors support it.

I’m fine building Legos, but Lego provides very nice picture book instructions.

BTW, can you adjust TypePad to let me use my Facebook or Twitter credentials without asking me to give it permission to rape me when it really doesn’t need anything other than my identity?

@Courtney, @Ryan

Only the mid and low end Sandy Bridge CPUs are out. The triple (even quad) channel Sandy Bridges should be coming early next year, with socket 2011. And from what I read some time ago, 3 channels was not substantially better than 2, unlike 2 vs 1.

Timely article, I just ordered a similar set of parts to upgrade my system. I went more in line with a build from Tom’s Hardware: i7-2600k, ASRock Z68 Extreme4. I’ve got a couple of Intel X-25M G2s that I bought last year that seem to still be going strong, so I’m going to keep them for now instead of upgrading to something faster. I already have a nice Cooler Master case with plenty of fans but I’m going to steal some of your fan ideas and the tip about foam for sure. (why didn’t I think of that?)

Great post as usual, but I gotta say, that is one ugly case.

Some power measurements, when overclocked:

Idle at Windows desktop: 128w
Prime95 full load: 255w
video stress: 210w
Prime95 + video: 332w


I’m going to get myself my supreme custom build in a year or two (got a budget build for now). My most important parts are the cpu, a good cpu cooler, and lots of ram.

Also, don’t get on-board video if you game or watch HD video. It’s well worth the cost to get a low end dedicated gpu if you even do those things.

That’s a nice machine you have there Jeff, it looks beastly. I’d have to say if anything, I look forward to the 8 - 16 gigs (got 4 now) in my future machine. Ram gets sucked up so fast it’s not funny.


I thought I’d already posted a comment, but apparently my connection fooled me yet again! I was wondering if maybe you could post a table-like comparison like you did on a previous post with this OMG setup plus a slightly less powerfull and an even more basic one… why? Because I’m on the market for a nice piece of machinery but I’m only planning to put forward about 1K, and I bet there are more people like me around! :smiley:

Congrats on the post too!

Corsair 850w 80 Plus Gold PSU
Prime95 + video: 332w

You’d get ~1% more efficient under full load if you’d go with a ~650Watt PSU. :wink:

And since you’re PC is hardly ever under full load you’d benefit even more from a smaller PSU since you’re idle draw is about 15% of the available power. I’d say your PSU is overpowered but maybe you wanna go crossover? :wink:

Also, why do you still have a optical drive? Real nerds install Windows from USB! :wink:

What’s that thing on the right on the last picture? Some kind of Mini Mamecab? (rotated screen?)

Man, I wish I had $2K to throw at a new computer. (And that’s without discrete video, and not counting monitor!)

@Jean-Luc Spielmann: How do you watch DVDs? :slight_smile:

I really like your series of blog posts about computer assembling, but you should really make a server assembly guide Jeff. It is very hard to find quick and easy information about that.

Especially I would like to see a guide about building a 2 CPU desktop machine because a friend of mine does some 3ds Max. The rendering times are crazy and very CPU-dependent.

How do you decide what data goes on the SSD and what goes on the traditional drive?

In my case the Noctua NF-P14 doesn’t even barely fit. When I put the covers on the case they squish the fan and it starts making horrible noises.

Anyone else had the same problem? I’m guessing that either filing down the relevant bits of the case or the outside of the fan casing will fix it.

Needs moar blue leds, fans, plexiglass windows and plastic.

what…still no 3d? oh c’mon!

I’m confused; did you use the Seasonic X-760 or the Corsair 850w 80 Plus Gold PSU?

Must be PC building season. I decided it was time, too, to make the upgrade. My system (in progress) described at

The Sandy Bridge architecture should last for a few years, and I’m looking forward to the Socket 1155 sticking around, also.

Great series!

Looks like a great machine to play Company of Heroes on :slight_smile: