Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

How A Geek Builds A Computer – Part 1

Written By: richardwcraver - Jul• 27•17

So the last new computer I bought was in 2007. I normally build my own, but I was teaching a class at the time my old computer abruptly popped a capacitor on it’s motherboard. So I went to Walmart and ‘mastered the moment’.

Within a few weeks my wife of two months had taken over my new Dell, and I was using her old Windows 2000 Gateway laptop. I’m still not sure how that happened…. Anyway I have made do with a series of lesser computers of various calibers; and along with the economic downturn never really caught back up.

So I’ve decided it was time for a new computer for me, and since the aforementioned Dell died a few months ago and my wife is using an ancient relic I found; it’s time to do this thing!

I don’t buy bleeding edge, because you WILL bleed cash in significant quantities, neither do I want to go too low end and suffer regret for years to come. What I’m aiming for is the value proposition, not necessarily the budget proposition, the sweet spot of money to performance to longevity.

I want the performance of Intel’s middle of the road multicore I5 processor line, but it’s still pretty steep. I currently have a 5 year old I5, so in my mind an I3, though less expensive is just a lateral shift. So I turned my sights to AMD. The A series processors are entry level and really are the equivalent of an Intel Celeron, no thank you. I briefly flirted with the notion of an AMD Ryzen system that is solidly in the I7 market share. But ultimately went with a 6 core FX63xx processor with 8Gb of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB SATA3 drive for my wife’s computer, and an 8 core FX83xx processor with 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a Samsung 250GB M2 PCIe solid state drive; along with matching ASRock motherboards, Cool Master Silencio mini towers and EVGA quiet power supplies.

My computer

Her computer

I got busy with Amazon, and all the pieces started showing up yesterday from all the carriers, the Windows 10 DVDs showed up today and it was time to unbox.

Tonight, being good geek, I pulled out the 1TB drive for her computer and put it on my test/data recovery computer to run SpinRite drive maintenance utility over the whole drive before the first speck of data hits the platters. This may take a few days, but I will be assured that the drive’s sectors are all in good working order. Getting a NEW drive doesn’t guarantee a GOOD drive, I trust SpinRite to give me the utmost confidence when things start going together.

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