Building my PC: Introduction and Parts

It was time to build my own PC: tap into performance boosts with USB 3, 16GB RAM, solid state drive, bigger/faster media storage, and Windows 8. Keep everything affordable. And add a fun custom paint treatment on the case.

Here’s the spec sheet on parts – overall a good solid mid-range machine to be used for photo and video production, app development projects, as well as general productivity with Office, news, and email.

I also used PC Part Picker for pricing and sourcing. It’s a free site. Here’s a link to my build…

…at the time of ordering, my final cost was just under $1500. I used a combination of Amazon and NewEgg for final sourcing. Prices change all the time in the hardware industry, and PC Part Picker is a good resource for staying on top of the ebb and flow of prices.

A few general thoughts …

  • Building a PC is easier than most realize. Most of the time is spent reviewing specs to make sure everything fits together. Should be a de rigueur skill for any self-respecting IT Pro.
  • The hardware industry hasn’t quite caught up to USB 3.0 yet. It’s getting there, sourcing the right card reader with case adapter with motherboard with case turned out to be more time consuming than I expected.
  • The industry also isn’t there yet on touch screens for desktops. They’ve invested first in All-In-Ones SKUs. I found a few standalone touch screens in the $600 range, which was too pricey for me. I expect this will go down over the next 12-18 months. Meanwhile, I picked up the well rated 24″ Dell.
  • I went mid-range with the I5 chip and GeForce 560 graphics card, thinking I’m at the right price/performance value spot.
  • The Intel 256GB SSD is for the OS and various apps downloaded from Win8, including the latest version of Office. I’ll use the WD 2TB hard disk for everything else.

And here’s everything on the front porch…

PC part delivery
Time to find the box cutter!

Before I get started with the build, I have to paint the case.

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