So I'm all excited again to build yet another PC. If you've been paying attention you already know Intel has released a new CPU with new architecture called Core 2 Duo . It's been getting rave reviews all over the internet. So I decided to jump in and have some fun of my own. I decided to build my own new Core 2 Duo based system. Here' what my system looks like:
Though I wanted to go for the best I couldn't quite afford the Extreme Edition. So I settled for this one. As the reviews linked above show, this processor beats AMD's fastest processor available on the market in almost every test performed.
Motherboard: Abit AB9 Pro ($165, ZipZoomFly.com)
I don't play video games. So there was no point wasting money on SLI or CrossFire enabled motherboards. So motherboards based on Intel 975X , nVIDIA nForce4 and nForce 500 chipsets were eliminated. That left me with Intel P965 and G965 chipsets based motherboards. I would have really loved to buy a G965 based motherboard. And indeed Intel has several G965 based motherboards available . But there is one problem with Intel motherboards. They only support DDR2-800 memory at 1.8V. The DDR2-800 memory running at 1.8V is extremely expensive right now (in the range of $400 for 2x1GB sticks). So Intel motherboards were not for me. I couldn't find any third party motherboards based on G965 chipset available currently. So I decided to settle on P965 based motherboard. This requires that I spend additional $35 or so on a PCI Express x16 Video card. P965 based motherboards are available from ASUS, Gigabyte, Foxconn, ECS, Abit etc. I wanted a motherboard with IEEE 1394, supporting DDR2-800 memory with voltage tweaking features, external SATA connector, and decent overclocking features. Abit fits the bill perfectly and the price was just right.
Memory: OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum Dual Channel (OCZ2P8002GK) ($140 after rebate, Outpost.com)
The choice was simple here. I must use DDR2-800 memory. And this was the cheapest I could get it for. 2GB has become a standard for a performance PC.
Video Card: VGA BIOSTAR 7300LE V7302EL16 RT ($34 after rebate, newegg.com)
This was the cheapest PCI Express x16 card I could get.
Case: Thermaltake Mambo VC2000BNS Mid Tower Case Black ($25 after rebate, ZipZoomFly.com)
All I was looking for was a case with front and rear 120mm fans and a screwless design. And the case really looks beautiful. What more can you ask for for $25?
Storage: 2xMaxtor Maxline 250GB SATA
I am using these from my old computer. I didn't buy new.
Optical Drives: Liteon SHW160P6S05 16X Dual Layer DVD±RW
This too is old one. I didn't buy new.
Extras: ABIT Guru Panel ($20, newegg.com)
The Abit AB9 Pro motherboard supports the uGuru feature. The Guru Panel gives you many more options when overclocking. As an added advantage you also get 2xUSB 2.0, 1xIEEE 1394, and audio ports on this panel. I just love the LCD display.
There you have it! I have not received all the items yet. I'm waiting for them to show up. CPU is most probably the last to ship because of high demand.