Building a Computer 101: Final Scoping

Ok, so it’s been a few months since we last scoped out a computer.  The industry has changed a bit and just about every part of your set up needs to be reevaluated.  It is important to do your homework, cross your T’s and dot your I’s, because this is it.  We are now 1-2 weeks out from the purchase date.

I’m not going to pull the old list, you can find it starting here:

I’ve been doing a lot of research in the past few days and I’ve made a major overhaul to the list with these goals in mind:

  • Provide the most bang for my buck
  • Provide room for future expansion
  • Semi-Silent Operation

I debated the option of water cooling, air cooling and stock cooling.  I also debated how future proof I wanted to make the build.  I analyzed where I could overclock after cooling upgrades and save money.  (This mostly applies to the processor.)

I decided that for now I will use stock cooling.  It should be easy enough to convert to water if and when the time comes.  I also can’t justify $1000 on the processor alone and as such took a minor hit in the clock speed.  I decided to go with a giant power supply that has a high efficiency rating.  This means that while I won’t be using even 60% of it’s capacity at full load, the PSU will only draw as much power as it needs.  This actually could result in drawing less power than my current system.  This also affords me the ability to expand in the future.  It accounts for water cooling and Dual or Tri SLI. (It is also modular for better air flow and case management.)  As far as HDD go, I’m going to stick to a decent 640GBs running RAID 0 (Mirrored for backup).  I don’t use all of my 240 gbs right now.  I figure 640 will be plenty for a while.

With that said here is the condensed list straight from new egg:

Product Description Total Price
Logitech G9 Black 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse 79.99
EVGA 132-CK-NF79-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI DDR3 ATX Intel Motherboard 359.99
BFG Tech BFGEGTX2801024E GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported 449.99
Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU ATX12V / EPS12V 1200W Power Supply – Retail 389.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9450 329.99
CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) 234
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM x2 179.98
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N – OEM 26.99
Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series – Retail 135.99

What you may notice missing is a case. Now for the life of me I can’t choose between two cases. It is my hope that you, my readership, can provide some input.  I want you to ignore the price and help me choose between these two cases:

Lian-Li V2110 (or V2100) and Cooler Master Cosmos S

Rate cases based on looks, functionality and etc.  Only once you have an opinion, then look at cost.  The main questions are:

  1. Which would be better for water cooling some day? (Well thought out space for 360mm Radiator and general flow.)
  2. Which case provides the most functionality? (Slide out Mother Board, Included case fans, tool less, etc.)
  3. Is the cost justified?

After I figure out the case, it’s a matter of ordering and then building.  The build should provide a much more interesting read.  I’ll document the build with photos!  It will be like you’re right along side me at all times.  Creepy!

So don’t forget to cast your opinion in the comments!

  1. Your going to want to run those drives Raid 1 for mirroring :-). Raid 0 is striping.

    My vote would be for the Lian-Li V2110 because it’s 100% kick ass as they say… But, ultimately, the cost probably isn’t justified…

    But more importantly, which one does Eliz want you to get?

  2. I really don’t want to vote. I know nothing about them and reading the descriptions just plain doesn’t help much. It more confuses me. I don’t particularly think that either are that sweet looking. They are just plain black. But the weird handles on the cooler master is a con. Why do you need to carry it around places anyway? I looked at both of the prices and what is $140.00? seems pretty minimal to me. if you are just looking for validation in getting the more expensive one I’ll give you the $140 if that is the one that you really like but can’t justify the price. Overall with my expertise (which is only how they look) I don’t really like any of them. They are plain black and pretty boring. So the other readers will have to decide.

  3. Good call on the RAID type, I clearly have never chosen to set up a RAID.

    The beauty of the lian-li is the 100% aluminum (weight), castors (wheels), sleek and simplistic design, easy to add “case mods” if I feel inclined to use the dremel, compartmentalized heat zones, slide out MoBo tray and it’s a freaking Lian-Li (Also it would match my current Lian-Li case).

    The beauty of the Cosmos S is the handles make it easier to carry if I need to, pre built designed to have radiator in the top if I water cool, tool-less drive bays, cheaper, slightly more aggressive look, fancy power button, neater I/O ports and did I say cheaper?

    I am leaning towards the lian-li, I love my current case and only want something bigger.

    Also to note, the Cosmos S is a 100% kick ass case as well.

    Decisions, decisions.

  4. I just built out my old system in a new case, the Antec P182 ( ) — oh my goodness is this a nice case. Water-cooling ready, with rubberized input and outputs in the back for water hoses; tons of noise-dampening features, washable air filters, etc. Love love love it. Read more on it at Silent PC Review, but get the black and not the mirror finish: ( ) Also, I like your choice on the hard drives — I just bought a pair of WD’s and love ’em (very quiet).

    Now, the loudest part of my system is the annoying high pitch hum my monitor makes. Seriously.

  5. Thanks for the comment!

    I did take a look at the P182 when I was first looking for a case. Sadly, it was a mid size tower. I used a mid size tower for my first build and I was a little pressed for room. Since I only ever have to move my case when I change living arrangements, I don’t think going big will be a problem. Considering that and my desire to have a completely internal water cooling system (if I go water cooling in the future), the P182 is found lacking. That and it lacks an external SATA port.

    Aside from those few downsides, it is a beautiful case. I would recommend it to anyone that desires a well thought out mid ATX case.

    My search hierarchy:

    Full ATX -> No Power Supply -> Sort By Price or Sort By Best Rated

    Price isn’t a concern if I get a great case.

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