Built this one for my folks (my mom and my step-dad). They’ll use it for email, internet, you tube, word processing and looking through pictures of all their 14 grandkids and 4 great grandkids.
Their current PC is an old Gateway All-in-one that is probably 10 years old. Their anniversary is coming up next month and I thought I’d surprise them with an upgrade.
Named it Hattfisher (photo on monitor) after a boat they used to own a few years back; lots of good memories cruising with them on the boat while I was in college. They have since retired from boating and have traded the boat in for motor home, so now they spend most of their time on land.
They live about 3 hours from me so I tried to pick parts that will be durable and reliable. I also tried to take advantage of sales and rebates wherever I could. Put everything together last weekend; been working on configuration today. Hope to deliver it in a couple weeks.
CPU: Thought the i3-3220 would work for them. Price jumps quite a bit going up to the i5 and not sure they need 4 cores.
Motherboard: Read some good reviews on the Gigabyte. I also wanted 2 SATA III/6gbs ports for hard drives and the Gigabyte fit the bill.
RAM: Probably could have gotten by with 4 but 8 seemed better for some reason and the price was not that much different.
SSD: Kind of splurged here but wanted them to enjoy the speed and fast boot times that come with an SSD. Also, the Samsung Pro seems to get the best reviews no matter where you look.
HDD: Thought about going 500gb here but 1TB wasn’t that much more. Now they’ll have plenty of room for all those photos of their grandchildren.
GPU: Had this ‘in stock’ from a previous PC that is not being used day-to-day anymore. Figured it would be a nice little upgrade from the onboard Intel graphics.
PSU: Got a great deal on this and it is modular.
Case: Really like this case. It looks great and it was fun to build in.
The build went great but there were a couple challenges:
First, the stock mounting for the SSD is right against the bottom of the case. The SATA power cords that come with the Corsair 430 have an elbow plug at the end and it seemed to put undue stress on both the SSD connection and the wires going into the power cord. I had a 3.5 to 2.5 drive bay converter bracket that I had bought but never used and it came in handy here. So I mounted the SSD in one of the 3.5 drive bays instead. You can see it in the pictures. It’s the lower of the two drives.
Second, and I’m not sure if this is an issue for the case or the motherboard, but the USB 3.0 header plug was so close to the drive bay tower that I really had to bend it pretty sharply to get it to connect properly and still clear the drive bay.
Finally, the Corsair SATA power cords were a bit short. I had a longer one left over from a prior build and I swapped it out. Otherwise, I would have had to run the power cord for the SSD and HDD in through the main compartment instead of going behind the motherboard.
If you are still with me I’d like to go on a rant about rebates for a moment. While I like getting them, it seems the manufacturers enjoy making hard to collect them. First, you have to submit them in a timely manner; if you miss the deadline by one day too bad. Second, if you don’t save off the form when you place your order the form can be very difficult to find once your parts arrive. Last but not least, it usually takes 8 to 10 WEEKS to get your rebate, unless of course you are willing to fork over a couple bucks for ‘expedited’ processing. Really? Why can they send it so much faster for a fee? Do they have to work harder to press the send button?
Anyway, that’s all for now, thanks for looking/listening. Happy building!