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this is what I'm doing for fun these days ...

Discussion in 'Computers and Internet Geekland' started by maxd, Jun 4, 2014.

    Jun 4, 2014
  1. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    this is what I'm doing for fun these days ...: 04997a12-dbe6-4a46-a7d7-9d9f6c26201bwallpaper.jpg,Jun 4, 2014

    It seems that every decade or so I build a couple of computers for the office and/or personal use. I've spent the last 6 months (!) getting back up to speed on the DIY PC scene and that collage represents (more or less) the fruits of those labours. Finally closing in on the big event: purchase and assembly!

    In case anyone cares for details: You must register/login in order to see the link.

    CPU: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($210)
    CPU Cooler: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($60)
    Motherboard: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($140)
    Memory: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($195)
    Storage: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($170)
    Storage: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($75)
    Video Card: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($370)
    Case: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($85)
    Power Supply: You must register/login in order to see the link. ($85)

    Total: US$1400 approx.

    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-03 19:46 EDT-0400)

    As it happens I'll probably get the GPU later, included it here for the heck of it. Most of our storage is going to be in a home NAS (next project!) hence the modest HDD in the case (for now). I'll be doing this in Euros and for the first time I can remember that's actually something of an advantage: CPU, memory and mobo prices are comparatively good in Europe these days so the total tab (sans GPU) will be something like €750ish.
     
    10 people like this.
  2. Jun 4, 2014
  3. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Hmm, just realized from those photos that there may be an issue fitting that cooler into the case given the position/orientation of the mobo. NP, I'll postpone the cooler purchase until after I've done a rough assembly to see what space I actually have to work with. Might even go for some modest liquid cooling. :eyebrow-waggle:
     
  4. Jun 4, 2014
  5. chayton

    chayton aka LooHoo CAG PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Freelance Designer
    Location:
    Edmonton Canada
    The only way to get what you really want is to build it yourself. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Jun 4, 2014
  7. bigjohn

    bigjohn Meister Member MM PABnoaccred

    Occupation:
    Swimming Pool Serviceman
    Location:
    Northeast Coastal USA
    Jeez, and I thought I was a big hero because I cleaned the cooling fan in my laptop!

    I watched 3 or 4 youtube vids on how to do it, it took me 2 hours and I finished with 2 screws left over and one side of my keyboard about 2 mm higher than the rest.

    Anyways, nice skill there Max and best of luck with that project!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Jun 4, 2014
  9. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Thanks. TBH it's not a difficult thing to do. The scene has evolved to be MUCH more user friendly than it used to be and the intertubes is full of fantastic tools and aids to make the whole business a Joe Average kind of project. With a healthy dose of "f*** it! I'm doing this!" and a bit of patience it's more like baking a lasagne than rocket science.

    If anyone is tempted I'd suggest starting by watching a few "build" videos on YouTube -- those by PCPartPicker and LinusTechTips are among the most helpful -- and then using a site like pcpartpicker.com to help you select compatible components. Add a bit of research and a few questions on a forum or three and the chances are you'll be well on your way.

    I've built everything from mini-car sized computers down to one the size of a paperback novel and I think it's no exaggeration to say that anyone can do it if they're serious about giving it a shot. That said, life is short and YMMV as to how worthwhile such an exercise would be for you. Personally I kind of love it so I have a habit of diving in and wallowing around in it for a while before I get down to work and actually build something. As you may have guessed. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Jun 4, 2014
  11. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    It is interesting that you post this at this point in time as not 2 days ago I purchased this months Linux Format magazine and inside that they have an article on building your own Linux machine from scratch. I am actually thinking of using up this months gambling funds to start off such a project myself. What operating system(s) are you going to put on it?
     
  12. Jun 4, 2014
  13. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Linux Mint has been my go-to OS for a couple years now so I reckon I'll start there. I usually do a little distro hopping for fun so there's that. Defo want to try out SteamOS when that becomes practical. Windoz has become a big PITA IMO so I'll probably only go there if there is a particular need to do so.

    I'll have to check out that magazine you mentioned, sounds promising. :)
     
  14. Jun 4, 2014
  15. Captain Chaos

    Captain Chaos Senior Member webby

    Occupation:
    Train Guard
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Nice spec!

    I'm looking to build my own desktop soon in the next few months as I should finally have space to have one and would rather have a desktop than a laptop.

    I quite like the look of the Corsair Obsidian cases. Bit pricey but the cooling options are supposed to be good.

    Edit - answered above.
     
  16. Jun 4, 2014
  17. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    Yeah Linux Mint is my current favourite although I am still running Ubuntu 12.04 as my main OS. Not too sure about Ubuntu 14.04 but will probably give it a try. The magazine does not give any serious detail about assembly, it really is more about providing specs for users based on their needs. Such as heavy gamer machine, standard desktop, media centre etc. I was hoping for more detail but it certainly has motivated me to get my hands dirty with building a machine from scratch.

    I have never heard of SteamOS so I will take a look into that.

    I am with you regarding Windows. I only use it for playing slots these days to be honest and that only because I have yet to find a casino download installation available for Linux.
     
  18. Jun 4, 2014
  19. Freeman

    Freeman Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    .
    Location:
    Sweden
    Nice :thumbsup:
    I go about it another way, but it's in the line of the same interest for computers: I buy useless, cheap used pc's and recondition them, give them to my kid's or use them in my musicproduction. I do have a powerful mothership for my daily use, but I love getting the most out of pc's others would consider junk :)
     
  20. Jun 4, 2014
  21. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Absolutely! The Obsidian 250D was my #2 choice case-wise. Only drawback (for me) is that it's just that much larger than the Node 304 and one of my goals with this system was compact and trim. Still a great case, though somewhat limited in terms of tower coolers (not really a criticism since the 250D is designed to handle full sized water coolers straight out of the box).

    It's a Linux-based OS for running the Steam gaming platform. Still in beta but sounds very promising.

    That sounds pretty cool too. I did something like that with our old P4 system, which was what got me into Linux to begin with. Managed to squeeze another few years out of the old beast. It was the noise that finally had me pull the plug on it, sounded like a vacuum cleaner and STILL ran too hot (too many HDD, among other things). Good riddance though IMO, small and quiet is where I'm headed these days.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  22. Jun 4, 2014
  23. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    I could never put one together without losing my sanity. I just do not understand MOBO and processors enough.

    Seeing your list and the total, reminded me... Our very first PC, customized configuration for all the zoom and power we could afford at the time, in the 80's, ordered from Gateway (I really hated it when they died/sold out to Acer) ... cost something like $1300. I can't remember how much RAM and such.... but I do know it was little megabytes... didn't think we'd ever need all that ... LOL

    Looks like you've got a great build going there, Max! Show us the new baby when she's done. And build progress reports are appreciated, too. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. Jun 4, 2014
  25. osulle

    osulle Ueber Meister CAG mm4 mm1

    Occupation:
    life
    Location:
    Northern hemisphere
    Hope you end up with one bitch'in computer Max. It's quite an undertaking but I am sure it will be nice to have something that nobody else has tailored just for you. You got to have some mad skills there Max:D
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Jun 5, 2014
  27. Jory

    Jory Senior Member webby

    Occupation:
    Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration
    Location:
    Belfast - Northern Ireland
    Glad I noticed this thread.

    I won some money at the weekend and feel the best way to spend this right now is to invest in a new computer. The only problem is, I know nothing about hardware. I want to build it myself though as I feel its something everyone should learn and you pay a lot extra to get a ready made PC.

    I would like to spend around £500 but so far the i7 processor has taken up half that budget. As I plan to use Photoshop I've been told an i7 is the way to go.

    I should probably start another thread as I have so many questions I and think I may be crazy to proceed with buying this equipment when I haven't fully reasearched.

    Do you happen to know any sites that offer affordable bundles?
     
  28. Jun 5, 2014
  29. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Hey Jory, NP posting here about this but I can split it off into a separate thread if you prefer, just let me know.

    FWIW I can offer "a bit" of advice if you like:
    • if you are set on getting an i7 your budget is going to be pretty damn tight. Chances are you're going to have to make some compromises .. of course the real question is where?
      .
    • some key things you'll want to consider up front:
      .
      • do you care how big your system is, the actual physical size of it? You will save some money by going for a typical sized rig, that's an ATX/micro-ATX mobo and mid-to-full tower case. The upside is that you have lots of room to play around in there. The downside is .. they suck! Big, often noisy, space-hogs and cumbersome: I'm done with tower cases. Mini-ITX is a good format but you'll be paying a premium -- not necessarily prohibitive -- to go that route. Small DIY computer cases are nice but they can get pricey. And they are harder to work in, more care and planning is required. Little beauties though, size of a shoebox and up.
        .
      • more on cases: If you want a larger case the world is your oyster, everyone has them and they are readily available at competitive prices. If small is your game then my recommendation would be to look at Corsair, Silverstone, Fractal Design and Cooler Master for some of the best. Everyone else still seems to be trying to find their way around the smaller formats, IMO.
        .
      • last word on cases: don't just get the first case you come across because it is cheap, some of them are truly hideous from a design point of view and can be a nightmare to build in. Not to mention the quality of construction: nothing worse than spending a week or two putting a system together to find that it rattles and wheezes like an old jalopy. Excellent cases can be had for £40-50 so there's not much point in spending £30 on a POS that should never have seen the light of day. Needless to say, YMMV.
        .
      • do you care how much noise it makes? any old off-the-shelf stuff will probably do you if you don't. if you do care you're going to have to be VERY selective about your components and/or do after-market upgrades on case fans, CPU cooler, etc, to minimize the dBs. Passive cooling (no fans) is the holy grail of quiet computers but that would be very difficult and/or prohibitively expensive to accomplish with the type of system you're looking at. Quiet, but not silent, is a lot more within grasp. This is especially true if you are willing to spend a bit more money to get there.
        .
      • do you need a lot of storage (several Tb) or just a bit (<= 1Tb)? Lots of storage means a bigger case and higher storage costs, no way around that.
        .
      • are you going to game, do animation and/or heavy video processing? If yes then you should probably give some serious thought to a discrete graphics card (the Core processors do have onboard graphics but they're not industrial strength). This route will significantly impact your budgeting for other components. Or to put it another way: i7 + mid-range graphics card = £500+. Oops!
        .
      • if you know you don't need much storage and you're sure you won't need a discrete graphics card you should be able to do a very small, quiet and highly portable system. Seriously, it could be the size of a dictionary or smaller. Check out things like Zotac ZBox or the Intel NUC to get an idea where this could go. There are actually a good number of options in this area though they can be tricky to find. If this is your cup of tea drop me a PM because I was seriously considering this route at one point and (eventually) found a nice amount of good looking gear. (this ties into the next item re "barebone" systems)
        .
    • if you're not certain you want to do the whole deal yourself you might want to look at the various semi-built offerings available these days called "barebones". Usually these are cases with motherboard (mobo) and power supply (PSU) already in place and ready to go. You buy your CPU, memory, and storage separately and plug them in. Voila, you have a computer! You will pay a premium -- varies from small to exorbitant -- for these barebones systems but they usually do a nice job and that can save you a lot of hassle, not to mention a steep learning curve if you've never done this before.
      .
    • that said going full-bore DIY __can__ be a way to save money and optimize your end result. The problem is that it is VERY easy to make mistakes: you run the risk of buying things that aren't compatible, either physically or in operation, or just don't play well together and you have no idea why. Going barebones can be a fast-rack to avoiding MANY of those potential pitfalls, and save you A LOT of time teaching yourself what you'll need to know to DIY properly. Successful PC DIY is largely about smart shopping and patient trouble-shooting. Neither come particularly easy.
      .
    • if you're serious about building something yourself I STRONGLY recommend you spend time watching some Youtube videos on building your own computer. There are many and you will quickly know whether this is something you want to do to yourself or not. Vids by PCPartpicker, LinusTechTips, NCIX, Tek Syndicate, PCPer, and Hardware Canucks are among the best IMO. Search for "something something build" where "something" would be the name of the computer case you are interested in. To get you started here are a few I found interesting and helpful: You must register/login in order to see the link. ... You must register/login in order to see the link. ... You must register/login in order to see the link.. Keep in mind that if you found these about as exciting as watching paint peel then maybe the whole DIY thing might not be up your alley. Just saying.
      .
    • further on that, there are some great forums out there for PC builders. I've been using PCPartPicker.com, LinusTechTips, and overclocker.net and have answered many questions using these resources. Don't be afraid to register and post questions: like any forum there are some dickheads but most folks are there to help and are happy to do so. These guys have helped me avoid several stupid mistakes and have calmed many fears I had about component choices that I simply could not have answered on my own.
      .
    • as to processors it's not as simple as "if you photoshop then you need an i7". PCMag has a pretty good one-page on processor performance with the types of tasks you are looking at doing -- transcoding, etc -- and is as good a place as any to start: You must register/login in order to see the link. I quote the last bit from that article:
      My guess is that when they said "enthusiasts" here they mean hard-core gaming overclockers. That ain't me, nor you judging from your budget. My own research on this tells me that a quad-core i5 (most are dual core but there are a few quads, especially the newer i5s) may well be sufficient for your needs and could save you a non-trivial amount of cash for other things in your system. This is the route I am taking and IMO it may be the smart way for you to go too.
      .
    • seriously consider getting a SSD drive for your OS and programs. Everything I read says it's a cheap(ish) way to get a massive performance boost from your system in many (but not all) ways. If you can budget one in, do it!
      .
    • Photoshop and suchlike are memory hog applications: assuming that's not the only app you'll have open -- browsers, etc -- you should probably be looking at a mobo with Dual Channel memory and a total of 8gb of RAM. The good news is that's not prohibitively expensive, figure roughly £10 per gig of RAM.

    I could go on with this but I think that'll get you well started. If you want more help feel free to ask. And do yourself a favour: go to PCPartPicker.com, register, and start playing with builds, even if you don't know much. Their system builder will help you choose compatible components and/or warn you about problems with your choices. In-fricken-valuable, IMHO.

    Good luck, remember to cross-check everything, and use The Force: PC building is just as much Art as it is Science.

    Regards,
    Max, Casinomeister.com

    PS. In case anyone is wondering, yes, I have been taking posting lessons from He Who Says "Boo" In 1000 Words. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
    3 people like this.
  30. Jun 5, 2014
  31. paul@bgo

    paul@bgo Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Operations Manager
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    SSD is perhaps the single best upgrade anyone can buy for a PC these days, they're a cracking piece of kit. I'm a gamer myself so have always built/maintained my own systems, I haven't had to upgrade in 2 years though, the technology available is way ahead of the games being produced. The only real reason you'd need the top end spec of the marketplace these days is if you're a designer of some sort. The prices are also eye watering - the latest ATI card cost around £800 on launch day and it sold out in minutes.

    Even peripherals are expensive - £60 for a decent mouse! I remember paying half that for my MS Explorer 3.0 - still the best shaped mouse ever made!
     
    1 person likes this.
  32. Jun 5, 2014
  33. Jory

    Jory Senior Member webby

    Occupation:
    Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration
    Location:
    Belfast - Northern Ireland
    Hi Max, I just got home. I am so blown away by the amount of information you provided, it has really opened my eyes to the whole process as many of the questions you were asking me I realised I didn't know the answer to them myself.

    First of all, Thank you. I have been stressing out so much about doing this project because I know i'm not educated enough to just go for it. It's all new to me and there is so much to learn.

    My main reason for wanting to build is because on a £500 budget I can build a PC that may cost £700 at PC World. I am also a bit of a "geek" and it's only for financial reasons that I've never been in a position to consider building a new PC. I'll be using money I won so rather than donate it all back to the casino and be left feeling depressed, I want to make good use of it and invest in a nice PC that will be able to handle anything I throw at it.

    i7 or i5? I'll be using Amazon to buy the parts unless you know of a better source. I've added and deleted the i7 to my basket so many times because I keep asking myself if it's necessary. A lot of the top gaming PC's use an i5 so I feel if I go with one, I can afford to buy a nice graphics card.
    My current choice is:
    Intel Core i5 4670K £165

    I have found that processors and graphics card are very easy to learn about as there is no shortage of reviews, but when it comes to the motherboard, I can't tell a good one from a bad one. All I can do is check to make sure it's compatible. Based on the fact that I know it's compatible and "cheap" I've added this to my basket:
    Gigabyte H81M-H £38

    Moving on... memory. Everything I've read has told me you don't need any more than 8GB, but what kind? I'm not sure if the "brand" matters in this case as there seems to be so many. What I can't decide is if I should get 1x8GB so I can always upgrade, or 2x4GB. There is also the question of MHz. I don't know what the benefits are but I assume higher is better. Based on a complete lack of understanding, i've added this to my basket:
    Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP £63

    Graphics card. I want one that can handle modern games though it doesn't have to be amazing. Something that is clearly superior to what an Xbox 360 can do, and maybe rival an Xbox One. I play games a lot, but up till now it's always been on a console, If I can have a PC that can play any game I want, then I'll be really happy. I guess I should throw casinos in with that, perhaps the ability to capture content would be nice, BigWinPictures (youtube) style. This might be more about memory than graphics card though. Based on my preferences I've added this to my basket:
    Gigabyte NVIDIA GTX660 2GB DDR5 PCI-E £136

    Storage: We're up to around £400 now.. I feel SSD is the way to go for an OS but now the budget is limited to £100 for all remaining parts. I will take any SSD 128 GB as I can always add another storage device when money is available. Based on this I have added this to my basket:
    Kingston Technology 120GB Solid State Drive 2.5-inch V300 SATA £50

    Power Supply: I've had almost no time to review the benefits so based on the fact I know it's compatible with my graphics card, i've added this to my basket:
    sair VS Series 450W Power Supply Unit £32

    All this comes to £482, but I still need a case. I have not done any research at all on this but I will do this tonight. My God I do hope I'm not forgetting anything here. The products I've chosen are based on limited knowledge mainly from google searches.

    I've added these items to my basket and I'm awaiting a Neteller bank transfer which should hit my account tonight at midnight (5th business day!) I plan to purchase these items then as I tend not to trust myself with money. When money sits in my account I always find a way to waste it. So long as I spend money on something useful then I'm happy.

    I'm going to check out the websites you mentioned now but thought I would post this first to give you an idea of where i'm at. I don't have an income at the moment as I'm studying, I have one chance to get this right so to me this is a big deal.

    Just one more thing, I plan to install Linux (ubuntu 14.04). I've been running ubuntu on my laptop which is 6 years old and I have never had a problem with it. It was released last month and I believe it should support all hardware I've selected. I may install windows alongside it for programs such as photoshop which I'm not sure if I can emulate in ubuntu. I just can't bring myself to buy windows, ubuntu is so lightweight that my outdated laptop still loads within 15 seconds and never have I had anything but a smooth experience. I am so excited to try ubuntu on a nice PC.

    If you feel it's appropriate perhaps you can create a new thread, it's up to you. Once again, thank you for your help, it is greatly appreciated.
     
  34. Jun 5, 2014
  35. dunover

    dunover Unofficial T&C's Editor Staff Member CAG PABnononaccred PABnonaccred PABinit mm3 webmeister

    Occupation:
    International Money Launderer
    Location:
    the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
    Max - can you build me one that will kill the Turd on TFTUT and get me 5 wilds on DoA? :eek2:
     
  36. Jun 5, 2014
  37. randomiam

    randomiam Meister Member

    Occupation:
    n/a
    Location:
    australia
    nice build project

    i did a mini about 4 years ago i built it around
    You must register/login in order to see the link.
    was great until it became me slow pc now i just use it for a media box has 2 2tb hds only prob i have is with the dvd rom in ive got no sata ports left for another drive and im on my last 300 gig this unlimited net will be my undoing on another note these asus mini mobos are tough mine has 3 power surges hit it an the Bois automatic shut down the pc :) my mini case was nasty in summer and has now been retired as it had no space for the second 2tb drive a goo thing i think as it had heat issues last summer in Australia. does looks funny now small mobo in giant case you wont beat me next time summer...
     
  38. Jun 6, 2014
  39. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    Actually it looks to me like you know a lot more than you think you do. You've done a damn good job with that parts list of yours: mostly modest selections but you did it right where it counts, namely the CPU and graphics card.

    FYI I've banged your build up in PCPartPicker: You must register/login in order to see the link. Added a nice sleek case from a good company and you're still under-budget! The site assumes you're willing to go to sources other than Amazon in order to get the best prices and since you're in the UK you have some good alternate-source options there.

    A few comments on your gear:
    • your mobo is good but sparse: not a lot of connectivity there but assuming you don't normally have a bunch of crap attached to your PC -- like I do -- you should be fine. But don't expect a lot of future growth options out of this board: new devices are all going Sata3 and USB3 and your board is limited in this regard. That said, you can always use add-on boards in some of those spare PCI slots to extend your system's capabilities, should you feel the need arise.
      .
    • memory: your mobo is Dual Channel capable so you definitely want to go 2x4gb on your memory sticks. The short story is that the Dual Channel architecture allows your system to access two channels of memory -- two sticks -- simultaneously. You've got it so use it, especially since there is no significant price hit for doing so. Since you have no reason to believe you'll need to go beyond 8gb I think it's a no-brainer.
      .
    • graphics card: I hear that the GTX660s are good cards, pretty much the go-to card for mainstream gamers. TBH I haven't bought a GPU since 2001 so I don't know shit. You're obviously on the ball with this project so I'd say as long as the games you want to play are going to be happy with a 660 -- and I'm sure you've already checked that they are -- then I say rock on!
      .
    • the i5-4670 CPU: very highly rated and well respected processor. There's every reason to believe you should be totally pleased with it. FYI, if you want to dig into the whole processor thing a bit there are two handy sites I'd recommend having a look at. You must register/login in order to see the link. and You must register/login in order to see the link.. The first one has a massive database of all the CPUs in the known universe and allows you to quickly get an idea of where your CPU of choice sits in relation to other similar options (I use the You must register/login in order to see the link. page A LOT). It's a good way to sanity check your selections in terms of price, bang-for-the-buck, etc. They also do the same for GPUs, RAM, etc. CPUBoss is a handy little site for comparing one processor against another in a head-to-head comparison. It's a quick way to find out what you are gaining, or giving up, by choosing one processor over another. For instance, I see that if you spend an extra £10 you can get the 4670K which means you could get into over-clocking, not that your mobo will let you. And then you'd need to start looking at different cooling ... on and on it goes! :)
      .
    • a case for your goodies: frankly you've got an embarrassment of choices. If you drop your selections into PCPartPicker -- don't forget to select "UK" in the upper right drop-down box -- and then go to the Cases page and sort by price you'll see that you have something like 50 or more to choose from that will keep you within budget. As I've said some of the best cases made come from Fractal Design, Cooler Master, Corsair and Silverstone and there are affordable, in-budget options from at least three of those available to you. I'd suggest clicking through to a few of the options available to find something that suits you. I just happened to pick the Fractal Design case because I love the sleek, trim, practical approach they take to case design. Here is where Youtube can really be your friend: look for a build using a case that you like. You'd be surprised at how much you can learn by watching someone build into the very case you are going to be buying. It's a superb resource and every n00bie builder should have it on speed dial.
      .
    • I'm not familiar with the particular PSU you selected so I can't say anything about it specifically. What I can say is that PSUs seem to vary widely and wildly in terms of their quality and value. BE SURE you've done your research on a specific model before you hand over your cash. Rude surprises -- too noisy, prone to over-heating, bad sensitivity to power surges, etc -- are easy to come by when it comes to PSUs and who needs that? Research, research, research: boring, but better than needing to learn how to fix a f***ed-up system. Trust me on this, I've had flaky PSUs in the past and they can be a real pain.
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    • Linux: should be great! I started with Linux a few years ago when XP was killing my old P4, managed to squeeze a few extra years out of the old beast by changing over to Linux, first Ubuntu and finally Mint. When we bought our new i7-47xx laptop at Christmas I think I had Windoz off it and Mint on in less than an hour. As ever with Linux you may run into the odd driver problem but a little judicious research on the web will likely see that resolved quickly enough.

    Other things to consider:
    • if I were building this box I would seriously consider putting a modest, conventional HDD in there. The reason is that having a standard HDD will give you archive space and, since you are Photoshopping, a place for things like your scratch space, etc. Basically a place to dump stuff that needn't and shouldn't clog up your SSD. Any old HDD is probably better than none here. If you're like me you've probably got an old one kicking around the house, or maybe something that's being under-used in another system.
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    • keep in mind that you'll probably be needing a few sundries like cables, connectors and such. Before you're done and ready to close up your shiny new box the chances are you'll have needed to spend £20-30 on such things.
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    • do you plan on messing around with your system from time to time? I always end up doing this and one of the favours I'm doing for myself this time around is to use reusable cable ties inside the case. I know, world's most boring subject, but if you're at all like me having a clean, tidy, well-wired system is just part of the job. That means you'll be using cable ties a fair amount. The traditional approach is to use those cheapo little zip ties but the problem with those is that (a) they are not re-usable, meaning that if you want to change something you have to cut the current tie off, throw it away and use another one to re-tie once you've made your changes, and (b) scrape your arm the wrong way against one of those cut-off ties and you'll be looking for your first-aid kit (been there ....). But reusable ties are basically just wee velcro strips and can used and reused many times, not to mention no nasty sharp edges. I am ridiculously pleased that I'll be using reusable cable ties this time around.
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    • fyi, there are reasons you may want to look beyond 8gb of RAM. One of the things I discovered while working on my system layout was that things like Wine, for instance, are heavily RAM based. So too stuff like Android development tools and emulators. This is all VM (virtual machine) stuff in Linux and they are happiest when they can load and run straight from RAM. As it happens certain versions of Linux will load into and run from RAM if they can, with the corresponding speed jump you'd expect from doing so. So yes, more than 8gb does have a place if you are into certain things. As it happens I will be so for me the 16gb route looked worthwhile.

    All in all it looks to me like you are well on your way. This should be totally doable and you'll probably have a great time with it. I'm almost jealous, would love to be there to share the fun! :clap:
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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