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3 new builds
01-26-2012, 12:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2012, 12:44 AM by jaycee.)
3 new builds
just thought I'd share some new builds I did this month, thanks to this site!

One low budget computer for the office, the new Tier 2 Entry-Level Workstation for a friend and a Mainstream HTPC.

First the office computer. I had a price limit and it had to be quickly done. Build is basically the Tier 2 Budget Gaming PC with no added video card:

MB: ASRock H61M
CPU: i3-2120
RAM: G.Skill 2x4GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB
Case: Rosewill Destroyer
PSU: Rosewill HIVE 550W
Onboard video and included CPU fan.
Total Cost: $500 (CDN)

The limit was $500 (without taxes) and still have some room for future upgrades if needed. The thing was very easy to build (not much to install!) and it supports two monitors out of the MB's dvi, vga or hdmi.

Only con I have is on the MB: the VGA connector is very soft/flimsy.. feels like I'm going to break it every time I try to plug in the cable. Will get an old PCIe card in there before someone damages it. Also, eventually I'll get a better cooling fan.. the included CPU one isn't very subtle.

Other notesConfusedeems like the MB settings will not automatically recognize the RAM'S speed and puts the slowest one as default, had to set it manually in the BIOS settings. Also the power-led cable from the case was a three pins adapter (although only two are used) while the MB only accepts 2 pins.. had to change the connection in the adapted so that it fits.

Here are some pics:

.jpg   Work_in_s.jpg (Size: 144.96 KB / Downloads: 39)

.jpg   Work_side_s.jpg (Size: 149.82 KB / Downloads: 34)

Now the Workstation was a lot more fun to build! Tier 2 Entry Workstation + some options:

MB: ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3
CPU: i7-2600
RAM: Corsair 4x4GB 1600
HDD: 2 x 1GB, Both Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA Gbps
SSD: 64GB Cricial M4
Video: 2 x Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GT520 (needed for 4 monitors)
PSU: SeaSonic M1211 620W
Case: Corsair 600T
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212
Total Cost: $1600 (CDN) including MW7 Pro

I had previously used the Corsair 600T case which I liked a lot for the tons of options for cable management. Everything was pretty easy to install although the 6pin CPU power cable is a bit tight as you can see in the pic bellow. The 600T case comes with a front UBS3 port, which we plugged in the USB3 bracket included with the MB inside (if not you have to get the cable out of the case and plug it in the back ports of the MB)

Installed on the SSD is Windows 7 pro which you have to take out a few options to make smaller (normal installation is 35GB.. tweaking comes down to 12GB) as well as other programs that will be used often. Photoshop will load completely within 3 seconds and any MS Office program basically doesn't have a loading time!!

One pic here. As you can see, cable management options are very nice.

.jpg   Workstation_s.jpg (Size: 149.85 KB / Downloads: 34)
(Thought I'd separate in two post.. this one is a bit longer)

Now the HTPC was new for me. The build is from the Mainstream HTPC page:

CPU: i3-2120
Video: Radeon 6570
RAM: GSkill 2x4GB
HDD: 500GB Sansung F3EG
Drive: Samsung 12X blu-ray
Case: Silverstone Black Aluminum / Grandia Series
PSU: Silverstone 450W SFX 80
Cooling: Cooler Master Vortex
Total cost around: $700 (CDN)

So this was a bit more complicated to build as everything has to fit:

.jpg   HTPC_all_s.jpg (Size: 130.8 KB / Downloads: 40)

First off the case is bigger than I thought.. so a mini-ITX might have been a bit small for no reason. When installed, the CPU fan is VERY close to the video card as can be seen here:

.jpg   HTPC_PCI_s.jpg (Size: 147.7 KB / Downloads: 33)

So I couldn't use the second clamp to hold down the fan to its assy and used a tie-wrap instead. I hear you ask why didn't I just turn the fan 90deg.. I actually tried that but later when I tried to install the bluray drive, the fan was in the way by about 1cm. Even turned in the right direction, the Sata cable from the drive is pushing on the top of the CPU fan! You can see it here:

.jpg   HTPC_cables.jpg (Size: 145.76 KB / Downloads: 32)

Next issue was the PSU cables. Not many of them was expected.. but they were also very short. Since the video card is in the way, most cables going to the MB needs to go around or over it. I ended up getting an extension for the 24pin power cable as it was way to short (even if I took the video card out) as well as for the disk drive power cable extension: only one comes out of the PSU and it was to short to make both the bluray and HDD. Wiring was thus a bit complicated and also very close to the CPU fan.. solid attachments are needed!

.jpg   HTPC_wiring_s.jpg (Size: 141.64 KB / Downloads: 33)

So with that case I would suggest getting a bigger MB as well as a bigger PSU. There's tons of room in it (4 possible expansion slots) and ventilation is very good with fans on both sides.

When done I think it looks pretty good and the remote that comes with it is actually very nice (needs activation it in the BIOS). Middle button (looks a lot like the Xbox one) brings up Media Center and it works out of the box for bluray drive and sound. Next step is the set up with the TV and cable!

Here's the thing finished.

.jpg   HTPC_finished_s.jpg (Size: 139.82 KB / Downloads: 37)
01-27-2012, 07:05 PM,
RE: 3 new builds
All those builds look great. Gratz

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