i have been working on this machine for the better part of a week now and i think that i can finally say that i have everything working now. so, what was the final build?
Case: Antec Three Hundred
it all starts with the case. i looked high and low for a case that looked cool. it seems that with the overclocking crowd, cases with windows and neon lights are all the rage. i sort of think that that’s a little tacky and as i looked around, my criteria for a case became pretty clear:
1) attractive looking case
2) provides good airflow
i didn’t think that i could find a cheap, attractive looking case, but then i found this case made by antec. construction is sturdy, there’s good airflow, and plenty of fans in the case. there were a couple of pleasant surprises with the case:
1) the case provides enough thumb screws for everything that you need so that you don’t need to use a screwdriver if you don’t want it.
2) the case provides a space to stow away all your extra power cables from your PSU if you didn’t buy a modular PSU.
3) the fans that come with the case are adjustable!
Motherboard: ASUS P6T SE
the ever popular ASUS P6T now comes in an SE version. all that stripped out is the ability for SLI video. i wasn’t going to do it anyway, so the slightly cheaper motherboard was perfect for my needs. chock full of overclocking options, this motherboard was the perfect home for the CPU.
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz CPU
the motherboard/CPU decision was the hardest for me. I decided to try the Intel Core i7 route and it seems that the 920 processor is the best bang for the buck right now. overclock friendly, but plenty fast on its own, this hyperthreaded quad-core CPU will show up as 8 CPUs in your OS.
RAM: Corsair PC3-12800 12GB kit
yeah, 12GB of ram might be a little excessive, but we’re talking a new machine here. yes, ram is cheap, but when you buy 12GB of ram at a time, it’s a little expensive. still, i figure that at some point i’ll end up using up the ram, especially if i plan to run VMs.
my first batch of 12GB that i got from tigerdirect had a bad stick of ram in it. The heat spreader was not adhered to the chip. I RMA’d it through tigerdirect and my second set worked great.
PSU: Corsair TX-850W 80plus PSU
a nice quiet PSU with plenty of capacity to power the machine. i loved the 450W one that i picked up for the media center that i built. the build quality of the PSU is great. 850W is probably overkill for the machine, but there was a rebate that made it cheaper than the 750W i was planning to get.
Video: EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB
I wanted a fast video card, but i wanted to get something that was supported by osx86tools. this was the fastest card on their list.
and that’s it. i have a couple of 1TB drives in the machine right now, but i’m not sure if they are going to be the final drives in the machine. i also had a spare DVD drive that i pulled out of a machine, but i’m fairly certain that i’m going to be getting a blu-ray writer soon with new hard drives.
OS is installed and the machine is absolutely fantastic. the OS happily reports 8 CPUs and 12GB of ram. things are nice and zippy and overall, i’m quite pleased.