It’s that time again: I’m planning out a new workstation for myself. Those of you who have seen this since the beginning my remember my first foray into PC-building (not to mention its disastrous consequences).

Here’s my just-ordered layout:

Case
LIAN LI PC-V2000Bplus II Black Aluminum Server Computer Case
This massive aluminum server case from Lian-Li is a massive 24.6″ x 8.3″ x 24.3″ (D x W x H) and sports 12 internal 3.5″ drive bays. It’s got 3 120mm fans and a CPU vent
Power Supply
SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-650HT ATX12V/EPS12V
After reading Jeff Atwood’s excellent article about high efficiency power supplies, I looked into “80 PLUS” certified units, which should save money on my electricity bills. These SeaSonics get high marks in all the reviews I’ve seen, offering rock-solid performance along with their high efficiency. This particular units is 650W.
Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-N680SLI-DQ6 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
This high-end Gigabyte model is probably overkill for me—it’s geared to gamers, primarily—but its 10 SATA ports are a must, as I’ll have a lot of hard drives and don’t want to pay a premium for a decent add-in card. Better to pay the overhead on a high-end mobo. It’s also get pretty good heat-pipe tech and all the various features and widgets that have become standard for this sort of thing. The only thing it’s missing is WiFi.
Processor
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor
After the July 22 price drop by Intel, this Quad Core processor is suddenly sub-$300, so I figured I’d future-proof my machine. Rather than worry about the Dual Core chips with faster processors, I’d rather have better multi-tasking capabilities.
Accessory: CPU heatsink
ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
Zalman aftermarket coolers are some of the best I’ve ever used. This copper beast can lead to temperature drops of over 10°
Accessory: thermal grease
Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound
I used this on my last build and love it; much better heat conductivity than the standard postage stamp of thermal compound that comes on retail CPUs.
Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(4 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Quad Kit Desktop Memory
Rather than buy the 2x2GB kit, which costs $100 more, this 4-stick, 4GB memory kit from Corsair will be perfect for my Quad Core system: 1GB stick for each core. I’ve never had any problems with Corsair memory: their XMS line is rock-solid, so I’m using it again in this build.
Hard Drives
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (x4)
Four of these drives will be RAIDed into 2 separate 1TB arrays: one for audio and one for video
Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
One 160GB drive will serve as my system drive, holding the partitions for the various operating systems that I’ll run
Optical Drives
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-05
This inexpensive dual-layer DVD burner is SATA, and made by Lite-On, whose drives I have had good success with in the past.
LITE-ON Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model SHD-16S1S-05
This vanilla DVD-ROM drive will be my workhorse, and is also SATA, which means I will no longer have any EIDE/PATA drives in my system.
Video Card
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
Only fairly recently, EVGA has become a top-of-the-line board manufacturer for nVidia, and yet their products are still cheaper than competing brands like Asus (my first Radeon 9800XT was an Asus, and it kept failing). I chose nVidia because of their better-than-ATI driver support in Linux (hello, AIGLX!) and their excellent performance. The 8800GTS is a very middle-of-the road card, and its specs don’t seem like much compared to the bleeding-edge cards, but it’s got the best cost/performance ratio of all available products, and it routinely matches or outperforms more expensive cards.

I won’t bother telling you how much it all cost.

Now I just have to wait until all the parts arrive and then I can delight in the sheer geekiness of it all.

§1876 · July 23, 2007 · Tags: , , ·

4 Comments to “New computer plans”

  1. Sunny Man says:

    God, I wish I could afford that. Sweet system. What OS are you using?

  2. Ben says:

    I’ll have Ubuntu 7.04 x64 as my primary, and Vista x64 for testing/&c.

  3. Horizon says:

    I must agree with Sunny Man… That’s almost sickening. :)

  4. Chad Williams says:

    Zalman coolers are made to be quiet, NOT too cool as effectively as possible.

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