Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Battlestation Construction Project 2014

My dad built all the computers in our house from scratch. It's a side-hobby of his. He'll see a good sale on a part and he'll pick it up and upgrade our designated King Computer. The old part got stowed away. This process repeats itself with different components until he has enough parts set aside to build an entire new(old) computer. The spawning action happens at irregular intervals but over the years the computers have accumulated. As a result there are many, many PC towers just sitting around the house but only three are in use. If you were to look over all of them and examine their components you'd find an amateur history of PC technology as you went around the house. There's a perceptible gradient of obsolescence on display. The King Computer has the best stuff and everything else trickles down. The latest upgrade it received was a second monitor for a dual-screen set-up. Meanwhile I have the #2 computer, the chamberlain in this scenario. It's been a stalwart fellow, this one. It runs all games well on at least Medium settings and it isn't obstructively noisy under load. That's been enough for a long time, but not anymore.

I have been diverting 90% of my energy towards completing my Primary Quest for quite a while now but that time is almost over! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. (•ω•) As you should know, even though the Quest isn't done yet, I no longer need to expend any more energy on it. That 90% energy capacity has now been freed up and I, too, am free to set myself a new Quest and devote my energies to that instead:
Build my own personal high-end PC battlestation
Yes, that's right, no more hand-me-down PC.  /(≥ヮ≤)\ And right on time, too, since Black Friday/Cyber Monday season has arrived. As of today I have already bought all the components I need save one: a Solid State Drive (SSD) on which to store my operating system (OS).

Otherwise, here's what I have acquired so far: 

GPU Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE 3X 350 0 350
CPU Intel i5-4690K 240 -30,-10 200
HEATSINK Noctua NH-U12S 66 -10 0 (56)
MOBO GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H 150 -20 130
RAM Corsair Vengeance 8GB
(2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866
91 -26 65
HDD Seagate Barracuda 1TB 56 -20 0 (36)
PSU SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze 87 0 87
CASE Rosewill THOR V2 130 -20,-20 90
Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer 20 -3 17
OS Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) 106 0 56 (50)

Total cart price: $1296
Discounts: -$159
Subtotal: $1137
Paid with rewards points: -$142
Total: $995

The discounts on the original prices come in two varieties: coupon codes for instant savings and cumbersome mail-in rebates. The COST column figures indicate the actual price of the items following all calculations for discounts. The number adjacent in parentheses is the portion of the actual price that I paid using credit card rewards points rather than charging the transaction straight to my card. I don't doubt that you "miles and points" collectors out there will recognize that this isn't the most efficient way to use the points but Amazon was running a special promo if you linked an eligible Rewards earning credit card to your Amazon account and used those points on a purchase. The promo discounts outweighed the poor points-dollar exchange rate in these cases.

For the SSD I have a specific SanDisk model in mind, but it's a good one, they know that and so they haven't put it on sale yet. But I'm patient, we still have the Christmas season...

P.S. I'm also keeping my eye out for a good sale on a SeaSonic PSU. I already bought one but if I could bag one at a significantly lower price that would be grand.