In the past week, I sourced the parts for a new Crunching machine, had the parts arrive, assembled them and set up the entire computer. This is going to be a post detailing my thought processes behind finding the parts.
Step 1: Find your favorite computer parts supplier.
I went with new egg because they have worked wonderfully for me in the past, and I figured "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" Normally every time I have dreamed of building a computer, and even assembled shopping carts of what I would like to buy, it was really just that a dream machine. Top of the line everything, including more than what I spent on this computer in Video cards alone, and nearly as much in terms of processors.
Step 2: Decide are you building a Dream machine, or a Realistic affordable machine?
This time I put together a cart, I said, I am going to do to things, look for nice parts that I like, but not top of the line parts, and if possible I am going to go for sale items that have high ratings for user reviews. As I already had the Video card I was going to use in this machine, lets just say it involves a lot of stupidity on my part, and buying a part without actually checking to see if it will fit in its intended machine, all I had to do was get a few key parts, and I even realized I could save money on an optical drive, as for the time being I do not intend on inserting any CD, DVD, etc. into this computer any time soon ( I may purchase a Blu-ray drive for this later).
So as I was going for affordable, and did not need an optical drive, and had a GPU, I needed a Processor, Memory, Mother Board, CPU, Hard Drive Disk, and Power Supply. Honestly that is it. ( I should note I also already had the cable to hook the computer up to my TV for graphics.)
Proceeding by my intentions, I am a major Intel fan, but instead of going for the i7, I decided go for something about half the price, but still incredibly powerful, with an i5 quad core processor. Then the rest was more down to personal preference, of course making sure each of these parts was compatible. That being said prior to any mail in rebates I had saved 50 dollars on this computer, for a total price of just under 600 dollars, nearly 700 dollars if you factor in the GPU I already had.
Now I make no claims that 700 dollars is a small amount of money, but I did scope similar systems from large computer companies that make hundreds of identical computers, and I even looked at companies that custom build PCs to specs. In the first case through large companies like Dell, and HP, a similar system would cost at least $1,000. While the custom build to design were somewhat close ( of course you realize you pay them for putting it together for you, but at least they take responsibility for that), and for having them take on those burdens, you pay them an extra $100-$200 dollars.
Stay tuned for Part II featuring the actual build. ( I took pictures, I hope some of them are good enough to post!)