Building my new desktop system

As I had access to great workstations at my previous labs, I never needed a personal desktop system to do heavy duty operations such as running simulations, photo/video editing etc. But now that I moved out of graduate school and have some money to spend, I am finding myself more in need for a good desktop system. My plan with a new system is to make more tutorials on plasmonics and do more photo editing (now that I own a Nikon D5100). I currently have three old laptops, but all of them are just good enough for browsing but not any of things I want to do. I have a great system at my current workspace, but I do not want to use it for my personal adventures. :)

I could have bought a pre-installed system, but there is no fun in it :). In some cases, buying a pre-configured system may be a little bit cheaper, but at an expense of no flexibility and customization. I have never assembled a system before, so I thought it will be a good learning process. I decided to build a personal system couple of months ago and I wanted to get decent stuff at a good price and time was no factor as I am in no hurry.

Justin (my colleague) referred me to a great website called pc partpicker. Here one can make their own builds based on user ratings, prices. One can set alerts for any price drops. Alternatively, we would also check for any deals that would pop-up on slickdeals website.

Currently I have the following parts:

  • Power supply: PSU SEASONIC X650 GOLD SS-650KM R – $96 (Current price is $140, got a 40$ discount)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX Intel Motherboard- $115 (Current price is 124$+taxes)
  • Memory: (8Gb) GEIL GEV38GB1600C9DC R – Free with motherboard (Current price is$40+taxes)
  • Case: Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower ATX Computer Case- ~$50 (Current price $100+taxes, got a discount on fry’s)
  • Processor and Storage: Intel I7-3770K + 240 GB intel SSD 520 Series : $355 (Current price is $586+taxes, but got it from a friend who works for Intel at a reduced price :))
  • Operating System: Ubuntu 12.10: Free
  • I paid a total price of ~$630.

For time being, I have decieded not to overclock the processor.

I have learned that the key is to wait for good deals and explore all options (find friends if anyone works for companies such as intel or amd). I will assemble all the parts soon and post a picture of my build. You can find my final configuration at

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