My Black Beauty

Aug 18

Today I am gonna share with you something close to my heart; computers. You see, other than traveling, my life revolves around computers. That’s right. I am not such an exciting guy after all. Just a geek who loves the great outdoor. Not long after my first mistress kicked the bucket, my wife does the same. I don’t understand why do they have to leave me almost simultaneously. Don’t they know it hurts my wallet very much? Oh BTW, I called my 15.4″ Dell notebook my wife because I see and touch her most of the time at home and she does all the important works while my netbook is my mistress because she looks good but not very productive. Just a great companion when I travel. In order to revive my wife, I have to spend RM950 which I think it is not worth it at all. Since PC Fair is just around the corner, I decided to get myself a new wife. While waiting for the day to come, I rely on my mistress for day to day work. Even though she is not meant for all the heavy works but she managed to complete them without any complain.

Between a notebook and a PC desktop, I decided on the desktop because…

  • It is cheaper for the same computing power and cheaper to maintain.
  • Easy to upgrade. Just buy, plug and play.
  • Can last longer. My first desktop is still working fine until today even though it was bought one year earlier than my wife.

The only qualms I have for desktop are…

  • I am stuck at one place in the house to work. It is not portable at all.
  • Always worry of power blackout. I can buy a UPS unit that gives me few minutes of power backup but still not as good as notebook.
  • More cables in my already messy room.
  • It tends to collect dust over time.

Initially I had my eyes on HP Pavilion p6150d desktop PC. It costs RM2,688 (fair price), it has all the specs I wanted and it looks great. But because I already owned a new 23″ LCD monitor and I cannot downgrade the bundled Windows Vista to Windows XP, I decided to build my own PC so that I won’t waste my money on something I don’t want. Further more, I love building my own PC. I don’t know why, but I feel PC that I built myself is longer lasting compare to those ready made PC. For example the home PC I built back in 2005 is still working as good as new right now.

Assembling a PC is not rocket science. It is as simple as plug and play. When I am stuck, I can always refer to the manual that comes with the components. Normally the steps come with easy to follow diagrams that a 3-year old kid can also understand. However, the real challenge is searching for parts. I have to check compatibility and functions of each component out of thousands of options. It is even tougher with limited budget. To make things easier for me, I use the specs of the HP desktop to narrow down my options. First, I choose the same processor; Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400. Then I search for compatible motherboard. The motherboard must meet this criteria; has a lot of USB ports and support DDR3 memory. After 2 days in PC fair, I decided on Asus P5P43TD. It has 6 USB ports at the back and can support up to another 6 USB ports at the front. Once I have determined the processor and motherboard, the rest is simple. I just need to find the right memory, graphic cards, hard disk, optical drive, casing, power supply unit,  fax modem and other accessories. At the end, this is the list of components I got at PC fair.

intel_c2_quad_lg
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 processor (RM608)

p5p43td
Asus P5P43TD motherboard (RM329)

kingstonddr3
Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333MHz memory x 2 (RM290)

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Gigabyte Superb 550 power supply unit (RM185)

p_500
Asus EN9400GT 1GB PCI-E graphic card (RM180)

elite335-3
Cooler Master Elite 335 casing (RM135)

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Western Digital 160GB 3.5″ hard disk (RM127)

gh22np20_hi
LG Internal Super Multi DVD Rewriter 22x optical drive (RM75)

sensonic_u3
Sensonic Slim Keyboard U3 (RM53)

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Additional fan for casing (RM30)

aztech_msp2980
Aztech 56K Internal Modem (RM20)

card_reader
All in 1 Internal Card Reader (RM14)

Plus the cost of my existing Acer 23″W LCD monitor (RM688) and mouse (RM65), the total cost of my brand new PC adds up to RM2,799. Yeah, I know. It costs almost the same with the branded HP desktop. So, if you are not someone who finds joy in building your own PC, I suggest that you buy the branded PC right off from the shelve. You will save yourself plenty of time and still get technical supports from the company.

Whereas for me, I find satisfaction from building my own machine. It reminds me of the joy of playing Lego during my childhood. Each parts are useless and meaningless on their own, but when combined together, they become something wonderful. Even after I completed combining every parts together, I still do not know whether it will work or not until I powered it up. That is where the anxiety arise. As soon as the final part is in place, I anxiously press the “ON” button and hold my breath until I see the BIOS setup page. It was like waiting for my exam’s result. I was over the moon when the result was out. I passed with flying colors.

Behold the end result…

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My black beauty

Maybe it is the smell of fresh electronics, or maybe the sight of shiny metal and the scratch free plastic without a single speck of dust on them, or maybe the clicks that I hear when I gently push each components into their designated slots. But whatever the reason is, I know everything inside there is how I wish it would be. Nothing more and nothing less. Now I wish I can do the same for a real wife.

5 comments

  1. so means, in the room now got 2 pc lor? man… like dat ma damn hot lor the room?

    one thing dat doesn’t match ur black beauty is the subwoofer, it’s in white! haha! go buy an altec lansing. :p

  2. no la. surprisingly it is cooler than the old one. just like human body temperature.

    no more budget for high end speakers. urs one works just fine.

  3. Does the 90CFM/19dBA fan have LED light or without it? Don’t seem to appear with your PC on.

    • yes, it has blue led light. but i decided not to use the fan because of the humming sound.

  4. wei brother i just brought that slim keyboard for RM20.00 lah yesterday in ipoh…the same brand and same product…hmm i guess ipoh is the best place for buying electronic stuffs…cum to ipoh lor if plan to buy computer stuffs…yik foong plaza is the best place in ipoh that offers all kinds of computer and hand phone hardwares in different verity with reasonable price…even u can get latest softwares for not more then RM 20.00…Yik Foong is Lowyat Plaza of ipoh lor…heheh dont mistaken me uh…im not a promoter or a worker there…im just givin sum info… 😀

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