That New PC Smell

After my complaints a couple of weeks ago I’ve finally overcome my infamous tendering process wiring and ordered the first bunch of parts for my planned computer upgrade. After years of buying middle of the road, or even the cheapest stuff, I’ve decided to be a bit less spenthrift, and a bit smarter about the parts that I intend to buy.

I can afford to splash out a bit this month as I’ve got some money left over due to not having to pay council tax the last couple of months. Not a fortune, but enough that I can get the case and power supply sorted out.

I’ve opted for a monster of a case though. The Antec 1200 (you can see a good review of it here) which weighs in at a back breaking 14.5kg, and that’s before you put anything in it. I’m sure my folks are going to be really amused when the courier turns up at their front door with it. It’s huge, its got lots of fans and I think it looks great.

I’ve hummed and hawed about power supplies. You have to admit that they’re hardly the most glamorous pieces of machinery. of building a new machine, and you’re often tempted to buy any old stock unit because of that. The trouble is a computer is a sensitive piece of electronics that can react very badly to variations in current and voltage in a way a kettle or washing machine wont. I’ve learned from harsh experience that buying a cheap unbranded power supply is akin to buying an engine from a scrappy, throwing it in your Maserati Grand Turismo and hoping that it goes like a rocket.

It wont.

I had originally settled on getting a Coolermaster power supply. They’ve a sound reputation, give good clean voltage and current output, and get great reviews everywhere I look. I did have doubts however, given the size of the Antec 1200, that the cables on a standard ATX form factor power supply would be long enough to reach all the places it would be needed to go. It’s no use having enough power if the cables can’t reach the drive bays.

It turns out that Antec themselves have anticipated the problems, and possibilities, of their larger cases and have produced the CP series power supply. The CP series are an odd divergance from the usual ATX style power supply. They’re larger and can use heavier duty components, but their size means they’re only compatible with certain Antec cases. At the moment they come in two types an 850w unit and a 1,000w monster.  I opted for the CP-850 as the 1,000w unit seems like overkill for my requirements.

Finally I found I had slightly more money spare that I realised so I decided to steam on and add two Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB hard disks to the order. I would need to get them eventually as it would be extremely counter-productive to put tired old IDE drives in a sparkling new build.

The order is away. Now all I have to do is sit back and await like a modern day Conan on my throne of faux leather.

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