Product Name -
Ultra M998 - This is
the best case I have ever owned. I am not a
big fan of towers but don't like small ones either.
This case is just right. It has 4 x 5.25"
external drive bays, 2 x 3.5" external drive bays
and 4 x 3.5" internal drive bays. The case is
very roomy and easy to work in as well which is a
big plus for my fat hands. The motherboard
tray is removable, case comes with rollers (a new
must have feature for me), the motherboard tray has
a power bar which greatly shortens cable runs and
plenty of room for a big power supply if you need
it. Like all cases there are some things to
dislike, but I find them minor. Hard drive
mounts are old fashioned and probably should have
been rotated to make installation and removal
easier, edges aren't sharp but they are rough a
rounded cut would
be nice, should have come with some silicon
mountings to keep HD vibration down and screwless is
always a nice option.
Enermax Modu82+ 525w - PSUs
aren't a big deal to me but I do have some criteria
when purchasing, must be 80% or higher efficient,
reasonably quiet, fairly priced and have modular
cabling. You can save some money by losing a
feature here or there, but ultimately PSUs tend to
live a LONG time and generally speaking out-live my
other components so an extra few bucks here is often
worth it. I have no complaints with this PSU.
It is considered one of the quietest PSUs out there
right now, plenty of power for my needs and
P6N Platinum - I have no idea
what a really good motherboard is actually. I
usually go to Anandtech or TomsHardware and pick one
of the motherboards in their recommended list.
I don't overclock much and when I do I keep it
simple. Honestly, I have never really been
happy with a motherboard and never completely
unhappy. I used to use the DFI motherboards,
but they tend to blow out on me every year or so.
In the end, I picked this because TomsHardware liked
it and it is supposed to be a good deal. My
single BIG complaint is the lack of PCI Express
slots and the complete inability to support x4 and
x8 cards. I would buy the Diamond next time
since it is $10 more and supports x8.
E6750 - Another area I have
little loyalty to. I basically buy whatever is
the best processor I can find around $150 to $250.
I replace a processor once every 12-16 months or
whenever a big price drop hits. Currently the
Q6700 is a pretty good deal and by Summer 08 you can
probably get one for around $200.
4GB PC2-6400 - Memory... don't
spend a lot here I say. Quantity is more
important than quality and most companies that
produce RAM these days create a quality product.
I generally buy what is on sale and just try to sock
as much as my OS will support (and sometimes more).
8800 GT 512MB - I love Toms
Hardware when it comes to figuring out the best bang
for buck video card out there. I was torn
between the 9600 and 8800, but in the end the 8800
is faster and about $10 more. Hopefully one
day NVIDIA will realize that you don't need two
dozen models that performance wise aren't very far
apart from each other.
||I use the motherboard
audio. I know you can buy "better" but
generally speaking your speakers are the real hold
Western Digital SE16 640GB -
Big drive great performance. At some point I
will swap the boot part for a solid state drive, but
they need to come down a lot more before I get real
interested in those. This machine also has
6x750gb hard drives from various manufacturers along
with an LSI MegaRaid 8344ELP running RAID 5. I
am not going to list the RAID setup in the price
because I have a lot of data I deal with and most
people simply don't need this especially at near 1k
in costs. I do ghost my drive often so I can
restore in case of a drive failure and I recommend
picking up a second drive that is the same size or
larger for doing just that.
20x DVD Burner - I just buy
whatever is cheap and reasonably fast. These
days one drive seems about as good as the next.
Samsung SyncMaster 245BW 24" LCD
- I picked this up at CostCo on sale
for $300. Before that I had a Dell 22".
I basically upgrade a monitor when something breaks
or something MUCH better than the current setup I
have comes along at a good price. I have my
eye on the Hanns-G 28" for $500. That sucker
drops to $400 and I will probably buy it.
Logitech G15 Keyboard - The
default gamer keyboard these days. Gets the
job done and most people really like it.
Logitech G5 Mouse - I used to
use cordless mice, but too many recharges in a day
sent me right back to a quality corded mouse.
Zalman MPC1 Plus - I needed to
quiet down the case a bit so a 6 port fan controller
that was pretty cheap and works great was just what
the doctor ordered for reducing the noise.
- Several companies rebadge
these as their own but they are basically the same
fan as a higher end brand at a quarter the price.
I ripped all the fans out of my case and added a
couple more using these.
4 at $5 each
Cooler Master Hyper TX2 -
Cheap, quiet (for a fan based cooler), easy
installation and works VERY well. Their is a
reason Toms Hardware uses this guy on a lot of their
Thermaltake DuOrb Graphics Cooler
- Another reasonably priced cooler
that is pretty quiet. I cut its power down by
30% to make it VERY quiet and it is still cooling
better than the stock cooler.
Windows XP - I am stuck here
for a while at least until Vista calms down A LOT
more. I would like 64bit XP so I could use
more memory, but don't feel like finding drivers and
For this price, this
machine will beat a Dell or similar prebuilt
significantly in the benchmarks.
* This doesn't
include the usual extras like high end thermal
paste, extra cables, etc.