Build Log 2015

I have an ancient PC at home. It’s from the 2007-08 period. The processor is a some dual core outdated, stone-age one. The motherboard is something from Lenovo Thinkcentre range with onboard SiS Mirage 3 graphics. The RAM is a 2 GB DDR2 333 MHz stick. The monitor is quite decent though, apart from other peripherals. There’s an 80 GB Hitachi hard disk, helped by a 1 TB Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard disk.

I’m honestly surprised I could dual-boot it, throw Microsoft Office 2010 at it and play games like Counter Strike, let alone have a dozen tabs open in Google Chrome. The PC came with Windows XP. I upgraded first to Windows 7 and then to Windows 8. The dual-boot setup I have right now is a combination of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Long story short, I needed an upgrade.

I began searching about building a PC. There are a ton of amazing, in-depth tutorials from Newegg, EasyPCBuilder etc. After spending days understanding how it’s all done, I started researching about the parts that I’d need. My requirements are:

  • Document editing
  • Lots of internet browsing
  • Media – music, photos and videos. I watch a lot of shows and movies
  • Moderate gaming – Counter Strike, Battlefield 4, CS: GO and some other titles I don’t know the names of. I don’t play games, my brother does

With those modest requirements in mind, I went about looking for reviews for different processors and motherboards, as those two will be the most important items I’ll need to purchase.

Processor: Intel Core i3 4150 3.4 GHz dual core processor – Haswell

After having a dilemma between Intel Pentium G3258 and Core i3 4130, I was advised that although the G3258 is a lot cheaper, the Core i3 4130 will be a better choice in the long-term. I don’t want to keep upgrading often, so I decided i3 4130 will be a much wiser choice. I won’t dwell on the differences between the i3 and the G3258, but you can compare the two here.

I then realized there’s a refreshed version of i3 4130 called the i3 4150, part of the Haswell Refresh lineup. There’s not a lot of difference between the two, both features- and price-wise. I went ahead with the Core i3 4150.

Price: Cost me around Rs. 5840 after all discounts and cashbacks.

Motherboard: Asus H81M-CS

Next up was the motherboard. There are a wide variety of options out there. Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock and even Intel if you’re feeling rich. The Core i3 4150 processor supports the FCLGA1150 socket, so I shortlisted Asus H81M-CS and the Gigabyte H81M-S1. I went ahead with the Asus for after-sales service options. You can pretty much choose any of the two, but Asus seemed better to me. It’s a bit pricier, but it’s the same thing as Gigabyte.

Price: Cost me around Rs. 2720 after all discounts and cashbacks.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) PC RAM (CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9)

I needed RAM as well, seeing as the Asus motherboard and the i3 4150 both don’t support DDR2 sticks. I went with the Corsair Vengeance DDR3 4 GB, a single 4 GB stick. Using a single stick will save my costs if I want to increase it. The Asus H81M-CS motherboard comes with two channels for RAM.

Price: Cost me around Rs. 2300 after all discounts and cashbacks.

Hard disk: Not decided yet

I’m yet to finalize on this. I’m still wondering if I should reuse the old hard disk or get a new, more spacious one. I’ll update this post when I decide.

Price: NA

Case: Local purchase

I’ll be buying one locally. I need a microATX case.

Price: ~Rs. 1000

Monitor: Will be reusing the current monitor.

Peripherals: Mouse, keyboard, speakers etc, will be reused.

Total cost: Rs. 12,000

So far, all the purchases have cost me around Rs. 12,000. I got a great deal on the processor, motherboard and RAM. The case will cost around Rs. 1,000, which is included in the total cost. Local prices are not really good, plus sites like Snapdeal and Flipkart are running some really good cashback offers. Snapdeal is offering way lower prices with 7% auto-discounts. I was expecting the entire build to cost around Rs. 15000, but due to the cashback and discounts, the price came down by nearly 20%.

Next up will be the assembly. I can’t wait for the products to be delivered.