List of the parts I will use to build my new machine. And some notes with it.
Well, there is (was) a Box #2 in the plan to, from start. Basically it was the same setup, but with a smaller chassi - the FT03-mini and it had a mini-ITX MB (same as the one below but in another form factor). After some thinking I decided to go with the larger chassi. That makes me use the same disks/disk setup I have in my Mac Pro and also I get a few xtra PCI slots, in case. The chassi is still much smaller than the Mac Pro. It’s about an inch lower and wider, but only about 55-60% of the length.
The plan, focus and goal is to build a new desktop with ATI graphics, so by chosing an AMD CPU I get the graphics right away and I can save some money initially on skipping the graphic card. I’ll get one later on. So, “all-in” on AMD. It’s not going to be a hard core gaming machine, but I do work with some graphic/design so I still need something thats great. Today in my Mac Pro I have the ATI Radeon HD 5570 card. The onboard graphics is… The MB says HD 8000/7000-series and the CPU says Radeon R7, so either way - newer and better.
Anyway, here’s my build…
Silverstone Fortress SST-FT03T (titanium)
The chassi arrived a few days ago. The Titan color is really nice. Though, it was darker than I expected it to be. Almost graphite’ish bronze like. First I thought, “WTF is this..?” - but once on the desk it looked really good.
Here’s a short video clip of the chassi.
Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H (rev. 3.1)
An mATX motherboard with 8x SATA and USB3. It looks very good and promising. Great spec’s and features.
It’s a 65W CPU that looks really good. I don’t need the beefiest ones for my use. The importance here is to get the AMD/ATI graphic. That it is power friendly is nice as well.
I would say it looks like it’s comparable, and a little bit better than the i5 processor.
Cooler Master: Seidon 120V VER.2 (EU only)
This will be (more than) enough since the CPU is only 65W. It’s possible to mount it with an existing fan to get 1 on each side, but I’ll only use the included one to save space and also because the MB just have 3 (4-pin) fan connectors. 2 for “sysfan” and one for “cpufan”. The last one will probably be used for the top fan in the case.
16GB is more than enough. The APU can use up to 2GB for the graphics, so 14GB left (I have 10GB/1066Mhz in My Mac Pro).
Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I (rev. 4.2)
A Wi-fi card with 802.11/ac and Bluetooth 4.2. I especially like that the antenna connectors are detachable. Meaning, I can get other ones and put inside the chassi instead.
750W, modular… I bought this one on “BlackFriday” at a good price, ≈ $45,- off. First I chose this one, but was going with the 650W model later, to save a few bucks. But when I checked my list on Black Friday I found this one and it was cheaper than the 650W model.
One of the reasons I picked this chassi over the smaller model (FT03-mini) was that I can make use of all my disks I have today.
- SSD: OWC 120GB Mercury Electra™ 6G
- 2x SATA: WD RE4 500GB (WDC WD5003ABYX-01WERA1)
The SSD is really good, but the SATA disks are only SATA II/3G, so perhaps I should get a new one (6G) as well. The RE4 model is good though.
To deal with later…
I’m not going to put one in now, but later. The chassi needs a slim drive - slot loading. There is one, quite expensive, and since I’m going to get a Mac mini instead of my Mac Pro - to keep (my OS X installation) as a spare. I can take that DVD.
When I upgraded my Toshiba laptop with an xtra disk I also bought an external chassi for the DVD. So, I have an external if I need one.
I will have to take a better look at graphic cards later. The reason to this build is I can get it up and running without a graphic card. As mentioned - the reason to get “all-in” on AMD is because of the graphics. And since I want the AMD/ATI graphics it was an easy decision. And I don’t want to use the Intel graphics… &/or in any Intel nVidia-mix. So, the AMD CPU was an ideal choice for me.
One card I have looked into a little bit is the XFX RADEON R7 360 CORE 1050MHZ 2GB DDR5, or perhaps one from the 200-serie (260X) with 1GB DDR5. I’m not into build a gaming machine. But I need it to work with graphic/design programs. In my Mac I have the ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB, which is a great graphic card, and whatever I chose for this computer, that craphics will be better - even the onboard graphics are better.
Well, I’m really exited by this build. And this will also be my first new real “PC” that isn’t a Mac. I’ve had other PC’s of course. Most old’ish ones or built from junk parts. But now when switching - this is the one, and I’ll get a Mac mini to put my OS X installtion in, as a spare. It will mostly be to be able to keep my old work and files and if I can’t find replacvements for all programs immediately… That’s mainly Photoshop I’m worried about. I have Gimp to, but haven’t learned the program fully. It’s a lot of same-same, but a few things somewhat different &/or “backwards”. Much is of course based on habits and routines. I’ll get there. Of all programs I have I think I only have 2 or 3 missing in my Arch installation today. So, there are no worries - more like a “better safe than sorry”-solution.
The hardware… I really like the style and thinking behind the design of the chassi. And it saves space to. Not too small but still saves a lot of space. The over all specs of the different parts are great, but perhaps not on the edge. But, it’ll do fine for me. The goal was to find/build a good solid piece of computer to have as my new main computer.
If there’s something I’ve missed or perhaps overlooked? Please comment or ping me on Twitter.