So, I decided to put my tax refund to good use and build myself a decent desktop gaming/designing computer. I had a budget of $830 dollars, but I did end up going a little above that in the long run. However, I think every penny spent was extremely worth it.
I ordered the parts from Newegg on Monday and surprisingly they shipped from a warehouse just an hour away from my house, so they arrived first thing Tuesday morning. I was so excited, like a kid on Christmas, to open up everything and put it together. The first box I opened was the case, and I bought a case that was supposed to include a power supply (that was a mistake) and they shipped me the case without the power supply. So now I had all these parts and no way to give them power.
I spent an hour chatting with Newegg customer service, trying to avoid having to send the case back to them just so they could send me the new one with the power supply. I didn't feel that I should have to go out of my way to make up for a mistake that one of their employees made (the box for the case clearly did not have a check mark in the little box marked PSU). A manager agreed to give me a $20 gift card to make up for the difference in pricing, and I took it.
The gift card arrived in my Inbox on Thursday morning, and using that and another promo code (along with $30 from my pocket), I purchased a 500 watt Corsair power supply to breathe life into my system! I was expecting to wait until at least Monday to get the PSU, but to my surprise, it shipped from the same warehouse that is less than an hour from my house and the power supply came first thing today (Friday)!
I was so excited. I ate a quick lunch and setup my computer piece by piece, making sure I took my time to get everything right. So I finally got everything together, hooked up a monitor and my mouse and keyboard and hit the power button. Nothing. "Oh no," I thought, until I realized that I forgot to plug the power supply into the surge protector. Once I did that, the computer booted up perfectly and I heard that beloved POST beep. I thought all my troubles were over at this point.
I threw a Windows 7 disk into the DVD-RW I had purchased and I kept getting a DISK READ ERROR. I tried multiple copies of Windows 7 Ultimate, Home, and Professional, but they all did the same thing. This led me to believe that I had received a bunk DVD-RW, but I was not going to let this stop me, hell no! I looked through all my USB flash drives and realized I only had a 2GB and a 4GB, and at least an 8GB is needed to install Windows from a USB drive, so I took a walk up the street to a few small electronic stores to try to find either a flash drive or a DVD-RW.
The first place I went to, the guy said he only had an external DVD-RW, and when I asked him how much it is, he told me $69.99. I laughed in his face and asked him for a USB flash drive, but he only had 4GB, so I kept walking and eventually I found a store with a guy willing to sell me the 8GB USB flash drive for $20 with no refunds. So basically if this didn't solve my problem, I was out of 20 bucks.
I walked home, transferred over the contents of a Windows 7 Ultimate ISO to the USB drive, did a few things in command prompt to make the drive bootable, and what do ya know, it worked! It installed rather quickly as well, taking only about 10-15 minutes for the entire installation. I am planning on RMAing the bunk DVD-RW I purchased from Newegg and getting a refund to put towards a nice Blu-Ray DVD-RW Combo drive.
If you made it through this, I commend you. I'm sorry for making it so long but I wanted to detail my entire ordeal. I leave you now with the specifications for my system:
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.3GHz (Not overclocking yet, still with stock cooler)
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600 Corsair Vengeance
Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Motherboard: GigaByte Z68AP-D3
SSD: Corsair M4 64GB (500 MB/s Read and 95 MB/s Write)
HDD: Western Digital 750GB (Running a RAID with the SSD and using Smart Response)
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX500 V2 500W
Case: Thermaltake VL8000 Series V3 Black Edition
Monitor 1: ViewSonic VG2021m @ 1400x1050
Monitor 2: Sharp LC-1925SBU HD LCD @ 1920x1080
The monitors are currently next on the upgrade list. They're both rather old, and one of them is actually a LCD TV. That is the one I plan to play games on while web-browsing and IRC will be on the other.
If you'd like to see what I'm working with, you can View the Album that I created. Note that the only camera available to me is an iPhone, so I apologize for the crappy quality.
Peace & Love Everyone!