Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

Summary: My post the other day about how Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K processor offers far better value for money has prompted you folks to ask me to come up with an outline for a build your own Sandy Bridge system.

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My post the other day about how Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K processor offers far better value for money has prompted you folks to ask me to come up with an outline for a build your own Sandy Bridge system.

So let's get cracking with the build!

Note: As usual with these builds I won't recommend a case or an optical drive or peripherals. Feel free to choose whatever suits you or scavenge parts from an older system.

Processor

First you need the processor - Intel's quad-core, 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K. It is around this bit of silicon that we will build the rest of the system.

I recommend that you save money and stick with the stock cooler supplied with the CPU unless you want to overclock the system or want something quieter.

Price: $329

Note: Alternatively, you could grab a Core i7-2600 (no K) which is some $30 cheaper, but doesn't overclock as well, doesn't support VT-d hardware virtualization and has the more inferior HD Graphics 2000  as opposed to the HD Graphics 3000 found in the 2600-K.

Alternatively, you could always go with the Core i5-2500K and save $100!

Motherboard

Picking a motherboard is tricky, not because there are plenty to choose from, but because the Cougar Point chipset problem that caused SATA degradation has temporarily cleared the market of most compatible boards. This means that there's a shortage of boards to choose from.

With that in mind, I've chosen to go for an Intel board, because Intel has started shipping boards with the fixed B3 stepping chipset. I've gone for the Intel DH67BL board.

Price: $100

RAM

Going to go here with G.SKILL 4GB (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR3 1333.

Price: $43

Power supply

You need a decent power supply, but there's no need to go nuts. A Thermaltake TR2 W0379RU 500W unit is more than adequate.

Price: $55

Hard drive

Let's add storage in the form of a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB drive. You get high-performance and high-capacity in the same package.

Price: $90

Total system price: $617

Optional Extra - Graphics card

Since the chip we've chosen comes with on-board graphics, and the motherboard chosen can leverage that, technically you don't need a graphics card. However, for gaming I'd recommend that you fit one. Something like the Radeon HD 5670 can pump out the pixels at a rate to keep the current game lineup running smoothly and will only set you back around $80.

Topics: Processors, CXO, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Intel, Legal

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27 comments
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  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    I'm in. I have built:<br><br>Intel 2600k;<br>ASUS P8P67 Deluxe Mobo and GTX 470 Video;<br>Cooler Master 932 haf Case and Silent Pro PSU 850W;<br>8 GB OCZ Reaper 2133;<br>64-bit Ultimate on RAID 0/1 TB Caviar Black SATA 3's;<br>Pioneer Blu-ray Burner; and<br>Samsung DVD Burner.<br><br>About <br>$1,300<br>ignoring my "old" Ultimate, sound system, wireless keyboard/mouse, and monitor
    Znod
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

      @Znod How is you system working I am going to do a build soon have to wait on tax refund. Hope it come soon. I like the looks of your build. Where did you get the parts. Thanks for you Information. revjohnmc@copper.net
      revjonmc
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

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      upinson
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    Total system price: $617 that is without the OS
    windows 7 64 bit OS home premium $80
    optical drive needed as well $30
    $727
    aberkae
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

      @aberkae Adrian never includes OS, and stopped including optical drives a while back.

      Too many 'holy wars' have started over OS choices, and lets face it, the OS is irrelevant when you're talking about hardware choices.

      Optical drives are more or less identical these days too.
      mikey3211
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    I'd rather install Fedora 14. :) Zero cost and one billionth of the vulnerabilities out of the box.
    Joe_Wulf@...
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

      @Joe_Wulf
      But can you run the latest and greatest games?
      bwills80
      • Sure

        .
        bdaffern
      • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

        @bwills80 LOL---you've got time to waste on games??
        Just kidding. Surely things depend upon focus, intent and expected/desired results.
        Joe_Wulf@...
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    There's a typo in somebody's specs regarding VT-d. Intel says it's supported on the 2600 but not the 2600k. I say "somebody" because I've found that ark.intel.com is not infallible.

    http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=52213,52214,
    1DaveN
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    Just once, I'd like somebody to explain what the differences are between i3, i5, and i7. Because, I haven't found a good explanation even at Intel. So it's hard to compare processors for what is/is not a good value. Intel had just done a good thing when they had C2D and C2Q - you could tell the difference, i.e. a C2D E6600 and a C2Q Q6600 were the exact same specs except that the Q6600 was quad-core where the E6600 was only dual-core.
    Adrian even says it himself, "...you could always go with the Core i5-2500K and save $100!" So what's so special about the i7 over the i5 to make me want to spend an additional $100? Or has Intel reverted to their Pentium 4 versus Celeron versus Pentium D versus whatever they named it?
    reziol
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    @reziol - Go to ark.intel.com and check the box next to all the processors you're interested in. It will save the checks even if you navigate off the page - say from i7 to i5. Then click the Compare button. The resulting chart will compare and also highlight specs that differ between the models. For example, i7 is 4 core, 8 thread while i5 is 4 core, 4 thread. They don't make it easy - you're right about that - but ark.intel.com has better and easier to find information than the regular Intel site, which IMO is just a mass of marketing confusion.
    1DaveN
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    No thank you.
    james347
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

      @james347

      And?
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • On the Low End Side

    Maybe OK for the occasional PC user or Grandma, but I doubt a power user would settle for some of these parts (excluding the processor that is). Otherwise, an affordable so-so PC.
    jpr75_z
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    I'm confused by the H and P motherboards. I plan on building one soon and don't play games what so ever but I am a heavy Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro user along with playing avi movies. So is the H motherboard with the on board graphics more then adequate or should I get a P motherboard and buy a cheap video card. All the articles I have read are geared to gamers and not normal to power users who don't need the additional graphics boost. Help.
    brsutton
    • Photoshop, Etc., Users

      @brsutton
      I'm with you. On ONE occasion I saw an article touting a mid-range (price-wise) video card for faster rendering for graphic artists, but otherwise it seems that the articles are solely aimed at "gamers." Sigh!
      Legal_Beagle
  • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

    I was on the fence with intel or AMD. I ended up going AMD because I got the AMD Phenom2 X6 3.2GHz processor. Remember that's 6 cores, not 4 as in this intel chip. For $150. I'm a gamer so I need some mid-high range gear. And I got more bang for my buch with this AMD than with Intel, though there is nothing wrong with Intel, I like their CPUs just not their price tags ;)
    KBot
    • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

      @KBot - You bought a that Phenom for $150.00...must have been used. Even Dell cannot buy it for $150.00; at 1K Unit pricing the "tray" cost is ~ $200 to $205. Also, if you bothered to do any research, rather than always believing the "AMD is the better price for performance" shtick, you would see that the CPU PassMark rating on the Core i5-2500K at 4-Core/4-Thread is ~ 10% faster for an extra $30.00 over the Phenom II X6 1090t that you have with 6-Cores. Strange? Check your facts before you open your mouth! However, for $150.00 on the Phenom II, good find and your logic holds; but in reality, no dice!
      robert.nelson
      • RE: Build Your Own: Sandy Bridge system

        @robert.nelson

        dude, bought it brand new off of amazon, I heard something about AMD having a sale on current gen chips because of their new chip coming out. And you know what? I did do some research and overall AMDs chipsets are nearly identical for a fraction of the cost. a 10% increase in speed for 20% more money? I'll pass thank you
        KBot