New PC!

So I am the happy owner a shiny new self-built PC and so far I’m very pleased with it.

This is the first time I have built my own computer and, really, this is the first desktop PC I have owned (although I pretty much exclusively used my parent’s desktop when I lived at home). Until now I have been a laptop-man. I’m on my second laptop currently and it’s probably close to being replaced with a shiny new one soon.

Since I’ve been working from home for the past few months I wanted a proper PC workstation. My fiancée had expressed an interest in a new PC also. So I set to work to figure out how to build one. I made the decision to do an own-build because I think it’s an important rite-of-passage for a Computer Scientist that I had not yet experienced and I was minorly teased at University for the fact that I had never done it and exclusively used my good ol’ laptop. So I was determined that was the route for me.

It turns out that dabs.com has everything you could need and at unbeatable prices, there is virtually no point in shopping around because Dabs prices are *that* good!

After a bunch of research and comparing products I eventually settled on the following spec:

Case: Corsair Carbide 300R Gaming Case (ATX)
PSU: Corsair TX650 v2 650Watt
Mobo: Gigabyte Z87-D3HP Intel Z87
CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Haswell Quad-Core
RAM: Corsair (2x 4GB) Vengeance Pro Blue DDR3 1600MHz CL9
SSD: Sandisk 256GB Ultra Plus SATA 6Gb/s
Optical drive: Samsung 24x SH-224DB DVD-RW
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon 7790HD 1GB
Monitors (both): LG 22EA63V 22″ 1920×1080 IPS LED
OS: Windows 8.1

I decided to go with the 1150 socket for the Haswell chips for future-proofing. I decided I didn’t go to for the high-performance (read: incredibly expensive) socket and so I’ll stick with the more mainstream stuff.

Also, I have a general fondness for NVidia but bang-for-buck goes to AMD and the 7790HD is a good little performer that should be able to handle any current game, not that I’m a massive PC gamer (I prefer my PS3) but it’s nice to have the option available and maybe I’ll play with some advanced graphics stuff at some point, who knows.

The build itself went without any troubles, no wiring issues, no coloured smoke, no snapped mobo/case, no compatibility issues. Everything worked first time.

I’m still on the hunt for some good but inexpensive speakers, probably 2.1 with the subwoofer. Currently I’m using some really old speakers that look very dated but still sound great. I also want a new keyboard, I’m thinking about getting a mechanical one but I haven’t found one that I really like yet although the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate might be a good contender.

On Becoming Engaged!

I am now engaged to my girlfriend-come-fiancée of 5 years!!

We’re very pleased!

I proposed on Thursday October 24th at Anglesey Abbey in their Dahlia garden and successfully managed to conceal the ring in its box for the whole trip until that moment – so it was total surprise to her! 😀

Everybody always asks if I got down on one knee – and I did! Since it makes for a bit of a spectacle I waited until everybody else had gone away first so we could have our moment in private.

I bought the ring online. It’s platinum with a Morganite central stone surrounded by small diamonds and sets of diamonds embedded in the band also. It’s lovely to look at:

Engagement Ring