My 3 year old + gaming system was starting to show its age when some of the newer games wouldn’t play on it. So I decided it was time to build a new system. I set myself a budget of $400 and went shopping for parts. I finally settled on getting what I needed from NewEgg since they were running some deals that were appealing at the time I was ordering.

I salvaged my keyboard, mouse, monitor, DVD burner, D-Link Airplus wireless card and a Seagate 250 GB SATA drive from the old system. I had a new Seagate 160G SATA drive on the shelf to add to the new system. My plan was to dual boot both Windows XP and also a new copy of 64 bit Vista Ultimate that I wanted to try since I was going to purchase a 64 bit CPU.

Over at NewEgg I found the following toys:

An Asus Pro mobo. I purchased this board since it had over 400 reviews with a 63% five star rating.

Next I got 4GB of Corsair RAM. This was on special and after rebate was only $26.99 🙂

I tossed in an AMD 64×2 6000 at 3.1 GHz.

I found a plain black case with a 585 watt PS

Even though the retail AMD CPU comes with a heatsink/fan , I opted for a Masscool unit

I also located an EVGA 9300 NVidia video with 1 GB RAM PCI Express 2.0 x16

I stayed within my $400 budget which made my wife happy. 🙂 Total cost before rebates was $385 which included S&H.

On Friday all the pieces arrived unbroken via UPS and I spent some of my weekend assembling the system. What I found interesting is that the heatsink from AMD actually was impressive having a cooper base and cooper heat tubes as well as a quiet fan assembly. So I opted to use the retail unit and put the Masscool on the shelf as a backup unit. The assembly went without incident.

I installed Windows XP on the 160GB drive and Vista on the 250GB drive. The installs went fine and I updated XP to SP3 and Vista to SP1. Naturally this alone consumed a few hours to complete. On Monday I installed a paid version of AVG on both systems and also installed the D-Link Airplus wireless card. Vista installed the driver automatically but XP rejected the install with failure errors. Checking on the D-Link site I discovered there was an issue with XP with SP3 and found a fix which corrected the problem.

This is where I currently sit. I am hoping to get the new video card installed by tomorrow and try some new games I have sitting on the shelf.

Comments welcome.