It became obvious that my old computer had seen its better days about six months ago. Things were slow – it wasn’t as “state of the art” as it was when it was built and it was starting to feel like a 1.7Ghz/1GB machine that was desperate for more hard drive space. I started looking for a new machine several months ago because the deals were good and getting better – unfortunately every machine either had Vista as the OS or had a piece or two I wanted to replace out of the box. I started looking at TigerDirect’s barebone kits and decided that this was the route for me. Note to those that are interested in doing the same thing – the kits you see online are not put together the same way in the store. To me that was a huge advantage. I was able to piece together things for about $200 less than the kit I liked because I saved on the case, power supply and video card. Your mileage on this may vary.

These images are of the initial install of all the pieces into the box. It is relatively easy as long as you make sure everything is fitting firmly into place. It also helps if you have a reasonable working knowledge of where things should go. This is probably something you want to do with someone more experienced the first time you try.

Pieces here include –
XFX nForce 750a SLI Motherboard, AMD Phenom X3 8650 Chip, Thermaltake Fan for the Chip, 4096MB (4GB) PC6400 DDR2 Memory, 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive and a Ultra eTorque Mid-Tower Case (not a bad case for $50).

Overall it was a fairly painless experience to upgrade and get the processor speed and additional space I had needed for a while. Not sure exactly why I dreaded making the switch as much as I did. It took almost 3 times longer to re-install software to the new machine than it did to build. I am optimistic that the 1TB drive won’t run out of space quite as quickly as ones have in the past but I seem to remember thinking that about my 60MB drive once upon a time.

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