Seven years ago, I built my first computer with an Intel i5-4560. Seeing as I don’t play many overly demanding games, it has served me well, and even up until its demise it always ran much faster than any work computer I’ve had in the office.
Well, all good things come to an end. In the same way as married couples suffer the 7‑year itch, my computer has suffered its fair bout of the 7‑year curse throughout the year:
- First, the power supply that came with the original case died, so I replaced it with a SilverStone Essential 550W a month and a half ago.
- The keyboard has been playing up, so I will need to replace it soon.
- Last week, the computer started shutting off randomly; the telltale signs of either power supply or motherboard failure.
- As a last hurrah, my operating system hard drive stopped booting up Windows.
I began my shopping by looking for a new CPU and motherboard. The newest Intel 12th generation CPUs were just released in November 2021, but the 11th-Gen CPUs were quite a bit cheaper and still fairly good. I went back and forth between price vs performance for a couple of days, but given the price difference came down to under $200, I decided to go for the newer stuff.
So I grabbed the Intel Core i5-12600K paired with a compatible ASUS Prime Z690‑P WiFi DDR4 Motherboard. All up, A$878. Not too bad, and I thought I was done. Ha-ha.
This was the point I realised that my existing memory cards were DDR3, which would not fit into any of the new motherboards. So… a bit more shopping later, I ended up with the Corsair Vengeance RGB RS 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz CL16 RAM in the cart too.
To make sure all these parts were compatible together, I used the custom build compatibility checking tool over on Pangoly, which gave me the bad news that the new CPU did not come with a stock cooler, so I need to buy a separate CPU cooler.
Now things got a bit more challenging. The Australian market is already starved for choice. Given how new the Intel 12th-Gen processors are, which uses LGA1700 sockets, there are fuck all compatible coolers on the market I could get my hands on. Eventually, I picked up the Deepcool AS500 Plus CPU Cooler which came with free LGA1700 mounting brackets, has great tech reviews (so much research has gone into this shopping trip!), and is apparently comparable in performance with some of the popular Noctua options.
Oh, did you think that was all? I did. Until, of course, Pangoly next revealed that this cooler was too big for my computer case. I was ready to throw things at this point. All I needed was a new CPU and motherboard lol! Who knew it would be such a mission to find a case fat enough to hold this cooler too? Le sigh. I couldn't even look for options on online websites because the shipping cost for a computer case was obscene. I was even just limited for choice. Literally the only affordable option available at my local computer store was the SilverStone FARA B1 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis. Luckily, it looked better than I expected!
No, that's not all. Because next I got talked into buying an NVMe SSD as my new motherboard supports it and it's much faster than the normal SSDs. As I already have a few SSDs for running games, I decided I only really needed the NVMe for my operating system to make it run at super speed, so I went with the Samsung 980 Pro 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD.
Compared with the shopping and deciding, putting everything together was an easy feat that took only one night. BUT BUT BUT–
After one night with my beautiful new PC, the next morning I was getting the same random restarts that kicked off this whole shopping trip in the first place. Even worse this time, it simply refused to turn on at all, which led me to the conclusion that the SilverStone power supply that was merely 1.5 months old was the ultimate culprit, and I didn't actually need to buy any of the above. 🙄
It wasn't easy to convince the computer store to take back the faulty power supply as they wanted to do further testing on it to confirm what the issue was, et cetera, et cetera. But I wouldn't be a lawyer if I didn't stand my ground and insist they concede it was faulty. So then they offered to replace it. Good joke. I told the guy I was never buying a SilverStone PSU ever again. The sales guy, however, was infinitely more friendly and patient, probably because he was trying to convince me to get a better PSU than I was looking for. I let him win in the end and came home with an EVGA Supernova GA 650W 80 Plus Gold Fully Modular Power Supply, and holy shit, I love the modular cables.
TLDR; I built a new PC because I thought my motherboard was dead, but turned out my new PSU was the one that was dead, but I'm not even mad because this new rig is an amazing upgrade after seven years and boots in two seconds.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-12600K 3.7 GHz (Alder Lake)||$519|
|Motherboard||ASUS Prime Z690‑P WiFi D4||$359|
|CPU Cooler||Deepcool AS500 ARGB Plus||$89|
|Memory (RAM)||Corsair Vengeance RGB RS 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz CL16 DDR4||$219|
|Storage||Samsung 980 Pro 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD||$78|
|Case||SilverStone FARA B1 RGB ATX Mid-Tower Chassis||$75|
|Power Supply||EVGA Supernova GA 650W 80 Plus Gold Fully Modular||$149|
Compare that to the $878 I thought I was spending lol! But under $1,500 for a new PC is not bad at all.
This is the first time I've owned a PC with pretty RGB colours! 😍
Now, we do not speak of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB junk video card that's currently in my PC. To be updated one day!