I had the most important (and most expensive) components to my new computer in the house and ready to build. The original plan was to give my wallet a break and start accumulating the rest of the parts I needed one or two at a time as my paycheck allowed.
It was then that I realized that the seller had a 30-day no hassle return policy. If I waited longer than a month to test the parts, I would have to work with the manufacturer and their warranty instead of taking advantage of the seller’s return policy if any of the components happened to be DOA.
I took stock of what I had on hand and decided that the minimum I would need to buy to make a bootable rig was a power supply and a video card. I had a WD 250 GB SATA hard drive that I had used on on several projects, and reasoned that I could get by without an optical drive for now. Booting from a flash drive would be perfectly acceptable for testing purposes.
I really wasn’t sure how big of a power supply to get. I knew that I wouldn’t be doing any overclocking or using more than one video card, but I wanted to give myself a little room to grow. I eventually decided on a Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W PSU.
For video, I decided that less was more. I’m not much of a gamer, and even if I wanted some real video horsepower my budget was feeling a bit overworked. Figuring I could always upgrade later if I needed to, I went with an ASUS GeForce GT240 card. With 1GB of DDR3 video memory and DVI/D-Sub/HDMI compatibility, I’m set for now.
I cleaned out the old case and carefully installed the power supply, the motherboard with CPU & RAM already on board, the video card, and the hard drive. All that was left was to connect the cables and boot it up!