Sep 24, 2011
G'day i'm a very newbie and i'm building my first rig after 10 yrs of owning the same rig.

I have around a $1000

intel i5 2500K
Gskill Ripjaws x 8GB
Corsair HX650
Antec Dark Fleet GF-10
CPU cooler ?????
Own copy of XP, trying to keep the cost down as i want to keep the kids in school.

Not too sure about a cooler so any suggestions would be great

The intel stock cooler might get noisy under load, but it is ok up to an oc of about 4.0.

An aftermarket cooler need not be expensive.
I like the tall tower type coolers with a slow turning 120mm fan.
Look for the Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper 212 which cost about $30.

May I also suggest you consider a SSD for the os and a few apps? 60-120gb should do it. Expect to pay $2 per gb.
There is little observable difference in performance among all of them. Benchmarks are needed to tell the difference, but they are not representative of what we actually do.
Today, Intel and Samsung seem to be the best brands.
You will be pleased at how snappy your pc will feel.


Jun 4, 2011
Going with onboard graphics? Maybe a video card later?

I dont think XP is going to recognize 8GB of ram. I beleive that it will only see and use 2-4GB. Windows 7 64 bit was the first to be able to see and run more than 4GB.

I like Antec cases, but I would look for something deeper and wider. There was a 5+ years ago when cases like that one were fine size wise for the components availble then. But this now. Todays cases need to be deeper to allow for the length of the typical video card. The DF10 will only take maybe a 8-9" long video card. Anything longer will be crammed against the drive cages and with many cards having their power in on the end of the card, makes many almost impossible to install.

And todays cpu's require huge air cooling heatsinks. Stock coolers just dont do the job. Aftermarket coolers are tall, so you need a wide case to accept them.
epidot has a good point.
XP 32 bit will not let you see more than about 3.5gb of the ram.
There is xp-64 bit that does, but you are really much better off with windows 7 64 bit to begin with.

Since you are on a budget, here are some ideas:

1) The motherboard you picked is a full atx motherboard with 7 expansion slots.
How many of those slots do you plan to use? A ASUS M-ATX motherboard has 4 expansion slots and will be $65 cheaper:
Or, this GIGABYTE GA-Z68M-D2H is only $87 after rebate:

2) If you love the case, get it; cases are a personal thing.
A $45 case is the Antec 200, and the Antec 300 illusion model is very popular.
For me, I love the Silverstone TJ-08E M-ATX case. It is very quiet with it's 180mm fan, and easy to work with.

3) What will you use for video? Integrated graphics is good, up to a point for anything except gaming.
It is the video configuration that determines the psu you need. w/o a discrete card, a 150w psu is sufficient.
Here is a good Corsair 430w psu for $35 after rebate:


Oct 23, 2010
Stick with stock cooling for now. Upgrade your cooling solution in a few years when you need to overclock. Switching over to a Samsung spinpoint would save some more cash. The RAM could also easily be chopped down to 4GB if price is a concern.

If it was me I would step down to something like a i3-2105 before keeping XP, but something to consider would be downloading the windows 8 RC for free when it becomes available(January?). That would buy you a year or so until you had to buy an OS. If you went with the lower end CPU, you could at least have an upgrade path with IVY bridge on your Z68.