The Dell Inspiron 1525 that I own was first used in August of 2008, when I entered Harvey Mudd College as a freshman in Summer Institute.  I don’t know how, but it is still running far after I’ve expected it to die.  However, it is slowly gathering little problems here and there.  It’s getting slower, the battery life is not good, some modern programs don’t work, the fan turns loudly when I play such an intensive game like Candy Crush on Facebook, etc.  So it was time for a new computer, before this trusty laptop completely dies in the most crucial moment.

When I was asking people for advice on buying a new computer, many people told me to build my own.  I was a bit fearful of the idea because I am not very knowledgeable about the bajillon options for computer parts and thus was afraid. However, I found out that they sell bundles that save people the effort of searching for each individual parts.  Lastly the decision came down to price.  Considering various rebates, plus helpful connections, I was able to get everything for about $700 (including Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office).

It was surprisingly easy.  Yes it did take several hours, especially since I was watching instructional videos (building, software) as I was building it, despite having watched them once beforehand.  The building was executed smoothly without any problems, so that was nice.  However, I had some trouble figuring out how to deal with the OS installation, since the Windows I got was a .iso file that needed to be burned onto a DVD.  I kept burning a data DVD instead of an image disc or something so it wouldn’t work.  I eventually figured everything out and it works great!

This sure was a new experience.  I now fear computer-building a lot less.  Thank you to everyone who encouraged/helped me to build this computer!

Simeon Koh


External build (because if something is defective, it’s better to catch it before you stick it in the case):


Actual build inside:



In case you’re curious, this is what my computer is made of (I’m not sure if I’m naming everything correctly… these things are named so complicatedly):

  • Motherboard:  MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate Intel Z87
  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-4670K Processor (6M Cache, 3.40 GHz)
  • Memory:  Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB RAM
  • Video card:  MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Twin Frozr
  • Hard drive:  Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD
  • DVD drive:  LG 24X SATA DVDRW
  • Wireless internet card:  Sabrent 802.11N wireless PCI controller card
  • Power supply:  Ultra LSP series V2 550W ATX power supply
  • Case:  ULTRA Etorque™ A5 Mid-Tower ATX