Daily Archives: November 1, 2009

Building A Custom System Using An Antec 1200 Part 3

Got your ESD Bracelet handy?

Got your ESD Bracelet handy?

I noticed that I have been getting a lot of hits on the Antec 1200 Parts 1 & 2 posts. If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave comments and ask. Maybe this posting might help with some of those questions.

The Parts

As you can see in Part 2, I have completed the build and the computer is up and running. This is a view of what is inside.


You can already see a picture of the Corsair Dominator memory in Part 2. This kit is a 6GB kit of 3 x 2GB, 240-pin PC3-12800 DD3 memory. Each memory stick comes with a nice looking heatsink attached to it. The entire kit comes in a cardboard box just big enough to fit all three memory sticks.


The motherboard is an ASUS P6T which is based on the Intel X58 Express chipset and supports an Intel Core i7 LGA 1366 processor. This motherboard supports memory in triple channel up to 12GB of DDR3 RAM. Also, it supports both 3-way SLI and Quad GPU CrossfireX and RAID configurations 0, 1, 5 and 10.


  • Audio via Realtek ALC1200. Coaxial and S/PDIF Ports.
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • 6 SATA ports (3Gbps), 1 eSATA port (3Gbps)
  • PCI Slots: 3 PCI-E 2.0 x16, 1 PCI-E x4, 2 PCI
  • 1 Ultra DMA 133/100/66
  • 2 Firewire IEEE 1394 ports
  • 14 USB 2.0 ports

This motherboard also comes with various wires and other things to help you on your way. I especially liked this feature to the left. Every motherboard, of course, comes with it’s own rear port panel. In this picture, you can see the comparison between the rear port panel that comes with the Antec 1200 on the left and the ASUS rear port panel on the right. First off, on the ASUS panel, there are no tiny metal pieces inside each port hole. Secondly, the ASUS panel comes with this nice, thin padding that sits in between the actual panel and the port bracket that is mounted to the motherboard. Very cool ASUS!


The processor is the quad-core, Intel Core i7 920 LGA 1366 processor which runs at 2.66GHz. The Bloomfield-based processor supports 64-bit systems, Hyper-threading and it comes with a stock heatsink and fan. The heatsink and fan are good enough if you do not plan on overclocking your processor. if you want to overclock your processor then, for the love of everything that is holy, get yourself a better cooling solution! You have been warned!

Power Supply

The power supply is the Corsair TX750. This ATX12V power supply supports max. 750 watts with one +12v rail. The main connector is at 20 + 4-pin connector. This also comes with a 140mm fan, 8 SATA power connectors, 4 x 6 + 2-pin PCI-E connectors, 8 Molex connectors and 2 floppy drive connectors. This beast also supports SLI and Crossfire. I think a safe bet would be a maximum of two cars for either SLI or Crossfire.

As I stated in Part 2, I should have gotten the modular power supply. After thinking about this for a while, I think that I am fine right where I am because I am using a great deal of the connectors  – especially the Molex connectors. As you can see in the picture to the right, the big wire mess is hidden by the Antec 1200’s small wire management compartment that sits behind the motherboard.

I need to contact Corsair and complain that they did not include my bottle of Crown Royal that was supposed to go inside the velvet bag that the power supply was sitting in. I feel ripped off!!

Hard Drive

The hard drive I have included inside this system is the Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black SATA drive. The 3.5″ drive spins at 7200rpm and it has a cache of 32MB. As I stated in Part 1, you can install a hard drive by removing both side panels and then the hard drive cage you wish the hard drive to sit in.

There was some lively debate at the forums I troll (UDP Viper to be exact). The price has come down on certain SSDs. The consensus seems to be that using SSDs as your primary drive makes for a faster system. This is probably true, but because of the price, I have opted not to buy a SSD right now (or in the foreseeable future).

Video Card

The big boy in this system is the EVGA GTX 275 1792MB PCI-E video card. This video card is SLI-ready and has two 6-pin PCI-E power ports. The port panel of the card has two DVI ports and one S-video port. The card also comes with the SLI bridge, VGA to DVI and VGA to HDMI adapters.

As you can see to the right and in Part 2, the card is long! It’s longer than the motherboard is wide and it covers some of the SATA ports on the motherboard. It’s also the loudest part in the system (more about this in Part 4).

Memory overkill

Yah! 1792MB of video memory is overkill right now. There are no games that currently support the amount of memory in this card. I bought this card with the future in mind. The GTX 275 GPU will be suitable for many games in the near future but I did not want to limit myself. According to a Tom’s Hardware article (I cannot find it right now!), in most of their tests, cards with memory above 896MB did not improve performance. In a couple of the tests, the added memory did help with higher resolutions. From what I do understand, the additional memory does help with multiple monitors set at high resolutions. But, don’t quote me on that just yet!

Some thoughts

Building your own system is really a gratifying experience. Not only do you get a sense of accomplishment and feeling “Yeah, I built this!” but you also take with you a valuable learning experience. One that you can apply to any troubleshooting issues you will have down the road. Custom computer building isn’t for everyone. But, those who partake in it will agree that it really can be a kick ass experience. 😀