This is my first time building a PC and my primary use of this PC will be for basic everyday stuff from watching movies, surfing the web to occasionally use photoshop, maybe matlab and some other research based softwares. Below is the list of parts I got. (NOTE: I did not get a GPU because there is an integrated gpu already and as long as i can see a good quality when watching movies and stuff and editing pictures once in a while which i do right now on a computer with no GPU except the integrated one and it works fine, i don't think i want one).
1. Motherboard: ASUS H81M-PLUS
2. CPU: Core i3 4130
3. SSD: Samsung Evo 128GB
4. PSU: Corsair cx600m
5. RAM: Corsair Vegnance DDR3 8GB single chip
6. DVD/CD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B3ST
7. OS: Not chosen yet
Now, I have the following questions.
1. Is everything compatible with each other?
2. The corsair PSU, I got it from Fry's Electronics and they had about 15 of these on the shelf and they all had the cardboard box and they were all refurbished. Is this ok? The pricetag for each was $46 and on newegg it runs for $69. Also, I saved another $10-ish on it so it cost be only $35! Remember, it is a refurbished one. My main opinion on why I still bought it is that first of all, there were about 10-15 of all refurbished ones sitting on the shelf so they all have to come directly from corsair correct? Cause I am sure fry's wouldn't simply get so many in returns. When i opened up the psu, it did have the "C.S. ok" (or something like that which i assume is quality check label?) label. So, what do you guys think about that?
3. Is the DVD writer a good one? It cost me $33 with discount but bestbuy actually sells these for $26 so i will go back to fry's and get the price matched and get the remainder of money back so it will cost me $26 too. Honestly, I may use this dvd/cd drive only for playing music cds or watching dvd movies but burn maybe only 3-4 dvd/cd a year. Good for that use?
4. The final and most important question; the OS. So all the parts i described above alltogether cost me exactly $530 and after i save the $7ish on the DVD writer, the total cost will be $523. I just cannot afford to add another $90 for a copy of OS. I am by no means by the way, looking for an illegal way out of this ok? haha. But i have some ideas and need your guys' help on it. The thing is that my school is providing me with a free copy of windows 7/8 upgrades (yes both! not just either one k?). So, my question is that how can i get to windows 7 or 8 (i don't have a personal choice yet), without spending that $90 to get a fresh copy of windows 8. Now what i was thinking about doing was maybe buying an XP or vista which would cost me less? i don't know! but i was thinking about loading my newly built pc with something very cheap and then using the upgrade. Will that work? In other words, let's say that you were in my place and you know that you could get a free copy of windows 7/8 upgrades from your school, what exactly would you guys do to get the MOST benefit on the OS cost?
To make the answering method easy, you can just answer by the numbers for questions i have. :] Thanks a lot in advance.
with the os if your school part of windows edu program. you can go online and get windows and word at a discount. the other option is looking online for people selling vailid windows 7 retail or oem disk. the ones for dell or hp wont work on non hp or dell pc. as long as the power supply was serviced by cosair it should be fine. What I would do before you plugged your parts in is ask tech guys at frys to do the green wire trick to make sure the unit turns on and then have them with a volt meter check the voltage outputs and make sure there within atx spec. if there too high or too low they can burn out your new parts. with dvd drives there only two or three vendors now that make the inside of the drive. as long as the drive reads fine and is not loud it work as any vendor drive will. all your part are fine. one tip when you put the pc together check for bent pins under the cpu cover before you drop your cpu in. the intel covers can be bent and in shipping are know to smash pins under the protective cover.
Sorry for getting back a little late but I finally sorted out all the problems. I bought my OS from windows store online using student discount for like $69 and that was a good enough deal I guess. Cheaper than $90 that i was talking about haha. I was also confused between the OEM and retail copy. I hope someone else who is confused like i was, can find the answer here. I'm just gonna break down the differences below;
-PRICE: ($90 at Fry's Electronics. It depends on the stores). The OS will be tagged to your motherboard FOREVER! You do not get any support from microsoft.
-PRICE: ($199). You can install the OS in one computer at a time. (single product key per computer. If you get a new computer, you simply deactivate the other one and install the OS on the new one). You get microsoft support as well.
So basically, as the prices states, the retail is more exp than the OEM because you get more flexibility. I got the retail for 60% off with student discount for $69! so hey, why not get the retail right? So if you're wondering, well...then why OEM? Answer is, OEM is for small shops who build customized computers and sell them, they can use the OEM version which is cheaper for them. Big brands like HP and DELL do the same thing. That's why the OS you get with your computer has the product key ON the computer meaning you can never transfer the OS to other computers down the road.
Finally, @smorizio, thank you for making me feel good about the PSU. I hooked everything up and it all seems to work smooth! Also, the DVD drive is just fine too for $26. Thank you for your advise on checking CPU socket pins as well. My build is now complete! And thank you tom's hardware for all the help I received from your forum.