Well the revamp is complete...
New motherboard - Abit AS-8
New CPU - 3GHZ P4HT prescott
New memory - 2GB DDR400
New PSU - Meridian XClio 450Watt KMG
Carried over were
10GB Maxtor, 60GB Maxtor, 120gb Maxtor, BenQ DVDrw/CDrw, WinTV card,
Nvidia Gforce 4 MX440 64mb video, Canon I3000 printer, Canon S9000 photo
printer, Memorex 142 scanner, Wacom tablet
Ripped out the heart of the old system.
It's in an A-Open tall Server cabinet I bought 5 years ago. I really
recomment this cabinet, it's a wonder and well worth the $110 I paid.
see Aopen HT08 at
This is the 3rd build of this system. 1st was a 550 P-III on an Abit
motherboard (which is still running in my son-in-laws system),
2nd was a 2GHZ P4 on an ASUS P4B533 motherboard (the one that got
shell shocked and went cripple on me), and now
the 3GHZ P4HT on the Abit AS-8.
I highly recommend NewEgg as a source for hardware, thier prices were
the best I could find on the net and thier delivery was FANTASTIC.
All parts arrived in 3 working days from order (memory came in 2) in
perfect working order. Everything was exactly as expected and specified
on the web page. A big KUDO goes to Tony for pointing out this vendor.
It took me about 4 hours to disassemble and reassemble the system,
and another 4 hours to reinstall the software, drivers, peripherals and such.
So obviously everything fit right (well almost..more below). I can truly
say that the ease of this upgrade was due to the cabinet. It uses standard
components, with things well spread out, an almost perfect layout, and
the slide out motherboard tray is a god-sent for doing upgrades or assembly.
The almost(s) are because of one minor layout issue .. disk cables
The Abit AS-8 has it's IDE connectors on the front edge bottom right of the
board, so far down that the first connector partially covers the corner
mounting screw hole. If I'd used the flat cables that came with the MB
I'd have (probably) been okay on length but the flat cables block all the
air flow in my disk cage area so I have to use round IDE cables. The ones
I have are the longest I could find and they JUST fit after I shuffled the
disks down a slot. Even with these glitches I still recommend the round
IDE cables, I saw the ambients in the disk cage drop 15 dF when I went
from flat cables to round and cleaned up the power routing.
So we have a new beast in the house and it's flying. What I've learned
from this go-round...
a) Windows XP is anal - I had to do a full "repair" reinstall to get it to
even boot on the new CPU in the new MB (Linux just said "yeah so
everything has changed, I'm going to reconfigure and BTW you might
want to do a kernel rebuild to use the HT").
b) Microsoft is anal - The reinstall screwed up the authentication and
certification. The product id was invalidated so I had to call the
help line to get a new certificate installation id, god knows what will happen
if I change the hardware again. It burned two auto re-certifies during the
hardware meltdown (when I was selectively removing things to find out
what broke) then wouldn't allow the repair until I called the hot line and
swore (not like I wanted to BTW) that this was not a pirate install on a
c) 21db fans are QUIET ! The new power supply is amazingly quiet, the
P4 Intel stock CPU fan is almost as quiet, and the "Super Cooling Function"
on the new power supply really does work. It provides an aux board that
has a pot on it to regulate the fans nominal speed (they auto up/down from that)
and the fans stay on for 2-3 minutes after power down to cool things
d) Abit Motherboards are the way to go - For a while there (about the time
I switched to ASUS) Abit was so-so but they have come back in a big way.
The marketing gobbly-gook aside, thier uGuru thing really works. It allows
you to automatically overclock your system with balanced parameters based
on the installed components. Not only that but it's dynamic based on the
processes you are running. Right now I'm running in normal mode
(3ghz with 204mhz memory bus) while on the web.
when I start Photoshop it kicks into turbo mode
(3.3ghz with 220mhz memory bus) for speed up in image processing.
That's all dynamic, I just set it up and forget it.
e) Although I expected the new CPU to be hot as a pistol (degrees F that is)
I'm surprised normal mode is 104 to 110 dF, Turbo is 115 to 117 dF,
quiet mode (normal with slow fans) is 109 to 111 dF .. all in an ambient
of 68 to 73 dF. My old cpu ran at 95 to 106 dF (2ghz with 133mhz memory).
So the new CPUs with 50% more speed, 100% faster FSB, and a new fan
design are 10% warmer and half as noisey.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well this went, and once I recover
from the billfold shock I'll probably really like the system again.
Of course you know I'm now looking at SATA 150 Raid 0 drive setup
to flesh out the system speed on the disk side...
and that will be "all Tony's fault" as well.. Thanks for the clues Tony!!
Greg aka Watchin..."just watchin the world go bye, trying to understand the picture."
"Life is a grand adventure! Not a guided tour." oWo
Nikon D-700, Nikon lenses, Alien B flashes and lots of junk...