[Michael T. Babcock] Michael T. Babcock's PC(s)


As I work in computers and design servers for clients on a regular basis, people often ask me what I use at home. "A computer of course" comes to mind, but for the people who really care, here's a detailing of what I'm running:

Primary computer

Some notes: both the Zalman and Crucial.com websites actually bother to tell you if their products are compatible with your hardware or not. In Crucial's case, they guarantee that RAM recommended for use with your motherboard will work in that motherboard. Use their Memory Advisor, below to find RAM guaranteed to work with your system. Zalman, on the other hand, lists motherboards that are known to be compatible or not with the placement of their heatsinks. Quiet PC Canada's website, although not quite as polished as either of the other two above, was very easy to navigate. They seemed busy but I got what I ordered when they said I would and everything was in good order.

Please note if you are in Canada (like me) that although the Crucial.com website mentions the need to pay GST after purchase (as they do not charge it), they don't relay that Fedex will levy a loan-shark like fee for "loaning" you the GST payment until you pay them back. Getting an account with Fedex will evidently prevent such charges, so long as your shipping address and account on file with Fedex match.


Pictures

ASUS A7V600 Motherboard
ASUS A7V600 Motherboard
Buy.com Coupon
Zalman CNPS7000 AlCu HSF
Zalman CNPS7000 AlCu installed on A7V600
ASUS AGP card
Antec Sonata interior

Personal computer blog

Fall, 2005

I started having drive problems while booting my PC. It seems Linux doesn't believe one of my (five) drives is readable. If I listen closely with the case off, I can hear a clicking. Uh-oh.

Much debugging later, I've managed to determine that by replacing the power supply, my drives no longer click -- my old power supply is no longer providing clean power on the 12V rails I guess. I'll have to add up how much current my drives were pulling off the Sonata's 380W power supply. Luckily, I have a lot of spare parts at work and can borrow a 400W power supply for the time being.

May, 2006

My new NeoHE 430 watt power supply and SmartCool fans came in today from Buy.com. Installing a new power supply in my Sonata case with the massive Zalman CPU fan installed is quite difficult, but it looks great and is very quiet. I'm only using two of the five power supply wiring connectors provided. One for my pair of SATA drives and one for my DVD-R and front case lighting molex connectors.

The serial ATA power connectors come as a pair on one cable, one in a 'T' formation with the wires and one at the end like a normal molex connector. I found out the hard way that these connectors are quite a bit more fragile than their old molex counterparts when I bent one in half installing the drive. Luckily, the power supply comes with two sets of SATA wires. I'd like to see these reinforced somehow, since they're so much thinner, its easy to bend them by mistake.

June, 2006

Antec has very kindly replaced the dead SmartPower 380 power supply I shipped back on RMA. It seems to be working well, although I might add that removing and installing power supplies in the Sonata case is very difficult, especially with my large CPU cooler in the way. Much gentle twisting and many strange rotations later, it is installed and working again. They also very kindly replaced my Sonata's broken dust grille on request.

Antec P150 4 Bay Mid Tower ATX Silver Case w/ 430W Power Supply

September, 2006

After clearing my E-mail inbox of spam the other day, I noticed a message I almost deleted indicating that I'd won the Antec "Power of Me" contest. Sure enough, a brand new Antec Performance series P150 enclosure showed up at my door, double-boxed. Now of course the problem is deciding which components to move into it, which to put in my Sonata and what to buy, if anything. (Get your own Antec P150 4 Bay Mid Tower ATX Silver Case w/ 430W Power Supply )

I've almost concluded that I should just move most of my current Sonata's components into the P150 case and keep a small hard drive aside for the Sonata to attach to an old Via EPIA V motherboard I have here. The EPIA is passively cooled and with a single drive inside the Sonata it should be virtually silent. The case is actually a tad too big for a Mini-ATX board but it'd make a nice HTPC beside the TV maybe. We'll see if it has a high enough WaF (wife approval factor).

Wanted

XFX GeForce 6800 XTREME 256MB DDR3 350Mhz AGP 8x Video Card ( Dual DVI ) Free Shipping at Buy.com!

Items I don't have yet but want to get soon for my computer.

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