MacQuarium Goes Intel...

Gordon Mohr gojomo at usa.net
Wed Dec 3 00:23:39 PST 2003


Great writeup. Two other details would be interesting...

  - What was the grand total for all components?
  - How loud is it?

Anyone have any experience with http://www.endpcnoise.com/ or
other providers of x86 desktop systems engineered for quiet
operation?

- Gordon


Wayne Baisley wrote:

> Someone asked who builds their own anymore (who buys MS, and a few 
> related questions).  The day after Thanksgiving was just such a day for 
> the women in the house.  I've built so many machines I lost track, but I 
> wanted them to experience the joy before it goes the way of 
> cottonginhaxoring.
> 
> This latest system started out as a relatively modest affair to add 
> Office XP to the tools available for some college classes that required 
> it.  It ended up as a toy that wouldn't embarrass the average gamer/case 
> modder.  It all started with the motherboard.
> 
> After reading endless Tom's Hardware reviews, I settled on the Intel 875 
> chipset, realized in the form of the MicroStar Neo-FIS2R.  It's got all 
> the niceties like USB2.0, Firewire, 1000BT ethernet directly piped to 
> the CPU, ATA-100, ATA-133, SATA.  And, the 875 Northbridge chip has a 
> fan with 3-colored leds, the review said.  I didn't much care one way or 
> the other.
> 
> But when I went case shopping, I thought I should look at the models 
> with windows in the side, too.  I wasn't going to pay extra for it, but 
> I wouldn't rule it out.  Turned out the best deal at 
> Global/Systemax/Tiger Direct/Dartek (their warehouse is 15 minutes from 
> home) happened to have a window, and then some.  3-colored leds on the 
> exhaust fan (and I had to add a second, you know).  Blue led-lit pillars 
> on the front.  And an olympic flame (or is it a steaming cup of 
> Barrera?), um, light stage I guess you'd call it, with a multicolored 
> led.  Its colors range over the rainbow about every 8 seconds. Kind of 
> reminds me of the motor-driven wheels and spotlights people used on 
> their Christmas trees in the 60s.
> 
> And then the fan on the motherboard turned out to have 3 pairs of leds 
> which gyrate through various patterns about every 3 minutes.
> 
> The whole thing has become quite marvelously tacky.
> 
> http://www.pcdirect.com/product.asp?Sku=MID1347%2DSEL
> http://www.unicom-pc.com/files/cases.htm (4th one down)
> 
> Other features:
> 
> 2.8GHz 800MHz FSB hyperthreaded P4
> 1 GB PC3200 ECC ram
> 
> AOpen 48X CDRW+DVD drive
> I/O Magic 4X DVD+/-RW drive
> 
> Sony SDM-X73 1280x1024 LCD Two Tone Gray 17" DVI Monitor, 16ms response 
> time.  Not the 23" Apple Cinema Display, but a very nice monitor for $460.
> 
> The system disk is a WD 120GB 7200RPM 8MB cache unit I got over the 
> summer when Office Max had a $100 rebate.  About $71 after taxes.
> 
> And for no good reason at all, I got the All-In-Wonder Radeon 9800 Pro 
> 128MB 8XAGP video card.  Now I can time-shift .hack//Sign.  I can have 
> live TV wallpaper, which is like being drunk except it lasts longer.  I 
> can stay on my old 266MHz W98 machine paying bills while the kids play.
> 
> Most of it I got via newegg.com, a very good experience.  The case, 
> monitor and the DVD were local/Global purchases.  ;-)
> 
> Should I get bored with that much horsepower, it's apparently possible 
> to overclock the system from 200 to 250MHz.  That gives it a FSB speed 
> of 1GHz (who needs Rambus?), and the processor then goes to 3.5GHz.  
> I'll need more tricolor fans.
> 
> Cheers,
> Wayne
> 
> 
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