I spent some time last week on a non-woodworking project. My main computer at home was starting to show its age, so I decided it was time for an upgrade. I'm pretty much locked into the Windows platform due to my job, so I decided to build my own. (I looked into using the shop that builds our development machines at work, but in the end, their "employee discount" was not as good as the prices I could get on the web.)
Here's the basic kit:
The case is an Antec P182. Very well thought out, with removable drive bays for the hard drives. Not apparent in this picture is the rail system for the optical and floppy drives. Easy to install and easily removable. The three fans on the case are strategically placed to get good airflow over everything without being loud.
The case also features an area behind the motherboard for cable runs. It helps reduce the clutter somewhat, and also helps the airflow.
The front of the case has a door covering everything except the power switch, audio jacks, two USB ports and a Firewire port.
The door swings away 270º to reveal the two DVD burners and the multi-slot card reader. (No floppy on this system.)
In the end, I still had a fair amount of cabling to wrestle with inside the case, but it's not too bad, and the airflow is good. Love those SATA data cables and modular power supply cables.
For comparison, here's the inside of my previous system:
And now, the details:
Should make a pretty good word processing/photo & graphic editing/music recording rig. With the dual 3 GHz processors, I can now make typos faster than ever.
- Intel Core2 Duo E8400 Processor (3 GHz dual processor...the 45nm version just released last week)
- Gigabyte GA-EP35C-DS3R motherboard (supports DDR2 & DDR3 memory).
- CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 memory (the DDR3 memory is about 5 times the cost, but the speed increase is marginal, so I went with the lower-priced DDR2)
- 150 GB Western Digital Raptor SATA 10000 RPM system drive (expensive, but very fast data transfer rates)
- 500 GB Seagate Barracuda GB SATA 7200 RPM data drives w/32 MB cache (3 each...set up as a 1 TB RAID5 array for speed and to enable data recovery.) The third drive isn't shown on some of the pics, since I just got it installed yesterday.
- EVGA GeForce 8600 GTS Video Card w/512 MB DDR3
- Antec P182 Gunmetal Gray Case
- Thermaltake Power Supply - 700 Watt
- Atech Memory Card Reader
- Lite-On SATA DVD Burner w/LightScribe
- Lite-On IDE DVD Burner
- Generic PCI to Firewire Card
- M-Audio Delta 66 sound card w/ Omni I/O breakout box (that I already owned, but have not used before)
- Hanns-G HW-194DJB Black 19" 5ms widescreen LCD Monitors (2 each, and they rotate for portrait view)
- Windows XP Professional
- All told, it has 13 USB 2.0 ports, 3 Firewire ports, 2 eSATA ports, and something like 4 audio line ins (not including my 8 channel mixer) and 3 or 4 audio outs (haven't completely figured out or wired up the audio gear). My "PC speakers" are a pair of M-Audio SR-5B bi-amped studio monitors with a 10" Polk Audio subwoofer.