I have finally gotten PSP9 back on the PC, and after some pic shrinkage I can post the new PC:
The new desk layout – The Cosmos case is down on the right, and the pic helps to show its size but he’s still a bit of a beast compared to the old Shuttle (sitting between the chair and left monitor!). You can also see the new router sitting on the wood frame just left of the Cosmos – with the exception of the corporate web-VPN only working for one of us at a time, it’s been a beautiful treat.
Main interior shot – basic system, nothing fancy really. Classic (read – no LEDs!) fans, even on the video cooler. That was not as easy as I’d like, unfortunately. *sigh*
Secondary interior shot – The CPU fan really is not spinning, even with the system on and idle. It’s one of those ‘thermistor’ models; You can see the wire circling around the fins. This was originally an asset, but I’m not liking this anymore, and will probably go get a normal version of this fan in the next few days (reason coming up).
HDDs – All five of my prior SATA disks are now up and in service in some form on the new system. Only the first two (a 500 and 320) are doing anything major right now, but disks 2-4 do have small swap/temp slices that I stuck various files on for load-balancing in games. ;) The smallest disk (a 120) has been placed in an external chassis for anything ‘big’ I need to deal with elsewhere (and my thumbdrive won’t cut it).
The hardest part was something I didn’t really need to do – running a DoD-style wipe of the old disks prior to bringing them in service. After MUCH searching around I eventually found eraser, which uses a system I’m happy with and is also free.
CPU: For the very first time (really!) I’m overclocking the CPU. Currently, it’s bumped from 2.4 to 2.66 and 55-57C at idle (very slight, but proving the reviews that say the Q6600 can do this in its sleep – even on air). I had it running on 2.8 for awhile, but the ‘heat’ stress test of Prime95 ramped the core temps at 78C, and very noticeable heat out the back. Fan is not spinning nearly as fast as advertised based on temp ranges, so my need for a ‘normal’ one if I want to try 2.8 again.
Settings for this motherboard (Gigabyte P35-DS4 Rev 2):
-> Default (2.4 Ghz): 300 FSB, 8x
-> 2.66 Ghz: 333 FSB, 8x
-> 2.8 Ghz: 350 FSB, 8x
These were done manually, overriding Gigabyte’s in-built system on the BIOS as it was not working. No voltage changes were needed that I know of, and I’m not willing to push past 2.8 since that should be just fine for now, thanks. ;)
OK, going back to my prior post – why make such a fuss over an nLite CD?
Primary reason is simple – minimal memory use at boot for the most needed features. That means (with Ghost 9, Defender and the sound control daemons running) about 240 Meg.
Next reason was the ability to boot just from the CD (integrating needed drivers for this mainboard’s RAID controllers), selecting a partition, and having a system that I can do basic operations with work (including a web-based VPN) within 40 minutes. Of course, I also have Ghost, but this also allowed a bit of customization built-in as well (saving an untold number of hours on both initial install and any emergency re-install *knock plastic*).
So far, the only mistakes in the ‘final’ CD were:
1) Removing XP’s calculator (thinking my handheld ones will do fine). NOT!
2) My choice of certain ‘modules’ which pre-installed apps for me. So far I’ve since removed a freeware VM product (don’t ask, it sucked), an IRC client (again, sucked) and the original Bittorrent (only because I was not happy about the DNA daemon running all the time – probably replace with uTorrent for a revision of this CD). I also shutdown the auto-start for YIM – lord that’s annoying.
With this PC, I’m revising my list of ‘payware’ in use (to make up for the cost of the hardware). I’ve re-added GameDrive (now absorbed for good into VirtualDrive), tossed out SecureCRT (putty has matured well enough at this point), and am contemplating an upgrade for PaintShop Pro. OpenOffice is next up for install (I’ve not installed M$ Office in YEARS on the home PCs).
That’s pretty much it; Last up for this little saga is how SL, Oblivion, and GT/MOUL are on the poor thing.