Author Topic: Son's New "Puter"  (Read 1864 times)

Offline Whizbang

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Son's New "Puter"
« on: Oct 13, 2006, 03:43 PM »
I finished the wiring yesterday after some very disturbing, if somewhat stupid mistakes.  I am very pleased, so far, with the Biostar 6100 939 board.  As I said, I chose it because of stellar reviews.  Only a few overclockers who wanted to "burn rubber" complained.  Other choices were the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 2.2GHz CPU, Seagate Barracuda 120 SATA, two NEC ND-3550A DVD burners, an Alps floppy drive, a Thermaltake Swing VB6000SWS case, and the Ultra Flex-connect 550 with Lifetime warranty.

The case was a bit of a disappointment simply because the extra cash for a case without a PS should have been a bit more lavish than my Aspire X-Infinity that came with a PS which worked, but was replaced anyway.  That said, the toolless design was OK, even though you must pop off the case front to install DVD drives.  The floppy installation is not toolless, but was not difficult to achieve.  One good point is the 120mm case fan that has sold me on large fans.  They are just much quieter.  It also has only a sensor that connects to the mainboard, a plus, while the power is connected via the PS rails.  The board has at least 3 fan sensor connections (Hey, I had to read the manual and the board labeling with a magnifying glass).  I was relieved that the spot above the hard drive LED connector was indeed a "+" sign and not a speck of dust.  

The Manchester CPU fan is larger than my old XP heatsink fan and is also much quieter.  The Ultra power supply exhaust fan is the quietest of all.  I had to look and listen carefully to confirm that all were working.

When I first tried to power up the computer, I struck a dud.  Nothing happened.  I then realized that I had not finished plugging in all the power connections.  Duh?  ???  After averting panic, I got everything connected, popped in Berry Linux Live CD, booted up through the most colorful BIOS sequence I have ever seen, and connected to the Internet without a hitch.  JOY!  I hate to trace problems.  I was not able to check USB ports and other details, but the first impression seems to be AOK.

The integrated video is all that my son will use, and I was pleased that Berry Linux picked it up without any problem.  I did not check the sound because my speaker wires were not long enough, but I will later after some tiring rearrangement of the desk.

I could not find any setting for fixed memory allocation to video, but I set aperture to 128meg.

This unit is not on the cutting edge to you purists, but the reliability factor and pleasing performance are more than satisfactory to this old man who still has a 72 Ford 100 in the carport (with very loud, but legal pipes).

I have ordered another 120mm case fan to install in the front of the case to pull in more air to move across the mainboard and hard drive.   The current BIOS temp for CPU registers 31?C on idle, which I find ridiculously low, if not impossible.   I will install Biostar monitor to see what it shows with XP installed.







« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2006, 10:18 AM by Whizbang »

Offline Mark H

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2006, 05:09 PM »
Looking good!  8) Glad you have everything working properly. It is making me lick my chops for the build I plan on doing later this month.

Mark H
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Offline Mr. Sam

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #2 on: Oct 14, 2006, 12:18 PM »
I seriously think there should be a drooling emoticon. I guess  :o and  8) will have to do. Nice system, Whiz! :o 8)
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Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #3 on: Oct 14, 2006, 08:28 PM »
The CPU does not go above 41?C at all.  Of course, I have not done any gaming, but cooling does not appear that it will be an issue, especially after I get the front 120mm fan installed.

The USB connection wires are a real drag to a decent wiring arrangement.  The last three cases I have purchased had ridiculously large USB cables that simply dominated the case and made secure attachment a pain.  If they had made them longer, they could at least have been routed down the front panel, across the bottom of the case, and then up the very short distance to the board connections.  The only choice was what you see here.  The red tape was a big mistake; bland gray with a bit more attention to routing would have been better.  Since the innards will never be seen once my son puts the case under his desk, I probably will not change the decor except to wrap the cables where they trail over the edge of the drive rack.
« Last Edit: Oct 14, 2006, 08:30 PM by Whizbang »

Offline freelance

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #4 on: Oct 16, 2006, 11:53 AM »
i must say i am quite dissapointed to your cable routing. i personally would have routed those red thin cables (presumably the fan power) with the ide leads, in this way they would dissapear. but each to his own!  ;D
ok so the following is my pc:
asus M2N4-SLI, athlon X2 5000+ cpu, geforce 7600GT , 80gb MAXTOR SATAII hdd, 4gb ddr2 ram, silverstone edumon (google it and u'll find it!!!) sata dvd rw dual layer, 6x usb 2, and tv card (with video recorder ps2 etc)

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2006, 08:39 PM »
i must say i am quite dissapointed to your cable routing.
Now let's get serious, what routing?  The picture of the side has the distinct appearance of overcooked stringy lasagna sprinkled with pimentos and raw onions, and you know it.   ;D  I was a bit too eager just to confirm that the project worked and not enough concerned with aesthetics.
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2006, 09:20 AM by Whizbang »

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #6 on: Oct 17, 2006, 09:34 AM »
OK, criticism warranted.  I did a bit of re-routing, tied a couple of cables up, and eliminated one cable by simply connecting the case fan directly to the modular power supply.

« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2006, 10:11 AM by Whizbang »

Offline scuzzy

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #7 on: Oct 17, 2006, 11:45 AM »
That's a big improvement, Whiz.

How about those IDE cables? They look long enough that you can probably tuck them under the mobo.
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Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #8 on: Oct 17, 2006, 10:44 PM »
The IDE cable actually should be very short because the connection on the board is only 3" from the DVD burners.  I have never found any that short.  The wide silver ribbon is the power cable, and the narrow ones are the 12v rail cables.  Another problem with the case is that the racks are flush against the left side of the case and allow no room for routing that way.  I probably will open it all up again and rout the 12v cables through the unused 5 1/4" bay slots and out the over the back of the drives.  The long ribbon to the hard drive is the biggest challenge because the SATA is inserted into the slot with the cables facing out to full view.

 After a close re-examination, I can see that Thermaltake did put a cable slot in the top of the 3 1/2" bay rack that will allow me to hide most of the spaghetti.  Since the time is still only 12:41 AM, and I am off today, I may just spend a bit of time on it to see what I can do.     ZZZzzz

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #9 on: Oct 17, 2006, 11:30 PM »
OK, here is the final (yawn) product.  


It just is not possible to hide all wiring when drives extend beyond the racks.  If he does not like the red tape, he can change it.  I probably could have tucked the floppy cable under the board, but it would have crowded the other cables and reduced space for air flow.

I just noticed that the SATA cable was not yet attached in the first picture.
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2006, 11:38 PM by Whizbang »

Offline freelance

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #10 on: Oct 18, 2006, 12:06 PM »
thats a big improvement! ;D
ok so the following is my pc:
asus M2N4-SLI, athlon X2 5000+ cpu, geforce 7600GT , 80gb MAXTOR SATAII hdd, 4gb ddr2 ram, silverstone edumon (google it and u'll find it!!!) sata dvd rw dual layer, 6x usb 2, and tv card (with video recorder ps2 etc)

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #11 on: Oct 18, 2006, 07:16 PM »
T'aint purdy though.  The socks are still hanging out of the drawer, and the closet looks like it's ready to 'splode.   :P

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Son's New "Puter"
« Reply #12 on: Oct 19, 2006, 06:28 PM »
The colors with this Biostar Nvidia 6100 chip are more vibrant than any I have seen on any other setup.  They make my computer displays look washed out by comparison.

I would poast a pic, but my wife is playing freecell on the unit with the Paint Shop Pro on it that I use to reduce the image size.

The new case fan came today, and I noticed no improvement at all in CPU temperature until I decided to put clear vinyl tape over the inside of the left air vent on the case.  The temperature dropped between 6?C and 10?C to about 31?C or 32?C.  That is what I was hoping for.  Virtually all outside air into the case now comes from the front.