Author Topic: Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running  (Read 1180 times)

Offline Whizbang

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Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« on: Sep 28, 2004, 06:50 PM »
At least it will be $14.95 when the rebates come in.  That reminds me that I need to check status tonight.  The manual was predictable Soyo, somewhere between lousy and adequate.  The card reader has so many gawking cables hanging from it that are waaaaay too long that I decided to leave it out.  It takes up far too much room and blocks air circulation.  The thing that really made me want to scrap it was the instructions to use the CMOS short jumper as a cable connection for part of the reader.   HUH???  I do not think that is a good idea at all.  I decided to put the second unit on top of the desk to the right of the monitor.  That presents another very big problem.  The main air intake is on the left side of the case and draws in heated monitor air.  Temperature of CPU under load approaches 140? F.  While that may not be too high to operate, it is not the range I shoot for.  I try to keep everything below 115? max.  Unless I can think of a better arrangement, I see a fancy air duct addition coming.  I had to lower sights on the case (just not enough money for a Cadillac right now).  This setup has a long way to go yet.  There are far too many power plugin splices that create a mound of unsightly spaghetti that contributes to bad air flow.  I also had to borrow memory from the MSI unit until the new stick comes in.  That means I am operating with only 256 meg on each unit.  Obviously, my computer usage is limited to very slow waltzes.  ;D  Networking between computers is very slow with that amount of memory.  And the Gigabit Lan is as productive as having a bass boat in my 30 foot pond.  The only real surprise was the modified Windows entrance sound that seems like a Chinese version of the original.  Then again, maybe I just stayed up too late.    ::)

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #1 on: Sep 29, 2004, 09:09 PM »
I made an acrylic duct that attaches to the side of the steel case with magnetic tape.  It lowered the temperature by about 20? F.  I wish someone would have told me to turn a fan toward the duct while the super glue was curing.  The out-gassing acetone vapor etched the clear acrylic and turn it a semi-opaque white.  That bit of disappointment is at least tempered by the fact that the duct is not a permanent attachment.  I probably will replace the 80mm exhaust fan with a 120mm and add a couple of fans inside in front of the hard drive rack, if I can figure out how to remove the front face without causing damage.

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #2 on: Sep 30, 2004, 02:11 PM »
I added an internal fan duct to direct air to CPU.  Temps are now the most stable I have ever seen for any of the systems I have worked with.  With an ambient of 83? F (We are trying to save money on electricity for AC) the CPU is stable at 111? F, hard drive is at ambient temperature.  System temp is at 92? F.  I would say that the front case fans will fortunately not be needed.  My only complaint is that I have not found a way to redirect the auto-switch cabling around the back and still have access to the switch button.

Computer 1 [/b]
Computer 2
Computer 3 [/b]
Computer 4
« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2004, 05:38 PM by Whizbang »

Offline Andrew S

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #3 on: Sep 30, 2004, 07:50 PM »
Very cool Whizbang.  However the last picture (Computer 4) did not seem to load for me.  DO you have any internal shots of the new system?  How come you have 2 different computers?  Both of which look awesome.  What exactly is the auto-switch you speak of? Do you have any shots of your ducting?

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #4 on: Sep 30, 2004, 09:44 PM »
Very cool Whizbang.  However the last picture (Computer 4) did not seem to load for me.  DO you have any internal shots of the new system?  How come you have 2 different computers?  Both of which look awesome.  What exactly is the auto-switch you speak of? Do you have any shots of your ducting?
DO you have any internal shots of the new system?

It looks like a can of worms right now.
  :-[

How come you have 2 different computers?  Both of which look awesome.

 The one on the left is/was (haven't decided) my primary unit with MSI K7N2 Delta-L and XP2600.  The one on the right replaces my older unit that had a cheap but adequate case but only seven drive bays.  The ECS K7S5A Pro mainboard went out.  I bought the X-Infinity case from NewEgg on free shipping sale.  It has 10 drive bays.  It does not have the quick connect on drives that I wanted, but money is short.  The acrylic front door is cool, if a bit impractical.  When the kids left home, I had a lot of time on my hands.  Actually, I have some software, games and a scanner that will not work on anything but Win98, and I am doing more photo work that requires a lot of editing.  The two system setup is just more practical.  

What exactly is the auto-switch you speak of?  

The auto-switch is a LinXcell mini-switch that connects both computers to the same monitor, mouse, and keyboard.  Unfortunately, the mouse function seems to be very buggy; and I had to bypass the switch with two separate mice.  I do not know if that problem ever will be fixed.  Eforcity is trying.

Do you have any shots of your ducting?  

I haven't taken any pics of it yet.  I am still disappointed by the acetone's etching the acrylic.  At least the acrylic was free discarded display .  I will make an effort to get it all lookng a little bit better than laughable before taking the pics.  * (later)

 I also have a Romtec drive switch on the left computer and the newer Combox switch on the right.  The Romtec can connect a Master with a selected slave, but the Combox only connects a single drive at once.  The BIOS setting expands the combinations though.  I tried to minimize multiple booting on each drive.  Only the main drive on right computer has dual OS booting.  The main storage drive is in the left computer, and I use it for just that.  It is an IBM/Hitachi 120g set as slave option that I fire up only to access installation programs or to transfer downloads from the  main hard drives once I get several files collected.  Computers are networked so I can use the one 120g drive as storage for both units.

The hangup now is that the newer unit has only 256 megs of RAM and is really slow in a copy/paste network transfer of very large files.  Several minutes may be required to actuate beginning of transfer.  I purchased the 256 PC3200 stick from OEMPCWorld.  They will buy back my old RAM and resell it at trade shows.  That way I can afford to upgrade when they credit my account.  Since I had two sticks of PC133 256 and 4 sticks of EDO 32 to return, and the refund will be about 40% of current resale, I can afford an immediate upgrade.  The lifetime warranty is a factor too.  I asked them what their policy was on retail, and the reply was that they sell only name brand new memory, unless so stated for older RAM not now readily available.  Micron and Infineon are their 1gig names.  Spector is one of their main 512 offerings; Samsung is a common 256 stock item.

(For some odd reason, #4 pic loads very slowly.  I have no idea why.)

* The internal duct is directly over the CPU and blankets it with "fresh" cool air, virtually eliminating system temp as an elevating factor.

D1  
D3
Please note the "finely engraved" acetone etching that lends a distinctive antique hue to the long duct.  ::)
D2
D4
« Last Edit: Oct 03, 2004, 10:03 AM by Whizbang »

Offline Carskick

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #5 on: Oct 01, 2004, 04:21 PM »
Very Creative cooling. And that cooling system is really creative. But you got to get more RAM. It's hard doing anything on XP without 384 or more. We have some old computers at school that are P3 500mhz with 128MB RAM running XP. I could litterally die waiting for them to load. They basiclly have to load something, then transfer it to page memory, which makes it deathly slow.
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Offline Chandler

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #6 on: Oct 01, 2004, 04:36 PM »
Very Creative cooling. And that cooling system is really creative. But you got to get more RAM. It's hard doing anything on XP without 384 or more. We have some old computers at school that are P3 500mhz with 128MB RAM running XP. I could litterally die waiting for them to load. They basiclly have to load something, then transfer it to page memory, which makes it deathly slow.

You'd love some of the computers that they had at my sixth form.  They upgraded EVERY computer to Windows XP Professional regardless of what spec it was, simply because their internet provider said that Windows 98 machines would not be allowed to connect to their network anymore for "security reasons" - (yeah right...).  There were several Pentium 1 machines running at sub-200MHz speeds and they had Windows XP put on them too.  They were pretty much unusable.

At my current job the IT department aren't much better.  I'll not name who I work for though.  We have a shared computer which runs some specialised software, and we recently had it replaced.  The original PC was a PII 300MHz with a 20GB HDD and running Windows 2000.  The new one is a P4 2.6GHz with 40GB HDD, and the IT technition decided to just ghost the old installation over onto the new drive.  Result = BSOD on Windows 2000 startup.  It's set up now (with the same old installation) and it's incredibly slow - in fact my 1GHz Quantex feels significantly faster, and that's on Windows XP!  The IT technician actually gave up on some things (e.g. setting up IE proxy server, activating AutoCAD etc.) and left me to do it (I'm not in the IT field, I'm construction).  The lovely new Samsung Syncmaster 910n was set up at 1024x768 with incorrect blur-o-vision settings.  After a survey was drawn onscreen, someone commented "That roundabout isn't round!".  "Crap", I thought, as it meant that the survey would need to be re-done.  Of course the real reason was that the resolution was set wrong (1280x1024 has a different aspect ratio to 1024x768 - 5:4 vs 4:3).  Changing the resolution and fine-tuning the setup to get the pixels sharp revealed that it was a perfect circle.

Offline Whizbang

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #7 on: Oct 01, 2004, 05:47 PM »
The new system is Win2000 and 98.  I just received the new RAM and put it into the MSI XP unit.  When I get the refund on BuyBack, I will purchase more RAM.  I think I have discovered that network copy/paste requires far more memory than I imagined.  The process really gets out of hand if you try a several hundred megabyte transfer.  You can get a snack and brush your teeth before it will start.  I think I will shoot for 768 on both systems.

Offline Chandler

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #8 on: Oct 01, 2004, 05:53 PM »
The new system is Win2000 and 98.  I just received the new RAM and put it into the MSI XP unit.  When I get the refund on BuyBack, I will purchase more RAM.  I think I have discovered that network copy/paste requires far more memory than I imagined.  The process really gets out of hand if you try a several hundred megabyte transfer.  You can get a snack and brush your teeth before it will start.  I think I will shoot for 768 on both systems.

That's the file caching thing I ranted on about about a year ago.  Since I got 1GB RAM it's not bothered me.  ;D  (but it's still stupid that you need that amount of memory to copy some files without bringing the system to a crawl)

Offline Carskick

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Re:Soyo $14.95 KT600 Dragon Ultra Up and Running
« Reply #9 on: Oct 01, 2004, 06:27 PM »
It wouldn't be a Windows flaw. Windows has no flaws.  ::)

Seems to me that it should be programmed to copy it directly from the hard drive, as the hard drive is much faster than the Network anyways.
« Last Edit: Oct 01, 2004, 06:28 PM by Carskick »
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