Old 24th August 2005, 04:02   #1
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The PC Of Broken Dreams

For anyone that doesn't already know what this is about, you can catch up in this thread if you want to. I've named this computer The PC Of Broken Dreams for reasons that I'm sure most of you may know. If not, then I won't go into details. Anyways, my ftp just magically started working again this afternoon, so I was able to upload pictures of the project. Woo.



To start off, I was originally thinking about buying a prebuilt computer (specifically, an HP a1130n) as my next machine, but I threw that idea out the window when it became quite clear that I wouldn't have been happy with it in the long run. So, with everyone's help, I started picking out parts to buy independently. After about a month of deliberation and searching, this is what I ended up with:


$0120.75 x1 --- Motherboard ----------- MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum
$0474.99 x1 --- Processor ------------- AMD Athlon 64 4000+
$0278.00 x1 --- Video Card ------------ GIGABYTE Radeon X800 XL
$0093.00 x1 --- Audio Card ------------ Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
$0193.95 x1 --- System Memory -------- OCZ Value Series
$0125.00 x2 --- Hard Drives ----------- Western Digital WD2500KS
$0045.99 x1 --- DVD Burner ------------ NEC ND-3540A
$0075.00 x1 --- Power Supply ---------- Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500
$0089.99 x1 --- Case ------------------ Kingwin KT-424
$0189.99 x1 --- Monitor --------------- Samsung 990DF
$0029.99 x2 --- Hard Drive Coolers ----- Antec HD Cooler

$0090.81 ------ Shipping & Taxes
________
$1962.45 ------ Total Project Cost


I bought everything with exception of the case and HD Coolers from Newegg.com. The case came from Xoxide.com, and the HD Coolers came from CompUSA. I already had the mouse, keyboard, DVD-ROM drive, and floppy drive purchased or disected from other computers, so I didn't have to buy those. I also managed to "acquire" a copy of Windows XP Pro. (Thanks, you know who you are. ) So, with all this expensive equipment, I got started...


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The pile of parts takes up the whole kitchen table.

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The monitor wasn't quite as big as I'd hoped, but it's got a great dot pitch rating (0.20mm diagonal). I have to squint really bad if I set my old 17" monitor any higher than 1024x768, but this new 19" is clear at 1280x1024. That's a nice resolution increase. And it'll still fit in my old computer desk. :]

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Kingwin makes cases that are right on par with the more expensive Lian Li cases. It comes loaded with all kinds of cool features... Removable motherboard/card tray, toolless design, HDD vibration dampeners, dual intake fans with a hidden speed control and an exhaust fan, snap-off front panel with washable air filter for the intake fans, built-in USB/1394 support, and best of all, it's not gaudy even with a side panel window. The only thing I don't like about this case is that the built-in 1394 port doesn't use a header that's compatible with a normal motherboard header. Instead, it's got a regular Firewire connector that you're supposed to route through the back of the case and connect to the motherboard's rear-panel 1394 port. That's kinda ghey, but meh. I don't have any Firewire things anyways. :]

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I think the picture is pretty self-explanatory. This is about as fast as I could go without shelling out really big bucks on a dual-core processor. I haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet, but I will soon enough.

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I've heard lots of good things about OCZ memory, so I decided to give them a try. And what better way than to get a 2GB kit of DDR-400 PC3200 RAM sticks? Newegg.com said that their CAS rating was 3ms, but they're actually 2.5ms... which is just fine with me.

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This motherboard was an incredible deal for the price. Socket 939 that can handle even dual core 64-bit AMD processors, up to 4GB of DDR, PCI-E x16 support, four SATA300 ports, four SATA150 ports, two standard IDE-133 ports, dual gigabit ethernet adapters, support for up to ten USB 2 HiSpeed ports, integrated IEEE1394a support, built-in 8-channel audio support with optical and coaxial connections, and lots of other crap that I don't feel like listing. :P

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Since it's the same thing as an ATI card, you know it's good. 256MB GDDR3 memory, 16 pixel pipelines, dual monitor support, and all kinds of performance. The only thing I don't like about it is the massive dual heatsink/heatpipe setup. I kinda wish it had a normal heatsink/fan setup because right now it's running at about 45c... which is a little hotter than I'd like. Other than that, it's great.

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Everyone knows Creative. I've got an Audigy 2 in my old computer, and I love it, so I decided to get an Audigy 2 ZS for this new computer. And for 93 bucks, it was a pretty decent deal. I know that the motherboard I picked out already has built-in audio support, but I wanted something more configurable and with more software support. I like WaveStudio anyways.

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Antec is one of the best power supply manufacturers that I've come across, so it's only natural that I put an Antec PSU in this computer. This thing was a steal for the price and features. It's 500w, has dual cooling fans with thermal speed control, dual 12v rails, removable power cables, PCI-E and SATA support, and it's ATX12v2 compliant. Sex.

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These drives rock ass, period. Two Western Digital 250GB SATA300 hard drives with 16MB buffers each set up in a RAID 0 array is almost climactic. It was a bit of a pain in the ass to set up the motherboard's RAID software, but I got it working. Definitely worth the effort... these things fly!

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Of course, ya gotta keep the hard drives cool. The case has internal drive bays specifically set aside for the hard drives so that they'd be mounted directly behind the front intake cooling fans, but I wanted to keep that airflow unrestricted as much as possible. So I got these HD Coolers in order to mount the hard drives into a couple of the large external bays towards the middle-front of the case. They have some neat features as well... Dual side full-length heatsinks with a bottom cold plate to mount the drives to, dual 40mm thermally speed controlled fans, dual thermal sensors (one for the drive, one for the case), and front digitial LED temperature display.

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I don't care what anyone says, MS makes the best mice. This thing kicks ass, and the tilt-wheel is slick. Very comfortable, too.

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I really like this HP keyboard, but the drivers caused me to have to reinstall Windows twice. So I can't use most of the hotkeys or multimedia keys on the top row. When it was working right, the blue backlit hotkeys were really schweet looking. It's a really nice design with a black/silver color scheme that matches almost anything. Too bad the drivers suck. Oh well, at least I can still use it like a normal keyboard... but the volume knob works!

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Here's a couple shots of the side of the case with the side panel still attached. Looks nice and clean inside, eh?

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I love this removable tray. It makes installation and upgrading a breeze.

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Take it off, baby. Take it alllll off...

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Mounting the motherboard to the tray didn't take any time at all. All I had to do was pop some screw mounting points to the right holes on the tray, and then screw the motherboard in. Simple is good.

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Click, click, boom. RAM installed.

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So much power in such a small package. It's no wonder why this was the single most expensive part in this entire system. Installation? Easy as hell. Just like me.

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Check out the size of the dual heatsinks on this bad boy. They're HEAVY, too.

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Here's where I installed the little expansion port header that adds a couple USB ports and some diagnostic LEDs to the back of the computer. Nice little touch.

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Here you can see the header wires that connect to the front panel USB/1394 ports. The two USB ports have headers that connect directly to the connectors on the motherboard, but the Firewire port has a regular Firewire connector (at the end of the silver braided cable) that's supposed to run out the back of the case and connect to the rear panel of the motherboard. Teh ghey. So I just bundled it up and tied it to the side of the hard drive bays. I don't have anything that uses Firewire anyways, so it doesn't make a difference to me.

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Dig on the removable power cables.

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Got the hard drives mounted into the HD Coolers.

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Installing the DVD burner. Piece of cake.

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And in goes the motherboard tray. Got everything connected, then cranked it up. I decided to wait until after installing Windows before putting in the audio card, though.

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It's alive! It's aliiiive!

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Now it's time for the audio card.

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Not bad for an ametuer, eh?

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They didn't turn out quite as smooth as I'd hoped, but they match the case at least...

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...well, almost. :P

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Tada!



[edit]
Fixed some screwed up link formatting.
[/edit]



And I've also attached the spec list that I attached to the end of my other thread just in case anyone wants to see it that didn't already.
Attached Files
File Type: txt specifications.txt (14.3 KB, 274 views)
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Old 24th August 2005, 04:10   #2
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schweet!

Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.-*-If at first you don't succeed; call it version 1.0-*-Guess the band from pics game
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Old 24th August 2005, 04:36   #3
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*drools over pile of parts*

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
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Old 24th August 2005, 10:08   #4
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Great system buildup. Nothing quite as satisfying as dropping a couple grand in parts, then building it yourself into a masterpiece of science and art.

Only things I would have changed are the hdds and the video card, but I'm partial to Seagate and nVidia for those two components, respectively. Cheers nonetheless.

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Old 24th August 2005, 12:47   #5
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oh sarge your so lucky!
i dont like the front of the case because you can see fingerprints but the windows things on the sides rock.
very good!!
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Old 24th August 2005, 14:18   #6
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Real nice!

now you can quickly pull up your pron whenever the urge hits ya!

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Old 24th August 2005, 14:21   #7
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I am going to set up a new computer soon as well

Much same choices as you, just Platinum OCZ RAM, and WD Raptors S-ATA 37.5 GB x 4 instead.

very nice thread... interesting reading for a geek like me.

Choosing Raptors will bring me at very low space capasity, but very fast reading, and I am going to run the 4 discs with Mirror leaving me at almost double read, but same write as normal.

Not stunning with less than 80 GB diskspace but as the user I am, I have no need for space, as I don't have any MP3s nor any movies.

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Old 24th August 2005, 15:25   #8
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with 4 raptors, you should set up a raid-5 (or raid-10) array, which is striping and mirroring. you'll have twice the read/write speed like a two-disk stripe, and you'll also have complete redundancy with the other two drives as mirrors.

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Old 25th August 2005, 01:30   #9
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Quote:
schweet!
Quote:
*drools over pile of parts*


Quote:
Great system buildup. Nothing quite as satisfying as dropping a couple grand in parts, then building it yourself into a masterpiece of science and art.

Only things I would have changed are the hdds and the video card, but I'm partial to Seagate and nVidia for those two components, respectively. Cheers nonetheless.
I don't really have anything against Seagate or nVidia. I just prefer WD and ATI. It's kinda funny though... I'm running an ATI card in a motherboard that uses an nVidia chipset. Go fig.

Quote:
oh sarge your so lucky!
i dont like the front of the case because you can see fingerprints but the windows things on the sides rock.
very good!!
Yeah, when you just look at the case with your eyes, you can't see any fingerprints or smudges on it. But the flash on the camera makes them visible.

Quote:
now you can quickly pull up your pron whenever the urge hits ya!
Exactly!

Quote:
I am going to set up a new computer soon as well

Much same choices as you, just Platinum OCZ RAM, and WD Raptors S-ATA 37.5 GB x 4 instead.

very nice thread... interesting reading for a geek like me.
I would have gotten Platinum series OCZ, but I don't think the price would've given me that much of a performance increase. Still great RAM, though.
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Old 25th August 2005, 02:11   #10
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Nice.

BTW: Is that an LCD temperature monitor on the front of the case?
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Old 25th August 2005, 03:43   #11
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My two hard drive coolers are what you're seeing. Each one has an LED temperature display that alternates between its two temp sensors. Since each one came with an extra temp sensor, I stuck one to the CPU's heatsink and the other to the video card's heatsink. So, those two hard drive coolers tell me the temperatures of both HDDs, the CPU, and the GPU.
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Old 25th August 2005, 03:58   #12
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My own, latest computer "upgrade":


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Old 25th August 2005, 04:14   #13
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that is a very nice set of parts there
I would have gotten different harddrives.
I prolly would have gone for a 4x40 or something, would depend on how many slots I have in the case. Maybe different ram too. I think you had four slots in the picture, so maybe go for 4x512 and try to get some real nice sticks so I can set some good timings for them. But meh, I like filling all my ram slots instead of just going for bigger chips.

In real life- I just got a new case, PS, and motherboard for a computer. An ASUS barebone. Nice shiny piece of work too. Parents flipped the bills for it since it technically was for their computer. Was real fun installing everything, always a good way to spend an afternoon.
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Old 25th August 2005, 04:28   #14
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My videocards crapped out on me (dual 6800 Ultras in SLi) ... so my PC manufacturer is sending me 2 7800 GTX cards in trade for the the 2 6800 Ultras ... that is my next computer upgrade ...

Website

Yeah, that's pretty much it. :-\
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Old 25th August 2005, 06:56   #15
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http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2431

I'm waiting for this BTX Athlon64 board. BTX seems like a really good idea. Also this board has a nforce 4 video built in. Built in firewire/sound.... etc ....

I figured I'd use this board with a 3800 A64 dual core and that Kingston 1 gig memory kit.

A DVD-RW and a capture card, probably a 250 gig drive and that's it.

A friend built a little Pentium D system about like what I am talking about. It's really nice not to hear fans.

Just waiting for the motherboard.

If Intel chips were as fast, I would have gone that way.
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Old 25th August 2005, 09:32   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by PulseDriver
I am going to set up a new computer soon as well

Much same choices as you, just Platinum OCZ RAM, and WD Raptors S-ATA 37.5 GB x 4 instead.

very nice thread... interesting reading for a geek like me.

Choosing Raptors will bring me at very low space capasity, but very fast reading, and I am going to run the 4 discs with Mirror leaving me at almost double read, but same write as normal.

Not stunning with less than 80 GB diskspace but as the user I am, I have no need for space, as I don't have any MP3s nor any movies.
That was my plan... not sure I wanna do striping, as that leads to loss of data if Raid should be broken, as the stripes is only 50% of a full disk. I am going to run a 2 on 2 mirror.. not sure what types that is.

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Old 25th August 2005, 14:18   #17
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Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
I don't really have anything against Seagate or nVidia. I just prefer WD and ATI. It's kinda funny though... I'm running an ATI card in a motherboard that uses an nVidia chipset. Go fig.
ATI

WD

Ahh, Western Digital. More reliable than any other brand hard drive I've seen. Particularly Maxtor =P

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Old 25th August 2005, 20:10   #18
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WD? Trust me - I've been repairing those bithces when I still worked for a repair company so I know exactly how they work.
If you talk about fragile parts, you're talking about WD

Now I know what's inside, I'll always go for seagate or maxtor

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Old 25th August 2005, 21:34   #19
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Yeah, I've NEVER had a Seagate fail. Obsolete before failure ... always cool .....

Also, I've never had Sony optical products ever fail (CD's, DVD etc).

I like Asus motherboards better than MSI, but both have been very good.

Seagates and Sony and you won't go wrong.
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Old 26th August 2005, 19:20   #20
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Originally posted by Warrior of the Light
Now I know what's inside, I'll always go for seagate or maxtor
Maxtor. You can't be serious. Every single Maxtor drive I've ever seen has died. Every one. Every one I've personally bought, every one a friend has bought, and every one in the company where I work. More than 20 drives. Every single damn one. Conversely, I've seen two Western Digital drives partially fail (out of ~30) (bad sectors, after they're several years old). WD has meant zero data loss. I know this is partially luck, but it seems too consistant to be purely that.

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Old 26th August 2005, 19:40   #21
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Most of my prejudice against WD drives is from years ago. They used to die at about 3 years (and they had that exchange thing, where you got a pro-rata credit for a new drive).

I have an 80 gig that's 5 and still doing a good job, so I guess my preference for Seagate is anecdotal.

I still mostly buy Seagate because of no failures. There isn't much that happens that's worst than a hard-disk failure.
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Old 27th August 2005, 01:34   #22
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yeap.. that's a wonderfull settings..!
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Old 28th August 2005, 03:03   #23
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Originally posted by rockouthippie
I still mostly buy Seagate because of no failures. There isn't much that happens that's worst than a hard-disk failure.
Laptop mobo/processor/memory failure. Can't fix/repair it yourself. Can't even look at the damn thing because it voids the warranty. At least with HD failure, you can buy the drive yourself without sending the whole laptop out.
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Old 28th August 2005, 03:32   #24
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The closed nature of laptops is what set me against them when I was in the market for a new computer. A pain to upgrade, with often-proprietary parts and less processor power at a higher cost...
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Old 28th August 2005, 05:13   #25
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I finally got The PC Of Broken Dreams set up in my room. It barely fit in my computer desk. I had to remove the case feet in order to slide it into the opening on the right side of the monitor. And now that it's back here, I noticed that my video card is running about 4c cooler than it was while it was still on the kitchen table. Go fig. Must be because of the air conditioner I have in here. :]
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Old 28th August 2005, 09:45   #26
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Hey Sarge, out of curiosity, why did you call it "The PC of Broken Dreams"?

I read through both threads, and I didn't see you describing any bad experiences with it...sounds like everything went really well, in fact (unless I missed something). The name makes it sound like you ran into all kinds of problems with the thing.

I'm a psychosomatic sister running around without a leash.
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Old 28th August 2005, 10:38   #27
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Maybe he broke his dream by buying this computer, now knowing he don't need to dream about it anymore?

It said broken dreams, not broken computers :P

But "Fulfilled dreams" would be a more suitable term maybe

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Old 28th August 2005, 12:36   #28
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http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....94#post1739694
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Old 28th August 2005, 12:56   #29
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I figured that without even giving it a second thought.
/me sends my copy of Command & Conquer:Zero Hour since you pretty much have to have a supercomputer to run it correctly.
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Old 28th August 2005, 17:07   #30
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This thread reminds me of this one
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Old 28th August 2005, 17:38   #31
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How?
There are large avatars in that thread and small ones in this one
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Old 28th August 2005, 17:39   #32
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Really nice one !!

And I'm stuck here in a GeForce 4 ... oh hell ..

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Old 28th August 2005, 17:45   #33
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How?
For the general nerd/geekiness
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Old 28th August 2005, 18:50   #34
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I feel like a god amongst all the puny cellar dwellers.
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Old 20th October 2005, 04:06   #35
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I recently added a couple things to my computer...

I replaced the CD-ROM drive that was in the second bay with one of these. (Pic) Didn't cost me anything, and now I can copy DVDs without having to use the hard drives. Plus, it's got a black faceplate that matches my computer case.

I also managed to get one of these for it. It's the same screen size as my Samsung, but it takes up less power and desktop space. It also has a digital input port, so as soon as I get a digital monitor cable, I'll hook it up that way. It's sexy.

Total cost of upgrades: $0


Now, if I could just get that damn KVM switch to work right...

-Sarge
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:53   #36
ElChevelle
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I damn thee KVM switch and cast it's evilness into the depths of hell.

Sarge, maybe it'll work at altitude
Almost snowed yesterday.
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Old 21st October 2005, 02:32   #37
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Yeah, if it doesn't work at 10,000 feet, I'll lauch the fucker into space.

Or maybe I'll use it as a snowboard... Chev, you gonna teach me how to snowboard?
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Old 21st October 2005, 12:00   #38
ElChevelle
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Funny you ask that. I've taught a few people how to board
I even have one just your size. Bastard's about six feet tall
We gotta get through the below zero crap here first because bones snap alot easier with the altitude, the cold and the alcohol induced swelling of the nads.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 18:49   #39
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Old 24th October 2005, 03:02   #40
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Just ordered a few more things...

6-ft DVI-D (male-to-male) Cable
Black Floppy Drive
Expansion Slot Cooling Fan (31cfm)


With the DVI cable, I'll be able to hook up both my LCD monitors (one 19" and one 15") at the same time. I think that'll be a better solution than trying to use that damn KVM switch. I hate having to try to keep multiple computers updated with software and virus/spyware databases anyways. The floppy drive I have in here now works just fine, but it's a relic of the Windows 95 days. I had to paint the faceplate black so it would match. So, I'm going to replace it with a brand new NEC (since my DVD burner is an NEC, they'll go good together) floppy drive that already has a black faceplate. I'll keep the old one as a spare. And since I (,like a dumbass,) bought a video card that doesn't have a cooling fan, I need to get the air moving a bit better around it's massive dual heatsinks. This little expansion slot fan should do the trick.

I also picked up a 50-pack of DVD+RW (4x 4.7gb) blank discs so that I could keep backups of my files. Those will go good with the 1gb USB flash drive that I got last week.

Is this healthy? I should probably quit...
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