A new toy

In recent times I have found it a slight flaw that I have never built a computer before. Sure I have seen the insides of a computer but until you actually build one you never know exactly what each little bit does and where and how it connects together.

Luckily then, my wife saw my frustratedness with our inherited home pc which we have also been using as a media centre and took pity letting me create a new media centre from scratch. After a little deliberation with Craig I narrows down my components list which can be found here:

On Tuesday and Thursday and ordered my components and by Friday all had arrived and with my wife out for the evening I set to work.

case before

This is what my case looked like before I started, you should be able to see it is compartmentalised into three parts. The main area will house the motherboard, processor and memory. It also has two nice chunky (and thankfully silent) fans. The nearest area has the power supply and any cd drives and finally we have the harddrives in their own little area.

The first job was to fit the motherboard which was a bit of a pain… especially when it tells you to screw in the phillips head screws provided… and all the provided screws of all shapes and sizes are in fact philips head. I got this done quite quickly though compared to the pain that was the CPU heat sink. First the motherboard booklet lied about which way in the CPU should go… luckily the way I had guessed you should do it turned out to be right. The heatsink though used a really annoying push screw tecnique that made me feel like I was going to bend and snap the motherboard. Once these joyous tasks were done I fitted the ram (something I have done many times) and then got to work with the harddrives and CD drive (also simple).

The last task was cabling it up, while the compartments were a nice idea for keeping parts separate they were a right pain for cables. I essentially did the whole thing twice, once and then again from scratch to make it tidier.

Case after

As you can see its not exactly tidy in there but with the space in the case there wasn’t really another way. The next and final task was to make sure the thing actually worked so I plugged it in having checked the cables one last time and surprisingly it worked.

Having moved data about I did the windows experience indexing and got a 3.1 due to the onboard graphics. The PSU was a 6.3 compared to my dell which gets a rather pathetic in comparison 4.5 that said with its 7600gt the dell gets a 5.9 for graphics…

In terms of wattage it does 10w in sleep mode, 60 watts in idle and 70 watts in use which I think is pretty darn handy especially as it is likely to spend 23 hours of each day in sleep mode. Coming out of sleep mode is also impressive, taking a nice short 3 seconds. Overall I am a little chuffed and with lots of room for improvement in future things can only get better…

Now though I have no excuses not to work from home as I now have a PC to call my own.