I got to engage in one of my favorite activities this week – building computers! My father-in-law’s Windows Vista laptop was going so slow, he often thought it was about to kernel panic. So I saw the computer he wanted at dell and spec’d it and found out I could do it for $400 cheaper than dell and it’d have Windows XP so he would have a nice fast computer.
It’s going to go in his bedroom so I got him a nice, small Lian-Li case. They continue to impress with this case. For example, small form factor cases usually have problems with overheating. So what did Lian-Li do? They put exhaust holes at the top of their case right where the CPU is. That way it can blow the CPU heat (90% of the heat a PC generates) right out without the assistance of another case fan. In fact, it has holes along the sides and back along with 2 mini case fans to keep the thing running cool enough.
Of course, it helped that I had an Intel Core 2 Duo instead of a Pentium 4 – because my P4 runs so hot that if I don’t turn on the A/C, the computer has to power down to keep from destroying itself, no lie. Everything else was pretty standard. I used my favorites parts makers because they have yet to let me down. Seagate Barracuda 160 GB hard drive – it’s not as though he’s downloading movies and music so this is plenty for him. 2 GB of Kingston RAM. Sony DVD burner. Asus motherboard – I love Asus. They have nicely labeled, well laid out boards. They also have software that makes it extremely easy to flash the BIOS and update it or add custom boot logos. They also have a very well written manual (compared to others I’ve built) and really nice driver install CDs that keep installation from being a PITA. So far no trouble with any of these companies, so I’d keep using them.