Saturday, January 7, 2012

Computer parts have arrived!

After a few hours, the basic hardware has been installed and Windows 7 is in also. Tomorrow I will have to get the networking up and do all of the updates, downloads, etc. The Antec Sonata is exceptionally quiet, as is the stock cooler from Intel. Things were not perfect, and as always there are some issues. Antec included the usual MOBO pegs, but one of the four pre-installed had a flaw and basically got jammed, unscrewing itself as the mobo screw went in. After installing the board, and the cpu, I had to remove the MOBO and use pliers to get the faulty peg off! That is not exactly what one wants to do with a motherboard and cpu.

Antec has added an SSD mounting point, as have other case companies. This is too close to the side, and is utterly incompatible with the two SATA cables from MSI. The cables just don't fit when the drive is installed in either configuration, so for now it is just hanging out. Lastly, the mounting clips for the optical drive had two nice holes to line things up, but they were blocked with plastic. This was fixed by melting the plastic with a small screwdriver. Again not really the way things should be, but this last problem was expected because most of the Newegg reviews mentioned it.

For anyone who is looking to install Windows 7, consider the advice here. The author talks about optimization as well as tweaks that prove useful if you have an SSD. For example, windows started out with an 8 gig hibernation file (I turned hibernation off and got it all back) as well as 8 gigs of pagefile (I took that down to 1 gig.)

Once things are all set, I will have to copy a ton (about 1.2 TB) of files. This will take days and will require swapping HDDs back and forth between two computers, and probably actually erasing one HDD and using it over again to move from an old ATA drive that cannot work with the new motherboard. And then when the computer is completed, I will post some stats, benchmarks, and maybe calculate pi for a spell and see how it does. The computer should be able to do pi to 1 billion places in about 10 minutes, using nearly 5 gigs of ram!


DTH Rocket said...


I made a goal to build a computer this summer. I still have a bit to learn I think. But my roommate has built probably tens of computers and has lots of helpful tips.

R2K said...

It is better to build your own, as you already know from rocketry. Not only can you customize it perfectly, but you also learn more about how it works.

I have to tell you that a modern computer with SSD is so incredibly fast it is impossible to go back to older computers. With an SSD and decent ram, you can open every program on your computer (yes dozens) in a matter of seconds.