I finally decided to hop on the Phenom II bandwagon after seeing them drop in price again. I can tell you I didn’t know what to expect with the upgrade from a Phenom 9550 to a Phenom II 965 BE but I can tell you I am very happy with the results. All of my scores in Windows 7 built in benchmark are maxed less the hard drive, the memory was .1 below max but the processor must have been bottle necking it because it also went to the max score. The difference is huge and I couldn’t recommend a better processor for the price or even $100 over the price. You will notice something else in my pictures below and thats the E-Sata bracket that came with the NewEgg order. Nope I do not need this but it brings up a good point I’d like to share. I bought this as a package deal from NewEgg and my total was $10 LESS than the processor alone, yes you read that right. I got the
Lately I have been having heat issues revolving around my drives, this is mostly due to having 3 drives stacked on top of each other with minimal cooling so I thought I would take a step in the right direction and consolidate all 3 drives into 1 WD 2 TB drive now that they have dropped over $100 in price. So I swapped out the 3 drives and migrated the data over to a new shiny WD Black Edition 2 TB drive. Since I was already swapping drives and I have swapped so much hardware I decided I would swap my OS from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. So far the drive seems fast and the HD tach report shows the drive to be faster then a single WD 1TB Black drive but its not as fast as I had anticipated from the review I read online. One good thing is that it is slightly faster and a whole lot cooler so all in all it was a worth while upgrade.
This latest update brings a few new goodies including 2 ATI Sapphire Vapor-X 5770′s, a Logitech Harmony remote and Revision 2 of Artic Cooling’s ever so popular Freezer Pro. The first thing to notice is how the revision 2 Freezer Pro has a new mounting bracket for AMD processors and the orientation of the cooler has changed as well. This slightly throws off my cooling design for the media pc case but until I get my AM3 board nothing is set in stone any way. I cant say I care much for the new mounting design, it seems more stable but is a total PITA to install. Just to tighten the screws for the front you need to wedge a screw driver behind the fan and pull the fan aware from the cooler stretching the rubber connectors that connect the fan to the cooler. I fear after a few processor swaps the rubber will eventually break and render the cooler useless. The Logitech Harmony remote was a real let down out of the bunch. Yes
After my last update you know I have been having issues with my TV tuner card and after putting up with it for a while I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided enough was enough and it was time to purchase a new TV tuner. Newegg also had some Corsair memory on sale for $75.00 for PC2 8500, yes I said 8500 and I have been wanted to consolidate my 4 1GB sticks into 2 2GB sticks just in case this 64bit Windows 7 works out and I have the option to add a few more GB’s. Newegg also was offering a fairly good (albeit deceptive) deal on a Blu-Ray drive so I thought it was definitely time to get my Wall-E on in HD. I say the drive deal was deceptive because Newegg nearly makes it out like the drive ONLY plays Blu-ray and nothing else. I had to Google the drive just to make sure it would still read DVD and CD’s and yes it does. The drive is a Lite-On iHOS104-08 and
Since I reinstalled Windows 7 I have been experiencing heat issues which is no surprise to me since I have noticed them on everything I have installed Windows 7 on. I honestly think at this point the reason Windows 7 runs faster is because somehow they rewrote the code to tax your system harder. I noticed right away on laptops while watching any type of video the laptop would kick the fans on full blast and they would stay on. The poor little ECS on board video chip was running so hot I couldn’t even touch it with my finger for 2 seconds without getting burned. This was obviously causing video issues after a few hours of use with the case closed. Once again I will cover more of this in my Windows 7 write up. I received an e-mail from Newegg about an Asus Radeon HD 4350 video card for $28.00 with a $1o.00 mail in rebate, The card is now back up to $35. I ordered that so i could use my Asus
With the current random shutdown issues I was able to rule out just about everything by swapping out parts with my gaming PC except the power supply. I started thinking maybe because of the new quad core processor and hard drive my power supply might not be up to snuff so I decided to grab a new one. I didn’t want to take any chances so I decided to get a name brand power supply this time around and had a few brands in mind. I headed out to my local Micro Center and ended up getting a smokin deal on an Enermax power supply. I picked up an Enermax Liberty 550 watt modular power supply. It was on orange sticker clearance and it was the last one left. The price was $65 but I couldn’t see what it was marked down from so I used their computers to check Newegg and they had it listed for $109 so I knew I was getting a great deal. To make the deal even sweeter when I was
I decided after I found out the hard drive was causing some issues I would update it with a new WD Black Edition 1TB drive but why stop there? I also purchased a new AMD Athlon X4 Phemon, unfortunatly since this is only an AM2 / AM2+ board AM3 Athlons were out of the question. Why would one want an AM3 Phenom over an AM2+ phenom? Well for starters you get more bang for your buck, second they are generally 95 watt vs. 125 watt which is a big plus in a pc that should be running Cool & Quiet (no pun intended). I picked up an AMD Phenom X4 9850 along with a WD Black Edition 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s to help pep up the media pc. I decided with the new drive I would give Windows 7 another go, I will be writing a review on my current impression of Windows 7 once I have a little more spare time. My initial impressions of the new OS were good but it was too problematic
So I have been having some issues lately with my Media PC and I think they are related to the slow WD Green edition hard drive and the fact that its running out of space which makes it work even harder. Most of us know when drives get full they tend to act up and it probably doesnt help that this drive is the slower Green edition but I couldn’t be sure because my case doesn’t have a damn hard drive activity light. WD did a good job on making the drive silent which also doesn’t help with trying to figure out if it the drive is what is making everything really slow lately so I decided to do something about it and add a IDE Activity LED. After examing the case I decided the best option would be to add some red LED’s to the glowing blue ring around the power button. I already had some on hand and the rest of the tools I needed so I decided to take a crack at
So I decided since I have this ECS Black Edition motherboard that absolutely refuses to allow me to control my fans through speedfan (yes I tried all of the advanced settings) that i would add a couple fans that can control themselves. I made my final decision on the Enermax fans because I trust the brand and they really didn’t have much more to choose from at my local Micro Center. So with further delay here they are.
Well here it is, the current center of my attention. This project started out as a means for an All-In-One device. I wanted something that would … 1- Play DVD’s 2- Play Live TV 3- Record TV 4- Have the ability to Pause / Rewind / Fast Forward Live TV 5- Have an integrated Guide 6- Play Blu-ray 7- Play Divx / MP3 and other formats 8- Have the ability to watch and record TV simultaneously 9- Support 5.1 & or 7.1 surround sound 10- Have the ability to play games 11- Have the ability to function as a lite internet device Yes thats a pretty big list I know. I started my build with modest parts but have since upgraded several times and continue to upgrade almost monthly. I will start this post with the original build and post the current and future upgrades as well. On with the Specs OS Make: Microsoft Model: Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit Upgraded Make: Microsoft Model: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit Case Make: ARC Model: 400BA Motherboard Make: ECS Model: