Arctic Cooling aftermarket CPU cooler
This Old House Dust
AMD CPU retail boxes have always come with generic cooling fans, and, if you’re not overclocking – I’m not – I have found them adequate in the past. So I quit looking for the “perfect cooler” like the Swiftech MCX462, which I experimented with in 2002. (I yanked it, because it sounded like a NASA liftoff. See the preceding link to my article).
So when the alarm went off last week, I searched this room in the apartment until I found the ceiling smoke alarm, and its 9V battery indeed was shot, but when I replaced it, the alarm didn’t stop.
Well, I can say one thing right away about the CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 case. It’s BIG – measuring 23-1/2 x 10 inches, including helicopter-style landing skids.
Another thing: it’s QUIET. CoolerMaster really soundproofed this design well. It’s even quieter than any laptop I ever owned. I can hardly hear it at all.
Well, the power supply arrived last week. I finally got around to installing it in my new Silverstone upgrade project. The 24 pin connector fit the motherboard. I installed the CDR/DVD, the DataPort slot for the big 300GB second storage drive, the 40GB SATA C drive, the floppy drive, and all the connectors and cables. Let’s see. Anything else? Oh yes, my old faithful AGP graphics card.
Well, here we are at another impasse! In the picture to the left, the new ASUS A8N32-SLI motherboard is mounted, memory and CPU are installed, and most of the internal cabling and wiring is connected. The new hard drives and floppy are not installed yet, for easier access in tight quarters to the main motherboard power connector. This connector is the white 24 pin socket in the foreground (you can click the image for a larger picture).
This tale is the PC equivalent of “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”. It’s not a product review or complaint. Some days just work out that way:
About a year and a half ago I suddenly got the notion to build my own Multimedia Center PC. “I can do this”, I said. I ordered an absolutely stunning jet black case from Silverstone, styled to stack with and look like a stereo component. I filled it with spare parts: a DFI LANParty NFII motherboard, AMD 3000+ CPU, Matrox G550 graphics card, and a 60gig hard drive that had survived two or more older projects.
For this year we picked AMD 3000+ as the price-performance sweet spot. The picture shows a DFI Lan Party motherboard (nVidia chipset) in the Cooler Master case. We had some horrible problems and ended up not taking pictures to document the project.
The problem turned out to be a damaged CPU chip, probably caused by improper packing at Outpost.com. It took over a month to pinpoint the problem, by which time we were using the ASUS A7N8X-E motherboard instead. Outpost.com did make good with a no questions asked return authorization.
Dataport V – Review
It is a pleasure to be able to add a great product to our “recommended” list from time to time. Such a product is the DataPort, a hard drive removable cartridge system made by Connector Resources Unlimited, of Vancouver WA. CRU was recently acquired by LabTech.
In our recent article Building a PC 2002, we mentioned that we were going to replace our BayCoolers with the CRU system, but our order did not arrive in time. Just as well, for this is a product worth more than mention in passing.
Putting it all together
This photo shows the motherboard mounted on Cooler Master’s neat removable motherboard subchassis. We’re about to mount the MCX462 heat sink and cooling fin assembly to the four mounting posts installed on the Soyo motherboard. These surround the AMD Athlon XP 1800+ chip, already seated (brown rectangle at the back of the MB, about in the middle). The spring tensioner screws in the foreground will be used to mount the massive copper heat sink and finned cooling pins. The 80mm cooler fan is then installed on top of that.
Part I: Assembling the Materials
March 24, 2002: It was just April of last year that we rolled out a new machine and a new major article for savvy Summitlake.com readers: Building Your Own PC. It was not the first such project for us, but it was the most ambitious. Starting with a high-end “barebones” box (now discontinued) and motherboard combo from PC Power and Cooling , we added a 1GHz Pentium III CPU, our hard drives and PCI cards, DIMMS, and the various goodies that go into a loaded system.
But you knew that, sooner or later, we’d again catch upgrade fever!
There are many excellent technical sites to assist us in building our own PC’s. We won’t try to duplicate what others have done better. For technical details, and a much more complete “how-to”, we recommend Tom’s Hardware. Before you get lost in tech talk about motherboards and chip overclocking, you might want to proceed directly to their step-by-step article Do-It-Yourself PC System.
When you’re ready to begin: print out the “Tom’s Hardware” article. (Note: as far as we can tell, Tom’s sells nothing. They are an established and widely respected reviewing service). But, first, then, why would we be writing this article?
- Because we promised to
- Because it’s a cool experience
- Because you may save some money
- Because we found there may be a few surprises.
How could you save money? Right now (May 2001) is an unparalleled opportunity for bargain-basement PC prices. Vendors are hurting for sales, all vendors, and even mighty Dell is discounting its desktop systems. A coworker bought a fast Pentium III for $599, and got three years of EarthLink free. Or, maybe she got three years of EarthLink for $599 and got the PC free. The deal left many of the rest of us scratching our heads.