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Old 11-26-2010, 09:50 AM   #41
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Post up the results, I'm curious to see how it turns out.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #42
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I have a SSD on my laptop as the boot drive, Win7 boots in seconds rather than the minutes I'd grown accustomed to.

If I built a desktop, I'm pretty sure I'd run smaller, faster hard drives on the system and externals for storage. I bought a 1Tb external when I got to Afghanistan and just filled it up the other day. Luckily, I had the foresight to buy another when I went on leave, so now I'm working on filling that one.

I can take my movies, music, TV shows, software, etc. with me, share it, grab more from friends, etc. External drives come in handy.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #43
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Sure it makes more sense on a laptop I think.

I went with the new, fast Samsung drives. "Only" 320GB, but I'll run 4 in Raid 10. That gives 640GB storage, plus a backup set of 640GB storage. 4 drives in Raid 10 should give fairly equivalent speed to an SSD, though it uses more power and possibly noise. I got an efficient power supply (>87%) and a fairly quiet case. If I find I need more space, I can add 2 more drives to the Raid, a high cap green drive, or go with a NAS or WHS solution.

It's my first rodeo, but I put a lot of research in it.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:57 PM   #44
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Sure it makes more sense on a laptop I think.

I went with the new, fast Samsung drives. "Only" 320GB, but I'll run 4 in Raid 10. That gives 640GB storage, plus a backup set of 640GB storage. 4 drives in Raid 10 should give fairly equivalent speed to an SSD, though it uses more power and possibly noise. I got an efficient power supply (>87%) and a fairly quiet case. If I find I need more space, I can add 2 more drives to the Raid, a high cap green drive, or go with a NAS or WHS solution.

It's my first rodeo, but I put a lot of research in it.
Just run that setup with an external 1-2TB external for storage.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:53 PM   #45
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Got a few of the parts in. The rest come today or tomorrow.

The case included hardware to mount the various components including a set of standoffs and bolts to retain the mobo. It did not include any insulators to isolate the mobo from the case. The hardware is definitely conductive. Is it best practice to use insulators or not? Does it even matter?
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:08 PM   #46
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Last time I built a MB I just used standoffs. It's been a long time.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:13 PM   #47
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I remember using those little fiber washers between the motherboard and the standoffs back in the 286 era, but I haven't seen 'em recently.

If you flip the board upside-down, you should find that all of the mounting holes are surrounded by an area absent any traces, and most likely unmasked and plated. I expect that the designers intend them to be used as grounds. On the last several dozen machines I've put together, I've not used any kind of isolation between the motherboard and the case standoffs.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:29 PM   #48
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Ditto, no production retail pc in existence that I have seen in the last 7-8 years used insulators on the motherboard mounts either.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:34 PM   #49
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Thanks. I assumed as much but won't have the mobo in my hands until tomorrow.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:46 PM   #50
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Just make sure you don't put a standoff in the wrong spot and have it contact the board. I have seen people fry boards doing that. Its a simple mistake to make.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #51
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Quote:
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I remember using those little fiber washers between the motherboard and the standoffs back in the 286 era, but I haven't seen 'em recently.
They were phased out when ATX came into the scene. Pretty much in the Pentium I 66-90 days.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:23 PM   #52
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You gotta forgive Joe, global warming just melted the glacier he was trapped in.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:28 PM   #53
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The last PC I built was in 1997 it was pretty epic. I think I splurged for the 56K modem.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:04 PM   #54
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They were phased out when ATX came into the scene. Pretty much in the Pentium I 66-90 days.
Yeah, that seems about right.

I'd kinda forgotten what a pain in the *** building PCs used to be. Remember how most of the XT and AT class motherboards had all the little oddball plastic snap-in risers, sometimes you had to slide the thing sideways into place, which knocked all the washers off the standoffs, the power connectors weren't keyed so it was possible to install them backwards, RAM in the form of 16 pin DIPs (dozens of them) rather than just one or two SIMMs, IRQ jumpers, two separate ribbon cables per hard drive (and you were grateful, because not everyone had a hard drive), and who here remembers using DEBUG to key in assembly commands in real time to low-level a hard drive?

aah... good times.


It's funny that you mention ATX, actually. I think my first two Pentium-class boards were still Baby-AT form factor, mostly because I had a really awesome case and I didn't want to part with it.

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You gotta forgive Joe, global warming just melted the glacier he was trapped in.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #55
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I remember the first cd rom drive I bought when I wanted to install some new fps and we only had a 14.4 modem so I couldn't download it (connection would reset after too long). It had like a million dip switches on the back and I had no instructions. I literally went through it from 0 on up until it worked... Modern computers are a miracle in retrospect. High speed serial connections are ftw.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:01 PM   #56
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I remember when 8x speed cd-roms came out and were like $400
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #57
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Hell, I remember hard drives measured in megabytes and the novelty of a color monitor, lol.

That was in elementary school...
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:20 AM   #58
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Quote:
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Hell, I remember hard drives measured in megabytes and the novelty of a color monitor, lol.

That was in elementary school...
We put our new computers to good use playing Oregon Trail. I have died of dysentery.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #59
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I think my first two Pentium-class boards were still Baby-AT form factor...
I still have my old Micron that I got for college in 1995. It was really nice for its day. Baby AT board, had a Pentium 100 which I upgraded after a few years to an Evergreen 233. I think that required setting some jumpers on the mobo. I maxed it out with 128 MB of RAM (4x 32MB SIMMs). I looked a couple years ago to see if it would be worth my effort to update it any more, and IIRC the fastest processor for which you can get a Baby AT mobo is a Pentium III 1 GHz. I didn't bother, and for some reason I still have it sitting in my office closet collecting dust.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:44 PM   #60
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That, and the death of the ISA / VLB slot really hurt me. The manufacturers did a reasonable job of transitioning away from them, to the extent that you could actually buy motherboards with a mix of all three of the major expansion card formats - ISA, VLB and PCI - all in one (I don't recall ever seeing an EISA / PCI board) but when the ISA and VLB slots finally went away altogether, I was pissed. I had a few fairly high-end expansion cards (a VLB Adaptec SCSI controller, a nice VLB VGA card, and an actual NE2000 ISA-16 card) which were rendered utterly worthless.

Funny though. After PCI had really settled in, it was actually kind of nice. For the first time since the PC/XT, there was just one single type of expansion slot, and no worries about whether Card A would fit into Machine B, or whether the one slot you had of Type C was going to get blocked by a SIMM, or some other witless thing.

And now we have, what, at least 470 different slot designs which all have the letters "PCI" in their name somewhere (not to mention the ill-fated AGP) all of which are, to some degree or another, incompatible with one another.
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