Geeks With Blogs
ICaramba Miguel Castro's blog about .NET and its effect on National Security, the Eco-system, and his daughter's sleeping patterns.

Click here for part 1, part 2, part 3part 5

The Video Cards

Besides cooling my CPU, I wanted to also cool my two NVidia 8800GTS cards (did I tell you that each has 640meg of RAM).  This two I did for not only cooling efficiency for overclocking potential, but also for space savings.  Check out these before and after shots of one of my video cards.


The first picture is the card in its original state and second is after I removed the cooling mechanisms and attached the water coolers.  This blew me away; the bulk of the card's size is spent in cooling it.  So you see, it was time to perform some video card surgery.  The GPU coolers are used are the new Stealth from Swiftech and were on backorder everywhere for over three weeks.  The cards still take up two slot covers unfortunately, but that's due to the slot plate that's mounted on them.  I suspect I may be able to find single-slot plates somewhere.  The great thing is that mounting two of them just a couple of slots apart does not give the appearance of over-crowdedness I would have if they had their originally cooling blocks on them - look at those things; they're monsters!


Memory - lots and lots of Memory

The motherboard I used allowed to me put as much as 8 gig of RAM on it, and heaven forbid that I should do any less so yes, I went all out and filled it with four 2gig modules of Corsair XMS2 PC-6400 RAM.  Before you give me any hassle over not buying PC-8800 or PC-10000 RAM, check out the price difference.  Two 1gig modules of PC-1000 Corsair Dominator RAM would have cost me $600.  A two 2gig module pack (4gig) of the PC-6400 RAM cost me $360 and if you check now, it's even cheaper.  So I spent a total of around $700 on a total of 8gig of RAM.  The Corsair XMS2 still has the same heat spreaders that the Dominator RAM has.  And of course, I could not in good conscience leave well enough alone and not attempt some kind of extra cooling on the memory so I bought the Corsair Dominator RAM Cooling Unit which plugs into one of the motherboard's fan plugs.  Luckily, one happen to be right next to the memory banks.


Take a look at this picture.  You get an excellent shot of how easy this case is to work with.  It obviously is designed to hold an extended ATX motherboard so with my standard ATX size, you have lots of room to play.  I don't care what you say about smaller being better; once you've had the comfort of working in a case like this, its enormous size does not bother you one bit.

OK, say it, go ahead.  Why so much RAM.  Because I can!  Deal with it.  I use VPC quite a bit; in fact I've used a couple of instances of VPC at the same time while also having Visual Studio open.  I'm also a fan of a certain game that loves to eat RAM, Microsoft Flight Simulator.  That's why 8gig.  I've run this rig with 3 VPC images open (XP), each with 2 gig of RAM allocated to them, Visual Studio 2008, and Microsoft Word; all open at the same time -- and all running at full speed.  And in my monitor setup, that looks sweet!

Who's got the Power

For my power supply unit, I went with the Maximum PC recommendation after learning that it's also the most kick-pass PSU out there.  It's a PC Power Silencer Quad 750 and it's quiet and slick looking.  No flashy lights here just a nice single-rail design with all the state-of-the-art cables you can want, even PCI-E power cables for both my video cards.  All the write-ups say that this 750 is more than a match for many 1000 watt power supplies on the market.  Also, with this case, it sits at the bottom instead of the traditional top-mounted design.  Call me weird, but I kind like that design much better.  The only deceiving thing is that the cable setup in the Maximum PC rig go from the PSU through a slot at the bottom of the case's side, then back in through a side slot much closer to the motherboards plugs.  The problem is that the 24-pin connector on this PSU is not long enough to do what the Maximum PC picture showed.  Later I found that those guys had the PSU company make them a power supply with custom-length cables !   As for me, I had to purchase a couple of cable extensions for the 24-pin and 8-pin motherboard connectors (yes, you will be using both of those with the EVGA motherboard).

Click here for part 1, part 2, part 3part 5

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 3:16 AM | Back to top

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