The new system

A while back, I talked about my new computer. The biggest change? Going quad-core. True, I have no use for such hardware currently, but it’s a bit of future-proofing that I could afford. I don’t use a laptop that much, so that’s why I’ve poured money into my desktop as with my current usage habits, my four-year old Dell Inspiron 5100 is still more than enough. Since I first mentioned my new system back in January, I’ve had some time to play reflect on it. Here are a few of my notes from that.

Buy Local?

I’ve always ordered my stuff from Netlink Computers, out in BC, mainly because of the great prices. I haven’t really had a problem with them and the service has been great. However, this time, the PSU I ordered (Corsair 620HX) was DOA. This basically setback everything, as I couldn’t run the system without power. I ended up having to RMA the defective unit back to Corsair directly, which did not have a depot in Canada. The whole process was relatively pain-free (thanks to Corsair’s no-nonsense replacement policy), but it did take about two weeks to receive a replacement after sending out the dead one.

Buying locally might be more expensive, depending on where you live, but in times like these it can save you a lot of hassle.

Videocards can block

Watch out for the videocard and motherboard combination you choose. With the Asus P5K-E WiFi motherboard I chose and the EVGA 8800GTS (G92), the videocard blocks two of the six internal SATA ports/connectors. The two that are blocked are “primary” connectors, which means that only these can host boot devices. See the picture below.


All G92-8800GTS videocards are the same size, so you’ll run into this problem with this motherboard regardless of which brand 8800GTS you choose. I’d advise you to look for a motherboard that has the SATA connectors mounted sideways from the motherboard. You’ll still want to check forums, etc. to make sure that your chosen videocard doesn’t block any of the ports. Luckily, I’m not affected drastically by the problem, since I only have two HDDs and an optical drive connected with SATA. Those with crazy RAID setups might be in trouble, though.

Dual-slot videocards

The 8800GTS (G92) is a dual-slot videocard because of the extra space taken up by the fan/cooler assembly. Installing it in a case should be no problem, but the Antec Sonata III chassis I was using had protruding tabs between each slot. These tabs are supposed to act as guides for single-slot cards, but with dual-slot cards they get in the way. I had to just push the videocard into place and forcefully screw it down; this resulted in the metal near the slot bending a little, as you can see below.


It’s no big deal, but just something to watch out for.

Overall, despite the minor setbacks, I enjoyed building the system. Some people like to rebuild cars/engines in their spare time, but I think I’ll just have to settle for building computers. ๐Ÿ™‚

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But feel free to indulge in some introspective thought.