My Rig – The Red Babe…
Oh my, what an “adventure” for me in getting all these. At last, here it is, my new PC. Here’s how it was “born”.
MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU
ATI Radeon 8500 or Hercules Radeon 8500
AMD Athlon XP 1800+ or 2000+
Kingston DDR 333 256mb RAM
One of Chieftec casings
Some Maxtor HDD, preferably 60Gb and above
As you can see, it was really draft but around June – July 2002, I almost got it together and updated the configuration as prices of some stuffs drop while new variants of hardware I want were roll out.
MSI KT3 Ultra2
MSI Geforce 4 Ti 4200
AMD Athlon XP 2100+
Kingston DDR 333 256mb RAM
Maxtor FDB 40Gb HDD
Chieftec Dragon series Red casing.
Then I started scouting around for the Chieftec casing as it was not availble in Singapore yet as of July 2002 and got in touch with people from Superpet, Interactive Media and Eclipse Singapore. As excepted, I didn’t Interative Media to look for me or contact me in any way and they haven’t. It’s 07 August when this is written. They can’t be bothered, well, F* it, F* them. It’s my money anyway.
I also posted in Superpet’s forum enquiring on this casing but to no avail. The thread was posted on 31 July 2002. I left my name piror to this with Interactive Media and Superpet. No call from them either. Anyway, Martin from Superpet was kind enough to reply to my post in his forums but that was the end, no news nothing.
A post was done on Hardwarezone as well, people there are kind enough to let me know more and one mentioned that only SI or System Integrators get that casing I want. Wah! There might be chance I thought…contact Eclipse, a guy named Zac replied, I replied, he replied, I replied and that was it again…no news nothing, even got my number listed on the e-mail, no updates. Well, so be it.
Bought the ThermalTake Volcano 7 from someone from HardwareZone. A cool burnt in my pocket. Worth it, I thought, for my new AMD Athlon XP system.
Got the ThermalTake Hardcano harddisk cooler from the same guy who sold me the Volcano 7. Also bought a Maxtor 80Gb FDB HDD from Cybermind for 8.00
Got my money! Went straight to Sim Lim Square and got the MSI GeForce 4 Ti 4200 first and used it on the current system. It sure rocks! Got it for 4 @ Fuwell. And guess what, that week’s Sat, it went down to 9, .00 well, hardware are like women, can never predict them (or their prices). Anyway was happy to have the graphic card.
Went to Sim Lim Square and walk around, looking for alternative casing and hope that I can change my mind on the Chieftec casing, hmmm…there’s the green and yellow ones plus the black and silver/ aluminium ones from Chieftec ones, JUST NO RED ONES! Arggggh!
Cam across some iCute casings on a website. I thought, how about that? Posted for comments at HardwareZone. Price not bad also, quite cheap and it is spacious with good air flow and all…”I’ll wait and see”, I thought.
Posted for comments on overclocking the XP2100+ also, got some replies and leanrt some stuffs.
|Came across a post in Hardwarezone that someone is selling HEC casing at a really good price of for the black ones. And it comes with 400W power supply! I wasted no time. I got the casing with 2 PSU. Shared the price of one HEC casing + PSU with a guy who didn’t need the PSU but want the casing. Happy hugging my casing + 2 PSU all the way home via MRT. haha, yep, there were eyes and minds thinking, “What the hell is that guy doing with such a big box and taking the MRT.”And I thought (back!), me a simple DIY guy trying to DIY a PC…save money to take public transport so I can get that extra fan for me casing! Yep, got 2 fans with this HEC casing. 120mm ones!||
Today is the day when I woke up in the morning of 7 August 2002, where I will piece my PC together but first need to get the motherboard (MOBO), RAMS, CPU and harddisk drive. But first, got to go to work…
4pm, knock off! reach Sim Lim Square @ around 5pm, started my hunt. Collected price list from Cybermind, Fuwell and Superpet. “One of these 3 shops will earn my money”. I thought to myself. With all the pricelist in hand and my handphone cum calculator 🙂 in the other, I started planning…
This was what I got:
|As you can see:SM – Cybermind
FW – FuWell
SP – SuperpetBundle – Althon XP 2100+ with MSI KT3 Ultra 2
RAM – Kingston PC2700 DDR333 256Mb
HDD – Maxtor 80Gb FDB (SP does not have this)
H – Maxtor 40Gb FDB (SP does not have this)
ok, I thought, Superpet IT shall be. Off I went happily into the shop, “eh…can I have the MSI KT3 Ultra with the Athlon XP 2100+ bundle pls…I will also need…he started opening the drawers, seems to be checking something, and replied, “Sorry man, we don’t have the XP2100+ anymore. “OK”, I thought, “what about box version then?”. “Nope, neither that.”, “I tell you what I have, I have the Athlon XP 2000+ box version, tray ones out also, how about that?”
“I’ll be back” was the reply, off I went to do my maths again.
Hmmm, so I now will have to compare the Athlon XP 2000+ box version (which is + ) with all shops.
Seems, Superpet is still having the best price. OK, will get from them in the end but first a quick smoke outside the building. And it was up all the way to 6th floor where Superpet is located in Sim Lim Square.
|I’ll take the Althon XP 2100+ box with the MSI KT3 Ultra 2 then…this time another guy attended to me, he told me that MOBO is out of stock, will the MSI KT3 Ultra 2- BRU do? I thought to myself, damn! Today is the day everything went wrong…heck! I’ll take it after thinking about it for 5 minutes. My, that’s 0! for just the mobo and CPU alone…no choice, I desperately want my new PC up and running by tonight!Got all the stuffs, the motherbard, the CPU and, “Can I have a piece of Kingston DDR333 256mb RAM”. “Sorry, no stock for that also”. They list everything on their pricelist yet they don’t seem to have stock for anything that I originally want. Business seems good for them but can’t they just bother to update the pricelist or something! Anyway, comparing the price, Cybermind is selling the next cheapest DDR333 RAMS that I need, went to Cymax (a shop by Cybermind) on 5th floor. Got the RAMs at 2.00.|
|Took the lift down to the first floor and began my way home…HEY! Wait a minute! I have yet to get a FDD! Damn! Walk all the way back, got the FDD black from Cybermind and was trying to think what else I will need…oh yes! A NIC or Network Interface Card, always trusted SMC more, so got a SMC one for @ M Technics. Hmmm…would I need FDD and IDE cables? Doesn’t the MOBO comes with it? Better check, went to a less crowded corner of the shopping complex and opened up the box for my new red mobo. Yep, they’re in there. No need to buy more of those.|
With all that, I made my way home…
Athlon XP 2000+
ThermalTake Volcano 7 (A1124)
Kingston PC2700 DDR 333 256mb
MSI KT3 Ultra 2-BR
MSI Geforce 4 Ti 4200 64mb
Sony black FDD
HEC LX-6A19 ATX MIDI TOWER (Black)
Creative FOURPOINTSURROUND FPS1600
Went to work in the morning reluctantly, went straight home on the dot. Reached home and tried fixing the software part of the PC up. Felt sick with flu and a sore throat, inserted my Windows XP Pro CD, boot from CD ROM, some problems encountered…
SXS.DLL: Synta error in manifest or policy file “E:\I386\asms\6000\MSFT\Windows\Common\controls\controls.man” on line 0.
Error Instalaltion failed E:\I386\asms Error Message: Manifest P*censored* Error: invalid at the top level of the document.
One of the components that Windows needs to continue could not be installed.
Damn it! What is wrong, reboot and tried again, same thing…ok, I’ll try the other way, copies the CD’s i386 folder into C:\, copying half way, I felt too sick and it’s taking too long, took some medicine, and went to bed feeling really sick!
Woke up @ 8.20am. Phew, hasn’t slept that early for ages…anyway went to work immediately, switch on the PC, eh…copying done, tried running C:\I386\WINNT.exe, it ran, I happily waited…restarted, Unbootable volume error? What the fish?!
And with that, I waste almost half a day, formatting, re-installing, formatting, FDISK, formatting, re-installing…etc,etc,etc. It turned out, the Windows XP CD I had was damaged. At 5.05pm, I got another copy, gotta rush back home for the Live! Telecast of the National Day parade…
Reached home, insert the CD, boot from CD ROM, everything went as per normal. Installation was finally completed. What followed was the installation of all the softwares that I need to be on the system and it was all done.
I did an initial benchmark of the system:
Graphic card clocked @ Mem/Core – 513/ 250 (default graphic card speed) respectively.
It scored a modest 4442.
I then clocked it to the correct FSB of 133 and the CPU ran @ 1.67Ghz (the standard for a Athlon XP 2000+ processor). Load the High Performance settings in the BIOS, things like DDR SDRAM’s CAS timing were changed to 2, AGP Fast Write enabled etc.
Ran the 3D Mark 2001 SE software again and this time it hung @ “High Polygon Count 8 Lights”. No matter what I do, it hung. Anyway, I disabled that particular test and finished the benchmark scoring 5287. Seems fine with me since my old PC was never able to finish the benchmark at all!
I also ran PCMark 2002 and it scored “CPU 4957 Mem 3475 HDD 757″ comparing that, my old PC scored “CPU 1119 Mem 927 HDD 227″ Below is the configuration of the old and new system:
Well, enough testing now, time for some games. More to come, tidying up of the PC’s cables, modding etc. Stay Tuned!
Today, I discovered the HEC casing that I bought does not really have a 400W power supply unit (PSU), damn those who manufacturer/ retailer/ reseller who stick their own modified stickers on the power supply and it seems the guy who sold me was cheated too. One more thing on the shopping list next month…
Seems the 4000+ score on 3DMark is considered low for my setup and some are suggesting to me to upgrade my graphic and motherboard drivers, I did just that, upgraded the MSI KT3 Ultra 2 BR to the latest VIA 4-in-1 drivers (4 in 1 442v (a) p2) and the latest Detonator XP drivers (30.83), ran the 3D mark again, the score shoot all the way up to 9000+ !!!
See the results @ http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4196104
Fan was upside down! Yep, once in a while I was having the PC restart problem when playing games or doning some simple video editing so I went to Sim Lim and got myself some Artic Silver (AS3) thinking it was the thermal compund that is lousy and causing problem. I was using the default compund that came with the boxed AMD Athlon 2000+ processor but…
To my surprise when I lifted the V7 HSF, the old compound wasn’t touching all of the round copper base, it was slanted! What does that mean? It means the fan has been sitting upside down for almost one whole month! and it was that, yep that! which is causing the restarts problem, the processor overheated, and to protect the processor, the mobo restarts the PC. Anyway, replaced the compund with the AS3:
AS 3 Thermal Compund
…fixed the HSF back the right way but, the Tt logo became upside down!
As you can see from the above pic, I also got some round cables from Coolermaster to replace the normal flat IDE cables.
Here’s a close up:
Don’t worry, the 4 screws can be unscrewed, turn the logo and screw it back. No prob! Till the next update. Seeya! The next update should include some new monitors, a new casing maybe…and some tidying up of the cables on this new AMD and the old BlasterPC which is now running Mandrake most of the time 🙂
Oct 2002 – I found a design which initially is a necklace.
I had it modded to that exact design and the finished product: