Eric L. Carlson's Home Computer SystemUpdated July 23, 2011
|My latest build (Internal components) Initial i7 build: Feb 14, 2010|
|Quad core plus hyperthreading, 8M Cache, 2.80 GHz (3.46 GHz Max Turbo). The stock CPU cooler if very quiet at idle, and still pretty quiet under sustained heavy load.|
|System is running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|OCZ Platinum Low Voltage 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC-12800) Dual Channel Memory Kit (2 + 2)|
1TB Hard drive
|Caviar Black 1TB, 32.Meg cache, 7200 RPM|
|380 Watts output capability is overkill considering the system idles at about 53 Watts output from the Power Supply (66 Watts input), and peaks (when artifically forced) at about 164 Watts output from the Power Supply (204 Watts input). It never even reaches 50% load, even when artifically forced, and idles below 20% load. Under normal operation, the computer spends most of its time at or near idle, so most of the time it's operating below the 80+ efficiency rating's range of 20-100% output power.|
|Nice case to work with. The drive rails and trays are convenient. I replaced the stock case fan with the fan and speed controller listed below. The only reason I didn't use the stock fan with a speed controller is that I wanted a fan with an RPM sensor, which the stock fan didn't have. The complete system is now very quiet.|
|Sony Optiarc||CD/DVD Writer
|24X SATA CD/DVD Rewritable Drive.
DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM.
|16X EIDE/ATAPI CD/DVD Rewritable Drive.
DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW, LightScribe. Includes Nero 6.6 software.
|Cooler Master||Rounded drive cables||TTC-A24 for CD and DVD drives.
(Not in use: TTC-F10 for floppy drive)
|Vantec||120.mm case fan
|"Stealth" case fan. Not at all quiet at full speed, but very quiet at 950.RPM. This was the only non-quiet component in the system, so I added a speed controller (below) to make it quiet.|
|PCToys||Adjustable fan speed controller
|Goes inside the computer, and has a knob to adjust the speed of the fan (above).|
|PCIe X16 (unmodded)|
|PCIe X1 modded (was PCIe X16) (The modded card is not part of my i7-860 system)|
|Some of my newer stuff (and old stuff I still use)|
|HP||LaserJet 2100 TN laser printer||I have it connected via its built-in LAN connection.|
|Monoprice||Monitor arms (2)
Model # 7562
|I have these on both of my monitors, but I removed one of the two arm segments on each for more stability and less clutter. On the 24" monitor, I also had to tighten the rotation and swivel bolts to keep the monitor from rotating or drooping on its own.|
|Monoprice||Cat6A STP (Shielded) LAN cables
Model # 5900, 5901, 5904
|To reduce the potential for interference with my ham radio equipment, I replaced all my LAN cables with Cat6A shielded LAN cables. I wasn't actually noticing any obvious interference, but they are not expensive, so I upgraded my cables anyway.|
|Evoluent||Vertical Mouse 3 Wireless||My latest mouse. Still haven't decided if I like it any better than others.|
|Microsoft||Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000||My previous mouse, before I decided to try the Vertical Mouse.|
|Logitech||MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse||Heidi uses this mouse now.|
|24" (actually slightly more than 24.1") IPS LCD monitor. 1920x1200. This is my new primary monitor, and the 1905FP is secondary, in portrait orientation.|
|19" PVA LCD, DVI & Analog inputs
1280x1024 Landscape & 1024x1280 Portrait orientations, 8-bit per pixel color, 20.ms, Built-in 4-port USB hub; Height, tilt, left/right rotation adjustable, wide viewing angle
|Princeton||VL1916 19" LCD monitor||19" TN LCD, DVI & Analog inputs, 1280x1024. Not exactly a great monitor, but okay as a second monitor.|
|P3 International||Kill A Watt EZ P4460
AC power meter
|Yes, I have both a P4460 and a P4400.|
|P3 International||Kill A Watt P4400
AC power meter
|900 Watt/1500 VA Battery Backup|
|Canon||CanoScan LiDE 50
Wireless G Router
|Running Tomato firmware.|
|Canon||i860 color printer|
|HP||LaserJet 5p laser printer||Still works great. I did add memory to it. It idles at only about 2 watts.|
USB to Parallel port adapter
|Used with the LaserJet 5p laser printer. It works great with XP and with Windows 7 64-bit, and I didn't have to install any drivers for it for either OS.|
|Vornado||Zippi desk fan||Very nice when you want a mild breeze at your desk and don't want a lot of noise along with it. Runs at about 15 watts.|
|Z-Line||Matrix 60" Glass Computer Desk|
|Staples||Tillman Leather Executive Chair||Color: Chestnut|
|Radio Shack||Automatic power strip, adjustable||Model 61-2781, circa 1989. Automatically turns off my speakers and desk fan when I turn off my PC. This one is adjustable, so it works correctly with the 6 watt sleep mode of my i7 system.|
|Power Sentry||Smart Surge Protector PPP3275WA/17||Previously automatically turned off my speakers and desk fan when I turned off my PC. Unfortunately, it would sometimes wake up when using the 6 watt sleep mode of my i7 system, and it isn't adjustable.|
|Creative||2.1 speaker system
|The sound is good, but the desktop speakers are heavy and tip over really easily (not exactly the smartest design), so I use Velcro straps to secure them to the side rails of my glass top desk, so they don't fall and shatter the glass. They also draw 15.Watts when sitting idle, so it's a good idea to turn them off when you're done using your computer.|
|Atech Flash||USB 2.0 card reader
|8-in-1 memory card reader. About 4 times faster than my old USB 1.1 card reader.|
|Generic||2.5" USB 2.0 drive enclosure||2.5" Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure for IDE (Parallel ATA) laptop drives. Self-powered.|
|Adaptec||3.5" USB 2.0 drive enclosure
|3.5" Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure for IDE (Parallel ATA) drives|
|Koutech||3.5" USB 2.0 drive enclosure
|Clear Acrylic 3.5" Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure for IDE (Parallel ATA) drives. Looks great, but the fan is loud, so I don't use it much.|
C-2100 Ultra Zoom
|10x image stabilized optical zoom, 2.1 MegaPixel, SmartMedia memory cards. Still a great camera, and still used regularly. It's probably taken well over 40,000 photos.|
|Some of my older stuff|
| I tried updating the BIOS from 1.0a to 1.0c, and the drive had to be replaced under warranty, which took two weeks.
The replacement drive wouldn't write to the brand of CD-R media I had been using with the original drive, but it worked fine with another brand of media.
|APC||(See above)||Smart-UPS 1400||This died, and I replaced it with the CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD listed above.|
|BFG||GeForce 6200oc PCI video card|
|Matrox||G450 PCI video card|
|P-III based. 100.Mhz FSB. Retail boxed with (rather large) heat-sink and fan. Yes it's ancient, but it works reasonably well, runs very cool, and uses little power (the whole box draws about 60 watts input from the AC, even under load, when using an Antec EarthWatts 380 power supply).|
|Socket 370, Micro-ATX, SIS 630ET chipset,
built-in LAN, Audio, Video, 5 USB v1.1 ports, 2 serial ports
Using with 768.Meg RAM installed.
|160 Gig, 8.Meg cache, 7200 RPM
Series: Barracuda 7200.7 Plus
|BusLink||USB 2.0 card
|5-port High Speed USB 2.0 PCI card. NEC chipset. I plugged it in, and it worked.|
|LeadTek||TV/FM/Video Capture card||WinFast TV2000 XP Deluxe. Great for watching cable TV on my second monitor. It can record too, and has a nice remote.|
|CompUSA/FMI||Fan speed controller and alarm
|Goes inside the computer, and has a 3-position switch to adjust the speed of a fan, and beeps if the fan stops spinning.|
|2-computer to 1-device Hi-Speed USB 2.0 auto/manual switch.
UPDATE 2: There is also a new version of the driver that fixes the problem by creating the correct reg keys during install.
UPDATE 1: It's fixed. I contacted Justcom again, and the solution was to add the registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Justcom\USBShare\ to both computers, and now the driver software remembers the selected printer, and automatically switches when printing. We're using Heidi's Canon i850 printer.
|I'm actually using Heidi's Graphire 3 tablet, with my Graphire 2 pen (we can't find the 3 pen), instead of a mouse.|
|4-port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hub
works powered or unpowered
|SanDisk||USB flash drive Cruzer Micro 512.Meg||512.Meg USB flash drive|
|I didn't really need one of these, but it was only about $10, so I got one just in case.|
|Belkin||Wireless G Router
|802.11g, 54.Mbps, 2.4Ghz, WEP, WPA|
|Belkin||Wireless G Desktop Network Card F5D7000||802.11g, 54.Mbps, 2.4Ghz, WEP, WPA. Probably includes support for WPA in Windows 2000, like the notebook card does.|
|Belkin||Wireless G Notebook Network Card F5D7010||802.11g, 54.Mbps, 2.4Ghz, WEP, WPA, 32-Bit CardBus. Includes support for WPA in Windows 2000.|
|Microsoft||Wireless G Notebook Network Card MN-720||802.11g, 54.Mbps, 2.4Ghz, WEP, WPA, 32-Bit CardBus. Requires 3rd-party software to support WPA in Windows 2000.|
|Bytecc||External drive enclosure
|USB 2.0 external 3.5"/5.25" drive enclosure
Very loud cooling fan, so I don't leave it running.
|Belkin||USB 1.1 hub
|4-port USB 1.1 hub.
I gave this to my father and got myself a USB 2.0 hub.
|4-port DSL/Cable router
To replace my finicky Netgear router
This one was much more reliable up until it died: the Status and Print Err lights remain red, the Power and Print Act lights remain green, and any ports with computers connected just flash slowly.
|600x1200 48-bit USB Flatbed Scanner
I gave this to my father since he had more use for it.
|17" CRT monitor
Was second monitor for dual displays, now it's retired.
Verto GeForce4 Ti 4200
|NVidia chipset, AGP, 64.Meg, Dual outputs, I was running dual 17" CRT monitors each at 1024x768, 85.hz|
|Western Digital||Hard drive
|120 Gig Special Edition, 8.Meg cache, 7200 RPM|
|Western Digital||Hard drive
|80 Gig Special Edition, 8.Meg cache, 7200 RPM|
|Western Digital||Hard drive
|40 Gig, 2.Meg cache, 7200 RPM
To replace the painfully slow hard drive in my (formerly) Compaq system
|A lot faster than dial-up!|
|NetGear||Internet Gateway Router
|Built-in 4-port 10/100 switch.
It had problems maintaining connections, so I replaced it.
|3com||PCI LAN card
|I had to replace the heater lamp in July 1998. Cost was $15 + $3 shipping from The Printer Works|
|HP||Ink Jet printer
I donated this to charity long ago.
|Microsoft||Wheel Mouse Optical||USB, PS/2
A nice sized, good quality, optical mouse at a reasonable price
|Set up in Windows Control Panel as:
1 = Thrustmaster Flight Control System
2 = CH Flightstick Pro
3 = CH Flightstick
4 = 4-Button flight yoke w/throttle
|2.Meg, Serial data sync|
|PNY||USB FlashCard reader||For our Olympus digital cameras.
Reads CompactFlash Type I/II, SmartMedia, IBM Microdrive
Has been replaced with a USB 2.0 reader
|Uninterruptible Power Supply
Blackout Buster BU6
Serial data connector for monitoring and automated shutdown
|Built-in 5 watt stereo amplifier. For those who've asked, the power adapter is 16.VDC at 1.1A, center positive, so anything that can put out a clean 16.VDC at at least 1.1 amps should work.|
I donated this to charity long ago.
|Adaptec||PCI SCSI card
|For scanner and ZIP drive|
|Internal SCSI, 3-1/2", Blue|
|My (formerly) Compaq 633.Mhz system
(See my review below)
Now used as my secondary test system, running Linux and FreeBSD
Celeron 633.Mhz, 15.Gig hard drive, 40x CD-ROM, 64.Meg RAM (shared with video), 1.44 Meg floppy, 56.K V.90 modem, on-board sound and video, keyboard, mouse, Windows ME
|It died, so I replaced it
Built-in video and ESS ES1988 Alegro sound
|Includes special feature keys|
|Compaq||IDE CD-ROM drive
Quantum Fireball LCT1
|Too slow, so I replaced it
15.Gig, 4400 RPM
|n/a||Memory||One 64.Meg PC-100 SDRAM|
|n/a||Memory||One 256.Meg PC-100 SDRAM|
|Here's the Presario 5BW220 review I posted on www.iBuyer.net on Nov 9, 2000.|
Good deal, but no powerhouse
I got mine at CompUSA for $400 after $100 mail-in rebate and $150 in-store rebate, so I can't complain about the price. I had to check the CompUSA web site for store stock every morning during the sale, and then run to the store as soon as they had them.
The best thing about this computer (other than the price) is that it is very quiet.
The worst thing is that it has a slow hard drive (only 4,400 RPM, compared to the low-end IDE standard of 5,600 RPM, and the high-end IDE standard of 7,200 RPM). A faster hard drive makes a big difference.
It comes in a useable configuration: while some other low priced computers have only 32.Megs of RAM, which is not sufficient if you actually plan to use the thing, this comes with 64.Megs, which is useable. There is a slot for one more SRDAM module, and I'll be adding another 128.Meg soon.
It comes with 3 free PCI slots (the fourth slot has a modem), but no ISA slots, so I couldn't use my old SCSI card for my scanner and ZIP drive. I had to get a PCI SCSI card. You also can't upgrade the video card since the video is built in to the motherboard, and there is no AGP slot.
It detected my new PCI SCSI card and my PCI LAN card with no problems. It also detected my IDE CD-RW drive, SCSI ZIP drive and SCSI scanner with no problems.
It doesn't have much room left for future expansion. I filled all the external drive bays with my old CD-RW drive and ZIP drive. There is space for a second internal hard drive, one more PCI card, and one more memory chip. There is only one serial port, but there are 3 open USB ports for external devices (the keyboard uses the fourth USB port).
The case design provides very easy access to all the internal components, which makes me very happy.
For now, it is an adequate replacement for my old 166.Mhz computer (check out my old computer at [This page]), but if I had built a new computer (which I had planned to do before I saw the sale), I would have built a faster and more expandable machine (at twice the price)
|Previous custom 166.Mhz System|
|AT style case with power supply|
|Digital Research||40X CD-ROM drive
|Really a BTC BCD-40XH rev-U1.6|
|The real thing|
|PLL52C59 clock-generator chip.
Intel 82371SB PCI Bus Master IDE controllers.
Intel 82437VX Pentium Processor to PCI bridge.
|With fan and heat sink.
133.Mhz clock speed.
56.k V.90 PCI
|Lucent LT Win Modem (Mars)
Won't connect above 26,400 over my Verizon phone lines.
|Drivers indicate Diamond Technologies DT197A30|
3D-2000, 2.Meg PCI
|Using S3 Virge PCI(325) Windows 98 native drivers|
|Western Digital||Hard drive
|IDE - UDMA/33|
|Four 16.Meg EDO SIMMs|
|Some of my even older stuff|
|Logitech||iFeel Mouse||USB, Optical
Provides feedback to the user, but we stopped using this feature. I gave this mouse to Heidi for her laptop.
Parallel external 100.Meg
|Same as an Iomega
ZIP drive, except beige instead of blue
I still use it with other computers
|Wincows CE, Serial data transfer|
|Texas Instruments||Data organizer
|64.K, Serial data transfer|
|SMC||PCI LAN card
|BenQ (Acer)||IDE CD Writer/Reader
|2x write/rewrite, 6x read.
|Mouse Systems||Racing Wheel
|(HINT: You set it up in Windows Control Panel as a joystick.)
Click here for a picture of the instructions.
|CH Products||Joystick||Rarely used. (HINT: It doesn't use drivers. You set it up in Windows Control Panel as a joystick.)|
|Adaptec||SCSI host adapter
Came with SCSI ZIP drive.
600 II CD
(Paragon 600 II SP)
SCSI host adapter.
Originally had its own SCSI host adapter.
|AVerMedia||TV/FM card||TV/FM98||The reception was so bad I returned it|
|SupraMax 56i||It kept causing Windows error messages, so I replaced it
I had to force it to V.34 mode to connect over my Verizon phone lines
|Sportster 33.6||It kept disconnecting (possibly because of noisy phone lines) so I replaced it|
|MediaVision||Sound card||Pro Audio Studio||Had compatibility problems, and the original company is out of business|
|Western Digital||Hard Drive||2.1Gig||IDE|
|Western Digital||Hard Drive||500.Meg||IDE|
|CD-ROM drive||SCR-830||8x IDE, rev-3.01
Didn't allow digital data extraction from audio CDs
|n/a||CD-ROM drive||2x||With proprietary controller card|
(Now owned by Seagate)
|Tape backup drive||TapeStore 250||Internal, uses floppy controller|
|n/a||Floppy drive||1.2Meg||5-1/4 inch|
|n/a||Video Card||VESA Local Bus|
|n/a||Memory||8.Meg||Eight 1.Meg 32-pin SIMMS|
|Software (This list is very old. Maybe I'll update it someday.)|
|PSPad||PSPad||4.3.3||Free full-featured programmer's text editor|
|Sygate||Sygate Personal Firewall||5.6||Free Personal Internet firewall and application control|
|IZArc||IZArc||3.5 beta 3||Free archive manager (ZIP, etc.)|
|Werkema||SpaceMonger||1.4||Free graphical drive use display - Excellent utility for cleaning up your files and freeing up drive space|
|FileZilla||FileZilla||2.2.x||Free FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client. Supports SSL/SFTP.|
|SpyBotSD||SpyBotSD||1.4||Free spyware removal tool|
|SeaMonkey||Mozilla SeaMonkey||1.0.x for Windows||Free Top-Notch Web browser & E-mail client suite|
|Ahead Software||Nero Burning ROM||6.6.x||CD/DVD writing software|
|IrfanView||IrfanView32||3.x||Free graphics file viewer and processor, with batch processing|
|Jasc||Paint Shop Pro||7 & 9||Photo editor|
|ACD Systems||ACDSee Classic||2.4x||Fast graphics file viewer and browser|
|ImageWalker||ImageWalker||2.2x||Photo manager, and web photo album generator|
|WinSCP||WinSCP||3.7.x||Free SCP (Secure Copy) client|
|PuTTY||PuTTY||0.58||Free SSH (Secure Shell) client|
|Microsoft||Windows 2000/XP||Windows 2000/XP Pro||Operating Systems|
|Microsoft||Office 2000/2003||Office 2000/2003 Pro||Office application suite|
|SpeedFan||SpeedFan||4.x||Free temperature monitor and fan speed control app|
|Grisoft||AVG Anti Virus System||6.0||Free Anti-virus scanner|
|Lavasoft||AD-Aware||6.x||Free spyware removal tool|
|7-Zip||7-Zip||3.13||Free archive manager (ZIP, etc.)|
|ZoneLabs||ZoneAlarm||4.5.x||Free Personal Internet firewall and application control|
|Knoppix||Linux||3.x||Operating System - Boots and runs from CD|
|SmartFTP||SmartFTP||1.0.xx||FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client|
|Ipswitch||WS_FTP||Limited Edition v5.0x||Free FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client|
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