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My First Build - Complete (Pics)

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February 4, 2010 11:13:29 PM

Greeting Tom's Hardware Patrons, about a month ago I started researching a build to replace a 7 year old Dell Dimension 8250. Here are the results of my efforts (and the help of the Tom's Hardware community, helping me pick the best components for my needs and budget.) Without further ado...


External view of my new build, ignore the messy wires on the desk.


Inside, be gentle it is my first build and I'm sure I could have done a better job routing wires but I'm happy with it.


Wire routing side, this is before I grouped and organized the "routed" wires.


I finished grouping and routing the wires. The side panel slides on nicely.

Sadly, I’m back on the Dell as the Sapphire 5870 was acting up and after talking with ATI they recommended I RMA the card back to Newegg. So for now I have a paper weight with 6 fans. Hopefuly Newegg will get me a replacement ASAP.

More about : build complete pics

February 5, 2010 2:09:06 AM

Bummer on the card, but that looks really nice. Great Job! I have the Antec 300, so I'm a bit more cramped (and my wiring is a little worse).

Trust me though, once you get your 5870 back you will be amazed by that computer. What was your 5870 doing?
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February 5, 2010 10:13:23 AM

EXT64 said:
Bummer on the card, but that looks really nice. Great Job! I have the Antec 300, so I'm a bit more cramped (and my wiring is a little worse).

Trust me though, once you get your 5870 back you will be amazed by that computer. What was your 5870 doing?


Thanks for the reply. The card was making a whining sound when high GPU demands were put on it. Now after a fair bit of research and a lengthy discussion is the Tom's Hardware Graphics section, I've come to the conclusion that it was likely a vibrating component. I've found at least two other tech forums where ATI owners of the 4000 and 5000 series cards had similar problems. Basically, as I understand it, when the voltage passes through the MOSFETs and coils these devices can vibrate. Considering the high frequency of voltage, the shaking sounds like a old dial up modem. One solution is to replace the card and hope that the replacement just doesn't do the same thing. Another solution suggested, is to try and clean up the voltage input signal with a quality UPS that will send a better sine wave. Lastly, someone gave instructions on modding the graphics card and installing a damper to parts that are moving.

Given the first option didn't cost me anything but time I tried it. If the card still has problems I might look into the UPS, as I should really have one anyhow. Seeing as my wife always runs the microwave and a space heater on the same wall socket and pops a breaker every couple of weeks. Sadly, the computer is in the basement on the same wall and when this happens it kills the power there too. (Note this has not happened since I built the new system, but saftey first.)
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February 5, 2010 11:27:40 AM

Well, I have pretty miserable power (and just a decent surge protector) and get no whining, so I'd say you did the right thing. You shouldn't have to mod the card to get it working at stock. The only problem I rarely get is the fan goes to 100% during boot (sounds like a hurricane) but then goes to normal speeds as soon as it gets in Windows.
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