A THG reader-submitted article: Thoughts/opinions/etc.?
1) The idea of a THG article written by a fan sounds good. Surely THG/THGC has some patrons who are just as skilled as THG staff members. So the idea has merit, as these fans can offer THG articles in areas of expertise that THG may or may not have the skill or desire to cover. Worst case scenario is that it at least gives us filler between good THG articles.
2) The execution of this particular article was <i>relatively</i> informative. However, I believe a lot of the true golden nuggets of the article were <i>not</i> intentional. It was the 'bloopers' if you will that the 'common' enthusiast putting a system together can make that made it informative. The rest of the information was really nothing new and easily researched. The article itself held no real content as far as I could figure. It was just 'a man with a dream PC' type of article. We could write a million of those and still not cover every possible dream PC.
3) The author himself frankly scared me with a couple of the comments in there. For example (bolding done by me):
"<font color=red>I chose the Gigabyte GA-8IHXP based on what I had read on the Tom's Hardware Guide web site, and on the number of items it offered (<b>1066 FSB</b>, LAN, USB 2.0, on-board audio, etc)</font color=red>"
"<font color=red>Unfortunately, I plugged the CPU fan into the Power Fan plug initially, simply because of the way the fan cable wrapped naturally around the unit. <b>I didn't see the CPU Fan plug until later.</b></font color=red>"
"<font color=red>I found that <b>the ATX_12V plug</b> from the power supply <b>wasn't connected to the motherboard</b>. According to Gigabyte's documentation, this should have prevented the system from starting up. I plugged it in. The system still started up just fine.</font color=red>"
"<font color=red>Don't ask me how, but somehow I managed to plug a keyed connector into its socket upside down.</font color=red>"
"<font color=red>The Gigabyte motherboard came with Intel Chipset software for the 850E chip, so I installed it. <b>I have no idea what it does.</b></font color=red>"
Now, had I just spent nearly 4 grand on a new PC, would I have researched and assembled it in such haste? Hell no. And I'm <b>sure</b> that the motherboard manual must have had instructions on connecting the 12v plug and plugging the CPU's fan into the CPU fan power.
The whole article was just riddled with comments that made me feel this whole affair was incredibly rushed. And not once did I hear the typical warnings of "Be properly grounded!"
Conclusion: The concept of THG fan-written articles is good. The specific fan that was chosen to write the article though proceeded to assemble the PC with the skill of an untrained monkey as far as I could read. Further, his knowledge of specific PC information (RAID, FAT32/NTFS, USB keyboards, FSB, ATA, drivers, bootable devices, partitioning and formatting, etc.) was just plain sad. So in effect, the article was rather uninformative from what it was trying to be about, but however was a very <i>good</i> article of what <b>not</b> to do when building a PC.
It's like reviewing that very first video tape that your grandparents ever made with their brand new camcorder. You see the lens cover wasn't removed in one scene. You see the nausiating blur as the holder of the camera whirls around rapidly to face people. This article is just that. What <b>not</b> to do.
LOL. im a little suprised his computer would boot missing the P4 AUX connector, or that he somehow avoided blowing up his floppy drive :smile:
I have to admit, I was a little stumped on the missing connector as well. As for the floppy drive though, I've never seen one that would blow up from an upside-down cable. In fact, I've personally worked with floppies where their connector is flipped, and you can't tell what's wrong until you think to try putting the floppy cable on backwards. Heh heh.
im not sure i would have gone with 5400rpm drives though, think i would prefer 2 7200's for greater sustained transfer rates, even if one does get less capacity.
That was another thing that bugged me. I mean appearantly this article was about building a system to do video conversions, but then he goes and intentionally throws in slower hard drives just for a little extra space. I've <i>never</i> heard of a videophile doing such a thing. They're <i>always</i> obsessed with drive speed as well as how well the drive can maintain it's speed as the platters fill with data.
And I've also <i>never</i> heard of a videophile use a RAID 0 configuration. They'd never risk their precious video files like that.
Frankly, I found it as yet another of the many examples of what <i>not</i> to do. It was at least good for a laugh though.
I agree, also more pics should have been included, I am not very content with non-visual supported texts.
I agree, but I was willing to let that slide a bit. I mean pictures aren't something that most home enthusiasts would do well anyway.
Yes his knowledge is scary, one of the worst IMO is the 533MB FSB. Seriously, P4s actually transfer at PC50 bandwidth speeds?!
Heh heh. Yeah. It was one of those articles that really could have used a little editing first if just to clear out that kind of stuff. More than that though, the guy just obviously had only spent a short time catching up with modern PCs. I'd consider him to be as much of a real expert as Big Bird is a real bird and Barney is a real dinosaur.