Skip to main content

Can CPUs Make PCs Faster & Quieter?

Build 1, Continued

As far as the build itself went, the micro-ATX motherboard was dwarfed inside the Cosmos 1000 case. We soon came to appreciate the rounded edges on the sheet metal inside the Cosmos 1000, and in general found it a great enclosure in which to build (and tear down) components. Some care is required when handling the Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H graphics card, because it has cooling fins that not only project out through the back of the case, but are flimsy enough to bend very easily if you happen to bump into anything while fitting the card into a PCI-e x16 slot on the motherboard. We also really liked working with the cables from the Corsair 450VX power supply, because all the cable bundles were sheathed in nylon mesh, and relatively easy to route and use. We’d love it if they modularized their cabling on this unit, but at a retail price of around $90, we can also understand why they didn’t spend the money necessary to add this feature. When inserting or removing Corsair Dominator memory, care is likewise required, since the fins on top of the modules are extremely sharp-edged and can slice unwatched fingers with the greatest of ease.

When viewed from the bottom, you can see where CoolMaster parks the PSU, the intake fan and the 6 3.5" drive slots, from left to right.

When viewed from the front, you can see the rear exhaust van and vent, as well as the back of the motherboard port block.

Power consumption on this build was modest, according to the Seasonic Power Angel we used to monitor consumption. During boot up, the system consumed between 98 and 102 watts, then settled to 74-75 W at idle. Peak power consumption during our most intense benchmarks (3DMark05) went as high as 127 W.

As processors go, the T7600 remains expensive, in keeping with higher prices for mobile CPUs. As built, the total cost for the T7600 system comes to $2,123 or thereabouts. With more reasonable memory choices (say, PC2-5300 RAM from Corsair, Patriot, OCZ or SuperTalent) you could cut costs for RAM from $212 to as low as $62, while a standard DVD burner instead of a high-def HD-DVD model would cut costs from $339 to about $40. This brings overall prices down to a more reasonable $1,674.