HP Wireless Classic Desktop

I recently needed a new keyboard and mouse. So, I did some research and decided upon the HP “Wireless classic desktop” combo. It contained a generic keyboard and mouse sending a signal to a single USB receiver.

The Keyboard Has the usual key layout with a number pad to the right. Hot keys are located to the left and right. The left side has buttons for: Computer, Internet Home, Mail, Calculator, and Search. The right side has the Media keys for play/pause, stop, mute, and volume up/down.

The feel of the keyboard is great for a low-cost alternative and noise level during typing is minimal, not as quiet as a slim keyboard but not as bad as the $5.00 generic competition.

The Mouse is amazing for the price and has a button for turning it on/off to conserve battery life. The sensitivity is a bonus as well, it’s very responsive during game play or generic computer usage.

The only down fall of this combo is the keyboard sensitivity. During fast typing it will occasionally leave out a letter or two. Most of the time this occurs during a pause or break in which you don’t type for a few minutes.

Price for the HP classic desktop combo was $30.00.

My final judgment for this review is you get what you pay for. It’s a great setup, but does have a few glitches.

 – Chris

[Project] Server Underground 102300

Most of you guys don’t really know me yet. My name is Tu Fu (yeah for real, no BS!). I am from Brentwood TN. I like to build random stuff and link them up with my central mainframe aka my big server and play ground.
Here is a little project I have done not terribly long ago.

System Setup. (#1023000)
Atom 330
BOXD945GCLF2D
1x2GB Gskill Pi 1066 (with out heatsink wouldn’t fit with heatsink)
120W Power supply
1x 80GB 7200RPM 2.5in HDD for OS
2x 1TB 7200RPM for file (the one hanging out side of the case)

This rig mainly used to manage my school work and keep my projects on file so I can access it anytime and anywhere I want.

The motherboard is BOXD945GCLF2D; it’s got absolutely no overclocking ability at all. Therefore, instead of benching it and playing around with it I got a 120W case and turned it into a Micro server code name Server Underground.

Here is an idea of how TINY this board is.

Even though the computer was not overclocked at all I still want to keep it as cool as it can be. If you didn’t know, Tennessee is in the south. It’s kind of hot as hell in the summer time :banghead:
So I remembered I have 10 of those full copper CoolerMaster NB/SB coolers.

And as you can see, after installing the CoolerMaster “CPU” cooler
there wasn’t a fan on the CPU heatsink before!
The one fan is it’s Northbridge and the black heatsink is the Southbridge

Closed Case Back view

Closed Case with HDD view from back

Let me know what you think

Author: Tu Fu

Patriot Sector 5 (PGV38G1600ELK)

Recently my main rig went under. Luckily almost everything went on sale this cyber Monday, so I picked up a set of Patriot Sector 5 (PGV38G1600ELK) for my old 1366 rig. Here is a quick review of it, enjoy.

Specification:
Capacity– 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Speed– 1600MHz
Timing– 9-9-9-24
Voltage– 1.65v
Features
–          XMP Ready
–          Equipped with advance aluminum heat-dispersing shields
–          100% Tested and Verified
–          RoHS Compliant
–          Tested on Intel P55 chipset

Quick look:

 

 

 

Above is the Sector 5 PGV38G1600ELK. It comes with two sticks of 4GB total of 8GB in dual channel setup, great for any 24/7 rig anywhere from office work, video editing, to high performance gaming.

 

 

 

I have to be honest, I didn’t think much of those stock aluminum heat spreaders that came with the memory. It may be a little hard to see, but on top of the ram there is my 16GB microSD card from my cell phone. It’s extremely thin (no thicker than the microSD chip) and feels very cheaply made.

Here is another look at the “cheaply” made stock heat spreader

 

 

 

What you don’t feel from those heat spreaders is how efficient they are; in the tests below I will have a thermometer measuring both the room temp and the PCB/IC team.

Testing Setup:
–          CPU: Intel Core i7 970 @ Stock.
–          CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Gemini II with 2x Antec Tri-Cool 120mm
–          Motherboard: EVGA 4-Way SLi E762
–          Hard Drive: Seagate 80GB 7200.12
–          Video Card: ATi 4350 1GB
–          OS: Windows 7 64bit 7600 with No Service Pack

Testing software:
–          SuperPi1M and 32M with NO tweaks
–          Lavalys Everest Memory Benchmark

Here we have SuperPi 1M and 32M bench scores.

(Lower the better)

 

 

(Lower the better)

 

The special large heat spreader design made it very air dynamic effective, but at the same time will not get in the way of larger CPU coolers. In the picture below is the temperature of the memory and the room temperature.

(as showing above, CPU temp indicates PCB/IC temp, SYS is room temp)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right here we have the temperature of the memory that’s running SuperPi 32m benchmark at 1866 @ 11-11-11-31-1T-146 @ 1.80v.

 

 

(as showing above, CPU temp indicates PCB/IC temp, SYS is room temp)

 

I have been doing some research, and seems like this Sector 5 from Patriot is using the standard Elpidaintegratedcircuits(IC), which are huge fans of power that require more voltage to achieve higher clocks then others, but at the same time they have better timings at the same clock. It comes stock at 1600MHz @ 9-9-9-24-1T-128 @ 1.65v, but I was able to overclock it very easily. It’s able to run the memory at 1600MHz @ 8-8-8-21-1T-128 to 1866MHz @ 11-11-11-31-1T-143 @ 1.70v. I am very pleased with its surprising overclocking ability.

After my standard SuperPi tests I felt like there are more I can get out of those bad boys, so I fired up the Lavalys Everest Memory Benchmark and here are some numbers:

(All the numbers below are average of 3 runs that’s no more than 3% a part)

(Higher is better)

 

(Lower is better)

Pros:
Price, very cheap after Mail-in-Rebate
Nicely designed heat spreader keeps the memory running very cool
Great overclocking ability
Lifetime warranty
Without changing the stock voltage, only 1.65v, I was able to taking it to a whole new level (2000MHz 10-10-10-31-1T-143)

Cons:
Elpida IC requires a lot more voltage to achieve higher clocks then others.
Bottom Line:
At first I thought it was going to be a huge disappointment, then I got about 4hrs of extensive testing and I was amazed. It was very easy to overclock. After I put the memory in the slots it took me about 5 min to get the setting right (4 hrs time = running SuperPi 32m (avg. about 11 min per run + restart), weigh the review, and try to do homework all at the same time), and now I could not be more satisfied with both its stock performance and overclocking ability, which I could never ask for with the low price. The perfect mixture of black and red gives a little extra icing on the cake; it was worth every penny of it.

Here is a quick video of the memory.

A brief background in custom computing

Back in 1950 a guy named Edmund Berkeley designed the first computer called “Simon”. It cost about 300 dollars back then and was the first true desktop PC.

After this discovery, a theory arose in the 1960’s that is still true today called Moore’s Law. It stated that every 18 months the number of transistors on a motherboard will double. This was eventually transcribed to mean that every 18 months computers double in performance power.
So when you decide to build your own computer you are building something that is 31 times more powerful than the first desktop computer.

As shown above since the Simon project computer performance has sky rocketed.

In my next post I will be showing you how to start building your own Simon killer!

– Chris

The 4 Steps to making your computer

Your first point in building a computer should be finding a case and all the components. It is very important when shopping for cases that you note the case’s air flow dynamics, how many and what size fans it can hold, the form factor of the motherboards it can take, and it’s drive bay configuration. For my case I used a simple ATX mid-tower.

Next you will need to find the motherboard (I used a XFX 610i), RAM to go on it (keep in mind DDR type), a power supply (between 400-600 will do), and CPU w/heat sink. With the addition of a hard drive, these components fulfill your basic needs for parting together your computer.

Now for the fun part:

Step 1: Install the Power Supply

First you need to get the power supply and fit it into place, most are located at the top corner of the case. Then find four screws and screw the power supply in on the back

of the case.

Step 2: Install the motherboard

To do this get your motherboard and some screws. First place the motherboard into the case and line it up with the screw holes. ATX and mini-ATX have different holes so be sure to line it up correctly. Then screw the board down and you’re done!

Step 3: Install the CPU

An OEM AMD heatsink mounted onto a motherboard.

Here all you will need is your CPU, CPU heat-sink, and Thermal paste. To get started unhook the CPU holder then place your CPU into place making sure to line up the indents (shown in video). Then, apply thermal paste to the CPU and screw down the heat sink to the motherboard. It should be tight enough to not move but lose enough not to crush the CPU.

Step 4: Wiring and Completion

atx 2.2 power connector

atx 2.2 power connector (Photo credit: osde8info)

To finish up your build project you will need some zip ties or wire and patience. First find your power, restart, and HDD light wires. Take those and connect them in the

appropriate spots, usually at the bottom left of the motherboard. On this XFX 610i board they were color coded and installation was a snap! After you complete that

find the motherboard power cable and the chip-set power cables. The main power cable for the board should be a 20-24 pin cable. Connect that to the top left of the board and the chip-set cable, 4 pin connection, will usually be to the left of the CPU region. After this you can connect the four pin power connectors to the hard drives and disc drives. Optional step following would be cleanup and wire tucking. You can use zip ties or wire to wrap the cable together and hide them around the drive bays for clean looks and better air flow.

To complete this build all you need is software. For the operating system you can get a free version Linux-based or pay to get Windows or Mac. Any questions? let me know below!

– Chris

How to save $200 on a new computer

Computers are used everyday by just about everybody. When we buy them we generally just go for what everybody else has; just another stamped out box of machinery. I’m the exception to this, and I’d like to make you as well.

To save $200 on a new computer all you need is time, some money, and patience.

First, go to Tigerdirect.com or Newegg.com (both are reputable computer parts websites) and find “bare-bones” kits. These kits are a starting point for making your new computer. They generally contain a motherboard to plug all your components into, a CPU or the brain of the computer, and a case to put it all into.

Motherboard, CPU, and other basic computer components…

Once you’ve found one that suits you, navigate to the power supply section (if not included in your original kit). For generic platforms you want one that supports up to 500 watts.

You will need memory to make it all function as well, so make sure to match RAM to your motherboard (most support DDR2 or DDR3) and get 2-4 gigabytes of RAM. You will also need a hard drive as a main storage device. I would recommend getting one with at least 500 gigabytes so that you can store all those media files, songs, movies, etc.

After you’ve bought all of these components you can begin to assemble it. Assembly usually takes a couple of hours for an amateur to piece it together.

After it is put together you can install an operating system, or (OS) as tech geeks call it. If you want to save even more money go for a Linux-based OS, or you can stick with Windows.

For the physical computer components of a basic computer you can buy and piece it together for $300, or you can increase the power and get a media center type computer capable of producing and editing movies for $500-600.

When compared to what you would pay for a Dell desktop, you would save at least $200 on basic computer components.

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