My new PC

AMD PC 1

(Nerd Alert!) Over the last couple of weeks I finally built my new machine. I ripped out all the Intel crap from my nice Antec Fusion case (DP39DP and a Core2Duo) and rebuilt it with an AMD A10 6800 APU on an ASUS F2A85M MB with 2 sticks of 4GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 1866 SDRAM. Nothing fancy, but solid hardware at a decent price. However, the pièce-de-resistance is a brand new Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD as the system drive. They just came out last month, and twice I was ready to order at Newegg and when I went to the checkout they were sold out! This is the fanciest, most expensive storage I have ever bought for myself. And it’s totally worth it. The benchmarks on this thing are outlandish, compared to spinning platters. And it’s among the top-performing SSDs, especially on linear read/writes. AnandTech has a detailed review.

So what does this mean? It means I can reboot the system in 22 seconds flat. And a good bit of that is POST (12 sec). Windows 7 does not even get to finish its little Windows Logo animation – poof! There is the login screen. It also means that A complete reinstall of Windows takes – uh … about 5 Minutes. AND the little fucker is cool and silent. Won’t say a peep. And a silent system was definitely a design point for this machine.

Shhhh …

The cooler and fan that ship with the A10 are not bad, but, like most CPU fans, the fan is noisy. So I shelled out another $80 for a cooler and quieter fans. I got the Silverstone NT06 cooler and an Antec 120mm fan and a SilenX fan. I ended up using only the Antec fan, together with an original 120mm Antec case fan and the stock, low-profile 120mm fan for the cooler. BTW – see  the huge metal thing next to the blue-LED lit case fan in the picture above? That is the cooler. It’s massive! It doe work really well, though. The first time I fired it up, the CPU fan did not work, and within a Minute the cooler was really hot to the touch. So the four 120 mm fans that cool the system move a good amount of air at fairly low RPM (CPU  @ 1200, on idle), which gives me a cool, quiet system.

In order to install this massive cooler, I had to disassemble the system, remove the MB, remove the cooler and the backplate from the MB,  install a new backplate and then the new cooler. There is no way you can install this cooler with the MB in the case (in this case). Then I had to remove the case fans and carefully easy the MB with the 1.5-pound cooler into place (no fan yet).

I experimented for quite a while with different 120mm case fans to see what would give me best cooling performance. The Antec fan was very quiet, the SilenX fan cooled well, but the stock fan for the cooler worked best, since it’s a proper CPU cooling fan and the system can adjust its speed based on the temp. readings. So at idle it only spins at a bit over 1100 RPM, which makes it very quiet, too.

As far as the case fans go, I found that the SilenX moves air really well, but has an annoying whirring sound, so I just used the Antec fan and one of the old Antec fans that came with the system. The latter is 3-step adjustable and on the highest setting pumps huge amounts of air. And the new Antec fan is very quiet, even on high.

Finally, I spent an hour on cable management, took some photos and then closed the case and spent some more time watching the temperature indicator in the BIOS, while enjoying a cold beer.

AMD PC BIOS

AMD PC 2

AMD PC top

AMD PC top2

 

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