Following, Lazily, in the Footsteps of Giants

In August of 2004, I built a mighty fine computer from the ground up.  It had everything I needed, and it served me well for three years.

But boy was it loud.  Jet engine loud.  A fanless video card and an insulated case didn’t achieve the level of quiet I was hoping for.  Turning the fans down helped a little, but if I wasn’t careful it would get really hot.  Sometimes spontaneous reboot hot.  So I cranked the fans back up and soldiered noisily along.

I used two internal hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, and two removable SATA hard drives for music and video storage.  That worked OK, but in hindsight I should have used RAID 1.  Over time, I started feeling nervous about data loss.  A couple of months ago, I started to have hard drive and boot configuration issues.  I started thinking about a new computer.

Then, as fate would have it, both of my computer gurus, Ed Bott and Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, bought and/or started to build new computers.  Both based on the Intel Intel Core 2 Q6600 chip.  Quad core, 2.4GHz.  Hmmm.

This past weekend, I had more boot configuration problem.  I can fix just about any computer problem, but when I spend too much time fixing something that ought to just work, I get irritable and frustrated.  Call it the Car Rule.  Application of the Car Rule to my loud, boot-challenged computer mandated- mandated I tell ya – that I get a new one.

I didn’t want to wait for the parts to arrive, and I was a little worried that if I built one from scratch I might end up with another jet engine sounding box.  So I did it the lazy way.

Image (1) hp.jpg for post 3488I bought an HP Pavilion m8150n.  I switched out the video card in favor of a GeForce 8600 GT card, for the dual DVI outputs (I am a devout believer in the dual monitor efficiency advantage).  I added an HP personal media removable hard drive (which slides into the slot to the left of the HP logo in the picture) to give me a almost a terabyte of storage, and to allow for hassle free back up.

Presto, I have a new computer that works like a charm.  And it’s very quiet.  As I type this, the only sound I hear is from the fan inside my AV cabinet 10 feet behind me.  The computer at my feet is virtually silent.

It wasn’t the cheapest way to go, but for a little over $1700 I have a new, quiet computer.

Now, about that fan in my AV cabinet…

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