TigerDirect

The 45 nm Build

~04/04/2008~

Today I placed an order with New Egg for the parts for a new build. I have wanted to build a computer with the new 45 nm generation processor. I had decided on the processor that I wanted for this build, but they are still in short supply. I almost did this last week, but decided to think about it over night. The next day when I went back and checked the processor was sold out!

I will chronicle this build here and probably take a few pictures. Expect a gallery to appear when the build is done. This will be my new main box, I think. Maybe the old one will get transformed into a road computer, but if it does that will be another story.

The parts list that I ordered today is:

  • Intel E-8400 Boxed CPU
  • GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L  Motherboard
  • Seagate 500 gb Hard Drive with 32 mb cache
  • Lite-On Combo Drive
  • Super Talent Card Reader
  • SeaSonic 300w 80+ Power Supply
  • ECS N8600GT-512DZ Video Card
  • G.Skill PC-6400 Memory 2 gb
  • Cooler Master Case
  • Hanns-G 19" Wide Screen Monitor
  • Logitech Keyboard and Mouse
  • Windows XP Home OS

I decided to order the parts for a complete system rather than just upgrading my current box. Prices have come down in most areas since I built my current computer. I have wanted a computer to take on the road with me to do some audio recording and to use as a part of my PA system. Had I gone the upgrade path I would still need the parts to put the road computer together.

Why did I select this particular set of components? Many of these are the updated versions of the components that I used for the current build. The newer parts are mostly upgrades. I am using basically the same case with Blue trim instead of the brushed aluminum. The case was very easy to install the components so I am satisfied with it. One thing that I wanted for this build was the higher efficiency power supply. SeaSonic is a good name, so I went with this one. The clock speed of this processor is 20% higher than my current processor. There are also some performance tweaks that were applied to the new version and a larger L2 cache, so over all this system should be around 25% faster than the old box. It is said that one has to gain 10% in speed to feel a boost to the operation of a computer. I will let you know how this turns out and my impressions of the new box.

~04/07/2008~

Update!! New Egg had all of the order out the door this morning. It is scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, April 10th. The case and monitor are coming out of the New Jersey Warehouse. The rest of the order was shipped from California. I have three tracking numbers from UPS. Tracking the packages on these online orders is interesting. It appears that the system is working better in NJ than in California. When I last checked on the shipment the packages from NJ were shown as headed south. This was within about a half hour after the truck was loaded. The tracking number for the shipment from California is still showing only that it has arrived at the depot. I have noted spotty reporting on the tracking information on most shipments. Three thousand miles at 60 MPH is 50 hours of drive time, so one would hope that the package is not still sitting in California. Of course, I will check again in the morning to see if there is any progress. The load from NJ will go to Jacksonville and then on to Daytona. The California shipment may go to Atlanta, or it may go through Texas.

I had a bit of a blond moment on Saturday. I had gotten an email from New Egg with a link to check on the order status. They have five steps to the ordering process. In the first line they said that I was at step three. Below the actual statics line is a legend that explains the meaning of the step numbers. The last item on the list after step five is Void. I forgot where I was when I read the word void and through for a few minutes that my order had been canceled. I thought that the processor had sold out while I was formulating the order. I found the customer service page and sent off an inquiry to New Egg. I hit the send button and closed the window and then it hit me. I went back to the order statics page and confirmed that the void was in the legend area and that the order status was actually at the step three level. I tried to send another message to New Egg telling them that I understood my mistake but the contact form timed out. This morning I received an email from New Egg customer service suggesting that I had probably misread the status page and that my order had indeed been shipped in its entirety. Just out of curiosity I checked the processor page and, sure enough, it is shown as being out of stock again. I had hit the window just right and I got mine.

~04/08/2008~

Further adventures of the package from California. As we all know, California is a magical place (being the original home of the Magic Kingdom). According to the UPS tracking information this package actually reached LA 24 minutes before it left Ontario California. Then, either the truck was very fast or UPS used its wings to get the box to Dallas in about two and a half hours. Now we know that the Thursday delivery in Daytona is within reach. You can bet that I will be checking first thing Thursday for the 'out for delivery' notice on the tracking site.

~04/09/2008~

The parts are converging for tomorrow's delivery. The package from California went from LA to Dallas to South Carolina to Orlando by air yesterday. South Carolina is a bit out of the way, but evidently that is the way that UPS works its hubs. The package from NJ turned up in Jacksonville after about 36 hours. The drive time for that segment is less than 15 hours, so the truck stopped somewhere along the way. As I write this the above information is the most current available. The feeder trucks from Jacksonville and Orlando get on the road in the late evening so the packages will hit Daytona in the night and be out for delivery when I check tomorrow morning, right on the estimated delivery date. The California package could have been delivered today, but UPS did not feel compelled to get it here until tomorrow.

~04/10/2008~

Update 2:45 PM - The shipment has arrived!!

The Three Boxes

When I went to bed last night all the boxes were on the way to the local depot. When I got up this morning they all showed as 'Out for Delivery'. Now it is just a mater of waiting for the UPS truck to show up. They are usually in the neighborhood in the late afternoon or early evening. I have the camera ready to document the delivery.

~04/11/2008~

One more small update. I have ripped a cd and copied pictures off a card. Everything seems to be working. There were 92 updates for Windows after the installation. If core temp is reading things right the CPU is running a bit warmer than it should. It is two or three degrees warmer than my older unit. The 45 nm processors are supposed to run cooler than the older 65 nm processors. I will probably re-seat the heat sink tomorrow. The system that Intel uses is sometimes a bit difficult to attach properly. I have attached to the BOINC projects and am crunching numbers for science. The only project that I have good comparative numbers for shows a significant improvement. The old computer is taking a little over 42 minutes to process a work unit and the new one is taking about 28 minutes. Work units from this project have been very consistent in the time that it takes to complete a work unit.

Update 2. This line is being typed on the new system. For some reason I had to go to the web site to pick up the latest edition. I exported my settings for FileZilla on the old computer and imported them to this copy and that part worked fine. There are still a couple of things that I want to add to this rig, but all seems smooth so far. I will be trying out the card reader before long to get the pictures for this write-up. More Later.

Update. The OS installation went fine. I think that overall it was the fastest install, so far. It does seem that this is a very fast computer. I only set up one small partition on the hard drive in which to install the OS. I had to go back into set-up to put other partitions on the drive. I set up a total of three partitions on the drive. I will move the My Documents folder to the second partition and use the third section for my web site stuff. I got most of my programs installed on the new box. I had hoped to write this update on the new computer, but I have to format the major portion of the drive. It is working on the second section right now and then we will go on to the third section. Then I will be able to copy some files to the new hard drive and see how it all works. Maybe the next update can be from the new machine.

The boxes have been unpacked and the computer is assembled. There is some minor shipping damage to the case. It looks like the wide receiver dropped the pass. There is a slight compression on the top right rear corner of the case. There are also some partially broken retaining pins on the face plate. I will probably not complain about this because I don't want to wait for a couple of weeks to complete the build. I think that the face plate will still work ok because the dvd drive and card reader will give it some extra support. I will make a final decision when the final assembly is finished.

The assembly of the parts went well. The layout of the motherboard is very similar to the one in my last computer. This is basically just an update of the board that I used in this computer. The machine went through the POST routine on first power-up without errors. I opened the bios and looked at the pc health page to monitor the temperatures. The cpu was at 29 degrees Centigrade and after about a half hour went to 30 C. All looks good for the build.

I have started the OS installation. We are formatting the boot partition at the present time. That is a very early step in the installation. Then after the installation of the OS there will be various driver packages to install, updates to get, software to download and install, and many other fun tasks. I enjoy putting a new box together, but it will be interesting to see what this one will do when it is finished.

I will post more later, and I have been taking some pictures along the way for a build gallery.

~01/18/09~

I have been using this computer since I completed the build. It has proved to be about 25% faster than the old E-6600 computer. Now I am getting the itch for a Core i7 computer. Unfortunately the prices are quite high for the motherboards and DDR3 memory is not so cheap either. The entry level CPU is not bad, if there were just a reasonably priced motherboard. And it now appears that the more reasonably priced motherboards are going to be delayed because there is an overstock of the older parts.

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