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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Upgrades :D

My exams are just behind me and I've been busy doing some modifications to one of my PCs.

I'd had a friend send me an Xbox 360 controller, so I'm using it now with the PC (automatically detected and configured itself under Vista) for most of my games.

But first, I took apart the computer, removed the various PCI, PCIe and other cards, and gave it a full dusting down. Initially with a brush, and then with a vacuum cleaner (who'd have thought a dust storm could ever come out of a PC).

I had also bought two sticks of DDR2 RAM from OCZ. 4gb of 800mhz RAM in total.
Threw out my older RAM (actually I merely put it away in a cupboard). And stuck in these beauties. My older RAM was only 2gb 667Mhz (which might surprise some of you who really know me well).

With these inside my gaming rig, I've overclocked it with a 1:1 FSB:RAM ratio upto 3.6Ghz (35% overclocked) from an initial 2.66Ghz on the processor and 900mhz on the DDR2 RAM. Those massive heatspreaders do their job really well and really help the RAM to maintain a proper temperature. Besides this there's a 10% overclock on the GPU's core, All this, mind you is merely on stock air cooling. I won't be running it at this setting 24x7 though. I'm going to set it down a few notches to a modest 24% overclock of 3.3ghz (which is itself pretty good if you ask me). This is because I leave the computer on the whole day for downloading something or the other.

Changing jumper settings (above you see me clearing the bios), setting and resetting bios options, and popping the cmos battery in and out became somewhat part of my routine for a whole day, overclocking sure ain't easy till you get a stable overclock.

Talking about cooling, here's another thing I threw into the case ----> a new 120mm Blue LED fan. There was already a huge intake LED-lit fan at the front of the case (a Coolermaster Ammo), and another blue LED 80mm fan at the back. So I replaced the 80mm fan with the new 120mm, and fixed the 80mm fan in another position (not on a standard mounting point), below the DVD-RW drive. Effectively, this creates a push-pull sort of arrangement for airflow, and my temperatures are 3-4 Degree Centigrade lower than before, even at an overclocked setting. The end result is some really cool LED lighting which goes well with LED backlit (and colour changeable) Saitek Eclipse 2 keyboard and my blue LED lit Razer Diamondback Plasma Limited Edition Mouse. The image above shows you one side of the computer case with the blue light coming out of both the grilles at the side as well as out the back. The picture from a camera doesn't do the setup justice, you have to see it with your own eyes.

I'm planning to solder together an array of Blue LEDs to add to the lighting (the world is not enough for me), maybe I'll do it soon and take the power off the PSU's 5v or 12v rail.

Last but most certainly NOT the least, here's the new LG 42inch Jazz LCD we got. The purchase was made after a great deal of looking and trying out sets from Samsung, Sony and LG at their respective showrooms - I couldn't something like this to my parents, so I tagged along despite my exams. This is a full HD TV capable of 1080p. Colours are quite rich, two slide-out subwoofers are provided, the USB port can play any DivX movies or mp3s or picture slideshows, and the blacks are very deep. There's absolutely no ghosting and HDMI input sources bring out the best the set has to offer. So I've been using it with my laptop for HD movies via HDMI and with the above described desktop for gaming in full HD. Play in HD once and you'll never want to go back to your run-of-the-mill LCD monitors ever again (leave alone CRT).

With almost two months of holidays ahead, the fun has just begun for me!!


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