Homebrew Computer

February 14, 2007

I’m going to build my own computer; these are some notes to myself. Intel will release a new version of the E6300 Core 2 Duo (1.8GHz) with double the cache size to 4MB. This chip can easily be overclocked to 3GHz, matching the performance of the E6800 Core 2 Duo Extreme. That means you get the same performance as a $1000 chip for a mere $170. I’m not using the cheaper E4300 because it has a 2MB cache and lacks support for virtualization. Next, I want the whole system to run as cool and quiet as possible. I’ll need 4GB of memory, but I’ll start with 2GB. Using a high-efficiency power supply means less energy is wasted as heat. The fan in the power supply makes the most noise, so I have to get some rubber grommets to prevent noisy vibrations (shock mounts?). I’ll get a better CPU cooler, too. For the case, I wish there was one that redirected air flow out the top, like the old Apple cube. Heat wants to escape up, so you don’t need a lot of fans to help it out the top, i.e. “passive cooling”. I don’t play games at all, so I don’t need a high-end graphics or audio card right now. I want to get a few hard drives, not just one giant one. I intend to run many VMs simulateously, which means spreading disk access across multiple HDs should be faster. I can rely on the built-in networking chip, too. I’ll get a dual-layer DVD, USB 2.0. Don’t forget PCI Express for the motherboard. What else do I need?

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