Mike's Computer

Initial Components

Added September 4th, 2005

Display: Dell UltraSharp 20"

Mods to Date

Default Stats

Performance Numbers

Extracted from PcMark 2004 Free

Multithreaded Test 1: File Compression: 2.603 MB/s   File Encryption: 27.696 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2: File Decompression: 22.436 MB/s   Image Processing: 11.010 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3: Virus Scanning: 2145.717 MB/s   Grammar Check: 2.851 KB/s
File Decryption: 55.532 MB/s
Audio Conversion: 2380.275 KB/s
Web Page Rendering: 4.439 pages/s
DivX Video Compression: 55.179 fps
Physics Calculation and 3D: 166.434 fps
Graphics Memory - 64 lines: 1566.860 fps

Overclocking Stats

Mods Aug. 8, 2005: I've basically taken things as far as they can go without sacrificing stability, and without increasing Vcore. The memory voltage is at max, but I don't think it'll be necessary at the rate the memory runs at. I've also not done the vidcard yet.

The HT bus never gave me any problem, but I've reduced it regardless, just to be safe. Memory started flaking past 220MHz, though the additional voltage does indeed help a bit. With low RAM speed, 240 seemed about as high as I could go without Prime95 giving me issues. A bit disappointing, but I'm not done yet.

Update Aug. 29, 2005: The 1.6 bios removed the 9/10 memory divider, among other options. The RAM consequently is being run a fair bit more slowly than it should be. I'll update the numbers here when I get a chance.

Performance Numbers

Multithreaded Test 1: File Compression: 3.197 MB/s   File Encryption: 33.268 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2: File Decompression: 26.812 MB/s   Image Processing: 13.229 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3: Virus Scanning: 2371.375 MB/s   Grammar Check: 3.322 KB/s
File Decryption: 66.261 MB/s
Audio Conversion: 2808.055 KB/s
Web Page Rendering: 5.300 pages/s
DivX Video Compression: 64.248 fps
Physics Calculation and 3D: 196.559 fps
Graphics Memory - 64 lines: 1568.728 fps


DELOREAN is running Windows XP Professional, latest updates, with all the trimmings. It is partitioned into 2x100GB NTFS drives.

First Impressions

Pretty good, in general. After all, it booted, first time, no hardware issues at all, except one non-functioning HDD LED. Despite what you'd think, even for a system with SATA and a modular power supply (with wrapped wires... nice...), it's pretty crowded inside. Everything needs extra power, after all, and modular doesn't save you anything if you're using three of the four connectors.

The Lanboy case I love, but will likely be a bane in the long run. Aluminum scratches really easily. However, the brushed steel look earned my compy it's new name. On the other hand, getting drives in silver is a pain sometimes.

One quirk was the XP install. It wasn't able to handle the SATA properly (original XP, pre-service-packs), so I had to use the MSI-provided nVidia RAID drivers to get XP to acknowledge that the drive was > 137GB.

... and GAWD is formatting 200GB slow!

Update: HDD light's working. The direction of the wires was just wierd. But easily, the biggest issue now is the bloody CHIPSET FAN! Unline the processor fan (slower, controllable), or the case fans (huge, slow, auto-controlled by the PSU), the stupid chipset fan is tiny and spins at 7000RPM constantly! It buzzes horribly! My first mod will be fixing that crap!

Never Asked Questions (but answers I want to give)

Why are you not running Linux on this machine?
I would spend too much time there. I'm getting sick of dual-boot machines, and with a machine of this sort of power, games are the obvious priority. I should be able to start a game without having to wait for reboot.
Where did you get the parts?
Three sources. The Dell monitor was obviously from Dell Canada. The rest of the parts, except the video card, came from NCIX.com, a Vancouver, B.C. based company that allows you to order parts online from a gargantuan catalog. The video card came from TigerDirect Canada.

I'm generally satisfied with all three, since I have my parts and they work. Dell was respectable and professional. TigerDirect generally is not, but they're cheapest by far. They also ship by UPS, which I hate. NCIX is almost as cheap, but they're Vancouver-based so you save on PST in Ontario. NCIX also ships by Purolator, and overnight air's anything that didn't ship immediately. On the downside, they tend not to have a lot of what they list in-stock, and I waited a LONG time before some of those parts were available.
Why not the 7800GT, or the Athlon64 X2's?
Cost. The system is designed to accomodate either or both, but both parts are ridiculously expensive right now. In particular, the X2 will be an important update, and will work fine in my current setup.