Well, my motherboard died yesterday when I merely changed some RAM over, and it isn't worth fixing because almost all the parts of my 'extreme minimalism' upgrade are ready to go!
P180 quickly stripped to bare bones
First up a bit of history. The PC started out as a 'sensible' cheap AMD XP2000+ system before I got bitten by the bug. My first attempt at silence involved an Antec Phantom 350
power supply, Zalman Reserator1
water CPU cooler and a piece of foam to sit the WD 80 gig 3.5"
on. It was very effective but I was curious to try and go even further.
Before today, the motherboard was the only part of the whole machine that hadn't been replaced at least once! My first trial of fanless computing involved replacing the Reserator with a simple Sonic Tower
cooler. It was a poor set-up and overheated regularly. Then I bought the P180
case, and not once did it overheat in many months of heavy usage, even without fans in hot weather. Please note I do not condone this dodginess.
I ended up using the rear 120mm Tricool fan on low to quietly reduce case temperatures to sane levels.
The TT is soon to go into another machine, with a Tri-cool fan zip-tied on!
The hard drive set-up today includes a Gigabyte i-RAM
for the operating system, and a WD Scorpio
single-platter 40 gig for important data. The latter is wrapped in a self-made enclosure made out of old carpet insulation. Equally critical is the HP Lightscribe 640i
optical drive for regular dual layer DVD backups. To cope with the relatively small hard drives, all data that isn't required regularly (videos, old pics etc) is stored in 2 seperate locations on optical discs - which I much prefer to having unmanagable amounts of data on the hard drive.
The WD Scorpio hidden in an enclosure of insulation
The New Upgrades
A Turion64 MT40
has been sourced from the US to try and take this to the extreme. The CPU has a TDP of 25 watts and 2.2 GHz performance. I am waiting on an MSI Mobile Pad
heat spreader from the US, at which point I'll be ready to install the Scythe Ninja
heat sink. Realising that I will be using barely any power, I'm Ebaying the Phantom in favour of the newly arrived 120 watt PicoPSU
with 80 watt EDac
brick, and should break even.
The much-abused AMD XP and its laptop-derived replacement
The new motherboard is a microATX MSI RS482M-IL
which is proven to work with the Turion64 and
enable Cool 'n Quiet. It also has in-built graphics. I can also get rid of my add-on PCI SATA card for the i-RAM. My faithful 19" Samsung LCD
will remain in service, however.
Old and new power supplies side by side
What I am hoping to do is set up the rear fan to only turn on when it is actually needed, using an mCubed T-balancer or similar. And since I'm using almost none of the P180 case's features, I'd love to downsize to a smaller case in the future...
Will keep y'all updated!