Well, my wife went to her mother over the weekend and took the kids with her. I also borrowed a Dell 22" at work (we don't need it at the moment), so it was System Upgrade time
Browsing the Gigabyte webpage, I found out that my old mainboard
, a Gigabyte 965P-DS3, would support a Q9300, the current bang-for-buck champion, but only "unofficially" and with the current bios. So I flashed the bios and took a chance - and it worked!
Here's what I did:
- replaced E6420 with Q9300, works flawlessly so far
- replaced Ninja Rev. B (anyone interested, btw?) with Xigmatek HDT-S1283
- replaced passive MSI 8600GTS with Club3D Radeon 4850.
- replaced active stock cooler with Accelero S1 (a pain to work with, but charming results). I removed the ugly plastics from the S1.
- replaced Xigmatek stock fan ("replaced" maybe the wrong word, never used it) with Scythe S-Flex 1200, controlled by the mainboard
- zip-tied Scythe S-Flex 500 to Accelero S1. That happend purely for my good conscience.
- replaced mixture of HDDs with two Samsung HD250HJ (some time ago)
- replaced Antec NeoHE (which died) with Seasonic S12II (btw Antec sent a complete new retail package in exchange for the naked unit I sent them even without buying receipt)
And the results are great:
1) Way quieter than before - I didn't believe that the HDDs have such an impact.
2) The graphics card shows me four temperatures, GPU and three sensors. All these stay below 55Â°C. As Mike told in his review, the Accelero is great and with even the slightest breeze it's even greater.
3) The CPU never went over 45Â°C so far. The CPU fan never exceeds 700rpm in times in which I would care about it.
4) The GPU does a GROMACS WU in just under 2h.
5) I can now play Crysis on "high"@1680x1050
6) I have to buy a 22" as soon as I have to give the borrowed Dell back
Thats what it looks like:
Thanks to the push-pins on both the old and the new cooler, I was able to mount everything without taking the mainboard out. In fact, it was easier to mount the Xigmatek than to unmount the Ninja. The CPU is also way cooler than the old one was before - and cooling will improve, as soon as the AS5 has cured! It's incredible just how much smaller the Xigmatek is compared to the Ninja.
The white fans are, by the way, Fander FX120, which I'm very happy with. They come with their own small speed adjustment knob, they are very, very quiet (at least at min speed, which is enough for me), and I got them for free.
The old P180 was hacked in many places to allow P182-like cable routing behind the mobo some time ago. The PATA hard drives were also dropped for two Samsung HD250HJ about that time, so there's a clear improvement visible regarding the cleanliness of that build. It still doesn't come close to what others here accomplish, but I like it.
What do you think?