So... I know the specs aren't really much to talk about these days, but this computer has been my little pet project for the past couple of months. Ultimately, the core of this system is going to be my file server (probably in a different case), since I'm going to be getting a HighPoint RAID card, and some big SATA drives.
Antec SLK2650-B case with 350W SmartPower PSU (120mm fan replaced with TriCool on low)
ASUS CUV4X motherboard
Intel Pentium III 700MHz
896MB PC133 SDRAM
40GB 5400RPM Seagate HD
Nvidia RIVA NT Video card
Some random CD-RW
So.. the specs aren't really too much to write home about, but it's another computer that's running SETI@Home for me. It also doubles as backup storage for my music.
So here's where the fun part of the story comes in. Originally, this system had some craptastic stock heatsink and fan - really loud. I'm thinking to myself that it's gotta go. So I dig through my pile'o'stuff and find a slightly larger aluminum heatsink, Zalman fan bracket, and a 80mm SilenX fan (I know, I know... boo). I tried running it passively then, but the temps creeped up to 70C, and with a maximum rated temperature of 80C, I was slightly hesitant.
So I find a guy on CraigsList.org (a local buy'n'sell) who's selling his Zalman CNPS3100+ heatsink, minus the 92mm fan it comes with (a crappy fan to begin with - I've got one sitting in the pile'o'stuff) for $10. The CNPS3100+ is just about the best low airflow Socket A/370 heatsink that I've been able to get my hands on for a while, not to mention for only $10.
So I open up the old system, take out the motherboard, and go ahead and remove the old heatsink. Anyone who's ever worked with Socket A/370 systems will know that the little plastic clips on the sockets were notorious for snapping off at the most inconvenient times. Guess what - it happened to me too! Crap!
(look very carefully at the small tab - it doesn't have the "hook" that the larger one has)
So I'm thinking that I've just ruined a perfectly good, cool-running system, all because of a tiny piece of plastic, when a friend of mine suggests that I simply bend the metal clip. I comply, and bend it to the point where when in place, the metal clip is now squeezing the socket instead of trying to pull away from it. Voila!
So - as you can see in the first picture, I'm running the CPU completely passively. Not too hard to do with a CPU with a TDP of only 18.7W, but still nice to have. My temps with this setup are 23C/39C at idle/load. Load is tested using CPUBurn, and when it's running SETI@Home right now, it's at about 30C.
Best thing of all about this entire system. The total amount of money that I've spent on it is about $30. $20 for the 512MB and 128MB sticks of RAM (shipped) and $10 on the heatsink. The case came from my old system, and the rest of the components I got for free from my girlfriends' parents. The 512MB PC133 stick was a total steal for $20.
Comments are welcome!!!