[sf-lug] build-a-box project report

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Sep 12 14:52:07 PDT 2006

Quoting jim stockford (jim at well.com):

> we read the manuals as we went...

Which is always a temptation, I know.  However, after several screw-ups,
I make it a rule to always skim-read the whole thing before starting.
(Obviously, you'll pay closer attention to some parts than others.)

> [...] specially the part about RAM and sockets--how'd you figure it
> out from just reading the manual?

I just skipped ahead to the 2-3 pages about RAM.

> EXTRA thanks re the fans: I'll make a point to them later today. they
> already know that quiet is the goal, but good to remind.

In general, PC clone shops keep very low levels of inventory (they have
razor-thin margins), and stock at all only a narrow selection of 
commodity-type, high-turnover stuff.  Significantly low-noise parts are
considered a specialty item and not stocked.  (In theory, you can
special-order, but most such shops prefer not to, really.)

Rarely, you encounter a shop with high enough sales levels that they can
carry some specialty items.  That's where you see Antec, Cooler Master, 
Zalman, Vantec and Lian Le cases and aftermarket fans.  In S.F., Central
Computer, 837 Howard near 4th/5th Street (one block west of Moscone
Center) qualifies; I'm not sure who else does.

My old VA Research workstation case was irritatingly noisy until I
replaced its pair of 120 mm case fans with low-noise Cooler Masters.
The extra expense was worth it.

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