Cyberstorm in Slim case
In a previous post we talked about moving a server from a clunky old case to a new slimmer case. The only problem was the front panel only had USB-3 connectors, and the motherboard was created before the internal standard for motherboard USB-3 connectors appeared. This older motherboard only has external USB-3 connections on the backplate.
So here’s the fix.
ORICO USB-3 Card
This ORICO company makes many different USB-3 PCI-e cards.There are several manufacturers on Newegg, but these cards look like the highest quality. Their metal brackets are painted black, the PC boards are blue, rather than crap tan, and the connectors look like they are high quality. Continue Reading
The refit of the Alienware Area 51 – 7500 from 2007 to a Skylake Processor and Windows 10 is complete. The system died trying to do the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and while I spent two days frantically trying to bring it back to life with Linux Mint 18, I finally declared it End of Life and ordered the replacement parts. Here is the original configuration.
The new system has:
- Core i7 6700K Skylake Processor
- ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger Motherboard
- 32GB G.Skill DDR4 3400 memory
- Samsung 850 EVO SSD – 500GB
- Western Digital 1TB HD – Temporary. Once system is installed, the two HD from my current main system will be swapped in. These are a 2TB data and 4TB video capture disk.
- LG OEM BluRay burner
- Corsair H75 Water Cooler
After about 5 years, it is time to move the rather small server machine out of the Yuge Cooler Master HAF X into a much smaller Corsair Carbide Series 100 R case. The ASUS Sabre 58 Motherboard is a full size ATX so that limited the case choices somewhat. The new case is in the center.
Also I wanted to try a nice Corsair H81 GT Cooler to see if it would fit in the Alienware Area 51 case that I’m rebuilding. So.
The old style of power supply is now called non-Modular. Notice the mess of cable that are permanently attached to the power supply. Well if you don’t need them all, which is likely, then you have to wrap that mess up and tie it somewhere inside the case.
In contrast, here is a modern Modular power supply:
Fully Modular Supply
Notice that there are no cables hanging out of this PSU at all. You only use the cables you need to run your system. Modular power supplies are a little more expensive, and they are only provided for larger sizes. 550 Watts is about the smallest Modular PSU that’s available.
Alienware Aurora R2
Recently I’ve gone round and round with my Aurora R2 system.
I finally chose to upgrade the system with new Motherboard, processor and memory, but I get ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
You may remember this system from previous tales on this blog.
As you can see from the image of the system on that page, the system had 8GB of memory that was all working. Somewhere along the way it developed an issue where it would only use 1/2 of the memory.
Update: See note at the bottom about performance of Intel Graphics on Haswell.
Update: System is now stable. I moved back to a previous version of the Nvidia GTX drivers for the 560ti.
Samsung 840 250GB SSD
You may have noticed that prices for SSDs have come down quite a bit in the last year or so. And the sizes are now quite reasonable. A 250GB SSD will set you back about $200 and a 500GB SSD is about $350. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to begin migrating my computers to SSD system drives.
Casper 6.0 is among the tools I’ve had for sometime to migrate disks, so I gave that a try.
The test machine is an Alienware Aurora R2, circa 2008, with 8GB memory and a 1TB HD, running, Win7 x64. Only 180GB of the 1TB HD is used. As a test target before the SSD arrives, the migration target is a 320GB SATA Laptop drive.
When used for gaming, laptops tend to over heat, and eventually they destroy their video cards. My Alienware m15x laptop, while it seems to have good cooling, has had 4 new video cards in the last 3 years. I have wanted to use a desktop for gaming, but prefer to do most of my playing from the comfort of my recliner. Here is the start of an idea to accomplish that. Missing from the renderings are the arm that holds the monitor from the case to the right of the recliner to the monitor in front of me. As you can see the computer case is very large. I’ve provided for a UPS in the cabinet since in my area all my computers require a UPS due to frequent power glitches that would cause an unprotected computer to reboot. Click on pictures for larger views. Continue Reading
AlienFX Fusion Woops
Based on a forum post, the AlienFX hardware now works, but if you use this software on Win 7 x64, there appears to be a problem.
It was indicated that the Alien Fusion component would not work, but the problem is that there is a memory leak or other problem that causes the program to apparently grow without bound. After several hours, I found that the AlienFusionController.exe was 1.7GB image size in memory. Clearly a problem. Continue Reading
I assume you have been following the continuing saga of the non-working AlienFX under Win7 / Vista x64.
OMG.. A fellow from the UK had a solution for his Alienware ALX-58 system. So I got his private download and it works just fine.
Here is a post that contains the downloads in a later reply that I used.
So no board to make, no more hassles and it even supports the animation of the zones that I have.
I can’t believe that Alienware support were completely out to lunch that they had a solution all the time.
Board with Programming
After considering the previous design for an AlienFX static lighting board, I have come up with a new design that simplifies the layout and the programming of the board. The previous design used pin headers and jumpers and required resistors on the board. This design uses socket headers and is programmed by inserting resistors and wires. Continue Reading