Pulling from the Archives: "New Hardware Reviews"

Creating this very on topic site, I came to realize that I have had a few different sporadic blog posts dedicated to this very realm.  In that spirit, I plan to bring over those posts into this blog for anyone interested in reading a bit about my journey through the Geek world.  The post below is one I had written up when I made the big transition with my computer.  I took an out of date build, and polished off the last few upgrades with a few new parts.  Transforming what was once "The Blue Monster" into the now "Interceptor" that is the juggernaut of my computer.  I do hope you enjoy the read, as much as I enjoyed writing it out.  Forgive that it is a bit rough, but otherwise should be informative.

So, I have recently acquired my new Motherboard, Memory and CPU. Those being:ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard

AMD FX-4100 Zambezi Quad Core 3.6GHz (3.8 Turbo) Processor

and

G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (4x4GB) PC3-1600 Memory.

And as the trend has gone with my new things, I am here to shed my thoughts on them.

As far as the board goes, it is rock solid. Everything anyone would need all packed into this great looking board. Sleek coloring, military quality, sturdy, stable. Plenty of SATA Ports, PCI-E Slots, and Fan Ports. Intelligent design, built for people like me who love to cable manage. Anyone who says they want more out of a system board is asking too much. There isn't anything on this board that is sub-par. It has more than enough PCI-E for up to QUAD SLi or Crossfire. Even the audio is top notch. Yeah there are a few out there that are marginally better in codec, but there is absolutely no reason to pay more money for them. This is it, the board to end all boards. The UEFI Bios is very easy to understand, very dummy friendly, and it has a ton of Overclocking options. More than one would need I think, but the option is there for those who care to overclock. Five out of Five on the board.

CPU-wise, it's decent for sure. My WEI went up, the install of Windows went super fast. Not much one could say about the CPU other than it is doing exactly what it should be doing at the speed it is designed to go. I am not an overclocker, so I am leaving all of that alone, but I am sure with it being an AMD Black edition processor, it would be pretty simple.

Memory is epic. Fast and huge. Looks amazing, a giant cosmetic upgrade from what I had. Originally had two different sets in mine. 2 of one style 2 of another. And the Heatspreaders were two different sizes, one really tall, one standard size. It looked ridiculous. Now it's all uniform, fits in with the colors of the board, it's great. The memory runs fast and hard as it should.

The combination here is a solid performing machine. It's a lot faster than it ever was, and I am very pleased with how everything turned out. I know I did this a little backwards, but I also did my pictures a little differently as well. Differently as in, lazy, I wasn't feeling very good the day this all happened, and was cramming in the new install in very little time thanks to UPS's delivery showing up really late. So the following is the pictures. And Go

Before. This is right before I yanked everything out.

After I yanked out my old stuff, and a few other things that were going to get in the way.

My case, sitting open and ready for the new stuff, wasn't enough for me of course. I set forth on fixing a few things while I was waiting.

Pulled out a few of the problem cables in the Cable Management area. Set forth to cleaning that up a bit.  And yes, these are the first pictures of this area, as I am not the proudest of what it ended up looking like after the initial build.

After a bit of clean up. As far as it goes, having this many cables to make look pretty, all going in many different places, I think I did a pretty bang up job. If you see the inverter, little black box on the left there, that is gone since I broke the main cathode attached to it, and it's only the smaller inverter for the big boy cathode now. Right above that spot there is where I plan to attach my SSD. Complete stealth SSD, I used this idea on Luke's rebuild and decided that I did like my stolen idea enough to do it myself. I saw the idea in a mod I found on the net.

This, as a matter of fact, is something I forgot to point out in my original review of my DF-85 Case. That little slide latch locks the fleet doors on the front from opening. So if you take your computer outside of home (like I do a lot) you can lock the doors and keep out unwanted guests :)

The new stuff arrives. Finally. So starts the rush to get everything in. Notice on the right is the Big Boy Cathode, she is bright.

Some of it unpacked on the left. Memory, cathode and CPU, ready for install.

The board unpacked on the right. As with all boards, loaded with manuals and antistatic bags. Came with the standard "Powered by ASUS" stick, and also a "The Ultimate Force - TUF Inside" vinyl sticker as well. Soon I will post where I placed those, a little "sticker management" done there.

The board. Isn't she pretty? So much going on there, hard to point it all out. If you want a better idea on it, check it out on Newegg.

Installing. Got a lot in, in a very short time. Board, CPU and Memory all in. Along with the Graphics and sound cards. Waiting for the cooling.

All done. Sorry there aren't more detailed pictures here, there will be after I get the SSD in. I just didn't have any time left over to do any good documentation. I had to get it up and running fast. And I still had a ton of problems after that. Nothing to do with the components, just me learning a few things about software lol.

Running with the new cathode installed.

The memory. Nice and uniform.

She is BRIGHT now.

Thanks to that new big boy cathode

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, for sure.

Well here we are, just about finished. SSD comes tomorrow, so I will post my specs as of now including the SSD.

The Interceptor

Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 (5x120MM + 2x140MM Fans) CHASSIS

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX with UEFI BOARD

AMD FX04100 Zambezi Quad Core 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) CPU

G.Skill Sniper Series PC3-1600 16GB DDR3 RAM

OCZ Vertex 3 SATA III 120GB SSD

eVGA nVIDIA 9800GT 512MB GDDR3 GPU

Thermaltake BigWater 760 Plus (1x120MM Radiator Fan) LIQUID COOLING

Antec CP-850 850W (1x120MM PWM Fan) PSU

Logisys 15" Blue Sound Activated CATHODE

Antec 120MM Blue LED Case Fan added to side panel to make a grand total 8 120MM and 2 140MM fans.

Not listing peripherals and monitor because those are upgradable items to be upgraded in the not so far future.

That's all I have for now.

More has changed in the world of Interceptor, and I plan to do a follow up review on how things hold up after a couple years of service.  Like what you see?  Make sure you take the time to follow us on Google+, Like us on Facebook, and Subscribe to us on YouTube and Blogger.

 
-Andrew