It’s all about the hardware…

Awhile back Michael did a post about the hardware we use for our demos.  In particular he talked about this new Shuttle form factor PC that he got.  Well he wasn't the only one who got a shiny new toy to play with.  Thanks to our friends at AMD who sponsored our team with 6 Gigabyte Micro ATX boards and 6 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor's I was able to build a machine around this that I could use as a powerful demo machine.  So that's what I did and here is how things turned out!

Hardware Specs

So here is what I started with:

Motherboard:  Gigabyte GA-M51GM-S2G  This is a small form factor board.  The idea here is we wanted as small a machine as we could build but still get better performance than our laptops for demos.  The good thing is it has everything built in on the board itself like high definition sounds and Nvidia graphics support.  Pluse it supports a massive 16GB of memory!  Plenty of room for future expansion!  i'll talk more about memory in a moment

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor - We ended up getting the 4200+ model which flies along for what we want to do.

So what did I buy?

Case:  Antec NSK 1300 Micro ATX Case  Very nice case and easy to work with.  It came with a 300 Watt power supply built in so I didn't need to worry about this.
CPU Cooler:
Coolermaster X Dream K640  I needed to get a low profile cooler because the limit for the case was 65MM.  It was a tight fit but managed to get it in just fine.
Hard Drives:  Samsung 200GB 7200 RPM SATA 300 - I ended up buying 2 of these and put them in a RAID 0 set for speed.  I plan to put my virtual machine images on these disks and then put my OS'es that I plan to install on a single Seagate 250GB 7200 IDE Drive.  That's all the drives I could fit in so hopefully it will be enough!
Memory:  Geil 2048MB DDR2-667 Twin Pack PC-5300  I originally only bought 2GB but I was having all sorts of issues with the machine freezing and it wouldn't install and OS.  I had approval for another 2GB so I just bought the cheapest I could find.  So I ended up buying Mushkin 2048 Dual Kit DDR2 Ram so now I have 4GB in the machine. Sweet!  Turns out the original memory I had was fine; it just wasn't seeded properly in the motherboard.  Doh!  I had to push it down really hard to get it to go in.  Anyway its all good now..
Optical Drive:
ASUS DRW-1608P2 BLACK 16X DVD-/+R, 8X DUAL LAYER+R IDE DRIVE  Got this in black of course..

So with all the pieces in place it was time for the assembly.  And this would be a complete blog post without pictures of the assembling.  So here goes!

Step1:  The obligatory photo of all the parts laid out and ready to go.....               

AMD Photo 1

The CPU Cooler gets unpacked...

AMD Photo 2

 All the parts laid out and ready to go..

AMD Photo 4 

The case gets prepared...   

AMD Photo 3

Power Supply gets moved out of the way...

AMD Photo 5    

The Motherboard ready to go..

AMD Photo 6

The motherboard going in..That's my good friend Ross with the steady hands..        

Amd Photo 9

The CPU and CPU cooler go in...

 AMD Photo 10

Memory put in - Only 2GB at this stage..more went in later...               

AMD Photo 11 

Everything else put its time to cleanup the cables..    

AMD Photo 12

 The final machine sitting proudly next to Michael's machine ( mine's on the left)  Don't you just love the blue lights?



So thats about it!  Now its time to get all the demo's setup and start using the thing.  I plan on taking this beast around with me when I travel so if you happen to be at one of our events come by and check it out!

Cheers, Jeff

Comments (6)

  1. Dugie says:

    Yeah I agree, show off!  (Secretly super jealous)

  2. Long Zheng says:

    Show off 😛

  3. Anonymous says:

    It might be the done thing in DPE circles to use shuttles-sized PCs, but what if you're a consultant

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a lot of you know Kleefy and I get pretty good hardware to demo with. In a post awhile back I talked

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