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March 10, 2004

Sam's Insane Rig

Lunch today; a bag of Original P-Nuttles Butter Toffee Peanuts... I confess, these New York State hospital reviewers are driving everybody crazy and I haven't had time for anything but these peanuts. The verdict on the peanuts, by the way, is that they are stale. But the real reason I am here with you today is to share my specifications for what I consider to be the ultimate home personal computer system; Sam's Deluxe PC (Model 2004A) Case: Wahoo Computers "Schema" case, customized as follows;
ComponentPrice
Base Schema Case Price$259.99
Powder Coat Black$149.99
Blue Fan Controller Panel$89.99
Blue Fan Guard Lights$49.99
L-Shaped Lexan Side Window$57.99
Lexan Top Window$44.99
Blue Cathode Internal Light$39.99
Internal Black Light$39.99
Blue Aluminum Carry Handles$49.98
Blue Neon Underneath Light$37.99
Blue Glow Drive Bays$37.99
Blue "Night Rider" LED Display$83.99
Blue Glowing Case Badge$49.99
Blue Power LED$19.99
Engraved Name Plate$24.99
Custom Window Decal$24.99
Blue Aluminum Thumbscrews$16.99
Blue Fan Filters$14.99
Internal Hard Disk Coolers (x2)$29.98
Rounded Cabling$27.98
Acoustipak Deluxe noise reduction$84.95
TOTAL Price:$1,237.72
So we are off to a good start with a case alone, with no actual pc components, costing more than a fully loaded Dell Dimension 8300. But this sucker looks really cool, black aluminum tricked out with blue neon and LED lights inside and out. The aluminum makes it relatively light and frisky compared to your standard steel case. Processor(s): AMD Opteron Model 248 (64 bit) (x2) Price: $1,898.00 Hmm... 2 processors? I thought we were building just one pc? Well; Motherboard: MSI K8T Master2-FAR Dual CPU Price: $220.00 That's right, this motherboard supports 2 processors running at the same time. Now while this does not necessarily mean you get twice the speed in all of your applications, there is still a noticeable improvement when multitasking as one cpu can handle the background tasks while the other cpu handles the forground stuff. Got to have it. RAM: 8GB Crucial DDR PC3200 ECC (4x2GB) Price: $3,996.00 8 gigabytes of RAM? Is this really necessary? In fact is it even marginally worthwhile? No and no. But it is the most you are going to see in any personal computer today, so it must be done. Power Supply: Antec True Control 550W Price: $99.00 Your average 350 Watt power supply is not going to be enough to drive all that RAM in addition to the other components we are about to load up, so we are going with this 550 Watt bad-boy. Equipped with a fan adjustment knob so you can turn down the fan noise if you like. My Deluxe pc's like to run quiet! Hard Disk(s): Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA 10,000rpm (x2) Price: $454.00 These drives run on the IDE interface, whereas we could have gone with a SCSI interface add-on card and a couple of (arguably faster) SCSI hard drives with it. However, this pc is built to be easily upgradeable and we don't want to fiddle with a SCSI adapter every time we swap in a new processor. Besides, we are getting 2 drives for a reason; configured in a RAID-0 array we get very, very fast performance, with the data striped over 2 hard drives instead of streaming off of just 1. Video Card 1: Matrox Parhelia HR256 (PCI) Price: $2,495.00 Wow. This is a pricey little unit, eh? Well at least we are getting the highest resolution, truest possible image from this puppy, to the point we might count the dimples on Paris Hilton's butt. Not so hot for games, though, now what are we going to do about that? Did you notice anything about this video card? Yep, it is a PCI card. That means we are leaving the higher-bandwidth AGP-Pro slot on our motherboard open for; Video Card 2: ASUS Radeon 9800XT 256MB (AGP) Price: $459.00 Sheesh, the 3D-accelerated king of the gaming graphics heap manages to look reasonably-priced in comparison to the rest of this rig. Now let's hook up our video cards to some slick displays. Monitor 1: Iiyama AQU5611DTBK 22" 9.2 Megapixel (3480x2400) Price: You Don't Want To Know (approx $7,000.00) Our priciest component. Oh well, nothing can be better than this wide-aspect monitor, with the proper hook-ups in back to connect to our ridiculously over-powered Matrox video card. Swank. Naturally we are not playing our 3D games on this thing, though, as even the best-looking flat panel displays have too slow a response time for any fast on-screen action. Monitor 2: Iiyama Vision Master Pro 514 22" CRT Price: $650.00 There is just room left on the desk for our gaming display, an humungous CRT, also from Iiyama. Sound Card 1: Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro Price: $209.00 I frankly don't care too much about sound when it comes to games- as long as I have a stereo signal I am kinda happy. But in case a real audiophile drops by we can fire up our 7.1 surround system, powered here by Creative. This card has some nice recording features, but for our home music studio work we have something else in mind; Sound Card 2: M-AUDIO Audiophile USB (External) Price: $169.00 Geared for home music production. Subtle but sweet. We are getting it. CD/DVD: Memorex 8XDVD, 40XCD-R Recorder Price: $149.00 Fast. Universal Power Backup: Belkin 1200VA 670W, 100minutes Price: $134.99 This power backup is for when the lights go down on the city- a common enough occurrance in these days of deregulation it seems. TOTAL(ly insane price):

$19,171.70

Gee, I don't know, if it weren't for that last 70 cents I would think about gettin' me one of these rigs right away. Maybe next month, if I don't blow my allowance on my girlfriend first!