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Just got my latest project up and running – a 3ghz P4 given to me by my parents. It was in seriously bad condition – incredible amounts of dust and what might be the dumbest cooling solution I’ve ever seen made the beast extremely hesitant to even start, much less run for extended periods of time. The parents had just bought a spanking new Dual Core Something (can you smell the envy?), and unloaded this piece of crap on my doorstep. At my request, of course – I’d been the one to try to fix the problem countless times before, and as their toll-free tech support I guess they felt they owed me something.

I kept the motherboard and processor and the two 256 mb RAM sticks, put it all in my own extremely good-looking and easily cooled chassi. The S-ATA disk also made the cut – but the cooling system was scrapped, and I brought my own graphics card. And thus, from the remnants of my then-current 2.4 ghz 1gb RAM machine and my parents’ discarded 3ghz 512mb RAM scrap-heap, I built myself a Frankenstein’s Monster. I’ve been trying to make it behave. The CPU fan is still too loud (but that might be fixed in the next series of upgrades), and sometimes this strange beast misbehaves – but it seems to be rather stable now, with CPU temps around 47-71 (as opposed to 80-96. Yes, celsius).

I just managed to install three new fans. Two were simple replacements for two that were way too loud (and let me tell you, replacing them was no easy task – this chassi is mostly easy to work with, but this was a monstrous task, fully comparable to doing anything with a Compaq *shudder*), and one was added. The whole thing is still way too loud, but it works – and it’s stable.

For the moment, that is enough.

Next step: Identify sounds, try to limit them at minimum expense.

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