Fractal's Fractured Systems

There is a custom on many of the PC performance sites to post your system specifications in your signature. I have been reluctant to do this for reasons that will soon become clear. Instead, I have this page that list each of my systems with their peripherals in decreasing order of when I build them. Thus, the newest system will always be at the top for you to see first. Retired systems can be found in the bonepile or in my garage depending on which is more convenient.

An investigation into why downloading a backup from a machine on the WAN side of a router to the LAN side of the router but inside the same building led to the construction of rooter router. It is a dell optiplex gx110 with a bunch of lan cards running m0n0 wall. It is happily routing packets between the WAN and the LAN at close to 100 mbit/sec while sipping a meger 24 watts

My main desktop at where I stay is based on the ARS Technica budget box. It has a MSI K8N Neo4-F motherboard with an A64-3000+, 2x512 meg CL2.5 PC400 DDR Kingston value ram, a MSI Geforce 6600 and a seagate 160G sata drive in an antec SLK 1650. Gaming performance on Rubies of Eventide and Rappelz is better than on the tiger MP with dual durons but still nothing to get excited about. The Antec TruePower 350 up and died after 6 months and was replaced with a no-name supply until I can find a Seasonic S12-430 on sale.

I recently took a job a fer bit from home and have been building up a few toys where I stay. I use an old IBM thinkpad T23 for email and general web browsing. It took a while to get used to using the laptop instead of the desktop but I am finding that the laptop gets far more hours of use each week than the desktop. A 700 MHz p3 is more than sufficient processing power for most of what I do.

My main desktop at home is a dual amd machine. A Tyan Tiger MP(S2460) with a pair of 1GHz durons has replaced the POS MSI K7T-Pro2A that up and died for no good reason in the Antec SX-830 case. Installing the 256 meg of Tyan approved ATP AB32L72A8S4B0S registered ecc ddr sdram has its challanges with the sockets Tyan choose to use but a little care was all it took. I am currently experimenting with different heat sinks on this system. So far, a FOP 32-1 and a SVC Golden Gate were tried both of which keep the processors nice and cool (low 30's at 100% load). A pair of SVC GC68's (also known as the best 5 dollar heat sinks ever made) are on it now and are performing just as well at a fraction of the noise. A geforce gf4-ti4200 video card, an adaptec scsi card and a Netgear FA310TX network card round out this box that I use for gaming.

A third Intel LB440GX 2u rack mount server joins the collection of systems growing in the 20U rollable rack cabinet. A single 700 MHz coppermine P3 processor power the system. Storage consists of 512 meg of ecc sdram and a 9 gig IBM SCA hard drive in a hot swap rail. I now have three of these machines in various configuration. One is my main web server, one is my public play machine and one is sitting in the corner in case I need it for parts.

An Asus CUSL2 with a 900 MHz celeron and 512 meg of PC133 SDRAM fills an Addtronics 6896 minitower to form the basis of my kids second machine. Their fighting over the old machine (an asus p2b with a p2-350) was getting out of hand and when the wife described the box as a "dinosaur" I realized I needed to do something. Family2 runs Windows 2k instead of Windows 98 on Family1, has a 7200 rpm Maxtor on order instead of the 5400 RPM seagate in Family1. Onboard video and sound mean the only card the system needs will be the Netgear FA310TX NIC. It has since had an Geforce 2 added to improve games and a DVD Reader replaced the CD reader so they can play movies.

My gateway / router / firewall machine is a 1U intel ISP1000 system with a 600 Mhz celeron. It sits on top of a 3U apc 700RM UPS in a 20U rack mount cabinet. Results of Rooter Router have me thinking I should replace this router as it is quite the power hog.

Columbus is my home server and consists of a N440BX motherboard with a pair of P3-600 katami processors, 256 meg of pc100 ecc sdram and a Quantum Atlas V 9.2 gig hard drive. An 18 gig Maxtor/Atlas 10k II and a DDS3 tape drive were recently added. All fit nicely in a genuine Intel Columbus case (from where the name comes). The N440BX is well suited to this job as I have no cards plugged into any of the pci slots. The bad news is it is a power hog and chomps down close to 80 watts of power

Wimpy was an impulse buy I made when a friend told me about upcoming BP6. From what I can tell, Wimpy's page was one of the first BP6 reviews on the net. Wimpy consists of an Abit BP6 motherboard with two 400 MHz celerons, 64mb generic ram, a buslogic bt-958 scsi card, an IBM DHFSS2W hard drive, a Matshita CR-8005A scsi cdrom, a generic DS21140 Tulip LAN card and some old ISA VGA card I had lying around finish the system in a SuperMicro SC750 case. Wimpy runs linux and is currently between assignments.

My backup desktop computer was built by the defunct clone shop "HiTech USA" to my specifications based on reviews on the net. I have been building computers for over 20 years and my wife still blames the system I built every time windows locks up. So I paid a local clone shop a few bucks extra to have them assemble it. The system consists of an Asus P2B with 128 meg of ram, a seagate 4gig hard drive, a generic S3 Trio AGP video card and a Memorex CDROM in a generic case. It served its life as the main family computer until one of the kids were given Bugdom for christmas and the 450 Mhz P2 processor just could not keep up. It now acts as a web surfing box for when my main machine is gaming.

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