I've decided that I need to upgrade my desktop computer. When you look at this highly customized piece of precision machinery, I'm sure you will be asking yourself, why? Why upgrade that?!? It's perfect, it just needs a little cleaning and it's as good as new.
Here's the old Alienware. Eight years old, from the year 2002. I bet you just love that sweet side fan grill with the alien head!
Inside the front panel, we see the nice 3.5" floppy drive and the DVD reader. Note the fingerprints in the ten years of dust. And the Intel Inside, Pentium 4 sticker.
I even thought about putting my Iomega ZIP drive into this machine, but I didn't have the heart to ask my wife to give it back.
The back panel ports could use some work, as I have accidentally damaged one of the USB ports. But hey, at least I upgraded the graphics card and now have DVI out!
Now we get to what you are all dying to see... the inside of this beauty! Note the custom side mounted intake fan blowing directly on the gpu to keep it cool. Observe the flawless cabling with the neat and tidy cable ties. I know, you are jealous, it's OK.
Here's a close-up view of the massive cpu heat sink and fan. I'm just glad it was able to clear the nearby components! That heat sink (with included fan!) is covering up a powerful Pentium 4 processor, the latest and greatest from Intel.
You'll note that I've upgraded the memory to four sticks, for a full 1GB of desktop memory. It's so much snappier now. If your computer seems a bit sluggish, you might also want to think about upgrading to the full 1GB of memory.
Now for the graphics card detail... it's a 4x AGP card, so you KNOW it's good. A blazing-fast Radeon 9600XT with a whopping 128MB of GDDR memory. Yep, I upgraded that myself when my old memory card blew out some graphics memory... a good modder isn't afraid to upgrade the parts of his rig, after all, even if it's something as complex as replacing the stock gpu with another gpu card.
I bet you are asking yourself... what could possibly power this monstrosity?!? Well, let me tell you. Nothing other than a massive Chieftec power supply! With up to 315W of power, it's enough for any setup you could ever want. Get one of these babies and you'll never have to buy another power supply again!
But how to interface with this beauty? Why not a timeless classic that never goes out of style. I give you.. the IBM PS/2 Keyboard! I've also done a few "custom mods" here as well. I've removed, via the "rip out" method, the pesky windows keys that can tab you out of Starcraft when you're doing nothing more than trying to make a dozen zerglings into a control group by hitting CTRL-1. Your days of accidentally tabbing out of a game when you bump the windows key are over with this highly customized keyboard interface!!
Now I know you are asking yourself, where's the display? I've actually upgraded the display a few times... from a 15 inch CRT to a 17 inch CRT to a massive 22 inch CRT! But I didn't stop there, oh no! I went all the way and upgraded the 22 inch CRT to a 20 inch flat panel monitor, the Samsung SyncMaster 204B.
Hmmm... guess I might need to clean the screen a bit...
I hear you. It's just dusty and needs a cleaning and it'll be as good as new. Why build another computer yourself when you've already got THIS BEAUTY?!?
Well I'll tell you why. Because I'm an xtreme modder, and that's what we modders do. We build stuff. We're not ever happy with "good enough", we're always pushing the envelope, whether it's by customizing a boutique computer, like my Alienware, or building something special from scratch, like I'm doing with this build log.
That's just how I roll.