Friday, July 3, 2009

Computer case

I got the case for my new gateway/router machine: an Antec 300 through Newegg. The nice thing about it's that the power supply mounts in the bottom with the motherboard above. That means fewer cables dangling over everything, and fewer problems getting front-panel cables to reach to the back of the motherboard where some of the headers are. It's also got plenty of fans: one on top, one high on the back, one on the side panel and two behind the front panel. Two downsides, though. The first is that it doesn't have any external 3.5" bays, and the 5.25"-3.5" bay adapters are a pain to get. Not a problem for this machine, it won't have much in the way of USB hanging off it, but it may be a problem for desktop/gaming machines if I can't find decent 5.25" panels. The second is that you can't get at the air filter on the front bezel without taking the side panel off. That makes cleaning the filter a bit more of a pain. Again not a problem with this machine since it'll be sitting where the side panel'll be in the clear, but it may be an issue with machines that'll be under desks.

Another option for a desktop/gaming case is the Antec P183 or P193. Both of those have an external 3.5" bay and filters that seem accessible by opening the front door. I may have to see if someone locally carries them so I can get a hands-on look at them.

Oh, why am I building a new router? The answer lies in the CPU of the current one: a 400MHz AMD K6-3. This is an old Pentium-class. Not P3 or P2, Pentium. It's performance is, bluntly, anemic. I've got a leftover Abit KN8 Ultra motherboard and a CPU to go with it, so that's what I'm turning into a replacement router. It's still old hardware, but it'll be an order of magnitude more powerful than what I've got currently and should handle being a router and access gateway OK.

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