My Pentium 4  running WinXP Pro finally went to that silicon valley in the sky! Time to upgrade. :)  Do I want to order a pre-built system like a HP or Dell or should I piece something together?  I would save some money if I order the parts online, but I  was dead in the waters and needed a workstation. So I drove to the nearest CompUSA to get the parts.  Here's what I came back with:


The Cooler Master HAF 932 case is one bad-ass mamba-jamma!  It's a full tower standing at 22" with (6) 5.25" drive bays and (5) 3.5" bays.  The 3.5" (Hard Drive) bay also has a nice 230x30mm 700 rpm fan to keep all the drives nice and cool.  The screwless system for both size bays are also very convienent.   Here's a few pics of the case:

These are the screwless 5.25" and 3.5" drive bays:


It even has retaining holes in the back for liquid cooling kits.  I didn't go this route as I'm still a bit paranoid about liquid + computer.. works fine dry (for now). :P 


So that's the case.  All of this hardware is new to me.  It took a few minutes to realize that the power supply goes on the bottom of the case and not the top like older cases. 

After admiring how nice the case was, I started the build. 

First thing was installing the Intel i7 onto the motherboard.  This was a breeze, the i7 chip has notches on it so that you can't accidently install the chip the wrong way - it only fits in there one way!  Next was the heat sink that came with the i7 920.  The heat sink/fan just snapped into place on the motherboard and was rock solid after all 4 corner screws were turned.

Putting the motherboard in the case.
The EVGA SLI LE mainboard install went fine except for one little thing I overlooked.. I forgot to put on the input faceplate before screwing the motherboard down.    I noticed this AFTER plugging the cables in.  It was easy to fix... all I had to do was unscrew the motherboard, shift it back enough to slide the faceplate in, screwed the motherboard back and all was good. 

Installing the drives.
I took a few hard drives and DVDr drives from my old machine and easily installed them into the HAF 932.  There's a 1TB, 500GB, and (2) 300GB SATA hard drives for a total of 2.1 TB of hard drive room! :)  The DVD players are 2 DVD-RW drives.

Installing the Memory.
The 6Gigs of memory popped right into place (so I thought).  

Now that everything was in place, I plugged the power and data cables into all the drives/motherboard/etc.
I took the machine over to the (2) HP w2408h monitors and plugged it up. 

Crossed my fingers and pressed the power button.

The machine booted! I was really happy for about 30 seconds when it turned off.  It then turned on again.  This wasn't good!  I checked to see if I accidently dropped any screws on the motherboard, checked all the power cables and everything appeared to be fine. 


I turned it on again and the machine would just turn on and off repeatedly.  I thought maybe I had bad memory or maybe I didn't populate it correctly.   I had to break down and take out the EVGA X58 SLI LE  Mainboard manual... read though the memory section and saw how it should be populated for 6GBs: a 2gb stick in slots 1, 3 and 5.   I reconfigured the memory the machine did the same thing!  It turned on and off and on and off.  I was ready to drop kick this thing!  

After taking a quick cronic break, I went back to troubleshooting the new box.

I yanked on the memory stick which I thought was in there and it popped right out!  Even though the Corsair 2GB memory sticks appeared to be seated and notched locked.. they still had more to go.  If you have the same on/off/on/off problem, don't be afraid to use a little force to make sure you've properly seated the memory.  You should hear a clicking sound.  Afterwards, just give it a gently tug to make sure they're properly seated.  

It'sssssss   Allllllllllivvveeeee!!!!!!

The damn thing booted up! Good thing it was User Error and not faulty hardware.

Installing the OS:

Windows XP Pro 64 bit - Installed slow as !@#$ and never booted. 

Went over to the wife's Ubuntu* machine, downloaded and burned Microsoft Windows 7 Build 7100.  It installed, booted and looks tits!  Kudos to MSFT for putting out a nice OS. 

It's been 4 days with the new Intel Core i7 920 running Windows 7 and I gotta say I'm very pleased.

Oh yea, I also went back the next day to pick up a good power backup/surge protector.
APC BE750G 10-Outlet Power-Saving Uninterruptible Power Supply  



* Ubuntu - "So that your wife doesn't get computer viruses, malware & spyware. "

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