The Lauren Made Me Do It.

June 29, 2009

Cheap, Gadget, Lloyd

We were watching a movie on the new monitor a few weeks ago and it was skipping frames. Lauren asked why it was doing that and I said my computer was too slow for the fantastically amazing resolution of the new monitor. She said I should get a new computer.

I actually just changed the resolution on the monitor to something a mere mortal might use, and the movie was fine, but she did say I could get a new computer.

The next day I spent about, no kidding, six hours figuring out what parts to buy. I’m pretty computer geeky, so you might think that I would be up on all that stuff, but the tightwad in me knows that if I start looking at new computer things, I’ll realize how slow mine is and want to buy something new. So I don’t ever look at computer parts unless I’m ready to buy something.

All the little boxes came in a bigger box.

Here’s what I came up with:

  • Motherboard: ASUS M4A78T-E $114 (nice enough)
  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz $104 (overclocked to 3.4GHz)
  • Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 4850 1GB $114 (4 times faster than my old one)
  • Case: Antec Three Hundred $28 ($54 discount on this & power supply)
  • hec Raptor500 $17 (cables are almost too short)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 250GB $53 (I don’t need this much space)
  • Memory: Crucial 4GB $58 (about what I was using before)
  • DVD Writer: SAMSUNG SH-S223L $28 (I needed a black one)

Total cost was $517 after shipping (which was only $10) and rebates. If you’re interested in this sort of thing you can read all of the details on the various parts. Most of the parts arrived in a few days, but I had to wait on the stupid DVD burner. I didn’t wait, I started putting it together right away.



Ready for inspection.

The old computer would get incredibly dirty inside (this happens with all computers that sit on the floor unless your house looks like Annette’s house). We decided to raise it up a few inches to keep that from happening so quickly. Lauren thought a basket would look good. I was really pulling for turtles to support it. Since it was about 4 inches higher, the cooling system had to be re-engineered as well.

At first, I thought I would cut a hole in the bottom.

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About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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19 Responses to “The Lauren Made Me Do It.”

  1. Lauren Said on:

    Lloyd, “Why don’t you just get a new computer” is a figure of speech -- like “Have a nice day”. Nobody really means it.


  2. Brad Said on:

    250GB! Does anybody need that much space?


    • Lloyd Said on:

      Don’t they make iPods with 120GB? The cost has very little to do with the size anymore. an 80GB drive was $35 so tripling the size for only palindroming the price seemed reasonable.

      Lauren actually uses a fair amount space on her computer with the movies she throws together lovingly crafts.


  3. Deanne Said on:

    cooling system reengineering… so you moved the fan to the top of the case?


    • Lloyd Said on:

      No, the fan came there. I do a little over-clocking (running the CPU faster than the specified speed) and to provide some extra cooling (because that makes the CPU hotter and hotter is bad) I have a little duct work to pipe the air conditioning right into the case.

      It was piped into the side of the case at the bottom, but now the bottom is 5 inches higher. Lauren made a little cardboard extension to send the air up and over.


      • Deanne Said on:

        I see; never thought about that before, and we’ve always had troubles of one kind or another with over heating. Generally, when we’re having fan issues, Leo takes the vacuum or blower to it. I just cry… Lauren’s inventions are ingenious!


  4. Peggy Said on:

    My mind blew a fuse reading this post! Hey Lloyd…how are you at rewiring brains?


  5. Curt Said on:

    Well done!! Wow, overclocked to 3.4GHz. I would overclock my computer, but I am afraid that I couldn’t keep it cool enough since it is a laptop.

    Some day I will build my own computer, really it is the best way to go. I just need to get over this laptop kick. Plus I haven’t given up on my old windows 98 desktop. Still use it for old games.


  6. Michele Said on:

    That third picture made me a little sick to my stomach!
    Is there anything the two of you CAN’T do?
    You should have your own TV show on The Discovery Channel.


  7. Annette Said on:

    Picnic tonight at Annette’s….we’ll be eating off the floor!


  8. Lauren's dad Said on:

    Wouldn’t cooling the cpu with a liquid carry the heat off better than air does? Lauren could construct a small radiator, coolant lines and a thermostatically controlled fan. Would it be a way to keep dust from accumulating so quickly in the unit? Worth a try?


    • Lauren Said on:

      If Lloyd was awake, I’m sure he’d say that allowing me to construct something that holds water and then allowing me to put it near his precious computer would be a very, very bad idea.

      I think it’s genius! I’m on it, Dad! Where are those bendy straws……


  9. Jill Said on:

    Methinks someone is eyeing the mouse with great interest…


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