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I think it’s about time I introduced you to a friend. A bloody frustrating friend, I’ll admit. Yes, it’s my PC.

Built by my own fair hands (or rather assembled).

Within an Alpine EZ-Cool case, the PC was designed for quietness. The aluminium case is vented (and filtered) on all sides. Two case fans are installed – an 80mm HiPer fan on the front (lowered in speed via a Zalman Fanmate) and a rear 120mm (the make of which I can’t remember, but it was picked for its lower dB rating). This rear fan is controlled by the motherboard software, as is the Nexus fan on the processor. Both fans sit on Acoustifan gel gaskets.

The motherboard is an Abit AX8 3rd Eye, running an AMD Athlon 64bit 3200+ processor. 1GB of Crucial PC3200 DDR memory is installed.

Power is provided by a HiPer Type R 480w PSU.

A Maxtor Diamondmax 10 300GB hard drive is installed, along with a Lite-on CD-RW and an LG Dual-layer DVD-RW.

Graphics are powered by a Sapphire ATI Radeon X300SE.

The whole thing runs quite hot, as the fans are running at low speeds, but it’s incredibly quiet.

Anyway, I’ve recently been looking at possible upgrades, after having problems with my cordless mouse. Other than just giving it a bit of a refresh, it’s probably prudent to make it ready for the powerhouse that will be Windows Vista (I’ll end up with it one day – it’s bound to happen).

So, other than a new keyboard and mouse combo (the Logitech S510 looks cool), I’d probably look to upgrade my processor to a 3800+, double the memory to 2GB and improve the graphics with an ATI Radeon X1300 (which is certified to run Vista’s Aero interface).

Having said that I might hold back on the processor. You see, I keep having problems with my PC (hence the frustration) which I suspect is motherboard related. As I have an oem copy of XP, if I upgrade my motherboard then it’s likely to break it (as in, any major changes to your system and XP thinks it’s been installed on another machine. If you have a non-oem copy of XP, a quick phone call to Microsoft and they’ll allow it. If you oem, you’re on your own).

So it probably makes more sense to wait until I’m due to upgrade my OS to Vista and then get a new motherboard along with that.

Of course, my problems may also be PSU related, so a change of that may be in order first.

Hmmm… something to think about for a while. I think I’ll indulge in a SatNav system first, though.