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Finishing Touches

We now have a rig that is ultra-fast, powerful, cool, quiet, and attractive. Figure 7 shows a picture of our finished case at night. The built-in blue lighting of the Antec case is very well done. A nice touch might be to add more internal lighting. White laser LEDs would highlight the platinum-coated RAM heat spreaders. Perhaps you could also add a couple of white, cold cathode tubes; these could be connected to a toggle switch, allowing you to display the innards for your friends. Chromed "shower-hose" cable sleeving can give it a nice post-industrial look; but be careful that the metal sleeving doesn’t short out any electrical components! You can find modding materials at http://xoxide.com/. A blue-lighted keyboard would also accent the blue case lighting.

Peripherals such as speakers and monitors are outside the scope of this article. However, it is worth mentioning a hint about LCD monitors. You should get one at least 19 inches in size. More importantly, if you are a gamer, you need to buy one with a low delay. A good example is the Viewsonic VA902b. It is a great monitor at a reasonable price, and it has just 8ms of delay. When we first installed this monitor, it seemed like the other players were standing still for us. If you like to use the highly accurate railgun during gameplay, you will appreciate a monitor with a low delay. Note that you can also spend more to get a monitor with only 4ms delay, but you won’t notice the difference.

That’s it for this year! Questions, comments, and suggestions are greatly appreciated; please contact the author at cyrus@airscanner.com. The shopping list and final prices are listed here: Note that these were our prices at the time of this writing (March 2006); the prices should drop even more with time.

Product

Price

CASE Antec P-160W ALUM SLV U2F

$99.99

DVD+/-RW NEC ND-3550A BK

$39.75

PSU Seasonic S12-600

$158.99

CPU AMD 64 4200+ ATHLON X2 939P

$357.00

HD 74GB WD 10,000RPM 8MB WD740GD

$154.00

CPU Fan Zalman CNPS 9500 LED

$63.99

MB ASUS A8N-SLI Premium NF4SLI 939

$166.99

MEM 1Gx2 D400 OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K

$199.99

CPU Therm PAS Arctic Ceramique

$4.99

Gigabyte GeForce 6600 GV-NX66256DP

$109.99

Gigabyte GeForce 6600 GV-NX66256DP

$105.99

Total:

$1,461.67

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