we’re doing something a little different
here on H.H.
We normally focus on straightforward
hardware reviews but while working on my most
recent project…a review of the Abit
VP6…I hit a little speed bump.
As most of you probably know by now, the
VP6 is Abit’s newest Dual-Processor motherboard.
Last week I sat down to install our review
board and about an hour into checking it out my
system went dead.
I had killed my power supply!
What a bummer! It was a decent
300-Watt unit that came with my case.
It had been operating properly for over a
year, powering a system that was always packed
with the newest high-end hardware.
We Killed it!
I realized that
there are certain things that as a hardware
reviewer I occasionally take for granted.
As someone who is constantly installing,
uninstalling and tweaking my hardware, I find that
sometimes I do things without thinking…like
second nature if you will.
I decided to outline some of these simple
things to insure your next upgrade goes smoothly
and gives you an extended period of reliable use.
Unlike my latest fiasco. :-)
The first area we’ll
be focusing on is power.
Abit’s VP6 is capable of running dual Intel
Pentium III Processors at speeds beyond Intel’s
current flagship, the 1.13GHz model. Running
processors at these speeds requires a constant
flow of clean power. Something
my previous power supply was not capable of
doing. A single 1.13GHz PIII consumes
approximately 50 Watts of power.
Double that, add the power requirements of
your RAM and the motherboard itself and you’re
already well over 100 Watts before you’ve added
a single peripheral!
When our generic PSU (power supply unit)
died, we knew we had to call in the big guns.
We contacted our friends at Outside
Loop and had a 431 Watt Enermax unit sent
in to power our rig…
Oooh, look at all
those connectors! Also notice the dual fans
mounted in our new power supply.
That brings us to the second point we’d
like to make when contemplating the move to a dual
With double the amount of processing power
in your case, you’ve got double the amount of
heat to dissipate.
The exhaust fans installed in this Enermax
PSU are a good base to our ventilation scheme but
there are a few more steps to take.
Another fan mounted at the top of our case
will be used to exhaust some of the hot air that
rises from our hardware.
That makes a total of three fans pulling
hot air out of our case.
Supplying cool air
to flow over our other hardware is also another
As the hot air rises and gets expelled from
the top-rear of our case, we’re going to utilize
two intake fans to pull cool air in through the
lower-front of it….
These two Sunon
units mounted at the lower front and mid-rear of
our case should supply an adequate flow of air to
keep our hardware cool and insure there are no
"dead zones" where the air is not