Upgrading my Computer (Ultimate Computer 5 –> 8)


The Inside of the Beast!

This year, I decided to move out of the dorms at Cornell, and rent an apartment with 4 friends. Naturally, we wanted to have some kind of entertainment system, but didn’t want to pay a monthly cable bill, since we hardly watch live TV anyways (hulu is where it’s at). So, I set out to build a media PC that we could hook up to a TV, and stream content with. Naturally, we’re also using it play our combined wealth of downloaded media content, etc.

As it is, I already bring up two computers to college, my main desktop (codename: phoenix, aka Ultimate Computer 5), and my laptop (which I won for free during my time as an Intel STS Finalist). Considering all the HD content editing I do, I need my desktop for its rendering power and expansive hard drive space. But did I really want to bring up a 3rd PC!? Hell yeah! But wait, my desktop is now 2 years old – that’s ancient in computer terms. So, I did what any computer geek would do – I upgraded my computer, ripped out the old parts, and shoved them into a much smaller case for our media PC!

Sounds easy, right? Wrong. The new Media PC case is a Lian-Li PC-A05NB Micro Case (I’ll be uploading a video review of it soon Check out the Review!). I wanted to squeeze in parts that used to live in a Full Tower PC case! Getting the PSU to fit was the hardest part – I had to attack the mounting system with a dremel, solder together a new ATX power connection, and rework the front bezel of the case. The image below on the left is the original bezel for the Power Supply. Using this caused it to overlap with the Motherboard ATX connector. So, I dremeled it apart until I got two of the mounts on the right.

Original PSU Bezel"Modified" Bezel

Naturally, Modifying this prevented the front of the case from going on correctly, hence why I then had to solder up a new power extension. Anyways, I eventually squished my “old” computer into the media PC case, and was ready build a new machine inside the Silverstone Temjin TJ-09 that I had previously been using. Here are the specs for my new monster:

Processor Intel Core i7 930
Graphics Card EVGA 470GTX
Motherboard EVGA X58 Classified
System Case Silverstone Temjin TJ09 Black
Power Supply Silverstone 1000W Modular Active PFC
Optical Drives 2x Samsung Lightscribe
Hard Drives 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black
2TB Western Digital Caviar Black
Cooling System Xigmatek Dark Knight CPU Cooler
6x Scythe Slipstream 120mm fans
Additional Components Sabrent Media Card Reader
Peripherals Logitech MX5500 Keyboard
Logitech MX Revolution Mouse
Logitech 2MP Webcam
Samsung T220HD Monitor
CPU Clock Speed 3.4GHz
CPU Voltage 1.117V
Bus Speed 161.6MHz
CPU Multiplier 21x
RAM Clock Speed 2GHz
RAM Timings 9-9-9-28
RAM Voltage 1.5V
CPU Idle 30C
CPU Load 50C
GPU Idle 45C
GPU Load 75C
System Idle 35C
System Load 50C

Note that the CPU is overclocked to 3.4GHz. It was a dream to overclock with this motherboard. The CPU runs super stable and cool, even with its voltage cranked up a little, and its clock bumped up by 800MHz.

Now, check out the super awesome build video below, or visit the project page at for some pretty pictures!


  1. I like watching this kind of video.
    you have sweet drives.

  2. Hi Jeremy,
    my name is Davide and I’m your fan. I knew you by arduino blog and it’s very fantastic, your lessons are very nice for starting with arduino. I leave in Itlay and I’d like to be your friend, is it possibile? How can have a contact, by tweet, by facebook….
    Have a good time


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