Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tips while building your own computer

Was doing some research for building a computer – was real rusty with the latest info. Summarised my learnings below:



·         An SMPS cannot give the complete power that it is rated for. The actual power provided varies with temperature, load on the system, etc.

So Corsair VX450W (which is an excellent SMPS) can only give 382.5W at 50% load (that is 85% efficiency. Refer here).

So always buy an SMPS higher than your need.

·         Calculate your expected power need of your computer using this online calculator.

So always buy an SMPS higher than your need.


Hard Disks

·         For faster speeds, go for a 7200rpm HDD instead of 5400rpm.

·         A HDD with higher cache (32MB is really good) improves real-life file copy speeds dramatically (especially when going for a slower rpm HDD).

·         Theoretical Interface Speeds:

SATA 3.0 (6Gbps/600Mbps) > USB 3.0 (5Gbps) > SATA 2.0 (3.0Gbps) > SATA 1.0 (1.5Gbps/150 MBps) > USB 2.0 (60MBps)

·         eSATA and eSATAP have the same speeds as the respective SATA versions.

·         eSATA devices need additional power via a separate power cable. USB and eSATAP have built in power through the cable

·         Unlike USB 2, USB 3.0 is bidirectional like all the SATA versions.

·         All USB interfaces (including 3.0) need some bridging to communicate to the HDD ports on the MB which definitely slows down actual data throughput (refer here)

·         For current magnetic HDD transfer rate of 240Mbit/s (average), the latest SATA3.0 or USB 3 interface is overkill. But the latest solidstate drives push the boundary to 355 (refer here) and can benefit from SATA III…

·         If you have 2 drives, try to setup a Raid 1+0 configuration. This gives you much faster speeds and also disk failure tolerance. But the cost is that less space will be available. See how here


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