Mothership PC (2004) Design & Construction: Peter Asaro

I built this computer for myself in the winter of 2004/2005. It was the first ccomputer I had built from scratch, but I had installed/replaced many components before. I fund it to be pretty easy, if you figure out everything in advance. Otherwise, things do not fit, or are not compatable (like the first RAM sticks I order for this one). Mostly I wanted big beautiful aluminum case which could hold many drives and run a couple of monitors, and double as a DVR. The DVR thing never really worked well, but the rest did and it is still a great running machine. The power supply died after a couple of years, but was still under warranty, and Enermax replaced it for free. More troubling was that one of the hard drive controllers on the motherboard got fried, so now I run the boot disk through the IDE controller for the master CD-ROM, with the DVD drive as slave. This kept me from having to replace the motherboard but is neither elegant nor efficent. Overall, the big issue became wires, which seemed to be everywhere. I eventually got some specialized cables to allow me to utilize all the USB and firewire ports, and used many twist-ties to tame the vast number of cables. Also, with all the fans, it is pretty loud. I had hoped the thermal controls along with many fans would allow them to run slowly and quietly, but the thermal sensors do not appear to work (the thermal alarm keeps going off in the Silverstone case, and there is no way to prevet this, just turn it off when it beeps.)

External components include a VISON 19" LCD, Sony Cineza VPL-HS10 widescreen digital LCD projector for the second monitor, vintage Pioneer sound system, and an IBM wireless keyboard with built in mousestick, and a Microsoft Intellimouse. I also swapped out the original fans for low noise Thermaltake blue LED fans throughout the case, got the transparent side panel, and put castor wheels on the case. I also installed a USB 9-multi card reader in one 3.5" bay, and a Mitsumi 3.5" floppy with an aluminum face in the other. For a while I even had an old 5.25" floppy in there, just to kick it old school!

Main Components:
Motherboard: ASUS P5AD2 Premium
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 550 3.4GHz 1MB
CPU Heatsink: ZALMAN 7700 Copper 92mm fan
GPU/TV tuner: ATI All-In-Wonder X600 Pro 256MB
RAM: (2x) 1GB PQI Turbo 4200 DDR2 dual channel 533MHz 3-3-3-8
Harddrives: (2x) 250GB Western Digital SATA2, (1x) 250GB Maxtor ATA
Optical Drive: LG GSA-4160BI 16x Super-multi DVD-RW, LITE ON 52X/32X/52X CDRW
Power Supply Unit: Enermax Noisetaker 650W (had to replace it, under warranty)
Case: Silverstone TJ05-ST brushed aluminum (stupid thermal alarm goes off all the time)

Here are the build shots: