Wed 12 January 2011 @ 17:15
I recently moved backwards in my chair a little too fast when the PC front door was open and ended up breaking it. Actually, I tore it off the front of the case entirely, and ended up having to buy a new case. I had seen a couple of reviews of a case by a company called Fractal Design of a new case called the Define R3. It received some great marks for sound insulation and layout so I figured I’d give it a try.
The assembly process was very easy, though much more time consuming than I remember. I hadn’t changed cases since I bought the PCICase Nitro AX back in 2007, but I don’t remember it taking half a day to change. Maybe I’m getting slow in my old age, or maybe I’m just getting more perfectionist that I used to be. Either way, removing the PC from the old case and into the new one took longer than I thought. I changed very little on the PC itself, merely removing the floppy disk from the mix and adding a built-in card reader to the front panel.
The photo on the left will show you just how much dust was in the old case at the time. I took a solid millimetre off the top of the PSU and hoovered up a bunch from inside on the motherboard. Eventually I got all the components cleaned up nicely though, and started packing them in the new case. There were a couple of instances where the PSU cables weren’t long enough to run out the back behind the motherboard, but overall I think it worked out okay.
This was definitely a case (pun not intended) of every wire that could be hidden was getting hidden, and airflow through the chassis and over the CPU getting maximised. There are a total of four fans in the case, including the PSU fan and the CPU fan. Airflow through the PSU doesn’t actually go through the case at all, but is drawn in from underneath and expelled out the back. Main airflow comes from under the front, through a slow 120mm fan around the graphics card and then up and out through the back past the CPU. It is more difficult to describe than to illustrate, so I’ve done just that. The GPU is missing from this photo, as are the USB3 and USB2 risers. Unfortunately I neglected to take any shots of the case before I plugged everything in and stuck it under the desk.
There is nothing visible on the front of the case with the exception for a large blue LED which shows the power on status. The mod I alluded to in the title was to add a HDD LED in the same space as the power led so that the blue changes to red when there is disk activity. As far as case mods go it was very easy; the LED fitted nicely inside a space below the blue case LED and stuck there with a little pressure. There was ample space for the cabling to be run back through the ducting to the HDD LED connector on the case, though my cable wasn’t long enough for that. So, I soldered two cables together and use them. The LED I used wasn’t a standard case LED, but something a little brighter that I had purchased a while back which seems to do the trick nicely. Check out the video to see :-)
Mon 3 January 2011 @ 17:52
So the lovely Anna bought me a subscription to InMyMug for christmas. Along with a new French press from her parents and some other nice coffee-ey bits this was very much a caffeinated holiday. In My Mug is a weekly blog run by coffee roaster called Steve Leighton who is based in the UK. They are relatively famous in that several of the British Barrista Championship winners have used their coffee, as well as (I believe) one World Barrista Champion. Steve sells a subscription to a weekly bag of coffee which he then video-blogs about at the weekend. The videos are well worth watching as he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of coffee, and all of the coffees he sends out have typically been roasted the previous week so they are very fresh.
This week’s InMyMug coffee is the christmas espresso blend. It consists of 40% Mocha Matari from Yemen, 40% Serrano Superior from Cuba and 20% Ndimaini AA which comes from Kenya. It’s a rich spicy espresso with a fruity taste that works really well. I’ve been drinking it in cappuccino all day and it rocks :-)