High Speed PC Tech Station Review Discussion Thread
Rhode Island: neither road, nor island. Discuss.
Actually stick to the Tech Station review ;)
I'm thinking I've really got to get something like this to throw stuff onto in a hurry.
Does it "fold away" or would I need to find space on a shelf somewhere to keep it stored while not in use?
its small enough and unobtrusive enough to be put on a shelf and out of the way and its REALLy damn slick!
Great Review!:clap: I might consider one of theses if I get more people asking me to repair their computers.
It would be cool to have one just for the heck of it, would look awesome on my desk.
this thing is fantastic. If I hadn't left mine at work by accident I'd be using it at home probably every day. I would recommend the Top Deck one though. It's a little bit easier to access the components like the motherboard and CPU etc.
I'm in the process of building a test rig - and I saw that "case" @ ncix. Fits my bill perfectly. I think the price is a tad high for 2 polycarbonate surfaces, 4 Al extrusions and 2 120mm fans. Is yours for sale? I would be interested.
PS. You're using the best screwdriver there is. I have the same Snap-On model, same color too!
heh, unfortunately mine's not for sale. This thing rocks. It's one of those situations where you're not really paying for the raw materials, or even the craftsmanship. You're paying for the functionality and the time it's going to save you.
and yeah, this is the best screwdriver in the world. worth every penny.
I picked up one of the standard size Top Decks late last week, and been loving it! Sometime down the road, I'd like to get a second one.
At any given time, I have 3-4 mobos set up on their boxes, but I can only run two at a time on my workbench. I usually only run one, leaving much of the bench clear for installing into cases, repairs, yadda. I can work with two running, but it is a little tight and risky for marks and scratches, bumping things, so most of the time I'll shut one down and put it aside if I have a full case that needs to go on the bench.
Aside from the obvious ease in swapping components or even motherboards, I was hoping this would allow me to run two out of case systems at once, and still have enough room on the bench to work with a case or complete system. While is does save a bit of space, it's nowhere near enough for what I want, and I think my imagination was completely out of whack to think I could pull it off!
It's not really why I bought it, I was just hoping. :D Sometime this summer I'll be extending my bench anyway, doubling it's length. So I'll have a dedicated area for open air testing, and will easily fit two of these as well as one more on a mobo box.
Where it comes in extremely handy, is when I'll need to break out of the testing and clear the bench of all the junk to make space for maybe a rush job in a case. With this thing, all I have to do is shut down, disconnect the power cable, keyboard and mouse, and pick the thing up and move it to a smaller side table. Before, I'd have to pack up the PSU, opticals, hard drives, all the litter that sits on the lower level of the Tech Station. Same deal with going back into it, simply plunk it down, plug it in and fire it up.
Like the review says, swapping a mobo in this thing is stupid fast! It's pretty fast to swap a mobo on a mobo box, but it takes longer than the Tech Station because of all the litter and cables everywhere -- a certain amount of care has to be used and that takes a little more time.
The only thing I noticed, and it's apparent in the review pics as well (even though his is a larger version), all the wires and cables have a tendancy to spring out from the sides, making it's footprint larger than you'd expect. I managed to minimize it, but not eliminate it. So you do need a few inches clearance around the thing for room to work and cable-barf.
I would have liked the PCI support to be a little stronger, it flexes too easily, maybe it should even be metal -- very easy to replace I guess. I also have to watch myself when picking it up, there is a strong urge to grab it by the pci support bar and it is nowhere near strong enough to hold the weight. So I lift it by the underside of the top deck, is fine, I just have to remember.
It would be nice if there were a few extra screws with it. Not that you need screws at all when using it, just that you get the exact amount needed, and if you loose one...
I plan to drill a couple more holes in the top deck, so I can mount an Antec SpotCool fan for ram cooling, NB cooling or vid card cooling. One on the opposite end of where it's fan is mounted, and one on the opposite side from the pci support. It should then be able to cover nearly anywhere on the mobo that may require more cooling.
The supplied 120mm fan is quite potent, not sure if the cfm is published anywhere, but I am guessing it is well over 60cfm. It's not too loud either, louder than some would like but the breeze it casts on me a good foot away from the other end of the deck, is impressive (and a relief on hot days lol). It would have been nicer if the fan was a 3 pin with a 4 pin adapter... as it is, you need to swap the fan out if you want to plug it into the mobo and control it's speed or get the RPMs.
All told, I couldn't be happier with a simple product. I considered building something like this myself, yeah like I have time for that. The cost may seem a little high for what you get, but I know it will pay for itself very quickly in convinience, pleasure, and safety.
I'll try to find time to take some pics of it tomorrow, post 'em tomorrow night.
Finally got time to play with the new toy... errr, work with the new tool. :clap:
Haven't done any drilling yet, found the antec fan can reach pretty good when just bolted carefully to the middle edge mobo hole. There really is no use for it though, unless I slow down or swap out the stock fan, it alone is quite sufficient.
Found time to sleeve some thermal sensor and power lines I had for an old Cooler Master CoolDrive4 unit I thought would work great for monitoring temps of various parts when not in XP. Ends up handy because it'll hold a pata hard drive pointed out almost underneath the area of the mobo the ribbon cable would connect to -- lets me chain an optical onto it when the mobo only has 1 ide connection.
By far, absolutely, the bestest thing I like about this is the portability. I can shift it a little, move it as far as the cables allow, or disconnect the power etc and move it to a side table. With the old mobo box and psu/drives/cables x2 stewn across my bench, it used to be a bit of a PITA to make room for something new.
The first set of pics is with a budget clocker, one of those XFX NF650i-Ultra's NCIX has on sale for $99 plus a $20 mail-in rebate, and a E2160 1.8ghz 800fsb 1mb Dual Core that they have for $103. Heh, even the Ninja was on sale that same week. Ram is some G.Skill 6400PK's I had spare, could put anything in it because it runs very well behaved in unlinked mode, and the vid is a 6800GS spare. So depending on the ram/vid/case/psu, I can outfit it for about $400-600 and up. The mobo/cpu base at about $200 is extremely sweet, the thing runs like a champ.
The second set is a DFI LanParty UT nF4 Ultra-D I picked up not too long ago and was still untested. I had 4 untested socket 939 cpu's as well as 2 kits of untested DDR ram, so woot, I went at it all at the same time. Tons of fun, never got past the first cpu lol, ended up spending all the time setting up an OS all nice for it. It's ready now though, diff HSF as well. Maybe get back to it tonight.
Enough blether, here's the pics. Sorry for so many, I can never decide which to cut.
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