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Mark's Hardware Support Page

I know, pretty cheesy listing the hardware I use, but so what! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012: My latest computer system was purchased due to a hardware failure on my old one. The power supply and/or motherboard fried causing it to no longer power up. The motherboard had several capacitors that had leaked out brown stuff. This new system is awesome! I'll expand on my experiences with the system on my blog at a later time. :)

Computer

Current Computer - 2012 Systemax SYX SG-125 Gaming PC
Component Manufacturer/Model Comments
Operating System Microsoft
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
It's taken a bit to get used to it, but the more I use it, the more I like it.
Case Apex
Vortex 3620 Gaming Case
It's cool with its blue lights. The blue power LED will blind you if you stare straight at it. Really lights up the room at night LOL.
Motherboard MSI
MSI P67A-C43 (B3) ATX Motherboard
They claim it's based off this board so hard to know if it's an exact match or if it's slightly modified for their needs. As best I can tell it all seems to match.
Processor Intel
Intel Core i7-2600 3.4GHz
Intel Core i7-2600 3.4GHz 1155 8M 95W CPU, one that came with the system.
Processor Heatsink/Fan SystemMax Using the stock heatsink and fan that came with the system. Not sure of exact manufacturer.
Memory Crucial Technology
4GB DDR3 1600MHz PC3-12800 Gaming Memory w/Heatsink
System has a total of 8GB. At this time I do not know the exact manufacturer.
Power Supply Evga
EVGA 600W
Bought on October 18, 2016 to replace the Apevia one which was a bit noiser than I liked. Bought it from Best Buy in OKC. Luckily, everything else on the PC still works.
Backup Power Supply Apevia
Jupiter ATX-JP600W
Bought on October 13, 2016 to replace the one that fried. Bought it from Computer Connections in OKC. Luckily, everything else on the PC still works.
Graphics Card nVidia
GeForce GTX550-Ti
GeForce GTX550-Ti 1GB DDR5 PCIe x16 Card
Sound Card Realtek
Realtek ALC892
Integrated audio chipset. Sounds pretty good to me.
Speakers Boston Acoustics
BA745
Boston Acoustics BA745 2.1 Analog Speaker System O2ID Revision 0. Using the same speakers I had before.
Network Interface Card Realtek
Realtek 8111E
Integrated on the mother-board: 10/100/1000Mbps. Using this to connect to my Cable Modem.
Router (Wireless) Asus
RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dualband Gigabit Router
Installed on Sunday, December 27, 2014: At the moment have my computer, TV, and Blu-ray player hard-wired to it. Actually have the wireless portion of it turned off. If I have a friend over with a laptop that needs to connect, then I enable it. So far I really like it. (Note: Hardware version A2 running Asuswrt-Merlin 380.68 firmware.)
In-use Cable Modem Cisco
Cisco DPQ3212 DOCSIS 3.0 EMTA
Installed on Friday, June 28, 2013: Currently being used with Cox HighSpeed Internet and Digital Voice phone service. Originally on premiere package at 25 Mbps down and 3 Mpbs up. Now, Tuesday, April 19, 2016: I'm on their Premiere package which is up to 150 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up according to Cox's website. This thing is working well so far. Latest Speed Test Results
DVD-RW/Blu-Ray Combo Systemax
12X SATA DVDRW/Blu-Ray Reader Combo Optical Drive.
Not real sure who actually makes it. Shows up in Device Manager as ATAPI iHES112 3
Hard Drives Seagate:
Barracuda ST1000DM003

1TB 3.5" SATA 6G 7200RPM Hard Drive. Doing a search on the ST1000DM003 model that appears in Device Manager it looks to be made by Seagate.

Primary Monitor ViewSonic
VX2370Smh-LED
Installed on Tuesday, July 9, 2013: 23" Widescreen with a 1920x1080 native resolution. This is using a new panel technology that pretty much eliminates the issue of colors not being consistent across the entire monitor depending on the angle being viewed, such as a color being lighter or darker on one side of the monitor versus the middle and opposite side.
Printer/Scanner Epson
Expression Premium XP-520 Small-in-One
October 18, 2016 - Bought it as an on-display item for $69 from AAMComp Computer Technologies
Keyboard Logitech
MK200 Desktop Keyboard/Mouse
Your standard, two-button, wheel in the middle, USB, Optical mouse. Keyboard is USB as well. (June 16, 2017: No longer using mouse due to clicking and dragging becoming erratic.)
Mouse Logitech
M100 Mouse
Your standard, two-button, wheel in the middle, USB, Optical mouse. One of the most basic models at Wal-Mart.
USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Model ADA-2020 It's a kit I bought at Computer Connections here in Oklahoma City to attach my old IDE Hard Drives to the system in order to copy over data. I'm not really sure who actually makes the thing LOL. I did find some product information based on the model here.ADA-2020. Anyway, works great! It's the thing in the bottom-left of the image above connected to the hard-drive.
Old Equipment from Current Computer
Old Printer/Scanner/Fax Epson
WorkForce 645 All-in-One Printer
October 18, 2016: After taking it to a service center, it was determined the print head went bad. It would have cost $185 to repair. - Due to the ancient nature of my previous printer and scanner and the need to purchase an adapter for my printer and possibly purchase third-party software to get my scanner to work in Windows 7 Pro 64bit I decided just to get a new printer/scanner instead. So far I am quite pleased.
Old Power Supply Systemax
550W 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply
It fried on October 13, 2016. Model HEC-550TEB. Replaced with one above.
Old Router (Wireless) Linksys
WRT150N Wireless-N Home Router
This router fried some time ago. Eventually replaced with the one above.
Old Cable Modem Arris.
Touchstone® Telephony Modem TM502G
Currently being used with Cox HighSpeed Internet and Digital Voice phone service. I'm on their premiere package which is currently up to 31 Mbps down and 3.7 Mbps up according to Cox's website. This thing rocks. Latest Speed Test Results
Old Monitor ViewSonic
VA2231wm-LED
22" Widescreen with a 1920x1080 native resolution. After the third time it exhibited a weird quirk, I decided to replace it.

Past Systems (for reference)

This is here for historical purposes only. The systems have since been discarded with the good parts removed.

Previous Computer - 2002 Gateway 700X Model
Component Manufacturer/Model Comments
Motherboard Intel
Intel D850EMV2
Doing some research, this is the motherboard inside my Gateway. Gateway did some slight modifications but this is definitely what my motherboard is. Various system reporting tools identify it as such.
Processor Intel
Intel P4 - 2.4 GHz
Intel Pentium 4A, 2400 MHz (4.5 x 533), one that came with the system.
Processor Heatsink/Fan Gateway Still using the stock heatsink and fan that came with the system.
Memory Samsung
1GB (2 x 512MB) RDRAM PC-800 40ns Memory Module

Kingston
Kingston Rambus 256MB 16bit 800Mhz 40NS Memory Retail
(Not in system)
Infineon
256MB RIMM Module (128Mx16)
1.5 Gig RDRAM PC800-40. The Infinion memory came with the system and I recently (June 7, 2011) replaced it with the Samsung memory to get a total of 1.5 Gig. I got the Samsung memory from here at Memory Suppliers The memory itself was made back in 2003 if memory serves. The first pair was defective but the second pair is working just fine. No problems at all returning the memory.
Power Supply Antec
True550
This is certainly not the stock power supply. I replaced the stock 250 watt PSU with this one in preparation for installing my new graphics card.
Graphics Card eVGA.com
e-GeForce 6800GT
Dude.. all I gotta say is WOW!!! This thing rocks! I can play everything I got at 1280x1024 with all the graphic options set to high and it's smooth! I can play Everquest with the clip plane set all the way out and no lag due to graphics processing and that with Antialiasing set to 2QS and Antistrophic filtering set to 16. Getting the full version of Far Cry was also cool. As of 7/18/2004 I'm still in the training mission LOL. Here are some benchmark results: 3DMark03 with 6.1.7.2 WHQL Drivers (9,946), 3DMark03 with 6.1.3.6 WHQL Drivers (9,985), 3DMark2001 with 6.1.7.2 WHQL Drivers (14,034)
Sound Card Creative Labs
Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro!
Sounds great! Jammin' to some streaming audio/video from Ravetrax while I'm doing this. The CMSS-3D and 24-bit Crystalizer really make MP3 files and internet radio sound much better.. more defined and crisper. If you'll notice, you can see that I have my turntable hooked up to the Elite Pro's I/O Console Phono Input (the thing with all the dials on it next to the tower case).
Speakers Boston Acoustics
BA745
Boston Acoustics BA745 2.1 Analog Speaker System O2ID Revision 0. It's the speaker system that came with the computer. I've just never gotten around to getting a fancier or different speaker system. The Cambridge Microworks speakers I used to have are at my parent's on their computer.
Network Interface Card Intel
Intel(R) PRO/100 Network Connection
Integrated on the mother-board. Using this to connect to my Cable Modem.
Router (Wireless) Linksys
WRT150N Wireless-N Home Router
At the moment have my computer and TV hard-wired to it. Actually have the wireless portion of it disabled. If I have a friend over with a laptop that needs to connect, then I enable it.
In-use Cable Modem Arris.
Touchstone® Telephony Modem TM502G
Currently being used with Cox HighSpeed Internet and Digital Voice phone service. I'm on their premiere package which is currently 15 Mbps to 20 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps to 2 Mbps up. This thing rocks.
Not-used Cable Modem Motorola.
SB5120 SurfBoard Cable Modem
Currently being used with Cox HighSpeed Internet. I'm on their premiere package which is currently 12Mb Downstream and 1 Mb Upstream. This thing rocks.
DSL Modem Efficient Networks, Inc.
SpeedStream 4060 USB
This is no longer attached or being used but I'm keeping this information here for now. Looks like they got acquired by Siemans. Anyway, it's a USB 1.1 device. It connects to the PC via a USB cable. There's a NIC built into the modem.
Dial-Up Modem Gateway
Gateway V.92 PCI Soft Modem R1
Since I never used the thing, I took it out when I recently re-installed Windows.
DVD-ROM Gateway
HLDS 16X DVD-ROM Drive
Doing some research, it looks like the drive was made by LG Electronics. According to AIDA32, it's a HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8160B (16x/48x DVD-ROM). It's what came with the system. I'm looking at replacing it with a DVD-RW sometime soon... perhaps the one from Creative.
DVD±RW Plextor
PX-716A
It kicks ass! :)
Hard Drives Western Digital:
WD1200JB

Seagate:
Baracuda 7200.9 (ST3120814A)
As of 7/18/2004 the Western Digital drive is only about a week old, same as my power supply and graphics card. It replaced the 120 Gig WD drive that came with the system. My old HD started making a whining noise that started really getting to me and I thought it might crap out any minute. This is the newer model with 8MB cache. Much quieter! :)

I got the Seagate on 11/7/2005 to become my new main drive when I decided to re-install Windows. I decided on Seagate because of its quieter operation with its dynamic fluid bearings. The WD drive will now be used to hold large media files, disc images, and the like which should cut down on the fragmentation.

Floppy Drive NEC
1.44-MB
Ehh, it's a floppy drive... But, I do have one. Systems are starting to come out that don't even have one.
Primary Monitor Gateway
FPD1730
17-inch (43.2 cm) flat panel active matrix-TFT LCD with anti-glare coating, Recommend resolution: 1,280 x 1,024 @ 60 Hz. I really like it. Image is crisp and easy on my eyes. The thing with an LCD monitor though, the best picture is at its native resolution of 1280x1024 since that's how many actually tiny little squares it has. Other resolutions do not look as good.
Secondary Monitor Digiview
1707+
This one was the primary monitor on my old computer. This is a 17 inch monitor that I run at 1024x768. Windows XP Identified this as a Delta DC-770 monitor. The first one had a slight problem with it. One of the phosphors didn't work (one RGB element). So, I exchanged it for another. Might see if I can't get their HR-70 model. (few days later...) Nope, got the same kind. This one works much better. A pretty good image I'd have to say. I like its OSD options and the fact that it displays the frequency it's running at. It also remembers the screen positioning for the different resolutions which is real handy.
Printer Hewlett Packard
DeskJet 722C
So far I've been very pleased with this printer. The only quirk it has under Windows XP is that when printing in color, the built-in XP Driver uses the color cartridge to print the black parts instead of the black cartridge. Obviously, it's just some generic driver that works with a bunch of models. If I print from my old computer that's still using the 98 drivers, then it prints the black parts with the black cartridge.
Scanner Hewlett Packard
ScanJet 6200C
This scanner cost quite abit, but I think it was worth it. This is a USB Scanner and it's pretty fast. Luckily HP made an XP driver for it. To get an idea of it's scanning quality, check out some of my DVD Movie cover scans via my DVD page.
Mouse Logitech
USB Optical
Your standard, two-button, wheel in the middle, USB, Optical mouse. Of course it has the Gateway black and grey color scheme.


Old Computer - Home Built
Component Manufacturer/Model Comments
Motherboard DFI
P2XBL Rev A2
So far it seems like a pretty good motherboard. It has been very solid and I have had no hardware compatibility issues. Definitely a board I would highly recommend.
CPU Intel
PII-300 MMX
Works fine. Although, I did discover that Warlords II Deluxe will not run on a MMX CPU without disabling the Cache which causes it to run like molasses. Luckily Warloards III works fine.
CPU Fan PC Power & Cooling, Inc.
CPU-Cool® K1 Pentium II Processor Cooler
The original fan on my CPU died. It didn't want to spin up and it was acting irratically. So, I replaced it with this one. We'll have to see have much cooler the processor runs after awhile.
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling, Inc.
Turbo-Cool® 300 ATX
It's lowered the CPU temperature in my case about 20 degrees farenheit. The case itself is no longer warm to the touch. The fan in this power supply blows air from inside the case to the outside. The old one sucked air in and blew it across the motherboard; however, it also recycled the hot air that was already inside and blew it back in. Dumb design if you ask me. Now I'm ready to get myself a RIVA TNT AGP Graphics card!
Graphics Card Creative Labs
Graphics Blaster RIVA-TNT AGP
I just got a Graphics Blaster RIVA-TNT AGP Card (end of February '99). It installed without a hitch into my system. This is the first graphics card I've had where the mouse cursor (I use a custom yellow mouse pointer) does not flicker and flash when it's over a window that is changing graphics (when playing an AVI file, or WinAMP, or other frequently updating program/window). So, I was quite pleased with that. Quake II seems to run just fine. I did have to use Colorific to raise the gamma level so Quake II wasn't so dark. I just made a separate Quake II profile for Colorific, since my Windows desktop itself looks fine.
3D Accelerator Creative Labs
3D Blaster Voodoo2 12 MB
One smokin' card. (graphics/game performance wise.. not like literally, hehe) Oh, the RIVA is too! Got best of all worlds now: Glide, OpenGL, and Direct3D Acceleration.
Sound Card Creative Labs
Sound Blaster Live!
Love it! Love it! Love it!
Network Interface Card 3COM
10/100 Etherlink III
Uhhh.. it works. :)
Speakers None N/A
CD-ROM/DVD Creative Labs
8X DVD-ROM
Uhmmm, it doesn't work currently.
CD-ROM/CD-RW Creative Labs
CD-RW Blaster 4224
Although I managed to make a coaster out of my first burn attempt, the rest have been succesful. The problem the first time probably had to with the fact that I had my Virus Scanner going in the background (doh!). Or, it may have been because I did not have DMA Enabled in the Settings TAB for the drive. I enabled DMA on it when I noticed that I could not play MPEG files from it without having audio and video stuttering. Once I enabled DMA, MPEGs played smoothly.

I have the CD-RW drive on my Secondary IDE port as the master and my DVD-ROM slaved off it. Amazingly, both drives work fine together. I can still play DVD Movies and I can even burn CDs from my DVD-ROM to the CD-RW on-the-fly even though they are both on the same IDE chain! I have also found out that it's best to leave Auto-Insert Notification turned on. If I turn it off, then the computer will lock-up sometimes when I insert a CD-RW disc. With Auto-Insert turned on, the abCD software is able to properly mount the drive. Having Auto-Insert turned on does not affect the CDR burning process as the Nero Burning ROM software automatically turns off Auto-Insert Notification as it's burning.

Hard Drives Western Digital:
10.1 Gig
6.4 Gig
1.6 Gig (on shelf)
So far I've had good luck with them and their performance is pretty good. My 1.6gig Drive just died after owning it for 3 years and 9 days. I called them up and they agreed to go ahead and do an in-warranty repair/replacement. Knew I liked these guys :)
Monitor Impression 3 Plus It's just some old 14" monitor.
Printer See above Sharing printer over the network.
Joystick Logitech
Wingman Extreme Digital
I've only had the joystick for about four days (3/10/99 right now). Seems to work well enough. It's attached to the midi/game port on the Sound Blaster Live! I am using a MIDI Adapter Cable with the Live! to separate the midi/game port into separate joystick, MIDI-IN, and MIDI-OUT ports. So far I've only tested the joystick with Forsaken, which is why I bought it. To damn hard to play that game without a joystick!
Mouse Microsoft
Intellimouse
Your standard, two-button, wheel in the middle, serial mouse (not PS/2). Why did I put what mouse I used? Oh well... LOL

Following are some left over things that I haven't cleaned up yet since creating the chart above:

Cambridge Soundworks for their MicroWorks Speaker System. They ROCK!!! I also had the following speakers from them for my Home Theater setup: The Ensemble, Center Channel Plus, and The Surround speakers. This time, I will probably try out their MovieWorks 5.1 Speaker System. For those that are curious, I was using the Pioneer VSX-D606S Dolby Digital receiver. It has two S/PDIF and one RF digital inputs. The S/PDIF inputs on this receiver are compatible with the S/PDIF (AC-3) outputs of the AWE64 Gold and Dxr2 DVD Decoder card. This time, I will probably try their newer model VSXD-607S or the slightly cheaper VSXD-557S. I'm using a Stand alone DVD player with my TV/Stereo as all that's in another room... just more convenient than running 50 feet of cable from my computer to my TV/Stereo.

Regarding my Video Spigot (which I no longer have one now), in order to get it to work under Windows 95, I had to install an updated driver which was not made by Creative Labs. It was developed by Radius. You can grab spigot95.exe here if you like. It is a self-extracting ZIP file. The reason for this update is that Windows 95 handles the upper memory area between 640K and 1MB differently than Windows 3.X; consequently, using a base memory address in that range with the old Spigot driver would cause a GPF. This driver gets around that. I would recommend a base memory address of D2000 with this updated driver. If you already have the drivers for the Spigot installed, then just copy these file into your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory to replace the old files. If you have not installed the drivers, you can read how with this Creative FAQ. Well, I did have a link to one, but looks like it's no longer on Creative's Website. If you actually have one of these ancient cards and need help, feel free to email me.

If you happen to own a Hewlett Packard Scanner (one that uses a SCSI Adapter), and are thinking about getting PC-DVD Encore (or other DVD product for that matter) or if the DVD player quits working after installing a HP Scanner, you might want to look at: HP ScanJet Scanners - DVD or Multi-CD-ROM Drive Quits Working after HP Scanning Software Is Installed.

Maxtor for their 2.0Gig hard-drive I have. The performance of the Maxtor is noticeably worse than the Western Digital, but hey, it was free. :) Currently, this drive is in a system I made for my Mom.

Seagate for the 4.3 Gig Medalist 4321 (ST34321A) drive that came with this new system. After comparing it's performance with the Western Digital 6.4gig, I may replace this drive. It seems to choke when I enable DMA with this drive. This drive is sitting on the shelf now. I need sell it or put in my mom's computer perhaps.


Page last modified: Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:11:47 PM CDT

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