My Poor Overheating Computer

Ever since I added a fifth hard drive to my computer, along with a higher-end video card (some of those higher-end features of which I’m now actually using), my machine has been overheating a bit, to the point that it sometimes locks up while performing long compiles. Not fun.

I’ve had my current computer case (affectionately named UPOS, aka Ugly Piece Of Shit) for over six years now. Despite having been around computers for a long time before that, it was the first computer that I built, as all the ones I had played with previously had been machines my dad had brought home from work. Anyway, my dad and I didn’t really know as much as we should have about building a computer, and our extensive research left out a rather important piece of the pie: the case. And so, we went for something relatively cheap, which, as it turns out, had terrible cooling and noise characteristics. To install a usable fan in the front of the case, we ended up cutting holes in the sheet metal and plastic bezel. Originally, I also “modded” the 5.25” drive bay bezel to hold a smaller fan in the drive bay. Eventually, after I added a second CD-RW drive, I had to remove the extra fan. At that point in time, I still only had one or two hard drives, so it wasn’t a terribly big deal.

Now, I have five hard drives and a single DVD-RW drive, taking up all of the bays. The interior is rather cramped, and all but one of the PCI slots are filled. The power supply is also a larger model than the one in it before.

So, I bit the bullet today (it was tasty) and ordered a new Antec P180 case. It’s pretty awesome. It has more drive bays than I currently need, and is constructed in such a way to deal with common thermal problems, and also to reduce noise levels. While I’ve gotten used to my relatively-noisy PC in my bedroom over the past 6 years, it’ll be nice to reduce that a bit. I’m not totally thrilled with the front-panel cover, as I always feel like they’re unnecessary and just get in the way, but I guess I really don’t use the DVD drive often enough for it to be annoying. Since it’s pretty heavy, I opted for the longest, cheapest shipping method, so unfortunately it probably won’t be here for about a week and a half, but fortunately it’ll be here before I leave for Maryland.

It belatedly occurs to me that I could have asked for this as a Christmas present and saved myself $150. Oh well.