Use this trick to get the serial number of your hard drive in Windows 10 + 8 & 7 without physically taking it out and looking at the sticker!
It’s really simple and only takes a second if you follow these instructions!
My old file server died a few years ago, probably because of a dead motherboard. Might have been the power supply. Not sure.
Anyways, ever since my old server went cold turkey, I’ve had this bunch of old, powerful hardware sitting for ages.
I planned to “migrate” the motherboard and CPU from my old gaming and work PC to the old server case and revive it, but just kept postponing it again and again for a long time.
I got a bit annoyed today.
The reason being how Windows 10 automatically found out that a new device driver was available for my Nvidia graphics card, through Windows Update.
Then Windows simply went ahead and installed it for me while I was away from the screen for a couple of hours. In previous Windows versions (Windows 7/XP), you had the option to disable “optional updates” as you pleased.
This is no longer the case in Windows 10 (and 8.1).
A few guys from different corners of the world have gotten together and created the Lightpack – an affordable ambient backlighting system, much like Philips’ Ambilight.
The drawback compared to Philips’ system, is that the Lightpack requires software to be installed on a computer to run.
The FAQ states that they are working to get support for up to two Lightpacks in sync via the included Prismatik software, to enable multi-display and better large (50″+) diagonal displays support.
Personally, I think it’s both fairly cheap and looks like a neat package. Since I’ve been waiting for something like this for my PC for a while, I’m now officially a backer!
Remember to add an operating system (I recommend Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit), any accessories and a monitor if needed. Generally, I recommend sticking with Logitech for accessories and Samsung or BenQ for monitors.
You do not need to add: A good soundcard is built-in to the motherboard, CPU fan is included with the CPU and the R4 chassis comes with two good fans included, and has a built-in 3-speed fan controller supporting upto 3 fans.
Go green! Why did I choose the slightly more expensive AV-GP variant of Western Digital 3TB harddisk? Huge storage with much better performance than the slightly cheaper options. Check this review by StorageReview.com for some impressive AV-GP benchmark results.
If your main priority is gaming: I’d spend it on replacing the GTX 660 graphics card with a GTX 660 Ti or GTX 670 – preferably the OC or SC editions for some added performance boost.
If your main priority is video editing: You may want to add another SSD to use as a “scratch disk”.
This is just a suggested setup, I’m not affiliated with Dustin Home. An additional 99 NOK for shipping takes the total price of this gaming rig to just below 10 000 NOK.
Last update 23.09: Replaced SSD with Intel 330 Series, replaced PSU with CM Silent Pro M2 520W, replaced GeForce GTX 660 OC with GeForce GTX 660 TI SC. The 660 TI is superior to the standard 660, and SC (“SuperClocked”) cards from EVGA can be overclocked more than standard versions.
The ASUS E45M1-I DELUXE is a Mini ITX (6.7×6.7 inches / 17×17 cm) card, which I’ve stashed inside an old Silvestone Sugo SG05 case to make a decent media center PC for cheap. I’ve replaced the single 12cm case fan in the front with a silent Noctua fan and used an SSD instead of a regular harddisk, all in the name of silence.
Being the DELUXE edition, it comes with an onboard wireless card, which is connected by two wires to two antenna connectors sticking out at the back of the case (by the IO shield).
It all sounds great, but there’s a problem: the WiFi card that comes with the motherboard doesn’t support the 5GHz band on my wireless home router.