Bring life back to an older MSI Motherboard.
I only use the computer for CAD; PCB design, Schematics, Photoshop, Research and e-mails, I’m not a gamer and was only looking to support my Engineering needs, which is in the Aerospace field at JHU/APL.
After many weeks of reviewing what would work I came up with these items.
Note the MB is a MSI 7046, supporting a Pentium 4 Processor 530 HT 3GHz, FSB 800, Chipset 915, from a Medion Composer 5100 Model.
Starting with the Case; using a Thermaltake Armor MX VH8000BWS, which is easily upgradeable to water cooling or an AC unit, tho at the moment not needed because of the newer CPU cooler. The case comes with three fans; one very large side mounted which provides extra cooling for the Graphics Card, one in front that keeps the hard drives cool and one in the rear which vents the hot air.
Changed out the power supply to keep up with the newer graphics card current(amp) rating and other support items; Tagan BZ800 Modular, which is very nice, I don’t have to deal with that large bundle of cables anymore, I connect the cables as needed, the remainder cables are store in a nice cable pouch which comes with the supply.
Throw out the old CPU cooler for an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro; Thermal Resistance: 0.17°C/Watt, the fan only comes to life under heavy CPU loading and is very silent, CPU is now running much cooler, note also the back part of this cooler has fins which point down providing air for the DC Power Switchers as well. This is a large cooler and with the MB on its side it doesn’t appear to be a problem with the extra weight attached to the CPU fixture and MB.
Updated the cooler for the Chipset as well, it was always running hot; heatsink with no fan, now very cool with a larger heatsink with fan.
Changed out the old RAM for newer Crucial, now running 3GB, tho I am thinking of changing the OS to 64bit; running 32bit at the moment, to allow for more RAM above 4Gb. Note, more RAM does help for CAD operations.
Added an LCD; ACER P201W 20” wide screen monitor to complement the CRT ViewSonic monitor for Photoshop and CAD, love the split screen work. Spec: 5ms response time, resolution of 1,680 x 1,050, a luminance of 300cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 2,500:1.
After many yrs running the older Graphics FX card, it finally die, I blame it on the older AIRLX case with limited air flow used for the Medion Composer 5100 model, another reason to upgrade. I hoping this new card; MSINX8400GS, will handle the CAD and the Photoshop program well, if not I will have to buy the NVIDIA Quadro FX. At the moment tho, the Graphics card is working out very nicely and supports both monitors, and is fan cooled as well.