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40. Nice to have

In addition to the bare minimum requirements, there are some things you may want depending if you are build a dedicated sit in the corner cruncher or a machine that you will be using for other tasks.

Optional Components

Sound Card: A sound card is not necessary for a sit in the corner cruncher but you would want one if you would like to hear any sounds from the computer. Sound cards to not affect crunching times.

Keyboard and Mouse: If you use the pc, then you will want a keyboard and mouse, otherwise they are not necessary. The duo does not affect crunching.

Monitor: Only required if you are going to be doing any activity on the pc. If the machine sits in the corner, then you can either use Remote Desktop in XP Pro to access it or another application that allows you to remotely access a computer. This does not affect crunching.

Media Devices: Floppy drives and cd-rom's aren't required to have a cruncher, but you will need at least a cd-rom to load the operating system. In general they are a good idea to have in case you have any problems. In general, they do not affect crunching times.

Additional Software: Additional software is not required, but of course if you are going to be using the pc, then you will need some other software. Check out the list of helpful programs for TSC and WCG. Additional software running in the background can and will slow down crunching. In order for optimum crunching, avoid running excessive programs in the background and you may want to tweak your services to speed up crunching even further. Because these projects are CPU-intensive, a program to monitor your system temperatures is a nice addition. You can find some freeware software, such as Motherboard Monitor: Presently available here. Just a heads up: Your motherboard must have the appropriate sensors. MBM can monitor fan speeds, voltages and temperatures of several components.

by slash See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2008-01-28 20:40:23

If you have two computers near each other, you may want to invest in a KVM switch. A KVM switch allows you to let two or more computers use one keyboard, one monitor, and one mouse (hence KVM). This will save you money and space. Most provide both keystroke and hardware (pushbutton) operation. Having four computers without a KVM results in keyboards and mice that can get quite messy.

This is an IOGear four-port KVM switch, just one example.

by slash See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2008-01-28 08:01:14

Since we're concerned with keeping our new cruncher as cool as we can, one of the options that helps us do that is the addition of round drive cables, rather than the flat ribbon cables we're used to. The round cables cut down on resistance to movement of air inside the case, and that's what we want.

Round cables are usually around $8.00 apiece ... you will probably need three:
  • One for your hard drive(s)
  • One for your CD/DVD drive9s)
  • One for your floppy drive, if any
    These cables are normally set up for two drives (master/slave), but buy three anyway. This allows for addition of supplemental drives later.
You can also make your own rounded cables by using a razor blade and electrical tape. You may damage your cable(s) if you're not careful, but you can also save some money if you opt to do it yourself. For instructions to make your own rounded cables, please see this site.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2008-01-28 08:02:23