Thursday, 26 January 2012

Jagwire Brake Block Review - V Brake

Jagwire Brake Block Review - V Brake

These Jagwire Brake Blocks are very cheap on £1.59 a pair, I think if you have very strong hands you may be OK, but other wise they are way off the mark, particularly in the wet.

You may say, they are cheap, but I have used brake blocks for £3 which are excellent, and and as such I would say these jag wire brake blocks are a bit of a false economy.

I have used jagwire cables (innners and outers) and they are fine, so I am not say that all Jagwire stuff is bunk just the brake blocks.

Update - 19/07/12

These blocks have lasted around 6 months now, which would leave me to believe they are a very hard compound which wears slowly but delivers poor braking, they will stop you OK, but you have to really clamp down on the levers.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

XW 8400 some observations

XW 8400 some observations

XW 8400 - Overview

The XW 8400 is a heavey piece of kit, its PSu is rated at 800 watts with gives you an idea of the kind of load it was disined for, in side the case you will find heat sinks on just about every chip on the mother board. It means business.

Update: 19/11/2012

Although rated at 800 watts the power supply draws around 200W when idle, and about 250W under load, this is based a a 2 x dual core set up with one SSD and a 1TB HDD.

With room for two processors at 1333 FSB the XW8400 can go up to 8 cores, which is a lot, although I suspect for most 2 or 4 will be plenty. I am running the 2.33 GHZ 1333 FSB dual cores, and even before I installed the second processor the machine was quick.

Update: 19/11/2012

I have since upgraded to 2 x 3.0 dual core, which are not noticbly any quicker than the 2.33s. A second XW8400 I have purchased is running a quad core 2.0 GHZ processor.

XW 8400 - Fan Noise

However, all that power comes at a price the XW8400 is pretty noisey it has fans every where you would expect, and an extra one for the memory. This is the first PC i have had with a memory fan and it does add to the noise (80mm high rpm), but can be easily swapped out for a quieter model, I would suggest a fractal cooling silenet 80mm.

However, perhaps the worst source of noise is the PSU fan which is a very clumsy 3 bladed effort (the mind boggles) that sounds like a lawn mower. I tried to swap this fan out for a PWM fan, but it would n't work, I can tell you why. In the end I went for a fractal design fan capped at 1200 rpm, with no PWM. For PSU colours wiring see here, for instruction sof PSU fan replacement see here.

The large case fan at the rear was swapped out for an arctic cooling F12, the processor fans are fine, not very noisey at all.

XW8400 - Expandability / Futureproof

One of the great things abot the XW8400 is it expandability, it has room for 5 or 6 SATA drives which can be RAIDed via inbuilt hard ware, it has 3 x  5.5 inch bays at the front.

A huge power supply ensure you will always have enough juice.

The fatsest processors are as follows:

Dual Core

Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5365/ 3.00 GHz,1333 MHz FSB

Quad Core

Quad -Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5365/ 3.00 GHz,1333 MHz FSB

Note: The larger quad core processors may require a heat sink upgrade.

Clock speeds top out at 3.0GHZ, but bearing in mind you can have 8 x 3.0 GHZ that seems plentyfull, as with high numbers of cores in general it very much depends on whether the software you are using can utilize all of the available threads.

 Update: 22/11/2013

With regards to future proofness of this machine I have finally run in to a stumbling block. That is the requirement of Windows 8 / Server 2012 to have a NX capable processor! Well done microsoft! First of all for assuming everybody needs this feature in the computer, and secondly for creating another deluge of waste as 100,000s of PCs are made redundant. Do they not realise?

More details of XW8400 here.
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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Colour Codes for PSU fans in HP PC

Colour Codes for PSU fans in HP PC

I thought I would share this info regarding replacing a fan in a HP (XW8400) PSU, what the colured wires mean, and how to get around them.

The wires on the PSU fan do not match with the wires on a 3 wire Fan or a PWM (4 wire) fan. Which cuases a bit of a headache.

HP PSU FAN - Wires Colour Codes

Red Wire = 12 Volt +
Black Wire = Ground (-)
Yellow = PWM - (Problems here Read on below.)
Blue = Sensor / Pulse

Tip: If you peel off the label on the back of the fan the circuit board inside may well be printed with the function of each wire.

PSU fans - Connect UP all Wires and it doesn't work

Now what, you have matched up the wires and the PC won't boot, I can't tell you why but I can tell you how to get round it.

Disconnect the PWM wire and run the fan on three wires, the fan will run at full speed but it will work. Not ideal, and probaly just as noisey as the fan you just replaced.

HP PSU fans - SolutionWhen replacing you PSU use a Fractal Design 92mm Silent Series Cooling Fan : FD-FAN-92 these are capped at 1200 rpm, so remain quiet even when at full revs.

If any one finds a better fix than this then please post it.

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

XW8200 some observations

XW8200 - Some Observations

The XW8200 is a rather large desktop computer with loads of room in side for extra hardrives, 6 drives ifact as appose to the normal 2. It has more in common with a server than a desktop computer but that said ebay and the like are awash with cheap parts for this system so you can build a very quick PC for under £200 (2011).

XW8200 - Fastest Processor

The fastest processor available for the XW8200 is the 3.8GHZ xeon SL8P2 with a 800FSB it will take two of these, both with hyperhtreading you will see 4 processors in windows.

There are 3.6, 3.4 and 3.2 models available, but I have seen on bench marks that the 3.2 outperforms the 3.4 and 3.6 varients with the 3.8 only a little faster, why? Idon't know.

XW8200 - Cooling (processor)

The cpu cooler takes a 70mm fan which is not overly noisey, the cooler is interchangle with that of the xw8400, and the cooler from a XW8000 will fit, although its not pretty. The cooler from an XW8400 is rather broader than the XW8200 cooler at 80mm.

Fan control on the mother board is good with noise low unless temperature of the xons go over 60 degrees celcius.

XW8200 - Cooling (case)

The only compulsary upgrade you will need is to replace the 120mm rear case fan, which is damn noisey, swap it out for an arctic cooling F12 and save you ears, this only really applies if you are using the XW8200 in a quiet environment.

XW 82000 - Storage

The world is your oyster with this machine when it come to choosing a harddrive, it will take IDE/ATA, SATA or SCSI (68 pin). I have tried SCSI drives and would recomend a solid sate SATA over them for speed and quietness.

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