Order Placed: AMD FX-8320E, Noctua NH-D15, Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition

Recently swapped out the internals on the Cooler Master HAF XB. Previously, the case was used to house a cryptocurrency mining rig. Once GPU mining was no longer profitable, it sat unused for a time, before I decided that it might be fun to use my old AMD64 setup. It turns out that this was a poor fit for Windows 7, and the decade-old hardware ran like molasses.

So out from the closet came a barebones AMD AM3+ setup: ASRock 970 Extreme4, married to a pedestrian 4GB DDR3-1600 and a stale AMD Sempron 145. Still too slow.

I decided then to build atop the capable motherboard with a set of energy-efficient components. This rig will be quiet, bordering on silent. It will not play the latest games at maxed out settings, but it will perform most functions quite happily.

A more detailed writeup on my new AMD AM3+ build will come. Until then, here are the parts that I am getting in:

CPU

I chose an AMD FX-8320E (~$139, Amazon.com). It has a low TDP at 95W, and has all the overclocking potential of its 125W predecessor, the FX-8320. Guru3D offers a comprehensive review of the processor for those interested. The major factors influencing my selection here were efficiency and price.

CPU Heatsink

I selected the Noctua NH-D15 (~$99, Amazon.com) based on glowing reviews. Noctua’s heatsinks are the gold standard in air cooling, and the flagship NH-D15 sets the bar once again. The NH-D15 was being offered at the same price as the NH-D14, so naturally the NH-D15 won out in the parts billing. The cooler is probably overkill for the FX-8320E at stock clockspeeds, so overclocking will be a definite possibility.

GPU

The Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition (~$119, Amazon.com) found its way into my build for its novelty and overall value. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 is a decidedly middle-of-the-road graphics card, and that’s fine for this machine. The Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition is entirely fanless, and the cooler keeps temperatures well within reason under load.

BMW E46 Final Stage Resistor Unit

Decided that with the weather being so pleasant, I could take a portion of the afternoon to work on my car. The blower motor had stopped blowing, and I knew that the final stage resistor (still original to the car for all I know) might finally have gone out. I’d located the APSX FSU that I bought years back amongst my spare parts.

Getting to the FSR was easy. By now I’ve done this more times than I care to mention. I found the FSR harness difficult to unplug from the FSR. Closer examination revealed that the wires going into the harness were discolored. Fortunately, I was able to separate the harness from the FSR. I noted that the harness had melted somewhat.

After scraping at the harness with a small flathead screwdriver, I plugged it back into the old FSR. The blower motor came back to life. Plugged into the APSX FSU, blower motor unresponsive. Conclusion: APSX FSU must be defective.

I conducted a quick search to see if anyone else had encountered a melted FSR harness, and turned up a number of interesting forum threads relating to the FSR. This one in particular piqued my interest: failed blower resistor (final stage resistor) not really dead | Bimmerfest

What I gather is that the FSR has been through a number of revisions over the years.

One obvious change is the heatsink design. Updated part numbers have a larger number of fins (prongs), increasing the surface area.

Additionally, the potting material has changed from a hard epoxy resin to a silicone.

Order Placed: MayFlash Multi Max Shooter

I haven’t been writing very actively here since I picked up an Xbox One and a copy of Destiny.

In an effort to enrich my funtimes, I placed an order on Amazon.com for this keyboard/mouse peripheral called the MayFlash Multi Max Shooter. The product description says that it’s compatible for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. I hope that it gets here early enough on Monday that I can get it up and running to catch the last of this Iron Banner… 😈

If one isn’t out there, I think it’d be really cool to do a comparison. MayFlash Multi Max Shooter vs. XIM 4 (Amazon.com)