A while ago when I worked at Salesforce.com (2002), I bought a new custom computer. This computer was really cool in one respect: it was truly a server. I've converted consumer computers into servers, but this was the first that was built using server components. For example, the motherboard is a Supermicro X6DAL-G. I had dual Xeon 3.2Ghz processors installed. It came with 4GB and I had a SCSI drive installed for its speed, recall that this is 2002. Anyway, this machine was meant to be used as my new web server. I got Windows 2000 Advanced Server installed on it.
For a while, it was a good machine, but one thing that bugged the heck out of me was the fan noise. It was LOUD! It was loud and I talked to the guys who built the machine and they said that it was the cpu's heat that required the fans to do so much work. I lived with the fan noise for a while, but it became obvious that it wouldn't work in a home setting. This computer was meant to be in a server room and supposed to be drowned out by other noise, like an air conditioner. So I brought it into Bill.com.
Now I find myself with the computer back at home. The computer has been upgraded recently: 10GB of RAM and a new video card. When I turned it on for the first time at home in a while, the noise was very loud. I knew it had to be the fans, and I traced it to the CPU fans. I had disabled every other fan except for the power supply's and it was still noisy. I didn't want to deal with the CPU fans, so I took it into our neighborhood computer store. Turned out to be a great thing because in addition to the fans, the problem was also the video card's fan. Now the computer sits quietly under my desk.
But not before some more surgery. The old C drive was 74GB SCSI not nearly big enough these days for all the programs I use. Besides, performance-wise, there's very little difference between SATA drives and SCSI drives now. And I need more disk space than reliability currently. With Ian's help, we swapped the drive for a 200GB SATA drive. This should last me for a while. Because my Dell died, I have 4 250GB drives on hand. I was able to create a RAID 10 array. This combined with a 300GB RAID 1 should last me a long time. I did some timing on these arrays and found that I was able to get 200MB/s transfer rate!