|Processor -||Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 Overclocked to 3.6GHz (400 x 9)|
|RAM -||8GB G.Skill DDR2-800 (PC26400) 4-4-4-12 Timings|
|Graphics -||XFX Radeon HD-5850 Black Edition (Factory Overclocked)|
|Motherboard -||Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 rev 3.3|
|Hard Drive 0 -||500GB - Boot Drive - Samsung SpinPoint F1|
|Hard Drive 1 -||1TB - FileSrv1 - Samsung EcoGreen|
|Hard Drive 2 -||1TB - FileSrv2 - Samsung EcoGreen|
|Hard Drive 3 -||2TB - FileSrv3 - Seagate Green Drive|
|Hard Drive 4 -||500GB - Encrypted Backup - Samsung 501 Notebook HD|
|Build Date -||April 20, 2007|
Prometheus is a multi-purpose high-end computer system that currently serves as the backbone to just about everything in the Kingdom of Kalisto network. This machine was hand-built by Nemo (Chris Jones) on April 20, 2007. Despite its age, this machine easily keeps pace with most average current systems in most aspects. This is due to various upgrades, meticulous maintenance and the very high-end nature of its original construction.
Prometheus was the first of two machines built between April and May of 2007 - the second being Ambassador. Prometheus was designed to be a high-end gaming and entertainment machine with Ambassador replacing an aging file and web server. Prometheus would eventually absorb Ambassador's duties when the latter was decommissioned.
For a mainboard, I slected the GA965P-DS3 from Gigabyte. This board was not the highest-marked, but offered extremely high "bang-for-buck" value. This LGA775 socketed board supported the latest Intel CPUs of the time, including the Core2 Quad and Extreme lines. As the model suggests, it is based on Intel's P965 Northbridge chipset. It officially supported a max of 8GB of DDR2 RAM and would probably unofficially support 16GB. The Southbridge is the Intel 82801 (ICH8) with 4 SATA2 ports for hard drives and optical drives. One PCI Express x16 slot for a graphics card.
I was envisioning this machine running a Core2 Duo, but when a promotion allowed me to pick up a Core2 Quad for just a bit more, I could not pass up that opportunity. The Kentsfield Q6600 was the processor chosen to power Prometheus. The Q6600, like most of the Core2 Quads is not a true quad-core CPU, but rather 2 dual-core CPUs (essentially 2 Core2 Duos) in one MCM package. So, while there were 4 cores, it actually functioned as 2 dual-core processors. Why is this important? Since logically, there were actually 2 processors, they share the Front-Side-Bus. This could create a bottleneck when all 4 cores were heavily-utilized. This is overcome by overclocking the FSB - thus creating more bandwidth for the cores to use. And overclock I did.
Core2 CPUs, like Netburst before it uses a Quad-Pumped FSB - whereas the host clock is multiplied by 4 to determine the FSB speed. The stock host clock for the Q6600 by default is 266.6MHz, so the FSB is 1066MHz. The core clock (The CPU's advertized speed) uses its own multiplier for which the Q6600 is 9x (6-9x), so upping the host clock also increases the CPUs overall speed as well. Using a host clock of 400MHz we ended up with a CPU core clock of 3600MHz (3.6GHz) and a FSB of 1600MHz - a 50% overclock. This yielded extreme performance - better than ANY product of the time at stock settings. This CPU even out-perfomed its successor, the Core i7 9xx series quite handily.
For RAM, I chose G.Skill 4GB Dual-Channel kit (2x 2GBPQ sticks). This is DDR2 RAM rated at PC2-6400 (DDR2-800). DDR stands for Double-Data-Rate - whereas the RAM can complete two operations per clock-cycle. This RAM operates at 400MHz, but provides the performance if it were 800MHz. It was rated for timings of 5-5-5-15, which was quite fast for the time. I chose this RAM since it was well-known to run at 4-4-4-12 timings with no issue. I eventually added a second kit for a total of 8GB RAM - the motherboard's official maximum.
For the video card in a high-end machine, only the best would do. At the time, the nVidia 8800-series was King-of-the-Hill. For me, the EVGA 8800-GTX fit the bill. While the 8800-Ultra was the top-of-the-line unit, the only difference between them was the GTX's slightly lower GPU and RAM clock speeds. This could be overcome by - You guessed it - an overclock. Clocking up the card's GPU and RAM, I effectively had a 8800-Ultra for the price of a GTX - a substantial difference.
In 2010, the 8800 card was retired in favor of a XFX Radeon HD5850 Black Edition. This is the card that still powers Prometheus' rendering muscle today. Even being 4 graphics card generations out-of-date, this card can run most modern games with maximum settings.
For sound, I wanted something that would produce a high sampling rate (192khz) and output over Toslink. This meant the on-board sound was out of the question. I also did not (still don't) care too much for CreativeLabs products based on their company practices, so SoundBlaster anything was also out. I found a little gem called the Claro by HT Omega. This is a audiophile-class sound card based on the Oxygen CMI8788 digital audio processor. It uses Japanese solid-state capacitors and has 8-channel (7.1) analog, wired digital and Toslink optical outputs. I connected it via Toslink to my Kenwood 5.1 surround system for one of the best audio experiences ever. Sadly, with the absence of the old audio setup, the HT Omega Claro sound card lies dormant inside Prometheus' chassis. Sound is currently delivered via HDMI from the Radeon graphics card to the Sharp TV...powered by a run-of-the-mill RealTek chipset...
For the tower itself, I went with the Antec Nine-Hundred. This was an imposing, heavy chassis in all black. My logic for this was the large number openings for large fans. This machine was going to produce a lot of heat. I wanted a large amount of airflow. Larger fans to more work with slower speeds - and thus less noise. I wanted a cool-running machine that did not sound like a vacuum cleaner, like most of these custom builds out there. The build went perfectly. The machine is cool inside and is barely a wisper unless you place your ear next to it - perfect for its position next to the TV in the livingroom. Funny...the only audible fan is the one on the graphics card - the smallest one in the machine.
An Antec Trio-Power 650 powers Prometheus. As its name suggests, this is a 650-Watt switching power supply. This unit uses 3 seperate power "rails" (hence its Trio-Power name) for greater stability and reliability. This wisper-quiet unit has served flawlessly since day one. The highest ever recorded power draw of Prometheus is about 480 Watts - well under the maximum rating of this unit. That figure is not typical however - Prometheus typically sits at about 150 Watts under normal load and punches up to about 220-300 Watts when pushed (depending on what hardware is in use).
The Antec Nine-Hundred chassis already had 2 120mm fans in the front, 1 120mm each on the rear and left side, and a monster 200mm fan in the top. Cooling for the chassis itself was handled. The video card has its own cooler. The Power Supply had its own 120mm fan as well. That leaves the CPU. The stock Intel cooler would just not do. I went with a Thermaltake Big Typhoon. This was one of the first of the oil-filled "heatpipe" coolers. This particular unit has not a new product and there were designs that looked more impressive. But these units were hit-and-miss. I had history with this CPU cooler and I knew it would fit the bill based on my experience from previous builds (Prometheus' predecessor as well as other PCs I built for people). This unit did not dissapoint. It has kept that Q6600 cooled since day one. Despite the large number of fans (8 total), the machine was wisper quiet. In fact, you could not hear it from across the room. This was because the large fans could be (and were) set to low speeds while still producing good airflow. In its long history, only ONE of these fans have failed (well over its rated lifespan). To date, that one fan is the ONLY thing to have ever failed.
Prometheus originally started with a single Hitachi 250GB hard drive. That was quickly switched to a Samsung SpinPoint 500GB unit. When Prometheus took on the roles of the decommissioned Ambassador, it also acquired its hard drives - 2 1TB Samsung EcoGreen drives and a 2TB Seagate Green Drive.
For most its life, the primary keyboard was a Merc Stealth and the Mouse a Razer DeathAdder. I still have these, but they are in the closet. Now, a Logitech KM400 (small keyboard with touchpad) is the input device. On those rare instances I can play a game without getting the stink-eye, I pull the old Merc and DeathAdder out for that.
Prometheus briefly had a Acer 24 inch LCD as its display. A couple months in - and ever since, its display has been a Sharp Aquos 46D64U 46 inch LCD TV.
Prometheus had a brief stint with Windows XP before moving to Vista 64-bit. Windows 7 64-bit followed. Prometheus currently runs Windows 8 Pro (Not 8.1).
In 2010, Ambassador was decomisssioned. Prometheus assumed its duties of server for various services such as HTTP, FTP, Ragnarok Online, etc. It also became the fileserver for the network and thus acquired Ambassador's hard drives (The 1TB Samsungs and 2TB Seagate).
Most of these services have been since passed to Knight Lileigh - The server this page and all of kingdomofkalisto.com and cailenlileigh.com content is delivered from. Knight Lileigh is a Linux virtual machine hosted by - You guessed it - Prometheus.
Prometheus at 8 years old (ancient by computer standards) is still the backbone of most of what we do. It is the only permenant computer in the house. It hosts indirectly the entire Kingdom of Kalisto network (via its hosting of Knight Lileigh). It is still the file server for the house. It is primarily used for our daughter's entertainment. Once in a blue moon, I may fire up Steam and play a game if I can avoid the stink-eye (or just decide to ignore it). Old Pro can still hang with Borderlands 2 and such, but is starting to jitter just a bit...he is an old boy...
Prometheus the day of its construction.
Ahh, that inticing dull-blue glow.
Prometheus in its livingroom setting in 2010.