Building a PC
Mounting the Drives
The external bay is located between the two other bays; forcing
you to mount your hard drive directly next to your external 3.5"
drive (unless you possess a 5.25" mounting kit). Before mounting
any IDE devices, it is advisable to set up the master/slave relationships
now (see below for more information).
hard drive slides easily into the bay, although the bay may need
to be flexed outwards slightly.
The bays are constructed so that plastic leaf springs press firmly
against the sides of the drives. This is important since there is
only one screw-mounting hole accessible for 3.5" drives and
only two for 5.25" drives. Normally when installing a drive,
it is desirable to mount with as many screws as possible, not just
to secure the drive in the bay, but to also dampen vibrations. The
leaf springs' pressure against the drives probably provides adequate
you can see from the picture to the left, it would be a bad idea
to leave the external 3.5" bay vacant. Note the mounted hard
drive visible underneath the open bay.
I mounted the floppy drive in the open external bay. It was mounted
in identical fashion as the hard drive. By the way, I used an LS-120
drive instead of a normal floppy drive. Yes, yes, I know that they
are not incredibly popular, but for only a little over $40 and being
able to read 120 MB disks as well as normal floppies, the LS-120
drives are much more flexible than simple floppy drives. I have
an LS-120 boot disk with several utilities and all of the drivers
I need to install the system. This makes system installation a lot
more foolproof. In the past, I have even placed an entire, though
minimal, installation of Windows on an LS-120 disk.
installing the CD-ROM drive, be sure to slide it in from the front
of the case because the faceplate won't fit through the bay opening.
>>Here is a picture of the three mounted drives from inside
the Power Supply
Since this is an ATX case, it requires an ATX power supply. I recommend
getting a 300 W unit since today's processors and graphics cards
are power hungry.
Requiring only four screws, the power supply is easy to mount.
is a good time to check the power supply to insure that it is set
for the correct voltage. On the power supply shown, this is done
with the red switch.
Also, make sure that the power supply switch is turned off.
the Case Fan
Be sure to attach the power connector of the case fan to one of
the power cords coming from the power supply. The Millennium case
is perforated with many holes, but the fan is necessary to insure
Before you mount the motherboard into the Millennium, be sure to
attach the supplied faceplate for the motherboard ports. This is
accomplished easily from the inside of the case. Carefully slide
the ATX motherboard in position, guiding the ports through the faceplate.
There are six mounting holes for an ATX motherboard. You should
use the supplied brass colored screws to do this, but be careful
not to over tighten them since the mounting holes are plastic and
easy to strip.
the motherboard is secured, attach the ATX power connector.
Press the ATX power connector on securely until it locks in place
For this article I used the Chaintech 6CJR1 i820 motherboard. This
is an unusual motherboard in that it has two DIMM slots and one
RIMM slot. You might have noticed in the last photograph what appears
to be memory in the RIMM slot. This is not memory, but a continuity
card that RDRAM systems require in unused slots. I needed to add
a RIMM for testing, so I had to remove the continuity module. RIMM
slots are similar to DIMM slots in that the sticks are locked in
place with tabs. I had to unlock the continuity module by pressing
downwards on the tabs on both ends of the slot.
I removed the continuity module, I very carefully eyed the shiny
blue RIMM making sure I lined up the notches in it with the key
in the RIMM slot.
After carefully aligning the keys, press the RIMM (or DIMM -- DIMMs
are similarly keyed and the slots are very similar) straight down
into the socket. This usually requires some force. Apply pressure
until the RIMM (or DIMM) is seated and the tab locks engage. Press
the tabs upwards to insure that they are firmly engaged as shown
in the photo to the left.
I don't recommend that you stick your fingers inside your computer
when it is running, be extra careful around RIMMs. The pretty blue
metal on the RIMM is a heat spreader. RIMMs can get hot when they
are in use.
Installing the Microprocessor
The Chaintech motherboard has an FCPGA compliant Socket 370 microprocessor
socket. "FCPGA" stands for "flip chip pin grid array."
The pin grid array part is pretty easy to understand as the chip
has 370 pins sticking out of its bottom.
"flip chip" part is a little more obscure. Intel packages
its older chips so that the active circuitry faced the motherboard.
This protected the chip a little, but it meant that most of the
heat radiated into the motherboard. As chip speed increased, heat
became a bigger problem. Intel has tried to address this by literally
flipping the chip upside down so that the microprocessor's guts
now lie face up and come in much closer contact with the heat sink.
This has made heat sinks more efficient, but FCPGA chips must be
handled with care as they are easily damaged. Furthermore, the chip
is thinner and there is now only a small, extruded, delicate rectangle
of actual silicon in contact with the heat sink. This can result
in a catastrophe if the heat sink is not installed properly.
place the chip in the socket, the locking mechanism of the socket
needs to be disengaged. To do this, press the bar downwards and
outwards to free it, and then lift it all of the way up.
The microprocessor and the socket are both keyed to prevent the
chip from being inserted incorrectly. On two corners of the chip,
pins are missing, as are the corresponding holes in the socket.
Make sure you very carefully align the chip accordingly.
PGA370 socket is a "Zero Insertion Force" (ZIF) socket,
so the chip should fall into place with little force once aligned
correctly. If the chip does not drop cleanly into the socket, DO
NOT FORCE IT. Remove the chip and carefully examine it for bent
pins. If all pins are straight, realign the chip and press in gently
into the socket. Examine the chip carefully to insure that it is
fully seated, then lower the socket lever and lock it in place.
Be careful when choosing a heat sink. Because the FCPGA package
is thinner than older packaging, many heat sinks will not properly
fit. I used a Cyclone Heat sink, which we sell on this system. Although
it seems to work well, I have found that the mounting apparatus
is too tight and needs to be worked many times by hand until it
loosens enough so that it is easy and safe to install.
installing any heat sink, the surface that comes in contact with
the chip must be coated with a thermal compound to insure optimal
heat transfer. The Air cooler came with thermal compound already
applied in a small patch, but I smeared it across the entire surface
to both lubricate the face of the heat sink to minimize the possibility
of scratching the chip and to insure that there is not an excess
of the compound between the chip and the heat sink.
the heat sink in place according to the instructions that accompany
it. The Air cooler is tricky to attach. First the metal clips must
slip over the plastic tabs on the socket, then the Air cooler must
be twisted to the left to lock it - be careful not to apply too
much pressure! Once the heat sink is locked in place, attach the
power cord as shown in the photo below.
Attaching the IDE and Power Cables
IDE cables are easy to attach backwards. Most IDE cables are keyed,
but some are not. In the case that yours are not, make sure that
the side of the cable with the red stripe is aligned with pin one
across all connections (you might have to consult your documentation
to determine this).
devices are notorious for not working well together, so whenever
possible only connect one device per port. For DMA and UDMA devices
this is especially important since mixing them with non-DMA devices
will not only reduce the speed of the device, but could make your
The cable in the photograph is great in that it is keyed and also
labeled, but if two devices are going to share the same IDE channel,
then their relative positions on the cable arenot important although
this cable might make you think they are. Nevertheless, it is probably
good practice to keep the master at the end of the cable whenever
One other issue that is very important with IDE devices is that
if two devices are going to be sharing the same channel (that is,
connected to the same cable), then one device must be set for master
and the other for slave. Setting jumpers on the individual devices
usually accomplish this. You will need to consult the manuals of
these devices to determine this (many times the devices themselves
will be clearly marked so referring to the manual is often not necessary).
If the devices do not function properly, try swapping which device
is master and which device is slave.
Finally, ATA-66 is a new standard that can transfer up to 66 MB/s
in burst mode. ATA-66 will only be enabled if the new 40 pin, 80
wire cables are used. These cables have 40 extra ground wires to
provide more robust shielding from cross talk and other interference.
thing to consider with the Submarine case is that due to the short
length of the IDE cable, if two devices are connected to the same
cable, the motherboard will not lie flat unless the cable is disconnected.
One IDE device per IDE port, the motherboard will lie out flat.
photograph shows how far the box will open with two devices on an
After all of the IDE cables are in place, each device must be supplied
with power. The power cables are keyed so it is difficult to plug
them in incorrectly, but be careful because a few (very few) devices
are not keyed making it possible to plug in the power backwards.
If you have a lot of devices inside your computer, it is possible
that you can run out of connectors. This is remedied by purchasing
cheap and readily available "Y" cables from your dealer
or Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc.
The Submarine case comes with the normal compliment of LEDs and
front panel switches. These are all wired to standard connectors
that you must attach to the motherboard. You will need to consult
your motherboard's documentation to see exactly how to connect them.
Below is a picture that shows the typical procedure involved.
is a photograph with the jumper block fully populated with the Millennium
front panel connectors.
Chaintech motherboard I used had only AGP and PCI slots. The AGP
slot is clearly identifiable on the left of the picture below as
the brown slot with the letters "AGP" next to it. The
white slots to its right are all PCI slots.
installing a card be sure to secure it with a screw as shown in
the picture to the left. If you do not do this, the card can easily
work free and cause a short circuit.
If you are building a new system and have a lot of cards, do not
add them all at once because this can lead to a nightmare of resource
conflicts and troubleshooting this can be a real headache. Moreover,
fixing such a system often requires repositioning the cards to other
slots so that the resources are properly reset. My suggestion is
to add a minimal compliment of cards, install the operating system
and device drivers, get the system stable, shutdown the system and
then add the other cards one at a time, insuring that the OS is
stable after each card.
Some motherboards require dipswitches and/or jumpers to be set to
correctly configure it for the microprocessor, memory, integrated
devices, etc. Carefully consult your manual before closing the case
and attempting to power on the computer - otherwise your computer
could be damaged.
With FCPGA packaging in particular, it is very easy to install the
heat sink incorrectly. I strongly suggest that you install software
that monitors the CPU temperature so that you can insure that the
CPU is being cooled properly. Many motherboards support this feature.
Consult your manual to find out if yours does. If so, the manufacturer
may have supplied the proper Windows software so that you can monitor
the CPU temperature and other system vital signs while working in
If your motherboard manufacturer did not supply monitoring software,
but your motherboard supports this feature (if your documentation
doesn't say, check the system BIOS), there are many freeware utilities
that perform this service for you.
How do you know what CPU temperature is too high? The Motherboard
Monitor site has a page of links where you can find the specific
data for your chip.
Closing the Case
The Millennium and Matrix is pretty lightweight and it flexes significantly
as you close it. Because of this, it is takes a little effort to
secure it shut. First, make sure that you are not closing it on
any wiring. Second, make sure that none of this wiring is being
forced into any fans. Lastly, and you may or may not have to do
this, grab the case above the last card slot and flex the case inwards
slightly to close the case and slide the latches shut. Because the
latches are so easy to move, I also suggest you lock the case with
the included key.
Now, all that is left is to attach the power cable to the power
supply and plug the computer into an outlet. Attach the monitor,
keyboard, etc. Turn on the power supply switch, and then depress
the power button on the front of the case. The system should power
You will need to consult your motherboard's documentation on what