Saturday, December 29, 2012

CPU cooler Thermaltake CONTAC 30 with LGA775 and Core2 QUAD 9550

Last night I made one of my greatest upgrades on my old Core2 QUAD PC that made me definitely keep it as a backup/work machine. That simple (and cheap) upgrade is simply called CONTAC 30. The CPU cooler wich is perfectly efficient, quiet, universal and compatible with all Intel sockets (775, 1156, 1155, 1366 and 2011) + all AMD sockets (AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+ AND FM1) and after all, looks geeky nice. The body is made of thin blades (that you should be careful with) and 3 copper air pipes that absorbs hot air.


The cooler can be mounted in any direction but the catch is that it should be positioned to: take air from the case above RAM with its 120mm fan and pull it through its radiator toward the case fan which throws it out. That is the correct cooler direction and you can see the example on the images bellow. On the other way, if you mount the cooler this way, you will get double benefit. First, it will cool CPU and second it will blow out the air from CPU and RAM out through case fan! 

Overclocked Core2 QUAD 2.8Ghz to 3.8Ghz CPU with a stock cooler went up to 100+ degrees, and here are the temperatures with same overclocking configuration (whole +1ghz) during the stress test in AIDA64:

Any other specific information you can find at Thermaltake official web site. It is newer model, same as CONTAC 39 and they obviously do the great job. After all this talk here there is nothing left to say except GO FOR IT and make your PC 30% faster (with conditions that your mb. and memory supports good overclocking features). Hardware used for test are ASUS P5Q PRO, 8GB Kingston HYPER X 1066mhz DDR2 RAM and Core2 QUAD 9550 as described in few posts before this.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cooler Master ELITE 430 BLACK

I am planning new workstation rig, somewhere in time... but rapid hardware trends on the market made me to slow down with buying and go component by component. After some research about the pricing / look / brand for the first step I choose COOLER MASTER ELITE 430 BLACK with transparent side cover. Its made of thin metal and thin plastic makes me think "do I really want new workstation in this mid/small case???". No! Some other, less valuable and less demanding rig should be used here.

From my point of view, I expected a bit more but, its ok for the money value. The case is classic mid tower and not so tough and big as it looks like on the pictures or youtube reviews.


I noticed few nice functional / cosmetic things like holes for hiding cables, 120mm cooler master led fan on the front for sucking air over hard discs, two 120mm fan holes on the bottom and on the top of the case (no fans included and NOT SUITABLE for Corsair H100!!!) with dust filters. I am not a fan of this top openings cos it looks threatening if you spill coffee or something on the top of a case, it wouldn't be good. Its very important to think about cooling u want to use because the case is small and you will have problems with, as I said, Corsair H100 and even with H60 and H80 if you attend to use X79 based motherboard because of memory modules.... Think about this! Other things about the case are standard so I don't have to take your time talking about it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time lapse / stop motion test - Changing home windows

This post is a bit different. I decided to record replacing old windows with new ones in my house during a day. I started at 8AM waiting for mounters. What happened after, you can see in the stop motion video for next 12 hours. I used my Olympus E-500, 8MP, shooting every 12th frame with 8mm digital fisheye.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Princess, new painting

Work, done with hand drawing and digital painting. Nothing special to say about it. I think that composition can say the story for itself... Bellow, I tried to make rough build video hoping that it can help somebody how to make painting in stages, layers, colors... Maybe I could keep on working on this one but, its good to know when to stop so here it is as it is.

And the modest time laps painting video:

Accents on artistic approach, details and the real size of the image:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Second round of language voting

Hi everybody. Thanks for your time voting for language you prefer on this blog. But, I started the second round of voting now to make the true balance. After specific time I will finally try to make decision what language to use. I want to keep on with this blog to share my work and experience with you and this is important to me.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Last overview of my Core2 QUAD PC rig before upgrade

Some people asked me about hardware I am working on. Some of them, who already know that, consider it "outdated" because release dates but, the prices of new "enthusiast" hardware on the market is still high in comparison with this, absolutely solid, LGA775 QUAD platform. I've been working on this about 4 years now... Its all about basics:

Motherboard - ASUS P5Q PRO
CPU - Intel Core2 QUAD 9550 (12mb L2 cache!)
Memory - 8GB of DDR2 1066 Kingston HYPER X.

The most important thing about this combination is absolute stability with good performance. These are good overclocking components but... besides benchmarking software like EVEREST or AIDA, I think if you are a professional, its not worth of burning CPU, thermal paste, questioning system stability or even giving away money for expensive exotic CPU coolers just to get few percents more of performance. With its default BIOS settings, there is really no reason to risk or lose time looking for best overclocking combination cos it works just fine!

Just for fun (not work), I managed to push this PC to work stable from stock 2.8  to solid 3.6Ghz (standard Intel cooler). Motherboard and RAM allowed me to stay with DDR on 1066mhz (CL 5-5-5-18). Motherdboards BUS can go up to 1600mhz so I could go even more but didnt want to go too far.

Overclocking, of course showed some progress. In general around 15-20% (games and 3Ds MAX rendering) but temperatures screamed up to 100 Celsius as shown bellow (with stock Intel cooler):

Second core sensor shows "minus 26" cos it goes above 100 C and get confused. Better cooler would surely help but, I repeat, machine works fast enough with default BIOS settings. I rather prefer stock speeds, normal temperatures and stability than risk of data lose.

Another thing I like on this motherboard is its first generation CROSSFIRE feature. I used it to install 2 graphic cards, not for gaming but to connect 3 monitors. First one is primary more powerful 3D card and another is much cheaper one, just for 2D tasks on 3rd monitor.

I could talk about specs for each component but those info can be easily found on internet. It is older configuration but still works good for money value. I am sure I would like to have this machine as my backup or some firewalled server cos this motherboard supports up to 6 (+1) individual SATA2 disk drives with RAID 0, 1, 5,10 capabilities and EZ backup function for 2 drives.

On the end, here is some overclocking capabilities of Core2 QUAD 9550:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One more ink drawing... The Clairvoyant

As title says, its ink drawing on A4 paper, done in trench again in 1993 during longer truce in Bosnian war. Kind of subject I was interested in and wanted to reproduce... Didnt want to shade anything and made everything very precise in thin line with 0.1 - 0.3 rapidograf and ink.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Few more drawings from a trench (war in Bosnia 92-95)

1993, war in Bosnia... one more "silent" day in the trench. Here is few more drawings with ink and paper from that time. I remember it was cold and cloudy weather but my shift was closing to an end I had a chance to finish this before sleep...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Experience with WACOM Cintiq 21"

I had to wait for it for a long time.... 8-9 months I think, just to get a chance for order this thing because catastrophic earthquakes in Japan during those few months in 2011 where the main factory was. It was true adventure considering where I live. Many companies had announcement on their web sites that they do have CINTIQ 21" on stock but it was not true because they asked me for money and to wait at least 2 months for dispatch. No way! Too much, money, too much risk and too much time to wait. I started to hunt refreshing my internet browser every hour hoping to catch ON STOCK status on the web. Sometimes, CINTIQ was ON STOCK only for 1 or 2 hours and suddenly gone! It was very stressful. B&H had most accurate status info of all other online shops and after few months of hunting, finally, I caught "my turn to order". B&H dispatched it in 24 hours and UPS was so professional that I had CINTIQ at my door in 6 days with detailed email where the package is at that moment. Very fast service considering that Bosnia VERY far away from USA. Custom costs killed me (33% of whole invoice), but at least, agony was over.

Huge and very heavy package finally was at my table. I was very tired of waiting and other emotional anticipations that I didnt want to open it. I do like painting and my profession but, I was so tired that I wasnt not sure if I want that thing at all...

2 days after, it was sunny afternoon, good mood and cup of coffee... and I started to unpack. B&H did a great job again making that heavy thing as safe as possible in the meaning of packing. Cintiqs fabric box was surrounded and floating between airbags and other safety packaging materials. Very big and very heavy hardware with strong bearing.

Mounting was easy and even with bunch of cables and connectors, connecting and software installation + calibration went smooth. Color problem with this panel was not an issue as with 12" Cintiq. The picture was perfect with many combinations for adjustments of color, brightness and contrast. 21" looked more than enough for comfortable work. Very fast I made my first painting. Adjusting Photoshop UI and choosing right brushes took me more time than unpacking and installation so my advice is to use as less customized brushes as you can cos if you dont, you will became a slave of this thing exploring tools instead to work. Go for minimum tools and be sure you will be intuitive enough.

You have to plan its place well cos moving around such heavy screen can be annoying specially if your table is too occupied. Hydraulic career like ERGOTRON LX (desk or wall mount) should be a good choice for space organization. That will help you to move it around and rotate with ease.

Dont rely on its 2048levels of pressure cos you can scratch its acrylic surfase. Rather go with brush opacity options inside painting software and if you dont use it too often, turn it off and protect it from dust with some blanket till next use.

Thats all for now. This is not a cheap peace of hardware and I wanted to share my experience and thoughts with people who are considering to buy this. And one more last thing, WHOEVER DRAW, NOTHING CAN REPLACE YOUR HAND AND DONT FORGET IT. Draw on paper like and accept this monitor just as helping tool. Dont became slave to it but make it slave to you! I hope I helped...