2009 Picard Build

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Software System

  • May 15, 2010: Ubuntu LTS 10.04 Server 64-bit edition
  • Original: Ubuntu LTS 8.04 Server 64-bit Edition


  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 3.1GHz
Newegg, $76
Optical Drive
  • Samsung DVD writer, model SH-S223Q (SATA)
Newegg, $30
  • G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB)
  • 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Newegg, $44.99
Hard Drive
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
  • SATA, 7200RPM, 1.5TB
Newegg, $129.99
  • ASUS M3A78-EM AMD Motherboard
  • Onboard Video: ATI Radeon 3000 HD
  • PDF Manual (Local Copy)
  • BIOS update: May 20, 2010, upgrade to version 2003, release Oct, 2009
Newegg, $78.99
Case Newegg, $64.99
PCI Wireless Card
  • EDIMAX EW-7128G
Newegg, 15.99


Motherboard and CPU

  • First off, this motherboard is "small", uATX, not sure if it is the same as Micro ATX.
  • On motherboard, install CPU. The alignment is indicated by the small triangle both on the edge of the socket and on CPU chip.


  • Install CPU heat sink and fan. With AMD heat sink, you put sink hook over on the bracket on the CPU socket of MB, then push it into the place. A level labeled "A" is then pushed sideways into 90 degree to secure everything in place.


  • Install memory, the GS Kill memory feels very solid.
  • Now you can put in the motherboard, 8 standoff to screw in. Before you do that, the I/O shield needs to be put in first.

Connecting Power to Motherboard

  1. There are two powers to connection: 24-pin EATXPWR and 4-pin ATX +12V (if you don't connect this 4-pin ATX power, system won't boot up)
  2. There are two fans working in this case: CPU fan and fan the back. One thing to note is these fans are noisy!!! I truly miss the Antec quite.

Connecting DVD Drive and Hard Drive

Illustration from Newegg (Local Copy)

Right now, the DVD drive and Hard Drive has common characteristics - there are two cables to connect: one is SATA power cable (with PSU), the other one is SATA data cable (with motherboard).


  1. The computer case (with PSU) comes with a SATA power cable, that is used with DVD drive.
  2. I used a SATA power cable coming with the motherboard and connect it to PSU first, then to the hard drive.
  3. Though this motherboard has 5 SATA data connects, but you can't really have 5 hard drives, since DVD drive will use one of them. So upgradability wise, you at most have 4 3 1/2 inch SATA disks.
  4. I am on the verge of returning this case - the hard drive (the bottom two) are way too stupid. I didn't have confidence to try it on with 1.5TB drive. After two day's hesitation, I found an old 80GB drive and tried again: the two intruding clips actually have their use, what a surprise. Both should get inserted to one of holes on the hard drive, but to do that, you have to expand (with finger or something) the sides a bit wider to fit in! You can see how far an engineering kludge can go to make it work. To show how less of confidence I have to remember how I fit it in, I left the 80GB drive in one of empty bay just to remind myself the pain.


Front Panel

  1. I didn't connect front panel AC97 (from computer case) to 10-1 pin AAFP on motherboard, though obviously you should if this machine is to run windows or used as desktop.
  2. There is no Power LED connector to used with Q-connector on ASUS motherboard. The one sticking out with 2 pin in a power cable is bit wired. I don't know how to interpret it. The first time I connect it with a power outlet from PSU, the front panel LED works. Then it stops functioning. Is it burned? I don't know and it doesn't really matter with so much LED flashing on this box.


  1. 4x 1GB laptop memory are put in the Gigabyte motherboard box
  2. 160GB notebook hard drive was put in this box as well.
  3. printed manual also went there.