BlackBeast Mark I

Named for its large, black, gaming case, BlackBeast Mark I was a Novatech bare-bones PC that I assembled at the end of 2010. Given that I rarely saw its AMD six-core 64-bit CPU exceed about 5% utilisation I remained vulnerable to the suggestion that I might have over-specified the system. A little bit. Possibly.1 On the other hand, it didn't tend to exceed 25C either. Given the propensity of the Windows operating "system" to sprawl over everything I fitted 8 GB of DDR3 RAM for it to play with. About 1.2 GB of this seemed to get soaked up effortlessly before I loaded and ran a single useful application.2


I also stuffed three 1 TB SATA data drives, and a 150 GB Velociraptor boot drive into it. Plus a Sapphire Radeon HD5670 passively-cooled graphics card, which purported to be about the most powerful then available without a cooling fan. And a very decent Creative X-fi audio card (for its optical digital I/O).


1  Somewhat to my irritation, I cannot say it felt all that much faster than my much-missed Acorn Archimedes RISC-based PC of twenty years ago. But nor did it cost anywhere near as much as that lovely piece of British ingenuity.
2  Since, in my simple-minded universe, that left over 6 GB of RAM unoccupied, I completely fail to understand why Windows ever feels the slightest need to do any paging, but it obviously does. And plentiful fragmenting too, come to mention it.