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   HILL VIEW FARMS â LLC
41564 Co Hwy 4
Morgan, MN 56266
866-723-5937 toll free
by Cathy Sheets Tauer

I have been asked what operating system and programs I use,  below, in order starting with the most recent, as I have three stationary systems with one Windows XP, HP lap-top.

2011) I have two complete Units of this system in addition to the older system. This is to ensure ceaseless performance in the event of any hardware or soft ware failure on any machine.

 Operating Systems:  Windows 7 Pro with Windows Virtual XP  

Central Processing Unit (CPU): Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz Quad-Core 64bit Processor.  Intel's Core i7 processor not only makes it possible, it makes it easy. The Core i7 950 has four cores that run at 3.06GHz and shares 8MB of L3 cache. Quad cores means true multi-tasking and multi-threading. One core handles the usual action on the operating system, while the second can play a DVD on the TV, the third download a file from internet, and the fourth one sends audio to the kids in another room without lags or stutters. All this is made easier with Intel’s advanced Digital Media Boost. With Intel Turbo Boost technology and Intel Hyper-Threading technology, The Core i7 enables highly threaded applications or demanding applications to work in maximum speed without any extra effort. The 45nm Intel Core i7 processor is armed with Intel HD Boost, which implementing new Intel Streaming SIMD Extension 4.1 (Intel SSE4.1) instructions for fast high definition video editing and encoding, enhance the multimedia performance. 

Main board: ASUS Sabertooth X58 ATX Motherboard.  This is the circuit board that ties all the components together.  Features Intel’s X58 Express and ICH10R chipsets, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 ports, integrated Realtek HD Audio, and integrated Realtek Gigabit LAN chipset.  Forged for ultimate reliability, the Asus Sabertooth X58 delivers a "tough" image. An array of unique design and quality components makes it a great choice for the enthusiasts that pursue the preeminent stability, all-round compatibility, and extreme durability. An innovative ceramics coating with larger area delivers better cooling for increased system stability. The E.S.P technology offers optimal power efficiency for key components. TUF components including Alloy Choke, Cap. & MOSFET ensure solid performance even in the most challenging conditions. 

Main Memory (RAM):   12GB of Triple Channel DDR3 RAM, requiring a 64bit processor and operating system. More RAM in a system means programs can work with bigger data sets, and more programs can be run simultaneously.  Additionally, RAM can be allocated to virtual machines such as the Windows XP Mode virtual machine which is used to run legacy software. 

Power Supply:  Corsair Professional Series GOLD AX1200 modular power supply is 80 Plus Gold certified to deliver at least 90% efficiency at 50% load, cutting down the electricity bill and reducing heat generation. Flat, low-profile modular cables allow for easy cable routing and increased airflow.  Ideal for performance enthusiasts for whom consistent delivery of rated power output is essential, the GOLD AX1200 delivers 1200W of stable, continuous rated power at ambient temperatures of up to 50° C. Server-grade power train architecture and high quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromised reliability and long lifespan. Fully compatible with the ATX12V v2.31 and EPS12V 2.92 standards, the GOLD AX1200 also builds in over-voltage, over-current, under-voltage and short circuit protections for maximum safety to critical system components.  

Case:  Lian Li PC-A70F Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case.  The enclosure for this system is light weight, durable, easy to work with, and facilitates cooling for a large number of internal drives.  The case’s top panel provides the following ports: 4xUSB, 1xFirewire, 1xeSATA, and headphone and microphone jacks.  This combined with the standard bells and whistles in the rear of the case, sports a total of 12 USB ports for multi-media operations.  It has easy access with removable top and side panels (no tools required) and features a washable air filter. The huge internal space fits E-ATX motherboards, and oversized graphics cards.  There are 4 large cooling fans to silently move a large volume of air across the 12 drive bays and other internal components including the motherboard chipsets and the graphics card.  All the internal installation can be done without tools, and there is plenty of room to expand in the future with new components. 

Video Card:  EVGA GeForce 210 with 1GB of DDR3 RAM.  This is what puts the picture out to the monitor.  This is a PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card.  This card has the flexibility to be used with VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports offering a wide range of monitor support.  This card will drive a CRT monitor, flat panel LCD, or an HD TV. 

Sound Card: Realtek ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio Chipset.  This is integrated into the Asus X58 Motherboard.  It supports 192khz/24bit BD Lossless Sound, jack-detection, multi-streaming, and front panel jack-retasking.  It also provides an optical S/PDIF port. 

LAN Card:  Realtek 8110SC Gigabit LAN controller chipset.  This is integrated into the Asus X58 Motherboard.  It is compatible with 1000Mbps/100Mbps/10Mbps LANs and is used to connect to the home network as well as the internet through a DSL modem. 

Optical Drives:  (Two identical drives) LITE-ON iHAS424-98 24X DVD Writer with LightScribe Support, 2MB Cache and SerialATA connection.  Writes 4.7GB of data in about five and a half minutes to DVD+R/-R, and supports all DVD formats. Intelligent features such as a 2MB buffer, Smart-Burn buffer under-run protection and ABS system reducing vibration and noise work together to ensure that you get accurate, working copies every time, instead of wasting disc blanks on failed write attempts. Playback is just as reliable with Smart-X technology for smooth, stable Audio CD, VCD, and DVD playback and data extraction. Using dual-layer burning, you'll be able to store 8.5GB of data, photos, music, or games on one dual-layer disc. LightScribe enables you to create your personalized labels.  Supported speeds for various media: 24X DVD+R, 12X DVD+R Dual Layer, 8X DVD+RW, 24X DVD-R, 6X DVD-RW, 12X DVD-RAM, 16X DVD-ROM, 48X CD-R, 32X CD-RW, 48X CD-ROM. 

Hard Drives

2-Monitors: 20" HD Wide screen View Sonic and HP LCD Flat Screen.

Setup:  Both machines are networked together with the old machine for a 3 computer home network.  Both new machines also run Windows XP in virtual machines, and these Windows XP virtual machines are also on the home network for 5 total networked computers.  The two new machines share common keyboard, mouse, and speakers to minimize desk clutter.  These components can be toggled between the new machines with hotkeys.  This setup is made possible by a KVM switch.

In Summary


2003)   Initially installed and assembled so that I could grow with technology and not be left behind. 

Central Processing Unit, (CPU).  Intel Pentium 4 Processor at 3.0 Ghz, Quad pumped 200 Mhz, Front Side Bus, and Hyper threading Technology.   (Now 2008 they have 4 thread, hyper threading... but I'm not that big yet!)

Main Memory (RAM).  The more you have, the more programs you can run at once.  I have two sticks of Corsair Micro’s 512 MB DDR400 Twin X 4000PT Ram, then added Corsair XMS TwinX2048-3200C2PT.  This DDR is Double Data Rate, meaning it can transfer information twice as fast as traditional SDRAM.  The total amount is 3GB consisting of two 512MB sticks with expansion space for one additional GB.

Main board.  This is the circuit board that ties all the components together.  I have the Giga-Byte GA-8KNXP - socket size 478 with an Intel 875 chipset.  This offers on board ATA133 Raid (used for backup’s), 6 USB 2.0 ports and 2 IEEE 1394 Firewire ports for plugging in printers, cameras, scanners, etc.  It has 5, PCI expansion slots and it has integrated sound and Ethernet.  It also has an 8xAGP slot for video cards.   

Video Card.  This is what puts the picture out to the monitor.  This card has the flexibility to be used with a CRT or flat panel LCD.  It has TV-OUT capability to hook up the computer to a TV.  It is not a gaming card but it has enough power to run 3D apps and meets the direct X 9.0 specs which are the state of the art standard.  Asus R9600 SE TD with 128MB Video Ram, DVI connector and TV-Out.   

Sound Card.  The sound of this system is integrated in to the main board; it is a six channel sound chipset.  Not much to offer in terms of surround sound. 

Ethernet, Intel Pro1000/CT Network connection.  This is integrated into the main board and is an extremely high quality networking chipset.  This gives flexibility and offers the ability to hook up to broadband cable and DSL. 

Modem.  US Robotics Performance Pro V.92 56k internal PCI modem.  This will not slow the computer down when downloading this from the internet and is has line-probing technology which finds the optimal paths through the internet for where one is trying to go.   

Floppy Drive.  The good old floppy for compatibility purposes, nothing special.  Sony 1.44MB floppy drive. 

Optical Drive. Two drives installed; The primary, A Plextor PX708A DVD+/- RW for recording home movies and writing for DVD productions.  The second is a Pioneer DVD-ROM, DVD-120 for playing all DVD’s/CD’s and so that duplication is possible for all media types.  Also I have an external Movie box deluxe by Liquid, that allows me the option of capturing from any external source and digitizing.  For example from a VHS, DVD player or any other analog source.

Hard Drives: 6 hard drives installed, five internal and one external:  This is the amount of space I have to store programs, data, music and movies.  I have:  2) Sea Gate, Barracuda ES.2 1,024 GB or one Terabyte (TB).  2) Western Digital’s WD2000JB 7200RPM 200 GB capacity that mirror each other in case of a drive failure on one or the other.  1) Western Digital WDCWD40-OOKD-00NABO-SCSI that holds 400GB with the last one a Western Digital with storage capacity of 700GB.  The external drive is the Workbook by Western Digital WD1600JB 150GB using a USB port.  Which all combined gives my system 2.7 TB (terabytes) of storage capacity or 2764.8 GB (gigabyte) or 3,328,819.2 MB (megabyte) however you look at it.

Power Supply.  PC Power and cooling - 860  which is a 860 watt power supply.  It is highly reliable and runs nearly silently.  The output is extremity accurate, which will help system stability, avoiding crashes.  The 860 watts is enough headroom for adding any upgrades with out stressing the system.  

Case.  The enclosure for this system has to be a little special to facilitate cooling.  The Antc p160 aluminum tower. This case has a 120mm front intake fan and a 120mm exhaust fan located near the CPU.  And it has the room to allow the addition of additional drives. 

Monitor:  20" HD Wide screen View Sonic LCD Flat Screen. 

In Summary

 Rough list of Programs currently installed:

AND NO  I am not a nerd... Minnesota winters are long and I just try to learn as much as I can.. AND Yes I do read technical manuals as bedtime reading... But that does not mean I am a NERD, I just like to educate my ignorance in science and technology. 
A special thank you to my dear friend Mike Muske who unlocked the madness and is always there for me 24-7.  I love you kid! 

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