How to Build a Green Instant-On PC

  • By

    Frank Ohlhorst

    | Posted 2008-08-22
CHANNEL INSIDER LABS: How to Build a Green Instant-On PC

System Case

When it comes to picking out a case and power supply, we wanted something that would look good, keep noise down and be easy to configure. We also wanted to make sure future expandability was easily supported and heat was kept to a minimum. Those requirements led us to the Tempest case from NZXT, which could be considered a work of art. The Tempest has a street price of around $100 and is a bargain when one considers what it offers.

Right off the bat, a toolless design makes assembling and maintaining the PC a painless process. The Tempest features special slots and trays that require no tools, screws or anything special to use. One simply inserts a drive into the mounting area and turns a plastic lock—that is it, no hassles, no chores, no tricks—a truly innovative design! Noise reduction and airflow are other areas that the Tempest excels in. The case features six high-flow, low-speed cooling fans that are almost quiet. Two are located at the top of the case to effectively remove heat and all feature multiple power connectors, which allow the fans to be plugged directly into a motherboard to allow the BIOS to control their speeds based upon temperatures generated. Two fans are dedicated to the drive bays, which helps to keep hard drives cool and increase airflow through the case. The midtower case's specs include:

  • Airflow king: dual 120-mm intake, dual 140-mm Exhaust with an additional side 120-mm fan and rear 120-mm fan all included.
  • Maximize expandability: E-ATX support allows more compatibility with high-end components, including large graphics cards.
  • Easier accessibility and cable management: Cable routing is predrilled on the motherboard so users can hide cables behind the motherboard tray, allowing a cleaner look and better airflow.
  • Button placement: Power, E-SATA, USB and Reset buttons are mounted at the top to give better accessibility.
  • Bottom-mounted PSU: PSU mounting at the bottom allows for more security and separation of heat from the CPU.
  • Serverlike HDD space: dual 120-mm fans cool cages that hold up to eight hard disk drives, allowing for large-capacity systems while maintaining cool temperatures.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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