CARDKEEPERs - a Must Have for LAN Parties
A while back while visiting a friend, his teenage son asked me if I wanted to see his new gaming rig, purchased from a well known systems builder.
At first glance, I noticed these black objects on all his expansion slots, asking what they were for, he had no idea, but luckily there was a name imprinted on each of these black objects.
After doing some surfing I found www.cardkeeper.net and soon learned what these ingenious devices were and that was exactly what their name implied. They were developed about three years ago and sold mainly to system builders to protect installed expansion cards in their computers during shipping.
My first thought was, what a great idea for anyone who moves a computer around. Now, I only move my system from the computer room to the kitchen table to tinker with it. If you're like me, you've put the side panels back on and when you returned the computer to its normal resting place, found that the computer wouldn't boot because one or more of your expansion cards was not fully seeded in its slot.
My next thought was that LAN Party goes must experience the same problem from time to time, so I asked a few of my gamer friends about the CARDKEEPER, I thought for sure, they would know about and use them, they looked at me like I was crazy and thus, the reason for this article!!
There are actually, eight different sizes available with one to fit just about any expansion card you may have, including the NVidia FX 5900 thru the new FX6800 video cards. All eight CARDKEEPERs can be seen in the photo below.
The CK03-1225 holds my NVidia FX-5900 Ultra video card in position, while the CK99-1224 holds my Audigy2 ZS sound card etc., etc.
Now, the question is, do they work?? Well, from the list of companies on the CARDKEEPER web site, that are listed users, including all the major systems builders, you would just assume that they did, but check out the Torture Test coming up next. Before we move on to it, I thought I would show you my system with the installed CARDKEEPERs.
You might have noticed all the small black heatsinks on the voltage regulators and other chips, I installed them when I realized just how hot they got with the system running, yeah, I accidentally touched one while tinkering. The Mini-Sinks are available in black and silver finish and at least the silver ones, are only available at www.sidewindercomputers.com., go get some!!
I can tell you CARDKEEPERs work, but then again, you would only have my word for it, so some heavy duty testing is in order.
Enter on to the scene NVidia; with their heavy and large FX5900 and FX5950 and now, their FX6800, they really needed to know if the CARDKEEPERs could do the job of keeping their Video Cards secure in transit, in completely built systems.
Using the equipment above for multiple tests for shock and vibration, the CARDKEEPER passed every test. Rather than bore you with duplicating the actual test report here, I have included it in the following PDF document, found here (right click and choose Save As...).
The CARDKEEPERs have proven without a doubt to be a worthwhile investment and are available at very modest pricing.
Finding them when I first looked was a chore, but not now, two progressive online resellers with great reseller ratings, have the majority of CARDKEEPERs in stock, so go and visit www.sidewindercomputers.com and/or www.performance-pcs.com , you'll be glad you did!!