Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => CLIKC => Topic started by: est on 31 May 2006, 19:45

Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 31 May 2006, 19:45
I know I had big plans for something like this a while back but never followed through with them.  That is pretty much because creating a living document about PC parts was and still is a very bad idea. So instead of re-inventing the wheel I thought that we could share with each other some sites we think are good for expanding practical knowledge about computer hardware, especially in regards to guiding a complete novice through their first computer purchase.

Quote from: In another thread I
As your attorney I advise you to check out these links immediately:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_To_Build_A_Computer/Choosing_the_parts
http://shsc.info/PCPartsPickingGuide
http://www.overclockers.com.au/wiki/OCAU_Guide_to_Build_A_PC
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1967933,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532 - "A Beginner's Guide to What Goes on Inside that PC"

Then look up the prices for the parts on something like http://www.pricewatch.com or maybe just http://www.newegg.com


Anyone else want to throw in some useful links?

In about a week or so I'll compile them and put them up here in the first post, as well as removing the quote & putting my links in-line with the rest.  Hopefully between us we can come up with a decent info repository.
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 31 May 2006, 19:51
I'll add a couple of new links for the Aussies on the board:

http://staticice.com.au is the best PC price search engine I've found so far.

http://www.overclockers.com.au is an Australian PC hardware news site catering mostly towards the enthusiast end of the spectrum.

http://forums.overclockers.com.au is the forums for the above news site, and is a very good forum for Australian overclocking enthusiasts. As such, sometimes it can be a decent resource for what is a good value part and what is coming up hardware-wise in the near future.
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Catfish_Man on 31 May 2006, 21:12
http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Switchblade on 01 Jun 2006, 02:52
www.overclockers.co.uk - Based in Stoke-on-Trent. I got to talking with them at a LAN party a couple of months ago, and they know their stuff.
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Mockery on 01 Jun 2006, 05:57
If you're tired of your CPU or other fans sounding like jet engines, http://www.silentpcreview.com
These guys know alot about cooling and other stuff too, just most of them are fanatical about noise reduction...
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 01 Jun 2006, 17:03
Nice links so far.  I especially like the Silent PC one.  Saw it (or some site like it) ages ago but lost track of it.

Another good review site is http://www.behardware.com.  It has one of the best monitor sections I've found yet.  (If someone knows one better, please share!).
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Roots on 14 Jul 2006, 22:00
Just a little tip for every one who is new, and even some of the vet's of pc repair don't do this. [also it doesn't fall under posting links :p but I thought some people would like to know this stuff!]

DISCAHRGE BE FOR YOU TOUCH ANYTHING! I don't know how manny ram chips I have seen wasted because some one didn't ground them selfs...  A grounding strap helps too, kind of like a roach clips with with a wire comeing off it that hooks on a strap you can wear on your wrist, you clip it to the case. If you don't happen to have one, touching the case is better then nothing.

I have to say nothing worse then getting home your brand spanking new parts, then you go to install them and in the process you fry them from static shock.

Also make sure the power suply is off, unpluged, and discharged as well, I know with some of the btx mobo's they have a led that lets you know if there is some current going thew the mobo

Another good tip I can say is, when it come to trouble shooting, do what you think would be the stupidest fix first [ie the pc will not turn on, make sure it is plugged in!]

Anyhow some people may be like "Oh that is just too stupid.... Everyone should know that!" Well some people may not be the supper tech god you are I am just trying to help with a few basics... Plus no one likes getting zaped from a power suply... I have had it happen, not fun my arm was numb for an hour and I was the laughing stock of the lan party.
Title: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: not_inspired on 14 Aug 2006, 00:56
for anyone needing a linux crash cource especially in Ubuntu look at these

https://help.ubuntu.com/community

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_dapper
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Rizzo on 29 Sep 2006, 21:48
I thought it might be useful to add an NZ link just in case any Kiwis come in here. A little regionally specific but it might just prove to be useful.

www.pricespy.co.nz

Absolutely brilliant site with all the latest prices and parts plus plenty of different retailers to buy from.
Never ever use supercheapPC. They're absolutely terrible.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheCourtJester on 30 Sep 2006, 03:03
www.guru3d.com

It is t3h uber
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: EmoFan on 04 Oct 2006, 00:00
www.tomshardware.com Greatest hardware infomation site ever.
www.pricewatch.com Greatest lowest price possible site ever.

With Pricewatch you can't be stupid and trust every website out there. Actually contact them and get some info from the dealers and decide if their legit or not. They're fakes. If you don't want to handle that type of stuff, their other places. Dell, newegg(I hate newegg), ect.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: greenMonkey on 08 Oct 2006, 08:27
(I hate newegg)

Really? I like Newegg.  I just bought a floppy drive and a GeForce 6600 from them and I am loving both.  I've bought from them before, and aside from shipping issues (actually UPS' fault) I been satsfied with every purchase.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GileX on 24 Oct 2006, 04:47
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Scytale on 25 Oct 2006, 16:58
http://www.phoronix.com/

is a good site for Linux related hardware stuff.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 01 Nov 2006, 04:07
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare
I bought a 7900GT from Newegg in JUNE for US$269. What do you mean Newegg is a ripoff?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: m0o0oeh on 16 Nov 2006, 04:06
No links, but any problems, let me know and I'll try and help - spesh with Netgear issues or with hardware issues - I have had enough trial-and-error to know what I'm doing with them!

Joe
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: alexalexalex on 16 Nov 2006, 07:02
www.overclockers.co.uk - Based in Stoke-on-Trent. I got to talking with them at a LAN party a couple of months ago, and they know their stuff.

I used to shop on overclockers religiously, but then I figured out that http://www.ebuyer.com is cheaper and they actually tell you how much delivery is going to cost. Now I compare prices on both sites before buying anything, but ebuyer nearly always wins!

also, hi.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 20 Nov 2006, 00:15
http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles
The forums on anandtech are good, too. Especially the hot deals forum.

I've ordered several thousand dollars worth of equipment from MWAVE.com and they've never failed me.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: FireStarter on 21 Nov 2006, 11:03
Or just PM me, I can even walk anyone through the actual assemply of a built from scratch pc through teamspeak or Ventrillo. I'm also up on about everything on hardware
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cade on 19 Dec 2006, 11:09
for Australians specifically those in Queensland www.umart.com.au (http://www.umart.com.au) is a really good hardware site.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 22 Dec 2006, 01:58
Yeah, and those around me (Sydney) should check umart.net.au instead.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GileX on 28 Dec 2006, 16:50
I dont like umart, they have bad customer service. I am also good for anyone in sydney area who wants to build a computer as i have built many so far and to dennis i ment a 7950GT, my fingers refuse most commands i give them.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 29 Dec 2006, 03:33
I dont like umart, they have bad customer service. I am also good for anyone in sydney area who wants to build a computer as i have built many so far and to dennis i ment a 7950GT, my fingers refuse most commands i give them.
wow. the 7950 for under $300 before the 8xxx series came out is an incredible deal.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GileX on 29 Dec 2006, 17:45
Your'e telling me, i almost creamed in my pants when i saw it, thats why i'm the proud owner of an ASUS 7950GT. My work mate got an 8800GTX in to market it and he let me test it before he sent it out, it was like "F.E.A.R? psshhh can't you find a harder game". Plus it almost didnt fit in the damn case, that thing is HUGE
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: nihilist on 03 Jan 2007, 22:53
I run 2 7800 GTXs.  It makes me happy.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 12 Jan 2007, 11:01
I am considering buying a second xfx 7900GT for my system. But then, I'll probably need to buy a new power supply, and the vicious cycle of computer upgrades goes on.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheFuriousWombat on 17 Jan 2007, 09:15
my intense lack of moneys forces me to cope with a geforce 7600 gt 256mb. damn minimal cash flow :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: nihilist on 18 Jan 2007, 06:37
Next computer will probably be CrossFire, not SLI.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 18 Jan 2007, 06:46
Crossfire is only necessary for huge resolutions: if you play anything below 1600x1200, you won't need two cards. I'd also be careful when selecting cards in CrossFire, specifically in the 1900-series family, because the clock-speed on a single Crossfire-compatible card is lower than its non-compatible brethren.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: nihilist on 18 Jan 2007, 07:04
Except that I'd run my games at 2048x1536 if I could.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Slacker on 14 Feb 2007, 20:11
http://www.hardocp.com/ Is a good site for reviews, articles, or whatever.  ;)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 17 Feb 2007, 05:23
I dont like umart, they have bad customer service

How have they given you bad customer service?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dymo on 19 Feb 2007, 09:12
Pricewatch (http://www.pricewatch.com) has never done me wrong. To the person who said Newegg is a ripoff, ide like to see facts, because most of the time, the lowest prices pricewatch grabs are directly from newegg, sometimes tigerdirect, and abit of random websites. Newegg has awesome customer service and great shipping prices/times.

Tech spot (http://www.techspot.com) is an awesome rescource for almost anything electronics related. Awesome forums and help guides.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Method on 28 Feb 2007, 18:38
Quote
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare

I smell a challenge. 500GB Sata drive on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148108
$149.99 Before taxes. First product I found on the list when searching for 500GB Sata...


Geforce 7900GT On newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150144
$219 Before Taxes, looks like where ever you get your hardware sucks. If its tigerdirect, I should slap you.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: nikefido on 13 Mar 2007, 10:31
http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles

Great tech forum on forums.anandtech.com  ..  just stear clear of Off Topic and P&N !!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Wipsomass on 14 Mar 2007, 02:50
Quote
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare

I smell a challenge. 500GB Sata drive on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148108
$149.99 Before taxes. First product I found on the list when searching for 500GB Sata...


Geforce 7900GT On newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150144
$219 Before Taxes, looks like where ever you get your hardware sucks. If its tigerdirect, I should slap you.

I prefer fluidtek.com.au - dont order of the net though, you get really expensive prices but if u go in the store he always has huge specials that are the cheapest in syd - nsw - aust.....ect...

Newegg is also good.

If building a PC, head over to the atomicmpc.com.au website (tis 31337 Hax0r sh1t  :-P)

cheers,

Will :-)

(its a shame that my first post is in the computer section  :-(  )
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: BatouKyo on 18 Mar 2007, 18:51
If you're tired of your CPU or other fans sounding like jet engines, www.silentpcreview.com (http://www.silentpcreview.com)
These guys know alot about cooling and other stuff too, just most of them are fanatical about noise reduction...


Haha... how ironic, I have the loudest small end fan there is. Vantec tornado, 65dbs put out in a 92mm fan that moves 131cfm. I love it each and every day that its on... simply because i know the fact that there is no overheating in my processor.

I laugh at those who denounce newegg.com.... pricewatch.com proves how awesome the prices are there.

Oh, and if this hasnt been mentioned before.... www.ocforums.com (http://"www.ocforums.com) is the utmost place to look. taught me everything I know and has really helpful people. a few weeks reading this is a great way to learn about computers.



Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Scytale on 19 Mar 2007, 07:22
Hey I'm looking to set up a new server at home, It'll be hosting MYSQL and Apache, it will be basically a test box for any development I'm doing. I may also host a lame personal homepage on it if I can be bothered.

I thought I'd ask for advice on what sort of hadware I should buy, being a server it'll be running headless without mouse keyboard, monitor etc, adminning it via ssh/VNC it'll also be running Linux, haven't decided which distro yet, maybe CENTOS, maybe Debian, main thing I want is to keep the price down.

I was looking at getting one of those motherboards with integrated everything, graphics, network etc. I was thinking about 1 gb of ram (probably overkill for what I'm using it for but...)

Anyway I'm after advice on what mother board, what processesor (prefrence would be Intel, but don't mind AMD) and what ram setup (I'm not that familiar with single vs dual channel etc).

heres my requirements:

-gigabit ethernet
-onboard raid controller.
-decent linux drivers
-decent mother board stability

I have a spare case and a 500w power supply.
I also have the hard drives.
 I'll be installing over network so no need for any optical drives,

 Everything else I'm asking for help with, ram, cpu, motherboard.

thanks.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: The extra letter on 11 Apr 2007, 13:53
This is a great thread, with a great set of links, thanks.

I'm seriously considering building a brand spanking new computer once I've got the funds to replace the lumbering dinosaur I've got now. Only problem is I know sweet bugger all about computers. Basically, I know crap all about what good processors, graphics card or whatever are. The links in this thread have changed that a bit, thankfully.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: xero on 28 Jun 2007, 21:45
Have you checked out the Ars Technica System Guides (http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/guide-200706.ars)? The latest update was just this month, so everything there should be up-to-date, in terms of hardware trends. They've got several different DIY systems: The Budget Box (for when it absolutely positively has to be there on a budget of $800), the Hot Rod (juiced up for gaming, but within reason), and the God Box (for when you're putting it all on the company credit card).

I hand-built my computer two years ago based on their Hot Rod specs at the time, and it still plays all the best games.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: karbin on 22 Jul 2007, 22:54
Not sure if it's appropriate to put this here, but I co-run a small relatively new website to help people build computers. We have a basic guide to system parts, budget builds(computers for under 150), highlight current good deals and so forth.

http://www.pennywisepcs.com

I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TrekkieTechie on 23 Jul 2007, 08:28
I poked around a bit but didn't immediately find the $150 setup? I'm curious to see what you include.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: karbin on 23 Jul 2007, 08:31
Scroll down on the posts on the first page.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TrekkieTechie on 23 Jul 2007, 08:33
*hums a bit and feels slightly stupid*
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ZedAvatar on 13 Aug 2007, 10:22
Might I also suggest http://www.zipzoomfly.com for parts and etc.  No tax and free shipping!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Korandder on 28 Sep 2007, 22:35
For any Canadians, I have had good success with http://ncix.com/.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Alex C on 11 Oct 2007, 12:48
There's nothing wrong with newegg. They may not always have the lowest price on something, but frankly, that's true of every hardeware retail site I've encountered. Between rebates and constantly fluctuating prices, you're bound to save some pennies by always comparison shopping, especially with video cards. Heck, I managed to buy a Radeon 1950XT late last year for $200 from Newegg after rebates; that was hardly more expensive than the 1950Pro on offer (I think the pro was $190 at the time), despite being the superior card. About a month later I was hearing on forums that so many gamers made a run on the PRO due to it's status as an excellent budget card that apparently nobody felt the need to offer much in the way of rebates or sales on the PRO any more. Moral of the story: Worrying too much about saving money can drive people crazy and buzz doesn't always reflect reality. All you can really do is check out the actual prices on as many sites as is reasonable and stick to your budget.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: OstermanA on 14 Dec 2007, 00:25
Things to do with any new (or old) Winwoes install:

1:
Open up the run dialog to open up msconfig, then streamline your startup list. A good resource for what each item is would be Bleeping Computer (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/).

2:
Use the run dialog to open up 'services.msc', then optimize your services. For those of you who have never looked at the services list and are running XP Pro SP2, open it up, NOW, and disable the 'Remote Registry' service. It does exactly what it sounds like. Resource: The Elder Geek (http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm). Actually, The Elder Geek is a pretty good all around website, though I don't spend much time there.

3:
Download and install TweakUI (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx). It gives you access to a whole lot of options that you can't really get to otherwise. Incredibly useful tool.


For all you Linux people out there, I have yet to find a website more useful than LinuxQuestions (http://www.linuxquestions.org). A close second for Fedora users would be mjm wired (http://www.mjmwired.net).

As far as hardware goes, I'm kinda partial to Firing Squad (http://www.firingsquad.com). I know there are probably better places, but I've been going there for years, so it's kinda a habit. Meh.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thehollow on 20 Dec 2007, 20:42
so I spilled beer on my keyboard and now the spacebar won't work. At the moment I'm using some old keyboard of my roommate's while trying to type a paper and I keep mistyping everything because It's unfamiliar. So, anyone have a recommendation for a relatively cheap (maybe 20-30 bucks or so) keyboard that doesn't suck ass? I had the Logitech Elite keyboard (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-967234-0403-Keyboard-Elite-Black/dp/B00006FRUI), which I really liked, so something similar with all the multimedia buttons and such would be ideal.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 31 Dec 2007, 10:50
I have a Microsoft something or other I got for 32 bucks.  Types quiet, volume controles, etc, etc.  It even has a calculator button.  I love it.  Of all the parts in my new computer (AMD FX-74, 7900GS), this is my favorite part.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thehollow on 31 Dec 2007, 18:07
I ended up going with a Logitech Media Keyboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126021), because it was 20 bucks at target. So far I like it well enough, although I haven't done too much gaming with it yet. I don't like the way the home/delete/end etc. are is set up, but it'll be alright once I get used to it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thegreatbuddha on 03 Jan 2008, 00:43
So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway (http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml) with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 03 Jan 2008, 07:22
RAM is dirt cheap unless it's PC133 (before DDR, so no worries).  I bought two 1 gb sticks of DDR2 for just under 80$ (or was it 65$?), if that helps give you an idea.  Which leaves Video Card/Power Supply.  I don't suppose you know what wattage your power supply is.  In which case, get a 650 watt or so power supply (shouldn't be more than 150 or so).  This leaves 200-300 for the card.  Go nuts.  I got a 7900 GS for 140, but you can probably go higher.  As for additional fans, it's certainly not a bad idea, and they're also pretty cheap.  Less than 10 bucks cheap. 

Personally, I would've just gone out and gotten a new computer, but if you've only got a few hundred, that's probably good.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: FUBAR on 03 Jan 2008, 12:53
So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway (http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml) with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?

I am by no meas a pro, but I'll try to offer what info I can about purchasing new hardware.

As far as the specifications for RAM; the memory on the Video Card, and the system memory are two different things so they really have nothing to do with each other from a functional point of view other than buffering the graphics before it hits the display.  Additionally, when purchasing a video card you want to value the core clock speed over the amount of memory that is attached to it since the clock speed is the determining factor in how well the card will perform.  Be careful not to completely write off the attached memory on the card though as that can give your frames per second a noticeable boost.

Now, purchasing system memory (RAM) can be kinda tricky since there are so many different brands with a multitude of designations and specs.  I won't bore you with the details. My advice is to get memory that is rated as having low latency, and is manufactured by a respectable company. I prefer Corsair, they have never let me down.  The best way to start looking is by going to your motherboard manufacturer's website and searching for a compatibility chart so you can figure what how much memory it can take and what kind.

Whether or not it is feasible to upgrade your MB or not is up to you.  You have to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend and what do you want your computer to do.  If you're going to be swapping out a majority of the other components though you may need to end up upgrading the MB anyway due to compatibility.

However, if you can give a more detailed outline of what the current system has installed in it and what you want the rig to be able to do we could probably recommend some good companies,models, and retailers.



Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thegreatbuddha on 03 Jan 2008, 13:12
http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml (http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml)

Those are the specs for my PC, since it essentially stock. The only upgrade it has is a Radeon 9250 PCI video card.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: FUBAR on 03 Jan 2008, 13:28
cool, what are you going to be using for?

Gaming? Video Editing? Web Browsing?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thegreatbuddha on 03 Jan 2008, 22:16
Gaming. I'd like Medieval 2 to run smoother, and I would love to play Oblivion at something more than 10FPS on minimum visual settings running OldOblivion.  After that, everything is gravy.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 04 Jan 2008, 07:51
2 gigs of RAM and a 7900 GS will do just fine.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ledhendrix on 04 Jan 2008, 08:01
I'm looking to get a good pc for gaming in the £300-£500 range. I just tried to play TF2 on my parents laptop ( 80gb hard drive, 1gb ram, 2x 1.6ghz processor and intel Graphics media accelerator 950 graphics card) but my graphics card doesn't work with TF2. I was gutted. Anyway anyone got any recommendations for a good pc?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: FUBAR on 04 Jan 2008, 10:08
2 gigs of RAM and a 7900 GS will do just fine.

He's right.  Standard upgrade is what your looking for.

For the ram get something comparable to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a0239821&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=SS&cid=25682&lid=585550 (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a0239821&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=SS&cid=25682&lid=585550)

In this bracket of memory all the features are pretty much the same across all manufacturers so whatever brand you choose should be OK as long as they are reputable.  Once again I suggest Corsair but it would not hurt to read some reviews before you buy.   Your MB  doesn't take DDR2 unfortunately, but for what you want it will suffice.

Normally I would suggest ATI for playing Oblivion specifically  because you can have the option to turn on all the lighting and shader effects but that's only if you purchase one of their high end cards.  If you just need it on minimum an Nvidia 7900 GS will work plus, it will be cheaper.


There shouldn't be anything else you need to change.  The processor meets recommended system requirements and I'm sure whatever power supply that is installed will be big enough to handle the new video card.




Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: FUBAR on 04 Jan 2008, 10:22
I'm looking to get a good pc for gaming in the £300-£500 range. I just tried to play TF2 on my parents laptop ( 80gb hard drive, 1gb ram, 2x 1.6ghz processor and intel Graphics media accelerator 950 graphics card) but my graphics card doesn't work with TF2. I was gutted. Anyway anyone got any recommendations for a good pc?

DELL Inspiron 531

Typically it's £469.00 and Dell takes £20 off the order right now so it's only £449.  It's one of their all-in-one desktops so it will be easily upgradeable in the future as well.  The price is with no shipping and handling and no tax so you'll have to calculate that on your own.  If you decide to pick this one you may want to upgrade the video card to the optional HD 2600 XT since that puts the  video at the minimum system requirement.

The grand total  will be a little over £500 though, but worth the money.
You can also custom order your PC too so you can make a few adjustments to fit your budget.

You can also check out some of the Gateways that are available, they are cheaper than Dells only problem is where to buy in your neck of the woods.  Gateway doesn't ship directly anymore so you have to purchase from Toys'R'Us or TESCO Direct if you're ordering from their website.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: RifewithWit on 04 Jan 2008, 12:40
Hey, I know I am new here, but I am sort of a computer geek when it comes to putting them together.

I have a Gateway 556GE desktop, with a intel Pentium 4 3GHz 800MHz
2 240GB Hard Drives
a 512 MB video card (Nvidia GEFORCE 7300 GT)
2.5 GB of RAM
a 16000rpm Electric cooling fan
850watt power source
a 72x CD - DVD Burner combo
along with a CF/ Microdrive and built-in cardreader for Camera Memory cards....

I get all of my Computer Parts from www.Motherboardsdirect.com
They also assemble computers if you would like to start one directly from scratch.

I have my computer configured for gaming.... I am a really big Nerd for RTS Games.

Any particular Questions let me know. But I run Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium wars on full graphics, and it does not chug at all.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 10 Jan 2008, 02:06
So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway (http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml) with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?

DDR-400 is outdated, and RAM goes up in price the older it is. You'll spend from USD100-150 for a matched pair of 1 gig sticks. If you keep your original RAM (assuming it's 2x256MB sticks), this will actually give you 2.5 gigs. Since it's DDR, you should buy RAM in pairs (you don't have to, but there's a performance gain for DDR mode, which requires matched pairs), so getting 1.5gigs to round it out to 2 isn't feasible.

The specsheet doesn't list the specs of your power supply, but since it's a Gateway, the power supply will probably be insufficient to power any decent video card. You'll need to upgrade. Expect to spend $50-100 for a decent 450-500W power supply (I recommend Antec or Thermaltake).

So RAM and power supply eat up $150-200 of your budget leaving $250-550 to spend on a video card.

For $250, you can get something like a GeForce 7900 GT (which I'm running). It's a DX9 part, which is fine for XP. If you plan on going Vista, get a DX10 part (e.g. a GeForce 8xxx). The 7900GT is the top-of-the-line for the 7xxx series, and capable of running current games at decent settings. I had no problem with COD4 at 1024x768 with most of the options turned on.

For $550, you can get a monster, like a GeForce8800GTX. Of course, if you go 8800, you will need to pay careful attention to the power supply requirements and make sure to get a power supply that can juice it. This goes beyond wattage rating. The mid-to-high end 8800 configurations can draw more than 25 amps off the 12V rails, so the power supplies need to be able to deliver that.

You probably won't be able to afford a card like that after the PS consideration is taken.

I'd go for an 8800GTS card. It's not ridiculous like the GTX parts, but damn capable. You'll be able to max all the settings in most games (not Crysis, obviously). They costs anywhere from $300-400 and have more reasonable power supply requirements. You'll also probably be able to carry the card over to your next motherboard and processor, too. It's probably overkill for a system like yours, but if you plan on upgrading mobo and processor in the next year or so, it'll still be good.

I can't reiterate enough that it's important to match the power supply to the video card. There are expensive, high quality power supplies out there that simply can't deliver the current that high end video cards demand.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: DavidGrohl on 16 Jan 2008, 13:22
  Anyone know of a great graphics card that's a little less beefy?  I'm aiming at running cool and quiet here.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 16 Jan 2008, 19:41
That's what I'm suggesting, a 7900 GS.  Mine is pretty small, runs quiet.  I think it was a PNY brand.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 18 Jan 2008, 16:35
So I got a new 500GB hdd today. Brings me up to a total of 1368GB of storage. I don't really need that much, but my 160GB main hdd is kinda dying so I figured I'd replace it with a 500GB one since they're not too expensive anymore. Got the seagate 7200.11 barracuda. Formatting it now. Rest of teh specs:

Core 2 duo e6750 OC'd to 3.72Ghz stable
BFG 8800GTX OC
Asus P5K Deluxe P35
4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 RAM
Corsair 620w psu
22" Gateway monitor
Zalman 9700LED heatsink
G15 keyboard
G5 mouse
20x DVD RW drive
2x500GB, 1x160GB, and 1x320GB hdds
XClio A380 case

I love this computer :D
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 19 Jan 2008, 19:28
  Anyone know of a great graphics card that's a little less beefy?  I'm aiming at running cool and quiet here.
I'd say an 8600. You get DX10 capabilities and most everything else for ~200 for a decent memory configuration.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 26 Jan 2008, 08:47
So, in other news, my computer will run Crysis at roughly 40fps on medium.  I'm fairly certain Video Card RAM is the big issue here (I only have 256mb).  When I get my taxes done, I may go out and buy one or two 512mb 8800GTs.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheOrangeNova on 13 Feb 2008, 00:49
How much would i have to spend to change my Cream of the Crap computer into a able to run multiple programs at once computer?

512mhz P3
16mb RiVa TnT2 nVidia graphics card
320mb SD ram
3, 6 and, 9 gb HDD.

Built from free and scrap.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Spluff on 13 Feb 2008, 02:46
That's a pretty loose definition. You'd need a whole new PC, and a pretty standard high end PC can be put together for about $1000 ATM. But anything more specific than that would require more information.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheOrangeNova on 14 Feb 2008, 00:17
That's a pretty loose definition. You'd need a whole new PC, and a pretty standard high end PC can be put together for about $1000 ATM. But anything more specific than that would require more information.

Well, Right now i'm just looking to upgrade a little bit.. So.. What would be a good Graphics card that could run on an Unknown motherboard with a PCI-E slot.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 14 Feb 2008, 01:36
probably not anything special. try a geforce 7600. it doesn't seem likely that your pci-e slot is more than 8x.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 17 Feb 2008, 23:41
For the love of all things holy do not even think about upgrading that thing. That is like me trying to put bigger rims on my '96 Lumina.

And $1000 is about right, depending on what you want to do. If you don't play PC games, you can build a good multi-purpose rig for under $500. Depending how serious a gamer you are, the price can range anywhere from $700 to $1000 CDN.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: thehollow on 18 Feb 2008, 14:24
Recently my case has randomly started producing a loud noise that's vibrating the whole case. It's not constant, but is happening regularly and it's rather unsettling. I narrowed it down to the power supply rather than any of the other fans, and I noticed that the fan on the bottom of the power supply is moving really slowly. Is my supply dying and should I just order a new one?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 03 Mar 2008, 01:11
The vibrating noise is likely because of a fan bearing wearing out.

It doesn't necessarily mean your PSU is dying, but it's usually easier to replace the whole thing than just a fan.

If you have a prebuilt machine (e.g. Dell, Gateway) you have to be careful to buy a power supply that will fit your case. Sometimes their cases have tighter restrictions on size than the regular standards.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 06 Mar 2008, 09:40
Yeah, usually it's just the fan, but like he said, it's easier to get a new power supply than open that one up to replace the fan.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 08 Mar 2008, 17:43
Yeah. If you want to replace the fan, you have to take the PSU out of the case anyway, so you might as well get a new PSU while you're at it. Replacing the fan will probably void any warranty still active on it.

If it's an expensive, nice power supply, it might be worth it to RMA it, but if it came with your case/computer, definitely just get a new one.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 09 Mar 2008, 17:09
Dennis, you ought to be able to run CoD4 at higher than that with a 7900GT, I can run at 1280x1024 with a 7900 GS.

These estimates for the cost of a computer capable of gaming seem kind of high, I made a mistake getting mine and got one that I ended up having to replace almost everything (the processor, RAM, and HD are all that is left, and I had to get a new HD because it was only 40gigs), but I only spent $510 or so on mine so far, it would be 560USD if I had had to buy the hard drive rather than taking it from a dead computer I had lying around. It would have been cheaper if I hadn't gotten the Dell which was incompatible with just about everything.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 10 Mar 2008, 06:09
It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 10 Mar 2008, 18:57
Completely remove the power supply, take it outside, and blow it out with either an air compressor or canned air. The fan might just be clogged up with dust and pet hair, and this fix is the easiest and cheapest, so it wouldn't hurt to try. (Air compressors are great; you can get a cheap one at the hardware store, or order an air tank from a place like Harbor Freight Tools and fill it up with the air pumps at the gas station. In the long run it's cheaper, but for a one-time job like this it's easier to just use a couple air cans. You can get them at Wal-Mart.)

If that doesn't solve the problem and you don't care about the warranty, replace the fan. Get one with its own thermal controller; most of the time it will run quieter than the stock fan but will still push just as much air if necessary. (You may have to know how to solder to do this, depending on how your PSU was made.) I know from experience; the power supply fan in a PC I built shattered about a week after the warranty ran out. The way I figured it, fans are cheaper than power supplies and there was nothing else wrong with the unit, so why not?

If neither of those fixes the problem, put a single layer of electrical tape on the chassis anywhere the sides touch it. Sounds crazy, I know, but it was enough to keep the panels on my case from rattling around. (That buzzing sound a loose case panel makes drives you crazy after a while. :lol:)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 16 Mar 2008, 18:07
It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
Ah, I guess that makes sense. I still have a single-core, but it is hyperthreaded, of course, and while it is only 2.8, I could probably get it overclocked (I wouldn't want to do it myself though, I would likely mess something up) until I have enough money for a better one once it gets outdated. Only game I have had trouble with so far is 2142, the thing won't load multiplayer for some reason, but I got bored with it easily when it worked easily.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 17 Mar 2008, 03:19
It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
Ah, I guess that makes sense. I still have a single-core, but it is hyperthreaded, of course, and while it is only 2.8, I could probably get it overclocked (I wouldn't want to do it myself though, I would likely mess something up) until I have enough money for a better one once it gets outdated. Only game I have had trouble with so far is 2142, the thing won't load multiplayer for some reason, but I got bored with it easily when it worked easily.
I actually have a dual-core, but really, it's your clock speed that matters for this consideration, and mine is only an Opty 165 (1.8GHz). I had trouble with Rainbow 6: Vegas for the same reason.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: karbin on 19 Mar 2008, 16:12
If you have a standard ATX case and if blowing out dust with a compressed air can doesn't work, you'd probably just be better off getting a new one. If you have a non hardcore gaming system, you can get a new one for well under $50. Check out Newegg - http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=58

And I'd like to - and remove this if its too spammy, pimp out a site that I've been working on for awhile - http://byopc.com. Basically, its a site that allows you to submit your own computer configuration and rate other peoples. Its still basically in beta - but if anyone would like to submit their build or have any suggestions, that'd be awesome. Thanks.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: öde on 09 Apr 2008, 05:12
http://www.7dayshop.com/

Tax free computer stuff!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 16 Apr 2008, 16:47
Wait, I thought that all internet stuff was tax-free unless you bought it from some place based in your state? Is it different in Australia/U.K./wherever else people here live?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Statik on 20 Apr 2008, 21:41
So I am able to start building a brand new PC, from the ground up, and Ive been looking at the following:

CPU: AMD Phenom 9850 (Black Edition)

Mobo: MSI K9A2 Platinum   or   ECS A780GM-A   The ECS is about half the price of the MSI board, but I have no experience with ECS as a company anyone have any info on them?  Good/Bad/Ugly?

-- Also, just the core in general; would I be better off going with a cheaper/different CPU/Mobo combination, or stick with the phenom and one of the few boards that supports it?  (Im fairly partial to AMD, and I have read about their recent woes, mainly invoved with the previous Phenom launch, but Id still prefer an AMD CPU) Money is a concern, but not THAT much of a concern.  (Meaning, Im not trying to break the bank, but I do have pretty good leeway on parts cost)  is there anything anyone reccomends?  This is going to be a gaming system, but also something that needs to run 3D programs (3D studio, bryce, w/e)

Ram: Lots.

Vid:  BFG Nvidia 9800GTX  - most of the 9800s were about the same price, and I have a good history with BFG.

I am however, looking into DVD burners, preferably SATA (to keep the wires down)  But every review Im reading says that all the 20x DVD burners are stupidly loud.  Can anyone confirm/deny this?  Are they only loud while burning?  If so, I can tolerate that, but if they are loud while just reading, thats a bit problematic.

Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 21 Apr 2008, 16:43
I'd stick with the phenom and a board that supports it, that seems to be the socket that AMD is going to have the most support for in regards to their upcoming products.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Apr 2008, 17:04
I don't know about the SATA burner.  I got one at home and there's a few about here at work and they seem really very slow to react to anything.  Not sure if that is just par for the course with all recent drives or a problem that is specific to SATA ones, but the wait between telling it to copy files from the drive and it spinning up properly really does seem ridiculous.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Statik on 22 Apr 2008, 06:26
The drive Ive been looking at (buying a computer is probably about 3 weeks away) is this. (http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16827106057)

Another question, as you have a SATA disc drive, I remember reading a while back (the place escapes me) of computers taking issue with a lack of a PATA CD/DVD drive (when booting from CD/DVD), that it couldnt read from the SATA drive at boot, was this an old issue, since resolved?  minor issue related to certain mobos?  Anyone know?

My current burner is a 5x(maybe?) single layer burner.  Takes about 20 minutes from "start" to done burning, on a single layer disc.  Even if the burner takes a minute or two to start up, and burns DL discs in 5 minutes, thats still a VAST improvement over what Ive got now.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: brainwrinkle on 24 Apr 2008, 20:22
I built a system with only an SATA DVD drive a couple months ago and everything went smoothly.  I don't think you should have any problems unless you have an odd disk setup in mind.  I'm pretty sure the DVD Burners are mostly loud when burning as my 16X NEC is quiet except when burning.

I'm not sure what case you are describing, but I would recommend reading some review websites or just browsing the name brand cases at Newegg.  Lian Li, Thermaltake, Antec, etc all have very nice cases under $100.

MSI is generally a better company as far as name brand goes.  I'd look for reviews of each particular model, but if you can afford it almost always go with the better motherboard, as it has one of the largest impacts on the stability of your system.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 24 Apr 2008, 21:56
If you are getting a case, get an Antec P900 to live my dream.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Bane on 26 Apr 2008, 18:35
So I am able to start building a brand new PC, from the ground up, and Ive been looking at the following:

CPU: AMD Phenom 9850 (Black Edition)

Mobo: MSI K9A2 Platinum   or   ECS A780GM-A   The ECS is about half the price of the MSI board, but I have no experience with ECS as a company anyone have any info on them?  Good/Bad/Ugly?

-- Also, just the core in general; would I be better off going with a cheaper/different CPU/Mobo combination, or stick with the phenom and one of the few boards that supports it?  (Im fairly partial to AMD, and I have read about their recent woes, mainly invoved with the previous Phenom launch, but Id still prefer an AMD CPU) Money is a concern, but not THAT much of a concern.  (Meaning, Im not trying to break the bank, but I do have pretty good leeway on parts cost)  is there anything anyone reccomends?  This is going to be a gaming system, but also something that needs to run 3D programs (3D studio, bryce, w/e)

Ram: Lots.

Vid:  BFG Nvidia 9800GTX  - most of the 9800s were about the same price, and I have a good history with BFG.

I am however, looking into DVD burners, preferably SATA (to keep the wires down)  But every review Im reading says that all the 20x DVD burners are stupidly loud.  Can anyone confirm/deny this?  Are they only loud while burning?  If so, I can tolerate that, but if they are loud while just reading, thats a bit problematic.

Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.



ECS is a mid-range company.  Not likely to be a good overclocker, and I would guess you intend to overclock, considering the Black Edition processor.  The chipset of the ECS, judging by the name, is the 780G, which means it has integrated graphics available, if you're skipping a graphics card.  Since you're not, the MSI K9A2 is definitely the better board from an overclocking standpoint.  For the video card, you get about an average of 5 FPS more from a 9800GTX as compared to an 8800GTS G92 (512MB), but for a cost of another 100 dollars or so.  The major advantage for a 9800GTX is improved SLI performance, but the AM2+ motherboards for SLI, namely, 780a, are not available yet.  As for the memory, try picking up a 2x2GB kit.  That should be plenty of memory, and 2x2 kits are better than 4x1, as running all four DIMM slots full is a major strain on the memory controller.  As for any concerns about the processor itself, B3 revision (which is obviously the 9850 and its ilk) performs fine, they don't have the long list of TLB errata that destroyed virtualization. 

You have a Best Buy near you?  Call up any Best Buys that you can get to, and ask them about the Rocketfish case.  Per the Best Buy website, it costs $120, but many of the stores have it for much less.  The Rocketfish is actually a revision of a Lian Li case, and thus is built with the full quality of Lian Li.  For hard drives, you screw a small rubber padded screw (provided with the case, about twenty of them I believe) into the drive, and then slide it into metal rails.  They are as quiet as possible, the rubber takes vibration.  The 5.25" drives, such as your DVD drive, slide in, without screws, and clip in with plastic mounts.  They do touch metal, which adds a little noise when they vibrate.  It appears that you could screw the 5.25" devices in if you so desired, I can't check that with my machine running now.  Link is provided to the Best Buy site on the next line.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8428604&st=rocketfish&type=product&id=1183160363476

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 30 Apr 2008, 23:59
High speed optical drives are all loud, because discs are rarely perfectly balanced. The difference in the amount of paint in the label can unbalance the disc.

The best thing to do to quiet the drives down is to mount them on silicone grommets, rather than directly to the frame. They'll still be loud, but not nearly as loud.

Personally, I don't use my DVD drive very much--basically only to install software and write discs, so the noise isn't really a big deal. When you're spinning a DVD movie in there, they spin at 1x, so the noise isn't big.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: NeoNorm on 02 May 2008, 10:26
I just got a new comp a month ago. Specs:

Intel Q9300 = 45nm 2.5 Ghz Quad core (Will be overclocked to 3.0GHz but I haven't done it yet)
Gigabyte GA-P35-D3SL MB
8GB Corsair DDR2 800 low latency
150GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM SATA HD
1TB Seagate SATA HD
EVGA GeForce 9800GTX
BenQ G2400W 24" Widescreen LCD
Sennheiser headphones
Cooler Master Case w/7 fans
Vista Ultimate

Yeah, this thing is a monster. :-D  I love it, but it cost about $2.5K.


Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.

I think you are describing the case that I got ... Its a Cooler Master. 

::checks newegg::
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
This case is awesome.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Statik on 08 May 2008, 14:35
Im following Bane's advice and getting the rocketfish case.  Full tower, aluminum, etc etc
Also, the advice on the video card, comparing specs, and some tech stuff, Im making a small step down on my vid card to the 8800GTS

Also, ASUS released a new 780a chipset board for the Phenom CPUs, so Im getting that

Full rundown as follows:

Rocketfish Full tower case
ASUS M3N-HT - has integrated NVIDIA 8 series GPU, which WILL work in conjuction (or independantly) of a graphics card
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition 2.5GHz quad core
BFG Geforce 8800GTS
ASUS Xonar DX PCI-express sound card
Antec 1000W PS
Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) RAM
2x Seagate 500GB HDDs
Lite-On 20x DVD burner

I am curious if anyone has any experience with ASUS Xonar soundcards?  All of the reviews I have read of them seem to be favorable, and they don't carry the bloated software issues around like creative cards.

Also I didnt specifically find anything about this (to be fair, I only spent a few minutes searching, as Im working on finals stuff)  With PCI-express, are there still IRQ conflicts (possible)?  Is it a thing of the past?  Still a problem when you have a lot of stuff?  Granted, Im not putting much stuff in the computer, but Im still curious.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Bane on 08 May 2008, 20:26
Im following Bane's advice and getting the rocketfish case.  Full tower, aluminum, etc etc
Also, the advice on the video card, comparing specs, and some tech stuff, Im making a small step down on my vid card to the 8800GTS

Also, ASUS released a new 780a chipset board for the Phenom CPUs, so Im getting that

Full rundown as follows:

Rocketfish Full tower case
ASUS M3N-HT - has integrated NVIDIA 8 series GPU, which WILL work in conjuction (or independantly) of a graphics card
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition 2.5GHz quad core
BFG Geforce 8800GTS
ASUS Xonar DX PCI-express sound card
Antec 1000W PS
Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) RAM
2x Seagate 500GB HDDs
Lite-On 20x DVD burner

I am curious if anyone has any experience with ASUS Xonar soundcards?  All of the reviews I have read of them seem to be favorable, and they don't carry the bloated software issues around like creative cards.

Also I didnt specifically find anything about this (to be fair, I only spent a few minutes searching, as Im working on finals stuff)  With PCI-express, are there still IRQ conflicts (possible)?  Is it a thing of the past?  Still a problem when you have a lot of stuff?  Granted, Im not putting much stuff in the computer, but Im still curious.


IRQ conflicts... the only reference I can think of is a blue screen, says something like "IRQL_LESS_THAN_EQUAL_TO".  I haven't seen anything else out of my PCI-e slots, through uh, four motherboards and three graphics cards. 

You might find that PSU to be a bit loud, 80mm fans gets a bit up there.  You might have seen the PC P&C Myths page, but it's a little off.  That used to be true, but at higher wattages, a small fan just can't cut it.  PC P&C Silencers more or less live up to their names, but TurboCool's are horribly loud.  Also, my last Antec PSU (first and last, I might add), had no space between the fan and the heatsinks/capacitors/PCB, so it creates a lot of noisy turbulence.  This one is the same way, the fan is very close to the heatsinks in front of it.  If you want a big wattage PSU, I'd recommend looking for a 120mm fan, among any other qualifications.  Personally, I adhere to the single-rail philosophy.  Not a lot of good options at 1000W; I think Ultra X3 is about your best option, maybe a Thermaltake Toughpower could fit the bill, and if they come out soon enough, an HX 1000 should do quite nicely. 

The motherboard looks very promising.  Somebody used the Crosshair 2 by ASUS to reach 3.57, stable enough for benches at least, plus you have the GPU and SLI potential.  8800GTS G92, right?  Also, for the memory, it is very important that you keep it at about 2.1 or less.  A Phenom processor, for reasons unknown, dies when the memory is run at 2.2+ or thereabouts. 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 11 May 2008, 22:12
I've noticed a few noobs in here just posting their system specs.  Please, stop doing that.

This started out as a thread for sharing pc hardware knowledge.  Discussing pc building, upgrades, etc is kind of on-topic, but e-peen competitions are definitely not.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Digital-Pimp on 16 May 2008, 23:20
I'm really shocked that no one's posted this:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

Anyway, here's the latest revision of my project PC that I update every month or so... I'm too lazy to actually buy/build it.

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7520567

Highlights:
 ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz LGA 775 95W
 ASUS EN9800GTX/HTDP/512M GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
 CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
 ASUS V-60 92mm Vapo Bearing CPU Cooler
 Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan
 Thermaltake W0106RU 700W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version Power Supply

Yes, I <3 ASUS.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 16 May 2008, 23:52
Read est's post DIRECTLY ABOVE YOURS. STUPID.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 24 May 2008, 17:15
Wow neonorm I was wondering about that case which I get delivered monday hopefully, it is to replace my ammo 533 coolermaster case which was awesome for LAN but now it is falling apart.

Bought the new case as the ammo 533 is now too small for all my drives and cables.

So don't buy one, the front faceplate falls off and looks tacky, it is quite cramped inside.

If you want a lan case buy a holder for a normal mid tower or whatever.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Fletch on 07 Jul 2008, 23:22
I'm currently looking for info on portable (or close to) gaming computers ... I'm in China with about 8000RMB. (think it's a bit over $1000 USD, but I'm not sure the comparative market prices are the same)
If I can get specs and information to print out, I can probably find somewhere to sell/build it. :)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 08 Jul 2008, 07:33
A quick glance at Newegg shows a somewhat limited selection.  FrozenCPU.com is a bit better.  Tiny cases run about 80$ on average, same with motherboards.  You'd probably have to be careful about what size video card you get...9500GS's and 8500 GT's have pretty decent performance, good size and price, but they aren't nearly as powerful as 9800GT/4870's.  Which won't even fit in slim cases.  Actually, I'd avoid slim cases if I were you, they cut down your options even more.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 08 Jul 2008, 08:27
I'd reccomend the outervision extreme site's "Power supply calculator" and the "Overclock calculator":
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp

They allow you to make sure you're not under or over-specing your PSU for the system you've got.

I'll also point out that the worst source for noise in a PC is the piower supply. Most cheap PSUs aren't in fact quiet, they're cheap Chinese tat which roar when they get warm. I wonder why so far no-one's built a liquid cooled PSU for silent PCs.

Finally, excellent article here:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/1

On memory and how it relates to 32/64 bit systems. of particular note is that your memory address allocation is shared between all devices using memory. So if you max out your ram to 4gb and use a 512Mb video card then you're only using 3.5Gb of that ram. The other 512Mb is wasted.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Fletch on 11 Jul 2008, 22:12
Quote
cpu :Intel CORE 2 QUAD Q6600 2400MHz                 1540
MB:  asus p35                                        800
Ram :G SKILL 4GB DDR2-800 w/Heatpipe Coolina(2x2GB)  400*2
Video Card: XFX Geforce 9600GT 512MB quiet PCI-E     1399
Sound Card: Onboard Sound
Hard Drive: seagate SATA 10,000RPM 74GB               1000
CD/DVD: Pioneer Blu-Rav Burner SATA(black)           1280
Ext.Drive: 1TB USB2.0/Ext SATA Samsung Hard Drive     1550
Case: Antec P-80B                                     1280
Power Supply :Thermaltake 680A 680w                   780
CPU Cooling: ASUS V60                                 300
This is the specs I've been recommended by a local (read: Chinese) computer dealer after showing them some stuff from Puget. Any opinions? It's through a friend, but I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 12 Jul 2008, 12:53
That's pretty good.  I have a 9600GT, actually.  Runs everything I throw at it pretty well.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 12 Jul 2008, 14:15
Are those numbers next to the components the prices? If so what currency are they in because they look massively overpriced. Also, I'd lose 2 of the 4gb of RAM and upgrade the 9600GT to an 8800GT. You don't really need four gigs of RAM and the heatpipe cooling is probably waaay more than they need,
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Fletch on 12 Jul 2008, 21:27
8800GT is better than a 9600GT? I can't seem to find anything definite to back this up.  :| Links?
The prices are in Chinese currency (RMB, I'm working in China) so you can roughly divide by 7 or so to get american, canadian or australian. (check current rates for a better idea)
I might be able to get better prices if I go to a second dealer, but I'm still deciding what parts I want.
It is really hot & humid here - how much could that affect my need for good heatsinks?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 12 Jul 2008, 21:45
An 9600GT is about par with a 8800GT.  It's only slightly weaker, by maybe 5-10%, but it's also cheaper.  I got mine for about 190 plus tax, factory overclocked.  Mine idles at about 51 degrees Celsius, doesn't ever get hotter than 65, if that's any help.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 13 Jul 2008, 05:10
My bad, I was getting the 9600 and the 6800 confused in my head. I'm just a big fan of the 8800 models (not the GTS model though) and they're one I actually have some experience with.

As for the prices in Chinese currency, fair enough. That one threw me for a loop. I was terrified you were talking in Dollars which would have been really scary. For some reason there are electronic items that seem to be much more expensive in the US than over here in the UK.

As for the heat and humidity... I'm not sure. It's going to lower the MTBF on your PSU but I'm not sure about the thermal capacity of moist air over dry air. I'm guessing it's going to make cooling harder but then it all becomes a matter of extra fans, the noise they make and whether you want to go all the way into liquid cooling.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 13 Jul 2008, 09:16
I believe humid air has a higher heat capacity than dry air, unfortunately, humid air is also going to be warmer than dry air in general, and since radiative cooling depends entirely on temperature differential, it's probably no help.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: notselfcreated on 17 Jul 2008, 13:07
Question! Last month I built a computer. It's loosely based off of Toms Hardware "$500 Gaming PC" from last April. It is very loud. Sounds like a jet engine.

Plus cheap Intel motherboard, good CPU fan, etc.

Well, I cheaped out on the case, which was a mistake (at least the included 450W PSU seems to be working without any problems). There were no fans, but a local PC shop gave me a couple of their el-cheapo fans. There's an 80mm exhaust fan and a 120mm intake fan in the lower front. (The case is too narrow to fit bigger than an 80mm exhaust). The main offender noise-wise is the 120mm intake.

OK, so my question boils down to two things:

1. What is the optimum fan configuration? Is it simply more = better? There is a small grill on the side that could maybe accommodate an 80mm; should I put one there?

2. Is an intake fan really necessary? Especially since there aren't really vents in the front faceplate. If it is, can anyone recommend an inexpensive, quiet 120mm? Should I even go so far as to cut vents into the plastic of the faceplate?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 17 Jul 2008, 13:53
If you're concerned about noise, more fans definitely != better. As long as your 8800GT is running within safe heat ranges, there's no reason to slap fans around your case like postage stamps. Not to mention, you're barely scraping by with that PSU, and adding more fans will probably just overload the poor thing. If you're really worried about sound & heat, I suggest buying a strong aftermarket heatsink for your GPU and strapping it on with above-average paste. The 8800 line in particular has some really shit heatsinks stock, and since they're designed to only run at 55% maximum capacity, what you'd be hearing at 100% would be a hurricane inside your computer.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: notselfcreated on 17 Jul 2008, 21:13
If you're concerned about noise, more fans definitely != better. As long as your 8800GT is running within safe heat ranges, there's no reason to slap fans around your case like postage stamps. Not to mention, you're barely scraping by with that PSU, and adding more fans will probably just overload the poor thing. If you're really worried about sound & heat, I suggest buying a strong aftermarket heatsink for your GPU and strapping it on with above-average paste. The 8800 line in particular has some really shit heatsinks stock, and since they're designed to only run at 55% maximum capacity, what you'd be hearing at 100% would be a hurricane inside your computer.

Wouldn't the heatsinks included with an 8800 vary greatly depending on the manufacturer?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 19 Jul 2008, 20:09
In theory yes, but application no. While different manufacturers may alter the stock heatsink, it's usually slight enough that it doesn't contrast itself from the original.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: notselfcreated on 22 Jul 2008, 11:09
OK, got another one here...

Suppose I wanted to let both an 8800GT and an old MX440 PCI live inside of my PC. Would there be conflicts if I installed the Forceware for both of these cards at once?

As far as why I would do such a thing... FFVII for the PC does not like GF8s, but it would probably play nice with a GF4.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 23 Jul 2008, 01:39
Ok, I might as well address the fan thing here.

The whole point of a fan is to have air moving over a heatsink. That drains the heat out of the heatsink by Convective heat transmission (i.e the sink warms the air around it which then carries that heat away) and keeps the sink at a comfortable temperature. One of the worst mistakes to make is just to think that more fans = better. Too many people just get a bunch of small fans and strap them to every opening of the case, blowing air inwards. The problem there is that if they're all blowing air in then where does it come out?! All you've done is slightly raised the pressure inside the case and probably ruined the cooling. In a situation like that, a single 120mm fan would actually be better than ten 80mm versions. It's not just about the fans, it's about the airflow.

First trick to use? Ducting. If you can construct a simple cardboard duct that connects your single 120mm fan (bigger, slower and quieter) to the CPU heatsink and from there to an outflow vent then you will have great cooling efficiency for very little noise. Same with the graphics card. Ducting kicks ass.

Conventional tower PC cases actually suck from a cooling perspective. They require air to be sucked in and blown out. Much better would be a Chimney design similar to the Mac G4 Cube. A central vertical shaft through the computer that uses the tendency of hot air to rise to cool the PC without the use of fans.

As far as power supplies go, there is only one truely silent one that offers a decent output. Silverstone do a 300w version that is actually a 500w stepped down and uses a massive heatsink. I believe it should be possible to construct a water-cooled PSU, but I doubt you'll ever be able to buy one because of safety concerns.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Fletch on 24 Jul 2008, 02:29
I'm still working on what to get; everything bar cpu & motherboard is set - does anyone have any good suggestions on what I should be looking for in a gaming pc? should it be different if I want to link a couple of gtx280's together? What stats can I base opinions from with motherboards?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 26 Jul 2008, 11:46
Get an Asus P5B mobo. Or a P5WDH/DX if you're feeling particularly fancy. I love my P5W.

As for CPUs, take your pick. Quad-core seems to be the new big "thing", so get a Core 2 Quad in your price range.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 11 Aug 2008, 07:15
OK, got another one here...

Suppose I wanted to let both an 8800GT and an old MX440 PCI live inside of my PC. Would there be conflicts if I installed the Forceware for both of these cards at once?

As far as why I would do such a thing... FFVII for the PC does not like GF8s, but it would probably play nice with a GF4.
Theoretically, no.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Spluff on 31 Aug 2008, 01:32
I'm still working on what to get; everything bar cpu & motherboard is set - does anyone have any good suggestions on what I should be looking for in a gaming pc? should it be different if I want to link a couple of gtx280's together? What stats can I base opinions from with motherboards?

Honestly, I wouldn't go for the 280 at the moment, unless you've got an infinite budget. Link up two 4870s and you've got a ridiculously powerful rig for much much less (easily more powerful than a 280 for less money) .
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 31 Aug 2008, 19:19
I wouldn't even spring for two 4870s.  Either one 4870 or two 4850s is the best price-performance gfx dealybobber at the moment.  Although, looking at the date on the original post it is possible they were not about at the time & you have already bought a gtx280 or two by now.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 3Z3VH on 07 Sep 2008, 01:01
I just finished watercooling my PC, and it is super quiet now.  Seriously, I get more noise from my hard drives spinning (7200RPM drives even, not 10k RPM monsters) than from the 4x 120mm fans in my case.  Also, I got the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU, and it makes no noise at all.  I went with all Enermax Enlobal (Magnetic) Bearing fans because they are so silent.  There isn't really a need for a full passive setup unless you have the case right next to your ear at all times.  Just get the right components, and you will not hear a peep out of your computer.

Here is a peek inside mine... it isn't 100% done yet as I have to drill a hole in my case to mount the fill-port, rather than leaving it flopped over the other tube like that.  Also, sorry for the image quality, I took the picture with my iPhone, and half the lights in the room were off.

(http://photos-b.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v331/132/32/1348534683/n1348534683_67641_4743.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 07 Sep 2008, 03:45
For anyone who's rebuilding their machine, adding extra drives, reinstalling the operating system... If you have anything that's important to you, like photos or your email backup or anythng, be sure you copy it off onto disks before starting work. I've just done a complete rebuild and I was sure all my important data was on my 120Gb ide hard disk. It turned out it wasn't and I formatted the drive containing six years worth of photos and eight years worth of email.

The pain is immense.

Thankfully I chose to dual-boot linux so I have access to a lot of undelete software. I'll have to see what I can do.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 3Z3VH on 08 Sep 2008, 12:35
Best drive and partition recovery software I have ever used was something called TestDisk.  It is cross-platform, so you can find it for whatever OS you need, but I got the best results booting from DOS or Linux (without X) and running it.  It certainly isn't a pretty program, but it gets the job done, and it gets it done well.

I have also been told that TestDisk comes with Knoppix, but I have never tried, so YMMV.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Fletch on 11 Sep 2008, 01:30
Well, I don't have an infinite budget, but a small budget does stretch pretty far when I want to throw money at a computer. I haven't bought anything yet, mainly due to the amazing number of people trying to get me to buy something reasonably priced. (3, - 6,000 rmb, instead of 16, - 20,000 rmb)
I've never been in a country where everyone is so convinced they know what you want to buy better than they do - to the point where they will order what you didn't want. :x

I'm currently trying to get a computer that will reasonably support upgrading to a second gtx280 in the future. I saw it done on the interwebs. (can't find it now)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 15 Sep 2008, 22:51
I am pretty sure that while I have placed a ban on buying any upgrades until Christmas the next set of upgrades I get will include a cheap/DIY watercooling setup.  Only problem I find is that there doesn't seem to be much room inside my case.  I got an Antec 900 and while it looks huge there is a fairly limited amount of space inside.  Also, I have a raid card and a few drives inside the machine taking up a large amount of space, so that might cause some problems.

After I get all my tax crap out of the way I will have to re-assess what I am doing with all this crap.  I am pretty sure I don't need this RAID card in here, because it takes forever to load up and doesn't give enough of a benefit.  I could replace it with a Velociraptor for the boot drive plus my existing storage drive and be done with it, or perhaps even streamline is further using one Velociraptor drive and some kind of low-power linux fileserver box for the keeping of all my junx and the running of torrents, etc.  Yesssssss.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 3Z3VH on 15 Sep 2008, 23:11
From my experience watercooling isn't cheap if you want to do it right :(

The setup you see above cost me $400 in parts, and I just happened to have bought the perfect case for this setup before I ever jumped on the watercooling thing.  With a single GPU in the loop, you could knock about $100 off of that, but even still I wouldn't call it cheap.

My best word of advice though, is do NOT buy a "kit" if you want any better results than your current air cooling setup (Of course, Petra's (http://petrastech.com) kits are the exception to this rule, since they build their "kits" from the same individual pieces most people would buy).

Also, depending on the goal you have with watercooling, your pieces will differ greatly... If you are going for silence, and never going to overclock, you would go for a smaller pump, and possibly a larger radiator than you would otherwise use if your only concern was overclocking.

For a basic parts list of what I did...
CPU Block:  EK Supreme Acetal  (Best rated CPU block on the market)
GPU Blocks: D-Tek Fuzion2 w/fitted UniSinks for the ram and mosfets on the card (Best rated non-full-coverage GPU block on the market)
Tubing: Tygon R3603 (Best evaporation and stain resistant tubing available, and it has a great bend radius)  I used 7/16" tubing because it worked aesthetically, and for good cooling, and still fits on 1/2" barbs.
Radiator: Swiftech MCR-220 (Best rated radiator that would fit in my case)
Pump: Swiftech MCP655-Vario (Best rated, and variable speed made it easy to bleed, and quiet, though even set at full I can't even hear it)

I decided not to use a reservoir since I transport my case regularly for LAN parties, and did not want to worry about spills, instead I went with a fill-port.  The downside is bleeding takes longer.  With a fill-port you can get a simple clamp to put on the fill tube that ensures air will never get into the circuit during transport.  With a reservoir... it isn't as easy, and you risk spilling inside your car/computer.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 04 Nov 2008, 14:22
Does anyone know offhand what the problem was between Cornerstone P1500 monitors and 7900gs cards? I had a problem when I originally bought the card, but I forgot how I fixed it, and I think it is happening again, but now I can't find anything on it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 09 Jan 2009, 10:55
I'm waiting for UPS to arrive with my new computer parts. They have a tendency to not ring the doorbell and just slap on a "we missed you" label.

I ordered:

Antec P182 case
Enermax modu82+ 625W power supply
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R mobo
Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 (9.0x333MHz=3.0GHz) cpu
G.Skill 2x2GB DDR2-800 memory
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HD
EVGA Geforce GTX260 core 216 55nm SC vid car
Tuniq Tower 120 cooler
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 09 Jan 2009, 20:53
Feh.

My Sub $500 Gaming Machine is...:

Mobo + CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 Wolfdale 2.66GHz LGA 775 Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7300

BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.152179)
GPU + RAM: OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2N1066SR2GK - Retail 

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.152365)

PSU: APEVIA ATX-CW500WP4 500W ATX Power Supply (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817148027)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075) (Or you could spend $8 extra and get a 250 or even 320GB HDD)

DVD Drive: SAMSUNG 20X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model TS-H653N (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151179)

Case: Rosewill R226-P-BK 120mm Fan ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147110)

Total cost: $483.92

Don't trust Tom's Hardware. Ever.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 11 Jan 2009, 07:02
What's wrong with Tom's Hardware?

Had a couple of fit issues with my build, but nothing a ten inch bastard file couldn't fix. The retaining clip for the tuniq tower 120 was a little too wide and wouldn't fit between the chipset heatsinks. Everything went into the P182 ok, eventually. The cable management in that case is excellent. I have most of the cables running behind the mobo tray. I'll post photos later. Currently reinstalling some steam games.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 11 Jan 2009, 19:18
Nice gear picks, Dennis.  I am hopefully about to do a bit of a hardware refresh myself.  It's my birthday in uh, oh shit, 8 days I guess.   Huh, cool.  Anyway, I am planning some kind of hardware update for my birthday.

Currently have Antec 900 case, Antec 1000w psu, nForce 650i-based mobo, Core duo2 E6750 (2.66ghz), 4gb ram, Radeon 4870 512mb and a coulpe of hdds.  It's a decent enough machine, but the cpu and mobo are getting on a bit.  Gonna definitely be getting a 150gb Velociraptor and I already have a new case, but here's the rest of the planned spec:

Antec Mini-P180 case - already have
Antec TruPower 1000w psu - already have
DFI LanParty Jnr P45 mATX mobo - to buy (best mATX mobo I can find at the moment)
Core2 duo E8500 (3.16ghz) cpu - to buy (don't want to go quad yet, not worth it for what I use it for - ie: games)
4 gb ram - already have (future plan is to go to 8gb, but not at the moment)
Radeon 4870 512mb - already have
WD Velociraptor 150gb - to buy

So like I said, the current upgrade is the new hdd for about $250.  The mobo is about $230 and the cpu is about $280, so I am looking at between $750 and 800 if I want to upgrade all three at the same time (which would make sense really, seeing as I will need to re-install for the hdd and probably for the mobo.)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 13 Jan 2009, 14:11
My build photos! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/largeprimenumber/sets/72157612529116128/)

example:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3534/3193344732_f66cc4f0c5.jpg)

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bluerobin427 on 26 Jan 2009, 10:41
I'm liking that sub-$500 system.  I'm starting to look around for what's good in computers (I feel so out of the loop and I've only not been paying attention for about 7 or 8 months) because I'm pretty desperately in need of a gaming computer upgrade.  The one I'm using is about 4 and a half years old, so almost anything's an upgrade, but I wasn't sure how much I'd have to spend.  I WAS thinking about spending more than $500, but I'd need a monitor and an OS (for some reason my brain's not Linux friendly so I'm sticking with Windows), which would bring it up closer to the $1000-$1200 range that I was thinking about.  Still, what would your first recommendations on upgrades for that system be? 

EDIT: I guess I should say I'm pretty handy with the software side of computers but my hardware experience is sorely lacking.  I'm planning on building it myself and I've been around/helped other people build so I know enough to not screw it up (hopefully anyway).  That's my main reason for asking.  My big fear is that I'll order stuff, try and put it together, and it won't start because parts are incompatible or something like that.  Not really a huge deal if I know what's wrong, but it'd still be annoying.

Also, do you guys have recommendations for good wireless cards/adapters?  It doesn't have to be awesome because I'm just in an apartment and the router's pretty central, but I really want the connection to be reliable. 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 26 Jan 2009, 18:28
My video card recommendation for a sub $500 system is the Geforce 9600. You can find one for about $100 and they perform very well. For a little more, you can move up to the 9800, but you get less bang for the buck.

What is your current system and what components are you thinking about replacing?

In a 4+ year old system, you've probably got an AGP mobo, and AGP video cards are obsolete and hard to find (and expensive). For about $60-100 you can find a decent budget mobo in either LGA775 (Intel Core 2) or Socket AM2 (AMD Athlon and Phenom procs). You'll need 2 gigs of RAM minimum, and luckily DDR2 is dirt cheap lately, so look at about $30 for a 2 gig matched pair kit of PC6400 or PC5300. You can probably keep your hard drives, but I find it's easier and still cost-effective to just get a new HD at that point since a clean install of Windows is highly recommended if you're switching out so many components. $60 will buy you a good 320-500 GB SATA2 drive.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 26 Jan 2009, 19:33
Thanks for the build photos, Dennis.  You just made me want to spend money I don't have on new parts I don't need.  Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 02 Feb 2009, 13:01
Muahahaha.

It is sweet to be running all the games at max settings. Sweeeeet.

I am so much better in L4D now that my computer can keep up.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 02 Feb 2009, 16:49
So ok, I just bought a 150gb VelociRaptor (with Han giggling at me and calling me a nerd every time I named it thus) and am picking up a DFI LanParty Jnr mATX P45 mobo either today or tomorrow.  These will be going into my mini P180 post-haste.  I have decided not to upgrade my cpu just yet, as this can be quite easily done at some later date (ie: when I gots more moneys).

I'll take pics when I build/rebuild.  I may/may not also be putting in fairly crap watercooling gear at the same time.  It'll be fun!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 05 Feb 2009, 17:59
My new build D:

(http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/8940/crw9346pb6.jpg)

(http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/4954/crw9324tx8.jpg)

(http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/4092/crw9326af6.jpg)

(http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/4271/crw9322md8.jpg)

(http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/206/4800wl9.png)
Voltage isn't right on there.

[email protected] 1.43v testing, Foxconn Blackops, BFG 8800GTX OC w/HR-03 Plus (dead :(), 4GB Patriot DDR3-1800 testing, Corsair 620HX, Auzentech X-Fi Prelude, 1.3TB storage, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Cosmos S, 28" Hanns-G + 22" Gateway monitors, Logitech Z5500 speakers
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 05 Feb 2009, 21:42
Fuck yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!

I mean uh, nice rig.

Ok, pics time.

New case, outer (and I still haven't taken the plastic off yet.  Scared of scratchessssssss):
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/case.jpg)

New case, inner:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/case_inside.jpg)

New mobo, DFI LanParty Jr (mATX P45/ICH10R board):
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/bare_mobo.jpg)

Mobo, PSU and DVD drive in place.  No drive cage, just put the lower drive bay fan in place:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/build_1.jpg)

With drive bay in place:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/build_2.jpg)

CPU fan (Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, of course) in place blowing upward because it wouldn't fit the board otherwise:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/build_3.jpg)

Shot showing the top and bottom compartments:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/build_4.jpg)


I'm pretty happy with the layout.  Hot air from the CPU fan is thrown up through the 200mm "Bigboy" exhaust.  I'm pretty sure that thing can handle it.  Have the drive bay fan pulling air straight through onto the graphics card and an extra fan pulling air through up near the cpu.

After reading a bunch of stuff online I expected that my dvd drive wouldn't fit up top.  However, it fits quite easily so I am not sure what people are smoking.  As a result of this I have a shitload of space down in the bottom 5.25" drive bays (bottom-right of the second and last pics) and a fair amount of space in the drive bay area holding the fan.

When I decide to go with watercooling I will probably put a drive bay res down the bottom and put the pump up next to the video card with the fan blowing over it, as I have heard some pumps can get hot.  The TRU120E will go, replaced by a cpu block.  I will put the 1x120 rad I was given outside the rear exhaust port.  At the moment I am trying to figure out if I should leave one fan inside and push-pull through the rad or just pull through with one fan on the outside.  Either way there is plenty of room in this relatively small case.

Oh and I guess for e-peen embiggening my specs are now:  DFI LanParty Jnr mobo, [email protected] for the moment while I test everything out, 4gb OCZ Reaper ddr2 ram, Radeon [email protected] core/910 ram, a 150gb VelociRaptor for OS and apps and another 500gb drive for general data.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 05 Feb 2009, 21:56
Oh ps: that is Han's foot, hello Han's foot!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 05 Feb 2009, 22:13
Fans blow better than they suck so I might rethink your HSF to make it blow out the back but have the fan mounted so it blows towards the fins as opposed to sucking it through them.

Whoever has the tuniq tower, nice! Is old as shit but still one of the best 755 coolers available.

I would post pics of my rig with it's lovely additions (q9550, 4gb 8500 dominator and sli9600's (stfu, they are the best in sli cards available))but I would not want to shame you with the awesome.

The mini antec is also SEXY AS FUCK. Good choice on the mobo too, I really like your build.

Oh and the cosmos, fuck you all for having sexy rigs.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 05 Feb 2009, 22:49
Thanks for the comments & tips.  Generally people tell watercoolers to put a fan onto the radiator so that it pulls the air through rather than pushing it, as you get a better throughput due to air resistance mumbo jumbo.  I applied this reasoning to my HSF.  I may be wrong perhaps?  I am not sure.  I will see how I go and also see if there is room to mount it beneath the HS (from memory I don't think I can.  The northbridge HS gets in the way, which is the reason for the lateral mount in the first place.)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: McTaggart on 06 Feb 2009, 03:37
Heh, so I bought a bunch of parts and accidently a P180 mini to put them in (I thought is was a vanilla P180) so I went and bought a P182 so I could get it all to fit. After looking at that, est, it looks like I could have gone for an mATX motherboard instead and my 4870 would've fitted fine.

But then I would've lost out on the chance to drop another 4870 in down the track. Oh well, now I have a spare pretty case.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 07 Feb 2009, 01:36
The LanParty Jr has Crossfire available on it. I could probably put two 4870s into this case, but the heat issues would be interesting to solve.  I know people put 2x 4850s into this kind of setup, so mostly it's just making sure there's enough airflow.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: McTaggart on 07 Feb 2009, 19:10
I had a look around before measuring the 4870 and thinking it wouldn't fit and there were no mATX AM2+ motherboards with Crossfire that were cheaper than the case I'd intended to get and in stock in Perth. It's all built and working now, save for tweaks like a big, quiet heatsink and maybe quieter case fans.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 08 Feb 2009, 03:43
I bouht big ezpensive pretty and quiet fans... neglected to remember that my boot drive is the loudest thing in my room by far.

Shit.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 11 Feb 2009, 06:36
Fuck yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!

I mean uh, nice rig.

Ok, pics time.

New case, outer (and I still haven't taken the plastic off yet.  Scared of scratchessssssss):


New case, inner:

New mobo, DFI LanParty Jr (mATX P45/ICH10R board):


Mobo, PSU and DVD drive in place.  No drive cage, just put the lower drive bay fan in place:


With drive bay in place:


CPU fan (Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, of course) in place blowing upward because it wouldn't fit the board otherwise:


Shot showing the top and bottom compartments:



I'm pretty happy with the layout.  Hot air from the CPU fan is thrown up through the 200mm "Bigboy" exhaust.  I'm pretty sure that thing can handle it.  Have the drive bay fan pulling air straight through onto the graphics card and an extra fan pulling air through up near the cpu.

After reading a bunch of stuff online I expected that my dvd drive wouldn't fit up top.  However, it fits quite easily so I am not sure what people are smoking.  As a result of this I have a shitload of space down in the bottom 5.25" drive bays (bottom-right of the second and last pics) and a fair amount of space in the drive bay area holding the fan.

When I decide to go with watercooling I will probably put a drive bay res down the bottom and put the pump up next to the video card with the fan blowing over it, as I have heard some pumps can get hot.  The TRU120E will go, replaced by a cpu block.  I will put the 1x120 rad I was given outside the rear exhaust port.  At the moment I am trying to figure out if I should leave one fan inside and push-pull through the rad or just pull through with one fan on the outside.  Either way there is plenty of room in this relatively small case.

Oh and I guess for e-peen embiggening my specs are now:  DFI LanParty Jnr mobo, [email protected] for the moment while I test everything out, 4gb OCZ Reaper ddr2 ram, Radeon [email protected] core/910 ram, a 150gb VelociRaptor for OS and apps and another 500gb drive for general data.

Nice rig. +1 for the TRUE :D

Also, I have most of my watercooling parts, still need the rad and pump, but I have the rest. I got a swiftech apogee GTZ for the CPU and I'll also WC my NB since the blackops is awesome like that. Need to pick up another top for the NB though since the one on the board is aluminum.

(http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/8482/crw9377ia1.jpg)
yay!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 12 Feb 2009, 21:18
GuitarFreak: nice build. That Foxconn BlackOps is a serious piece of hardware. Also, impressive OC on the e8600. I got my e8400 up to 3.6 with stock volts. I hit 4+ stable for 4 hours with minor volt increases, but my memory wouldn't stay stable past that (I'm just running DDR2 800). Also, how are you liking the Cosmos S? I considered it, but I decided to go for quiet, since this would be the third computer in my small office. Also, I previously had an Antec P150 that I liked.

Est: Nice! I'd never considered going small form factor before, but you might have changed my mind. My previous build had a Lanparty NF4 board, but I decided to go with the Gigabyte this time to save some money. What kind of temps are you getting in your case?

clockworkjames: It was me with the Tuniq Tower. I've never used any other 775 coolers before, but I can't really see a compelling reason to switch. I am amazed at the efficiency of this cooler. I'm afraid it might break my mobo in half someday, but I do like it anyway.

---

Anyone got any recommendations for PWM fan controllers? The Tuniq has a manual fan, and I've got an Enermax Cluster (which are going for like, $7 on Newegg right now with a rebate) for the middle chamber, so I thought I'd put in a controller.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 12 Feb 2009, 21:47
Couple of things:

GuitarFreak, nice block!  I am pretty sure that is the block I want when I finally get a decent one. (or an EK, not 100% but I think the Swiftech is easier for me to get).

Dennis, since buying my board I've noticed a lot more mATX stuff coming out.  Asus is bringing out an mATX range in the Republic of Gamers series with the suffix "Gene".  Looks pretty good for a high-end enthusiast board (aka $$$) but I am still really happy with my LanParty Jr.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 14 Feb 2009, 18:36
GuitarFreak: nice build. That Foxconn BlackOps is a serious piece of hardware. Also, impressive OC on the e8600. I got my e8400 up to 3.6 with stock volts. I hit 4+ stable for 4 hours with minor volt increases, but my memory wouldn't stay stable past that (I'm just running DDR2 800). Also, how are you liking the Cosmos S? I considered it, but I decided to go for quiet, since this would be the third computer in my small office. Also, I previously had an Antec P150 that I liked.

Est: Nice! I'd never considered going small form factor before, but you might have changed my mind. My previous build had a Lanparty NF4 board, but I decided to go with the Gigabyte this time to save some money. What kind of temps are you getting in your case?

clockworkjames: It was me with the Tuniq Tower. I've never used any other 775 coolers before, but I can't really see a compelling reason to switch. I am amazed at the efficiency of this cooler. I'm afraid it might break my mobo in half someday, but I do like it anyway.

---

Anyone got any recommendations for PWM fan controllers? The Tuniq has a manual fan, and I've got an Enermax Cluster (which are going for like, $7 on Newegg right now with a rebate) for the middle chamber, so I thought I'd put in a controller.

Thanks :D I managed to boot into windows at 4GHz at 1.2v with this cpu, it rocks :D VID of 1.18v. It'll do 1.225v stable at 4GHz. Also, the cosmos is amazing. It's so big, plenty of room to work with, great if you want to go watercooling. It's quite too, a lot quieter than my antec 900 was. You can stick 7 120mm fans in the case, plus the 300mm or so fan on the side. Cooling is amazing.

Couple of things:

GuitarFreak, nice block!  I am pretty sure that is the block I want when I finally get a decent one. (or an EK, not 100% but I think the Swiftech is easier for me to get).

Dennis, since buying my board I've noticed a lot more mATX stuff coming out.  Asus is bringing out an mATX range in the Republic of Gamers series with the suffix "Gene".  Looks pretty good for a high-end enthusiast board (aka $$$) but I am still really happy with my LanParty Jr.

Thanks. Can't wait to get the rad and pump. Got the res this week and have the tubing and some other things coming tuesday. I picked up a pc power & cooling 750w psu (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011) to replace my corsair since it's dying, which sucks :( Here's a pic of the res...

(http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/7462/resex4.jpg)

Also, new power supply came today :D

(http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/9127/crw9395uf7.jpg)
(http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/5092/crw9397tq4.jpg)

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 18 Feb 2009, 20:44
That is a pretty cool res.  I would love to get one of the aluminium ones that are about that size, then bore holes in my case and mount it just outside the case with the tubes running inside.  Either on the top of the case or (more likely with my case) on the off-side of it would be pretty cool, I think.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 18 Feb 2009, 21:36
That is a pretty cool res.  I would love to get one of the aluminium ones that are about that size, then bore holes in my case and mount it just outside the case with the tubes running inside.  Either on the top of the case or (more likely with my case) on the off-side of it would be pretty cool, I think.

That sounds pretty cool.

The res looks good in the case too...

(http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/2508/crw9402ta3.jpg)

Stuck it in so I could wire around it. Should be able to get everything else in a week or two...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 20 Feb 2009, 12:28
GuitarFreak: nice build. That Foxconn BlackOps is a serious piece of hardware.
O rly? I avoided it because everyone was crying "WILL NOT POST! WILL NOT POST!"
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 20 Feb 2009, 13:05
GuitarFreak: nice build. That Foxconn BlackOps is a serious piece of hardware.
O rly? I avoided it because everyone was crying "WILL NOT POST! WILL NOT POST!"

Because they're noobs and don't know how to use it. The debug LED will tell you why it's not POSTing also, very helpful when overclocking so you know why it's not working.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Ozymandias on 21 Feb 2009, 15:56
Advice me, nerds:

Building a top-of-the-line badass computer for my gf. This is what I've got so far:

Hard drive:

Seagate 1TB $100 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148373

or

Seagate 1.5TB $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148337

Motherboards:

Intel - $120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121348

CD/DVD/Bluray Drives:

LG $110 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136154

Video cards:

Radeon HD 4870 $180 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102810

Monitor:

Samsung 20" HD $240 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001282

Processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66Ghz $230 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115131

Memory:

Patriot DDR3 4GB $140 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220355

Case:

Antec $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129154

Power Supply:

SeaSonic 650W $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151028

Wireless:

D-Link Adapter $20 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127080
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 21 Feb 2009, 16:13
If you really want to build the mother of all rigs, use the 4870x2 or Crossfire your single cards. And if this is a pure gaming computer, try a higher-clocked Core 2 Duo processor like the E8600 Wolfdale @ 3.33ghz.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 21 Feb 2009, 17:42
Advice me, nerds:

Building a top-of-the-line badass computer for my gf. This is what I've got so far:

Hard drive:

Seagate 1TB $100 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148373

or

Seagate 1.5TB $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148337

Motherboards:

Intel - $120 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121348

CD/DVD/Bluray Drives:

LG $110 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136154

Video cards:

Radeon HD 4870 $180 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102810

Monitor:

Samsung 20" HD $240 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001282

Processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66Ghz $230 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115131

Memory:

Patriot DDR3 4GB $140 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220355

Case:

Antec $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129154

Power Supply:

SeaSonic 650W $130 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151028

Wireless:

D-Link Adapter $20 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127080

For the mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299

Also, what's your budget?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 21 Feb 2009, 22:13
With all of the problems Seagate has been having, I'd really recomend a WD drive. Melodic, are you crazy? There's no way that a 20" display needs a 4870X2, it's simply overpowered and will drive up the heat in her case. Although, I would have to recommend a decent dual core as long as your girlfriend doesn't do anything that directly requires a quad core like video editing.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 22 Feb 2009, 16:58
As others have already said, "top of the line" depends on what it's being used for.  Quad core for "top of the line" productivity/design/sound apps if she's using it as a creativity station or home office pc, dual core for gaming.  Depending on the setup 2x 4850 in Crossfire might do better than a single 4870, but it's kind of a tossup.

I would also advise against going DDR3, at least based on what I have seen price-wise over here.  You'll pay more for both the board and the ram, and there is very little tangible performance difference.  If you are going with a 64-bit OS then feel free to get more than 4gb of ram.

Also, that is a pretty nice case.  I have the P180 mini and I really like it.  The normal size one would definitely be good also.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 26 Feb 2009, 11:22
Yeah, I would say DDR3 is not worth it unless you are going I7. Get some nice, tight DDR2 and you'll be good. The performance difference is negligible in that setup.

Also, I definitely recommend at least a 22" widescreen display (1680x1050) and you can usually find a quality LG or Samsung for about $250. This is one area where it's not worth it to skimp. 24" if you can afford it. The display you linked is full HD, true, but at 20", full HD is pretty much a waste unless you plan on watching blu-ray 10" from the screen. A 24" will show 1920x1200 in 16:10, if you really want full HD. Also, skip models with built-in speakers unless it's going to be used as a TV.

I'll also second the recommendation against Seagate drives. Instead, go with a WD Caviar black or blue. They have a much better reliability rating, and are just as fast or faster than the Seagates.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: McTaggart on 27 Feb 2009, 23:39
On screens, Benq makes a 22" 1920x1080 lcd that's pretty dirt cheap. When I got mine it was easily the best pixels per dollar ratio monitor on the market. It's not hdmi, but at 22" I'm not really sure it matters that much.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 28 Feb 2009, 09:28
For the record, we use BenQs where I work, and the ones we got suck.  Don't buy the 19 inch HDMI/VGA/DVI ones, they're terrible.

I have a Westinghouse 22" that I got for 180$ that is actually pretty good.  5ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio.  I've been using it for about a year and a half for both my computer and 360, and even though it only has DVI/VGA outs, it has pretty decent picture quality.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 28 Feb 2009, 12:13
Got the rest of my water cooling stuff yesterday...

(http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9858/crw9418pc3.jpg)

(http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/6686/crw9420an6.jpg)

(http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/4288/crw9421tx1.jpg)

(http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/5206/crw9422gu4.jpg)

(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/719/crw9423mg1.jpg)

(http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/877/crw9424ox1.jpg)

And then I filled it up and it leaked everywhere :(  Unfortunately, stupid me used the wrong screws and screwed up the rad and it leaked everywhere. I have all of my stuff laying out drying now. I ordered another rad and I'm gonna give it another shot when it comes and hopefully it'll work ok. Already rinsed everything off with 91% isopropal alcohol, so there shouldn't be any water left.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 03 Mar 2009, 12:42
I'm sorry to hear about the leak. I thought those liquid cooled systems used some other fluid besides water?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 03 Mar 2009, 12:57
I'm sorry to hear about the leak. I thought those liquid cooled systems used some other fluid besides water?

Well I suppose they can, but it's typically distilled water and a coolant.

Also, I got my replacement radiator yesterday and got everything up and running, no leaks :D

(http://img364.imageshack.us/img364/886/crw9429.jpg)

(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/7180/30045296.jpg)

Unfortunately, the motherboard fried :(

(http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/459/crw9436.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 05 Mar 2009, 11:52
Yikes. Looks like a short circuit to a power trace.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 06 Mar 2009, 13:21
Ok, I've come to the realization that despite the fact that I want to upgrade my Desktop a ridiculous amount, I honestly have no real need for that kind of power anymore. I still have plenty of PC games I'd like to play as wel as Steam, so I'd prefer either a Mac so I can boot camp, or a decent Laptop. Hell, If i didn't want a decent laptop first, I'm very tempted to get a Asus eee.

Any suggestions you guys have for decent brand options?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 07 Mar 2009, 18:38
My Asus laptop has done me ok so far.  There are some fairly sexy things coming out either now or very soon, but that is in my opinion.  Aside from performance issues (which can be sorted out fairly simply by examining the specs) PCs and especially laptops are very subjective.  The only real way of knowing what it is you like is to go into a few stores to see how each laptop feels.  eg, you may try out a laptop that I love and find that the keyboard feels wrong.  That sort of thing.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: McTaggart on 07 Mar 2009, 22:44
It gets even more like that when you look at netbooks. Every 10" netbook I looked at was exactly the same inside (except maybe harddrive type/capacity), the differences were all the keyboards, the look and the build quality. I wish the linux/solid state ones were more widely available though.

My motherboard went and packed up on me last week, no damage, no idea what actually happened but the machine went from sometimes locking up to just not POSTing. Took it in, they replaced it on the spot and this one seems fine (touch wood). Yay.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 09 Mar 2009, 21:20
Unfortunately, the motherboard fried :(
Ouch, dude. Gonna buy another BlackOps, or getting something different?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Teh Geek Lord on 11 Mar 2009, 21:09
Well, I'm pondering what exactly to do here...

I have on my hands a pair of GTX 280's and  Core i7 920 with 6GB of DDR3... problem is, I need some good advice for a case...  Right now, I'm rocking a 900 (i've pondered the 1200) but I'm going watercooling and I'm hoping for something where I can do a dual loop (CPU and GPU loops) and keep the radiator INSIDE the case (because I'll be hefting the thing to a buddies dorm at least twice a month, external water hoses and radiators would pose a hazzard to breaking and leaking)

Suggestions?

Also, even though my hardware is pricey, my current budget is restrictive... 200 or less...

I have a few I'm thinking about, but does anyone have a brilliant case they love that would do what I want?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 18 Mar 2009, 11:34
Unfortunately, the motherboard fried :(
Ouch, dude. Gonna buy another BlackOps, or getting something different?

I'm hoping to get another one because it's such an awesome board.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 19 Mar 2009, 10:19
Not surprised you had leaks, you used CABLE TIES. I have only seen them used in one build for that purpose before, metal threaded connectors (which I see you did in your other "no leaks" pictures), the cable tie you showed didn't even look tight :/

A guy I know had a leak once, solved it by putting some right angle connectors in it because it was a small form so it really needed them.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 19 Mar 2009, 10:49
Not surprised you had leaks, you used CABLE TIES. I have only seen them used in one build for that purpose before, metal threaded connectors (which I see you did in your other "no leaks" pictures), the cable tie you showed didn't even look tight :/

A guy I know had a leak once, solved it by putting some right angle connectors in it because it was a small form so it really needed them.

I'm using 7/16" ID tubing on 1/2" barbs. They don't leak at all, and I've had it running for ~3 days at a time. It leaked because I punctured the radiator.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 19 Mar 2009, 18:44
But you are no longer using cable ties? I never could see how that is a good idea. All the people I know to have done builds said it was not the best solution and the only time I saw it done was on youtube.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 19 Mar 2009, 20:16
But you are no longer using cable ties? I never could see how that is a good idea. All the people I know to have done builds said it was not the best solution and the only time I saw it done was on youtube.

I know plenty of people who don't use ties. 7/16" tubing fits very tightly on 1/2" barbs, it's a bitch to get the tubing off most of the time.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: philharmonic on 21 Mar 2009, 19:44
For any Canadians, I have had good success with http://ncix.com/.

hmmm well almost an echo of that
I'm now enjoying a machine i built from components purchased from them. Its a Intel Core 2 Quad on an Asus mobo. Asus video card based on a ATI chipset. 2 sticks 2GB DDR2 ram. Seagate 500Gb SATA Hard Drive. LG SATA DVD combo drive. But most importantly the 24" widescreen LCD screen. Glorious
As far as NCIX I found they where really good to buy from. I only wished their order delivery system was a little faster (because I found I was too cheap to pay for overnight shipping and impatient to wait 3 business days for my stuff).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 24 Mar 2009, 10:37
Video card came today :D Thanks to BFG for a free upgrade to a 9800GTX+ from my 8800GTX

(http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/6382/crw9488.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 26 Mar 2009, 11:47
It's practically the same card... :|
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 26 Mar 2009, 13:39
It's practically the same card... :|

I know, but it has a 55nm core compared to 80nm in the 8800, and 1GB of VRAM compared to 768MB.

I might end up selling it and picking up 2 GTX260s though :D Either that or pick up another 9800. I've got a 790i Ultra on the way to replace my blackops.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 28 Mar 2009, 22:07
Hey, GuitarFreak, you've got me inspired to do water cooling, and I've practically planned out everything. So far, all I need is a decent pump, and waterblock for a 4850. I checked the pet store for a water pump today, but when I asked for prices, the guy gave me this half-assed smarmy smile and said $12,500 (In US that's about $130). I don't know where I could go to find a nice US$35 pump, so I might have to order one online. Which one do you use?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 29 Mar 2009, 19:02
But you are no longer using cable ties? I never could see how that is a good idea. All the people I know to have done builds said it was not the best solution and the only time I saw it done was on youtube.

Cable ties, because of the way they fasten, can deform the hose around the nipple (like causing a slight wrinkle, under the ratchet fastener), and cause a leak where there wasn't one before. Hose clamps are better for this purpose, but really, with good quality, clean tubing, and good quality, clean nipples, you shouldn't need a clamp at all.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 29 Mar 2009, 19:51
Hey, GuitarFreak, you've got me inspired to do water cooling, and I've practically planned out everything. So far, all I need is a decent pump, and waterblock for a 4850. I checked the pet store for a water pump today, but when I asked for prices, the guy gave me this half-assed smarmy smile and said $12,500 (In US that's about $130). I don't know where I could go to find a nice US$35 pump, so I might have to order one online. Which one do you use?

Swiftech MCP655. It's pretty much the best pump there is. I get all of my stuff from either petrastechshop.com or frozencpu.com. It's a bit more than $35 though, closer to $75 or so. A block for the 4850 is gonna cost close to $100 too. Are you going to wc your CPU as well?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 30 Mar 2009, 12:55
Yeah, I know about the 4850 block. I'm working on that now actually. I just need a certain forumite to PM me. I plan to cool the CPU as well too, I'm thinking the OCZ HydroX, it works well and it's pretty inexpensive too.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 30 Mar 2009, 14:21
Yeah, I know about the 4850 block. I'm working on that now actually. I just need a certain forumite to PM me. I plan to cool the CPU as well too, I'm thinking the OCZ HydroX, it works well and it's pretty inexpensive too.

Do you have a link for that? From what I gather, it's a kit, and you want to stay away from WC kits. I'd look at the swiftech apogee GT or GTZ. The GTZ is probably the best block you can buy for your cpu.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 30 Mar 2009, 19:25
Newegg sells both the Apogee and the OCZ Hydro (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202009). From the reviews I've seen, the Apogee is slightly better than the Hydro (about 1-3 Degrees better), but I need every bit of money I can get. Plus, with the Vantec Tornado (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on9pvkJ0P1w) fans I'll be using (2x92mm), it won't make a difference.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 31 Mar 2009, 01:30
Newegg sells both the Apogee and the OCZ Hydro (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202009). From the reviews I've seen, the Apogee is slightly better than the Hydro (about 1-3 Degrees better), but I need every bit of money I can get. Plus, with the Vantec Tornado (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on9pvkJ0P1w) fans I'll be using (2x92mm), it won't make a difference.

Ah, I see. Yeah, either would be a good choice then.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 01 Apr 2009, 01:40
Rest of the stuff:
Swiftech MCW60-R Waterblock (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835108095) (I have my reasons)
Enzotech BCC9 RAMsinks (http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7191/vid-106/Enzotech_BCC9_Memory_Ramsinks_-_8_Pack_BMR-C1L.html#blank)
Swiftech MPC350 Pump (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835108063) (If I can't find something cheaper)
XSPC 5.25" Bay Reservoir (http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34142&vpn=BR525CL&manufacture=XSPC%20Asia%20Co.%20Ltd.)

I'm going to have a radiator custom made for me locally, and make a shroud out of whatever I can find around the house/for cheap.

Depending on how much money I have left (read: Manage to squeeze out of my relatives), I may get the Apogee, but either way Swiftech is pocketing some of my money.

EDIT::
Also, I'm going to do some ghetto modding for my 4850. It's the reference with ref. cooler, so I'm going to cut off the part of the heatsink that's attached to the MOSFETs, leave it there and drop the waterblock + RAMsinks on it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 01 Apr 2009, 20:51
I'm piecing together a new PC to replace my laughable 3.2 ghz Celeron / Radeon HD 2600 Pro 'gaming' computer/HTPC. (It can't even run Team Fortress 2 at more than 20 FPS; I made a video of it running here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtubYurefns).) The current motherboard has a 775 socket, but it's such an old piece of garbage it doesn't support Core 2 processors newer than Conroe.

It's going to be used for video playback, gaming, and a lot of media encoding. I'll run the 64 bit Windows 7 beta until it's released, then get the equivalent version to Vista Home Premium.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041) $275
ASUS P5Q Pro (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299) $105
CORSAIR 4GB DDR2 800 Dual Channel Kit (x2) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184) $40
Corsair TX650W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005) $70
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216  (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130434) $180

Total: $670

How does this look? I know the i7 920 is about the same price as the Q9550, but from what I've read the extra power won't do much for what I need it to do, and an x58 motherboard and DDR3 RAM would push the price up at least $300. (Please don't recommend AMD or ATI parts, I'm not particularly fond of either.)

Thanks!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 01 Apr 2009, 21:48
If you're doing media encoding, the i7 will most certainly be better than the Q9550. Media encoding is one of the i7's strong points.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 01 Apr 2009, 22:50
But I'm not doing it for business (where time = money), so is shaving a few seconds off the encoding time worth the extra couple hundred bucks? (Especially if it's the only real gain.)

Besides, at the moment I'm doing the encoding on a 3.2 ghz single-core CELERON. Anything will be an improvement! :lol:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 02 Apr 2009, 01:48
But I'm not doing it for business (where time = money), so is shaving a few seconds off the encoding time worth the extra couple hundred bucks? (Especially if it's the only real gain.)

Besides, at the moment I'm doing the encoding on a 3.2 ghz single-core CELERON. Anything will be an improvement! :lol:

Ah, ok. In that case, the Q9550 would be fine then.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 02 Apr 2009, 13:00
(http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/545/crw9507.jpg)

(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9805/crw9508.jpg)

:D

I'll have better pictures later. I'm reinstalling windows 7 right now...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Keebbles on 03 Apr 2009, 09:49
Only Glowy in my computer is the CPU fan that's Red-Green-Blue when you look. If you see white light from it spinning too fast, it's a sign that the CPU's getting a wee bit hot!

This week I've had my BFG 5700LX-512MB Toast, and my Mad Dog version of the same (but 256Meg only) Heat glitch...
Both of their fans died w/in a day of each other and were running smoothly -  I checked the warranties and the BFG has a lifetime replacement, they're overclocked right out of the box and so tend to burn out a lot. Now I get to see if they are still around as a business and will honor the replacement warranty.

The MadDog reached 5 years to the day when it burned out. It was like the fan just stopped receiving power. I removed the Vid Card cpu fan and tested it. Works fine, so something in the card decided that it wasn't gonna power the fan anymore and let the CPU burn out. I'll need to check w/others who've had similar cards to see if they've had hardware just stop working after a certain amount of time due to firmware code.

Both my CD-RW and my DVD-RW I had from Creative, bought at same time, both suddenly stopped working last Nov 31'st too for no reason.
Both still spin, eject and laser test shows they are functional. Ran a cleaning CD in both and no dust/gunk came off the reader head or lenses.
They just stopped being able to Read/access a CD or DVD at the same time.
I popped them into my Win-98/XP old box (used for writing only normally- no internet access) and changed the date in CMOS back to 2003 when I bought the CD and DVD players.
They worked fine. So they stay there. Both are discontinued as Creative supported hardware now, but something definitely triggered them, by date, to stop working. Pisses me off.
Anyone else have hardware suddenly stop functioning or self destruct like my vid cards did? (BFG lasted longer than expected, especially since that was my gaming/internet CPU/Box.  The Mad Dog was a self destruction- hardcore.)
Or working Drives or R/W Media drives just stop working on software side for some reason, but otherwise fully functional? :? :? :?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 03 Apr 2009, 22:01
(http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/545/crw9507.jpg)

(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9805/crw9508.jpg)

:D

I'll have better pictures later. I'm reinstalling windows 7 right now...
Oh, man. UV lights? How much did those cost?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MarkTBSc on 05 Apr 2009, 02:53
Kebblles, did your MadDog survive the passing of its fan? Usually if fans stop then the card just starts delivering more and more errors and crashing a lot without just frying. If that happened then I'd consider it an excellent candidate for a simple mod. Just wire the fan, via a resistor (variable if you want to get fancy) into one of the drive power supply cables. That'd keep the fan running and save you having to shell out for a new card.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 06 Apr 2009, 07:14
(http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/545/crw9507.jpg)

(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9805/crw9508.jpg)

:D

I'll have better pictures later. I'm reinstalling windows 7 right now...
Oh, man. UV lights? How much did those cost?

Same as regular cathodes. Got them for $9

Also, a few more pics. My GTX280 came on Friday...it rocks :D

(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6923/crw9534.jpg)

(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9978/crw9535.jpg)

(http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1077/crw9539.jpg)

My favorite
(http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1415/crw9541.jpg)

(http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7955/crw9544.jpg)

(http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5747/crw9553.jpg)

(http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8462/crw9562.jpg)
(http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/4315/crw9560.jpg)
(http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/6903/crw9554.jpg)

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 09 Apr 2009, 18:31
Done away with the 1200, now?

Is that the radiator in the top of the case?

Also:
Got my 4850, WHOO!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 09 Apr 2009, 20:56
Done away with the 1200, now?

Is that the radiator in the top of the case?

Also:
Got my 4850, WHOO!

I never had a 1200. I had a 900 before the cosmos though. And yeah, the rad is on top.

Also, ordered an XSPC Razor block for my 280. Can't wait til it gets here :D
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 11 Apr 2009, 07:23
Crazy, did you have to mod the case in any way to put it there, or does it come with a compartment for the rad?

Also, it looks like there's no shroud on it...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 11 Apr 2009, 09:20
It fits right on top just fine. Also, you don't need a shroud on a rad.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 11 Apr 2009, 11:47
Yes, but as they say, watercooling with a shroud is "an insult to the art". ;)

Oh, my 4850 is DOA. This makes me sad.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 19:57
http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/3SQ7OG1Z76L6W/ref=reg_hu-wl_goto-registry?%5Fencoding=UTF8&sort=date-added

How does all that look?

Looks like if I need to replace my PSU to run it, and I get the case, it would be under $1k, $about $750 if I opt out of updating those. Case is very likely at the least though. Vidya Card can wait until DX11 capable cards come out.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 20:33
1) Shop at www.newegg.com, look for combo deals. They're much better than amazon (I'm pretty sure you live in the US, right?)

2) A 750W PSU is probably more than you need. I'd get something closer to 550W-650W depending on your GPU.

3) What's your current GPU, you realize that once DX 11 is released it will still take a couple years for it to make it into games, right? It might be a good idea to get a mid-range GPU for now.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 21:10
1. I already checked at Newegg, I'll continue checking at newegg once I'm closer to the actual purchase, just for right now there's no difference in any prices or combos.

2. The PSU is one I'm definitely considering cutting down on, Kind of keeping it as a placeholder for the moment though. Trying to decide if I want to bother with Sli, if I do, I'll likely stick with it so I can have some overhead.

3. Got a 8800GTS with 648 Megs of RAM right now. Any suggestions for more up to date cards? Last one I checked on is the 9800 and it seems like it's basically a 8800 renamed.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 21:33
It is. What resolution is your monitor? I am really opposed to SLI/Xfire. Unless you're pushing 30+" a gtx260/275/285 or HD4870 gb/4890 will be a much better value and more than powerful enough. If you buy a decent card now, then replace it with a decent DX11 card once games actually start utilizing it, you will probably be getting a much better value/$$.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 21:35
my monitor is 1680x1050, but I'm likely goign to be plugging it into my 47" television for 1920x1200 pretty regularly. One card is still likely to run that fine I imagine?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 21:48
Yeah, I run my 1920x1200 monitor with a GTX 260 and it's plenty powerful. There are even more powerful cards if you want to make sure it will last you a while, and they will be less of a hassle than running a dual card solution. It will also allow you to buy a smaller PSU, which should lower your electricity bill.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 22:09
http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3SQ7OG1Z76L6W

Alright, made changes with those things in mind. I replaced the 750 PSU with a 650 just for possible future Video Card requirements and added the 260. Video Card is going to be low on the list of priorities for parts, so I figure of the 275/285 drop enough before I get around to it I can switch them out.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 22:16
I hate to nitpick, but you should really get a name-brand PSU. something like that might sound good, and have a good price, but will probably deliver pretty irregular power to your parts (which will, in turn, reduce their life-span and the PSU itself could potentially burn out in a fairly spectacular fashion much sooner than a good one).

I would spend the extra $10 on something like this (http://www.amazon.com/Cooling-S61EPS-Silencer-EPS12V-Certified/dp/B000NOOEBO/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1239772514&sr=8-6)

or this (http://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-Modular-Design-Certified-Supply/dp/B000I54FG2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1239772567&sr=8-1) if you can swing the extra cash.

(If you get it (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139002) from newegg they have a $40 MIR....if you're willing to chance it)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 14 Apr 2009, 22:21
No prob, I haven't done parts shopping in years so I'm a bit out of the loop. I do actually recall the name of PC Power though and it is a slight less voltage, so it seems like a good idea to me. The Corsair is definitely out of the "willing to pay" range unfortunately.

But yeah, seriously, pick away.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 14 Apr 2009, 22:22
Well if you get the PC power PSU (It delivers 49A on the +12V rail, which is actually enough to power a GTX295, I think you'll be good with this one for quite a while). I think you have a kick ass system that I am quite jealous of...so unless anyone else has anything to say, my advice is to order away!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: dennis on 15 Apr 2009, 19:15
There's nothing that cures you of cheap power supplies than having one blow up on you while you're using it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 15 Apr 2009, 19:30
I had that happen once. I was not a happy camper.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 17 Apr 2009, 07:39
I got a block for my GTX280 recently. Here's a few pics.


(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1609/38656014113367721660.jpg)
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3484/38656055413367736550.jpg)
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8933/38656096113367751160.jpg)
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8973/38656144013367768350.jpg)

It rocks :D
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 17 Apr 2009, 13:21
(If you get it (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139002) from newegg they have a $40 MIR....if you're willing to chance it)

Ooh, if they still have the rebate going enxt paycheck I will probably jump on that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: öde on 18 Apr 2009, 17:36
So I just got a micro ATX motherboard to find out that my RAM's disappeared. Yay spiraling costs! The only new 775 processors I can find online are 64 bit. I guess around £85 for a nicer processor and RAM isn't too bad, just means I have to wait longer and reinstall everything again.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 19 Apr 2009, 05:49
Why do you dislike 64 bit cpus?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: öde on 19 Apr 2009, 07:50
64 bit is unknown territory. I found a cheap Pentium 4 on ebay though.

My plan at the moment is:

Buy now - 32-bit 3GHz Pentium 4
                1 x 2GB 667MHz DDR2 RAM

Buy later - 64-bit 2.2GHz Dual Core
                 1 x 2BG 667MHz DDR2 RAM
                 320GB (or more) SATA HD (3Gbit/s)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 19 Apr 2009, 08:18
I am not really sure why 64-bit cpus would cause a problem.  You don't need a 64-bit OS, 32-bit OSes run fine on 64-bit hardware.  Maybe I am missing some info here?  I dunno.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 19 Apr 2009, 08:20
Oh also, I have a 4890 now too.  I have it running in Crossfire with the 4870 I already had.  I can now crank up pretty much everything in whichever game I want to play and it chugs along quite happily, so I am happy also!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: öde on 19 Apr 2009, 08:36
Maybe I was missing some info.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 20 Apr 2009, 07:13
If you've bought a CPU since 2003/2004, it's a 64bit CPU. AMD came out with the AMD64 in 2003, intel started with the P4 with the EMT64 instruction set in 2004.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: öde on 25 Apr 2009, 06:37
All I know about processors is that clock speed is an inaccurate measurement of performance.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: DonInKansas on 25 Apr 2009, 06:55
All I know about processors is that clock speed is an inaccurate measurement of performance.

Yes indeed.

Stock clocks are for suckas.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 0bsessions on 09 May 2009, 09:40
Okay, folks, my BIOS needs to be flashed.

Has anyone ever actually done it themselves? I've heard screwing it up can result in basically destroying your mobo. How hard is it and would you recommend just going and getting it done professionally? I'd rather not take the risk if it's that severe.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 09 May 2009, 10:57
Yes, flashing the BIOS incorrectly can result in a total system frack-up. However, if you take the necessary precaution there is little risk, and no more so than having it done professionally.

The main risk when flashing a BIOS is that any discontinuation of power to the motherboard will result in bricking. If you live in a building with faulty electrical, or happen to be toying with your computer in the middle of a lightning storm, please don't flash your BIOS. Otherwise, your chances are pretty good.

The flashing itself is relatively simple: you need to know the EXACT model of your motherboard, and the EXACT BIOS you're flashing to. Most major motherboard manufacturers have a few different file types to flash with (you'll find instructions on the website), but the principle is the same: load the file onto a floppy (it's not a boot disk) and run the flash from BIOS. Wait 5 minutes, let the computer reset, and you're golden.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 0bsessions on 09 May 2009, 11:13
Van it be done from a flash drive? I don't actually have a floppy drive in my PC.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 09 May 2009, 11:56
If your PC is new enough to boot from USB, you can probably do it that way. A boot CD is also an option.

Personally I've only done it with floppies.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 0bsessions on 11 May 2009, 20:57
On the recommendations of various folks here and elsewhere, I attempted to flash my BIOS today.

Went perfectly fine and I am very glad I did it. The revision I was running on must've had some serioues issues. Since flashing, my FPS in WoW has effectively doubled and Left 4 Dead, which was running choppy as shit in even the lowest of settings, is now running smooth as silk in mid-high settings on the top resolution. This game is so much more fun when your PC isn't laggy as shit. Also nice, I was finally able to add the fourth stick of RAM I had sitting around (My previous BIOS revision was causing it to lockup if there was anything in the fourth slot).

It's seriously like I got an entirely new PC. Everything is running smooth now and it's not like I even have top of the line stuff. I'm running an AMD 4800+ (2.4 ghz dual core), four gigs of RAM and a GeForece 9800GT.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 12 May 2009, 01:04
Cool stuff, Jon.  Glad it made such a difference.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 0bsessions on 12 May 2009, 15:04
It also seems to have resolved the major syncing problems I was having with Assassin's Creed where the sound was a good ten to fifteen seconds out of sync with the video at all points.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 21 May 2009, 20:25
Hmm, someone wants to sell me an Alienware M9700. AMD Turion 64 (single core) at 2.0, 2GB RAM, 2 x 7900GS SLI.

Would that be able to let me play COD4 at least on 1440 x 900?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 22 May 2009, 06:42
Most likely, yes.  The biggest bottleneck would be in the processor, but I don't see it being a problem.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 23 May 2009, 18:21
Well it's either buy the laptop and get it NOW NOW NOW.

Or order:

E7400
Gigabyte P43 mobo
HD 4850
OCZ Reaper 2x1GB DDR2 1150
320GB HDD
SATA DVD Burner
Asus 19" 1680x1050 monitor
Coolmax 500W Modular PSU

and get it 3 weeks later.

I'm thinking of the second option.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 23 May 2009, 18:36
Second option sounds better to me, too.  Are they similarly priced?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 24 May 2009, 15:25
Basically. Dude's giving me a great deal on the laptop because he doesn't use it (read: never used it) and he games on his desktop.

I'm just gonna go and order the stuff, I guess. At least that way I can fit two radiators in a case.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: DonInKansas on 25 May 2009, 13:32
That old Alienware will get stomped by the second option.  Go with that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 26 May 2009, 01:07
Ugggghhhh, guys, remember I'm in Jamaica. And they just decided to reinstate the 16.5% GCT on computers. And since our Govt. is so damned greedy, and didn't want to give us any leeway to save some money, they're even taxing INCOMING pc parts. So, I'm paying courier fees, plus 16.5% on what I'm buying.

SUCKS.

But, whatever, I ordered them.

EDIT::

Stuff's coming in on Saturday whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 06 Jun 2009, 10:55
A few new pics I took

(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3469/crw0902.jpg)
(http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/5699/crw08999.jpg)
(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/3337/crw10873.jpg)
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8969/crw10875.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 06 Jun 2009, 21:48
Looks pretty good, man.  I'd go without the luminous coils around the tubes, but each to their own.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 07 Jun 2009, 22:58
Love the rig.

Update (Final one for a while):
Courier decided to only process half of my order, so I only got my monitor. Currently it's being used in a dual-display setup with my brother's GTX 260.

I'm gonna pick 'em up on Monday, and I'll post pics, along with some sketches and (hopefully) diagrams and schematics for my case mod plans.

A friend is coming down in a couple weeks, so I might ask him to bring down a Drive bay res, or the Enzotech waterblock I want.

Also: one of the folks at a tech review site is offering me a GTX 280 for $200, so I'm gonna try and sell my brother's 260 for a Jamaican price and then buy the 280.

With lug,
~Blu
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 08 Jun 2009, 15:39
Love the rig.

Update (Final one for a while):
Courier decided to only process half of my order, so I only got my monitor. Currently it's being used in a dual-display setup with my brother's GTX 260.

I'm gonna pick 'em up on Monday, and I'll post pics, along with some sketches and (hopefully) diagrams and schematics for my case mod plans.

A friend is coming down in a couple weeks, so I might ask him to bring down a Drive bay res, or the Enzotech waterblock I want.

Also: one of the folks at a tech review site is offering me a GTX 280 for $200, so I'm gonna try and sell my brother's 260 for a Jamaican price and then buy the 280.

With lug,
~Blu

Very nice on the 280. I love mine :D

Also, new coolant got here today

(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7782/fessero.jpg)

Gotta wait for the tubing though to redo my loop. It just shipped today :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 09 Jun 2009, 10:44
New system's up and running. The pictures are on my camera, but in the mess that is my bedroom, I can't find it... >.>
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 10 Jun 2009, 13:03
All finished...it's green!

(http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/2332/crw1039x.jpg)
(http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/2609/crw1042.jpg)
(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/6351/crw1046.jpg)
(http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6851/crw1048.jpg)
(http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/8369/crw1049.jpg)
(http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/1673/crw1052.jpg)
(http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/3339/crw1054.jpg)
(http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/2738/crw1057l.jpg)
(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/479/crw1058.jpg)
(http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/2276/crw1059y.jpg)
(http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/2716/crw1061.jpg)
(http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/4118/crw1063.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 10 Jun 2009, 20:52
Is that a nForce 7 board?

Also, which ras is that?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 10 Jun 2009, 22:08
It's a 790i mobo and swiftech MCR320 rad.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Llewellian on 11 Jun 2009, 02:56
Just a small advice from someone who studied in the field of Electrotechnics:

If you are going to replace your Power Supply Unit (PSU), always go for the "a little bigger" ones than you actually need.

Reason: PSUs run smoothest in the area (little distorted gauss bell) of 45-75% of their maximum output capability. If you know that your system needs around 420 Watts, never go for a 500 Wmax PSU. The heat produced by units is not linear with their power. And in the upper area of the output capability, it can come to peaks and quality fall-off in voltage and current (brownout). Which can massively disturb or even damage your system. A good portion of system crashes and bluescreens do come from peaks produced by your PSU.

A good PSU enhances your system. Think of it like a car. I mean, having a V8 Bigblock motor, racing gear and such and a Nissan Micra fuel pump?

And you are ready for "future" enhancements without having to think about your PSU before you build it in, like an extra harddrive or things like that.

The actual pricing is roughly 1-1.5 $ per 10 Watts, no matter what producer. And let me tell you, an extra 20 or 30 Dollars are really good investment on that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 11 Jun 2009, 07:33
Of course, if you actually pay attention to peak power draw from a computer it's typically significantly lower than one would expect. Really, nobody needs a 750W PSU unless you're running tri-SLI or Xfire. A typical midrange computer with something like a C2D or Athlon X2 and HD4850 will often draw around 200W under load. It goes the other way too. You don't want to buy an 850W PSU and be running it at 20% load, decreasing its efficiency.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 11 Jun 2009, 10:25
Yeah. Even my computer with the GTX280 and highly overclocked E8600 draws 350-400w at it's peak. SLI GTX280 draws about 550w or so.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 11 Jun 2009, 23:24
Right. I'ma post a link a bit later about that though.

Guys, I think I need a new wireless card. I'm getting only problems now. When I do manage to connect,  it's only for a few minutes, then I can't browse the net, my ping goes up in the 400s, and then eventually I can't do anything, but it says I'm connected to the house Wi-Fi. Well, now it wasn't connecting, but I'm not all too sure what it's doing atm (I'm downstairs, PC is upstairs).

EDIT::
Nevermind.

So, I spoke to my mechanic, and he's gonna do the work on my case.

GuitarFreak, since you're the resident Liquid expert, what do you think about a Swiftech Apogee GT, Hydor Seltz L30 pump,  2 custom made 140mm radiators, and a 3.5" bay res? I'm iffy about the res, and I'm kinda more partial to making my own res, since those are kinda expensive for a tube with fittings.  :|
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 13 Jun 2009, 08:28
For a pump, I'd either get this http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_201&products_id=3112 or this http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_201&products_id=2539. Are you only going to be cooling the CPU?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 13 Jun 2009, 14:07
Yeah, but the point is, I don't want to (can't) spend $45 or more on a pump.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 18 Jun 2009, 09:51
So, I'm going to be buying a new mobo. My old one had 240 pin DDR2 RAM slots, a PCI express x16 graphics card slot, so I don't think I'll need to change too much, but I do have a question. I'm currently running a 2.8ghz P4, but I might have a 3.4, it might be fried. If I get a motherboard made for core 2s, will I be able to run my old P4 processor in it?

Also, what are some good brands for motherboards? I've been looking at ASUS so far.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 18 Jun 2009, 19:21
Don't buy anything labeled ASUS unless it's a monitor.

And your P4. I haven't seen a Socket 478 mobo with a PCI-E x 16 slot, so I assume that your P4 is a LGA 775 one, so yes, you'll still be able to use your P4 until you upgrade.

Brands I like are Gigabyte, XFX, Foxconn, DFI and Abit (not necessarily in that order). Intel makes some good motherboards also.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 18 Jun 2009, 19:26
I've had zero problems with any of the Asus stuff I've had (motherboards and DVD drives). Maybe you just got faulty parts?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 18 Jun 2009, 19:30
You assume I took the chance? Firstly my friends get a 50% failure rate with them, and their stuff is too damned expensive. Brand markup, yes?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 18 Jun 2009, 19:33
50% Failure rate? I've had a few of their boards, and I've never had a problem with them. I think Abit went under, so they're out. I've had pretty good luck with my foxconn board, and I know that Gigabyte has become really popular lately.

Out of curiosity, why are you upgrading your motherboard without the CPU?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 19 Jun 2009, 16:53
Wow, I've honestly never heard of anyone having any serious problems wtih Asus, or at least not anything out of the ordinary for PC components. Only companies I trust as much as them is probably Gigabit and DFI. Not sure if their reputations have gone downhill over the years though.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 19 Jun 2009, 17:08
Because I've got roughly $120 to do it with, after having had the thing out of commission since Halloween, knowing it was really bad since about december, and saving to fix it since then. I might have more money soon, since my birthday is coming, but I really want to get off this damn laptop, I get about 10FPS running source-based games on low settings. I'll probably double check with the guys at the store that I took it in to (wanted to make sure I wouldn't replace the wrong part), make sure that my CPU wasn't screwed up as well.

My old mobo was ASUS (I think, box is long gone, but the guy who installed it said it would be an ASUS), so maybe it is a good idea if I don't get that for my replacement. I had a lot of trouble with this computer, though at least some of it was my fault.

When it says FSB on the description of the motherboard, that needs to match the FSB speed on the processors, right? Looks like I will need to get one that has a good range, my current processors are both 800mhz FSB with 1mb cache, if I get an upgrade, it will probably be much faster. I had planned on upgrading the processor soon anyway, before it died. I was able to run anything I tried, but I figured that when the minimum requirements of some games I was running were higher than my processor's listed speed, it would be a good time to upgrade.

How about this board? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380 No SLI capabilities, but I'm more likely to buy a better card than try to SLI a pair of 7900GSes. Would also mean I could afford a processor sooner than most boards. Would that board be badly outdated any time soon?

Processor-wise, have games gotten over the issues with dual-core processors now? I remember a couple of years ago, some games had a lot of trouble with people moving like they were speedhacking, twice or three times as fast, if they had dual-core processors, and most games would only make good use of one anyway.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 20 Jun 2009, 02:14
o_o

Uhh, we've reached the point where multi-core processing works.

And yeah, that's the motherboard I own. Pretty nice thing, if you ask me. Nice and pretty BIOS and it's forgiving of End-User screwups (like doing 333 x 10.5 on stock voltages on a E7400 >_>).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 20 Jun 2009, 15:59
Wasn't just asking if it worked, I was asking if it was worth it over a single core processor with another .8-1 ghz rating.

Is it just me, or are any Intel CPUs that aren't really expensive 800mhz FSB with a 1mb cache?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 20 Jun 2009, 20:29
Dual core is always better than Single core. Go for the Dual core. Plus, the Pentium sucks.

And yes, the cheaper ones are kinda only good for general purpose. The best cheap LGA 775 CPU is probably the E5200 for about $75.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 20 Jun 2009, 23:38
I know my opinion is not exactly shared around here, but I really don't see the point of getting a new LGA 775 CPU and motherboard. At this point you would be much better off getting one of AMD's AM3 Athlon X2's.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Jun 2009, 01:42
You act like the 775 is a dying platform, but it is going to be around for a while yet.  Intel are shit-canning the LGA1366 socket in favour of another that hasn't been released yet, so it'll take a while to gain traction.  Intel cpus are still superior to AMD's for the time being, so why wouldn't someone choose a 775 board?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 21 Jun 2009, 11:17
To get a AM3 X2, you'd have to spend $100 on the CPU, another $100 on the motherboard, and ANOTHER $100 on decent DDR3 RAM to gain a marginal performance increase over a $75 LGA 775 board, a $120 CPU, and about $30 to $40 on some DDR2 RAM.

Pass.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 21 Jun 2009, 18:23
You act like the 775 is a dying platform, but it is going to be around for a while yet.  Intel are shit-canning the LGA1366 socket in favour of another that hasn't been released yet, so it'll take a while to gain traction.  Intel cpus are still superior to AMD's for the time being, so why wouldn't someone choose a 775 board?

LGA 1156 is coming out later this year. I really doubt that they will release another batch of LGA 775 CPU's. There are phenom II's that match C2D and C2Q's at every price point except for the extreme editions. AM3 will be around for the next few years, with plenty more phenom II's in the pipleine.

And Mr. Blu, you can get a gigabyte AM3 for about $80, so there really isn't much of a price difference considering the upgrade potential for an AM3 board compared to an LGA 775
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 21 Jun 2009, 20:55
. <--- This discussion



:? <--- My head.

Looks like I'll just be getting a motherboard, then, and saving for a processor (unless it would be better to get 3 gigs RAM and use a 3.4ghz/1mb/800FSB P4 processor for even longer). Would the one I linked be a good choice, or is there something else I should get that will last longer before obsolescence?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Jun 2009, 23:07
btw, I was incorrect when I said earlier that the LGA1366 was being nixed.  It's the current batch of i7's that are being nixed.  The 1156 and 1366 sockets are gonna be the things used by the upcoming i3, i5 and future i7s later this year.

I guess that my main problem is that I don't understand why anyone would use AMD cpus at the moment.  I know someone's got to buy them or else we'll wind up with Intel in an even more dominant position, but that person is not gonna be me.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 22 Jun 2009, 23:17
Looking again, I found a couple of Open Box motherboards that seem like a good deal. Are either of these worth the extra money if I'm looking at making something that won't be amazing performance, but will have potential for keeping up to speed for a while with occasional upgrades? If so, which would be better?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128364R

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358R
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 23 Jun 2009, 06:26
The motherboard really has little to do with speed. The only difference in these motherboards is that the GA-EP45C-UD3R has an extra PCIe x16 slots. They all use the same socket type, so they will all accept the same processors. You most likely won't notice any difference between the P43 and the P45. All three boards have the exact same upgrade potential, with the exception of the GA-EP45C-UD3R allowing for crossfire (waste of money unless you're running a 30" monitor). The additional risk of getting an open box motherboard is just too much for what little those have to offer you.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 23 Jun 2009, 18:48
Okay, I guess I'll get the one I had linked previously. So not being able to use DDR3 won't be an issue?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 23 Jun 2009, 19:03
Not with a core 2. Is this mainly for gaming? If it is you probably wouldn't see any difference between DDR2 and DDR3
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 23 Jun 2009, 19:26
Okay, thanks. Yeah, this will mostly be for gaming, even though I will probably be using it for writing papers as well. Not going to be using it to host a server or anything, if that is what you are talking about.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 23 Jun 2009, 19:32
Yeah, for your purposes DDR3 would definitely be a waste of money.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 23 Jun 2009, 20:27
Okay. I just wanted to make sure that my DDR2 ram wasn't going to become obsolete in a year or two, leading to me needing to get a new motherboard that supported DDR3.

edit: I should probably get some new thermal paste as well, is there much difference between brands? I will probably just get the smallest amount I can, since I just need it for this one processor.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 23 Jun 2009, 21:36
If you're getting a Core 2 CPU, then there is absolutely no point. If you were to get an AMD AM3 CPU or one of Intel's Nehalem chips (most likely way out of your price range), then you would want to/have to get DDR3. All Core 2's are and will be compatable with DDR2 (technically the CPU isn't compatible with anything, the motherboard determines memory compatability  for the Core2's. AMD CPU's and the Nehalem chips differ in that the memory controller is incorporated in the CPU itself).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 24 Jun 2009, 00:35
Well you sound like you're using it for the same purposes as I.

I'm running that Gigabyte mobo, an E7400, and an HD 4850. And for the price, it's pretty good and it does everything I want it to (yes, Crysis on DX10 max w/ no AA also, but on a low-ish res also).

And I suggest getting either 2x1GB or 2x2 GB of RAM. You want to get the benefit of the dual channels. I'm on some OCZ HPC Reaper 2x1GB DDR2 1150 (discontinued), @ 1200Mhz, and at this speed, I wouldn't even bother with DDR3. Especially since a lot of RAM modules can easily OC to 1200 or 1333Mhz (not with as tight timings as mine tho'). Until DDR3 prices hit low enough that one can get good 3x2GB DDR3 for about $60, DDR2 will still be worth it, especially since the price for DDR2 is low and getting lower.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 01:41
What do you mean, dual channels? I have been planning to get another couple of gigabytes of RAM for a while, to bump me up to 3. Is there something in particular I should be looking for when I get that? I was planning on getting Corsair, since I have heard that recommended by most people. Also, if I have a SLJ8 (assuming it is better than the SL8PP) processor currently, would I want to put priority on getting to 3 gigs of RAM or on getting a new processor? I could get the RAM along with the mobo if it makes a difference. That would put me at 2x512 and 2x1GB.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 24 Jun 2009, 02:24
So hang a minute.  Is the motherboard is fried or something?  I am not sure if I am missing out on some information here, but unless the motherboard is dead I'm not sure why you're not upgrading from a P4 to a Core2duo or quad instead of upgrading the motherboard.  You mention the cpu maybe being fried, but I can't see where you say what the problem is.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 08:32
Sorry, thought I had said it already. My motherboard died, I'm not sure how, but it happened in about 10 minutes between turning the thing off, moving it into a different room, and turning it on again. I took it in to the shop to make sure, since I didn't want to end up spending money on the wrong part, and they said it was the motherboard, but I don't think they were expecting me to try to fix it myself, so I'm not sure if they might have forgotten to mention that it took the CPU with it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Llewellian on 24 Jun 2009, 08:41

I dont know if there are sales like those you can get here @ Nodaisho's Part of the world, but if so, i would strongly suggest to go for one of those "Upgrade your PC" Kits. New Mobo+fancy new chip+decent Sellout-RAM-Sticks. Most often, such "Bundles" are sold to lower prices than everything together alone, most often at the same price of the new chip alone... and you know that everything fits more or less together.

I paid here in Germany at Conrad (the german equivalent to Radioshack) for a socalled "upgrade bundle" containing 1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz Socket 775 1333 FSB, 2x2 Corsair DDR2 1066 Mhz Fsb Ram and a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Mobo about 210 EUR.

With that... i am fixed up for the "next years" (since i never run very hardwarehungry games or progrs). And the good thing on it is: Newer RAM and things to upgrade further are cheaper than the old ones. Current prices here for outdated DDR Sticks are higher than the DDR3 ones because no one buys them anymore... same for your Grafix-Hardware. AGP costs more than PCI-E.



Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 08:49
It isn't that I am worried about my motherboard frying if I put in a new processor, I already know my motherboard is dead, but in the process of finding out what was wrong with it, I found that the processor from the old family computer that I had lying around was actually faster than the one I had before. So I was asking to make sure I wouldn't buy a motherboard with the wrong kind of socket, then trying to find what I would want to get to make sure it wouldn't go obsolete quickly.

I've already got a PCI-E card (two, actually), and everyone else has been saying that DDR2 isn't going to become obsolete, so DDR3 would be a waste of money for my purposes. On Newegg, DDR3 is more expensive, though it still doesn't cost much for a couple of gigs.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 24 Jun 2009, 09:11
It's not that DDR2 isn't going to become obsolete, it's that there is no point in getting DDR3 for an LGA775 chip. There is very little noticeable difference between the two for playing games right now, and it will just wind up costing you more than you need to spend. Right now the amount of RAM you have will make a much bigger difference in games than the type of RAM. Assuming you have at least 2Gb of RAM the graphics card will make the biggest difference in game performance, followed by CPU. As I said before, DDR3 is only worth it if you are stepping up to Intel's nehalem or AMD's AM3 platforms (also, they don't support DDR2, so you have to upgrade).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 09:18
Ah, okay. That makes sense.

Now I'm looking at one of the CPU/motherboard deals Newegg has, does this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.203963) look like a good deal? The processor looks like a good upgrade (the processor that was in this computer previously was a 2.8 single core, and only had 800mhz FSB), and the board doesn't look like it has any serious problems.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 24 Jun 2009, 09:49
That's a pretty good deal. The E6300 is a pretty good processor for its price range. The motherboard has an IGP, which it sounds like you won't need, but there aren't any motherboards without it for cheaper. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a microATX board, so double check that your case has the proper risers for it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Llewellian on 24 Jun 2009, 13:34
Yupp, pretty nice deal. Gigabyte Mobos are really nice, i've got one myself. They dont make problems, good drivers and such. And the MoBo from that offer can take a wide range of CPUs if you come across a newer generation one cheap...

See the list...

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupport_Model.aspx?ProductID=3024

And with 2 Dual Channel DDR2 800 Mhz Slots (faster ones will be automatically downgraded)... buying good RAM is cheap too. No need for DDR3.. not that of a difference that it would be a good reason to blast Money for it...

Pre-Vista User: No need for more than 2 Gig, XP-32Bit is not able to use more (it can show it, but progs cannot use more, the rest will be set into the page/swapfile on HD). Linux/Vista/Windows7 User: 2 x 2Gb Dual Channel and you are set ;o).



Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 13:53
I'm pretty sure that 32-bit architecture can use a bit upwards of 3 gigs (I should know exactly, but I don't), some people figure you might as well get 4 gigs, round up rather than rounding down to get that last extra bit of speed. However, 3 gigs is three times as many as I have used for years, so I'm fine with that.

Oh, I just saw that it only has two RAM slots. Still cheaper to go with that than to get a decent processor separately. So, for memory, I'm thinking I'll save a bit more and get this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184) as soon as I can. 4 gigs means it will be using as much as it can, and it is only $10 more than the 2 gigs, before shipping, which is free for the 4 gigs.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Llewellian on 24 Jun 2009, 14:27
Yup, good choice on the RAM.

If you have 4gb and cannot make use of it now, it does not matter. If you get it for the same price than 2 gb, take it - this will come in handy later when you change your operating system in a year or two. XP does not mind 4gb, it just does not make use of it. A 32 bit system is only able to adress 2^31 bit... which translates to ~ 2GB. Easy as that.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 16:54
Actually, it translates to ~3.1 gb, maybe after you subtract all of the other stuff that is running, you only get 2 GB, but a 32 bit system will accept more than 2 gigs.

How has Microsoft's most recent attempt at a 64 bit OS gone? I remember hearing that it really didn't like games, but that was probably more than a year ago, I haven't really been paying attention, as I saw no need or reason to "upgrade" to vista.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 24 Jun 2009, 17:16
I have vista 64-bit, and I really haven't had any problems with it. The compatability mode works pretty well, unless you're using some really old games. You might not want to upgrade just because Windows 7 is coming out so soon and I have heard really great things about it. If they are still offering RC licenses you could always install that until they release the full version.

The deal with RAM is that if you have 32-bit you get 4Gb max, but that includes all RAM in your system (typically your graphics card's RAM is the biggest detractor from that). So, most systems will only show ~3.1-3.4 Gb of RAM if you haven't upgraded to 64-bit.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 24 Jun 2009, 17:45
That bundle looks pretty good!  You get a really decent cpu and a relatively good motherboard for not much money at all.  I am pretty jealous of the kind of prices you guys get :(

Anyway, I agree with Reed on the 64bit thing.  I'm running 64bit Vista on my main pc and it's done just fine with Office, Photoshop, various games, virtual pc stuff, etc.  I think that the only thing you have to really watch out for these days is super-old hardware not being compatible, but you get a bit of that with 32bit Vista anyway.  As he said though, Win 7 is out later this year (September/October?) so you might want to think about waiting for that if you already have & like XP.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 24 Jun 2009, 18:56
Okay. I had heard a lot of complaints about the 64 bit version when it was still relatively new, being crazy unstable with games. I wasn't planning on upgrading to vista, anyway. I have been using it since it came installed on my laptop, and I still like XP better. With 7 coming out, there isn't any point anyway.

Est, if it makes you feel better, I feel pity for you aussies pretty regularly.

edit: Well, put the order through, hopefully it ships tomorrow, and gets here saturday. I ordered the CPU/Mobo combo and a thing of thermal paste, since I wasn't sure what came with the processor, and it was only $5. With any luck, shortly after it arrives, I will have my computer back, and be able to play games with better than 10 FPS. Of course, it is far more likely that it will take me a couple of weeks to put back together, but lets not think of that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 25 Jun 2009, 00:52
You may want to look into buying a new video card soon. Intel's onboard won't do you very well.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 25 Jun 2009, 00:55
I've got a 7900GS here somewhere, and an ATI X700 for back-up. The 700 is pretty badly outdated, but it can run source games, at least. Of course, source scales pretty well.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 27 Jun 2009, 00:46
Whelp.

My computer temporarily shit the bed the other night so I decided it was finally time to replace my shitty case with something that had good airflow. Was going to be doing it in October when I built my new PC anyways, but figured i should get it done and out of the way. Ended up with the Antec 900.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72253.jpg)

Jesus shitting Christ that is a 200mm fan.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72252.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72254.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72255.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72256.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ackblom12/STA72257.jpg

I ordered 2 more 120mm fans to fill out it's fan slots, which will make 4 120mm fans and 1 200mm fan. I'll be transferring everything over this weekend and we'll see how it works.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 27 Jun 2009, 03:25
Good case.



EVERY FREAKING ANGLE OF THAT CASE WILL DAMAGE YOUR FINGERS.

The fan? Blends them.
The side panels? Slices right through.
Drop it on a body part? Get the hacksaw.

That's how you know it's a damn good case.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 30 Jun 2009, 17:05
Got my parts today. I finish uninstalling the dead motherboard, take the new one out of the box, and FFFFFFFF- I didn't have a micro-ATX board. I remembered someone saying that it was, apparently they were mistaken. Thankfully, though, the case has risers for micro-ATX as well as whatever the hell my other one was. So now a good bit of the case is just wasted space, but it works. Finished putting it together, and it boots just fine. Now I need to figure out where I stored my graphics card, so I'm not stuck using my old X700. Thanks for the help, everyone.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 30 Jun 2009, 17:10
Man, this case is so good, but yes, I swear it had a personal agenda gainst my hands. I can't wait to fill it with proper parts.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 30 Jun 2009, 20:18
Glad you got a somewhat positive outcome, Nodaisho!

Also, yeah the 900 is pretty cantankerous and somewhat reticent to let you come away without at least a token injury.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Melodic on 30 Jun 2009, 22:15
So ArmA2 thrashes my 4870 something fierce. nVidia's new offerings at the end of summer had better be rad as hell.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 01 Jul 2009, 02:25
You could always turn the graphics detail down a bit?  It is odd, because I took a look at some screenshots for that game and wasn't very impressed.  Maybe it's an inefficient graphics engine?

Also, what are nVidia supposed to be doing?  I have seen that AMD will probably have a new DX11 card out before/with the Win 7 release in October, but haven't really seen much of a response from nVidia.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 01 Jul 2009, 06:38
It could be a problem with your 4870's temperatures. Have you  been monitoring that, including VRAM temps? Also, do you have an aftermarket cooler on? Some of them don't properly cool the 4870, and I've heard of a lot of problems arising from that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 04 Jul 2009, 02:14
Bringing GuitarFreak back. (http://www.customaquatic.com/estore/control/product/~product=WP-KSP3500A;jsessionid=B0D7F774054E11B20ACF9E20F8A2CB2F.jvm1)

Also:
http://aquariumsuppliesplus.com/pro482960.html
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 15 Jul 2009, 23:37
Grrr, my RAM refuses to do 1333mhz...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 17 Jul 2009, 16:58
Does anyone know if Steam distributes the same .gcf files for 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows? (Or even if there are separate 64 bit versions?) I'm building a new comp and running Win7 RC on it (because it has 4 GB of RAM on top of the 800-something the graphics card has), and want to copy the files off my laptop (which I had been using for games), which is running XP MCE 32 bit because I'm lazy and don't feel like waiting for everything to download, on top of all the other games that aren't loaded on my laptop. Something tells me it generates different versions of hl2.exe accordingly when it finishes downloading but I'm not sure.

Thanks!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 19 Aug 2009, 23:48
Bringing GuitarFreak back. (http://www.customaquatic.com/estore/control/product/~product=WP-KSP3500A;jsessionid=B0D7F774054E11B20ACF9E20F8A2CB2F.jvm1)

Also:
http://aquariumsuppliesplus.com/pro482960.html

I wouldn't use either of those for a computer. The top one because of the 1" and 3/4" inlet/outlet ports would be hell to get tubing on to, and 1" tubing wouldn't work with pretty much every block/rad out there. The bottom one would be the best, but you'd need to have the power cord come out of your computer somewhere.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 24 Aug 2009, 17:13
Yo (http://www.dcacpowerinverters.com/go.asp?ic=PW200-12).

I've had bigger plans since this though.

Using two cheaper 350+G/hr. pumps with that thing (still cheaper than a MCP665, two loops baby!), using an car heater core (this (http://www.amazon.com/GDI-Proliance-399078-Heater-Core/dp/B000CH3F08)) in an Antec 900 I'm getting at a good deal. I'ma drop in there an i7 920 with a D-Tek FuZion v1 or a Heatkiller Rev 3.0, a GTX 280, with a D-Tek FuZion GPU block, or Heatkiller GPU block, 3x2GB OCZ Platinum DDR3 1600 Cas 7 (don't tell anyone, it's $100 at Geeks.com) aaand Cooler Master Ultimate PSU. All on a MSI X58M board.

I'm also thinking of having a 200mm rad custom made, and sandwiching it between the 200mm Big Boy fan and 4 of these (http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7910/fan-492/Scythe_Kaze_Jyu_100_x_25mm_Case_Fan_-_2000RPM_High_Speed_SY1025SLN12H.html?tl=g36c15s463).

I don't wanna say much else, but here (http://www.lancershop.com/customer/product.php?productid=362)'s a hint of what else I'm doing.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 04 Sep 2009, 08:40
Finally getting around to building the PC next week. Here's the parts:

Motherboard - http://tinyurl.com/nasfkq

CPU - http://tinyurl.com/dfnb32

RAM - 2 sticks of http://tinyurl.com/n96q8j

I still need to get a new Power Supply and video card at some point, but what I have will work and this will at least get me running so I can have a working computer for 2 weeks before Windows 7 comes out and I have to reinstall windows again.

If I had the cash I'd be getting this refurb http://tinyurl.com/kmohua but it will have to wait. I'm a little paranoid about putting that much cash into a refurb as well. Either way, I'm upgrading from a 8800GTS, so pretty much anything costing more than $50 right now will be a pretty decent upgrade.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 11 Sep 2009, 13:06
I got my PC all up and ready!

I actually went ahead and made a new thread for it just because I ended up taking pictures and making a shoddy tutorial on how to lap your heatsink.

On the other hand, I've been overclocking and I've thus far been able to get the Processor running at 3.8ghz with no problems. I'm going to be installing some monitoring software before I go any further, but with how easy it's gone up to this point I might be able to hit 4ghz, well see.

Edit - http://forums.questionablecontent.net/index.php/topic,23850.0.html
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: morbid79 on 20 Sep 2009, 06:16
Meet puttputt:

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2621/3934879499_97c0393b91.jpg) (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2621/3934879499_97c0393b91_b.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Sep 2009, 02:51
Great rig, Mike.  Are any of those cards an X2 or is it "only" tri-xfire?  When I get some decent money again I'm gonna have to upgrade a tad, but for now I'm stuck with what I got :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 21 Sep 2009, 17:58
Hellooooo dual socket. Specs?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: morbid79 on 22 Sep 2009, 05:17
Dual Xeon 5520
16GB ECC DDR3
6*300GB WD Velociraptor running RAID10
LSI SAS Controller
3*ATI 4890/1GB, no X2 (4890 hasn't been X2'd yet, that I know of)
Asus Xonar DX sound card
LG DVD burner
PC Power and Cooling 1200W PSU
Lian Li X2000 case
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 23 Sep 2009, 04:51
Jesus
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: evilbobthebob on 23 Sep 2009, 05:02
That's more like a frigging server than a desktop  :-o
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: morbid79 on 23 Sep 2009, 07:30
Well, tugger, my prior workstation, is a dual 5420.  :)

Bertha is a new server, dual 5506 + 6 1.5TB drives + 3ware 9690 RAID card running RAID50 + 36GB DDR3.  Mulk is my older server, dual Opterson 275 + 8GB RAM + 8 320GB drives + 3ware 9550 RAID card running RAID5.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 23 Sep 2009, 13:31
ATI's 5870 and 5850 cards were just put on sale. From waht I've read on this and Nvidia's 300 series, Nvidia may be giving up the top spot this gen.

http://tinyurl.com/l3qops


http://tinyurl.com/nh5g7r


Also a good chunk cheaper than I thought they would be.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 24 Sep 2009, 02:24
Giving up the top spot?  I thought ATI were already on top?  The 4890 is faster than everything but the 295, which is a 285X2.  If a 4890X2 came out it would be the fastest this gen, no?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: morbid79 on 24 Sep 2009, 06:36
I'm pretty interested in the new ATI cards, especially how they can run multiple monitors.  Mmm.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 26 Sep 2009, 21:35
Dual Xeon 5520
16GB ECC DDR3
6*300GB WD Velociraptor running RAID10
LSI SAS Controller
3*ATI 4890/1GB, no X2 (4890 hasn't been X2'd yet, that I know of)
Asus Xonar DX sound card
LG DVD burner
PC Power and Cooling 1200W PSU
Lian Li X2000 case

I would have gone with 1.5TB drives for the space. They're just as fast as the raptors and offer a shitton more space.
(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/8637/hdtu.png) My drive

Also, if anyone is looking for one, I'm selling an XSPC Razor GTX 260/280 water block, also my EVGA 790i SLI mobo w/NB/SB block. PM for info.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 27 Sep 2009, 03:18
There is a school of thought (http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/technology/features/article.php/3839636) that believes you should not be using very large drives in RAID arrays due to the increasing possibility of a rebuild failure and data loss.

Quote from: that page
A single 8+2 rebuild with 1.5 TB drives reads and writes about 28.5 TB (read 1.5 TB*9 drives, write 1.5 TB*10 drives). That means that in a perfect world using vendor specifications, we can expect one out of every 312 rebuilds to fail today with data loss. Moving to the next-generation 2 TB drives, this value drops to every 234 rebuilds, and with 4 TB drives it drops to every 117 rebuilds.

Also, perhaps he is using the machine for something that is better served by the VelociRaptor's faster access time?  I dunno.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 27 Sep 2009, 08:12
Possibly. I don't really know a whole lot about RAID. It's pretty much the only thing dealing with computers I haven't done besides extreme cooling D:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: morbid79 on 30 Sep 2009, 17:38
The file server is running 6*1.5TB in a RAID50 configuration.  I had a power failure (tripped the breaker) and it had to rebuild.  Took a solid day to get that done.  No loss, though.  Phew!

Also, workstation needs a bit more disk access speed, hence the RAID10 + faster drives.  Games and 3D rendering are fun!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: BankHoldUp on 14 Oct 2009, 10:42
I'm pretty interested in the new ATI cards, especially how they can run multiple monitors.  Mmm.

I was running three off one 3870X2 up until the latest driver update. Now, it only wants to recognize two of them. I tried rolling back and that got the third working, but turned off the other two.

I'm going to wait to make a concerted effort to fix it when I have a complete copy of W7. I'm currently rocking the Beta 2 version and it is screwing all sorts of things up in very minor but irritating ways.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 02 Nov 2009, 18:36
Hey guys, look what I got...

(http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/2351/picture024hi.th.jpg) (http://img17.imageshack.us/i/picture024hi.jpg/)
(http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/3351/picture025g.th.jpg) (http://img136.imageshack.us/i/picture025g.jpg/)
(http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/9785/picture026i.th.jpg) (http://img266.imageshack.us/i/picture026i.jpg/)
(http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/4435/picture015qd.th.jpg) (http://img410.imageshack.us/i/picture015qd.jpg/)
(http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/2585/picture016cx.th.jpg) (http://img410.imageshack.us/i/picture016cx.jpg/)
(http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/7378/picture017qx.th.jpg) (http://img513.imageshack.us/i/picture017qx.jpg/)
(http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/5821/picture018vu.th.jpg) (http://img59.imageshack.us/i/picture018vu.jpg/)
(http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/5996/picture020pb.th.jpg) (http://img44.imageshack.us/i/picture020pb.jpg/)
(http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/3681/picture022h.th.jpg) (http://img410.imageshack.us/i/picture022h.jpg/)








TAGAN BLACK PEARL
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Candle on 28 Dec 2009, 12:49
so i got a video card for xmas

it's EVGA's nvidia geforce 9800 GT

i am going to install it and windows 7 shortly. hopefully it will be a smooth ride.

this'll make my specs: 4 GB DDR2 RAM
                               2.5GHz Duo-Core Intel(want to learn to overclock this shit)
                                nvidia geforce 9800 GT
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 03 Jan 2010, 11:19
Is it just me, or has the cost of RAM suddenly jumped? I thought it was a good bit cheaper when I was looking at it while shopping for a replacement mobo. I'm looking at $75 for the cheapest 2x2gig DDR2 setup I can find on newegg.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 03 Jan 2010, 13:35
On the topic of performance: Can anyone give me some tips for getting more bang out of my hardware? I've got a gaming laptop with a 2GHz Dual-core processor, a Geforce 9600 video card and 4GB of RAM, and I feel like it can do more than it does. Here's the thing, I tried that new multiplayer FPS in zero G, Shattered Horizon, and on an occasion when people on the server were gushing about their setup, I found that my average framerate on minimum settings was much lower than what the other's claimed theirs to be, namely around 15 fps, even though I believe this system to be fairly well-equipped for games. Are my expectations too high or am I doing something not entirely right?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: evilbobthebob on 03 Jan 2010, 14:08
Your expectations are possibly a little high. I have almost exactly the same specs on my laptop (2GHz dual core, 4GB RAM, Geforce 9600M) and on Audiosurf I can't use maximum settings at 1280x800 or I get jumps. On STALKER I have to turn the settings down somewhat for smooth gameplay. Source games tend to run really well. I think the real problem is overheating. Nvidia cards tend to get hot, and in a laptop this is made worse. If I'm in a cold room I tend to get a few more FPS for longer periods; performance deteriorates as the card warms up. There's not much you can do to get better performance apart from turning down graphics settings, messing about with background processes or just getting a more powerful computer.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Chesire Cat on 03 Jan 2010, 14:08
On the topic of performance: Can anyone give me some tips for getting more bang out of my hardware? I've got a gaming laptop with a 2GHz Dual-core processor, a Geforce 9600 video card and 4GB of RAM, and I feel like it can do more than it does. Here's the thing, I tried that new multiplayer FPS in zero G, Shattered Horizon, and on an occasion when people on the server were gushing about their setup, I found that my average framerate on minimum settings was much lower than what the other's claimed theirs to be, namely around 15 fps, even though I believe this system to be fairly well-equipped for games. Are my expectations too high or am I doing something not entirely right?

1. Right click on the battery icon in the tray.
2. Go to "Power Icons"
3. In "High Performance" click "Change Plan Settings"
4. Click "Change Advanced Power Settings"
5. Under "Processor Power Management" make sure the Min/Max values are both 100% when plugged in

What this does is prevents your lappy from throttling back the processor power in order to conserve power when plugged in. You can actually test if this is the problem by looking at the "Resource Monitor" from the "Performance" tab in the Task Manager. If it says the CPU max frequency is anything but 100% it is being throttled artificially.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Chesire Cat on 03 Jan 2010, 14:15
Your expectations are possibly a little high. I have almost exactly the same specs on my laptop (2GHz dual core, 4GB RAM, Geforce 9600M) and on Audiosurf I can't use maximum settings at 1280x800 or I get jumps. On STALKER I have to turn the settings down somewhat for smooth gameplay. Source games tend to run really well. I think the real problem is overheating. Nvidia cards tend to get hot, and in a laptop this is made worse. If I'm in a cold room I tend to get a few more FPS for longer periods; performance deteriorates as the card warms up. There's not much you can do to get better performance apart from turning down graphics settings, messing about with background processes or just getting a more powerful computer.

Dont be afraid of opening up your lappy and cleaning out the dust from the fan (blow it outwards from the inside, not inwards from the outside) and make sure all airflow vents on the bottom are clear of dust.

I updated my lappy from a T5550 (1.83ghz) to a T9300 (2.5 ghz) without any additional cooling or even applying more conductive past.

My specs are pretty much the same as yours through.

Intel Core 2 Duo T9300: 2.5ghz
Nvidia 9600m
Only 3 gigs of ram though, I need to get a second 2gig stick
Running Vista Home Premium

And I am currently playing Arkham Asylum at 1366x768 with no Anti-aliasing, Ambiant Occlusion and Motion Blur, everything else is maxed. Borderlands runs even better, as does Bioshock. All 3 are Unreal engine games. Both Oblivion engine games; Oblivion and Fallout 3 run well. All Source games run spiffy, would like to give Crysis a go, I havent tried Dragon Age as Im pretty sure that will be the hardcap where my lappy cant handle it, maybe with more ram itll be alright.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: evilbobthebob on 03 Jan 2010, 14:19
Hmm, I might try and upgrade my processor some time. The processor itself stays pretty cool; it is just the graphics card that gets hot, sometimes hot enough to make the laptop shut itself down, which worries me. I do clean it out quite often, but I probably need to open it up properly because that hasn't been done since I got it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Chesire Cat on 03 Jan 2010, 14:22
What I pulled off my headsink (which is a grill blocking the fans outward airflow) it was literally a carpet. Like I was able to pull it off in one piece and toss it, not drop it, into the garbage without it falling apart. Mind you, getting at it was exceptionally difficult, though with a air duster it shouldnt be so bad since you are blowing out of your computer and not in, you shouldnt hurt and circuitry. The bottom airflow holes were just as bad too.

My computer is an Acer Aspire 9620 and has never shut down due to heat, even when I play with it on my bed.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: evilbobthebob on 03 Jan 2010, 14:28
Mine's a Samsung R560. I think the problem is the form-fitting casing, which must reduce airflow. It's only 15.4" as well, so the parts are all quite close together. I'll have to take a look inside.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Candle on 04 Jan 2010, 15:07
my specs: CPU 2.5GHz Dual-Core Intel (supposedly really great CPU for overclocking but i digress)
    EVGA GeForce 9800 GT(512MB) Video Card
    4GB DDR2 RAM
    Windows 7 64bit


would be totally interested in learning how to Overclock my CPU if i didn't already know it's a pain in the ass and even when done correctly can eventually result in frying your processor.

soo... guess i'm wondering if anyone is familiar with overclocking: is it worth it, how hard is it to learn etc.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: DavidGrohl on 04 Jan 2010, 15:38
My new Comp :

Core i7 920 ( 2.66 GHz running at 3.25 GHz with stock cooling )
Corsair 6GB RAM ( 3x2GB -- 3 slots open )
Corsair PSU ( was on sale for 1/2 price . . awesome deal )
500GB HD ( don't see myself using more than this as I don't save video after watching it )
HD Radeon 4770  ( currently runs everything I want to play on max @ 1920x1080 )

I like it.  It makes Empire Total War battles shine. :D
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 05 Jan 2010, 10:10
On the topic of performance: Can anyone give me some tips for getting more bang out of my hardware? I've got a gaming laptop with a 2GHz Dual-core processor, a Geforce 9600 video card and 4GB of RAM, and I feel like it can do more than it does. Here's the thing, I tried that new multiplayer FPS in zero G, Shattered Horizon, and on an occasion when people on the server were gushing about their setup, I found that my average framerate on minimum settings was much lower than what the other's claimed theirs to be, namely around 15 fps, even though I believe this system to be fairly well-equipped for games. Are my expectations too high or am I doing something not entirely right?

1. Right click on the battery icon in the tray.
2. Go to "Power Icons"
3. In "High Performance" click "Change Plan Settings"
4. Click "Change Advanced Power Settings"
5. Under "Processor Power Management" make sure the Min/Max values are both 100% when plugged in

What this does is prevents your lappy from throttling back the processor power in order to conserve power when plugged in. You can actually test if this is the problem by looking at the "Resource Monitor" from the "Performance" tab in the Task Manager. If it says the CPU max frequency is anything but 100% it is being throttled artificially.

Thanks, but turns out it was already at 100%. I've got the definitive version of Windows 7 on the way (running RC now), so I'll see how that performs after reformatting. I get a feeling all the stuff Steam installs starts to clog up my processes.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Chesire Cat on 05 Jan 2010, 15:50
Def check to see what background progs are eating processes and memory. If its something you can close do it, if its something you dont recognize, google it. Things as simple as iTunes and Winamp (via some sound drivers and HD crawling for new music) take a decent sized chunk outta both.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Miles on 10 Jan 2010, 01:19
You won't really get much out of Shattered Horizons with that setup. It's a VERY processor and GPU dependant game (Hell, it was designed by futuremark, they intend to push EVERYTHING to it's limit). Considering the MINIMUM requirement on the GPU is an 8800GT your 9600M isn't going to do very well i'm afraid, and without any more solid data on your processor i'd imagine that's pushing itself as hard as it can too.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 10 Jan 2010, 03:03
Yeah, if I remember correctly a 9600M < 8800GT performance-wise, unfortunately.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Miles on 10 Jan 2010, 03:06
Yeah, if I remember correctly a 9600M < 8800GT performance-wise, unfortunately.

Massively so, IIRC the 9600M has HALF the stream processors of the 8800GT, and a 128bit memory interface as opposed to 256bit.

Bad times!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Trollstormur on 19 Jan 2010, 11:25
here's my proposed build. anyone see any issues?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/sademie/build1-16-10.png)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Reed on 19 Jan 2010, 13:32
I would go for a better brand of PSU. Something like a Corsair (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 20 Jan 2010, 00:01
Corsair or Seasonic 750 watt models would be good for that.

Anyway, my near-future rig is as such:

i7 860
Gigabyte P55A-UD4P
Giel 4G DDR3 1333
Noctua U12P SE (2 fans)
HIS 5850
Pioneer DVD-RW
WD Black 1TB
Seasonic 750w Modular
Lancool k62
Dell Generic Keyboard
Logitech MX518
Acer X233HB 23" LCD

Got everything except the videocard (of which there are huge shortages) and the case (of which there are slightly smaller shortages)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Jan 2010, 02:14
I am putting off upgrading until Superspeed USB & 6gb sata are in a decent board.  Not sure what cpu I want just yet.  It's be nice to wait for the new i7, but it'll be massively expensive D:  Also waiting for the Fermi cards to hit, to see what the performance is like & what happens to prices of existing cards.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Alex C on 05 Feb 2010, 00:00
Today is a sad day. A young cousin of mine had me stop over to look at the machine he was having problems slapping together. He did everything right... except for the bit about making sure you put all the standoffs between the motherboard and the case. Was really more of a post mortem than trouble shooting. I think he knew there was no coming back for it though, or at least, I hope to god he did.

Also, I like how I just noticed that Reed linked the exact PSU I already ordered to replace my old one.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 16 Feb 2010, 19:13
My case came with the standoffs pre-installed. One less tiny thing to be fucking around with I guess.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: philharmonic on 17 Feb 2010, 18:07
Well at least it wasn't as wetaded as what I did last week.......
....bought a shiny new Asus mobo (P5QL/EPU)  and Coolermaster power supply (600W)  to put into a toast Acer tower. Mobo is ATX. Tower case is AT in other words WOULDN"T FIT !!!!!!
Gah I'm such a tool sometimes..

Gots a shiny new tower on order (Coolermaster Elite RC 330)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 17 Feb 2010, 20:24
I should check this more often.

Troll, did you buy that stuff yet?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cire27 on 27 Feb 2010, 18:42
Is this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227201) worth it?  As far as I can tell, this is the best thing on Newegg I can afford.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 28 Feb 2010, 17:26
Nope.

The sum of the cost of parts in that is probably around $400.

EDIT::

Ok, maybe a bit more. But still.
(http://imgur.com/l5Szz.png)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cire27 on 01 Mar 2010, 17:47
Add Windows 7 to that list and it's about $20 off.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: MrBlu on 06 Mar 2010, 14:03
Truth. Go for it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 13 Apr 2010, 14:16
Does anyone know how many watts I would need from my power supply to run a GT 240, 4 gigs of DDR2, a 2.8 intel dual-core, and 2 hard drives? I might be getting a new graphics card but I don't want to buy it if it is going to fry my power supply.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 13 Apr 2010, 22:24
kind of a guesstimate but I'd say 500-550 watts...there should be wattage calculators out there though...Antec has one at their site (http://www.antec.outervision.com/)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 14 Apr 2010, 02:29
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind for future reference. I decided against getting the new graphics card.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Chesire Cat on 19 Apr 2010, 20:08
Stepping out of exile to ask, what is the fasted MXM-II video card for my Acer Aspire 6920 laptop?

I currently have a nVidia 9500M GS, 512MB DDR2 memory with a 128 bus width, full specs here (http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9500m_gs_us.html)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 06 May 2010, 20:28
Damn, I think my XP install is dying.  Or one of my hard drives.  Windows sounds (noises from opening folders, volume beep, etc.) stopped working; but games, videos and music still have sound.  Plus it took 3 minutes from my background appearing on the screen for the rest of Explorer to show up.  At least I got a free copy of Win 7 from school, now I just need a blank DVD before it's too late.

Correction, some videos have sound, others don't.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 23 Jun 2010, 05:20
S I installed Win 7, along with 2 more gigs of RAM.  I boot it up, and...Windows recognizes 4 gigs of RAM but is only using 2...wtf?  I'm running 64-bit, so there shouldn't be a cap.  I ran CPU-Z and that told me I have 4 gigs of dual channel, so I know the RAM's good.  It's the right frequency for my mobo...any ideas?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cire27 on 23 Jun 2010, 20:51
Check your bios settings?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 24 Jun 2010, 21:54
Turns out I'm an idiot...RAM actually was the wrong speed.  The last time I checked Newegg's product page for the mobo, I thought it said it would support 1066.  Checked the Asus page for it yesterday, and it tops out at 800.  Already have an RMA number, and ordered the right kind this time.


Edit: Hahahahaha, apparently I'm going to have to re-install a 3rd time, because the ISO that was linked to me in the email is the wrong version for the serial key MS sent me.  Wonderful.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 26 Jun 2010, 17:52
Are either of these good? Is one better than the other? I'm pretty sure I have a 1066-compatible mobo, but I can look for the box to check. Failing that, is there any way to check in the bios or something? I just got paid and want to upgrade from 1GB in my gaming computer. It runs modern games surprisingly well, but some games are prone to OOM crashes after a few hours, and I have to keep the options pretty low.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220396

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227298
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 27 Jun 2010, 08:46
@Nodaisho: What's your motherboard brand and model, or if it's prebuilt what is the specific model of your PC?

Edit: Hahahahaha, apparently I'm going to have to re-install a 3rd time, because the ISO that was linked to me in the email is the wrong version for the serial key MS sent me.  Wonderful.

Actually you can fix that with a free utility. All Windows 7 discs have all the software needed to install any edition of the OS for that architecture. (32 bit discs can only install 32 bit Win7, 64 bit discs only do 64 bit.) The only difference is one little file named ei.cfg, which tells the installer what edition to use. If you remove that file, the installer will display a menu asking which edition you want to install, from Starter up through Ultimate. There's a free utility which can do that for you here:

http://lifehacker.com/5438005/eicfg-removal-utility-lets-you-use-any-product-key-with-your-windows-7-disc


Alternately, you can accomplish the same thing by using a thumbdrive instead of burning the ISO to disc. (It has to be at least 4 GB.) Use Microsoft's USB download utility to write your ISO to the thumb drive (this will delete everything on it, regardless of how big it is), then delete ei.cfg manually (it's in the Sources folder). The tool is necessary to prepare the drive so your PC will recognize it as valid boot media; just copying the ISO or the files within it to the drive won't work.

http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 27 Jun 2010, 08:56
Yeah, I can't use the second option, I don't have a 4gb thumb drive.  I'll try that utility, because either way I'm going to have to burn a new install disc (I could just use slmgr /rearm indefinitely, but I'd rather not).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 27 Jun 2010, 10:53
I have a Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L, which according to newegg (I just looked it up to make sure I was reading the right part of the board) only can use 800.

So is this a good deal? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220396 or is there something better and the same price or as good and cheaper out there as far as 4 gigs of DDR2 goes?

edit: I just checked my processor, and saw that it is 64-bit compatible. I have a free copy of windows 7 64-bit sitting around, and my mobo maxes out at 8gigs, but only has 2 slots. Should I try to find a 4gig stick and then buy another when I can afford it?

edit^2: Oh crap, the more I look at newegg, the more stuff I'm seeing that I want to upgrade. My wallet is starting to cry. Second alternative plan: should I wait until I have another 50 or 60 dollars and buy a new motherboard, selling my old one to my brother who needs one with a PCI-E slot, and buy DDR3 RAM since it is barely more expensive than DDR2? Not sure how long it would take to get the extra money, might not be long depending on how much I get for my birthday from various relatives.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 27 Jun 2010, 21:37
Upgrading the motherboard to one that supports DDR3 would let you use the RAM in a future build, but as far as I know the speed difference isn't extremely dramatic with Socket 775 CPUs. In my opinion it's not worth buying a new LGA775 motherboard just to use DDR3, because your CPU upgrade options pretty much end at the Q9650. Hold off on the motherboard upgrade until you can afford an LGA1156, LGA 1366, or AM3 setup. Unfortunately the DDR2 4 gig sticks are ridiculously expensive; more than twice as much as that 2x 2GB set you linked, even before the rebate. :(

Get that 4 gig Patriot set and your current PC should last you a while. When you're ready to upgrade again you can sell your brother the whole thing.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 27 Jun 2010, 21:41
Okay. That saves me more money, I guess.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GuitarFreak on 28 Jun 2010, 00:30
So I got an 8800GT last month or so to replace my 7900GS. It's so much better :D Here's a pic

(http://imgur.com/GIb1z.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 28 Jun 2010, 19:04
Alright, does anyone know what BIOS setting I would have to change to get the full 4 gigs?  Windows and the BIOS are detecting it, but claiming only 2 gigs are usable.  I have 2 1 gig sticks and 1 2 gig stick...if for some reason that configuration is the reason my shit's broke I'm gonna be pissed.  



Edit: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Turns out this is the case.  I can only use two (of 4) slots per CPU, and since I only have one CPU (and they are no longer manufactured), I have to go out another 2 gig stick. 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cire27 on 29 Jun 2010, 04:03
If they are DDR they have to match anyways, right?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 29 Jun 2010, 08:08
In order to run dual-channel, yes.

If you've got a grab bag of RAM in, all of it will run at the slowest stick's speed.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
They're all the same speed...which just made me realize I can just swap out one of the 1 gig sticks and have 3 gigs.  Temporary fix, but whatevs.

Edit: haha oh man this whole memory issue has been fun
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 10 Jul 2010, 01:03
So I just got the 4 gig patriot kit I linked earlier, and it works fine except that when I try to load L4D2, it crashes while loading the main menu. I haven't reinstalled the old ram to make sure it is the new ram, but since it worked yesterday and didn't work today, odds are good that is the cause. Anyone know what the problem could be?

edit: I deleted the common file and the client for l4d2 and it works now, hopefully it keeps working.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 13 Jul 2010, 20:13
doubleposting up in here to double-check on something. I know I asked this before, but some of the links from the last discussion are dead, and this time I'm giving someone else advice, so I want to make absolutely certain I don't mess it up. A socket 775 P4 will work in a Core2 mobo, right? I see on newegg some that say they work for pentiums, some that just say they work for core2s, but they are all socket 775s.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 13 Jul 2010, 22:15
Most likely, but to be absolutely sure you should check the CPU compatibility list for your motherboard's chipset.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 14 Jul 2010, 00:41
Is it the north bridge or the south bridge that matters? Or is it both?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Trollstormur on 27 Jul 2010, 15:26
I should check this more often.

Troll, did you buy that stuff yet?


I should check this more often too


I wound up building an i5-750 (@3.8ghz) with a heatpipe style arctic cooler, 4 gigs ram with a Radeon 5850. The parts were inexpensive and very efficient. No parts were DOA. 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 25 Aug 2010, 05:24
So I installed a new heatsink for my CPU yesterday.

(http://a.imageshack.us/img689/2407/sta72566.jpg)

(http://a.imageshack.us/img203/355/sta72570.jpg)

This here is the heatsink. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118056)

Put a couple of Scythe 120mm fans on it and it's dropped my CPU temp by a good 20c. Gonna try and see what it does full load sometime this week I think.

Next on my list is a Video Card Heatsink for my Radeon 5770. This one here will do nicely I think. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118037)

Edit - Few hours with a torture test and the CPU never broke 45c.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 26 Aug 2010, 08:12
Holy crap that heatsink is massive! :o

Does it come with a brace to attach to the frame somewhere? It's probably not an issue, but I'd worry about a heatsink that large and (undoubtedly) heavy breaking something once the motherboard is mounted vertically in the case again.

I'm just running the stock HSF that came with my Q9550. With dust filters everywhere and the fans set up for positive-pressure (so dust doesn't get sucked into every gap in the case), it works well enough for now.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 16 Oct 2010, 14:02
I got a loverly new case, it's a Silverstone Fortress FT02B-W v1.7 (so the new one with 3 air penetrator 180mm's in the bottom) and looks sick, especially using 2 extra CP05 adaptors to make 3 of the 5 hdd bays hot swappable (really just for tidyness). Feeling like I should get a new graphics card so I can stop using 9600's in sli, they still run really well and at great speeds/temps overclocked but I want a 460 pretty bad, that would also tidy up the case.

Still using a q9550 as I cannot find much of a reason to buy an i7 or something but I am looking to buy a new cpu cooler, so I can get rid of the stock one, cannot find my tuniq so I am thinking I could get a prolimatech megahalems and perhaps run it passively at ~3ghz super quiet since the massive fans push so much cool air and it's a big ass cooler.

If anyone has any suggestions for a new cooler, just a massive tower really would be awesome for south of 50gbp please lemme know.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 17 Oct 2010, 14:00
I've got a Fortress too, but I went for the one without the window.  With it or without, they are a seriously great case.  I made the mistake of buying a while bunch of watercooling gear for it because I'd never really played around with that sort of stuff before and wanted to have a go.  I'm regretting it now, as it's not really well kitted out for it.  It is an absolutely great air-cooling unit though, there is a positively beaming review of it somewhere that I wish I had read before getting all the watercooling gear, but then again I started buying the watercooling gear for my previous case :(

Anyway, to answer your question, if I wanted to start over I'd prob get something like a Corsair Hydro H70 and attach it to the fan at the top.  It's got a push/pull fan config and should work fine with the FT02's vent so longer as it can fit in with everything else you want to put into it.  If even contained watercooling ain't your bag then check out the Noctua NH-D14 instead.  It's got a 140mm fan on it.  Pretty great!  Just make sure that it'll fit in properly, because my Thermalright Ultra120 doesn't fit on account of the rotated mb.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 18 Oct 2010, 08:38
Yeh the h50 and h70 were a consideration but they work best when they are on an intake fan sucking cool air, something I cannot put at the top 120mm fan unfortunately, if I used one yeh it would most likely still be great but maybe not as great as a fantastic air cooler. The Noctua NH-D14 looks pretty safe if a little ugly, I just want to make the most use of the awesome air cooling the case has, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m8fC809TK0 shows the ap121's against other fans and it's pretty crazy how direct the airflow is so with 2 of those blowing over a cpu fan I recon I could use a big enough heatsink passively with acceptable temps on a little overclock. Obviously something like the Thermalright HR-02 would be perfect but I don't think I could justify spending that much to myself and I prefer the look of the Prolimatech super mega for that money because it is a copper megahalems.

One gripe people had about the case was about room for cables round the back of the mobo, i found this too as even with the cables pushed neatly in single file vertically it's still quite snug at the back with the side panel on, other than that I would not change a thing I think, other than the front panel of it I would just put 1 optical drive slot there to keep it looking smooth and sleek btu maybe some people need 6 for some reason :|
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: lulmotorized964rajek on 01 Nov 2010, 09:02
Great stuff. I have been researching some computers. The Noctua NH-D14 is the best cooler out, by far. The editor of overclocked3d.net filled me in on that. I saw stats and almost made a mistake of an inferior one, which is still better than everything else out. He said dont do it. I am looking to move to the i7 980X 6 core next. Current is a Q6700 on an MSI P43 NEO3 mobo.
I did some research on aftermarket options for the Noctua NH-D14's 2 fans, on Sven3d site, configured in push pull, was maybe the ultimate, although I did see some better stats on one other air cooler but that site had some mistakes apparently, and the NH-D14 is the sure thing according to the overclocked3d.net editor, who personally said dont buy anything else.
He had just overclocked his i7 970 6 core from stock 3.2 to 5Ghz on the stock Noctua, enough to boot and validate in CPU-Z. Stable 4.8Ghz. I am using a Spiral Q right now.
I had ordered a Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, but he said send it back.

I read about an interesting Twin Frozr III GTX480 Lightning edition with over voltage switch and special made capacitors that has the best aftermarket cooling around, overclocks up to 30% better performance and still runs cooler than stock GTX480, the cooling is fantastic. It comes out soon. Also MSI makes a waterblock version of the GTX480, but it wont run as well, but also on this aftermarket cooler on the Lightning if you waterblock it the GPU and RAM are seperate so you can do just the GPU, but it would be difficult to beat the card already.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: lulmotorized964rajek on 01 Nov 2010, 09:18
Another thing, you guys got me thinking about the negative and positive pressure situation, and the fact of sucking cool air in places. Not sucking dust would be great on the new rig, so would cool air intake.  I think Ill stay with the Noctua either way. Like I said sven3d is a site that has archived somewhere the fan test of every aftermarket 120 and the other one in push pull configuration on the Noctua and other coolers. I am finding out now what the best thermal paste is.

Here is my current Thermaltake Spin Q :
(http://i1142.photobucket.com/albums/n619/robtmathias/IMAG0232.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 01 Nov 2010, 11:52
Yeh the Noctua NH-D14 is a beast, last cooler I bught was the original tuniq tower which was fantastic back in the day, the new one is apparantly a huge dissapointment. The Noctua NH-D14 might fuck with my dominator memory too, it's a good idea to think about how you are going to use it before jumping in for what tests the best, the Thermalright HR-02 however I will be buying soon-ish because it will be arse to face with my case exhaust fan and the 2 180mm fans just below it will mean plenty of airflow to let it be passive I think, the close proximity to the exhaust fan is what sealed the deal for me.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 01 Nov 2010, 14:11
If I was doing air I'd prob put the NH-D14 into my machine (if it would fit) and/or perhaps rig up some kind of baffle for one of the huge, quiet fans at the bottom of the case to see if it could be convinced to flow mostly into the HSF.  It'd probably fail, but it'd be fun to try out.

Also, while I do love this case I am sorely tempted to hock it to my brother at half off and either a give up big machines and get a little Mini-ITX case like I used for Hannah's pc (SG06) or go the other way and get a TJ07 and mod the crap out of it as basically everyone else does.  The main problem with the latter is that I'd prefer to use a couple of individual 140mm rads directly before each of the things I'm cooling and a decent pump rather than the usual 3x120mm stuck in the bottom of the case.  So unfortunately while the look of the TJ07 appeals to me it doesn't really fit in with what I want to try to do.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 02 Nov 2010, 02:27
I never tried mini-itx, I like playing video games so they have never suited me. Seem like they are just for use as torrent boxes, NAS or simple desktops. Micro-atx is the smallest mobo I have used but that was a while ago on an amd platform.

I dunno about matx cases, they always seemed so cramped to work inside but if you have already done a build in the case you have in mind you should have a really good idea of how it will be. The mini p180 looks COOL for a lan box but for full size atx mobo's an isotope case might do the trick, just be careful as people who choose little cases always seem to come around to big ones again, I bought the ft02 with the intent of it lasting me a long time through upgrades to come. I dunno if you got a newer build of the FT02 or one of the first ones but the air penertator fans route air pretty damn well from my tests with pieces of paper and my hand, like I said is pretty much the only reason I wuld be happy with passive. I think this situation would benefit a big single group of fins over two individual arrays.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 02 Nov 2010, 04:52
Thankfully the mini-itx form-factor isn't just for Atoms and such low-power things anymore.  Han's mini-itx pc is as follows:

Silverstone Sugo SG06 with the PSU upgraded from 300w to 450w
Gigabyte H55 USB3 mini-itx mobo
Core i3 cpu (think it's a 540, can't remember. Future upgrade is a decent i5, and when this happens we'll probably get a H50 to cool it)
4 gb ram (future upgrade is higher performance ram.  I re-used this stuff from an old server build)
Geforce 460GTX gfx card
500gb hdd (future upgrade is a 60-120gb OCZ Vertex 2 for the OS, apps & games, 500gb drive for other data)

It is a decent enough machine.  I played a bit of Portal on her machine at max graphics (but a decent AA level) at 1680x1050 and it ran just fine.

The only thing that gives me pause is that there's been no onboard RAID on any of the mini-itx boards I've seen and no space for an expansion card, so my current RAID0 setup is impossible to replicate :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 02 Nov 2010, 05:44
Also:

The mini p180 looks COOL for a lan box ...

That was my previous case!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/case_inside.jpg)

Here's my current machine, Maximilian - still a work in progress.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/Maximilian01.jpg)
-> I would prefer the green crap be red, but this was the easiest stuff to get to start with.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/Maximilian02.jpg)
-> Ignore most of the innards, they will be replaced in a couple of months.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/Maximilian03.jpg)
-> mATX because it previously had to fit into the Mini P180.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/rAIDS.jpg)
-> herp derp RAID0 60gb Vertex2s.

Was planning on updating to 2xGF460s, but then AMD had to go and ruin that idea by releasing a new set of fucking ace 68xx cards and promising more later.  Then nVidia chimed in, so now I'm stuck in a holding pattern until the dust settles.


By contrast, here's Han's machine, and a shot of her desk for size comparison:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/HansPC.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v371/est_xplosif/pc/Hansdesk.jpg)

Pretty big size difference, no?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 02 Nov 2010, 15:12
I guess even though size is going to be the limiting factor you can push the boundaries to the limit, I googled that mobo and just... wow, cannot help but think "toasty and noisy".

My pc looks pretty but simple and 2 things piss me off about it.

PSU cable for second gfx card are in my dads loft, so cannot get them just now, making do with a crappy molex*2 connector, this will change when I get a 460, the other thing is the stupid stock hsf.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/5141137848_27a69de40f_z.jpg)

Included pics of 2 cans on the air penetrators to show how big 180 is relative to something other than the case, they HUEG.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4092/5141139720_c7250c942a_z.jpg)

Decided to go with hotswap adaptors for all the drives, just to make it look pretty and simple not because I intend to actually use the functionality.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/5141139060_9b0316275f_z.jpg)

I struggled to think when I last used an optical drive so... omitted.
(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1050/5140533817_e8e10c3fb6_z.jpg)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 03 Nov 2010, 04:18
Yeah same.  I have a drive I used for installs, but it's always only a temp attach.  Afterward it is removed and I mostly don't miss it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 09 Nov 2010, 04:11
I love giant fans. I got one in my new power supply (120mm, takes up the entire bottom of the power supply). I can tell when the computer isn't using much power because the fan slows down and shuts down with the stereotypical power-off sound.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 10 Nov 2010, 06:16
I like what they do, but I would not have bought them if they did not come with the case, £15 is far too much to spend on something just to move air about your case.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 13 Nov 2010, 09:49
When they say bare drive with regards to a hard drive, what do they mean? What parts are missing?

One of my hard drives is erratic in whether the computer is recognizing it. Sometimes after coming out of sleep or on powering up, it won't show up. It could be the SATA socket on my motherboard, or possibly the cable. I could use a new hard drive anyway, though. I've only got 280 gigs total space on here.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 13 Nov 2010, 13:37
I have no idea but it sounds like no mounting screws or sata cable. It might also be unformatted I guess.

As for my build I bought a passive cpu cooler but it is too big to fit in the case! So I am just gonna take it to Austria in January.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5172391267_be681d6137_b.jpg)

The joke being after spending money on holiday and a new board there is none left over for pc parts /sadface
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Streetwise on 18 Nov 2010, 00:44
Had a question, and didn't know where else to throw it, it's not a hardware thing per-se, but couldn't find a software thread.

I've got a blu-ray burner and player coming in the mail tomorrow, and I'm wondering about software for the burning of audio/video, home movies in either .avi or .mp4 format. I'm not positive, but I don't think Windows7 came with a blu-ray burning software, and i've been using WinDVD maker to put together my clips so far...

Any suggestions would be fantastic, freeware/trialware is fantastic, but I'm willing to pay a bit if the software is worth it. Thanks!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: imagist42 on 07 Dec 2010, 22:35
I recommend CDBurnerXP. The last copy I used is over two years old, but supposedly they've added blu-ray support and if it works as well as normal CD features then it doesn't get much better for being freeware.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 16 Dec 2010, 13:33
Uh-oh. It seems that our desktop computer kicked the bucket. My dad was playing Fallout New Vegas on it, then the game crashed, and then the game failed to start up again, so he restarts the computer, after which it freezes up once the desktop is loaded, so he resets it, and now it doesn't do anything anymore. Everything has power, fans are spinning and heat sinks are warming up, but the screen is not getting a signal. The CD/DVD drives are stuck in a loop most of the time, and an installation disk also fails to load. I have no idea what he did to it to get it this fucked up.

We're guessing the problem is in the system BIOS, or else we should be getting some sort of error message to show up on the screen. I'd be happy with a BSOD at this point. But the five-second timer on shutting down the computer when you hold down the power button is still working, and that five-second rule is written in the BIOS, isn't it?

It would be easier to assess the problem if someone in the house was using another desktop computer, but all we have is an old, unused one where the motherboard is incompatible with every bit of hardware that is in the current build. So, does anyone have tips for solving this problem or should we go ahead and buy a new one?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 16 Dec 2010, 14:05
I've seen a faulty disk hang the motherboard up like that.

In other news, I'm building myself a new desktop.  It has a server-class motherboard holding a low-end Xeon and 16GB of RAM, with space to go to 32GB (hence the Xeon, though the 8GB DIMMs with the right DRAM type required to do that are real hard to get at present), and enough PCI slots for my various high-end audio interfaces.  My first motherboard with no  IDE or floppy connectors.

The machine is used for (a) audio editing, in surround (well Ambisonics, but you need to know what that is :wink: ), and (b) running Hauptwerk (http://www.hauptwerk.com/), which uses huge sample sets fully loaded into RAM.  My present 8GB machine is too small for the latest sample set I got, and some sample sets (that I can't afford right now) require 24GB or more.

The 8GB machine (which has a Q6600 cpu) will become my server machine, running HyperV (like I'm about to do at work, replacing VMware ESX) so that I can have virtual servers for the main functions I need.

The old server (a 7-year-old twin Xeon workstation) will become an experimental machine for running audio programs in Linux.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: imagist42 on 16 Dec 2010, 14:10
Might try disconnecting various devices one at a time?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 17 Dec 2010, 05:12
Take it apart, put it back together with only the bare essentials hooked up (cpu, memory, optical drive with a bootable CD in it, graphics card, psu & some luck should be all you need), listen for any unnusual sounds when it is running.

If your mobo has a clear cmos button, push it. If not take the little CR2032 watch battery out for like 10 minutes then ut it in and try again.

I would agree it sounds most like a HDD failure (mechanical parts are generally the first to fail for obvious reasons) but it is worth checking all your options first.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 17 Dec 2010, 07:12
Might try disconnecting various devices one at a time?
I was trying different combinations of hard disk and disk drives to see if the fault was in any of those, but that didn't do anything. Moved on to the RAM cards, and one of the two turned out to be faulty. Luckily that was the one I first ejected, so it's all good now.

I did try to replace the little button battery, so the BIOS chip has been reverted to factory settings, but that's not a problem. Thanks for the tips, anyway.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: imagist42 on 17 Dec 2010, 10:04
I've had issues with faulty RAM locking down a system before too. But at least it wasn't a HDD. I fucking hate the recovery process when one of those dies on you.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Dec 2010, 13:00
OTOH, I've never had RAM fail when it had been working - disks, however...

(In case you don't know, at work I run a rack-full of servers and an office-full of PCs, and the comment applies to that lot too.)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: neomang5 on 17 Dec 2010, 15:14
But at least it wasn't a HDD. I fucking hate the recovery process when one of those dies on you.

This. I have had my hard drive crap out on me twice in the last 6 months on my laptop. It is incredibly aggravating. I have a backup, but hadn't been archiving often, so I lost a good bit of pictures, music and all my games. Such a gorram hassle.

Also, I plan to be building my first PC after christmas. I'm still sort of figuring out parts (I know the basics and what is good, but I'm not really great at optimization) so I'm using this site (http://www.hardware-revolution.com/mainstream-gaming-pc/) as a guide. It's going to be a fancy little piece of machinery when I get it set up.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: clockworkjames on 18 Dec 2010, 02:41
Surprised the mobo alarm was not going off if it was a faulty memory module, I had that problem A LOT in my first build but taking it out and making sure it was properly reseated fixed it.

No alarm beeps is what made me assume it was not the memory, every day's a school day!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 11 Jan 2011, 13:14
Just making sure, this ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134784&cm_re=DDR3_ram-_-20-134-784-_-Product
and this mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130251&cm_re=G41mp33-_-13-130-251-_-Product

will work together? The processor is an old socket 775 P4.

I bought the motherboard for my brother, not seeing that it was DDR3. We had DDR2. So I either need to get a new mobo or new ram, ram is cheaper.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Jan 2011, 13:32
I always download the motherboard manual from the manufacturer's web site to get the exact specification required. 

For some types of DDR3 memory you have to check not only the speed but also possibly the rank (single, dual, quad) and sometimes (especially for the more expensive "registered" memory used mainly in workstations and servers) the chip type (x4, x8, x16).  When I ordered registered DDR3 memory recently, the company emailed me back to ask for the motherboard details so they could check I had done it right (I had, of course).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 11 Jan 2011, 15:16
I don't know what I need to be looking for, though. Is rank the same thing as channels? If I'm buying only one stick, it won't be dual-channel, right? The motherboards says DDR3 800/1066mhz, and the stick is 1066mhz DDR3, but I don't want to buy this and have it be the wrong thing. It isn't registered, I can tell that by the price alone. I don't know if the latencies and voltages matter. And if they do matter I don't know what they need to be.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Jan 2011, 15:31
OK - the manual for that mobo is remarkably unforthcoming.  They have lists of compatible memory on their site, though, and that Kingston memory looks OK (Newegg haven't given the whole Kingston code number as I understand it, but what's there is enough to be confident).

Channels are on the motherboard, and are about it using two (or three) sticks of memory in parallel; this is why it is usually better to have two smaller sticks rather than a single larger one - I hope you are planning for two of those sticks.

Voltages (for instance) are defined by the fact that the stick is DDR3.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Nodaisho on 11 Jan 2011, 15:37
Well, before this whole messy upgrade started, he was working with 512 megs of DDR2. Would just the 1 gig be a problem in the forseeable future?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Jan 2011, 15:47
Fine for XP or Linux, but I'd rather have two for Vista or 7.  Depends what they're doing, though; I've been running XP with 8gig (but it's got 16gig and Windows 7 now), 'cos that's the size of some of the sample sets I use (which is not normal!).  If you put one stick on, you can always add another later (but should be identical if possible).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 20 Jan 2011, 01:35
damn damn damnit to hell


I'm trying to clean my laptop's (hp pavilion dv6-3046eo) fan, but to get to it, I'll have to go through everything in my computer. Fine, I think, until I get to the very first thing to remove after the battery - the hatch for the harddrive. It's got four screws - one of them come right out, the three others are stuck. Okay. I check the manual (http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02659236.pdf). Seems like you have to loosen the screws, and then just flip the cover off. Brilliant. But how come the screw came loose?

I check under the screw. Yeah. Bottom of the screw is stuck in the hole. It broke into two pieces while I was unscrewing it. So now I have two choices - trying to force the thing up, and hope that it doesn't break, or send it for repairs, and hope that the repair folks thinks that they broke the screw. What to do?


Also, there's horrible hotkeys to shitty software built into the keyboard that can overrun any program ever meaning that if I missclick, everything will be minimizedm even programs that you can't even minimize if you trym because windows fucking live mail is opening. There's a fucking fingerprint reader just where my arm rests meaning that the computer tries to do something with faulty fingerprint input all the fucking time, a fan that's gone and turned into a roaring moster after half a month, without actually ever having kept my pc from heating to ridicolous levels, stupid and often broken stand by mode when I close the laptop and pretty unstable usb and internet ports, and now they can't even get their screws right. I'm never buying anything from hp ever again.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 20 Jan 2011, 01:57
Next time, use an airbrush to blast through the ventilation channel - could save you a lot of trouble.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 20 Jan 2011, 02:11
Just bought a GTX 580 to replace my olllllld Radeon 4890.  Delicious! Even with PhysX on and the details ramped up it's still better than my old one.

Next up is a Gigabyte UD7 mobo plus i7 2600K and as much ram as I can afford to buy.  Hooray upgrades!  Pics when it all comes together.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 20 Jan 2011, 11:45
Gaah

I've been googling around. Seems like I should've done that before I bought this pc. Turns out that the whole pavilion dv6 series has frequent problems with nearly everything that you can have problems with - primarily the heat handling. I managed to take the thing apart and clean/oil the fan, but now it keeps shutting down on me, telling me that the BIOS shut down the pc to prevent overheating. I've got the laptop resting in a way that maximizes air intake, and I can't feel any part of it going hot, so either it's stopped draining heat away from the different components, or whatever is monitoring the heat levels is busted. Both are bad.

I've seen a lot of people complaining that they've had this model back and forth for repairs until the warranty ran out, luckily there's laws here saying that the third time you turn something in for repairs, you can get the money back no questions asked. Might be that I'll have to go with that option. In the mean time, I'll probably take my old, shitty laptop and run unbutu on it so it at least works for uni purposes.

Protip: don't buy stuff from hp.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: yellowfoliage on 21 Jan 2011, 12:14
I work in a computer repair shop and we see dv6/dv9s with bad boards at least a few times a week. Usually wireless is the first thing to go, the canary if you will. HP has, however, issued a totally unpublicized recall that covers most of the line. It takes a little digging to find the info on it (and they called it an "extended warranty"), but if your serial number falls into the right category you should be able to get a free replacement that should be somewhat better.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 22 Jan 2011, 22:29
Did you remove the heatsink from the motherboard when you worked on the fan? If so you have to replace the thermal compound with fresh stuff. If the heatsink isn't getting hot, it's not cooling the CPU.

The only permanent fix for the dv6 (or was it dv6000?) series is to reflow the motherboard and install better heatsink compound. The problem is caused by the chipset expanding and contracting due to its own heat, causing serious fatigue to the solder balls holding it to the motherboard. Over time it can almost completely detach itself, held in place with the heatsink's mechanical pressure. HP didn't actually recall all of them, only select models they were willing to admit had a problem. I have a friend who had a dv6000 with the same issue, and it was not covered under the recall.

See if it falls under the recall, and if you can get it fixed for free do it. If it's not, just replace the laptop with something decent. Don't put any more than the cost of a tube of Arctic Silver into it; it's not worth the time.

Protip: don't buy stuff from hp.

Indeed. For laptops, go with Dell business-class or Lenovo. (Really most consumer grade laptops are disposable rubbish.)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: imagist42 on 22 Jan 2011, 22:35
Asus tends to make some pretty decent stuff. I've never had a bad experience with them, anyway. I also really like my friend's Toshiba, but it's the only one I've ever had experience with.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 25 Jan 2011, 16:05
I didn't remove the heatsink - I started on the screws and then thought better of it and put them back in. The was detachable from the rest of the thing, so the gel should still be in place.

The wireless is actually one of the few things that works perfectly. It'll jump out pretty much constantly with a cable.

I've talked with Hp, and they're taking it in for repairs, so I'll see what they can do. I've seen something about that "extended warranty" thing, but the links were all broken - like the one here (http://www.radmod.com/2008/diversions/hp-laptop-dv6000-special-extended-warranty-for-failures/). Anyone that knows anything more about it?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 29 Jan 2011, 04:00
Can anyone tell me what the market for broken laptops is like? I recently wiped the hard disk for my mom's old laptop (Fujitsu Amilo M1425), which has a malfunctioning backlight, and we noticed that there were a lot of broken laptops being offered for sale on marktplaats, the Dutch auction site she uses a lot. Bids were exceeding €100 in most cases, which is something I didn't expect. Now I posted an ad for this one and within a day there were already bids starting at €50, plus there are people trying to secure the sale via e-mail, one of whom is Swedish and one German, and I've never seen foreigners bid on this site before. The majority of them use yahoo e-mail adresses.

Now, I'm strongly suspecting that these people are using this site to snag cheap hardware from sellers ignorant about their value, such as me. So, am I just being ripped off, and can I get a better price at a place specialized in defunct hardware?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 29 Jan 2011, 10:37
Well, the problem is that the value depends on if you can actually do anything with it.

If you aren't comfortable getting into the laptop and messing about with things then in all honesty it's about as useless as you can possibly get. Just a massive paperweight that these folks are willing to pay you money for and turn into something they can make a profit on.

It is much like why mechanics and scrapyards will buy your piece of shit irreparable vehicle for $300. They can take it apart and do things with those individual parts that the average joe can't and it makes them a tidy profit while they're at it. You're probably unlikely to get more from a local place but it's always worth checking out.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 13 Mar 2011, 04:47
An update on that broken laptop: Someone who was going to use it for parts paid €80 for it. Not bad.

Currently I'm busy putting together a gaming setup of my own. I'm being pretty backwards about it, first pre-ordering Crysis 2 on a whim, and then, realizing I had nothing that could run it, I picked up an NVidia GTS 450 video card that was on sale. But the video card was never the issue to begin with, my processor was always holding performance back. Subsequently, I looked for some Intel processors, and noticed that a regular quad-core was in roughly the same price range as the faster, i5 "Lynnfield" quad-core, but this one was incompatible with the motherboard I still had. So now I've bought a new Gigabyte motherboard in addition to all of the previous, as well as two 160GB Western Digital hard drives and two 2GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz memory modules. Now that all the guts of the machine are accounted for, I had no reason not to go the whole nine yards and buy an Antec Two Hundred Gaming case plus 500W power supply and a Samsung 24" monitor. So I did. All in all, it set me back about one thousand dollars.

(Actually I paid €730 for it but it feels better to say one thousand dollars.)

The only things I didn't buy new were the mouse and audio, but those two are still holding up pretty well. It should all arrive in the following week or so. Looking forward to putting it all together, as befits a true technophile.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 14 Mar 2011, 20:53
Woo, just finally ordered my Gigabyte P67A-UD7 (B3) and a 2600K.  The mobo is expected in at the store on the 17th and I have a 1-2 day delivery timeframe.  I am hoping to pinch it just before the weekend so I have some new stuff to install/reconfig/etc.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 17 Mar 2011, 09:04
(http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii134/LaurensK90/th_PICT0242.jpg) (http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii134/LaurensK90/PICT0242.jpg)

This is my setup currently. I was surprised how big the monitor turned out to be, seeing as I can estimate sizes in centimeters but not inches. The colors are really good as well.

You'll probably notice my laptop sitting there as well. You probably don't notice that the tower is almost completely empty. All the other hardware still has to be delivered, so I simply plugged what I already had into the laptop to enjoy this magnificent screen.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 17 Mar 2011, 20:57
Not gonna get my gear delivered by this weekend. Boooooo :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 21 Mar 2011, 21:58
So I guess that my motherboard is out of stock with no ETA.  I've changed out my order for some more ram and another hdd instead in the interim.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 22 Mar 2011, 10:57
I found that the CPU I was about to order had the same problem, probably due to being really popular. But after shopping around I found another webshop that was able to order it within a week, and they even had all the other products I planned on buying for a bit cheaper so I could just as easily buy everything from them. Not sure if you have that option; I have no idea how readily available computer hardware is for you.

The rest of my things are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. The order got delayed because I wanted to throw in a digital adapter for the monitor, which only included an analog cable for some reason. But I have to work tomorrow and won't be there to take the package, grrr.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 25 Mar 2011, 04:48
Hmmm.

Assembly went fine, installation without a hiccup, and everything runs smooth as silk. However, I'm beginning to notice some of the drawbacks of the less expensive hardware. The power supply and hard drives, to be specific: Both are considerably noisy, the PSU producing a constant humming and the hard drives audibly clicking under load. It's not something that makes the whole thing unusable, but I'll consider upgrading.

Another thing, and this is a bit weird, is static coming from inside the casing. What's weird about it, is that it's only there when loading a page with Flash, and continues after the tab is closed. It pauses for the time a webpage is loading, or when scrolling/typing, but it's there when idling. It goes away when closing the browser. I recognize this sound, though, it's there on my dad's computer as well, only in that case it's coming from his two speaker towers. Does anyone have a clue what this might be?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 25 Mar 2011, 05:33
You may (though I haven't done this for some years, so I can't promise) be able to find on the disk manufacturer's web site some utility programs that enable you to change the noisiness of the drive (specifically, they set a gentler and hence slightly slower seek which clicks less).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 25 Mar 2011, 05:47
No such luck. Western Digital's website doesn't offer that kind of software, as far as I can see.

I'm starting to wonder if it was worth buying two lower capacity hard drives for redundancy instead of one high capacity drive. Now I see that the same money would have gotten me three times the capacity on one disk. I figured I don't have terabytes of data so buying a 2TB drive would be pointless, but the price per disk seems to be fairly constant no matter what capacity.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Torlek on 11 Apr 2011, 06:37
So, the SATA controller on my mobo fried a few weeks ago and I took that as a good excuse to rebuild my system and bring myself up to 2011 standards. I've finally got the box rebuilt and sat down yesterday to install 64-bit Windows 7 and finally get back to my internet and games.
Now we come to the riddle. Install went fine. Recognized all the hardware. The overclocking features seem to work. But when I install the new NVIDIA graphics drivers it won't output at my monitor's native resolution (1680x1050). It caps the output at 1024x768 unless I choose a TV resolution format. The graphics card is a brand new GeForce GTX 560Ti on an MSI board. The monitor plugs in straight DVI and it's only 4 years old (an Acer 22"). I can't tell if this is a Windows 7 problem, a card problem or maybe it doesn't like plugging the monitor in through DVI. Has anybody else ever heard of this kind of problem?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 11 Apr 2011, 06:50
That sounds like a driver problem.

I'm assuming you've done a uninstall of the driver and reinstalled? Did you install the new driver through windows updater or manually?

Also you might try to find and install the drivers for the monitor itself.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Torlek on 11 Apr 2011, 20:07
Tried all of the above, in triplicate. I'm almost to the point of swapping the monitor over to a vga cable and using a dvi->vga adapter to connect to the card. Either that or swap back to the 8800 GT I upgraded from and see if that works. New builds can never just be easy can they?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 13 Apr 2011, 11:32
There always seems to be something wrong, yeah. The screen resolution is a strange problem, I've never had that happen before. Is it limited in both the Windows control panel and the NVidia control panel?

My new CPU cooler came in today, a Scythe Samurai ZZ, the lightest and most compact cooler that was reviewed in the PC mag. My RAM modules are pretty close to the CPU socket so most coolers were likely too large, but this one fits perfectly, with only a few millimeters to spare between the cooler and a motherboard heatsink. I would mention it has been keeping my computer quite cool while it collects dust, seeing as I'm still waiting for the PSU to be repaired, but as it turns out, the replacement is already in the mail and expected to arrive tomorrow. I'm pleasantly surprised! Looks like I'll be ready for Portal 2 on time after all.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Cire27 on 13 Apr 2011, 14:05
So I'm upgrading my video card, what should I do with my old one?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Torlek on 13 Apr 2011, 19:30
Depends on how old it is. If it's newish I'd recommend putting it up on ebay and seeing how much you can get out of it. If it's older I'd recommend looking into electronics recycling programs in your area. Or if you've got a video cardless rig sitting around and want something to experiment with Linux or something on, there you go.

Found a workaround for my resolution problem. Switched the monitor over to a VGA cable and it recognizes the native resolution just fine. It's probably a driver issue on NVIDIA's side. I seem to recall this kind of thing happening before then a few months later the VGA connection starting messing up and it worked fine when I switched it back to DVI. I don't like having to use a hack solution like this but it works.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: est on 13 Apr 2011, 20:31
Hey yo, something about my new gear is causing it to freeze intermittently.  These problems are the fucking worst.  I'm going to do some troubleshooting over the weekend, but does anyone have recent experience troubleshooting the following issue:

- machine works fine 99% of the time
- occasionally the machine freezes, with no indication that anything is wrong other than both the keyboard and mouse not working & the screen not updating (ie: it doesn't restart, blue screen, make strange noises or anything like that)

The troubleshooting I'll be doing over the weekend includes:
- event log checks for strange error messages (although if it's freezing i don't expect Windows to have time enough to record them)
- overnight MemTest (maybe actually tonight)
- some kind of CPU stress test to check heat levels (but it doesn't seem like a heat issue)
 ^- if CPU & MemTests come back all ok: booting up with a livecd to test if it still happens outside of the current Windows install

I am leaning toward a memory issue, but if anyone has suggestions I'm all ears.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 15 Apr 2011, 15:25
Hard freezes like that used to be relatively common on my older computers and/or operating systems, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what's the cause.

I identified the noise problem I had earlier as 'coil whine', which is caused by faulty components in the PSU. I mailed it back and received a replacement... Still the same noise. It's not as bad as before, but it's there. My current solution, strange as it may be, is to install [email protected] and keep it running, and it neutralizes the noise completely. It must be that the power feed has no way to deliver its wattage when in low use, somehow causing the coil whine. That's the only explanation I can come up with. The moment [email protected] stops, it's there, and the moment I resume, it vanishes.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: imagist42 on 15 Apr 2011, 16:24
My laptop hard freezes occasionally when I plug in or remove the power cord. Usually it's only if I'm doing a lot of things at the same time, so it's not a big deal, but it's still rather annoying and mysterious.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 16 Apr 2011, 22:47
- occasionally the machine freezes,

In order of likelihood, from my rather extensive experience:  Motherboard, power supply, disk drive, memory.  Memory problems are common, but IME don't cause this kind of hang (more likely to prevent booting at all).  I've had disks with IDE interfaces do it, but not (so far) SATA ones.

But these things are the worst, as you simply get no diagnostic clues when the machine simply stops working.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 18 Apr 2011, 18:15
I actually have issues like that on one of my work machines.  The hardware in it was configured as a Linux server box, but our IT guys spent 3 days getting Windows up and running on it.  Is it possible you've got some slightly weird hardware, like ECC-registered RAM, or a server-oriented CPU?  I know it's not a lot of help, but I've seen it happen at a similar frequency of occurrence, so I figured I'd throw it out there?

Just as a tidbit for anyone else: be wary when running the NoScript extension in Firefox when you've got a lot of web pages with Flash enabled sitting open.  I've never seen so many Error Reporting Service timeouts without seeing the Error Reporting Service window ever.  If you don't allow the part of the page that's using Flash to run, Windows treats it as a crash in Flash and runs the service in the background, which can cause all of your programs to stop responding for up to 3 minutes, several times a day.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 19 Apr 2011, 23:44
When I start seeing computers act up in ways that aren't explained by software tests, my first guess is capacitors. I've seen so much equipment, from servers to video cards, fail because of those stupid things. If any of them are puffy or split on top, puffy on the bottom, covered in yellow crust, or loose, they're bad and need to be replaced. It's a pain in the butt and requires a good bit of experience to perform reliably, but it may be the only option short of complete replacement if the equipment is out of warranty. Nearly everything made in the last 8 years is very likely to fall victim to the capacitor plague.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCSNWi3UHf4
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 20 Apr 2011, 01:19
- occasionally the machine freezes,

In order of likelihood, from my rather extensive experience:  Motherboard, power supply, disk drive, memory.  Memory problems are common, but IME don't cause this kind of hang (more likely to prevent booting at all).  I've had disks with IDE interfaces do it, but not (so far) SATA ones.

But these things are the worst, as you simply get no diagnostic clues when the machine simply stops working.
I've had bad memory cause hard freezes before, stick had to be replaced
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: IrrationalPie on 26 May 2011, 15:04
Just bought my first mechanical keyboard.

http://www.daskeyboard.com/

I don't think I can ever go back.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 26 May 2011, 15:10
I've still got two of the classic IBM ones; but I can't use them for typing late at night because they disturb my wife when she's falling asleep.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Tom on 26 May 2011, 16:05
I want to build a PC in my summer so I can play the Witcher 2, Portal and TESV. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: look out! Ninjas! on 02 Jun 2011, 06:16
got a rough budget? I can put together something in Newegg's Basket probably
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 31 Jul 2011, 02:36
I've recently gotten an OCZ Onyx SSD to run Windows off of, which is working pretty well, only I'm still a bit bothered by the activity of the other hard disks. I know they automatically stop spinning when going too long without activity, which makes a small but noticable difference for the noise. Only I don't seem to have any control over it at all; I've got all my programs installed on the SSD, so there should be no reason for the disks to be spinning, but they won't shut off no matter what I close.

I'm looking for a program that monitors hard disk activity, or another solution you guys might have. Any ideas?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 31 Jul 2011, 04:48
First, turn off indexing on those disks.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 31 Jul 2011, 05:19
First thing I did. SSD's don't benefit of indexing anyway.

Edit; On a hunch I tried to change the power saving options for hard drive shutdown. It's now supposed to stop after five minutes of non-activity rather than twenty, but it's still not quiet. To be sure I've got no peripheral processes running I stopped as many programs as possible from running at startup. If I only knew what it is that's being written or read from the drive...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 02 Aug 2011, 07:59
I have the annoying ability to solve problems immediately after asking for help solving them. Power management options worked.

In other news, I just installed a new soundcard, and it sounds excellent. With headphones on, games suddenly sound as if you weren't wearing any. If even a €40 soundcard can make such a big difference, it's not a bad investment at all.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Dimmukane on 22 Aug 2011, 19:15
I've been out of the loop for awhile...I'm thinking of building a new rig sometime in the next year and I'm not sure what's evolved in the CPU battleground.  I've gathered from a cursory glance at some benchmarks that Intel CPUs are generally faster, but I also know that the AMD equivalent tends to be at most half the price.  Is the difference really enough to warrant spending an extra 150$ or so?  I'm OK with slightly slower CPU performance if it shaves a couple hundo off the total.  Most of that savings is likely going to go into a GPU, anyhow.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 27 Aug 2011, 11:57
Quite frankly, Sandy Bridge is handing AMD its butt on performance per clock and power efficiency. Even the lowly 65w i3 2100 is competitive with the 125w Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition [link] (http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=289). It can also hold its own with the quad-core Fusion A8-3850 on CPU-based tasks, but the Fusion's integrated graphics core is much better than Intel's. On the really low end of the spectrum, the Pentium G620 benches better than the Phenom II X2 565 and it's actually $30 cheaper. Go with an AMD Fusion if you care about gaming but don't want to buy a video card, otherwise go with Intel.

Right now the most popular Intel chips seem to be the i3 2100, i5 2500k, and i7 2600k. (Based on my completely un-scientific "sort all LGA1155 CPUs by number of reviews on NewEgg" research.) The K series allow for overclocking on motherboards with that functionality, and can top 4ghz easily. The i5 and i7 CPUs also have turbo boost, which basically overclocks individual cores on an as-needed basis to maximize performance for single-threaded applications.

As for the motherboards, you want to go wtih H67, P67, or Z68. To the best of my knowledge:

H67 cannot overclock but it can use onboard graphics.
P67 can overclock but not use onboard graphics.
Z68 can both overclock and use onboard graphics.

e: Here's a diagram (shamelessly stolen from SH/SC on Something Awful) that explains it better:

(http://i.imgur.com/tsvsZ.gif)
*Z68 supports IG but some board models do not include it.

If you read anything about SATA problems on the Intel 6 series chipsets, don't worry about it. That was a design flaw which was caught fairly early in the retail cycle, and it has long since been taken care of.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 01 Sep 2011, 04:37
Man, that's the last time I return an item before doing a proper google search on the problem I'm having. My new RAM was giving me blue screens so I returned it to the webshop, which ran a few tests (ones I could have run myself) and they found no errors. Because of that I'm being charged a research fee. The cost is not extravagant, but it still sucks that I didn't avoid this by investigating it myself more thoroughly.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: jwhouk on 01 Sep 2011, 21:51
I'm actually proud of myself of doing something relatively simple: a brand new wireless router that will allow my wife to use her laptop outside of the office.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Thrudd on 15 Sep 2011, 11:53
My old reliable workhorse PC that I put together almost 5 years ago, if not more, is no more thanks to a catastrophic fail of the Video card that took out the Main board and who knows what else.
It was a dual core with an 8500GTS overclock and a raid controller.

I went with the AMD Phenom II x6 just because I was able to get it at a much better price that any comparable intel chip. Add a higher midline Video card [ 460 ] and 8gb ram and latter, when I had more cash a 60GB SSD for my new C drive. Win 7 64 says 7.4 before tweaking so I'm reasonably happy.

Unfortunately I have had some shutdown/bluescreen/startup issues with the SSD running the show when the weather and the room the comp is in got a bit warm. I am thinking that I will have to knuckle down and clean up the rats nest of cables and power cords and wires enough to close the back of the case. Then I will have to start adding some fans and work on the airflow through the system for decent cooling.
I am so-so-so tempted to put in a liquid cooling system but what I have seen on the market as yet has left me feeling "MEH" ....
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 15 Sep 2011, 17:47
Does your SSD use a Sandforce controller? From what I've read they tend to go haywire more easily than others, but have much better transfer rates.

Is your RAID card okay?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 20 Oct 2011, 18:51
I don't know how the hell I missed this thread.

(Discussion about RAID 1 setup from the other thread that I created because apparently I am blind.)

OK well if I understand the RAID thing correctly I could spring for 2 1 TB hard drives and attempt to set them up like that.

But it seems like the way you describe it's only about making sure you don't lose your data and not improving performance at all.

Since I already use a portable 1 TB harddrive to backup my stuff I don't see why I would bother.

I mean Hard Drive failure isn't something I would really worry about and if it did happen it would just destroy the drive and my data.  I would be able to get a new harddrive and reinstall My OEM copy of windows.

If there is any kind of performance increase then I would definitely try this out.  But if it's just going to protect my data I really don't care since I am not going to be dealing with anything of any importance on my home computer.  Just entertainment stuff.


OK so it looks like the next step is going to be choosing a well ventilated case for all this stuff.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 21 Oct 2011, 06:26
OK here is the case I am looking at.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

And my Hard Drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136786

And here is my processor and the rest of the parts.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138320

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171037

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150521

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145345

As far as I can see all those parts will work together.  But I dunno maybe someone could verify that I got the correct kind of case?

All I gotta do is get a static wristband and not screw up putting the cooler on the CPU.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 21 Oct 2011, 12:45
Ugh.  I wish I didn't just read that AMD screwed up the Bulldozer launch.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.757231&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL102111&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL102111-_-EMC-102111-T-_-Combo-_-Combo757231-L0H


I will wait for a bit and maybe see what people have to say about my setup.

It looks like if I order before Oct. 27th I will get $15 off Windows 7 OEM so that is good news.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 22 Oct 2011, 20:12
So I ran into another thing.

This motherboard has a promo code until the 27th as well-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131773&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL102111&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL102111-_-EMC-102111-Latest-_-IntelMotherboards-_-13131773-L08A

This is the one I originally picked out

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138320

I am leaning towards the Asus?  Any thoughts.

Also everything else I am pretty much sold on with the exception of wanting to get a 500 GB Caviar black HD if they get them back in stock because they are on sale too.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 23 Oct 2011, 11:11
They're both pretty reliable brands and are built around the same chipset, so go for the cheaper one.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 24 Oct 2011, 06:19
Excellent.

So basically everything is set.  I am getting two promotional code discounts that I will have to remember to use.

All I am going to do now is wait a bit until the 27th and see if they get the WD Caviar Black 500 GB hard drives back in stock because they are on sale.

Also I noticed that the Hard Drive I picked out was 3 Gb/s per second and a bare drive for the same price was 6 GB/s

Also the cache on this one was 64 instead of 32.  Should any of that make any difference?  Again bear in mind this computer is mostly going to be used for gaming and some video editing.

Drive I picked out
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136786

Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 25 Oct 2011, 07:08
Ugh.  Newegg is the best AND the worst.

There seems to be a period of three days here where the new set of promo codes and the old set are both active.

This means I gotta make some MORE quick choices about what I want to do!

Video Card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150521

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130610&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL102511&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL102511-_-EMC-102511-Index-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14130610-L0B



Power supply seems to be a no brainer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171037

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139025&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL102511&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL102511-_-EMC-102511-Index-_-PowerSupplies-_-17139025-L05C

Multiple promo codes on the Corsair model making it much cheaper.  But people were complaining about the cables being non-modular.  Which might be a concern since I am getting a mid sized case.


Also there is a better Case on sale.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

It has a cable management system so that might help with the non modular power supply cables?


Complete list of my Stuff

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=13803534
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 26 Oct 2011, 19:40
Also there is a better Case on sale.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

It has a cable management system so that might help with the non modular power supply cables?

I just stuffed all of my extra power supply cables in the space between the motherboard-side wall and the 3.5" drive cages. You can also hide some of the cables between the motherboard tray and the side cover.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 03 Nov 2011, 14:33
OK I got all my parts.

So far I have knocked out the OI faceplate that came with the case and put in the one that comes with the motherboard.

The Hard Drive and the DVD player that I got are both SATA OEM so I dunno if the motherboard will come with enough SATA cables.

In fact I don't really know what the cables that came with the motherboard are actually.  I know I got at least one SATA cable.

This weekend I am going to get everything opened and then start putting stuff together.



I am going to touch the heater before I work and use the wrist strap thing connected to the bare metal of the computer case.  To avoid Static shock.  I am also going to wear 100% cotton and not wear any socks when I am working on it.

Wish me luck.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 03 Nov 2011, 14:41
Anti static precautions are prudent and good; but I will admit to never having used an earthing lead in forty years of doing work from time to time on computer hardware, and never having had a problem that could be traced to that.  Good luck, and don't worry - it's really not hard.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 03 Nov 2011, 22:14
In fact I don't really know what the cables that came with the motherboard are actually.  I know I got at least one SATA cable.

NewEgg usually puts a picture of the motherboard and all its accessories in with the product images. You bought a decent motherboard, so it should come with three or four. Even the cheap boards come with one or two.

Quote
I am going to touch the heater before I work and use the wrist strap thing connected to the bare metal of the computer case.  To avoid Static shock.  I am also going to wear 100% cotton and not wear any socks when I am working on it.

The only time I ever used a grounding strap was for a hardware maintenance course. Periodically touching the case or the power supply body is more than enough to be safe unless you're intentionally creating static. Just don't touch the edge connector on your RAM or the bottom of your processor and you'll be fine. (Those parts are especially sensitive to static, and it's probably not good in the long run to get skin oils on those contacts.)

Don't worry about mixing your connectors up; everything is keyed or designed so you can't plug something in backwards where it doesn't belong unless you try really hard.  :-D
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 04 Nov 2011, 12:20
The motherboard did come with 4 cables but I am not sure what sort of cables they are.  From the newegg webpage only one of them was labeled as a SATA cable.


It's better to put the CPU and the CPU fan into the motherboard before I install the motherboard right?

I am just assuming that it would be easier

pwhodges you have to understand that if static damage only happens to like 1 out 1000 people who work on their computers than I am that guy.

This is just how my life is and I have learned to expect it.  Thus I am going to be wearing nothing but cotton boxers and undershirt when I work on this thing and use a static strap thing.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 04 Nov 2011, 13:14
It's better to put the CPU and the CPU fan into the motherboard before I install the motherboard right?

Certainly.  The cpu fits in snugly with no effort, but the heatsink fixings may require some careful force.

Quote
pwhodges you have to understand that if static damage only happens to like 1 out 1000 people who work on their computers than I am that guy.  ...I am going to be wearing nothing but cotton boxers and undershirt...

:-)  Your solution would not, however, have been acceptable for me, working in an office...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 06 Nov 2011, 08:23
Dammit.
Everything was put together correctly and everything worked.

But now I am getting what seems to be coil whine whenever the video card kicks in when I tried to play Starcraft.  Like REALLY loud electronic buzzing that changes pitch as the stuff on the screen changes.  It's incredibly annoying and there is no way I can deal with it.

It's not the fan noise since I tested the fans up to 100% and they were quiet compared to this buzzing.

That means the PSU is not working with the video card I guess?  So that means I can try replacing either or both.

Or it might even be the CPU when it's working hard.  I have no clue.

I might put my old video card in the new computer and see if I get the same noise.

I am going to contact the costumer support of the video card tomorrow and see if they have anything to say.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 06 Nov 2011, 08:53
I took the video card out and there is a quiet little whine now.

So is there anyway I can test my motherboard to see if it's the part that is whining and not the graphics card?

I tried to pinpoint the noise and I am pretty sure it's the graphics card.  So hopefully I can just replace that.

I mean coil whine means loose coils so if I get another graphics card than it will probably be OK?

I dunno.  Now I am thinking about replacing the PSU.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 06 Nov 2011, 09:04
Ouch, that sucks. I had to deal with the same problem; in my case it was the bottom-of-the-line PSU that was making the noise. I looked into it a bit, and no one seems to agree on the cause. It may be shoddy components, or a bad manufacturing batch. Whatever the cause, buying a higher quality PSU (same wattage) got rid of the problem for me. Good thing you still have your old graphics card, that gives you opportunity for elimination. I can tell you it's probably not the CPU; it doesn't have coils that can whine.

If it's indeed the graphics card, and you're feeling creative, I heard it helps to coat the capacitors in a layer of nail polish. But you might not want to do that if you're planning on returning it.

Hey, the good news is, you can put together a computer without totally screwing something up. Hardware faults > human faults.

As for myself, I just moved out of the house, into an apartment which has internet and cable tv included in the rent price. Now I'm not about to buy a tv when I just moved my computer and 24" monitor in there, that would be silly. But it's a shame to let it go to waste, so I'm thinking of just buying a tv tuner card such as this one (http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/TV_Tuner/My_CinemaP7131/). It's going for €55 and comes with a remote and recording software; that beats any piece of crap tv you can buy for that price.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 06 Nov 2011, 09:17
Well the old video card just didn't work.  So it's completely dead and I can't use it to test the computer.

It could be the PSU but it's a Corsair 800 watt thing.  So it's not like it's a cheap PSU.

I did a stress test using Prime95 without the video card in the computer and it's been as quiet as a mouse.  But I have no clue if that means anything.


If running a game is what causes the noise and I *think* the noise the noise is coming from the video card than I have no clue how to test this situation.

I mean at this point I don't have any idea how to test the computer under the conditions it's in when it's running the game without the video card.

With the video card there is a loud noise but for the life of me I can't be sure where it's coming from.

I am thinking my only recourse is to return the video card for a new one and if that still makes the noise than return the PSU for a new one.

It's sloppy but I don't see any other way to handle this situation.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 06 Nov 2011, 09:38
High frequency noise is a bitch to pinpoint. It doesn't look like you've got shoddy products at all, but you might just have something out of a bad batch. There's nothing sloppy about returning a faulty product; there's not much you can do about it, after all.

Are there any other applications besides graphics-heavy games that cause whine?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 06 Nov 2011, 12:22
Since my motherboard had 2 PCI Express slots I moved the card to the other slot and carefully listened from different sides of the computer.

I am 75% sure that the coil whine noise is coming from the PSU and not the video card.  I mean the only thing on the freaking video card that could cause so much noise would have to be the fans and since I already tested them at 100% it's not them!  There are no huge coils on the video card.  There are on the PSU.

*edit*

Also I checked and the Corsair site already had a sticky in their forums about their PSUs creating a buzzing noise.

None of their suggestions helped except for the last one which was to return the product.


The best thing to me to do is return the PSU for a new one and hopefully that will solve my problems.

If worse comes to worse I can always return the card for a replacement as well.  But honestly I think it's the PSU.


...my cable management was a work of art.  It really broke my heart to have to take all those cables out.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 16 Nov 2011, 20:57
Yeah Honestly I am just going to say screw it.

The computer works once it's on.  It just restarts the reboot process once while booting.

I have no idea.  I reconnected everything.  It didn't do this before with the old power supply.  I might have a short from a bad connection but I reconnected everything basically.  It can't be the wiring to the power switch because I checked it.

If it's an issue with the power supply then fuck it.  I don't want to screw around with this shit anymore.  I will get a new power supply down the road.

All I am going to do with this computer is play video games and maybe edit some video anyways.

I am going to leave Starcraft 2 on for awhile and see if the computer crashes or not.

If it can play games than fine.  I don't see how the reboot during startup can be an issue that could hurt anything.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 18 Nov 2011, 06:15
Turned out it was a common issue with Asus boards and was fixed with a simple BIOS setting change.

Also changing the BIOS on Asus boards causes that exact same problem to happen once after you make the change.

So solving the issue causes that same issue to happen once after you fix it.

So the computer is working now.

What a long haul this has been.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 22 Nov 2011, 06:01
There are two problems with getting support for Windows. One is getting help from someone who isn't completely ignorant. Two is convincing that person that I'm not completely ignorant. I post a question regarding a bug with associating Windows Explorer with the .jar file type, and then someone proceeds to explain to me what a .jar file is. Jeez, for all the times support cases could be solved by people reading what stuff says, you'd think the people giving the answers could at least learn to read the question properly.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 22 Nov 2011, 07:06
If you'd worked in support, you'd also have words to say about people who think they know about things, and so report what they fancy is wrong instead of the actual symptoms...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 22 Nov 2011, 08:59
I bet I would, as I'm totally not one of those people!

<_<

At least I hope.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 16 Dec 2011, 19:54
Ugh now I am getting the Blue Screen of Death every once in awhile.

F my life.

I don't have any clue what the hell could be causing this issue.

I might just send it in to a friend who works on computers he might be able to figure out if it's a software problem or hardware.

I was having funky problems with the update tool so maybe it's that?

I got no clue.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 16 Dec 2011, 19:59
Make sure your drivers are all up to date, especially the video card's.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 16 Dec 2011, 20:06
(http://i516.photobucket.com/albums/u330/Dreamcastguy/Monitor.jpg)

Well the reason I think it's software is because the windows update thing went crazy.

Plus there seems to be some sort of error where it says there is no driver for a universal serial Bus controller.  I just dunno.

I will update my video driver though.

*edit*

OK I updated my video driver and a few other drivers and did a memory test to test for bad memory.  No bad memory according to the test.

No blue screens yet.  But I still have no idea what the hell these other devices are with no drivers.

it just says other device Universal Serial Bus Controller with the little no driver error exclamation point.  I mean it seems like all my hardware is represented on that list.  So I dunno.

*edit*

Left an AI battle with Starcraft 2 running.  No Blue Screens yet.

So hopefully it was updating the video card driver that helped or some other update?  I dunno.  This whole mess is just pissing me off.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 17 Dec 2011, 17:09

(http://i516.photobucket.com/albums/u330/Dreamcastguy/UpdateHistory.jpg)

God Dammit.

Now it's downloading the same update over and over!

I dunno there has got to be some corrupt files with the windows update thing.  I just used the action center and it supposedly fixed some of these issues.  I already tried doing a restore point from before all this crap started to happen.

If I get a blue screen again I am simply going to reinstall windows 7 and start over.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 17 Dec 2011, 21:58
Spend my night doing a complete reinstall of windows and EVERYTHING.

No more missing drivers.

No more wonky update stuff.  It seems to have updated everything correctly.

I am pretty sure this whole mess was because of corrupted update files.

I think I am in the clear.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 17 Dec 2011, 22:05
No sooner did I type than then I Blue Screened AGAIN.

It must be some sort of hardware problem.  This sucks.

Only other strange thing I noticed was the time on the clock keeps on coming up wrong.  Which is odd because when I did my install of windows it had the correct time.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 18 Dec 2011, 10:33
Is the clock wrong only in Windows or is it wrong in SETUP too?

Try clearing the BIOS settings, either with the motherboard jumper or by pulling the button-cell battery.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 18 Dec 2011, 10:38
The clock is only wrong in windows.  When I did the windows setup it had the correct time.

Whenever I run the Bios the clock time is correct in there.

And again I have gone all day today without any issues.  So I just don't know.

Everything seems to be updating OK now.  I had a net framework crash but besides that no issues.

I dunno man this whole situation is nothing but depressing and I don't want to put in any more time and effort into it.

If I keep my job then I will hire someone to professionally look at it if keeps on acting up.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Jimor on 18 Jan 2012, 11:17
Opening a ticket for some upcoming questions and discussions on creating a Windows computer to fun the Adobe CS 5.5 Production Premium Suite (http://success.adobe.com/en/na/sem/products/creativesuite/production.html) that I won back in the fall. Because of budget considerations, I can't go for the full screaming on the bleeding edge system that would really make the software purr, so I'm ok with working around some limitations until I can either upgrade this system, or buy a new one.

2 major points that the Adobe rep made during the video professional meeting where I won the software was that it's important to have a 7200rpm HD, and that a compatible graphics card makes a HUGE difference in being able to playback and render high def and special FX in the programs.

Here are the tech specs (http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/production/tech-specs.html).

Quote
Windows

    64-bit support required: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (Intel Core™ i3, i5, or i7 or AMD Phenom® II recommended); Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Phenom II required for Adobe® Premiere® Pro
    64-bit operating system required: Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (Service Pack 2 recommended) or Windows® 7
    2GB of RAM (4GB or more recommended)
    16.3GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
    1280x900 display (1280x1024 recommended) with qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card, 16-bit color, and 256MB of VRAM
    Adobe-certified GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance in Adobe Premiere Pro
    Some GPU-accelerated features in Adobe Photoshop® Extended require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
    Some features in Adobe Bridge rely on a DirectX 9–capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM
    7200 RPM hard drive for editing compressed video formats; RAID 0 for uncompressed
    Adobe-certified card for capture and export to tape for SD/HD workflows
    OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
    Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model
    DVD-ROM drive compatible with dual-layer DVDs (DVD+-R burner for burning DVDs; Blu-ray burner for creating Blu-ray Disc media)
    Java™ Runtime Environment 1.5 (32 bit) or 1.6
    QuickTime 7.6.2 software required for QuickTime features
    Adobe Flash® Player 10 software required to play back DVD projects exported as SWF files
    Broadband Internet connection required for online services and to validate Subscription Edition (if applicable) on an ongoing basis*

I don't need the RAID, and I don't need a monitor. I can get by without Firewire and export to tape functions for now, but a Blu-ray burner would be nice. 1T internal is fine because I plan on backing up old projects to multiple external harddrives and Blu-ray media to keep the main HD clear. One possible later upgrade would be to put media on a 2nd internal and let the OS/program run off the C: drive.

Probably the biggest decision is the CPU, and I'm fine with 2nd tier here if that's what it takes to get this done. The Adobe rep said that it's the GPU that makes the biggest difference rather than raw processor power. 8G RAM is probably what I'll shoot for initially, but I want to be able to expand this by a lot if I get the resources. This is where my knowledge is weak, but I'm guessing that getting a motherboard where I can upgrade CPU and RAM etc, is something that can pay off here?

I'm trying to keep this under $1000, and I'm willing for the main tradeoff to be CPU in exchange for upgradeability later, and if push comes to shove, I could sacrifice the GPU and/or Blu-ray burner for a little while and add that later.

Anyway, that the preliminary post. I'll be researching this on my own, but feel free to do my homework for me. :wink: Based in the U.S. in case you didn't know and have web sites for me to look at.

Thanks!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Jimor on 11 Feb 2012, 16:24
I guess I should update, since I've just put what I ordered all together, and it works! Just went to NewEgg, browsed around, read the reviews, and that seemed to work. Got a motherboard, case, and power supply that can handle a few upgrades, a CPU that's moderately high end, then added a 1T HD and DVD burner to round out the main components.

ASUS motherboard with just built in ATI graphics at the moment, I'll get a dedicated GPU when I have more money. AMD Phenom II quad core at 3.7 GHz. 8G of RAM, and can add 2 more sticks to get it to 16 if I want. Altogether, came to $750 including Windows, so I'm happy.

Downloading and installing all the standard software needed, then I need to transfer a bunch of stuff from the old computer and then I can finally install my Adobe Suite!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 12 Feb 2012, 10:21
Sounds like that should last you a few years!

Once you have the money (and prices on hard drives aren't through the roof anymore), get a couple 500 gig 7200 RPM desktop drives (Caviar Black, Momentus 7200, etc), put them in a RAID 0, and dedicate it to scratch disk duty. Adobe's high-end software does best when it's not sharing a physical hard drive with your Windows pagefile. (Just remember RAID 0 offers no redundancy, and doubles the chances of drive failure due to data loss, so only use it for temporary stuff.)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: kajiura fan on 13 Feb 2012, 19:50
I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced problems with the ASUS motherboards, specifically the m5a97.

My boyfriend built his own desktop last week and it's been giving him problems. The computer is mainly for playing games which seems to work fine at the moment however when he tries to watch videos on youtube, the computer freezes and crashes but only after he opens another tab to look at forums or news sites.

The audio becomes distorted and one time it began repeating in the same spot. This only happens when he uses Firefox or Google Chrome.

Another problem came up today where the computer would crash when he tried to play music or video files. He's reached his limit, I think, and plans on replacing the motherboard AND the processor (not sure of make or model at the moment).

I just want to know if anyone else has been having similar issues and might have some suggestions or solutions.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Eternal_Newbie on 29 Feb 2012, 11:17
Hi, finally  made my descision  bought  my parts, and they won't boot. :(

Core i5 2400
8 Gb Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3 RAM
GigabyteGA-Z68X-UD3-B3 (was on sale and only slightly more expensive than the Asus P8Z68-V LX and has lots more connectors)

Being used with a 1Tb Samsung HDD, Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 and OCZ Stealth XStream 600W PSU from my existing machine .

What happens is that I press power, it starts, thate fans on the the CPU, Graphics card and case spin.  But there is no signal to the Display and no power to the keyboard or mouse (both USB). The fans will happily continue spinning, they don't just start spinning and immediately then shut down. My case doesn't have a speaker so I can't hear the beeps.

I've reseated  the motherboard, unplugged and pugged back all cables and unplugged everything except the Graphics card (no onboard graphics with this Motherboard)  1 stick ram and keyboard. The same happens, fans spin, no signal to the monitor, no  power to keyboard.

I think it could be one of 3 things
1) Motherboard doesn't like the ram, although everything I've read says it should work with tthis motherboard. Don't have any other DDR3 ram to test in it.
2) PSU, even though it's a decent 600w isn't supplying enough power to the motherboard (although it powers my old Core 2 Duo fine) It is a couple of years old. I've got an old dodgy 400w PSU lying about I could try, but i don't think it has all the right connectors.
3) the motherboard or CPU are fried. (I don't _think_ I did it, I took extreme care)

BTW, I put my old motherboard back in and it runs fine so I didn't fry the graphics card or PSU when putting the new stuff in , at least

Thoughts,  anyone?

EDIT: Crucial not Corsair
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: IrrationalPie on 01 Mar 2012, 14:56
It's one of the following :
a)  RAM
Try putting one stick of RAM in one slot.  If it doesn't work, put it one of the other sticks.  Unless you're unlucky, if both don't work, the problem most likely isn't your RAM.
If you have another computer you can burn an ubuntu disc, pop the RAM sticks in that computer, and do a memory test after booting off the CD.

b)  Power Supply
You might be missing some connections from your power supply to your CPU or motherboard;  just because the fans are spinning, doesn't necessarily mean your CPU has power.
Your  600W PSU should be more than enough power for a 5770 and your i5.  I'm running a similar setup with an old i7.

c)  CPU
This could may be fried or defective.

d)  Motherboard
This might be defective.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 01 Mar 2012, 15:05
Try the other slot for a single stick of RAM as well, there might be a broken connector. Also - even though you've probably already checked this - make sure that the fastening brackets on the RAM and other slots are in the correct position; they have to be in the same spot as closed brackets in empty slots.

The motherboard is powered with a 2x12-pin slot, but the PSU might only have a 2x10 pin connector with an extra 2x2 pins on the side, you can check for that as well.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 01 Mar 2012, 15:07
I have experienced problems with RAM, motherboard and PS, but never (in my case) the cpu.  I've also had OK motherboards which were prevented from booting by the presence of a faulty disk or a faulty graphics card.  You just have to go through removing things, and swapping what you can with known good until you get to it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Eternal_Newbie on 02 Mar 2012, 11:54
Thanks for the replies,

I tried both RAM sticks singly in different slots, the PSU has the right connectors for motherboard and I unplugged and reinserted them all.

Unfortunately I don't have any alternative parts to swap in. My old Motherboard is a Core 2 Dou with DDR2 ram, and the only spare PSU i have is a dodgy old  400 Watt one which I still don't know why I didn't throw out. (But I've got a dead Nvidia 9800 and an old IBM keyboard full of coffee lying about as well (I'd have even more computer crap like an AMD i386 sx40, a working EMMS card fully populated with 2 Mb RAM and IBM OS/2 Warp on 60 floppy diskettes, if I hadn't moved ) .

I've RMA'ed the motherboard and RAM as the (IMHO slightly clueless) people at EBuyer think it could be either of them. But I spent 3 days trying to get the damn thing to show a BIOS screen and that is as good a clue as any I have.

I've still got a nasty feeling it may be the PSU. I've got a new one on order.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Mar 2012, 14:54
That sounds as good a way to proceed as any.  And if it wasn't the PSU, you'll have a spare - all I can say to that is that I have never ended up with an unused PS!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Eternal_Newbie on 22 Mar 2012, 09:04
Turned out the PSU was starting to die - and it's just out of warranty, of course.

The GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 motherboard is probably not the best Z68 out there - it basically seems to be one of Gigabytes older LGA 1155 motherboard designs with a Z68 chipset droppped in, so it doesn't use all the features, but it does the job.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 25 Mar 2012, 14:43
I'm going to plunge into the deep end: Buy a second-hand video card. There's an MSI-manufactured GTX 560Ti that's advertised for €150; the same one is €210 on the hardware site I usually frequent. It's a reasonable price to pay and I think the amount I save on getting it second-hand will offset the risk of the possible drop in reliability.

The card is 2,2cm longer than my current one, plus the power supply cables connect at the long end as well, but I think I still have 3 cm to spare in my case. The other issue is the power consumption. NVidia lists a 500W PSU (which I have) as adequate for its GTX 560Ti range, but I know it's usually recommended to put an extra 50-100W on top of what you'll actually need when you build a computer, so that might pose a problem...

I think I'll ask the advertiser whether or not he's willing to take it back if it turns out to be nonfunctional. If he says no, I might yet consider buying one new...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 26 Mar 2012, 18:11
Check the number of amps on your 12-volt rail(s). Many lower-end power supplies (OEM, the ones that come with cases, etc) pad their wattage rating by pushing tons of amperage on the 5 volt rail, where it doesn't do your video card any good.

If your power supply has two rails, keep them balanced, or move a couple devices from one to the other to give the video card enough headroom.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 05 Apr 2012, 09:47
An update on that video card: It arrived in a box that contained the original box that contained the video card and a guide, software CD, VGA-to-DVI adapter, and a HDMI-to-mini-HDMI adapter. That is rather excellent. In addition, it fits in my case like a hand in a glove, and it's really quiet while not under load. That turned out pretty well!

Now, anyone want my GTS 450 for half the money I bought it for?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: IrrationalPie on 09 Apr 2012, 06:16
Just bought a new case :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352013

Was on sale for $80 with free shipping.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 04 May 2012, 12:32
My sister is looking for a small-ish laptop for college use. She thinks a numpad makes it too big. Any recommendations?

Say Apple and you'll get bludgeoned with my own two-kilo laptop.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: sparksflyupward on 04 May 2012, 14:28
My sister is looking for a small-ish laptop for college use. She thinks a numpad makes it too big. Any recommendations?

Say Apple and you'll get bludgeoned with my own two-kilo laptop.

I would suggest sticking to the 13,3" form factor, and as long of a battery time as you can get as she'll probably be using it a lot on the go. If I could afford it I'd go for one of the Ultrabooks, or if it's not too urgent  wait a little while for the Ivy Bridge ones to release. And as for the Apple comment: she's gonna have an easier time borrowing chargers from people with a Macbook Air [putting my helmet on].
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 04 May 2012, 15:23
Judging by the prices on the most popular national e-tailer, any Macbook that fits the criteria is priced 2 to 2.5 times what my sister is willing to spend.

Also, *whack*
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 04 May 2012, 15:29
Has she checked if there are any college-specific deals?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 04 May 2012, 16:15
Apple only gives discounts for students in vocational, not higher, education, and only up to 10%. The other offers include a Toshiba and Asus laptop and are only barely below retail price. She has already made up her mind about which university to enroll in, so window-shopping for institution-specific discounts is not really an option.

We also mustn't forget that there's a second-hand market to consider. There's some money-saving potential.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bicostp on 04 May 2012, 20:45
ThinkPad x130e. I've got its ancestor (x100e), and the size is great without making it too difficult to touch-type on. (It's basically a 12" laptop, but it has a nearly full size keyboard and the screen has a 1366x768 resolution, same as you find in most budget 15" creaktops.)

Check the Lenovo Outlet for one. They sell everything from customer returns to brand new ones out of canceled orders for a nice discount. Dell and a few other OEMs do something similar.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 05 May 2012, 16:55
I don't think that whatever savings they may provide are going to make up for the added tax and shipping costs. There was one excellent second-hand Toshiba laptop offered by someone right in my city but it was gone the day it was posted. The rest is all crap.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 06 Jul 2012, 06:27
Did I mention? The final choice was for a new Acer Aspire that fit all of the requirements. It's a pretty cool thing.

Myself, I just bought a new hard drive because the ones I have (2x Western Digital 150GB) are noisy and sluggish. I planned on getting a Samsung Spinpoint hard drive, but the usual PC-components shop I go to only sells them in capacities as low as 650GB, which cost €75, while the 1TB ones are €100 and they get proportionally cheaper as the capacity goes up. That's too expensive, so I found someone who removed the hard drive from his media center and put it up for sale, a 500GB Spinpoint for €50. I jumped at that opportunity, so right now it's in my computer and moving all of my data off of the old hard drive. When it's done, I'm just going to disconnect the other one so that noise won't bother me again, and keep it as a backup drive.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 28 Aug 2012, 07:20
Oh hey,  it's me again. So it turns out that installing Windows on two different hard drives does not create a boot sector on the second hard drive.  I found that out after formatting the first hard drive and discovered that it refused to start. This is inconvenient.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ackblom12 on 11 Dec 2012, 07:21
My HD's are officially dying and now I'm in the process of trying to decide on replacements. I'm going to be getting 2 of them, one SSD for the OS and one plate drive for everything else. Probably looking at a 2tb plate since it's just so much more economical (possibly a 3tb) and then I've got to decide between the Samsung 840 (http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Series-120GB-internal-MZ-7TD120BW/dp/B009NHAF06/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3SQ7OG1Z76L6W&coliid=I2H5FZ8I3DSQPB) and 840 Pro (http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-2-5-Inch-SATA_6_0_gb-MZ-7PD128BW/dp/B009NB8WR0/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3SQ7OG1Z76L6W&coliid=IL0Q28HMVW9MN).

The 840 Pro comes with Assassin's Creed 3 which by itself makes the Pro the same cost as the 840, but I'm trying really really hard to not let that influence my decision too much. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Dec 2012, 15:15
If you were planning on buying the game for $46 or more anyway, and you were also planning to buy an SSD for $98 or more, then I suppose you can safely take advantage of that offer. Though if you want to play AC3 in the near future, you're guaranteed to find it for less than than in the Steam Christmas sale. $30, I wager, maybe $25. So unless there is another online retailer that offers the same SSD or less, you just have to ask yourself if you want to pay $15-20 more for whatever the 840 Pro offers.

Personally? I'd just buy the 840. According to this (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/01/hard-choices-ssd-update-samsungs-double-whammy/), the 840 Pro is absolute top-of-the-line for SSDs, but do you really need that if the 840 is almost as good? Don't spend more money on something that's better in a way you're not going to be able to notice.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: riccostar on 30 Dec 2012, 09:51
For anyone looking for a keyboard, I just got the Razer Anansi for Christmas.  The thumb modifier keys are definitely a huge help gaming and it is backlit in many different colours! It's very good for typing and I would say it is totally worth its price.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheCollyWolly on 08 Apr 2013, 09:32
I've been looking to put together a gaming rig at ~$1000 the past few weeks, and I never thought I'd ask this, but how do you guys feel about the Alienware X51?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: mtmerrick on 08 Apr 2013, 13:20
Depends. Are you planning on making a custom rig with this as its pre-built base, planning on modifying this as you need to, or leaving what you buy as is? Because my opinions will change based on that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 08 Apr 2013, 15:57
From what I've seen, you can usually get computers that's as good as the alienware rigs for slightly less if you build them yourself. Not sure if that holds wherever you are at. When I got my last computer, even with the crazy weak dollar, the transport costs of a laptop from AW still pushed their prices higher than just buying the exact same computer locally. In Norway, the home of high prices. So you pay a bit much for the brand name and slick looks.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: mtmerrick on 08 Apr 2013, 16:13
Here's the thing - for a modder/tweaker/DIYer/someone who's going to be upgrading components on a regular basis, Alienware is quite overrated. You can build your own - better - PC for cheaper, and it'll be more you .

However, I've learned that (shocker) not everyone can, or is interested in the modding/DIY/specwars game. They want something that just works when you plug it in, and its powerful enough to play some games or simply last them 10 Years. Perhaps they don't want to HAVE TO mod it, but want something that can be modded if they ever want to.
For these type of people, Alienware is actually quite good. It's not the best, and not necessarily the best bang for their buck, but the shopping experience is simple, is good stuff, and the chassis look badass.

That said I cannot recommend an Alienware laptop to anyone. They're shit.


What you're looking at, I see, it's a slim-tower Alienware desktop. This is not a chassis type that's not very common in gaming PCs or workstations. The case size also lets it work as a console replacement really easily.
Since there's not much else if this category, I have no problem with you getting this one, if you are in fact buying it because if it's slim-tower design. 

Course, it all depends on you, and your use scenarios.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheCollyWolly on 10 Apr 2013, 19:19
I'm aware that I could probably put together an equivalent DIY desktop for a little bit cheaper, but I have only the most basic knowledge of how to actually put one together and get it working. It would definitely be a Project with a capital P for me.

I'm really thinking that $1100 for an X51 with an i7 and GTX660 that works out of the box is looking pretty attractive to me. I'm definitely not dead-set on an Alienware, though. Are there any suggestions out there for another equivalent ~$1000 gaming desktop? A sound card would be a biiig plus.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: mtmerrick on 10 Apr 2013, 20:35
My recommendations for semi-custom pre-built gaming/superpowerful PCs are maingear and origin. I've also had some good experiences with iBuypower.

Source: I've custom ordered many workstations for my uncle's business.

Also, I want to point out something many people don't realize - Alienware is a subsidiary of dell. If you aren't a fan of Dell, well, you should probably think twice before buying a Dell computer.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Pilchard123 on 12 Apr 2013, 06:32
I bought this (http://www.chillblast.com/Chillblast-Fusion-Vector-Gaming-PC.html) a while back and it seems to be holding up fine. The warranty is good too - provided it isn't deemed your fault I think you get 2 years parts, lifetime labour. Whether you'll be able to get it wherever you are in the world (I'm in the UK and they're based about an hour away from me), I don't know.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bryntheskits on 30 Apr 2013, 03:48
Current Build:

24" AOC, it's ok
i7 2600k @ 3.5Ghz
16GB 1666 Mhz RAM
nVidia GeForce 560Ti
120GB Samsung 840 SSD Primary Drive
2TB Samsung Secondary
And a couple externals as well

I just got the SSD and I am finding it hard to decide what to upgrade next, it plays everything with very little lag on most games (even with full AA on some games).

Can anyone here suggest a good mouse to buy, old one is screwing up.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 01 Nov 2013, 10:00
Don't know if anyone would know about this, but it sorta goes with hardware knowledge, so I guess I'll ask it here... I've got two CPU-intensive 32-bit processes running on a quad-core 64-bit processor (running 64-bit Windows 7). The behavior I would expect from them would be one would use one core and the other would use another core, leaving the two remaining cores for everything else running on the computer (and leaving System Idle with at most 50% CPU). Instead they seem to be sharing one core. In fact, I rarely see the System Idle go below 75% (and only when a 64-bit process is using the CPU). Are 32-bit processes restricted to all using the same core on 64-bit Windows or something?  :psyduck:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 01 Nov 2013, 12:49
the 32 bit processes can only 'see' the primary (Core A) processor.
so yes, they're going to use the same processor.
And Windows isn't set up to forcibly split the workload.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 01 Nov 2013, 12:57
Ah, okay. I'm currently updating my copy of gfortran to the 64-bit version. Apparently I hadn't updated Cygwin in a long time and since the last time I updated they came out with a 64-bit binary version of gfortran. Hopefully that should get rid of this issue by making the processes 64-bit.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LeeC on 06 Nov 2013, 11:22
I did some freelance last week recovering data from a beeping/clicking hard drive.  Normally you would have to send it to a clean room to be done but I found a video on how to do it outside of the clean room if the data isn't worth the $800 data recover.  I only charged the lady $40 as it felt like the amount of work I did on it. I was able to recover everything but recommended that because I didnt have a clean room that she replace the hard drive when I am done.
Figure I'd share this with the community.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 06 Nov 2013, 21:43
good job.
now stop undervaluing your skillset.
some of us have to make a living being computer geeks.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LeeC on 07 Nov 2013, 12:56
haha.  I used to work for Geek Squad before I got this cushy government contract job.  :-P
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 07 Nov 2013, 13:22
90% of my career has been these 'cushy government contract jobs' in which I bust my ass whilst Gov civilians sleep on their duffs.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Nov 2013, 06:40
What's that USB connector he uses to access the hard drive and where can I get one?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: mtmerrick on 11 Nov 2013, 11:14
What, the USB to SATA circuit board? I thought those were fairly commonplace. I have like 3.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 11 Nov 2013, 11:23
What's that USB connector he uses to access the hard drive and where can I get one?
Newegg sells them. (http://www.newegg.com/External-Enclosures/SubCategory/ID-92) Make sure you know which internal interface to get, though (IDE or SATA).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Nov 2013, 11:55
I have one hard drive stashed away somewhere at my parents' house with an IDE interface that won't fit in my current computer. I still wanna see what's on it, and one of those connectors would be handy, but the only one I can find already costs as much as the hard drive itself.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 11 Nov 2013, 11:59
I was going to point out some cheap ones on Newegg, but then I realized you're in the Netherlands, and Newegg probably doesn't ship there.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Nov 2013, 12:29
Correct. I did find a cheaper one on an amateurish webshop (http://www.nedro.nl/usb-20-ide-sata-kabel-converter-49058-prod5421.html) for assorted luxury goods, so I think I'll get it from there.

Also, it has the a hilarious anti-spam measure: a random code that you have to copy from one textbox into another.  :lol:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LeeC on 18 Nov 2013, 18:15
I got word from the girl I helped that her external hard drive that had all the data I saved for her went kablooey.  She's bummed that now all the stuff I backed up is gone...I then told her that I prepared for this and havn't deleted what I recovered that I saved on my computer as I was waiting to hear that everything transferred to her computer fine before I'd get rid of it. I felt the external she gave me initially was working wonky as it was.  Good think I had the foresight to keep it just in case.  :-D
(http://i.imgur.com/qxOzQ.gif)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 03 Dec 2013, 08:45
It says something about my priorities that I've already spent more time researching which laptop to buy than I have on which room to rent.

Anyway, I'm undecided between a Lenovo Y510P (http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y510p/) and a BTO 15CL54 (http://www.bto.eu/html/detail_home.asp?PartnerID=1&lang=nl&DisplayPartnerID=1&ProductID=625) (based on the Clevo W650SR (http://www.clevo.com.tw/en/products/prodinfo.asp?productid=469)). They're almost identical, except the BTO can include a 120GB SSD in addition to the HDD, and it has a non-glare IPS screen, but the Lenovo has really good reviews, a really good sound system, a backlit keyboard, a GT755 instead of a GT740/750 and €50 off the RRP. I know that doesn't sound like much, but the BTO doesn't have any reviews at all, so I feel like I'm jumping into the deep end with that one. On the other hand, those specs...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 03 Dec 2013, 09:30
I'm not sure if it matters for you - but the Lenovo only has 3 USB ports - meaning that if you're setting up a workstation with an external mouse and keyboard, you'll need a hub of some kind. The BTO has 4 ports.

The extra SSD and the non-glare are two really, really great features - IF you're planning on doing the heavy-duty stuff (gaming, etc.) on plain laptop mode. If you have a desk with an external screen and an external hard-drive, well, it's not that big of a deal anymore.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GarandMarine on 03 Dec 2013, 09:38
I think I want to build a new PC.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 03 Dec 2013, 09:44
I'll be moving to Sweden for eight months so unless the people who are renting me my room there have extra screens and keyboards, I'm not going to use it with a workstation. My wireless mouse is the only thing that's going to be always plugged in, and that leaves the other two for the SATA adapter and for maybe occasionally plugging in my phone.

I read that GDDR5 is supposed to make a big difference in graphical performance compared to DDR3 (Lenovo has GDDR5) but I'm not sure it's worth sacrificing an internal SSD for that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 10 Dec 2013, 10:58
Now that I've got the Lenovo laptop I must say I'm impressed how well Windows is handling being ferried between different systems. The Lenovo-supplied Windows 8 drivers for Intel graphics, NVidia graphics, LAN and WLAN are all functioning without problems even though I installed them on Windows 7. I can even start programs that have been installed to Windows 8 without any problems! There don't seem to be any compatibility issues at all.

Well, that feeling didn't last long. Windows wants me to buy another copy to activate it on this laptop. Assholes.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Pilchard123 on 11 Dec 2013, 10:47
Can you get it from Dreamspark?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Dec 2013, 13:04
I don't know, I usually get Microsoft products from my dad on the cheap because he gets a massive teacher discount. I thought Windows was telling me that a new computer requires a new product key but I might have misunderstood, I'll try to enter the original key on this laptop once I can find it...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Dec 2013, 14:21
I think you can often get around activation oddities by going to phone activation.  If you're using a copy of 8 that has previously been used on another machine, there are a number of official tips here (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/how-do-you-transfer-windows-8-licence-to-a-new/1424b725-4aa2-4c93-a559-1b35542d72a7).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snalin on 11 Dec 2013, 14:23
So a Windows activation is only valid for a single computer at a time, as far as I'm aware. As in you're allowed to move it between computers, but how you do that, I've got no idea about.

Warning - while you were typing half-assed guesses, Hodges actually knows stuff.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Dec 2013, 15:16
I think you can often get around activation oddities by going to phone activation.  If you're using a copy of 8 that has previously been used on another machine, there are a number of official tips here (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-windows_install/how-do-you-transfer-windows-8-licence-to-a-new/1424b725-4aa2-4c93-a559-1b35542d72a7).
The activation oddities aren't on Win8, but Win7, and I think that if I just enter my product key again it should be fixed. How to deauthorize the product key is welcome knowledge but in this case it won't help me because Win7 has only been installed once, even though I'm using it on two computers.

So a Windows activation is only valid for a single computer at a time, as far as I'm aware. As in you're allowed to move it between computers, but how you do that, I've got no idea about.
Didn't I tell you about that? I pulled the system drive out of my desktop computer and jacked it into my laptop. Easy as pie if you've got an SSD.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 11 Dec 2013, 15:36
I pulled the system drive out of my desktop computer and jacked it into my laptop. Easy as pie if you've got an SSD.

That is exactly the sort of thing that will cause a need to reactivate.  The validity check takes parameters from the motherboard, the network interface, the system disk, and a few other bits and bobs (I've got a list somewhere), and if more than a certain proportion of them have changed decides that the computer no longer counts as the same as when it was last activated and triggers a new activation request.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 21 Dec 2013, 07:11
Windows 8.1 decided it would be best if my laptop is passworded with my Microsoft account instead of the normal user account. Now it is apparently unable to load my user profile and I can no longer access the system.

Fucking class act, Microsoft.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Pilchard123 on 21 Dec 2013, 10:08
What, so you can't get into it if you have no Internet connection?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 21 Dec 2013, 10:23
At first I thought that was the case, but no, I can't get into it at all.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 22 Dec 2013, 05:43
Wait, how did that happen?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 22 Dec 2013, 07:47
Beats me. I hadn't started up Win8 in a few days and I'd just been swapping the Win7 drive in and out one or two times, so I don't see how the Win8 user profile could have been affected by that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 10 Jan 2014, 11:03
The people I'm renting with have a 63-inch tv that I can hook my laptop up to, which is awesome. Windows tells me that it has a resolution of 1920*1080 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz, but when I watch videos on the big screen I could swear it runs at 120 Hz, because it looks way smoother than my laptop screen. But according to the configuration it can't go higher than 60. I don't know if my eyes are playing tricks on me or if the tv is performing some techno-magic that creates 120 Hz output from 60 Hz input. My housemate tells me it's actually a 3D tv, and any 3D tv worth a damn does display 120 frames per second, so I'm pretty sure it's possible.

If it didn't have such dreadful input latency I'd never leave the couch. :P
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: K1dmor on 10 Jan 2014, 11:22
 That's the "techno-magic" from the tv. You have to put it in "PC Mode" so it disables the filters, effects and everything else that will affect the signal from your pc. Try to look in the "Image options" of the tv, or "General Configuration"/"TV Configuration" in the menu. If you know the tv model, you could try checking the instructions manual, or giving a quick google search like: "TV MODEL + PC Mode".
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 10 Jan 2014, 14:26
I did make a foray into the configuration menu but it's all in Swedish, and it's not my tv so I don't feel comfortable messing with the options... too much. I looked for a PC mode or game mode but I didn't see it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheCollyWolly on 16 Feb 2014, 17:19
So I took advantage of Lenovo's sale and got a new Y510p for $800! So now we're kind of like eskimo brothers, LTK.

There's only one problem. The GT755m doesn't appear to... do... anything. Looking into it, and it seems that a bunch of people have had problems with the Nvidia driver and the computer tries to run everything with the integrated graphics. However, the newest driver (.332) forces the computer to use the dedicated GPU when you try to launch a game. At which point the computer dumps everything out and whatever program you were trying to use crashes immediately. :psyduck:

So... I'm currently running it with no graphics driver so that I can at least use the integrated graphics until I can find a solution. Have you been able to get into your account and try any games out, LTK? EDIT: I am running the driver that shipped from the factory, the .327 version. Although I will let you know if I manage to get it working with not driver at all  :-P
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 17 Feb 2014, 04:10
I don't think I could help you there. I installed the integrated graphics drivers first and was then wondering why Minecraft ran like shit. Then I facepalmed and installed the NVidia graphics drivers too and it ran fine.

My driver is version 332.21, and a lot of times it will auto-select the integrated graphics when trying to run a game that Geforce Experience doesn't recognise. Then I just have to go to the NVidia control panel and set it to the dedicated GPU. (Don't forget to click Apply.) If for some reason that process goes tits-up for you, you could try to install the beta drivers and see if that changes things. I don't see anything in the release highlights about forcing the computer to use the dedicated GPU, where does it say that?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: TheCollyWolly on 17 Feb 2014, 08:22
It doesn't say that anywhere in the release highlights, that's just what it does. With the 327 driver, whether I select the GPU in the control panel or adaptive mode, the games use the integrated graphics. If I disable the integrated graphics in the device manager, the games crash because the GPU is (for whatever reason) not functioning. That's what the 332 driver is doing; when I select the GPU in the Nvidia control panel, it actually does what I tell it to and tries to use the GPU. And thus every game I try to launch immediately crashes.

So you're running Windows 8.1 with the GT755m and you can run the 332 driver with no problems? What games have you tried to run?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 17 Feb 2014, 09:44
No, I'm running Windows 7 still. Minecraft, Hearthstone, Far Cry 3 and Just Cause 2 are all working correctly.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 20 Feb 2014, 15:33
Um. Hmm. NVidia just released new drivers and after installing them, Speedfan a temperature readout of zero degrees on the GPU. Also, the laptop's fan speed seems to be persisting at an unusually high level even after I exit my game. Strangely, restarting Speedfan seems to bring it down to normal even though I am unable to access any fan controls through Speedfan itself. Weird.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Mar 2014, 15:17
I now have a nice new Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, replacing my previous Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.   My "actual" servers are virtual servers that run in Hyper-V, of course (there are two at present: a domain controller and print server, plus a separate everything-Internet server running mail, several websites using various technologies, an SFTP server, and a torrent server*).

I had initially installed the Hyper-V Server as a testbed before setting up a much larger system at work (with clustered hosts and a big RAID-6 disk array).  It has served me well.  But some time after I upgraded my desktop to Windows 8.1, I discovered that the version of Hyper-V Manager that runs in Windows 8(.1) doesn't talk to Hyper-V 2008, only 2012.  Bad move, MS, and a big step back from your generally excellent record in backward compatibility.  First move, dig out an old machine and install Windows 7 so I could control (and in due course export and shut down) my servers! 

Obvious second move: upgrade Hyper-V 2008 R2 to Hyper-V 2012 R2.  What's this?  The upgrade isn't possible!  Second bad move MS!  I have to do a clean install of Hyper-V 2012.  Oh well, let's have a new machine as well - so one new motherboard and processor later (second motherboard - the first was not the one stated on the box!), I have a new machine ready to run my virtual servers.

OK - export; copy across; import.  Now what?  Ah.  Third strike.  Hyper-V 2012 R2 cannot import servers exported from Hyper-V 2008 R2.  I can only do it by importing into Hyper-V 2012, and re-exporting from there.  You think I'm setting up a third server??  Easy answer, actually - just create new virtual machines using the old virtual disks - as far as I can see the only setting that had to be redone inside the virtual machines was the IP address, as the new network interface is seen as a different device.

Actually, the whole transfer (once the new machine was waiting) took only about two hours (and another two for the torrent data, but the servers were up and running by then), with the 1Gbps network between the machine running at 95% of theoretical capacity, which impressed me.  The performance of the servers is markedly better on the new host than it was on the old one, so that's good - and I'll use the old one (now running 2012 R2 as well) to run a hot backup of the servers, continuously updated, which is a new facility in this version - almost as good as a cheap cluster and RAID combination.

Oh, and I don't think I'll be trying this at work until we replace our current round of hardware!

* Why have I got a torrent server, you ask?  I seed for this site (http://ambisonia.com/).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 16 Mar 2014, 18:20
I'm currently assembling a list of parts for building a new experimental computer for the lab. I'd rather just buy a prebuilt computer, but I can't find one that has three full-size PCI (not PCIe) ports. Since the computer won't need a whole lot of hard disk space (experimental data is stored on our file server which is regularly backed up), I'm considering buying an SSD drive for it. Looking through the specs for the drives, I've noticed that all of them list a MTBF (median time before failure) of more than 1,000,000 hours. If my math is right that corresponds to more than 100 years. Clearly these numbers have to be bullshit, because no modern piece of computer hardware will last that long.  :psyduck:

edit -- oh boy. Good thing this post inspired me to check on the backup task on the file server. I just noticed it was trying to back up to drive G instead of drive F. A 2 TB hard disk was being backed up on a 2 GB USB flash drive.  :psyduck:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Mar 2014, 03:48
What, it's not set up to email you on failure?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: cesium133 on 17 Mar 2014, 05:16
For some reason Windows Task Manager was interpreting the failure code returned from the backup program as a success code.

edit -- I should note this is a new thing; it was only like that for two weeks. Drive C failed in that computer two weeks ago so I had to reinstall Windows and re-set up that task. And yes, Linux would make more sense for the task we're using the fileserver for, but my advisor doesn't like Linux...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 26 Apr 2014, 17:40
My laptop fans have been behaving really erratically lately. Here are my observations: After exiting any program that was using the GPU, the fan gets stuck on a high speed even after the temperature has gone back to normal. Only when I start up a program that prompts User Account Control does it reduce the fan speed to its lowest level. Other programs don't, even if I, say, run Windows Explorer as administrator, the fan speed doesn't change. I can't fathom why; even trying to start up the program but telling UAC 'No' so it's prevented from running also normalises the fan speed, so what the heck is it doing? 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 27 Apr 2014, 15:37
I'd prefer to have the fans running non-stop to not running at all....
especially on a laptop.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 06 May 2014, 15:41
Now my battery stopped charging. It can still run off adapter power but the charge level isn't going up no matter what I do. This is probably very bad.

Oh wait, now it's going back up. The solution was to take out the battery and unplug the power and to hold the power button for a few seconds before reinsterting the battery, reconnecting the cord and booting up again. That's the strangest solution that has ever worked for me.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Barmymoo on 19 Jun 2014, 11:18
This isn't even remotely as fancy as building your own computer, but I just set up my wireless router and I'm feeling quite proud of myself. I researched available broadband deals, and although I took advice from my dad I chose one independently of his suggestion to use the same one, I got a great deal on it, and I set it up all by myself. My dad has basically controlled all my computer-related decisions for my entire life so it was a pretty big deal! Of course now he's cross with me for not setting it up in accordance with his precise instructions, but I don't careeeeeeeeee.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 18 Aug 2014, 04:20
My present main machine won't be adequate for much longer (4-core Xeon, 32GB memory, 6TB disk).  It can't be expanded.  But I had a major geek-out on Saturday:

I acquired a redundant 8-core Mac Pro 4.1 (early 2009) from work. I also acquired 12 4GB sticks of registered DDR3 memory, left over from a server upgrade.

The Mac Pro 4.1 does not take registered memory, but the Mac Pro 5.1 does. It turns out that they use the same motherboard chipset. It also turns out that it is possible to patch the firmware in the 4.1 so that the 5.1 bootrom can be installed! My Mac Pro 4.1 now reports itself as a 5.1, and is humming along with 32GB of registered memory!

That's the most economical computer upgrade I've ever done.  Already twice the cores I've got now, and the capability to take faster 6-core processors (like the 2012 Mac Pro) and loads more memory (up to 128GB - at a price) when I need them.  But although nearly all my main audio programs come in Mac versions, there are still a few that I'll need to keep the PC running for.

Needs quieter fans....
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 18 Aug 2014, 21:55
nah. with THAT loadout... may as well BRAG. 
like putting 'Glass Pak' and Thrush pipes on a 440.

good job.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 08 Sep 2014, 10:22
Ah, damn it. I finally got back to my desktop computer, but my dad bought a new motherboard and processor so he gave his old one to me, which I upgraded my own PC with. But now I plugged in everything and it doesn't work. All fans and hard drives spin up but there's zero graphical output, and the motherboard LEDs are slowly blinking on and off. I probably broke something somewhere. I guess I have to put everything back the way it was now?

Oh, of course. My RAM is incompatible. I totally forgot about that. Well... it doesn't appear in the list of supported memory types but it's 1333 MHz DDR3 memory so knowing only that it should work...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Sep 2014, 05:14
Okay, it wasn't the RAM, changing it to a compatible type does nothing, nor is it the GPU or PSU. I slotted my old motherboard back in and it works fine so I must have broken something on the other one. Damn! First time I actually break a component while installing. Or it might have been broken already, I don't know.

It looks like it's in a boot loop of some sort, as the CPU phase leds all come on at the same time, then turn off. When they turn off, the CPU fan also stops spinning. Then the leds come on again and the fan starts, and then they both stop, ad infinitum. Does anyone know if either the CPU or motherboard are salvagable?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 11 Sep 2014, 08:24
Only way I know of testing them is to use compatible "known good" parts with each, and seeing if it works.  Not always viable unless one is a hoarder || knows someone who has a repair shop with such components just sitting around.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 11 Sep 2014, 12:02
my wife made me clean out my hoard....

all those pretty 386 and 486 PCs just gone...  :(

she let me keep anything less than 10 years old; but that wiped out 80% of my collection.  :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 21 Sep 2014, 08:39
Okay, what the heck is happening now? I upgraded my laptop to win 8.1 and now a lot of my programs are displaying in a lower resolution: Steam, Skype, Opera. They're all fuzzy. It went away when I installed a new version of Opera but that doesn't work for the other ones. I don't get it...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 21 Sep 2014, 09:42
That's the resolution upscaling doing its work. The way to change that is by sliding the slider to "smaller":

(http://i.imgur.com/w0ggCYN.png)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 21 Sep 2014, 10:45
Okay that's weird. Of course, if I make it smaller, every program that was too big becomes right-sized and every program that was right-sized becomes too small. Ticking the 'Let me choose one scaling level' box seems to bring everything back to normal, though. Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 21 Sep 2014, 13:48
No problem.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: SubaruStephen on 22 Oct 2014, 13:11
Question about watching vids over the Internet, and DVDs.

When I watch YouTube vids or DVDs, or shows I downloaded from iTunes, on my 8 yearold desktop, the frame rate never goes above 23fps.
It's not equipped with a graphics card (the motherboard is doing all the work), would installing one increase the fps?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: snarkyone on 22 Oct 2014, 13:22
Question about watching vids over the Internet, and DVDs.

When I watch YouTube vids or DVDs, or shows I downloaded from iTunes, on my 8 yearold desktop, the frame rate never goes above 23fps.
It's not equipped with a graphics card (the motherboard is doing all the work), would installing one increase the fps?

Yes, but with an 8yr old pc, I'd be sure to get a very VERY inexpensive one.   A lot of places will have bargain bins.  You can likely get something far superior to your motherboard GPU for $10-20.  If that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GarandMarine on 03 Dec 2014, 20:11
My roomie gave me a big pile of compute guts, so it's building time sports fans!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GarandMarine on 04 Dec 2014, 16:44
$366 shipped for a 750W PSU, 2gb Radeon hard drive (with two free games! Fuck yeah!*) and a pretty cool case from DIYPC, along with a Cooling Master Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Set. Oh, and Windows 7. Built onto a MSI K9A2 with a Phenom X4 Black Edition CPU and 6 GB of RAM, only downside to the board is it's DDR2 and it's max RAM is 8 GB. I'm also plugging in the HDDs I have handy for about 660 GB... but that's easily upgradeable later. I solved the issue of a monitor by going "Oh yeah. I own a TV." Oh and a CD/DVD burner. 'Cause.

*On investigating none of the games are very awesome, boo.


The rest of my build involves a nice new desk to hold the computer machine and my other entertainment stuff, and a big comfy chair. In and around $460 out the door, which is half what I was planning for my build period.

Eventual upgrades:
Max out RAM
2 TB hard drive
Consider grabbing a cheaper Crossfire capable card to add to the array (I can run up to four VGA cards on this board. Holy fuck right?)
Sound card
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 04 Dec 2014, 17:22
I'm not a fan. It sounds like a one-gen upgrade to my PC tower, which I built in 2010, and will have outlived its purpose in a few months when I will have saved up enough to build the beast I have in mind.

Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 04 Dec 2014, 17:25
Also, TV screens are just monitors with bigger pixels and more space between them unless you have a higher res screen. And, last time I heard, having a maxed out graphics card (à la GTX 970 or the like, I'm not up to date with version numbers) is preferable to a crossfire setup as it will be far superior and will not introduce micro-stutters which crossfire or SLI does.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GarandMarine on 04 Dec 2014, 21:10
Well I posted a full response to this, but it apparently got eaten by a grue.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: GarandMarine on 10 Dec 2014, 18:17
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10378009_10152991623560815_2200667226089373702_n.jpg?oh=ac77be24b78696b2b56ac6648adce5d1&oe=55415D46&__gda__=1426555939_a77130350b1a90c29dad2de1d5fd16f5)

Battle station ready!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Masterpiece on 11 Dec 2014, 05:34
You're gonna break your neck playing on this machine! Ergonomically, a screen should be as close as possible to the table surface.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: osaka on 11 Dec 2014, 06:15
Maybe GM intends on playing laid back and from a distance, in which case that doesn't sound like such a horrid placement.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 11 Dec 2014, 06:53
Sounds like a horrid viewing angle though.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: celticgeek on 18 Apr 2015, 17:25
Aaarrrgh!  Hard drive died yesterday. 

However, I now have a nice, new 2 TByte hard drive, updated to Linux Mint 17.1.  My last backup was only a couple of weeks ago, so I am back in operation, and I'll be in pretty good shape, after I get all of the 494 Gbytes from the backup folder transferred onto the new hard drive. 
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 05 May 2015, 16:05
I've been trying to fix the problems with my scroll wheel - it's mainly scrolling erratically in Chrome, not in other browsers or programs, it only happens on my desktop computer and not my laptop, and on my desktop computer the scroll function of other mice is functioning correctly - and everything I do seems to make it worse. Right now, instead of scrolling 3 lines with each scroll wheel tick, it's scrolling 1 line with each 8 ticks.

I'm getting closer and closer to smashing this mouse with a hammer with its infuriating behaviour, which would be a shame because the mouse movement itself is better than any mouse I've had.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 13 Jun 2015, 12:01
Apparently the newer PCI Express 3 cards are backwards compatible.

So my older rig has PCI express 2.0 16 slots but I would be able to get a newer card.

How can I tell what card would work best on my older rig?  I don't really want to work on building a new one.

ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge Quad-Core 3.3GHz
8 GB ram
1 x CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready

Current Graphics card is a GTX 560 TI
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Caleb on 13 Jun 2015, 12:33
Specifically I am looking at GeForce GTX 970 .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487088


Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 13 Jun 2015, 14:31
Are you me? That's almost exactly my system, only difference being the motherboard and 2 less gigs of RAM. It's getting up there in years but I didn't think I'd have to worry about new hardware breaking compatibility yet. Lucky that's not an issue.

If you ask me, the GTX 970 is a bit on the pricey side but I hear that nowadays it's the best bang for your buck. I've been considering picking up a second-hand card of that model in the near future, enthusiasts are always throwing those out on ebay the moment something better is available. If you're on a tighter budget and your gaming demands aren't too stringent, the GTX 960 is a good choice as well.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: 94ssd on 09 Sep 2015, 15:38
I'm going to bring entertainment to this thread by being someone with almost no computer knowledge - I almost spent probably way too much money to get more RAM put in my computer. By almost, I mean I had actually made an appointment at tech services on campus to install it because they'll do it for cheap, and was going to go to Staples to buy it tomorrow.

And then I discovered that it was actually an HP background program that was ruining everything and after ending the process for it (even though it was showing only 1% memory usage on the task manager) my computer has plenty of memory to suit my needs. I'd tried other things like switching from Chrome to Firefox because it uses less memory, and closing background processes frequently. But apparently that HP service hides its memory-hogging in a Windows process that you can't actually close on the task manager.

Only goes to show - Google before you spend.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Detachable Felix on 10 Sep 2015, 01:33
And also, beware the bloatware.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 10 Sep 2015, 01:40
I think that even if I were going to buy a Windows computer, I'd throw in the money for an OEM copy.  Only way to be sure.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 10 Sep 2015, 03:11
Not even necessary. Your computer comes with a Windows license, although it takes a bit of digging to find the product key for it. Third-party programs can do it but I don't remember which one I used. Once you have it though, you just download an image of your Windows OS from Microsoft, create a bootable USB with it, and do a clean install of Windows without all the manufacturer's crap on it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 01 Oct 2015, 15:19
It's ALIVE!  I have actually taking days replacing most of the internals of my desktop.  I kept having to take breaks every couple of hours because the anxiety left my hands shaking and heart racing.  But now it's working.  Passed POST beautifully when I started it up, and now I just need to download a new ISO for the OS install (going back to SUSE).
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 09 Aug 2016, 11:55
Assuming that this job becomes at least a semi-regular thing, I'll need to replace my laptop (my phone is rather ancient and *still* more powerful).  I was wondering here if anyone here had experience with Hackintoshes, such as which (mid 2016) were the best bets for trying to make one.  Brand-wise, I lean towards Lenovo or Asus, but am open to anything in the $500-$900 price range, preferably somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 11 Aug 2016, 22:37
avoid Lenovo... their product quality has been SHIT recently.

I've had to send in 12 ThinkPads for replacement screens since January.

the torque from opening the lid can crack the screen.  I kid you not.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 11 Aug 2016, 22:40
That's sad to hear, since in the past I've had great results.  I suppose Asus it is then.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 12 Aug 2016, 04:45
avoid Lenovo... their product quality has been SHIT recently.

I've had to send in 12 ThinkPads for replacement screens since January.

the torque from opening the lid can crack the screen.  I kid you not.
Recently being the past few years? Because I bought an Ideapad in 2014 which I dropped something on, dropped on the ground, and fell on top of (not all at once) and all it has to show for it are a few dents. Maybe the beveled top acts as a crumple zone.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Grognard on 12 Aug 2016, 22:40
everything we have is 2014- present build.

for 'professional grade' laptops, they're rather fragile.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ankhtahr on 13 Aug 2016, 17:39
I actually picked up a job refurbishing and repairing used notebooks three weeks ago. We actually extended our warranty from one to two years, because it didn't make much difference in repair numbers. We're currently only selling the 10 to 30 generations, so I can't say anything about the latest models.

But what really makes these devices great is how easy they're to repair. I had to take apart a Toshiba Satellite last week, down to removing the mainboard from the chassis, only to clean out the fan. On Lenovos it's just turning it around, removing the RAM cover and one single screw to remove the keyboard and have access to almost everything.

We also carried HP Elitebooks and a long time ago we had Dell Latitudes, and I could see myself happy with such an HP one too. I've had some satisfactory experience with some Fujitsu Siemens Lifebooks too.

Seriously, I'd recommend looking into a refurbished Lenovo from the earlier generations, like a W530. I also have a friend who turned an older Lenovo into a hackintosh, but I can't remember which generation.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: YouCantSeeMe91 on 24 Oct 2016, 02:35
I actually picked up a job refurbishing and repairing used notebooks three weeks ago. We actually extended our warranty from one to two years, because it didn't make much difference in repair numbers. We're currently only selling the 10 to 30 generations, so I can't say anything about the latest models.

But what really makes these devices great is how easy they're to repair. I had to take apart a Toshiba Satellite last week, down to removing the mainboard from the chassis, only to clean out the fan. On Lenovos it's just turning it around, removing the RAM cover and one single screw to remove the keyboard and have access to almost everything.

We also carried HP Elitebooks and a long time ago we had Dell Latitudes, and I could see myself happy with such an HP one too. I've had some satisfactory experience with some Fujitsu Siemens Lifebooks too.

Seriously, I'd recommend looking into a refurbished Lenovo from the earlier generations, like a W530. I also have a friend who turned an older Lenovo into a hackintosh, but I can't remember which generation.

That's actually quite interesting, had no idea it was that easy to gain access to the internal components. I would say on top of actual physical refurbishment, it would also be a good idea to focus on backing up the files on the computer, I've had some frustrating experiences where I lose my files when upgrading my hardware:/

I was doing some reading on the best way to back up information, and I came across this article (https://www.1and1.com/digitalguide/server/security/how-does-data-backup-work-for-databases/) Basically, among the different types of backup, I would say that incremental backup is the best for this situation, using something like MySQLDump.

Hope this helps:)
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ChaoSera on 03 Nov 2016, 02:20
So for the past few weeks my desktop has been crashing a lot, sometimes with BSOD, most of the time just shutting down or freezing completely. There is no pattern to the crashes that I can discern, they happened during high Load (Gaming) and almost idle (just surfing the net). Sometimes the computer runs fine for hours, even while gaming, and sometimes it crashes three times in ten minutes. I already ran MemTest86 and it found no problems with the RAM, it's probably not the SSD either cause that would most likely just fail completely. I'm guessing it's not the video card either.
My big fear is that the problem is either the CPU or Motherboard, cause they are old and it'd be hard to find replacements. Updating to newer hardware is not really an option cause money is tight. Does anybody know how I can at least narrow the problem further down?

For reference her is my (rather old) setup:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4x 3.4GHz)
8GB DDR3 RAM (4x2GB)
RADEON HD 6950
64GB SSD
1TB HDD

Any help/tips would be appreciated.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: LTK on 03 Nov 2016, 03:25
Did you run diagnostics on the SSD?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ChaoSera on 03 Nov 2016, 04:11
SSDLife puts its health at 90% with an estimated lifetime of 8 more years.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Storel on 10 Nov 2016, 20:08
For reference her is my (rather old) setup:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4x 3.4GHz)
8GB DDR3 RAM (4x2GB)
RADEON HD 6950
64GB SSD
1TB HDD

Any help/tips would be appreciated.

What version of what OS?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ChaoSera on 11 Nov 2016, 05:44
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ankhtahr on 14 Nov 2016, 09:01
I've seen overheating occur that randomly, but it's not too likely.

I've got one more thing to consider:the PSU. PSUs tend to supply less and less power as the capacitors age.

However unlikely it seems with the sudden poweroffs without BSOD I'd also consider a OS problem. I've also seen faulty RAM which memtest didn't discover.

Your setup seems like a beefed up version of mine with a smaller CPU. I'm running a X6 1090T, but with 4G RAM and a HD6850. I feel your money troubles.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 14 Nov 2016, 21:13
I've seen overheating occur that randomly, but it's not too likely.

I've got one more thing to consider:the PSU. PSUs tend to supply less and less power as the capacitors age.

hijacking this bit, since I'm pretty sure that my PSU is going.  It's the only original part of this machine and hit has hit the 6 year mark, and post takes 5 min.  Of course, I'm not 100% sure what the problem is, and it'd probably cost me about the same to just replace the PSU as it would to get someone with the tools to take a look at it.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: ChaoSera on 15 Nov 2016, 02:39
One thing I've noticed is that the crashes seem to occur only in the first ~20 minutes after booting up for the first time. It'll crash a few times and then run fine for the rest of the day. Not sure what to make of that.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 23 Nov 2018, 08:28
Who's fool enough to help an out-of-date half-Luddite knock the years of rust off to figure out component upgrades?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 23 Nov 2018, 08:51
I'm slowly re-acquainting myself with things, but hardware was never my jam.

I'm working on a gaming machine the old owner had a cheap go-between put together years ago. I've fixed it up and scavenged it a little bit since I got it a while back, and it mostly works fine for what I do, but I am reaching the point where I'd like to see if I can get a bit more into it.

CPU seems to be an AMD FX 6100
GPU an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560

I figure there's room for improvement here, since release dates seem to be about 2011 for this stuff :x

right now (slooooowly) looking through the specs of a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, determining if it'll fit (probably) and if I have to change out anything to make it more or less work (maybe not). But that's only because of a recommendation someone else made to an acquaintance, not because I actually know that it's worth my time.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 23 Nov 2018, 08:55
oh and understand i'm just trying to evaluate, i'm not buying right now. i'm trying to put together the hows and whys and some concrete whats to anchor my brain to, so i can see what i need to work towards and what I need to look at if i ever get the money together and have to re-evaluate again
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 16 Feb 2019, 14:35
Need help with narrowing down a bad POST bootloop error:

Mobo: MSI Z87-g45 (https://de.msi.com/pdf/presale/Z87-G45-GAMING)
CPU:  i7 4770k
Ram: 2 x Kingston HyperX DDR3 8Gb 1866 CL10 (NEW!)
          2 x SomeOldShit DDR3 4Gb 1066 CL9

I tested just (! ) the board + CPU + RAM outside the case on antistatic surface (Yes, also tested one DIMM in all four slots) - always the same error:
Board spools up (CPU Fan, LEDs etc), three beeps, restart after 10secs, three beeps, stays running. 
 When graphics card is connected, monitor gets no signal, so DON'T TELL ME TO FIDDLE IN THE BIOS, I DON'T EVEN GET TO THE DAMN BIOS!

According to http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/amibeep.htm, three beeps is "memory failure has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad "

I already reset the CMOS three different ways (external button, shorting jumper, manually removing battery).


Since I tested with the old RAM as well as the brand-new ones, it's probably either the mainboard, or the CPU. How do I decide that? I'm a bit confused by the 'first 64K of ram' stuff - is that definitely meant to refer to the ram on the DIMMs (rather a problem with the mobo, or the slots), or could that also refer to the on board-cache of the CPU?


Help would be much appreciated, as with every successive new purchase of old tech, I also lock myself further into old tech - like the DDR3 DIMMs already set me back 100€, but the real kicker is that the Intel  Z87  chipset is pretty much the pinnacle for lga1150 boards (which in turn is the last step before switching to DDR4) , even the used ones are traded at close to 100€, and I can't find any newly manufactured ones. The only affordable mint lga 1150 boards are crappy H81 or B85 shit - I don't intend to pay 70€ for crap that my old board outclassed in 2014...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Feb 2019, 01:28
I'll try to get back to you tomorrow - but I'm too tied up today to think about this...

Sorry

Quick thought - have you tried reseating the CPU?

Paul
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 17 Feb 2019, 04:49
That's next on my list - to my chagrin, I discovered late yesterday that I've run out of isopropanol to clean the die (Heatpaste might also be a bit dodgy by now ....)  :oops:
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 17 Feb 2019, 10:09
ughghgughggugh all this talk makes me not relish the next round of nonsense i have to do to this machine.

also sorry i can't be any help, but uh....hold on, let me just... *digs around*... I know those pom-poms were here somewhere....*disappears into junk pile*
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: hedgie on 17 Feb 2019, 11:16
The current build of my desktop is getting pretty long in the tooth (my laptop is fairly recent, and fairly powerful… for a portable device), and I'm becoming more and more inclined to scare up the funding for about the most powerful non-pro imac out there.  I have friends who work at Apple who are willing to let me use their employee discount, so I could get about $700 off.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: pwhodges on 17 Feb 2019, 11:51
My wife's machine became unreliable recently - it would run fine, but took more and more goes to complete a boot.  Eventually it crashed while running.  I was able to keep it going for long enough to copy the disk.

When I looked at the motherboard, I noticed that some of the capacitors were swelling (the tops were slightly domed, not flat).  This is a failure I have come across in audio equipment; I recently fixed a favourite interface by replacing over a dozen capacitors, but in the case of a motherboard it just gets thrown out.  I recall a particular range of Dell machines that had this problem in a serious way, such that they would replace the motherboards for years after the supposed warranty ran out.

Anyway, peer at your capacitors...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bhtooefr on 17 Feb 2019, 13:31
Troubleshooting RAM/CPU/motherboard issues can be annoying without new parts on-hand to test things...

However, some retailers still have LGA1150 CPUs on hand - could be worth buying one from a place that's easy to return to, to try it out.

As far as capacitors, modern motherboards tend to use solid-state capacitors, and that looks like the case for this motherboard, so capacitor electrolyte failure is much less likely.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 17 Feb 2019, 14:22
That's next on my list - to my chagrin, I discovered late yesterday that I've run out of isopropanol to clean the die (Heatpaste might also be a bit dodgy by now ....)  :oops:

So I got bored, used ethylene alcohol 94% (fuckit) to clean the die & heatsink, used up my remaining heat compound aaaaaaaand

... SSDD  :cry:

I've recorded the POST-bootloop, so if anyone is willing to have a listen to what I mean by "three beeps", shoot me a pm and I'll give you a Googledrive link (is there smth like Imgur for vids? Don't you say youtube, I dare you.... ). Also have HDR-pics of the socket etc, if anyone feels competent to spot bent pins etc.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 17 Feb 2019, 15:14
Troubleshooting RAM/CPU/motherboard issues can be annoying without new parts on-hand to test things...

However, some retailers still have LGA1150 CPUs on hand - could be worth buying one from a place that's easy to return to, to try it out.


Errrrrh - that's a  i7-4770K. It may be out of production, but new ones still go for 470€ on Amazon. Used ones are offered for 200€.Not sure about buying one simply for testing purposes, evein if my budget would allow that.

("Old, not obsolete", to quote a certain Gubernator - http://www.redgamingtech.com/how-well-does-an-i7-4770k-stack-up-against-modern-cpus/)

Generally, shit seems to remain serviceable a lot longer these days than back in the oughties - which seems to be reflected in prices, which aren't going down - I haven't even overcloked the rig yet, despite deliberately choosing both CPU and Mobo with a view to OC back in the day (Never save on PSU, CPU and Mobo is my motto - rather buy a midclass GPU and upgrade that later).

As far as capacitors, modern motherboards tend to use solid-state capacitors, and that looks like the case for this motherboard, so capacitor electrolyte failure is much less likely.

Yup, all solid-state capacitors.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: bhtooefr on 17 Feb 2019, 15:25
Doesn't have to be an i7-4770K if you're buying it with intent of returning it, it can be a Celeron G1820 for all that matters here.

Obviously an i7-4770K or 4790K would be ideal because you could leave it in, though. (Was your BIOS reasonably up to date before this? If not, don't try a Devil's Canyon SKU or the similar non-unlocked Haswell Refresh processors.)

Another tactic that could work to tie up fewer funds... I wonder how much something like a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 3020/7020/9020, HP ProDesk 400/600 G1/EliteDesk 800 G1, or Lenovo ThinkCentre M73/M83/M93 would cost in Germany, as a donor of a test motherboard and test CPU. In the US, those machines tend to be awfully cheap as refurbs. (Note that you won't be able to actually use that motherboard in your system, but as a CPU tester...)

Also, imgur supports video upload, although they call it "GIF" even though it's WebM with WebP video and some sort of audio...
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 17 Feb 2019, 15:45
The Celeron ships for 57€ on Amazon, directly from Intel ... I'll first see if I can scrounge some cheap lga1150 from the folks @Uni tomorrow.

Thanks, that's worth a try.

Does anyone have a better understanding of the stupid audio POST-code (three beeps)?
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 17 Feb 2019, 18:39
Okay, talking about the beep code with my old, spotty knowledge combined with some quick research, IC means integrated circuit, and essentially what that code is *supposed* to mean is that something fucked up when the motherboard tried to access the RAM, i.e. that it wasn't able to access the small amount of memory it needed to actually go. And usually that means a bad stick of RAM, essentially. I wouldn't *think* it would be anything on the motherboard or with the CPU.

If you've tested the sticks in another system, though, and they work there, well... well......... maybe the slot architecture or something has malfunctioned on the motherboard. Or maybe I don't know what i'm talking about.

honestly i'm not super confident about this. suucks :(
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 17 Feb 2019, 18:41
pm me the link if you want, cuz obviously wanna make sure it is 3 short beeps and not, say, 1 long + 2 short. though imagine your hearing is correct
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 17 Feb 2019, 18:46
also let me make sure, since i'm tired and don't speak German, but there's 4 RAM slots on the motherboard, right? And you have installed two sets of two different kinds of RAM?

It at least used to matter a little (or at least make things easier) if same RAM was put into paired ports. In my experience certain ports (such as 1 and 3, then 2 and 4) are linked together in some way that i don't know (i've usuallys een them marked or color-coded when that's the case), so making sure your RAM is done up in the paired parts (if this is even still applicable these days or with this equipment you're using i have no idea) might help. though i imagine you've been fitting them every which way trying to get a different result already
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 17 Feb 2019, 18:48
A summary of things to try if you haven't already, though i get the feeling it's more basic than where you're at

https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000996.htm
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 20 Feb 2019, 18:16
@Nae:

This is a failure of the board' to complete its POST (Power-On Self-Test)
* The failure first occurred with the two sticks of old ram, which prompted me to buy the two sticks of new ram (the HyperXblabla), to no avail.
* I then 'breadboarded'  (https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/breadboarding-stripping-it-down-to-the-basics-for-troubleshooting.1848255/) the system, meaning I took the motherboard out of the chassis and disconnected everything except the Power Supply (PSU), the CPU, the diagnostic speaker and the on/off connector - > same pattern (three longish beeps, restart after 30 odd seconds, three longish beeps, keeps running). At this point I know it can't be anything to do with USB devices, or the graphics card or whatnot.
* Then I took one stick (or DIMM) of the new RAM, and tested it in each of the four slots - > same shit.
* Ditto with the other stick of new RAM.

As to the three beeps: They are definitely three beeps of equal length, spaced at equal intervals (I trust my ear here - I was a bassist in an earlier life). The only time the AMI beepcodes list (my first post in this thread) speaks of three beeps, it says 'three short beeps' - I can't be sure, but if memory serves, they are longer than the one short beep that used to signal successful completion of the POST. No, it's not one long, two short, I certain of that (and yes, it'd be bad if it was).

So it's not the RAM sticks. I'm pretty sure it's not the PSU, because ... symptoms of Power-supply problems tend to be  much less specific and consistent. Also, this is a 630 Watt BeQuiet Monster PSU (I always splurge on the PSU, after that one time that I didn't), if anything, it's bored to tears driving just the board, CPU and RAM.

Which leaves only the CPU or the board.

One uncertainty I have left is that I'm not sure what the 'memory failure has occurred in the first 64K of RAM.  The RAM IC is probably bad' -thingy is supposed to refer to: The CPU has its own superfast onboard memory (i.e located on the die itself ) - the L1-, L2- and L3-caches. Even the smallest of the three, the L1-cache, has a size of 64k (the L3-caches boasts a sporty 8mb).

So could it be that three beeps mean that the L1-cache is fr**ked? I don't think so, because that'd be useless information, as there is no way to exchange the L1-cache without replacing the entire CPU, and since the L1 is involved in basically anything the CPU does, it'd be bored beyond recover anyhow. But ... I don't know.

The IC part is funny, too - except for the odd capacitor, the entire board is a collection of Integrated Cirquits, as is the CPU, or the RAM for that matter. So that doesn't really help me in locating the mysterious 'RAM IC'. All non-trivial electronics have been ICs since the 1950s.
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: Case on 20 Feb 2019, 18:52
@Nae & bhtooefr: Thanks for your help so far!

So I've looked around for a functional LGA1150 board to test my CPU in, and:
*I could buy one from Amazon & return it after testing.
*A local repair service keeps some of those oldies around for testing purposes, but they want 30€ just for that functionality check.
*The 'involuntary Master of the Cluster' of one of the groups on my floor was kind enough to offer me one of the two nodes they'll replace soon. Drawback is that I won't be allowed to keep the board, much less remove it from Uni premises, and that the replacements will arrive 'within the next two weeks, probably'.

I've also decided to give up on LGA1150 - The only halfway decent boards left are more expensive today than their state-of-the-art grandchildren. By the same token, a used i7-4770K goes for 150-200€ on eBay.

Refurbishing my old system costs 210+€ (New 16Gb DDR3 RAM + board).A brand-spanking new AMD Ryzen 5 2600+, plus new cooler, plus ASRock B450 pro motherboard, plus 16gb DDR4 Ram costs ~390€.

If I return the DDR3 Ram I bought on Amazon andif the CPU is still good andif I manage to sell it for 150€ on ebay, I'm just 130€ away from a system that's future-proof for the next few years, and has warranty for three years.

Drawback:
* TWO! WEEKS! without my machine.
* Selling shit on ebay brings out my inner Brun. No likey at all!
Title: Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
Post by: de_la_Nae on 21 Feb 2019, 04:29
urf

godspeed, brave hardware warrior