Final Review of New System

By Arsenal
Jan 19, 2010
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  1. Yes, yes I'm FINALLY done deciding on parts...what can I say, I'm a chick in a shoe shop trying to decide on the 100th pair :)

    Mostly picked out parts that was recommended here, but would appreciate some final feedback. I did not pick out Asus/Gigabyte's newer (though +- a few dollars) USB 3.0/Sata 3 drives sihce I believe that that is trying to sell ice to an Eskimo - hard drives barely touched the Sata2 speed limits and USB 3.0 is hardly likely to make a big difference to my life.
    This system will be running 4-5 internal hdd's though

    Tower: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156063

    MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131404

    Graphics: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102858

    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817190024

    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215

    Mem. This is where I'm spending about $40 more as compared to something like pc3 14000 or something. Thoughts?
    : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231281

    Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030

    Compund: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

    CPU Fan/Heatsink:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134

    Total is about $900 shipped. Around a 100 more than I had planned on but meh

    Thanks for all the help guys. I really appreciate it. I'll be building a system after almost 5 years so both excited and nervous :)
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +638

    Never heard of the PSU. 1 year guarantee and 78% efficiency aren't the best numbers I've ever seen

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341019
    (OCZ StealthXStream 700SXS, $79.99+$5.99 shipping. $60.98 after rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005
    (Corsair TX650w $89.99, $79.99 after rebate. Free shipping)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018
    (OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP $69.99 after rebate, free shipping)

    The OCZ’s are 3 years warranty, the Corsair 5 years
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +638

    As for RAM.
    Tighter timings beat raw bandwidth for performance
    If probably look to these...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231319
    (G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 , 7-8-7-24, 1.65v, $115, free shipping)
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231279
    (G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600, 7-7-7-21, 1.65v, $130, free shipping)
    With the cooler you have chosen, I presume you won't be OC'ing heavily so this RAM would be the best performance/price kit (that's the reason it's the same price as the DDR3-2000)

    The low voltage ECO would be a good fit too
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231321
    (G.Skill ECO DDR3-1600, 7-8-7-24, 1.35v, $126 inc shipping)

    As for thermal grease, this has no curing time and is relatively easy to spread. It's also one of the best on the market
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202006
    (OCZ Freeze Extreme )

    Everything looks good though, even if you go with the choices you've already highlighted- my only question mark would be the PSU. Maybe someone familiar with the brand can shed some light to how good or otherwise it is.

    Sorry about the double post-thought I was in edit mode.
  4. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    thanks so much for your suggestions dividebyzero. How come you always manage to knock down my choices with sensible alternatives? :)

    the reason I chose the power supply was for the wattage. Back in the days (2005 to be exact when I last built my presently dead system) 650W would have been more than adequate to run the system with 5-6 hdd's, but I thought that these days with the more power hungry graphics cards and processors etc., it might be more prudent to go in with a higher wattage. Hence I chose the higher wattage at a decent price. Would 700W suffice for my system? That's the question I have

    I liked the way you brought up the RAM timings details. You know, this makes me feel so amateurish (and I have a Comp. Engg BS to boot :( but then I don;t work in the field :)), but the timings I had chosen ARE higher than the one you pointed out. Would they make much of an overall difference other than a couple seconds here and there for the clock cycle etc.? Not sure, but for the same price I agree with you about the timings.
    I am gonna go with the 7-7-7-21
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +638

    Glad to be of service. Like everyone I started out as an amateur- A lot of trial and error, reading and testing and the knowledge base grows. I build a lot of systems, but I get more business from optimizing the builds that others have put together. It takes a couple of days to build a system (inc minor modding if needed, tweaking airflow, cable management, loading software, updates and a 24hr stability test), but tweaking a stable overclock and getting the maximum from the components with the least amount of risk to the system can take a week or more. Running benchmark after benchmark at different settings adds to the pool of knowledge very quickly. Anyhow....

    Your system doesn't need 650-700+ watts to run-a very good 550 would do the trick, but the larger wattage PSU's are pretty much the same price and offer better connectivity and a sizeable power reserve if you decide to add a second graphics card at a later stage, and/or extra harddrives etc.

    RAM timings are not something that gets studied upon to any great detail. Online reviews for instance seldom get past a couple of pages and usually culminate in a max. overclock number (for that particular RAM module only) at an insane voltage and a few pretty pics of the fancy heatspreaders. RAM timings don't play a great deal in gaming -maybe a 1-3 fps in a game where you are already averaging 50-60 fps -negligable, but still free performance.
    Lower latency comes into it's own when paired with a good (fast) CPU in a multi-threaded/core software suite such as Photoshop , video editors like Adobe Premiere, 3D modelling like Autodesk Maya, AutoCAD, file compression (WinRAR),composing/editing/recording/mastering (Cakewalk/Sonar 8 etc). A lot of these applications would benefit in time reduction by up to 5% just with the lowing comparable DDR3 RAM from a latency of 9 to 6 or 7. Also not huge numbers, but again a free performance boost. This percentage also becomes greater if you can maintain low latency while increasing the bandwidth-which is where very good quality RAM earns it's keep such as http://www.ncixus.com/products/43548/KHX2133C8D3T1K2/4GX/Kingston/
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

  7. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

  8. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Ok guys, this is going to soujnd really stupid, but I'll hide behind the excuse that it's been 5 years since I last built a system :)

    So, I got all the goodies and boy, was I like a hungry kid in a candy store! So, I started to put everything together. That damn arctic cpu fan is kinda shoddy construction plus the holes on it don't exactly align up to the one's provided on the Asus board.
    Had trouble fititng it on and had to refit it again once I put the graphics card in the pci express 32 as per asus's recommendation cause the card was HUGE...when did they start making vga cards half the size of the motherboard????? Gee, my last one was just slightly bigger than an average pci card!!

    Anyway, everything installed and the green light on the mobo comes on but failure to launch!!!! nothing happens when the case power button is pressed. I'm pretty sure the polarity of the conectors is correct. Searched around on Google and saw some posts on different forums. Haven't had time to try it out...came damn close to calling in sick today to work on it :)

    my question is....there is one thing I noticed. I did not make a connection on the mobo's power fan connector from the psu. the one on the mobo has 3 pins and i could not find a 3 pin connector from the psu. I figured that maybe these days the PSU fan comes on automatically or something? don't know...i noticed 2-3 4 pin connectors from the psu that look like they might fit on the mobo power fan 3 pin. Should I try that and see if things work?

    just don't want to blow the whole thing up
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    What motherboard did you finally get?

    If it's the MSI, then put the first RAM module in the second slot. The first slot (the one next to the CPU) is not the primary memory slot on the MSI.

    You never do. :)
  10. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Nah mate, it was the Asus p7p55D. I am kinda a fan of Asus boards :) Plus, I liked all the diag features they supposedly put in. Boy, if they don't work, will I be mad!! I did put the ram modules in according to asus's recommendation - one in A1 and one in B1..or was it A2 and B2? Can't remember the nomenclature.



    You don't? Damn I thought I was right there..didn't make sense to me in the first freaking place
    maybe I didn't plug in the power connectors correctly. Was really late l,ast night and I did not want to continue troubleshooting...apparently green light on but failure to launch seems to be a common issue.

    i am hoping it's not cause of a doa for the psu or the mb cause i hate dealing with that kind of crap.
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    It's often a memory fault or PSU failure.

    Since it's the ASUS, just put the modules in the first 2 slots following the CPU.

    The best thing would be to add components one at a time and checking for POST on each occasion.
     
  12. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +638

    Some basic troubleshooting

    The RAM config you quoted is correct DIMM A1 and B1 first (the hideous baby blue ones)
    First off, I'm assuming you have the CPU's cooler fan plugged into the motherboard CPU_FAN header 4 pin socket (the left one of two just above the video card). Jus t to the right of these there should be a CPU LED -is it lit?
    There is also a RAM LED just above the 24 pin power socket. Is this also lit.?
    If it is then there's a RAM default problem. Press the Mem OK! button. The board will try to reset the RAM for a POST
    All the other fan headers (one on the top right hand corner, and one down by the SATA ports) are for chassis fans is you want to monitor fanspeed via the BIOS.
    The only other PSU cable attachment to the motherboard should be an 8 pin EPS 12V connection (top of board, slightly left of centre).

    I think maybe that the difficulty you had in attaching the CPU cooler is a likely place to start the trouble shooting. And I'd start by
    clear cmos

    Remove power from the system.
    Hit the power button to discharge the capacitors.
    Move the CCMOS jumper to the clear position.
    Remove the battery from the motherboard.
    Go do something of an hour......
    Replace the battery.
    Place the jumper back in the normal position.
    Restore power and boot up immediately into BIOS.
    Select "Load Optimized Defaults" and set the recommended voltage for your RAM
    Save & exit.
    On reboot, go directly into BIOS and set the recommended timings for your RAM and any other options you'd like to set (i.e. boot order, etc.). If no go then...
    Make sure you are doing the antistatic protection thing.
    I usually keep the PSU plugged in at the wall but turned off so that the PSU is grounding the chassis-touching any unpainted surface occasionally will discharge any anti-static buildup.
    Ideally the PSU should be checked first-you need a voltmeter for that though.
    Disassemble the system -remove power connectors, cards, cables
    Remove the motherboard from the chassis and check that you have no "extra" motherboard standoffs connecting the back of the mobo
    Visual check of board for burnt/severed traces, blown capacitors, and whether the cooler is definitely seated correctly. If all good the remove the cooler and cpu
    Check socket for bent or broken pins-if you check from all angles any bent/broken pins should be apparent. If you have keen eyesight then check the gold contact pads on the underside of the CPU- they should have slight indentations/scuffs from making contact with the socket pins. All good then...
    Reassemble outside of chassis with bare essentials for POST
    -CPU
    -Cooler
    -Graphics
    -1 stick RAM
    -keyboard (pref PS/2 esp. for older boards)
    -connect GPU to monitor
    Power up. If no POST then recheck with remaining RAM (and the MemOK! switch routine before each test)
    Retest with remaining RAM sticks

    Got to head out but I'll check the thread when I get back soon.
    Happy troubleshooting.
  13. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks so much for all the tips guys. I am gonna go home and start troubleshooting again. Not that I got much achieved at work too cause I've scouring the net for info instead of real work :D

    Ritwik, once I went back home my plan was to check the power cables then remove one stick of ram and then see if the system hummed up.

    dividebyzero, thanks for your detailed instruction. The cpu fan header definitely had the cable plugged in. I found out today that the Asus board has other QLED's but in my case, none of them were lit except for the green one, i.e. one next to mem and cpu were not lit at all. I am hoping I don't have to go through a lot of troubleshooting but we'll see :)

    will post back here
  14. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    HURRAH!!!

    Loads up. I think I had the 4 pin molex of the main power supply reversed. At least that's what I think it was. I redid all the connections and the baby booted up fine. Going to start installation of windows now.
    Thanks guys

    I am wondering though where the hdd led in this case is. Boy, they sure hid it well.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +638

    Congratulations.
    Do you mean the connection for the HDD light on the chassis?
    Will be part of the front panel connector pinout. If the printed manual follows what I downloaded look at 2.8.4 (Q-connector block) and the two pages before this. (Pages 2-39, 2-40 and 2-41).
  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,384   +205

    Regarding the HDD LED, make sure you get the positive and negative orientation correct or the light won't come on. You could try reversing the connection in case you made that mistake and see if you can spot where the LED is.
  17. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Great! Enjoy your build! :)
  18. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I think I got the hdd connector in....dumb as it sounds, I can't locate the actual hdd LED in the front of the chassis!!!!
     
  19. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Hmm, I think I got it right but I will double check when I get back home in the evening
  20. Arsenal

    Arsenal Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I am ...baby's purring a little louder than I thought but I can live with it :)
  21. pctobeupgraded

    pctobeupgraded Newcomer, in training Posts: 81

    i guess im very late for posting stuff but should have bought instead of the thermal cmpnd you chose a mx-2 is more resistent and its long lasting
  22. pctobeupgraded

    pctobeupgraded Newcomer, in training Posts: 81

    other than than you were good to go Enjoy your pc!
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