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PC rebuild/repair

By Deshra ยท 25 replies
Feb 1, 2012
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  1. I need some tips on my system rebuild, I am a skilled modder/ repairer but this is my first motherboard/cpu replace. I have seen many northbridge types listed when looking for motherboards but no mention of what northbridge type the processor is when looking at it. I am NOT dropping my OS I intend to get the mobo, gpu and ram up and bring the os up before cloning it to the replacement hdd. Also the mobo I am about to list states it's dual channel memory but so is my current mobo and it has four cards, so which is better four or two?

    This PC is regularly used for watching videos and movies, and playing games.will be switching from console gaming with bethesda games to pc permanently.

    Trying to keep the rebuild under $1300 tops, not accounting for extended warranties however.

    Yes Reusing all stock parts that I am not replacing (will be posting replacements below)

    Only accessories I am adding are a BT dongle, and Micro usb adapter for turtle beach x5 and using PS3 controller on pc.

    No parts purchased as of yet, better to be patient and plan it out that rush in and srew something up.

    Currently running Win Vista x64, and I will not up to win 7.

    Have found a couple aftermarket cpu coolers but unsure which would be best to use, I do like the blue led on the zalman but lighting isn't important as cooling.
    Parts Below:

    ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED


    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

    ASUS ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    CORSAIR Gaming Series GS800 800W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

    ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B


    CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9

    Want to make a note I forgot, I would love to get ahold of a new case if Asus has released it, unsure of it's exact name but it is on the CG8490 model desktop they announced in 2010.

    I have done some research and found that on a dual channel system running four sticks actually increases the latency due to increased load on the bus. Solved that question.
    SO in continuing the question strand, How can I be certain that the northbridge type is the right one for processor? Which Cpu heatsink will perform better/fit better for this rebuild/upgrade? And lastly are there any compatibility issues I might have missed?
  2. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    If I remember correctly all Northbridge functions were consolidated in the CPUs beginning with the Sandy Bridge line so you should be good to go there.
  3. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Cool, I kept seeing different mobo norhbridge setups such as zx8 and wasn't sure. Which leaves me with the last two and which would be better for my cpu, the zalman or cooler master, heat sinks? And if there are any compatibility issues I might have missed?
  4. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    It all looks compatible to me. 16GB of RAM seems a little overkill for games and video watching. I'd stick with the 8GB unless your doing some hefty video editing.
    As far as coolers go, idk, I've always stuck with stock coolers. I have the i5 2500k as well and I keep it oc'd to 3.7 and haven't had any cooling issues. If I oc'd it anymore id probably have to get an aftermarket cooler though.
  5. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Cool, I appreciate the help, I have found that running two sticks on a dual channel board = more speed, this board has four dimm slots how do I know for certain wich two to use, It's been a while since I have upgraded ram and last I remember it would be a matching set, such as on this board, with one set being black blue and the other being black blue, I would install the cards to both blue or both black but not one in each. Am I remembering this correctly?
  6. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Nah, Im pretty sure the colors are just for looks. I also have an Asus board and it's colored the same way. The first slot is the one closest to the CPU. And they are numbered in order 2,3,4 out from the first one. If you look closely the numbers should be printed on the motherboard beside the slots.
  7. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Thanks, I will look at it closer when I finally get it here. Sucks having to pray my system doesnt die waiting on a tax return, I lost my ability to work last oct, and social security are being jerks.
  8. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    just discovered an issue, my stock board is a micro atx, its listed as a uATX, will a standard atx board still fit? the case has lots of room, I just dunno about the mobo stand points
  9. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Generally, yes, and atx board should fit Any mid-tower case. To be sure though I would have to know the model of the case. If you don't know what model it is then a picture of the inside will do as well.
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    If you have no intention to overclock the processor the stock Intel cooler will be more than suitable.

    uATX, mATX motherboards generally lose features due to the smaller size, so be sure to check it has the correct features you require. Unless you are deliberately aiming for a smaller case I would just go with ATX models.

    The number of RAM slots you use depends on how much RAM you want. It might make a difference using 2 or 4 slots at once, but the reality is the effect will be so little you'd be troubled to notice it.

    I've run most of my computers on 2/4 sticks at one point or another and besides running with half as much RAM, I've never noticed any difference. I've happily been running 8/16GB in computers using 4 slots for several years now. Just make sure you buy matched sets of RAM, so you can guarantee they will work well with each other.

    If you don't plan to ever overclock, the Intel i5 2500 retail processor is worth considering if there is a difference over the K model. There is no need having an unlocked and more overclock friendly CPU model (aka "K" designation CPUs) if you're never going to use the features.

    Also, Intel aims to launch its new Ivy Bridge CPU's on April 8, which will offer high performance with reduced energy consumption. If I was you, I'd wait out another two months for them.
  11. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    after checking asus' website I found that my case will only hold micro atx boards, so I am kinda at crossroads as to whether to spend 100 more to get a mobo that will keep what I had on the standard atx board or spend 50 and just get a new case. This is why I am not rushing this lolz
  12. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I think you should get a proper ATX motherboard and a new case, it sounds like you have an OEM case that probably doesn't have very good airflow.

    COOLER MASTER Elite 430

    Your build looks decent, shouldn't cost anywhere near your stated $1300 though.

    By the way extended warranties are a total waste of money, PC components depreciate in value very quickly. For example if your $300 graphics card breaks down after 4-5 years, by that time it will only be worth $50.
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'd get a decent case with good airflow. If you buy a quality one now it will still be usable with your next system upgrade, so in that sense its future proof.
  14. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Good lord that card takes up three slots? I hadn't looked at it closely enough until now. Yeah you should def go for a standard mid tower with an atx board. I once put a two slot card (4870) in a micro atx case. Took me about an hour to fit it in and then it would overheat after an hour of use.
  15. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Silver NZXT APOLLO Crafted Series Steel Mid Tower Computer Case, w/ 1394, Side Window, Dual 120mm Fans, Going to add a Scythe case fan for the rear exhaust, and decided to gift my old system to a close friend who is in need of a pc. I told him what it's doing and he thinks he can fix it, dude's like me and ex military and a freakin genius!
  16. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    OK, new question has come up, the hard drive that I will be cloning the os from has a recovery partition, will I have to change that recovery partition's setup after I get the new pc up and running?
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    If your old computer is prebuilt, e.g. Dell, HP or the likes then the Windows license will be for that computer, as an OEM version. The recovery partition is usually included instead of genuine CD/DVD's, and you should be able to make your own discs.

    That said, you will not be able to run it on new hardware. Added to the fact that you can't run two separate installs on one license. You're breaking the license terms if you do, although I very much doubt you'll ever be able to use your existing license anyway.

    It is also highly recommended that you do a fresh install of Windows when making the sort of changes (e.g. pretty much all new hardware) like you are, otherwise you will encounter countless problems with drivers for Windows itself.
  18. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    You don't really need an aftermarket case fan unless you're an overclocking enthusiast.

    As Leeky said above, it is 99.9% certain that you won't be able to run your existing Vista install on your new hardware. If you know anyone who's a student they can get you Windows 7 for cheap... plus it's also much better than Vista.
  19. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Sorry but no, I have 7 on my school laptop and I have had naught but bad issues, with vista I have the Compatibility toolkit for any fixes I need to run. I have run vista for 2 years no problem, my first laptop from my school lasted four months, during that time it repeteatedly uninstalled progams, upon boot wouldn't recognize my isometric input, and lastly destroyed it's own copy of win 7. I tried to run a recovery to "repair" the damage it did to itself, all to no avail. I lost 4 weeks of schoolwork, 2 years of photos from my phone(had just put them on my laptop) all thx to win 7. Did get a new laptop from my school, and now I keep all my classwork on my flashdrive. So no when it comes to win7 I will kindly pass. Actually considering kubuntu for many reasons.

    *forgot to mention* Yes I am going to be overclocking, plan on taking the cpu up to 4 mhz great thing about the motherboard is it will connect to my smartphone and I can fine tune it there.
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    You're in the minority then, and something was clearly wrong from the outset. No OS should be that problematic (sounds virus/malware related actually), so either it was a bad install, virus' and malware or bad hardware, or all of them, who knows -- but it is not the sort of experience one would expect with Windows 7.

    Windows 7 is the improvement Vista should have been over Windows XP. It is the most reliable Windows OS to be released, and from a support standpoint considerably better than anything else as well.

    I've long since thrown all my Vista License discs and product keys in the bin and renewed them with Windows 7 ones. It improves on Vista in so many ways.

    P.S. Already does much more than 4MHz. ;) I think you mean 4GHz.

    P.P.S. I hope you have backup copies of all that school material on your flash drive. Its about the worst option for the data storage usage you're using it for. You should never rely on flash based storage to keep files long term, and I'd strongly advise you make copies if you haven't already.

    What are your reasons for considering Linux?
  21. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Your right I did mean 4ghz, been a hard morning lolz.
    Yes I keep a redundancy of my school work on my slave drive on my desktop.
    If I do decide to go to windows 7, if I have problems how hard is it to go back to windows vista?

    edit* Will an OEM version of windows 7 work, or must it be the non-OEM type? I am pretty sure it has to be ultimate so I can get the 64 bit package, why go 32 bit and lose ram right?

    Just to be certain will this version work, I keep running into nothing but OEM and upgrade versions.
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Just a case of installing Vista, wiping Windows 7.
  23. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

    my reasons for installing linux- I used to run red hat and I enjoyed it, very easy to learn albeit once you get passed the learning curve, I am relearning programming and will be getting back into writing programs, ( I am a criminal justice major working towards joining FBI computer forensics division) I also have a friend who swears by it, and says the new version is much better than it ever was, just have been worried that If I use it I will be stuck with a mac like pc that won't play modern games lolz.
  24. Deshra

    Deshra TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 60

  25. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    In response to your edited post above my previous reply:

    If purchasing new from a store...

    OEM = purchased with new hardware, just a disc and product key. Comes in 32 bit or 64bit versions, not both together.
    Retail = Full retail version that can be used as a fresh install, comes in fancy box with 2 discs for each OS type. e.g. 32 and 64bit.
    Upgrade = Can only be used to upgrade an existing qualifying Windows Vista install. Yours will unlikely qualify.

    Windows 7 is available in 32 bit and 64bit for Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate editions. I would recommend Professional or Ultimate if you want to better integrate with network systems at your school/college.

    The one you linked should be fine -- but true OEM needs to be purchased with hardware, in order to get it. Whether the supplier makes you is another thing.

    Fedora will be a natural home for you, if you can't get hold of Red Hat.

    EDIT: First link: http://www.ecrater.com/p/12891539/windows-7-ultimate-32-64-bit-full-retail Yes. This is a full retail version that can be installed on any computer capable of running Windows 7.

    Second link: As I answered above. Yes. This looks like a 64 bit OEM version. I'd personally spend the little bit more and go with the retail one above.

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