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121  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What is it with DVD drives in my system? on: April 11, 2012, 08:11:41 PM
bootmgr is missing means system isn't spotting your boot volume on the hard drive. (which didn't necessarily cause your bsod)...

however... how old are your sata (data) cables.

when I had problems with mine, it turned out I had a batch of intermittent cables.

they're only rated for 50 insertions on the connectors for internals, so it's possible to wear them out without working too hard at it.

in any case, you're getting pretty much exactly what I got, when I had my issues.

my recommendation: replace ALL of the sata cables with new (they're relatively cheap, so no excuses). if that solves your problem, you could, if you wanted, go through your cables one by one using a dvd drive to test with until you start getting intermittent errors, at which point you've found your cable(s).

assuming my 'analysis' is correct, your bsod was probably caused by the boot and or system drive, falling off the drive chain, which would be caused by enough communication errors on the sata connection. (they do error correction on both command and data channels, which is great... but the will fall out of the drive chain eventually)

at a guess. even without bsods, etc, your dvd drive(s) disappear at random times, yes?

if your cables are relatively brand new, aka you've only connected/disconnected them a few times each, the this is not likely your problem.

if the build is brand new, and you've had problems from day one, then go back to suspecting this... you might simply have a bad cable, right out of the package.

Atomic
122  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Best Gaming Laptop on: April 04, 2012, 06:15:46 AM
Remember those are mobile variants, which are, well, never, the equivalent of their desktop brethren. To be checking the specs before pushing the button!

Atomic
123  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: March 31, 2012, 09:49:27 PM

Quote from: Thry on March 31, 2012, 01:34:26 PM

Good news!

On Monday, April 2nd, we will be turning the servers on and leaving them on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Way to read that last post there, Thry smile

Atomic
124  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: March 30, 2012, 10:58:42 AM
Testing going to 24/7 as of the 2nd. http://www.firefallthegame.com/blog/2012/03/29/an-open-letter-to-our-testers (note it's posted to the public, on purpose)

Harkonis invite was accepted, though he didn't bother to post here. Please update his status to keymaster.

For those of you not in yet. The game is quite nice. And combined with free, I think it's going to roll along for quite a while. Don't get depressed waiting.

Atomic
125  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: SSD alert! on: March 30, 2012, 06:15:06 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 30, 2012, 04:11:38 AM

Quote from: Caine on March 30, 2012, 04:07:54 AM

They also have slightly different model for the same price, fwiw

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163


thanks.  I did the math and to move Steam and all my other games onto a SSD I'd have to look into the 200 gig and above sizes to have enough room to keep all my old standby's while still being able to feed my gaming ADD properly biggrin

For that, we have the bulk capacity drives... http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100011693%20600038491&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20

You'll note that the cheapest drives in the category are Crucial M4's, which are well regarded, and run neck in neck with the other performance category drives. It's 589$, but barring destruction of your rig, power surge, or somesuch, the drive will be with you for years. Rough estimate for the nand of 3000 erase cycles, combined with 512 GB size and wear leveling, quick calculation shows.... you'd have to write 1.5 Petabytes to the drive, give or take, before it wears out. How's that for endurance? biggrin

Thanks for finding the other drive for the same price, Caine... apparently a local friend and I pretty much killed the first deal between us. I bought two drives, and he bought a third, and shortly after that, it went out of stock.

Atomic
126  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: SSD alert! on: March 28, 2012, 06:09:00 AM
that's 139.99 after the 40$ promo code. for the record that's 1.093xxx per gig.

Atomic
127  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / SSD alert! on: March 28, 2012, 05:45:14 AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147137   Promo ends on 3/31

Note that it's a notebook upgrade kit, which doesn't include a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter. You may or may not need one to mount the drive in your case.

Folks, this is a really good deal. The pricing is down to almost a dollar a gig. The samsung drives are made entirely in-house, so to speak, with samsung parts from bottom to top. The reviews are out there, and they all come back pretty danged positive. (these are amongst the fastest ssd's in the market segment... aka equivalent to top end intel, marvell, and sandforce controller drives)

If you have at least a sata II port, and preferably sata III, THIS, will make a difference. 128 gigs is enough for a boot drive and a game or three. Or it's enough for several games if you dont use it as a boot drive.

Deal is good enough I actually caved and bought a couple myself, in spite of the fact that theyr'e not 'needed' atm. But wanted. Very much wanted.

Will be using the pair of these as a raid0 boot volume, and my existing pair of intels will become the dedicated raid0 games volume.

The good news is, this type of upgrade lasts a lot longer than a video card, barring misfortune biggrin

Atomic

128  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Damn it. Best Antivirus? on: March 27, 2012, 08:59:41 AM
I've had really good luck over time with a combination of Spybot Search and Destroy, Malwarebytes, Microsoft Security Essentials, and the occasional sweep with DrWeb CureIt, which is available as a free download that didn't need to be installed to run a sweep with the latest. So far, nothing has managed to penetrate that combination, while using NoScript in conjunction with Firefox.

NoScript may be a pain to work through, but I consider it absolutely necessary in maintaining a 'secure' system. A backup choice might be to use Chrome, since it seems to default to or is capable of similar behavior of not allowing scripts unless you approve them. Chrome not installed atm, so I can't remember how it sets up by default, but I _think_ the previous statement is relatively true.

Flattened the lappie? Ouch frown I hope you meant that figuratively.

Atomic

PS: Reinstalling windows from a usb stick is MUCH less painful than from optical. Get a copy of the .iso with SP1 already included, will save you on updates from now on. (if you haven't already done any of this)
PS2: That Ashampoo stuff looks interesting. Gonna give it a whirl. Thankyou for the free version link.
129  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: March 25, 2012, 04:37:55 AM
Ok, Harkonis, you appear to be first on the list. Please send me a PM with the email address you want invited to the beta, aka the one you're going to be using to login with.

Atomic
130  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: March 24, 2012, 08:42:31 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on March 24, 2012, 03:32:53 PM

Oops, sorry, I already sent them to the people that PM'd me before checking this thread. 

Razgon and Elmo have beta invites sent, and can be removed from that list then.  And so can I, for that matter.

Oh, you can't leave the list... noone EVER leaves the list...

Plus you didn't do it right, so those invites are OURS. Forever...

Atomic
131  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia GTX 680 on: March 23, 2012, 03:21:02 AM
I'm runnin on a GTX 260 here, I need a fix, lol!

Interestingly enough, supposedly according to those pics, someone was able to order a pair, yet they've been nothing but out of stock on the newegg I normally shop at, ever since they were listed. So it's either someone elses newegg, like canada? or newegg business, or somesuch.

Actually I'm trying to hold off for a while on gpu upgrades, but I may weaken. Going to try and hang in there til Diablo 3 releases, and see how it does on my 260, etc.

I think biggrin

Atomic
132  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: nVidia GTX 680 on: March 22, 2012, 07:21:20 AM
http://www.techpowerup.com/162835/EVGA-GeForce-GTX-680-Pictured-Too-$499-Pricing-Confirmed.html

Sadly, MY newegg doesn't have them listed yet.

Atomic
133  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: March 21, 2012, 03:32:55 AM
I monitor my invites once a week on average... so far no invites to give. I hope it's not related to feedback, because I haven't been able to participate that much (yet).

Atomic
134  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Firefox 6, anyone tried it yet? (previously discussing 5) on: March 20, 2012, 06:49:29 AM
Running 11 here. Everything smoothly updated, no problems with extensions. (downloadhelper, fast dial, and noscript)

Atomic
135  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: March 18, 2012, 02:06:23 AM
Ok, got the thing re-installed with a functional raid-0.

Moving the drives to the first two ports, may or may not have fixed my 'missing cdrom' error. Not sure.

Add to that, apparently, out of the multiple f6 drivers I've tried, nothing I've downloaded has been detected by microsoft as compatible. However, there's a functioning driver on the Gigabyte disk, which of course, is attached to the intel drive controller which is set to raid mode, and thus, wasn't visible or useable to pull a driver from in order to.. yeah, catch-22 there.

During all this I pulled a Windows ISO image and loaded it to a USB stick to make it a little easier for the install. Added the driver from the gigabyte cdrom to that, and between all of the above, we were in business.

So basically my issues were, (possible, but I'm thinking unlikely) some sort of port error involving the sata 6 vs sata 3 ports.

Missing driver.. no really... due to not having a workable raid driver on the windows cdrom, it couldn't really spot the cdrom, while the bios was set to raid mode. So I forgive it this one.

This in spite of the fact that the intel information in their downloads area very clearly stated that I shouldn't need _anything_ with windows 7 to boot to a raid. Just setup the raid, insert the installation cd, and off we should have gone.

Missing driver caused by utter confusion over WHICH updated intel driver to download from the site. And unfortunately, gigabyte renames their drivers on the cdrom, and in their downloads area, so I couldn't even compare names.

The rest of the rebuild is continuing smoothly, now that I have a handle on exactly what was going on.

Atomic
136  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: ... so tempting ... on: March 16, 2012, 08:04:10 PM

Quote from: Purge on March 16, 2012, 12:49:08 PM

I can't justify it. I want it, but I don't need it.
...

_Justify_ it? Oh please biggrin

This is a _gaming_ site...

Atomic
137  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: March 16, 2012, 07:27:01 AM
Gotta update here. Pretty sure my 'heat warning' was a false alarm. The thing went off again tonight. Precisely at 11pm local, while I was sitting at the desktop. I _think_ there's a clock or something, hiding in a box under my desk, trying to fool me. Haven't found it yet.

*blushes a bit*

Atomic
138  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: ... so tempting ... on: March 16, 2012, 04:23:49 AM
It's $199... you don't have to fight it that hard. Just be good for a while afterwards, and the universe will let it go. Probably.

Checked the tires on your vehicle lately? Water heater given any trouble?

You know me... I like to help biggrin

Atomic
139  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: March 13, 2012, 08:40:47 PM
Take the numbers with a grain of salt, they're human eyeball numbers, from watching the meter while playing. If your system is anything like mine, those numbers vary quite a bit, based on what is on screen at the time. BUT. The 'average' fps, seems to be up about 10 or so.

I actually got a heat warning from what I'm pretty sure was the gpu the other night. Low beep tone, slow, then faster, then repeating. At which point I quit out of WoT, but by the time I got a hardware monitor fired up, the gpu was only at 88c. (which is higher than normal 260's because a: this unit is factory overclocked and b: this units fan profile is altered for silent running)

I've actually had it at 90c before, which is really about as warm as I ever want to see it, and the alarm didn't go off at that point smile

Atomic

PS: your '70 fps more' comment is off from what I posted. Please re-read before purchasing anything smile ( went from what seemed to be a 45 fps average with occasional spikes up into the 70-90 fps land, to 55 fps average with spikes well above 120 fps)

PS2: I really like the new hardware, it's just not quite as fuss-free as the p45 system has been.

PS3: If you only ever run 1 video card, the socket 2011 platform is pretty much money not well spent. get a socket 1155 and enjoy the same levels of performance for less.
140  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: March 12, 2012, 04:06:32 AM
They are definitely connected to ports 2 and 3, which are the first two intel 3gbps ports (left the 6gbps ports empty for a reason), visually, and per the bios. The bios sees them connected, raid more or no.

When I boot the windows cdrom, it doesn't finish the preload, and never gets to the 'select where you want to install windows' crap. Instead it fails partially into startup, with a 'missing cdrom driver' message, and a window offering to let you select a location to look for drivers. mounted to x:, and it's the windows cdrom, of course.

Basically, it's some sort of error... I'm still working on it, or will be at a point in time when I can afford to spend time rebuilding the machine again. I don't feel that it's a hardware problem at this point. Or if it is, it's a really really interesting one.

Atomic
141  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: March 10, 2012, 10:00:53 AM
Just decided to blurb in here, now that I've had the current build for a couple of weeks, as to things I might have done differently.

1: The noctua heatsink. My god is this thing huge... which would be ok, if I had double checked mobo compatibility first, but I apparently wasn't thinking it that far ahead at the time. Whilst the kit will physically mount to the motherboard, the heatsink requires so much real estate that it actually blocks the first pci-e slot. I can get by for now, but once I get around to upgrading gpu's (especially the 'more than one' intention for this time around), this is going to have to be resolved, as the entire point of upgrading to this motherboard, was having two full bandwidth pci-e 16x slots available, and directly attached to the cpu (otherwise I might have opted for an AMD solution instead)

2: see 1. that thing is huge. (and expensive).

3: still haven't resolved the raid issue I'm having with installation. pretty sure it's resolvable though, otherwise the boards would be loaded up with angry peoples. I just wasn't expecting to have to jump through hoops to get it working.

4: I did get a pretty noticeable improvement out of my gpu performance. Not world beating, but my max framerates in say, world of tanks, have improved from 70ish or so, up to 120+. And the average framerate has enjoyed an improvement from 45 or so, to 55 or so. It's noticeable. Apparently the Q6600 didn't have quite enough oomph to keep up.

Atomic
142  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Quiet but Deadly (Now with build pics) on: March 10, 2012, 09:09:39 AM
Now that it has been a little while, perhaps you've had some ideas on where you might have gone differently. I'll be updating my 'twitching' thread in a moment for my own.

Atomic
143  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dusty computer is REALLY dusty (need advice) on: March 03, 2012, 07:32:03 AM
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145287

Look what I found! biggrin

Atomic
144  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dusty computer is REALLY dusty (need advice) on: February 28, 2012, 09:41:55 PM
Assuming little things like plugged into the correct fan header, of the proper type (4 pin pwm controlled fan needs that type of header to function properly, etc)

Basically, if it was working properly before... it could be that the control chip for the fan itself has become borked, and is forcing on at 100%, all of the time. Which I suppose is better than shutting the fan off.

It could be that your motherboard header is no longer being controlled properly by the motherboard. You could try installing speedfan and trying to manually tune the cpu fan speed...

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

If you can force it with speedfan, then something weird is up.

Your temps are real good btw. biggrin

Atomic

ps: basic fan lesson... old 3 wire fans are voltage controlled. it uses 2 wires to supply varying levels of voltage to the fan, to change the speed... the third wire is an rpm monitor. 4 wire pwm fans use pulse width modulation to control the fan speed... 2 wires supply the 12 volts for the fan, third wire is rpm monitor, 4th wire sends the pulses to the fan that control the fan speed. (the fan has smarts inside to interpret x number of pulses per millisec equals y speed, etc etc) Pretty sure in the absence of a pwm signal on the 4th wire, most pwm fans will default to 100% speed. Someone chime in here if they know for sure on this one.
145  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: February 28, 2012, 07:55:48 AM
Got it figured out at this point, but no invites available atm. When that changes, we'll start working through the list.

Atomic
146  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: SSD Drives on: February 28, 2012, 04:56:12 AM
I'll sorta apologize for hi-jacking this thread first, although since the thread wasn't a serious discussion anyways, hopefully this will add something to it smile

Three easy steps to a successful gaming system, in no particular order.

1: Give the damned thing enough memory. 2 gigs doesn't cut it anymore. 4 gigs is ok, 6 gigs is preferable, and 8 gigs is more than enough. If you don't have enough memory and you start swapping, your game will chug. No matter what else you do. I haven't had a swap file in over four years, and believe me I don't miss having one. On the same note: 64 bit OS the next time you upgrade. Just do it, it's not going to be a problem.

2: Storage. Investing in a one to two hundred gig SSD, preferably with either a marvell, intel, sandforce, or samsung controller inside, is one of the best things you can do for your box. The storage access is without a doubt, the slowest performing part of a personal computer. SSD's speed this up considerably. This speeds up things like texture loads for the game. As an example, my gaming/personal system, runs with two intel 160 gig ssd's. (the old x25-m series, with 34nm flash). They were expensive, admittedly. Prices are better now. Even with them being relatively old, the storage system is extremely responsive. I prefer running them in raid-0, where they approximately match the speed of the new, sata III, sandforce drives. Roughly 500 megs a second, and about half that in writes.

PS: You can get two, or four, smaller drives, for roughly the same price. Slap them in raid-0, and watch them go ZOOOOOOOOOOOOM. There is no comparison. Hard drive based systems feel broken once you've experienced this.

PS2: Normally raid-0 can be somewhat unreliable, due to the increased potential for errors. The wear leveling algorythm's on the ssd's, alleviate this somewhat. In the entire time I've been running my raided x25's, I've never had to reinstall them to a raid error. Never, and that's not in approximately two years now. As long as one of your drives doesn't die on you, you're good to go.

3: GPU power. You want to game? Invest in a gaming grade gpu. It doesn't have to be a gtx580, or a radeon 7970. It can be a lesser card. But please be sure the card has at least one gigabyte of memory, and at least 256bit memory access. If it has the last two, it will almost certainly be 'fast enough' in terms of gpu shaders, etc, without specifying that. As a for instance, the GTX 560ti was an _excellent_ gaming card for its generation, even before they changed it up later on. Basically, you're looking at a couple hundred bucks here.

You'll notice I didn't mention the cpu itself. That's because, for the most part, the cpu itself is somewhat irrelevant. There ARE performance differences between the different cpu's, even if the other hardware is the same... but as long as the cpu is relatively modern, the difference won't be world ending. Your money is best spent on the first three things I mentioned, and the cpu (relatively) last.

As an example system, I'll recommend something a local friend just upgraded to when his E8400 setup decided to roll over on him.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115230  (note: friend could have gone with a 2500k, or a 2600k, or a 2600.. any of them would have worked, just went with the 2550k.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128506  (note: any z68 board would have worked. friend and I have history with gigabyte motherboards, and I like the layout on this one. If I'd bought socket 1155 on my last upgrade, it would have been this particular board)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144  (note: any 8 gig kit would have worked. gigabyte boards seem to always get along with corsair memory, and it's what we've been using for a while now)

He has yet to make the jump to SSD's.. I'm still convincing him. What the SSD gives you is quick booting, which admittedly is once or twice a day usually, and can be ignored by going for coffee. But it also gives you _responsiveness_ when using the computer. It's no longer click-and-wait.. it's click and 'oh, it's ready'. This is where hard drives start to feel broken.

Total cost would be 473$ plus the cost of the gpu which he carried over from his previous system, and the ssd, which in his is still a hard drive.

Point to this excersize, is it does not cost the entire world, to get a good, solid, gaming-grade system, up and running.

My last system (and his, we upgraded at roughly the same time), lasted 4 years. When you spread the cost out over that time frame, it really isn't much.

Atomic

147  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dusty computer is REALLY dusty (need advice) on: February 27, 2012, 02:09:09 AM
CPU fan sounds like a freight train, at a guess, because it is motherboard controlled, and the cpu is too hot, so the board is increasing speed to max, trying to cool it down.

Cpu be hot because you have a nice caking of dust insulating the heatsink.

The other fan probably generating noise, will be your power supply, which is almost certainly, internally coated with the same insulating layer of dirt.

And the gpu, just so you didn't think you missed anything biggrin

Step 1: Take case outside after disconnecting cables, and gently, but thoroughly, blow it out with the compressed air you mentioned.

Step 2: Judging from case, do step one twice biggrin

Remember to try and shoot some down through the gpu and psu, and get those blown out as well.

You should notice a massive difference at this point.

Good lord man, the computer gods are giving you the evil stare at this point biggrin

Dust builds up because of lack of filtration in the cases, combined with charged surfaces, even if it isn't much. Charge attracts dust, etc.

Basic solution is to open up the case every few months and give it a thorough cleaning. Your fans will last longer too.

Atomic
148  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: February 25, 2012, 10:34:12 AM
Basically, if windows isn't smart enough with what it has on disk, you need additional resources when it comes time to install. This basically happens if your motherboard chipset comes out significantly after windows is released. In my case, I can install in the 'standard' mode, but if I try to install to raid mode, I need special drivers.

Annoyingly enough, I downloaded the driver intel tells me I need, but after I reconfigured and tried to reinstall again, it doesn't actually work. Plus the message it's giving me is confusing anyways... it may be some kind of bug/error... we're coming back to it later. For now I'm just running in dual drive mode.

As far as bios goes, the only time you really have a problem with it, is if your motherboard doesnt have a recent enough bios to recognize the cpu you're trying to plug into it. After that it's mostly of interest to tweakers/overclockers. You usually won't need to mess with it.

Atomic
149  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Firefall Invite Thread on: February 25, 2012, 10:29:49 AM
Got an invite as well. Everything signed and sealed, but the download for the install is not functioning atm. Hunted around looking for how to invite other people, no love with that yet. (and still rebuilding/reinstalling my machine).

I'll update again here asap once I get it figured out.

Atomic
150  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Motherboard Temps Question! on: February 25, 2012, 07:21:44 AM
60c is a little warmer than I prefer, but my p45 board does get that hot sometimes. I suspect it has bad contact on whichever heatsink it is (it has a long heatpipe going from the southbridge to the northbridge to the power circuitry)

Atomic
151  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Hard Drive Failure on: February 24, 2012, 10:11:43 AM
Any luck at all, Purge?

Atomic
152  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Would a wireless network adapter work for gaming on a desktop PC? on: February 24, 2012, 10:10:57 AM
If you go the usb adapter route, do yourself a favor and get yourself something similar to this...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816056

Note that it's a 'usb extension' cable.. also called an 'a-b' cable. Basically, one male, one female connector.
edit: not the same thing. corrected.

Basic idea is, you put your usb adapter on the end of it, and the cable lets you place the adapter optimally for reception, instead of having it stick off the front of your case.

And at something like 4$, it's quite the bargain.

Atomic
153  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: February 24, 2012, 10:05:38 AM
Ok, all pieces are in, pre-assembled, and temporarily installed.

Win7 totally not capable of installing to raid0 on the intel chipset on this thing by default. Not totally surprised. Irritated because the install utility apparently can't spot the drivers on the gigabyte supplied disk. Or at least it wouldn't for me.

went ahead and installed it in ide/legacy mode for the moment, just to get it up and running. updated the firmware on my ssd's while I was at it. Interestingly enough the firmware update didn't destroy my existing data. sadly, windows was unbootable.

Something to note. The Noctua cooler I linked above... well, you think Misguided's little dinky one is big... heh. This thing could be used as a boat anchor. It's so big it barely, but sufficiently, blocks pci-e slot 1 on the mobo. Fortunately the mobo is smart, and can boot from any of its four slots. It's so big I almost couldn't get the motherboard into the case due to interference with things like the back end of hard drives, fans, inconvenient cabling, etc. Fortunately I powered up in hulk mode and used my gigantic boot^h^h^h^h^h managed to gently manuever it into place without breaking anything.

Basic note to anyone about to build a win7 machine using new hardware.. I knew this and thought I had enough without going to the trouble. BUILD YOURSELF A CDROM with at least the chipset/raid drivers for whatever motherboard you're installing to. Don't trust the vendor supplied disc, as it either might not work, or might be out of date, or both. It will save you a headache.

Got lucky with the motherboard bios. Even though it shipped with the f7 bios, which for those of you who care will look it up on the GB website, it was capable of spotting the 3820 chip, and running enough to load the newest bios from usb stick, which I prepared in advance, hoping I wouldn't need it. Since all new boards ship with at least F7, all new boards are capable of at least booting the 3820 and loading new bios code. This is definitely good, I wasn't looking forward to having to deal with this potential issue.

Oh yeah, that Noctua cooler? That thing is doing its job. Idle temps 27-32c, ambient is somewhere around 23c atm. a few minutes of hyperpi only get it to 50c. we'll pound on it more, later, after permanent installation. May try rotating cooler and see if that clears the first pci-e slot, do some adjustments to the fannage.

If anyone has any questions about anything specific, I'll try to answer.

Atomic
154  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Hard Drive Failure on: February 22, 2012, 04:34:35 AM
Actually it could very well be an electronics failure. The electronics control the servo's after all... and he mentioned that the bios is no longer picking it up. It might be worthwhile to pickup another drive of that type, and try to swap the electronics, assuming they haven't changed in the meantime.

Either that or just write it off.

Atomic
155  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Hard Drive Failure on: February 21, 2012, 09:09:17 PM
Hmm... seems like there used to be something like that... lemme poke...

Quick check is revealing recovery iso's, but not anything preloaded with your drivers...

*checks for slipstreaming*

Came up with this, but it's for a windows installer, not a recovery disk.

http://lifehacker.com/5793427/how-to-create-a-custom-windows-installation-dvd-or-usb-install

Better than nothing. A little short on time atm. (off to work in a few)

Atomic
156  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Hard Drive Failure on: February 21, 2012, 08:22:30 PM

Quote from: Purge on February 21, 2012, 06:17:50 PM

System Restore will track that kind of thing, but since my D drive is missing entirely, it doesn't help much.

I can't say much for the Windows 7 Backup - I've yet to have an opportunity for it to work. crybaby. Perhaps AtomicKid has a suggestion.

Sadly, once they go, they're usually gone. You can try the freezer trick, but that only works for certain types of errors. Clicking and giving up does give one a little hope that it might be the right type of error though.

For the record, I'm fond of the 'usb flash drive in a medicine bottle' backup for critical stuff. The drives are super cheap anymore, and when tucked in a desk drawer, in a sealed medicine/etc bottle/enclosure, will easily last the years until bitrot starts to set in. Since your flash drive would be part of an active backup system, this isn't a concern. (I would get two drives, of enough size to backup whatever you're hoping to backup each month. Delete and re-write the first drive  one month, and then the second drive the second, or somesuch. You get the idea)

Atomic
157  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Quiet but Deadly (PC build) on: February 20, 2012, 10:01:17 PM
You people and your stickers...

I guess at least they don't light up the room when you're trying to sleep.

Good thinking about heatpipe orientation when fitting it together. Did anyone know that proper orientation of heatpipes to take advantage of gravity can make as rather noticeable difference in temps? As much as 15c from personal testing. The idea is to make what little liquid is in the pipe, pool at the source of heat, which increases the efficiency. They still work without it, just not as well.

The sad thing is, due to this, the standard atx tower is generally the worst of both worlds for cooling the cpu/gpu. The cpu is on its side, so at best, most heatsinks can mount the pipes parallel to surface the case rests on, which runs it across the surface of the cpu, with a sort of neutral effect in terms of gravity vs the distilled water inside. Which is better than it pooling at the ends, but only a bit.

The gpu hangs upside down, so any heatpipes in those pretty much depend on wicking action inside to do their job.

This is why you see some atx cases with the motherboard inverted... in order to mount the gpu's right-side up, so that gravity helps with the thermal action.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe for anyone interested. Remember it's a wiki, so grain of salt, but it is a start.

Atomic
158  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: How do you determine bottlenecks in your system? on: February 20, 2012, 04:17:45 AM
The tools are of course, the individual benchmarks for different games, futuremark, etc.

One good way to check on your cpu/gpu, is to UNDERCLOCK your cpu, and see how much, if any, your gpu performance degrades. (underclocking being much safer than overclocking, naturally)

if you downclock your cpu and performance doesn't come down, it means you need more gpu power. If you downclock your cpu and your gpu drops a tiny bit, you're pretty closely matched, assuming you underclock your cpu by a tiny bit to check.

And of course, if it drops the gpu performance by a lot, it means you need more cpu horsepower.

Gentle overclocking in the other direction will confirm what you need, if you feel up to it.

There will of course be some slight variational tendencies, in the direction you change the clock on your cpu. Aka if you speed up your cpu by 10%, you might get +1% from your gpu anyways, even if you're already 'maxed out' on the gpu. Think of the two performance curves in comparison to one another. Once you're past the 'sweet spot' of cpu/gpu ratio, you'll still get some increase, but it will be a case of declining returns.

Atomic
159  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Twitching... on: February 18, 2012, 11:34:50 PM
If they hadn't come out with the 3820 chip, I would almost certainly have gone a different direction. The 3930K and the 3960X are just too expensive, and who the heck really needs 6/12 cores (hyperthreading, yo!) for a desktop/gaming system anyways? (I do HOPE this one comes back to haunt me biggrin)

Also up for consideration were the i5/2550k, the i7/2600k, and/or the 2700k, which is really a little too expensive. I passed on the 2550k because it's slightly more expensive than the 2500k, combined with the 'only' 6mb of onboard caching. And I passed on the 1155 in general because I dislike the intel onboard graphics, and I didn't feel like paying for a part I would almost certainly never use. Someone remember to nyahnyah me when my gpu goes out and I can't use my computer the next time it happens smile

In the end it was a combination of reasonable pricing, (though not the cheapest), lack of features I didn't want/need, and the presence of features I DID want/need (the extra pci-e lanes from the cpu, and the much larger L2 cache memory).

Way I figure it, if I get 4 years out of the upgrade, I did pretty good. That's actually twice the current planned longevity of parts in the system. (I'm supposed to be upgrading every other year for components. mobo/cpu/ram one year, then gpu the next. Needs adjustment to include storage upgrades, but those tend to either last longer, or not be as expensive, or both, so I tend to slip them in on the side)

Atomic
160  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Twitching... on: February 18, 2012, 12:42:03 PM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128532

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115229

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233239

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608024

* TheAtomicKid stares carefully at the mailbox, patiently awaiting his prey, still several days journey away.

It has been four years, less one month, since my last system upgrade. Four very, very, very long, years. I do believe I can afford to come up with a few bucks at this point, even if it feels like misbehavior at the moment.

It has been over TWO years, since my last gpu upgrade. I tried to upgrade last March with a gigabyte-built GTX 560 super overclock unit, but wasn't satisfied with the build quality. (felt a little flimsy, and one of the fans ticked quite badly once the rpm's ramped up over 50% or so). Still using the previous card, which is another gigabyte-built super overclock unit... a gtx-260, which is still going strong.

So... we rebuild the heart, and see what that does to gpu performance with the gtx 260.. I suspect it will go up somewhat... this Q6600 based setup has always felt like it was a tad too slow to really make the card earn its lunch money, and overclocking the system does in fact get some minor returns, but the chip runs a little warm for comfort. (not in the least helped by my semi-passive setup in this box... case fans only, no other fans in the box barring the video card). Later this year I'll probably look at gpu replacement.

Thought about just upgrading the gpu one more time... but see previous comments about the cpu feeling a little slow. Not much point in spending that much money on a fancy new gpu, only to have it (mostly) idle because the cpu can't stress it.

Considered going with a standard sandy bridge / z68 setup, but wanted the extra pci-e lanes. I have a feeling, the new box will end up with at LEAST two gpu's in it, before everything is said and done. We'll see what that shape of the universe looks like when we get there.

For those who need a current comparison, my card is perhaps a tad bit faster than a radeon 5770, due to the overclock. However, it maxes out at directx 10.1, and tbh, it does directx 10.anything poorly. directx 9 does fine though. Just not at insane framerates smile

Atomic <-- whom loves his bells and whistles turned on in games, and has been going without, a little more each new game, for just a little too long. IT IS TIME TO TAKE BACK WHAT IS OURS.

PS: The Q6600 is currently angling to find a home in a dedicated HTPC setup. The semi-passive build works very nicely without generating a ton of noise.

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