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qubit's Sandy upgrade

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by qubit, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I see you're a real watercooling junky - that'll get you high overclocks for sure. :cool: I'm happy just to use a decent air cooler. Tell you what, those Intel stock coolers have gotten no better: this one still makes an irritating whirring sound, just like the S775 one from almost three years ago which is totally unnecessary and the heatsink part is actually thinner! I'll be replacing it sooner rather than later, I assure you.

    In fact, taking a look at it, the fitting appears to be the same as my S775 one. I wonder if I can transfer the Zalman cooler from the old system to this? I'll have to check it out more closely to say for sure.

    Well, I've now updated the EFI to the latest 0402, cleared the CMOS, loaded defaults and it's working fine. My strategy now is to familiarize myself with all the features of the mobo. Then, I'll grab a spare HD and install Windows 7 on it and see how this baby flies. :D It'll be a little while until it becomes my main system. Speaking of which, I need to blow the dust out of the cooler...

    When it's time to make it my main system, I'll attempt an OS transplant first. If that doesn't work, even with sysprep, I'll install it clean. However, I feel confident that a transplant will go ok. Oh and all my data is backed up, of course. ;)
     
  2. twicksisted

    twicksisted

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    I think once you get your pc up and running properly and running your programs you'll see that theres little need to overclock it.
    The 2600K is a beast of a chip and will perform fantastically in any situation, your 2700K will only be better ;)
     
  3. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Thanks twick, you're right the CPU is real fast, but overclocking is in my blood and a gigglehurtz overclock is so easy to achieve, that I'm gonna grab it with both hands. :)

    I can just see myself getting Ivy Bridge when it comes out, even though I "won't need to". ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  4. twicksisted

    twicksisted

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    yeah i know what you mean and i was right with you when i first upgraded from my old 775 Q6600 setup... spent the extra dosh getting a fancy motherboard, fast memory and all-in-one water cooling thinking that it would be something that id inevitably need but as it turns out the 2600K dosent really benefit from having a fancy motherboard, faster than 1333mhz ram or an overclock as its so fast stock... ;)

    Sure mine overclocks easily to 4.6ghz and playing a bit can get 4.8ghz with really low temps using the auto overclocking tools.. playing further in bios will likely get me to 5ghz as my temps are so low but actually I have used an overclock with this setup about 8 times now in 6 months only as the processor at stock is so blazingly fast and this is from someone who does a lot of video conversion & editing.

    My old Q6600 rig was always run overclocked to the max to squeeze out every bit of performance i could get, this one I cantr find a program that actually taxes it in any way yet ;)

    Im building up a cheap sandybridge i5 2500k rig with a £50 motherboard and some 1333mhz ram that will cost me £250.. its for my secondary rig and i presume it will run all of these tasks just as well and do it costing 3 times less.. This is for my GF to use mainly and as a secondary gaming rig. dont get me wrong, i like having all the parts i have now, all im saying is that this is the first time in my life that ive upgraded to something that chews through anything I throw at it with ease and I diddnt have to break the bank to put it together.
     
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  5. Sinzia

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    Glad you're having fun with it! =D
     
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  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Irony: the PSU was faulty

    You're gonna love this one, guys. I bought that Corsair CX500, because I didn't want to connect my expensive new PC to my old flaky PSUs that I have, quite understandably. However, that new Corsair was actually faulty!

    I noticed that it was making feint whistling noises, as soon as I turned it on, in standby and when the PC would reboot. Everything worked, but it just didn't look right, besides the noise being damned annoying. So, I put my new PSU tester on it and it showed a fail on the 3.3v line. Hooray! A solid fault that the shop can't argue with.

    So, today I rushed back with the PSU and my PSU tester, to Novatech who gave me excellent service, as usual. They connected their own tester and it came up as bad, too (3.3v low) and refunded me the money, no quibbles, even though I'd had it for three weeks now. They didn’t try my tester – this is important.

    This PSU was a Corsair CX500. For another £7 I saw that they did the CX600 model and thought I’d go for that (£53). However, it turns out that the OEM building these for Corsair is Channel Well Technology according to one of the sales guys, which apparently doesn’t have the greatest reputation in PSU's, so I was a little wary of the second one being bad too. Therefore, I asked them to test it before purchase, which they duly did with their tester… and it failed! The same 3.3v line was showing as too low, again. Finding it a bit hard to believe that two PSU's in a row were bad the same way, I put my tester on it – and it passed!

    That’s conclusive.

    So, after much dithering by myself and Novatech over what to do with these conflicting results and a quick browse of their catalog, I decided to buy it and I’m glad I did. I tested it again at home, the voltages were fine and there were no funny noises this time, either.

    So, I've now familiarized myself with all the mobo and EFI features and will be installing Windows 7 on it next. As I've said previously, it's not going to be the main PC for a little while, as I'm gonna just play around with it on the open frame for a bit.

    Stay tuned.
     
  7. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Partition help

    [​IMG]

    I want to image my Windows drive and store it as an image file, using Paragon Hard Disc Manager, which can selectively copy partitions. Then I'll use that file to put that image on a spare HD and test it on the new Sandy Bridge PC. I'll then reimage that spare HD as necessary as I try different things out. However, there's a little problem.

    Taking a look at the picture above, you can see that the only partition I'm interested in is the Win7 new (C: ) partition. However, that is only the Boot partition, the System partition is that XP64 one on the right. I don't want to image that over every time as it's redundant for this exercise and the extra copying will take significant time and storage space, so I need to make the Win7 partition also the system partition.

    I've tried googling and looking at the Microsoft knowledgebase for the answer, but I can't find any way to do it. Any help appreciated.
     
  8. okidna

    okidna

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    Hello, I'm new here...

    CWT is not that bad. In fact they've made a lot of good PSU for Corsair in the past.
    VX550, HX1000, HX1050, TX750-950, etc.
    In fact, HX850 (your PSU on your spec. list) also made by CWT.

    The new CX, GS, and modular TX also built by CWT. They used a new platform which unfortunately not as good as the old one.

    Here's a list of Corsair' PSU OEMs : http://pastebin.com/SMGkUA2W
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
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  9. NdMk2o1o

    NdMk2o1o

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    Hardware secrets says otherwise, and says they are nothing like each other except for both being a dual fan tower type :ohwell:
     
  10. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Thanks for the info. :)

    I thought my HX850 was actually made by Seasonic, according to the reviews I'd read? Don't quote me on it though, as it was ages ago and it's still working very well.

    Well, my replacement Corsair CX600 worked alright and it's not going to be run with a heavy load, so it should hopefully be ok.

    Welcome to TPU. :toast:
     
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  11. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Screenshots

    My system is up and running on its test rack and I thought I'd share a couple of screenshots with yourselves.


    64-bit Windows 7 and that glorious 16 gigs of RAM :D
    [​IMG]

    This is actually a scratchpad image and I'll be doing it all over again when I put the new system into my trusty HAF 922 case, hence I won't bother activating it.


    Quad core i7-2700K comes with an extra core!! EDIT: See this important update on post 92 ;)
    [​IMG]

    I was able to just transplant my current Windows 7 installation onto the new motherboard. I initially got blue screens at boot, because the old mobo was set to SATA compatibility mode for XP and the new one to the superior AHCI mode. I was able to cure this and then run that install in AHCI mode very simply: I set the EFI BIOS to compatibility mode, then installed all the drivers off the motherboard DVD, rebooting as necessary. I then set the EFI to AHCI and rebooted. Windows did some more driver installations and reboots and then came up perfectly in AHCI mode. :cool: I now get the option to "remove" my hard discs, just like USB flash drives.

    As I write this, I'm preparing to transfer my two RAID 1 data drives to the new system. I'm doing this by taking an image of the array with Paragon Hard Disc Manager, onto a third drive, which is taking some time, to say the least. Once the image is made, I'll connect the drives to the new mobo and see if it recognizes the RAID format. If not, I'll just reformat them for the new mobo and copy the data over. Note that I have at least two copies of it at all times, for insurance against data loss.

    It really didn't help the image creation that my overclocked E8500 blue screened half way through :rolleyes: so I've taken out the overclock and it's going fine now. In fact, with the 4.11GHz overclock in place, the copying process was causing severe intermittent stutters in the audio while playing music, which has now disappeared without it. The odd thing is that I can play the toughest of 3D games with complete stability with that overclock. A salutory lesson in the perils of overclocking, lol.


    @okidna

    Found a review of my HX850W and it turns out that it was actually made Channel Well Technology for them, but apparently Corsair have a big hand in the design. Also, it looks like I was wrong about CWT and they're actually an excellent PSU manufacturer. It was this review mainly that convinced me to buy it and an excellent purchase it was, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  12. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Ok I probably missed something about the 2700k, but why 5 cores? :confused:

    I just put together a SB 2500k system myself and am very happy with it so far. Got it to 5GHz for some benching without much trouble.

    And I have a Corsair HX650. Probably a different source than your 850, but the whole HX line got good reviews. Don't think you can go wrong with any of them.
     
  13. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    They don't have 5 cores. It's a bug from a dodgy install or patch up. Or in msconfig he set cores to 5 instead of 8 .... A man with so much knowledge and didn't do a fresh install? Wow! Welcome to non stop issues Q. I'm running the same board as you but into the pci 2 version. When I upgrade to the ROG board the ssd is getting a sanitary wipe and a fresh install of windows. Using a flash drive it takes 5-6 min for the install and about two hrs to finish everything else.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
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  14. mstenholm

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    Update your specs so we don't need to read the whole tread to see which MB you ended up getting. Gamers :cry:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  15. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    Look back one page, he has nice pix :D
     
  16. mstenholm

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    My point....
     
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  17. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Them CPU cores...

    Hey guys, I'm just messin' with ya. :) Yeah, it looks retarded with 5 cores don't it? There's no such animal as a 5 core CPU, of course. All I did was use MSCONFIG to tell Win7 to use 5 cores, like this:

    [​IMG]


    Unticking the checkbox has restored my CPU to its former glory:

    [​IMG]

    Note that in the BIOS, you can set the number of cores active and HyperThreading on or off. This gives you options of 1,2,3,4,6,8 cores/HT - note that you can't get a combination of 5 or 7 active threads from fiddling with this.

    I may do some benchmarks one day, with the OS set for all the cores from 1 to 8 and see what I get. I'll take temperature readings while I'm at it.

    You guessed right about MSCONFIG. ;) :toast:

    As far as non-stop issues, it's actually working really well. Win7 is much better than creaky old XP at being transplanted onto another mobo. Don't forget that this is my test image, which I can f* up as much as I want and just wipe out if it goes bad. Only when I have sufficient confidence, will I do this with the original install.

    You're right about putting on a fresh install, of course; it's always recommended. However, my Windows is set up just the way I like it, so I wanna see if I can avoid going through days of pain of installing (which is quick) patching and tweaking and installing all my apps all over again - I'm a pain in the ass perfectionist, so believe me, it takes me ages. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  18. radrok

    radrok

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    I never keep anything on the boot drive, just windows and the essentials.
    I do have a Win7 backup on a pendrive so when I want to quickly install my customized OS I can do it very fast.
    The other programs which don't need any installation are kept on secondary drives, this saves me a lot of time :toast:

    Glad to see you put your system on, too bad you don't have enough time to enjoy it man, I hope for you that you'll have some in the days to come :toast:
     
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  19. mediasorcerer New Member

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    hey q ive flashed 3 bios updates via win7 ai suite internet download etc without a problem on my asus board. great stuff, got any pics of it all assembled?[or did i miss somtin lol?]
     
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  20. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I'm pissed off...

    Asus's RAID implementation is inferior to my old Gigabyte mobo and its costing me.

    The Gigabyte has Intel RAID and third party RAID (brand not specified in mobo manual). This meant that I used third party RAID 1 to keep my 6 Intel SATA ports free and it's working very well.

    However, the Asus only has Intel RAID coming off the Z68 chip, which means that setting them to RAID sets all six SATA ports to RAID mode! This leaves a mere 2 SATA's free + eSATA, which is a bit crap, frankly. I'm only gonna use 2 of those ports for RAID 1, so it means I'm gonna waste 4 bloody ports because of this limitation. :mad: I even looked on the Asus website to see if any of their mobo's had third party RAID, but even their very top Maximus IV Extreme-Z is just like my mobo, relying solely in Intel RAID.

    It looks I'll either have to get a plugin RAID board which is expensive, or a plugin non-RAID board, which shouldn't cost too much, but will lose me a slot and possibly performance.

    It's a real shame that Gigabyte doesn't have an EFI BIOS for LGA1155, as I would have got that and been sorted - I just checked and they continue to have the dual RAID implementation with their Z68 boards, along with the dual BIOS feature, which I want.

    No wonder I'm pissed off. Any suggestions?

    No, I don't have any pics, MS. I may take some later, possibly.
     
  21. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Not sure what your real issue is here qubit? I mean I am running 2 Caviar Blacks in RAID 0 on the 6G ports and another 1TB and my DVD ROM drive on the 3G ports. I don't even have the Marvell ports enabled(Not too mention I hear they are worse anyway)
    I of course have it set RAID but it has no effect at all on the other ports.
     
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  22. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Ah, I've just realized that RAID mode still allows a Basic (Windows term) non-RAID HD to be connected like before and without any special formatting. I assumed that RAID mode ports would only work with RAID formatted discs - my mistake. It's now working fine with the same boot drive and the ports in RAID mode. :) I just had to let Windows install the RAID driver, because it blue screened before that.
     
  23. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Yeah they will just act like AHCI ports, no worries. Yeah I keep RAID and Chipset drivers etc on a USB stick to get it all in there on initial install.
     
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  24. LifeOnMars

    LifeOnMars New Member

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    Hey Q I'm going Sandy again in the next couple of days. I can only afford around £300 ish so it looks like a 2500K with board unless I can find a super deal on a 2600K.

    Where are your benchies, I've been on the edge of my seat waiting to see the improvements you have noticed by upgrading.
     
  25. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    My costs broke down like this:

    CPU: £265
    Mobo: £160
    8GB RAM: £40 (but then I just had to have 16GB and got another 8GB, lol)
    Total: £505. Damn, I didn't wanna see how much I'd spent! :cry: :laugh:

    Admittedly, other than the RAM, I bought fairly high end components (and doesn't my credit card know it). You can obviously reduce this cost by going lower, but I think a £300 budget sounds a bit tight and I hope that you can go over it a little. You'd have to get a low-ish end mobo for the 2500K, which seems a shame for such an awesome CPU and also less RAM. 8GB can be had for much less than £40 if you shop around. However, I got a decent brand, because I wanted to guarantee stability as far as possible, so I don't think that this should be skimped on too much. It would run fine with 4GB, if you really wanted to save costs.

    Sorry about the benchies. I'm not all that big on them really and I don't even know how to do them for most games. :eek: I just read the reviews, then put the system together and just enjoy the extra performance.

    To get a feel for it, what I typically do is play a small section of a game on both machines and see what the average gain is, by looking at the realtime Fraps readout. If a particular scene is especially taxing, I'll kill off all the enemies and place the game character at that spot and save the game at that point (if the game saves allow this...) The I run that spot of the map on both machines and see the difference. It's pretty good at giving you a rough and ready indication of comparative performance, especially if that was the spot that tended to judder annoyingly on the old machine.

    I've now finally finished with my fiddling of the new rig on my open test frame and it needs to go in the case - taking special care with my RAID1 data setup and having my data backed up. I've been wanting to do this for several days now, but just didn't get the chance. Hopefully today will be the day and I will update my specs when it finally goes in.

    btw my 'budget' was only £400 and look what happened! :laugh: I hate compromising with these things and if I can't afford it, I won't buy at all rather than get something lower which will make me feel unsatisfied.
     
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