PC Recommendations; barebones, from scratch, etc.

Discussion in 'The Living Room' started by Kæton, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. #21
    Todd

    Todd FLǕGGȦ∂NKđ€ČHIŒβǾLʃÊN LPA Administrator

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    That's not a Blu-ray burner, just a Blu-ray reader. Not sure if that's what you want or not, but if you're going to go Blu-ray, might as well spend the extra and get a burner. Blank Blu-ray media is still expensive as hell, making it impractical for many purposes, but it's bound to come down like CD-Rs and DVD-Rs did.
     
  2. #22
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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  3. #23
    Todd

    Todd FLǕGGȦ∂NKđ€ČHIŒβǾLʃÊN LPA Administrator

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    That's the one I have (except I paid $200, damn you falling technology prices!). It works well.
     
  4. #24
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Haven't read this thread much but I'd recommend not going over a 2TB HDD.
     
  5. #25
    Tomi

    Tomi   LPA Addict

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    There's not really many 2TB+ drives out yet. :p I think the only one so far is a Seagate. Most external drives that say they're 3TB are actually composed of 2 drives, so they don't count, hah
     
  6. #26
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    OK so I'm probably going to order the components today. I'm pretty certain everything is compatible, if not hopefully Amazon's return policy isn't too much of a headache. :lol: I did have a couple more questions though.

    I know Todd mentioned buying extra SATA cables, but are there any other cables I should think about ordering just in case?

    Also is there anything I should know beforehand regarding the initial set up process? While I was researching I saw all types of mentions of BIOS and... I can't remember the others, but apparently sometimes the set up for these were a hassle or problematic. The only thing I really know I'll need to do is set up the harddrive when installing the OS. I'm just curious if there's anything similar I'll need to do when it's finally constructed and I boot it up.

    edit: Never mind, I guess. I found a manual for an older motherboard that seems to cover a lot of my concerns above. If anyone wants to still provide me with suggestions or tips, by all means I'm open to them still. :lol:
     
  7. #27
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    So everything seems to be working with my new PC except two major problems and the sooner I can fix them, the better.

    First, my CPU us overheating. It's reaching roughly 84C/183F (and stabilizing) after about a half hour of running. Letting it cool drops it to around 60C but it quickly spikes back up. All my fans are working including the heatsink's (there are four or five, three of them are quite large). I get the "over temperature" error if I leave it on for more than 30 minutes when I restart.

    I've already tried the following:
    - The "Thermal Interface Material" was already on the heatsink so I assumed I wasn't required to do anything else like add a layer to the processor.
    - The heatsink snapped into place like the directions said, so I'm sure it's not a loose heatsink.
    - The thermal paste shows signs of transfer on to the CPU, but it's very mild. Should it be thicker? The heatsink has a thick coat still.

    If I need to replace the paste, I read I need to clean it first. What do I use? Am I able to buy the thermal paste at a local Best Buy or Radioshack?


    Second issue is my harddrive is not being detected. I was told all I needed to connect it was a SATA cable and power cable, which are connected. Under hardware, it's recognized as in the SATA list, but whenever I boot up, it gives me an error stating no hard drive was detected. What could be the issue here? There are a lot of places I can insert SATA cables so I'm not sure if I was supposed to insert it into a specific port.


    Added to this all, I originally checked to make sure everything was working by inserting my Windows install disc, and it loaded to the install prompt but I canceled the operation because I planned to install at another time. Now, it won't boot the install at all and hangs on a flashing underscore. I don't know if this is connected to my other issues but it's also an issue I'm hoping will be solved by fixing the heatsink and harddrive.


    If anyone can help me out with this, I'd appreciate it. If not, can anyone PLEASE point me in the direction of some good online support? Googling is getting me nowhere fast.

    Thanks in advanced.


    Btw Tomi (if you're reading this) that monitor I purchased is pretty amazing. Like I said, I may be biased since I was using an ancient one before hand, but everything about the monitor seems to be top notch. :)
     
  8. #28
    Tomi

    Tomi   LPA Addict

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    Regarding CPU overheating, I completely forgot to notice this when you posted earlier, but are you using the stock heatsink? Usually it's not sufficient..

    If you're replacing the thermal paste, use a q-tip with Acetone or rubbing alcohol. [source]
    Unfortunately I don't know much else about this area.

    As for the harddrive, is it showing up in BIOS? If not, is there an option in BIOS to enable SATA? If the drive is spinning up, then it's fine, hardware-wise (meaning cables are properly plugged in, etc). You don't need to use any jumpers, either. Also, check your motherboard's schematics and make sure you're not plugging it into a SATA_RAID port or anything like that [XP seems to not like the RAID ports on my motherboard... but they're fine in Debian]

    The installer issue is an odd one that I haven't heard of... I'm thinking there's possibly some temporary installer files somewhere that's tripping the installer up, so you *might* need to format the drive... hmmm. Actually, check your BIOS and make sure your CDROM drive is first in your boot order, as it might be booting from the harddrive first.

    As for online support, from what I remember, Neowin's forums used to have pretty decent members that helped out. Or look for other computer enthusiast forums.

    Great to hear about the monitor! :D Is there anything at all that you don't like with it?
     
  9. #29
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    Thanks Tomi. I just assumed Intel would ship a heatsink that'd actually work well with their processor. I honestly never would have guessed, haha.

    I did some looking around for a new one, and I think I found a good one. It's a Cooler Master (same as my case) and compatible with i7 so I'm assuming it's a good buy?
    Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus 775/1156/1366/AMD/AM2/AM3 Universal Direct Contact Heat-Pipe 120mm Fan CPU Cooler

    I probably won't open the computer again until I get a new heatsink since I don't want anything to break due to heat, so I'll get back to you on the BIOS thing. I know that in the SATA list (where you configure your computer's settings, which IS the BIOS screen, right? :lol:) the harddrive is listed first and (I'm assuming) my disk drive was being loaded second. Again, I'm not sure it was my drive, but if it was, is that the issue? If it were the issue, how would I go about fixing that? I'm going to take note of what it is the next time I boot up but if it is something I should look out for, it'd save some time knowing beforehand.


    Regarding the monitor: The only thing I don't really care for is the stand. It's this ring-like thing that attaches to the back and because of it, there's no elevation or ability to freely rotate the monitor. It's not too bad though since it gave me a reason to clean up my desk and I don't often rotate my monitor, but it would have been nice to have a little more control over positioning.


    edit: Actually, I just re-read the manual and it says in order to use Serial ATA harddrives I need to install XP Service Pack 2 or later. So I need another harddrive installed before I can use my WD one? But then again if there are only SATA ports on my motherboard, how would I even use anything else? Now I'm confused... :hypo:
     
  10. #30
    Tomi

    Tomi   LPA Addict

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    Yeah, I've never really understood the heatsink thing, but usually it's the case from what I've heard.

    As for the BIOS thing, when you bootup you're told 'Press F2 for setup' or del, etc etc.. then there's a menu along the top, the first one is System info that displays useless stuff, the last one is a Save menu, and usually it's the second last one that has stuff about boot order (I'm going from memory of my own BIOS here, btw) and there'll an option (that brings you to an ordered list) for boot order, another option for harddrive order. So then you'd simply place the CD drive as 1st.

    Oh, so the monitor isn't very positionable at all? I figured there'd be some way to rotate it, but it's that bad? Hmmm.. I still have another two months to think about it, hah.

    Disregard the manual - it's talking about formatting. The Windows installer will detect the drive and ask you to format it before you install. So, no, you don't have anything to worry about regarding that. As for the SATA ports on your motherboard, disregard what I said before, hah. I decided to be smart and look up your motherboard and it turns out there's only 2 ports, that shouldn't be an issue. The motherboard I have has two sets of SATA ports and one is labelled SATA_RAID (aka it uses a different controller), so I figured you may have the same issue I had. Nothing to worry about.

    Also, which version of Windows?
     
  11. #31
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    All right, thanks for the heads up, I'll be sure to check out the BIOS the next time I work on the computer.

    I guess if the monitor's in a cramped area it may pose an issue. For me the positioning isn't a big deal because it rests nicely where my old one did and I rarely moved it, but as I said there's no elevation so it pretty much sits directly on the desk with the ring supporting the vertical position. I'd say the screen is roughly three inches from the bottom and luckily that works for me, but I'm not sure of your situation. I would have liked if it had that... round stand with neck swivel thing. I'm not sure if it has a name; I'm not the best one to go to for monitors, haha. But yeah, if the positioning issue is pretty big of a deal, it may not be for you.

    I'll be running Windows XP 32-bit for now. I may pick up Windows 7 eventually to take advantage of the RAM and other hardware specifics. It's mainly public feedback that's kept me from upgrading, really. :lol: I may just go with XP 64-bit if anything. I'm not too sure yet.
     
  12. #32
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    Keaton, from what I've heard actually...Windows 7 is apparently very good. It's miles above Vista in every sense of the word. Vista was a big fat joke. A system resource hog, and a badly made piece of crap.
     
  13. #33
    Tomi

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    You have 6GB of RAM and you're going with XP 32-bit?! No, that's not an option. :p 32-bit can't recognize past 3GB of RAM, so you'll need to go with x64.

    Windows 7 is a great OS. I really don't think you'll be able to take advantage of your new system as well as you would be able with 7. Honestly, Vista was crap, but Microsoft got their shit together and did 7 right for once. Sure, XP was a great OS, but only for it's time. Also, you may find issues with getting the XP setup to recognize your harddrive, since XP is annoying like that. Windows 7 has a bunch of improvements over XP and 7 - whatever you heard about 7 being crap is FUD.

    Get yourself a copy of Windows 7 x64. Seriously, there's nothing wrong with it.
     
  14. #34
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    I realize there may be issues but I don't have a choice at the moment. I do plan to purchase a new OS (I'll go ahead and assume Windows 7 isn't as bad as they say it is), but it'll have to wait until I can afford it. Granted all these hardware issues are taking up some time, so I may have enough by the time my computer's fully functioning, but it's likely I will have no choice but to us XP for the time being. :lol:
     
  15. #35
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    I think you'll say no but I'm still going to suggest that you try Linux. It has hardly ever let me down with most hardware. Of everything I can recall I can only say that one joystick that several years old is the only thing I could not get to work. But yeah, the good thing about linux is you don't even have to install it to use it. Just burn the ISO to a DVD and boot it up from live CD and test it out. haha. Good luck man.
     
  16. #36
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    I know nothing about Linux so I'm not sure I'd be able to learn the ropes and continue working as usual. :lol:

    Anyway, I decided I will purchase Windows 7, Home Premium in particular, but one thing that's continuously led me away from Windows 7 is I heard some programs don't work with it. I see that Windows 7 Professional has an XP Mode, which I assume remedies this, but $250 is just way out of my price range at the moment. I use a lot of different programs, all legit, but I don't want to have to buy an extended license or new versions of programs simply because it's not Windows 7 compatible. And other smaller programs that I use, primarily programmed by regular people, I've heard stories of how they don't work with Windows 7. Would I really have to shell out an extra hundred dollars for XP Mode so that I am ensured everything I use now won't simply stop working?
     
  17. #37
    Tomi

    Tomi   LPA Addict

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    I haven't had any problems with any programs.. exception of program 1 program, but considering it's nature, it was expected, and there was a solution available anyway. You should check when your sources were posted, as this was only a concern right after 7 was released, but now it's been about a year, which is plenty of time for this to not be an issue.

    What programs are you concerned about? I'll look into it for you.

    Also, you could always sail the seas in hunt of treasure. Arrr' matey!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  18. #38
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    Yeah now that I think about it a lot of what I looked for was around the time of Windows 7's release. I'm guessing by now they've fixed those issues, so my worries are probably coming from outdated research. That's definitely my mistake, but at the same time it's hard to find reliable sources of information sometimes.

    It's good to hear you've not run into any issues with programs. I'd believe your word over other reviews, because honestly, when looking at the critical reviews, it's hard to differentiate between nonsensical complaints and legitimate cons of the product. But if you're having no troubles with your programs and erm, the ones you've possibly found on treasure hunts, I guess I should be fine with Home Premium. The only one real program I'm concerned about working properly is Flash 8 (not the player), which is extremely outdated but hell, I can't afford to purchase the new version (and treasure hunting isn't familiar ground for me :p).
     
  19. #39
    Torres09

    Torres09 New Member

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    Based on what you are using it for heres what i think you should possibly build.

    Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3 (supports USB 3.0 which is fast
    Memory (ram): G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 PC 1600
    CPU/Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 965 Deneb Black Edition 3.4ghz Quad Core
    GPU/Graphics Processor: XFX-ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB Ram 128-bit GDDR5
    PSU/Power Supplies: Cooler Master GX Series 750w (80 plus)
    Hard Drive/HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM
    OS: Win7 Home Premium and Kubuntu 10.4
    Case: Thermaltake Antec 900 Midtower
    Drives: LG Black 10X Blu-Ray Reader and Burner, DVD Reader and Burner, CD Reader and Burner

    Hope this helps a little
     
  20. #40
    Kæton

    Kæton is Keaton LPA Über VIP

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    Thanks for the suggestions Torres. If anything I've purchased breaks down or something, I'll take those into consideration. :)


    OK, everything seems to be fixed with the computer. The cooling is down to around 36c so I think it'll be OK. I switched CD and HDD in the boot settings and it booted Windows XP when I put the CD in to test it. Everything seems to be ready once Windows 7 comes in the mail, but there's one thing still giving me problems. I still get the "No hard disk is detected!" error but it'll still load the Windows XP installation. My HDD is detected in the BIOS and according to the boot display it's working fine. I'm not sure if this is temporary until I install the OS? I read enabling IDE or something may be the cause since it's a SATA drive, but I'm not sure?

    While on the topic of OS, when I install Windows 7, will there be an option to install 64-bit or will I need to change anything in the BIOS or something?

    Also, unrelated but I accidentally scratched my LCD a little. It's not too big of an issue (resembles a tiny hair stuck to the screen), but if I can buff it out or anything, what would I use? I've read everything from Vaseline to eraser shavings will do the trick, and I'm not sure if Best Buy carries anything for LCD scratches. Again, it's not a huge deal, but if there's any way to get rid of it, I'd like to... :lol:

    Thanks in advanced as always. :)
     

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