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Building a new one
10-14-2011, 03:49 PM,
#1
Building a new one
Well it has been a while since I built a PC (I am thinking about 5 years) and have decided to finally do it again. I have done quite a bit of reading (lurking) here and am following the recommendations listed here for just about everything I am doing.

After going over parts and specs for stuff (this coming from a tech in the area of networking.. I am definitely not a hardware guy at all) I do have a few questions/suggestions.

One thing I picked up on early was the statement about memory and how you may need to go into the bios of a new machine and enable XMP, or mess with the settings in order to fully enable the full functionality of the memory you are using. This led me to ask the question: Are there any other got ya's? (and how would I, or should I, know about something like this without a guideline such as this to warn you(an end user) about?)

The next followup suggestion would be to say: Hey, why don't you add a section in your 'building a new PC' guide that actually shows screenshots and the bios of say the ASRock mobo and what exactly you mean when you plug in the memory you suggest. That might give someone a better idea of exactly what to look for (especially if they are following your guide pretty closely)

That then leads to another suggestion: Once someone has a machine set up and the OS installed and patched, what monitoring programs would you suggest they use? (for heat monitoring and performance testing to make sure that the machine is performing up to expectations) Then do a step by step walk through on configuring those programs so people know they did it right when all is said and done. I know I have heard and read briefly about benchmark testing but I have never messed with anything along those lines.

Another thing: I decided (based on the recommendation) to get two 6950's to run in crossfire, but I have never messed with crossfire or SLI before, so I have no idea how difficult it will be to setup or what to expect. Any reading suggestions on that front would be welcome unless it is pretty easy and explained well in the video card documentation that comes with the card itself.

Oh and lastly: ESD mats. I did not see any mention of them anywhere in the guide, and while I do not have a mat, I at least have an ESD strap I always use when opening and installing new computer equipment (I have been rather lax in ordering some mats for work to install on the work benches) You may want to include how important that is, especially with such high end equipment. You may not break/ruin a piece of equipment, but you can drastically degrade it on day 1 by being in a hurry and not having anything to help protect yourself. (and degraded equipment is far far harder to spot than something that just does not turn on)
OK I just got most of the parts delivered today and I already have one question: The power supply has two spots on this HAF932 case. I only ordered the one power supply though. Am I going to need a second one, and if not, which spot should I use(bottom or top)? The cpu fan will not arrive for a day or two, so I have time to do some reading (most likely the mobo manual)

*edit* OK saw a pic in the manual and using bottom slot. (The cabling looks like it goes up around the back side to keep outta the way)
OK not sure if anyone is really reading this thread (or cares haha) but I was thinking about semi documenting as I put this thing together and I did not know if I should put that here or somewhere else.

Anyway.. I do have another question: I have received this Indigo Xtreme thermal interface kit as suggested in the build guide and to be honest, from a noob's perspective, this kinda looks a little scary. What looks to me as the part that actually makes contact with the processor on one side and the cooler fan on the other, just looks like a thin piece of plastic with the metallic stuff only sitting on the outside edge. Now, I am assuming here that as heat builds up, the metallic material will somehow expand into the center section to aid with heat dissipation?
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10-18-2011, 03:20 PM,
#2
RE: Building a new one
Wow- cannot address the thermal process but think that your taking pics as you progress to be an excellent idea and yes...i am following your post.
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10-19-2011, 01:23 PM,
#3
RE: Building a new one
OK I think the last part will arrive some time this afternoon, so thought I would put up my first update today. I thought I would start with the parts I am going to use. As I said earlier, I used mainly the tier 8 guideline provided here on this site. Let me first start out by saying thank you for all the hard work that went into everything as it made it very helpful knowing all the listed parts already work together. Also, some of the links provided for guidelines made for a very easy to understand and follow set of guides for getting started.


Parts:
Case: the HAF 932 The case looks great and I was a little surprised by the size of the fans in this thing as I have never put a pc like this together before. Overall, I am looking forward to this, and it looks like there will be a good amount of space to work in.

Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme Gen3

Memory: I went ahead and spent the extra 20 bucks and got the G.Skill Sniper 1866Mhz memory (8 gig in two sticks)

CPU: Core i7 2600K

Video: Two 6950's for crossfire

Storage: I went ahead and got the SATA 3 240G drive. I currently have a 180g drive that I always tend to fill up pretty easy, so I wanted a little more.

Optical Drive: ASUS CD/DVD RW just in case (I never watch blue ray on the pc, so this is about as much as I thought I would need)

Power Supply: Seasonic 750w listed in the tier 9 section (came in a fancy case I thought was kinda funny that looks like a giant pull string dice bag)

Cooling: Thermalright Silver Arrow I live in TX, so heat can get to be a bit high and I thought it would be a good idea to upgrade a bit here just to be safe.

Sound: suggested Sound Blaster Titanium.


As of right now all I have done is to install the power supply and the optical drive. I will continue later this afternoon around 5 PM central and try and post a few updates as I go through the evening.


OK, the main thing I have been doing for the last hour or two has been to read up on doing a correct 'reflow' procedure on this Indigo Xtreme thermal interface kit. I will not lie: it is rather daunting as a beginner. Most of the reviews I have been reading/watching online are not very detailed at all on how to actually run the program to generate the necessary heat on your processor. Basically the instructions say "go grab Prime95 and do it"

However, before I can even do a correct reflow, I am going to need to use the processor to install windows and then install the necessary programs after putting the pc together.

*When I mention 'reflow' I am talking about how the thermal kit needs to be heated up so the liquid metal actually melts during use to spread out and cover your entire processor, thereby insuring proper conductivity between processor and heat sink. It is a little scary knowing you are being asked to turn off all your fans so everything gets hot enough to cause the material to melt, and then turn everything back on once you were successful.

I just wish that for something that important, you would be given instructions on how to run the program that does the actual initialization process of the product you just purchased.
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10-19-2011, 05:00 PM,
#4
RE: Building a new one
There's really no need for the Indigo Xtreme. It doesn't always work properly and isn't necessary, since the Silver Arrow comes with an excellent thermal paste. I really wish Mathieu would stop recommending it.
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU TIM: Thermalright Chill Factor III GPU: Sapphire Radeon 6970 VGA Cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus SSD: Crucial M4 256GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Motherboard: ASRock P67 PRO3 RAM: 4x4GB (16GB) Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz Optical Drive: ASUS 24X PSU: 550W Kingwin Lazer 80 Plus Platinum Fan Controller: Scythe Kaze Q12 Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX Keyboard: Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue Mouse: Logitech G500 Monitor: Sceptre 27"
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10-19-2011, 10:00 PM,
#5
RE: Building a new one
Well this has really been a learning experience so far. First off, that fan is absolutely HUGE.

It was so big that no matter what I did, it touches the sound card just barely since the sound card absolutely had to go in the top slot. So, for now I am putting a little piece of paper between the fins of the cooler and the sound card to keep any electronic connection from happening just in case.

I also had to remove what I can only describe as a plastic air flow directional thingy. It is part of the case and directs air flow from the area of the hard drive bays toward the video cards. However, with two video cards, the power plug ins were blocked on the bottom card. So, I had to take the part out so I could plug in the 2nd video card. I do not think it will make much of a difference.

What has taken me the longest is the Thermal light Silver Arrow. The directions were vague at best and it was not very clear which set of instructions you had to follow. I had mistakenly tried to use the wrong set which caused me to have to completely start over after I had been a good bit into the build.

I am almost done plugging everything in but had to take a break for food. I will finish in a bit and fire it up. Hopefully it comes up the first time, but we will see.

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10-19-2011, 10:33 PM,
#6
RE: Building a new one
I have the same CPU cooler and the same case. I also had to put something between the sound card and the cooler. I also took out the GPU duct.

Looks like we have some similarities between our build. Smile
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU TIM: Thermalright Chill Factor III GPU: Sapphire Radeon 6970 VGA Cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus SSD: Crucial M4 256GB HDD: Samsung F3 1TB Motherboard: ASRock P67 PRO3 RAM: 4x4GB (16GB) Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz Optical Drive: ASUS 24X PSU: 550W Kingwin Lazer 80 Plus Platinum Fan Controller: Scythe Kaze Q12 Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX Keyboard: Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue Mouse: Logitech G500 Monitor: Sceptre 27"
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10-19-2011, 11:57 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-19-2011, 11:58 PM by Apostle.)
#7
RE: Building a new one
Hah.. nice. I started to try and put the power supply up top, but that did not change much and the fan from the top was not something I wanted to do away with.

But yay.. everything came up on the first try. I am installing windows updates as I write this. I think I will try the burn in for the indigo coolant when this is done. If I do not get the expected graph results, I will probably just use some of the thermal grease that came with the kit as Brian suggested.

I am not planning on overclocking anything just yet. I am not in a hurry to void any warranties, but I did want to leave that option open for later. (still have a lot of studying to do on the subject) If anyone has any experience OC'ing with this motherboard, I would welcome any suggestions to look over though. It is also later than I expected, so I will probably not get to do any benchmarks or anything like that till this weekend most likely.
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10-20-2011, 12:59 AM,
#8
RE: Building a new one
OK last entry for tonight. The prescribed burn seemed to work. It took a min, but I saw the temp. go down and then come back up.

My two listed core temps that I see with the speed fan program show 32-34 degrees as the idle temp. I turned on all the fans and closed the case and ran a full load test on all 8 and it got up to around 70 (66-72 after about a min. of running) I have no idea if that is good or bad though.

The only thing I think actually went wrong is that I think one of my fans for the cooling may be faulty. It will not spin except for about 1 second every so often. I switched the pins plugging into the motherboard and got the same result. One fan runs constantly and the second does not run at all really. I guess I gotta look at returning the fan as the heat sink itself is fine.

Mathius, any suggestions on what I should do on that fan? (look into returning it, or just look for one at a local tech store that will fit?)

I am amazed at how quiet this thing is too. Anyway.. have a good week all.

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10-20-2011, 11:58 AM,
#9
RE: Building a new one
First- congrats on the successful build! i am sure you found that to be very satisfying and a relief when everything came alive as planned. The idle temps seem good and the load temps seem a tad high by my experience but I live in a cool climate and am only running one gpu so i am guessing 70 is ok.
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