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 Post subject: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:57 pm 
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Scott & Mike,
Do you have any recommendations or caveats for this system build that’s not in your book, Build a PC? Most items I can’t return. I’m building my first system and my budget is limited. I’ve bought and returned many hardware items based on sales peoples’ faulty opinions. The system will be primarily used as an amateur HD video editing workstation. I get so much mixed information and am desperately looking for one-stop opinion source I trust, you guys. I want a reliable, fast, quite, and powerful hardware. Your book is easy reading and straight to the point on how to build the system, but are my hardware choices correct. . Here are the build specs:

Hardware:
1. Gigabyte X58 UD5 LGA 1366 i7 Motherboard
2. Intel i7 920 or i7 950 not sure (Haven’t bought yet)
3. Corsair CMPSU – 850TX
4. Creative Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatality Champion Series Sound Card
5. Antec Nine Hundred Two Med Tower Case
6. Hauppauge HVR-1800 MC Kit TV Tuner Card
7. PNY Quadro FX 1800 Workstation Graphics Card
8. Logitech Cordless DT Wave Pro Keyboard
9. Two Patriot Memory Viper Series Tri-Channel 6GB DDR3 (12GB Total)
10. Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB 7200.11 Hard Drive; I want to buy a second drive, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 64MB Cache (Are there any drives better I should look at?)
11. Trendnet Wireless Card
12. Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2 Surround Sound Head Set
13. Zalman Ultra High Performance CPU Cooler: CNPS 9900 LED Intel Socket 1366 Ready
14. Two LGW2453v-PF Flatron 24” LCD Monitors
15. LG Super Multi Blue Ray Disk Rewriter

Software:
1. Windows Home Premium 64bit
2. Adobe Production Premium CS4

Many thanks for you respected opinion(s),
DLH


Last edited by DLH on Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Quote:
I'm building my first system and my budget is limited.

Then it's good you asked for recommendations, because I see you are spending money on things you don't need, giving you the chance to save some money.

Quote:
The system will be primarily used as an amateur HD video editing workstation.

All of my comments and recommendations will keep that in mind.

Quote:
4. Creative Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatality Champion Series Sound Card

Save your money and stick with the sound built-in to the motherboard, which is more than adequate for your application.

Quote:
5. Antec Nine Hundred Two Med Tower Case

I recommend the Enermax Vostok ECA3120, which I used to source from NewEgg, however you can currently find it at Directron. If you search this forum for "case recommendations" or "vostok", you'll find several good discussions on the subject of cases.

Quote:
9. Two Patriot Memory Viper Series Tri-Channel 6GB DDR3 (12GB Total)

I recommend avoiding non-standard memory which requires altered voltage settings in order to work properly. The DDR3 memory standard calls for 1.5V operation, so I only recommend modules which run at that voltage.

Quote:
10. Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB 7200.11 Hard Drive; I want to buy a second drive, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 64MB Cache (Are there any drives better I should look at?)

There most certainly are, and this is one of the more important parts of the system. For maximum performance, reliability, and to prevent downtime for this application I'd recommend running 4 drives in a RAID 10 array. And whether you follow that advice and use an array or not, I only recommend "enterprise class" drives. I also recommend you purchase several additional drives to connect externally for backup purposes. For the highest possible performance you can connect them as bare drives via the eSATA data and power cables included with the Gigabyte motherboard. They would run at full 3Gbps that way. Unless things have changed, for a slower (but more convenient) 1.5Gbps connection you can use an external eSATA drive dock, or install the drives in external enclosures.

Quote:
11. Trendnet Wireless Card

You will only want to be connected via a wired gigabit Ethernet connection, and that is built-in to the motherboard. Save your money and skip the slow wireless connection.

Quote:
13. Zalman Ultra High Performance CPU Cooler: CNPS 9900 LED Intel Socket 1366 Ready

Save your money and use the high quality heatsink/fan supplied with the boxed processor instead.

Quote:
1. Windows Home Premium 64bit

I recommend Windows 7 Pro instead.

All of your other choices are fine! Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:25 am 
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Scott,

Thanks very much! This is exactly what I've been looking for.

DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:03 am 
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Scott,

Will the 400W power supply that comes with the case you recomended be enough with your recommended configuration? I noticed you didn't mention a concern with the 850W power supply I already have.

Thanks,
DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:06 am 
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I would not recommend using the supply that comes with the Vostok case, and I liked the PSU that you picked, which is why I had no comments about it. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:04 am 
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Thanks!

So, am I to assume either of my CPU choices, i7 920 or i7950 would be ideal for the task? If that's the case, I'll choose the i7920 and use the extra money to help purchase the some of the 4 "enterprise class" drives you recomended.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:01 am 
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Yes, I'd recommend the i7-920 (2.66GHz) over the i7-950 (3.06GHz) mainly because either one is more than fast enough, and at the current pricing ($289 vs. $570) it simply isn't worthwhile spending nearly twice as much for a processor that is only 15% faster. Spending the savings on more/better hard drives is a great idea. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:11 pm 
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Being some what of Neophite for a lot of the new technologies, I now understand your delay in responding to my last deleted post...It forced me to do more research based on your drive and memory recomendations.

Thanks! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Quote:
...can you recomend DDR3 1.5v memory sticks?

I already did (see the link in my first reply in this thread). But that link included all of the 6GB 1.5V DDR3 kits that NewEgg sells, and further digging indicates that those kits aren't the way to go. So I'll be even more specific and recommend these Crucial 2GB DDR3 1066 (PC3-8500) 1.5V modules, which are currently only $39. Note that you can get those same modules in a 6GB kit, but the kit currently costs $160, which is $42 more than purchasing the modules seperately. The only caveat is that you can only get 5 per customer, and you want 6. So order 5 and have another family member or friend order 1. <g>

Quote:
...as memory goes, this seems a little slow...Will it meet my performance needs?

Yes. However, note that for a dollar more you could get a 1333MHz version of that module, which might be good if you decide to try any overclocking. But according to the Core i7-9xx processor datasheet, DDR3-1066 memory (aka PC3-8500 modules) is the fastest supported. Still, since the 1333MHz memory will happily run at the slower 1066MHz, for the extra dollar per module it might be worth it if you plan on any overclocking or possibly a faster processor in the future. Finally, note that even if faster memory were supported, the difference in system performance would be negligible.

Quote:
The total of 2TB is enough space for now, but are all other specs related to these drives enough for what I want to do, or do you recomend another?

To clarify, I recommend enterprise drives like the Seagate Barracuda ES.2 and Western Digital RE3 models.

Quote:
Is the cache size that important for prosumer/amatuer video editing?

No. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:05 am 
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I purchased the i7920 and 4 RE3 WD hard drives tonight!! And, thanks for the recomendation and clarity on the memory...That one had me running in circles.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! I'm finally getting somewhere after months of this...Listening to the guy that works in the trenches and writes about it is always better that listening to sales people. You've done more for me in two days than what they've done in months of returns.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:00 am 
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Quote:
But that link included all of the 6GB 1.5V DDR3 kits that NewEgg sells, and further digging indicates that those kits aren't the way to go. So I'll be even more specific and recommend these Crucial 2GB DDR3 1066 (PC3-8500) 1.5V modules

Scott, considering that the mobo is set for tri-channel memory configuration, I just want to confirm my assumption that there is no disadvantage to your above recomendation of the Crucial 2GB stick configuation in the 6 memory slots on the Gigabyte UD5 tri-channel board? If not, I plan to buy 6 of the 2GB sticks to give me 12GB.


Last edited by DLH on Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:07 am 
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There is no disadvantage as long as you install them in groups of 3. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:22 am 
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Once again, I'm exposing my somewhat Neophyte knowlege. Am I to assume the each to 2GB modules can be bought in some numbering sequence that links each of the 2GB modules?


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:27 am 
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I don't understand your last post, but if you install 3 or 6 of the modules I recommended, the system will be configured for optimum performance. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Quote:
groups


Sorry about that. When you said "groups", that's throwing me off. As you know, each 2GB module is a single stick. So, that's where my confusing begins...I trying to seach the explination in you book, Build a PC. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:20 pm 
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For triple-channel operation, you will want to install memory in groups of 3 identical modules at a time. The first group of 3 identical modules would be installed in sockets DDR3_1, DDR3_3, and DDR3_5. The second group of 3 identical modules would be installed in sockets DDR3_2, DDR3_4, and DDR3_6. The motherboard manual has the details. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:58 am 
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Quote:
further digging indicates that those kits aren't the way to go


I still a little confused. I thought you were not recomending the tri-channel kits. I not planning on overclocking the processor.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:07 am 
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I recommend you purchase individual modules in groups of 3 instead of the kits. Essentially you are making your own "kits" for less money. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:26 pm 
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Gotcha! Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Quote:
I recommend avoiding non-standard memory which requires altered voltage settings in order to work properly. The DDR3 memory standard calls for 1.5V operation, so I only recommend modules which run at that voltage.


Scott, thanks for the caveat on "avoiding non-standard memory"...The thread was bruital!! I still am and will always be a PC lover. And, I recognize and respect all the hard work everyone on your forum puts into problem solving...To me, this is what makes PCs fun. Your forum is an excellent support network!! I can hardly wait to get all the components together for my first system build! My budget dictates I move slow, however. One of the best book purchases of made in a long time...

No response necessary. I have a question that I'll contact you later about.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Quote:
groups of 3

Scott, when I said "Gotcha, Thanks", I thought I had it. When talking with Newegg this afternoon, the sales person didn't seem to understand my request to buy the "individual modules in groups of 3"...It seemed to throw him off. When you say "groups of 3" for the individual modules, is there a serial number connection the groups the modules together, i.e., module 01, module 02, module 03? If so, they said I can't purchase the single 2GB modules like that. Once again, this in where I expose my ignorance to the world of hardware geeks...Which is, the class of people I want to eventually belong.

By the way, the Newegg sales person said I could by the single Crucial 2GB sticks up to 100 if I'd like. I just need to figure out how to get them in groups of 3. Many thanks. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:05 pm 
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You want to install the modules 3 at a time (in the correct sockets) for maximum performance. With that in mind I'd recommend ordering either 3 or 6 identical modules. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Quote:
indentical modules
Thanks! I will request 6 indentical modules...DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Scott, have you "...produced your standalone DVD that covers installing Windows..." mentioned in your book, Build a PC on page 58? And, will I need the DVD for OS install? I noticed you said no disk is needed in your book when installing Vista. Once I've aquired all the hardware desired for the video editing workstation I will be building, I will install Windows 7 Professional as recomened.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:53 pm 
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So far I haven't produced a stand-alone DVD covering Windows, however the DVDs included with Upgrading and Repairing Windows cover installation and much more. When installing Windows you may need AHCI/RAID drivers during the installation if the chipset you have came out after the OS. In the case of Windows 7, since it is new enough so far you shouldn't need any mass storage (AHCI/RAID) drivers during the install, but I would recommend installing updated chipset and mass storage drivers immediately afterwards. For more information on chipset drivers, see my post here. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Also Scott, do you recomend installing an 80mm fan inside the processor duct on the Enermax Vostok 3120-B case? I just talked to Enermax and they said an 80mm fan could be installed. In so, will this fan's position and direction of air flow no longer maintain the much needed "negative air presure" you spoke about concerning inside the case? Thanks!! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Do not install an extra fan over the processor duct. That duct is designed such that the CPU fan will draw air through it. The only fan you should have on the case is the 120mm rear fan, unless you are installing 4 or more HDDs, in which case you should consider adding a 92mm front fan. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Thanks! I am installing 4 WD Enterprise Class HDDs in the recomended RAID 10 configuration. So, I'll purchase two replacement fans, a 92mm fluid bearings for the front of the case and a 120mm fluid bearings fan for the back. Thanks! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Scott, I truly want to do everything right the frist time...In every detail. It appears even case fan choices are not simple. In regards to replacing the fans in the Enermax Vostok 3120-B case as your recomended in your book, Build a PC, what would be the ideal 120mm (back) and 92mm (front) "fluid bearing" fans. Some of the fan choices come in variable dba levels and rpm levels on the many fans I've researched...Once again, quiet, reliable and efficient are my primary concerns.

Also, your book, Upgrading and Repairing Windows seems to have a couple of different versions ("Kindle Edition") with your name on it at Amazon...Which should I chose to help me load the Windows 7 Professional on the new system once it's built? And, are any of the versions applicable for Windows 7 even though they a somewhat dated?
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_25? ... epairing+w

I'm ordering the case and memory recomendations today. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:38 pm 
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You don't really need either of those books to install Windows 7. However, URWindows 2nd edition does cover Vista, and since Windows 7 is essentially "Vista Service Pack 3", watching the DVD that comes with that book could be helpful. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Thanks, Scott! Any recomendations on the replacement case fans?! I know you have a busy schedule...I want to purchase the fans the same time I purchase the memory and case. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:45 pm 
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I'd recommend these fans:


The Scythe site has more information on its 120mm and 92mm fans. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Once again, Thanks!! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:50 pm 
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Quote:
You will only want to be connected via a wired gigabit Ethernet connection, and that is built-in to the motherboard. Save your money and skip the slow wireless connection.

Scott, in regards to your recomendation on a ethernet connection, I currently have a coax cable coming straight from the wall to a Netgear wireless-G router...Based on your recomendation, what kind of network hardware would you install and how should it be configured in order to take full advantage of a "...wired gigabit Ethenet connection..." in the home network? Thanks. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:08 pm 
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DLH,

Your wireless G router most likely has 100mbs ports so you will either want to upgrade to a router that has 1,000mbs (Gig) ports or add a switch that has "Gig" ports.

Can you provide the model of your router?

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:10 pm 
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Unless your router has a gigabit switch built-in, I'd recommend getting a gigabit Ethernet switch, which you would connect to your router. Then you would connect all of your PCs and other wired network devices directly to the switch (not the router), after which they would be able to work at gigabit speed. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Hey guys, my current hardware that is provided by the ISP is a "Netgear Wireless Cable Modem Gateway CG814WG v2." On my current system, I been connected wirelessly all this time and am now just realizing the box is actually a cable modem...I've assumed it's a router all this time...I was wondering where the cable modem was...Duh!! So, what do you recomend now for the new system once I've completed the build? Or, should I say, how do I identify if this cable modem has a gigabit port? I'm not opposed to buying new network hardware, but if I don't need to, that's fine too. DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:03 pm 
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DLH,

Quote:
Hey guys, my current hardware that is provided by the ISP is a "Netgear Wireless Cable Modem Gateway CG814WG v2."
That is both a Cable Modem and a router. Here is the Data Sheet which shows under "interface specifications" (2nd page) that your hardware has four 10/100 Mbps (not Gig) ports.

You should pick a switch from the link Scott provided, unless you are wanting to upgrade to Wirelss N router.

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Will the Wireless-N improve performance in regards to gigabit transfer rate?


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Wireless is separate from wired, one will not really affect the other. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Thanks guys!!

One last question for today...Will the length of the CAT 5 cable, assuming it's CAT 5, cause signal loss? Let's say, 20-30ft? DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:03 pm 
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You shouldn't see any problems as long as the cable is 100 meters or less. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:12 pm 
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Thanks!!


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Quote:
That is both a Cable Modem and a router. Here is the Data Sheet...

Just to clarify things a bit, that device actually contains 4 main components or functions:

    Cable Modem
    Router
    10/100 4-port Switch
    Wireless-G Access Point

All that needs to be added for gigabit performance is a gigabit switch as I previously described. You could also increase wireless performance by adding a Wireless-N Access Point/Router (many of which include gigabit switches), but I'd hold off on that for now since there aren't many 450Mbps (3x3 spatial streams, aka multi-stream n) routers on the market yet. In fact the only ones I know of currently are the late 2009 Apple AirPort Extreme (see the certification here) and the Marvell Smart Dual-Band AP (certification here), and I don't even know where you can buy the latter.

Since the Wireless-N spec. was only published fairly recently (Oct. 29, 2009), we should see a lot more Wi-Fi certified 802.11n dual-band 3x3 stream solutions coming in 2010. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:00 am 
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Sounds Great, Scott! I guess I can't go wrong for now by selecting one of the gigabit Ethernet switches you provided a link to earlier:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166036

I'll keep an eye on the anticipated changes you wrote about in your last post and spend the money for something better at that time...In the meantime, I'll learn as much as I can from the additional links you've provided on anticiapted network hardware changes.

I feel like I've finally landed in a gold mine correct advice on your forum. Many Thanks! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Quote:
8. Logitech Cordless DT Wave Pro

Scott,
In your video on Building a PC, you intalled conventional keyboard and mouse prior to installing the OS. In my system build, I have the wireless keyboard and mouse. Can this still be done? DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:31 pm 
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I prefer a standard PS/2 keyboard for initial system building and testing, but for new systems using a wired or wireless USB based keyboard should be fine. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Thanks!

I regards to a BIOS update bootable CD, Gigabyte has thishttp://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.aspx?ProductID=2958&ver= available. It's a *.exe file however...Not the *.iso you recomended. If I burn the *.exe to a CD, is it bootable?


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:03 pm 
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DLH wrote:
If I burn the *.exe to a CD, is it bootable?
No. It is possible that the *.exe is actually self extracting and contains an ISO, but more likely it is just a Windows based BIOS flash utility.

-Evan


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:30 pm 
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The most recent BIOS file is motherboard_bios_ga-ex58-ud5_f12.exe which turns out to be a self extracting file. When you "run" the file you are given a choice of where to extract the contents. (By default the path will be the current directory of the original self-extracting *.exe) You should have the following 3 files after the extraction:

  1. autoexec.bat
  2. EX58UD5.F12
  3. FLASHSPI.EXE

The second file is your actual BIOS update file while the 1st and 3rd files are used to install the 2nd.

To upgrade your BIOS follow the instructions in section 4.2 BIOS Update Utilities (p. 80) of your motherboard's owner manual. Please read all of section 4.2 before moving forward.

-Evan

P.S. Here is a FAQ regarding the BIOS you should keep in mind also.
Quote:
QUESTION: Why EX58-EXTREME, EX58-UD5, EX58-DS4 can't boot with some Core i7-920, Core i7-940 CPU?

ANSWER: GIGABYTE X58 series motherboards may have compatibility issues with Intel Core i7 940 and 920 production version CPU, so we strongly recommend you to update the latest BIOS as following for better performance,
EX58-EXTREME BIOS version F3
EX58-UD5 BIOS version F3
EX58-DS4 BIOS version F3
You can use BIOS build-in Q-Flash utility, or Window based @BIOS utility to update BIOS. After Main BIOS update successfully, system will reboot and during POST, please press Alt + F12 key to update Backup BIOS


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Quote:
If I burn the *.exe to a CD, is it bootable?

No, that executable is a self extracting archive containing a BIOS image (EX58UD5.xxx, where xxx is the version), a DOS based flash update program (FLASHSPI.EXE), and a batch file to issue the update command (autoexec.bat). Gigabyte does not provide a bootable CD for BIOS updates, however they provide three alternative methods instead. Unfortunately the first and last of those require a floppy drive*, and the @BIOS method runs under Windows, which can be problematic due to potential instability and/or interruptions.

However, you can perform the last method using an optical drive instead of a floppy drive as follows: First you would download and run the executable to extract the three BIOS update files, and then and burn them to a CD (I recommend ImgBurn). Then you can boot the system from a bootable DOS CD you had previously created, insert the CD with the BIOS update files, and run the autoexec.bat to perform the update.

Another alternative is to use a DOS formatted bootable USB flash drive, and run the update from there.

Let me know which method you choose, and how it works out... Scott.

*EDIT: As FatGuy suggests, the QFlash method does indeed work directly with a (non-bootable) USB Flash drive, the only caveat is that it must be formatted FAT and not NTFS.


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:03 pm 
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Thanks! It's going to take me a bit to digest what you've told me to do...My biggest fear of BIOS updating in screwing up...


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:08 pm 
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When I flashed my bios I used the q-flash utility and a flash drive/usb memory stick. I found it easier than booting from and floppy or optical drive. It doesn't require a floppy drive. For some reason it says it does online but my manual contradicts that and I myself used a usb flash drive.


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:19 pm 
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Your board actually has a Dual BIOS so it does have a back up in case you screw it up. I would NOT take that as a green light to just go ahead and go at it though. Go ahead and read up before you get started. The manual has more on the Dual BIOS stuff as well.

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Thanks, Evan! I'll actually printing and reading some of the information before I start anything...Is ImgBurn, the program Scott is recomending, created by AVS? The link leads me to a AVS Video Converter page.


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:43 pm 
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No need to reply...I found ImgBurn.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:13 am 
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I have a similar question in regards to a system I am about to build myself. This is kind of a brand war question, but I am looking for a best way to spend my money answer.

For my processor choice I would love to have an i7, but I do not have the funds to go that extravagant, therefore, I have considered AMD's Phenom II series which is pretty close to an i7 for the money. In regards to keeping things on the Intel side I have considered a quad core which is about the same price as the Phenom II. Personally, I am leaning towards the Phenom II.

Thanks in advanced. - Shane


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:11 am 
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The Phenom II is closer to the Core i5 than the i7 in performance (and price), check the BAPCo SYSmark 2007 Preview FDR for real-world benchmark comparisons between various systems using the latest processors. Start a new topic if you have questions that are not related to the specific system being built by DLH and discussed here. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:12 am 
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Ok I will start a new thread next time. I am pretty much sold on the Phenom.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Scott,

Forgot to post the final build from last year from April 2010. The workstation works great...Just need a more powefull video card. Thanks for saving me a lot of money when building this workstation. I'm about to make one change from my PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 to the PNY Quadro 4000...142W of power verses my existing FX 1800's 59W of power. My question is, considering the current system configuration, would I need to add any additional cooling in the system to take care of any additional heat that will occur?

Hardware:
1. Enermax Vostok 3120B Black 0,5 SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
2. Scythe S-Flex 120mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing by Sony Case Fan
3. Scythe S-Flex 190mm Fluide Dynamic Bearing...
4. Gigabyte X58 UD5 LGA 1366 i7 Motherboard
5. Four Western Digital 500GB Enterprise Class RE3 Harddrives (RAID)
6. Two sets Patriot Memory Viper Series Tri-Channel (1066MHz) 1.5v 6GB DDR3 (12GB Total)
7. Intel i7 920 2.66 GHz; 4.8GT/s LGA1366 Quad Core Processor
8. Windows 7 Professional 64bit (OEM)
9. PNY Nvidia Quadro 4000
10. Corsair CMPSU – 850TX
11. Plugable USB 2.0 10-Port Powered Hub
12. Hauppauge HVR-1800 MC Kit TV Tuner Card
13. Logitech Classic 200KB Keyboard USB
14. Logitech Opt USB Scroll Whell Mouse
15. Trendnet TEW-64 Wireless Adapter PCI-E Card
15. Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2 Surround Sound Head Set
16. Two LGW2453v-PF Flatron 24” LCD Monitors
17. LG Super Multi Blue Ray Disk Rewriter

Software:
1. Adobe Production Premium CS5.5

Thanks!!


Last edited by DLH on Sat May 07, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:34 pm 
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No additional cooling is necessary, and your PSU should handle the upgrade with no problems. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Thanks!!


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 Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Scott,

I just finished replacing the PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 with the PNY Nvidia Quadro 4000 (qualified for Adobe CS5.5 Master Collection) video card and cleaning the system internally after a year. I notice after everything is operational again, the CPU fan does not seem to be running...Is this because the fan only functions when processor cooling is necessary and remains idle othewise...Thermostatically controlled?

Thanks,
DLH


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 Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:57 pm 
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The CPU fan should run when the CPU is under a load. What happens when you run a torture test using Prime95? If the fan doesn't run during that test, then I'd say you have a problem. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:37 am 
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Thanks Scott! I'll test it later this morning...


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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Scott,

I been receiving a number of BSODs in the last couple of years...In an effort to troubleshot the problem, I've downloaded an app called BlueScreenView (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html) to track the problems. As usual, all problem solving efforts direct me to try an track down the source of the problem through the process of elimination i.e., software recently installed or new hardware install, etc. if I recall correctly, you made a suggestion of install some Windows dump file software...Not sure. I did a complete reinstall of the OS and starting rebuilding for there...BSOD occured again.

My question is, my Four Western Digital 500GB Enterprise Class RE3 Internal Harddrives' drivers (RAID10) go back to 2006. Should I update them? The BSOD are generated as a Phyical Memory Dump" and some solutions seem to point me to updating all hardware drivers on my system.

I've attached a screen capture file of the present hard drive drivers on my system and a BlueScreenView Report in Notepad.

Help,
DLH


Attachments:
BlueScreeView Report.txt [1.97 KiB]
Downloaded 663 times
WD Enterprise Class RE3 500GB Internal Driver Info.JPG
WD Enterprise Class RE3 500GB Internal Driver Info.JPG [ 39.35 KiB | Viewed 175815 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:43 am 
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Quote:
...my Four Western Digital 500GB Enterprise Class RE3 Internal Harddrives' drivers (RAID10) go back to 2006. Should I update them?

According to your earlier posts in this thread the RE3 drives were installed in 2010, and they should not need to be updated unless they are actually failing. If any one of them were failing you would know because your array would be degraded.

While the drives may be OK, you should be updating your *drivers*. The latest drivers and Storage Console software for the Intel chipset RAID/AHCI host adapters can be downloaded here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_ ... ldID=21852

Updating these drivers may very well solve your BSOD issues, as you will note if you read the release notes. As part of the installation the package will also install the Intel Matrix Storage Console, which you should be running to both control and monitor the status of your array.

If this doesn't solve the BSOD problem, I would reseat (remove and reinstall) the memory, adapter cards and CPU. Doing the CPU will require new thermal paste. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Scott,

Are there in special steps I should take when installing the driver updates and other software you've suggested to help solve my BSOD problem?

Many Thanks,
DLH


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:56 pm 
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I would install the Intel storage drivers and console first, then the latest video drivers as those are the most critical. I'd also check for any BIOS updates and install the latest if you don't already have it. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Scott,

Done!!

All seems to be well!!

Many Thanks!!!

DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:22 pm 
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Scott,
Any recommendations or caveats for a USB 3.0 PCI-E card for my Gigabyte UD5 motherboard? Manufacture with great hardware reliability.
DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Personally I would look for a card with NEC chipset assuming Intel does not sell USB 3 controllers to third parties. I always had good results with NEC based USB 2.0 add in cards.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:40 pm 
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I'll do a little research...Thanks.


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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:23 pm 
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That is exactly what I was going to advise, that is go for one with the Renesas/NEC chipset. I would recommend this card since it uses the latest version of the chip and is also inexpensive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 2690UV7054

Let me know how it works if you get it, Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Many thanks, Scott! I'll follow you guy's lead on this!
DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:08 am 
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Scott, I'm thinking of taking the above Gigabyte EX58 UD5 MB up 24GB of tri-channel memory. I'll still follow the voltage specs you recommend I pay attention to when I first built this system. Do you have any recommendations for manufacture for quality tri-channel 8GB sticks, 3 total, and or how can I get up to the 24GB and still utilized the 12GB tri-channel sticks on the board now...Probably have to put the existing sticks on another MB...

Thanks, DLH


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:43 am 
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You can see several sets of recommended modules here. You could get one or two 12GB sets or a single 24GB set. If you got one 12GB set you could combine that with one of your existing 6GB sets for 18GB total. Upgrading to 18GB would currently cost $110 or more, while upgrading to 24GB would currently cost $220 or more.

Before attempting a memory upgrade I would check to be sure you are really using all of the memory you have now. Run the Windows Resource Monitor while running your most memory intensive applications, then check the Physical Memory graph under the Memory tab. Unless the green colored "In Use" portion is more than 80% of the Total, adding memory won't really help performance and you would be wasting your money.

If you really want a performance upgrade that you will notice I would recommend installing an SSD boot drive, currently I'm recommending the Intel 530 Series.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:18 pm 
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Thanks, Scott!


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Scott,

What do you think of the "Set Affinity" settings in the "Processes" section on Windows Task Manager? I recently received an alert from my Norton Insight saying "Google Chrome High CPU Usage on at least one core." I researched "Google Chrome High CPU Usage" on Youtube and found this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-XHeSmFfys

Would changing my current default Set Affinity settings for the many Google Chrome processes running be a help as the above Youtube video suggest?

Thanks
DLH


Attachments:
3 Google Chrome Set Affinity.JPG
3 Google Chrome Set Affinity.JPG [ 111.05 KiB | Viewed 169363 times ]
2 Google Chrome Processes Running.JPG
2 Google Chrome Processes Running.JPG [ 123.36 KiB | Viewed 169363 times ]
1 Google Chrome High CPU Usage Alert.JPG
1 Google Chrome High CPU Usage Alert.JPG [ 51.09 KiB | Viewed 169363 times ]
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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Scott, you recommended an SSD drive to help my system's performance. I'm looking at an SSD with approximately 240gb. Would you please provide some additional information in regards to actually adding/installing such a drive on to my existing system?! In addition, to improve video editing performance, I thinking removing my current hard drive configuration and adding a [url]WD 4TB Black[/http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/pd/ThemeID.21986300/productID.298494200/parid.13092500/catid.13094900/categoryID.13095100url]. Please share you're thoughts. [Can't figure out how to ad a link inside specific text on your forum]

Thanks, DLH


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:44 pm 
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You would install it just as you would any standard HDD. The only real issue to be aware of is to insure that all partitions created are properly aligned, which will be accomplished automatically if you create the partitions on the drive using Windows Vista or later: viewtopic.php?t=2586

Note that this alignment issue applies to SSDs as well as newer HDDs with 4K sectors. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:46 am 
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Sounds great!! Thanks!


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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Scott, do I have to buy tri-channel modules when filling the last three slots on my Gigabyte EX58 UD5 MB? I currently have three Patriot Viper 4gb tri-channel sticks on the MB and want to up it to the full 24gb for the system. Also, the Patriot sticks I've found operate at 1333MHz vs. the 1066MHz thick on board already. I talked with Patriot and this is what they recommend, but it doesn't appear to be tri-channel: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820220480

Thanks,
DLH


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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Module kits sold as dual or tri-channel merely means they are packaged as 2 or 3-module kits. You could also purchase 2 or 3 individual modules to achieve the same result. I would go with whichever was cheaper, a kit of 3 or buying 3 modules separately. In your case you would want 1066MHz or faster modules since they will all run at 1066MHz anyway.

Here is a list to choose from: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... =90&Page=1

The cheapest *name-brand* module I see in that list would be this one at $36.69 (note free shipping): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820148787

The module Patriot recommended would be OK as it appears to use name-brand Samsung chips, however it is $44 per module.

The cheapest 3-module kit I see is $116 (including shipping), which works out to $38.67 per module: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820226096

Note that I probably would recommend spending this money elsewhere (e.g. more storage, backup, another monitor, etc.) as I don't think you will see any performance gain in going from 12MB to 24MB. As indicated in one of my posts above if you aren't really using all of the memory you currently have, adding more won't help. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:14 pm 
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Thanks, Scott! I'm told that the performance results will show when rendering my large video files in Adobe Premiere Pro, a video editing app. I'm not sure if you answered this, or if I've even presented the question; Does introducing different RAM manufactures with the existing Patriot sticks presents any real problems? Once again, thanks for the help!!

DLH


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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:05 am 
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DLH wrote:
I'm told that the performance results will show when rendering my large video files in Adobe Premiere Pro, a video editing app.

How much memory are you using now when editing?

Quote:
Does introducing different RAM manufactures with the existing Patriot sticks presents any real problems?

The mfr. of the chips on the Patriot module you linked above was Samsung. What mfr. made the chips on your existing Patriot modules?

Nevermind, I'm just trying to make a point, Patriot is a module (but not chip) mfr. and may use chips from multiple sources. Whether the chips on your existing modules are Samsung or hopefully some other name brand was a rhetorical question since as long as the specifications and functionality are correct and the quality is there then the specific mfr. doesn't matter. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Point well made...Now I have more a respected insight. When reading all the various scuttlebutt info from individuals on the Net, the result is confusion for me. That's why I come to you...Thanks, Scott!!! DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:09 pm 
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You've got me thinking...I would like to consider changing my current "Four Western Digital 500GB Enterprise Class RE3 Hard drives - RAID 10" out and install new drives with 7200rpm configured as "RAID 0"...Performance over reliability is my new direction.

Adobe Premiere Pro https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/system-requirements.html recommends the performance metrics. I have a number of external drives to store data. I would like to swap out my existing slow drives to meet Adobe Premiere Pro requirements. For RAID 0, would I still need 4 drives? If so, what drives do you recommend for my older Gigabyte EX58 UD5 MB...This MB is only SATA 2. Hopefully, I can find some deals on 7200rpm SATA 2 drives?! Price IS a concern if 4 drives are needed. 500gb drives I think will keep me in my budget of $200 if 4 drives are needed for RAID 0. Thanks! DLH


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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:08 pm 
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According to the manual that board has 6 SATA 3Gbps (300MBps) and 2 SATA 6Gbps (600MBps) ports. For maximum performance and reliability I would connect a 6GBps Solid State Drive (SSD) to one of the 6Gbps ports, which will allow the drive to run at full performance. This would in fact be just about as fast as running RAID 0 with multiple drives on the 300Gbps ports, and significantly more stable and reliable. In that case you could edit video with maximum performance on the SSD and then use your existing HDDs for backup or server storage. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:46 pm 
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So when the manual reads, "GSATA2_1", it is identifying one of the SATA 6GBs ports you described?! Otherwise, when I search the manual "SATA3", nothing is found...http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=2958#sp Or, are the 2 SATA 6GB ports on the bracket that came inside the box?! I never install it on the board. Ether way, SATA3 or not, installing the SSD drive will still improve performance on the current MB and retain reliability...

Also, I know you recommended the SSD boot drive earlier in our threads, and I had planned to install it according to your recommendations. However, your recent reply really solidifies my understanding further in regards to speeding up my system and now I really see the importance in depth. I currently have approximately 180GBs used of the actual 1TB available 4 500Gb drives RAID 10...OS, apps, etc. I'll choose one of the Intel drives you've recommended, above, and install it. Performance and reliability, the best of both in your solution!!

Of the Intel 530 series SSDs you've recommended, I choosing this...What are your thoughts with my selection: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product If we can't confirm the SATA3 ports on my GA EX58 UD5 MB, this Intel 530 series SSD drive would/should default to a SATA2 functionality...Right?!

Thanks! DLH


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DLH wrote:
So when the manual reads, "GSATA2_1", it is identifying one of the SATA 6GBs ports you described?!

Unfortunately I mistakenly downloaded the manual for the GA-X58A-UD5 instead of the GA-X58-UD5. The former has a 2-port Marvell 6Gbps chip added to the board. Your board has only 3Gbps ports. In that case you could add 6Gbps SATA ports via an inexpensive PCIe card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... erSearch=1

Quote:
Of the Intel 530 series SSDs you've recommended, I choosing this...What are your thoughts with my selection: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

That is exactly the drive I would recommend! Scott.


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For some reason, the Newegg link you provided does not point to a specific 6Gbps SATA III PCIe card. I currently have my PCI3 express 1 slot used by a USB 3 PCIe card. So, even though they a relatively inexpensive, please point me to a card/brand that meets your standards and my needs. I've looked over several low profile cards that offer the internal connections for SATA III and external connectors for UBS 3 [obviously external on the USB and internal on the SATA]. That's the direction I would LIKE to head if possible. Although I'm currently waiting to talk to tech support of the Syba brand, your overall consideration and opinion has always mattered FIRST! For example, chipset details...

Many thanks, DLH


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DLH wrote:
For some reason, the Newegg link you provided does not point to a specific 6Gbps SATA III PCIe card.

That was intentional, I haven't tested them so I don't have a specific card I can recommend.

Quote:
Would this be a brand you would recommend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

It seems to be fine, however another one to consider would be the one using a Marvell chipset (same as included by Gigabyte on the newer "A" version of your motherboard): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6816124068

Quote:
My PCIe ex 1 slot is used by a USB 3 PCIe card I installed a couple of years ago. If the above Syba card would work, and I take out the USB 3 card to make room, are the chipsets on the above SATA III card to your satisfaction?

I believe any of them should work, however the Marvell chipset was the one Gigabyte chose to include on the EX58A motherboard.

Note that the PCIe x1 slot on your motherboard is connected to and controlled by the motherboard ICH10R "southbridge" chip and supports only PCIe 1.1, which will result in the card running at half speed. All of the other PCIe slots on your board are controlled by the X58 "northbridge" chip and support PCIe 2.0 operation. You will need to install the card in one of the PCIe 2.0 slots to achieve full performance. Scott.


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I had to reread your last suggestion...I spoke with Gigabyte BEFORE I read YOUR response and both synched up PERFECTLY!!!

Many Thanks, Scott!! DLH


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Scott, when you get a moment, would you please take a look at the two choices for PCIe combo cards with USB3 and SATA 3 connections I've narrowed down to. The ASUS card will power the USB 3 ports directly for the x4 or x8 slots and uses Marvell chipset, and the SYBA card requires a 4-pin connection from my power supply to run the USB 3 ports:

1. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

2. http://www.everythingusb.com/asus-u3s6- ... 18307.html

I know you've not tested such products, but is there anything that stands out that about either card that would make you choose one card over the other?!

Thanks, DLH


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According to the review of the Asus U3S6 you posted above, unless the motherboard in which it is installed is an Asus brand motherboard officially listed as compatible the card will cause the system to fail to complete POST whenever SATA drives are connected to both the card and motherboard SATA ports. That pretty much eliminates the Asus card from contention in this case. Scott.


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Thanks, Scott!


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Quote:
While the drives may be OK, you should be updating your *drivers*. The latest drivers and Storage Console software for the Intel chipset RAID/AHCI host adapters can be downloaded here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_ ... ldID=21852

Updating these drivers may very well solve your BSOD issues, as you will note if you read the release notes. As part of the installation the package will also install the Intel Matrix Storage Console, which you should be running to both control and monitor the status of your array.


Scott, I'm planning on buying the Intel 530 480GB SSD tomorrow. And, I plan to uninstall the SSD and configure it to boot from in my BOIS from the SYBA USB 3 and SATA III, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815124148, PCI-e card I plan to install as well. Once that has been accomplished, I want to uninstall the OS and other programs on my RAID drives and use them entirely for reliable storage as you suggested earlier. My question or assumption is, wouldn't I install the Intel chipset drivers you pointed me to a couple of years back on the SSD drive? If so, the above links no longer work and all the possible downloads on Intel's site are a little confusing...I want to be certain the download, if needed, in the event your recommendations link up with how I'm perceiving the process. Many thanks, DLH


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I believe this is the driver you want: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail ... rodId=2101

This driver supports AHCI as well as RAID. Let me know how it works, Scott.


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Thanks!! I will let you know. DLH


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Scott, when you get a moment, please tell me what you think about this guy's optimization tips for SSD drives. Of course, I will eventually have the 24gb of RAM on board...Is what he's saying about SSD drives true?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc-_PX8g5kQ

Thanks, DLH


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Windows 7 and later automatically optimizes for SSD drives: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009 ... s-and.aspx

For earlier OS using Intel SSDs I recommend running the Intel SSD Toolbox and using the "System Tuner" function as well as running the "Optimizer" (Trim) function every month or so. Trim is automatically supported in Windows 7 or later. Scott.


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Scott, I appreciated your expertise so much!!! Thanks!! DLH


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Scott, since I going into my chassis, what's your opinion about pulling the CPU fan and cleaning beneath it? I will use your recommended method for reapplying thermal paste should you think cleaning the CPU is advisable.


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I would not recommend pulling the heatsink and/or CPU just for cleaning. I recommend cleaning using compressed air. Scott.


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Do you think the compressor air should be able to get enough dust out that collects underneath the CPU fan? Or, is there a way to lift the top portion of the CPU fan off without moving position from the top of the processor? Thanks, DLH


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Compressed air should get out all of the dust without having to remove the heatsink. Scott.


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Will do...Many thanks, Scott. DLH


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Scott, can you recommend a data migration tool or cloning tool so that I may populate my SSD once I've set it to boot from in the BIOS?! I've not received the drive as of yet, but it's been ordered. Thanks! DLH

[No need; I found Intel's software solutions here: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/hi ... +downloads]

Thanks, DLH


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Quote:
Four Western Digital 500GB Enterprise Class RE3 Harddrives (RAID)


Scott, in order to reduce additional heat in my case, I'm thinking of taking out my RAID 10 drive array and installing them in an external enclosure, installing my eSATA II adapter that came with my MB, and using them strictly for reliable storage is you suggested. Can you recommend and external enclosure? I failed to install them in alternating pattern as you had suggested in your training material. Thanks, DLH


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:11 pm 
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Quote:
Scott, can you recommend a data migration tool or cloning tool so that I may populate my SSD once I've set it to boot from in the BIOS?!...
[No need; I found Intel's software solutions here: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/hi ... +downloads]DLH

I do recommend the Intel Data Migration Software, but you can also find other excellent free utilities here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-fr ... ftware.htm

Quote:
Scott, in order to reduce additional heat in my case, I'm thinking of taking out my RAID 10 drive array and installing them in an external enclosure, installing my eSATA II adapter that came with my MB, and using them strictly for reliable storage is you suggested. Can you recommend and external enclosure? I failed to install them in alternating pattern as you had suggested in your training material.

Your chassis should be able to handle the heat without problems, but if you really want to spend the money on an external enclosure that will handle 4 or more drives you can choose from these units: http://www.newegg.com/RAID-Enclosure-Su ... ory/ID-509

I haven't tested any of these so I don't have a specific recommendation. Unfortunately the extra connections and circuitry in these types of enclosures will further complicate things and would not be as reliable as leaving the drives directly connected in your existing chassis. Scott.


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Thanks, Scott. I'll leave them in the chassis. The only reason entertained the thought was removing drive heat because of my NVIDIA Quadro 4000 video card. It whines a little much and always has...Seems to be a common annoyance for many that own such cards, or high performance video cards in general. Thanks again! DLH


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Scott, can you please recommend a utility that will provide current operation temperatures of my RAID 10 WD Enterprise Class RE3 HDDs?!

Thanks,
DLH


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I normally recommend HWMonitor for reading system temperatures (including drives), however like many similar programs it may not be able to read drive temperatures when they are configured behind an array controller. In that case you might try HDD Guardian as it does indicate Intel RAID capabilty. If that doesn't work you can find others to try here. Let me know what ends up working for you, Scott.


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Thanks, Scott!! I'll let you know. DLH


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HDD Guardian 0.6,1 works great! Thanks! DLH


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Scott,
What are your thoughts about using RAM as a temporary "RAMDISK" setup? Today is my first hearing about the technique. Since Photoshop is RAM intensive (the more the better according to Adobe), I'm giving RAMDISK a thought when doing RAM intensive Photoshop work. In addition, I made a mistake when telling you about the existing RAM sticks on my motherboard...I had to send the 12gb of Crucial memory back and I plan to purchase these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... isNodeId=1 I've verified that these sticks work very well with my Gigabyte GA EX58 UD5 mb. Thanks, DLH


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RAMDISKs have been available since DOS 2.0. I would keep RAM as RAM and use an SSD for high performance storage. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:54 am 
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DLH wrote:
Scott,
What are your thoughts about using RAM as a temporary "RAMDISK" setup? ....

My unsolicited thoughts:
    If you have excess RAM--and I doubt you ever exceed 8GB of use--then use it. Otherwise it is going to waste.

    If the app you are using is 32-bit (Photoshop may be 64-bit version?). If it is a 64-bit app then a RAM disk should be useless as a well designed app should be able to use as much RAM as it needs until you hit some other limit.

    If an app insists on writing its temp files to a drive then I suppose you can get a boost by designating a RAM disk as the location for the temp files. (volatility issue)

    A RAMdisk is WAY faster than an SSD. But it is volatile. So use as a scratch disk but don't forget to save, and I'd have the system on a UPS to not lose work.

I can remember playing with a RAM disk back when I was running DrDOS 5 and/or 6 on an XT clone with 1MB of RAM. It allowed me to use a 128Kb high RAM area that otherwise went to waste. I liked it (impressive gains in lowering the amount of time for DNA-protein analysis apps to work) but eventually newer tech, OS capabilities and app capabilities made its use unneeded.

I see this again in the transition we find ourselves in with cheap RAM, high capacity, and lots of 32-bit apps that cannot take advantage of more than 2 or 4GB. Once those apps transition to 64-bit, RAM disks will fade again. But that is still a few years away it seems because people do not want to spend the money replacing what works (and most of those apps will never use anywhere near 2Gb of RAMspace).


Last edited by FascistNation on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Many thanks for you thourough reply!!
DLH


Last edited by DLH on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Scott, do you use CCleaner on your SSD. Now that I have it installed, browser and registry clean is all I plan to use on the SSD side of things. I don't plan to use Defrag or Wipe on the SSD.


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Don't believe there is a defrag option on ccleaner. Though people often run such an app after cleanup.

As for wiping while it would decrease the life expectancy of the SSD by 50% (assuming single pass wipe of zeros) you should be aware if you are in need of securely wiping an SSD select files and free space, that may not be ensured no matter whose app you use. Even wiping the entire drive completely unrecoverable is a question mark. It is a current security concern.

http://www.kingston.com/us/community/ar ... ticleId=10
[see ucsd link within]


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I do use and recommend CCleaner. Note that CCleaner does not have a defrag function and since version 4.11 and later it automatically detects and disables the drive wipe functionality on SSDs. Using it periodically for standard application file and registry cleaning works just as well on SSDs as it does on HDDs, which is rather well indeed.

Note that when using an SSD and OS both supporting TRIM, files that are deleted and then emptied from the Recycle Bin are automatically securely erased. Because of TRIM on SSDs I do not recommend enabling the CCleaner Secure file deletion option (it is disabled by default) and whether CCleaner is used on an HDD or SSD I do recommend disabling both System and Active Monitoring (both are enabled by default): https://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ ... eaner-free

If you wish to secure erase an entire SSD then I recommend using the drive mfr. supplied utility (e.g. the Intel SSD Toolbox for Intel drives) or if both the drive and OS support TRIM you can achieve virtually the same result by simply removing all partitions from the drive, then creating and formatting a single partition spanning the entire drive. In that case TRIM will insure that virtually the entire drive is securely erased.


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Scott, thanks!!! I purchased the CCleaner Professional version and it DOES NOT have the Defrag functionality. My question is, do you use the professional version or the free version...Is the free version adequate?


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I use and recommend the free version. As a tip I also recommend downloading the "Slim" (no toolbar/adware) version from the builds page. Scott.


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Thanks, Scott!!


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Quote:
Don't believe there is a defrag option on ccleaner. Though people often run such an app after cleanup.

As for wiping while it would decrease the life expectancy of the SSD by 50% (assuming single pass wipe of zeros) you should be aware if you are in need of securely wiping an SSD select files and free space, that may not be ensured no matter whose app you use. Even wiping the entire drive completely unrecoverable is a question mark. It is a current security concern.

http://www.kingston.com/us/community/ar ... ticleId=10
[see ucsd link within]


Scott, has anything changed in regards to a safe wiping feature on an SSD since your posted above reply on 12/2014 to your knowledge? Thanks, DLH


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:27 am 
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This is a quote from me, not Scott. His reply is directly under mine and his advice probably still holds true: The best solution is a wipe utility from the SSD maker. Unfortunately few makers offer such solutions, nor is their solution necessarily bulletproof. It also requires a properly functioning drive. I suspect Intel's works well because Intel targets business users and has always been very concerned with business' security. This translates into end user security as well.

Unfortunately few wiping apps create a log file. Required by NIST for secure wipe of government classified info on drives. And a good idea if the app accurately tells you what it did and could not do.

The best solution IMHO for now if you are concerned is to encrypt the entire drive with a nasty complex ASCII password and then a single pass with zeros. (I can, however, make a case for the triple pass "DOD" protocol based on the first link below.) This also assumes the encrypting app has not been broken, as Truecrypt recently was.

If the drive is to be scrapped then crushing all previously encrypted and wiped chips with a hammer. Hard to recover from that. If the drive is to be reused or sold then little will be recoverable and decipherable, but I am afraid with SSDs it is still not as secure from such a wipe as HDDs. I cannot say for sure everything is off the SSD. [Of course there are issues with HDDs as well such as blocked bad sectors.]

https://www.usenix.org/legacy/events/fa ... rs/Wei.pdf - SSD erasure problems. This is the paper that brought attention to serious security issues with SSD erasure.

http://forensic.belkasoft.com/download/ ... 202012.pdf - further discussion on data recovery off of a SSD

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BleachBit (Linux based wiping app. Generates report on screen which can be cut and pasted. Free.)
https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/how-delet ... ly-windows - how to guide with bleachbit

https://www.ascomp.de/en/products/show/ ... ureeraser/ (Windows based wiping app using Secure Erase function. Creates report. Free.)

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SS ... l_clearing

for a fairly long debate on wiping securely and to toot my horn:
http://windowssecrets.com/forums/showth ... ives/page2


Last edited by FascistNation on Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PS: I am not sure what the heck I meant by decrease the drive life expectancy by 50%. It would simply be a single pass of zeros, and minimal decrease in life expectancy of the drive.

Note: Intel SSDs are actually firmware locked into their life expectancy. Once the number of hours set by Intel is reached plus a few percent beyond the drive locks read only. That is a significant number of hours though and not likely reached in normal use. Intel's drives start warning of this end of life approaching. Also, I don't remember if you lose the drive completely once powered down, but would not chance it as I would not chance it for any SSD drive that started issuing any warning signs (backup immediately and order a new drive).


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:45 pm 
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Quick note, The makers of "CCleaner" also make "Defraggler"

https://www.piriform.com/defraggler/builds

as noted, not for use on SSD's I think it disables use on a SSD but double check.


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Thanks all for the in-depth response(s)... It's exactly what I needed! DLH


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Thanks @FascistNation for the detailed response! I don't have much to add except to say that I would only recommend SSDs from manufacturers who *do* supply wipe (and other) utilities. Of course that is meaningless when you are working on other people's systems. Scott.


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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:34 pm 
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Thanks, Scott! I haven't research it yet, but I'm assuming my Intel 520 Series SSD has such a utility... Am I right?! Also Scott, what do you think of this site for accurate and reliable software reviews: http://www.toptenreviews.com/ Thanks, DLH


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:54 pm 
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DLH wrote:
I'm assuming my Intel 520 Series SSD has such a utility...

Indeed it does: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/downlo ... ve-Toolbox

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...what do you think of this site for accurate and reliable software reviews: http://www.toptenreviews.com/

I recommend Gizmo's Freeware for software reviews. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st New System Build Inquiry
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:11 am 
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Many, Many thanks!!! DLH


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