Building an all purpose rig...

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

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Postposted on Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:04 pm

Well, called NewEgg and asked them what to do, they told me to refuse delivery on the monitors and all money for them will be refunded. Just a P.I.A. for me rushing. I need this setup operational by the end of the week so I HAD to get started. I am trying to mix pleasure with work, and it always takes the pleasure out of it.

Now I had to eat it to get a good DVI monitor, since I had my heart set on a nice matching pair (and other than monitors too, hehe). So I ordered two of these:

Hyundai.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824179014

I just couldn't bring myself to order some no-name off-brand stuff with no support so I kept stepping up until I found this one. So much for keeping it at $2000 max...

I like the swivel, high contrast, speed, and great reviews. I cannot wait for better deals unfortunatly.

-LS
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Postposted on Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:14 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:It looks like those LCDs are analog connector, rather than DVI.


You were right, thanks!!! Crap. Goofed bad here. I could have sworn I checked that, but it was at 6:30AM this morning.

Ragnar Dan wrote:If I were you I'd wait at least a day before pulling the trigger on this thing to make sure everything is the best deal you can get and completely what you want.


Did, still messed up. Probably spent too much time on the vid card and memory.

Ragnar Dan wrote:The video card, though I haven't been looking lately, also looks a bit on the pricey side. Maybe it's because of the dual-DVI, though, but I'd make sure before I bought.


Paying for silence. Much quieter than competition. I will pay extra for that. Look at the reveiws here:

http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q1/66 ... dex.x?pg=8
Though this was the AGP version. I HOPE they have the same heatsink fan assembly, it looks the same in pictures.

Ragnar Dan wrote:The main thing is the monitors. Since Dell is having a sale practically every week or 2, you may want to make sure they don't have one you'd prefer. Lots of people are very happy with this one, for example: Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24-inch Wide Aspect Flat Panel LCD Monitor with Height Adjustable Stand, though it's rather expensive. I don't know what kind of deals you can get on it (looks like it's $803 right now according to http://www.slickdeals.net), but it may be worth waiting for a better one. No matter, everyone here will advise you to get a DVI connected LCD rather than D-sub.


I can't wait for deals to come around since I have to work on this thing and my current rig wont run my software without some work on the rig. See previous post.

I need the dual monitors since I run schematic on and PC board CAD on the other. It makes my brain operate properly, since I am quite used to it at work.

Your help is very appreciated!

-LS
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Postposted on Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:32 pm

Looks like you made a good compromise choice, and the price doesn't seem bad for a decent quality one. I'm usually the last person to know about this stuff because I don't generally keep up with the latest and greatest. I just spend a couple of weeks before I buy something finding out what my various options are. But I saw your post in that UT2K4 thread, and clicked on the link to here.

Of course, I've been putting off getting an LCD for about 18 months now, so I do now and then notice such things. Now that my monitor is starting to look like it's going to die soon (horizontal breadth sometimes loses ~1.5 inches on each side for a while until it decides to jump back to where it ought to be), I'll probably finally have to get one. I've had this sucker for more than 6.5 years, though, so I can't really complain. Much.

Edit: It sounds like you're going to have to eat the shipping cost in both directions. Ouch.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:03 pm

Dammit, that sucks. But is better than cracking the package, going through setup, and discovering a big old whoops.

BTW I could not for the life of me find the X2 4400+ for what TechReport lists it in the reveiw, it MUST be a typo. The 4400+ is about $65-$70 more than the 4200+. Granted the cache is larger in the 4400+ but I dunno. If it doesn't work well for me, I am sure someone will buy it from me here ;-)

I have been known to throw things. Not pretty. I blew up an old printer not too long ago with 3x 1/4 sticks and a bunch of gas. Boy was that fun after it pissed me off for the last time!

Well, I never hurt anyone throwing things, so far:

1 HP LaserJet II after the connector for the cable gave up while in the midst of printing a resume so long ago. Two stories down and the SOB worked afterwards, just a little crooked. I got it for free so I didn't care, we were chucking it out from work since it was broken and I fixed it for home.

1 Epson 640 color (mentioned above) 10 print jobs and one set of color cartiges later... $3.50 a print job, I don't think so. Bye bye. BTW they burn with a bright, clean flame that is nice and blue from the copper inside.

An old speaker from a 7th story dorm room along with a 1/2 of a keg of beer. That was an accident, shouldn't set things in the windo ledge with drunk people. Needless to say we didn't need to pump the keg later that night, but no amount of screws could repair the speaker. *sad*

-LS
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Postposted on Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:59 pm

I am merely assuming you're paying shipping both ways because you didn't mention that newegg is being friendly about it, is all.

As for the prices of AMD 64 X2 processors, the 4400's seem strangely priced compared to the other X2 models. Maybe it's because they're trying to get people to buy that 200 GB Samsung HD with the OEM version, but an extra $100 just for the retail boxed version? Yikes.

NF4 mobos still seem over-priced to me, also. :wink:
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:10 pm

Well, all of my stuff came in, and I took my time (even reading the manuals!!!) and double-checked everything. No video and one long post beep over and over. Grrrr.... Downloading manual from Internet, but does anyone have a clue what the one long post beep is? Also three LEDs in a row are RED on the diagnostics...

I am guessing something is very wrong. Go figure.

-LS
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:26 pm

One long beep is a memory problem...just did a bit of reading on the DFI board and it seems to do it with two sticks of ram in it. Take one stick out and it should boot..flash the new bios and both should work..at least thats what they said :wink:

http://www.bleedinedge.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11845

You may have to clear the CMOS as well.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:43 pm

F-ing great. I just wanted a decent machine and they cannot even send the boards with the latest flash?!? I have tried ALL memory configs. Nothing is allowing post, and I cannot even get the display to show me anything. This is moronic. I can't flash the box unit I get into it, and I can't get into it to flash it. I am wondering how you guys seem to always manage...

-LS
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:49 pm

Did you try clearing the CMOS and then just using one stick of ram? If that doesnt work..try some ram out of your other box..its worth a shot.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:00 pm

Ok, got it to post, damn dual-channels ;-)

Now I have to see what BIOS rev it really is... And install a floppy.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:03 pm

*Claps Hands* yippee....glad you didnt kick the box out the door :lol:
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:02 am

Ok, I got a long ways last night, here is what I found:

Hance!!!! Grrr. One of the Crucial sticks was very bad. That was causing the initial problem, and is by Murphey's law the one I was working with initially. After many reboots later testing that single stick in every slot (and all of the other sticks) it was the only one that consistantly did not work. Phooey! All others work just fine and pass tests. So Hance, dude, Crucial is not perfect. And yes, I used a strap on a static free bench when I put this together in our work computer lab.

Don't forget to order a 3.5 inch floppy with your setup, especially if your setup is black. A tan floppy drive with coffee stains looks kind of bad.

I got stuck last night trying to get the SATA Raid array working, as the system could not find the boot device. I got everything installed on a single disk, hoping I could mirror it later, but then discovered the 128Gb partition limit that shouldn't be there with proper drivers. This morning I found the F6 driver disk... on floppy and I have no floppy drive (I took it back out last night).

Now to Fdisk and re-install. Anyone have any notes on Serial ATA Raid arrays and how to set them up?

Oh, forgot to mention: This thing is quiet! I love it!!!

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:12 am

i didnt say they are perfect i just said that " i have never seen a stick of their memory go bad . " it sucks to get broken parts and have to return them but no companys is perfect . everybody out there ships a dud from time to time .
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:13 pm

Yeah, just too bad I managed to use it for intial tests. Oh well.

Still struggling with SATA. I just discovered the HD light doesn't light up when the RAID is doing it's thing on initial mirroring. The drives are so quiet that I couldn't tell if they were doing anything until I stuck my ear right next to them. I see a drawback here with low-noise stuff.

I am now stuck at a screen that says "Detecting Raid Array" and haven't gotten beyond that yet.

I will let it run and see if it finally falls through.

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:21 pm

Finally... Got the raid array working after I had to re-build the corrupt floppy that was included. Damn floppies!!!! The motherboard CD should be bootable and allow creation of the floppies to prevent this.

All is well now, I have them mirrored and install seems to be working on the full size. BTW this is taking a while since I am doing this on breaks at work.

Fun shtuff.

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:32 pm

Woohoo! Copying files from the old box to the new, an noticing the difference in speed, wow! Nice and quiet to boot. The old box sounds like a jet with a chugging steam locomotive for a hard disk by comparison.

Only problems so far:

The F6 driver disk would not work for the RAID, I had to create a new one with the latest drivers. Worked fine then.

Bad RAM stick.

The ventillation duct in the Antec case is useless on the LanParty motherboard since the duct expects the CPU to be on the top edge (or thereabouts) of the MB, but on this board it is almost in the center.

Which friggin network adapter should I choose?

Which friggin audio should I choose?

Too many options, so little time, hehe.

Thinking of RMAing all of the RAM (since I have to RMA some anyway) and upgrading to the next speed grade so I can try a little minor OCing. The CPU runs amazingly cool. Seems like the included thermal pad works well enough, any reason to artic-silver the processor?

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:39 pm

Sounds like a kid turned loose in a candy store :o Whats wrong with the adapter on the board? You got all the time in the world...slow down and enjoy life..and your new box :lol:
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Postposted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:39 pm

liquidsquid wrote:The ventillation duct in the Antec case is useless on the LanParty motherboard since the duct expects the CPU to be on the top edge (or thereabouts) of the MB, but on this board it is almost in the center.
Is is possible to make a "duct guide" yourself? :)

liquidsquid wrote:Which friggin network adapter should I choose?
IMHO try to find the one that is built into nForce4 chipset itself and disable the other one. Or you can build a subnet with that other one for a little folding farm action. :)

liquidsquid wrote:Which friggin audio should I choose?
Are you talking about onboard sound vs a PCI sound card? You didn't mention a sound card so I assume you can only choose onboard. Whether to turn on 2.1/5.1/7.1 though, depends on how many speakers you have and your environment.

liquidsquid wrote:Thinking of RMAing all of the RAM (since I have to RMA some anyway) and upgrading to the next speed grade so I can try a little minor OCing. The CPU runs amazingly cool. Seems like the included thermal pad works well enough, any reason to artic-silver the processor?
A64 doesn't benefit too much from higher speed (bandwidth) RAM. It does benefit from the lowest latencies running at 1T command rate. If your current RAM can already do that, just some new ones, otherwise the difference is probably not big enough for you to justify getting new ones anyway.

As for thermal compound, if you are not suffering from excessive temps, then the default stuff should be fine. It won't hurt if you re-do it, but it will hurt if you made a mistake doing it (like not seating the HSF properly, apply too much/little AS5, bending pins, etc.).
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Postposted on Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:53 am

Flying Fox wrote:Is is possible to make a "duct guide" yourself? :)
It is possible, but duct tape and cardboard look sort of nasty ;-)

Flying Fox wrote:IMHO try to find the one that is built into nForce4 chipset itself and disable the other one. Or you can build a subnet with that other one for a little folding farm action. :)

I have tried both, no apparent performance difference. However it is nice to have a second NIC when transferring files from an older PC.

Flying Fox wrote:Are you talking about onboard sound vs a PCI sound card? You didn't mention a sound card so I assume you can only choose onboard. Whether to turn on 2.1/5.1/7.1 though, depends on how many speakers you have and your environment.

I suppose I should have been clearer. It looks to be that there are two on-board audio setups, one being the nVidia, and the other being something I don't remeber now that I am back at work. Both seem to have benefits, but since I only have two little speakers and a sub, either will work for me at the moment.

Flying Fox wrote:A64 doesn't benefit too much from higher speed (bandwidth) RAM. It does benefit from the lowest latencies running at 1T command rate. If your current RAM can already do that, just some new ones, otherwise the difference is probably not big enough for you to justify getting new ones anyway.

As for thermal compound, if you are not suffering from excessive temps, then the default stuff should be fine. It won't hurt if you re-do it, but it will hurt if you made a mistake doing it (like not seating the HSF properly, apply too much/little AS5, bending pins, etc.).


Thanks for the advise on this, I will see if I can find some lower-latencey RAM since I think what I have is CAS3, which still is much faster than my old box, but when you drop this kind of cash on a machine you want it to scream.

From what I understand the thermal pads work great, until you take them off again. THEN you have to ally goop since the thermal pads conform to the processor only once.

Thanks a bunch for all who have helped so far! This has been fun to get a top-end machine working from scratch.

-LS
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Postposted on Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:19 am

I don't recall reading anything about any sort of nVidia sound since the NF2 boards. ? Most newer boards just use Realtek or something like that.

As for the NICs, I think Dissonance did some board reviews showing one of them used more CPU than the other, so if you're going to be folding with that machine, you may get ever-so-slightly better production with one than the other. Then again, I can't recall the last time I saw mention of that sort of thing, so it may be gone in more recent boards.

Edit: Here's Anandtech's page on some onboard NICs, their throughput, and their overhead, indicating the Marvel 88E8001 has the lowest CPU utilization figure, but also the lowest speed.
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:19 pm

Done. Finally. I received my 2x 1G double-sided dual-channel OCZ Ram, and it fired right up!

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.a ... 6820227210

Loving it.

Now I am going to start a thread over in AMD zone asking how to overclock for best bus efficiency, but I wont have time to fart with it tonight.

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:27 pm

And when can we expect at least one of those cores to be folding for our team? We need it, badly. :wink:
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:53 pm

Soon... soon... Still tweaking, but I have to work a bit too..

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:01 pm

Ok, just slapped it on.

-LS
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Postposted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:10 pm

Very nice. :wink:
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