First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

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First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am

Hey guys. I'm new to this whole thing, I just have a few questions. Here is what I'm looking at putting together, and if you could provide as much feedback as possible that would be awesome. Any problems, concerns, mismatches, improvements, etc., just let me know! And I do aplogize for all of the questions.. just want to make sure I get it right haha.

My gaming build: (updated from posts)
AMD Phenom x3 450
HIS IceQ X Turbo Radeon HD 6950 2GB card
Corsair Vengeance Blue 8 Gb (2x4gb) 1600Mhz 240 pin memory
Asus M5A97
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm sleeve CPU cooler
Cooler Master HAF 922 mid tower
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III 7200rpm HD
Already have an optical drive
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast TX650
Also, looking to run Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Also still looking for a wireless pci card to pick up wifi in the desktop.. any recommendations on what would fit?

All in all, I guess compatibility is my main concern. Will these parts all fit together? Is all the hardware compatible?

Some more questions: Will this case most likely work? And for the graphics card, should I plug up the monitor to the card output itself? And should my monitor have the right connector cable? (DCI)
Thanks!
Last edited by officetally on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:11 am

parts look good. you might want to get one of the AM3+ boards though, just to give you a guaranteed upgrade path down the line. for PSU, something like a 600W (80+ bronze) seasonic will do just fine, assuming you are not getting into crossfire later. if so, you might want to consider something like the corsair TX750M.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:18 am

You definitely want to get an AM3+ motherboard at this stage of the game. Phenom IIs/Athlon IIs are going to be retired in the next year or so, and if for some reason you need more performance, or need to replace the CPU, you're gonna need the Bulldozer compatibility.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:39 pm

Okay, so 600 watts should be enough in a psu?

And I'll go ahead and get an AM3+ mobo... any suggestions/recommendations there? Keep in mind this will be used for gaming, so any mobo that will help me in that area would be the best. (or let me know if they are basically all the same)
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:45 pm

Oh by the way, I am looking at this mobo now: ASUS M5A97 Evo - AM3+ - 970 - SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 - ATX AMD ATX DDR3 2133 Motherboard
Does it look like it's compatible? And how can you tell if it works with all of your other components?
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:08 pm

Also- will my cpu cooling apparatus fit in the AM3+ slot in the mobo if the fan only says it supports AM3?
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:35 pm

officetally wrote:Asus AM3 ATX Motherboard (ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 - AM3 - AMD 870 - DDR3 - USB 3.0 SATA 6 Gb/s- ATX Motherboard)
Take a look at the M5A97. You want socket AM3+ compatibility for Bulldozer.

officetally wrote:Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Case
Have you looked at the Antec DF-10, DF-35 or Three Hundred Illusion?

officetally wrote:Power Supply: Still looking... (help on how to choose?)
$85 -10 code "EMCJKKF59" -15MIR Corsair TX650 V2
or $70 Antec Earthwatts EA-650 Green

officetally wrote:Also still looking for a wireless pci card to pick up wifi in the desktop.. any recommendations on what would fit?
It's possible that a wireless bridge could be a better solution for your desktop environment. I got one of these for my parents when Newegg had it on sale for $35.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:52 am

I decided on this case: the Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case with an extra red LED fan for effect :D (and would a "mid tower" case be big enough for everything?)
And I did settle on the Asus M5A97 motherboard. And that Corsair TX650 is what I had my eye on.. should 650 watts be enough to power everything, even my hungry graphics card? And a general question, what happens if your power supply has too many watts? Any danger there of hurting computer components?
Also, I'd rather stick to a PCIe card for my wifi (because it's integrated into the system), so if you guys got anything, let me know.
Thanks-
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:21 pm

1) If you havent purchased your processor yet, WAIT a few weeks until bulldozer comes out. First off, price adjustments (drops) will be made to amd's existing lineup so that bulldozer will fit into the mix pricewise. Second, bulldozer cpu's will be much better than phenoms.

2) Your PSU will not fry anything if its overpowered. The reason you want to match your PSU with your potential power draw is to maximize efficiency. 650W should be fine for your components.

3) Did you consider the cooler master storm scout case. That's my personal favorite, and has red LED's
Last edited by DPete27 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:31 pm

If you absolutely can't wait until Bulldozer arrives, you might consider something like the $78 -10 code "EMCJKKF54" -15 combo or -11 combo Athlon II X3 450 or this $70 open-box Phenom II X4 955 as a placeholder CPU to get your system up and running.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:09 pm

Agreed with "JustAnEngineer" especially if you forsee any slight incling to a potential bulldozer upgrade in the near future and you just HAVE to have a new computer NOW. I helped my brother build a light gaming rig this spring with an x3 450. They're pretty potent little devils. And honestly your GPU has way more effect on gaming performance than your CPU as long as youve got at least 2 cores running at 3.2ghz or higher.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/18799/15

Newegg's latest email special has the 450 at $68 right now. Props to "JustAnEngineer" for finding that primo combo deal matching the exact graphics card.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:18 am

Well.. would it be a bad thing to go ahead and buy the phenom x4 975? You guys make it seem like a slow processor haha. I was going to get that one now and probably upgrade to the bulldozer around Christmas maybe, or possibly later next year. I guess it will be enough for me as of right now. I'm not in a big rush to get the bulldozer. And what makes it so much quicker anyways? Besides having more cores.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:50 am

Any particular reason you're going with AMD parts?
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:06 pm

Bulldozer is a completely new architecture from AMD (much like sandy bridge was for intel). Thats the reason why sandbridge processors are kicking the pants off of amd right now. Even Phenom architecutre was still based on the old athlon II architecture (with the exception of adding L3 cache). With bulldozer you will see many of the same performance jumps as comparing Intel Core2 to Sandybridge: much better per-clock performance, lower power usage, higher memory bandwith, the list goes on and on.

No offense but if you are looking to upgrade to bulldozer in 3-5 months it would be foolish to spend your $160 on that x4 975 unless you've got a surrogate home for it when you replace it. The x3 450 costs half the price.
Have a look through this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc,2477.html
For reference, an x3 450 roughly equals the phenom x3 720 used in the article. You can see that for most games, there is little/no performance increase made between the triple and quad core processors. Even in multi-tasking operations (non-games) you shouldn't notice much difference between the two processors. If you really want an improved end-user experience put your savings toward an SSD. Hard drives are the single largest bottleneck in modern computers (since dual core processors came out basically)
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:17 pm

Sunburn74 wrote:Any particular reason you're going with AMD parts?


Brand loyalty. Always have had AMD chips in my desktops. (pre-assembled, haha) And I want to fight the power, that is, Intel. Nothing against them, they just cost too much.

And you guys got to me.. I had actually ordered the x4 975 earlier today from amazon, but before it had shipped I cancelled it and ordered the x3 450 with the discount from newegg haha.. thanks for the tip on that!
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:38 pm

good choice. Fudzilla is saying today that bulldozer is due out on the 12th, one week from yesterday. Hopefully these babies don't dissapoint. Im sure all the major tech sites will have reviews almost immediately after the official release, keep a lookout.

With respect to your price complaint about intel. Intel chips are comparable to AMD in their respective price segments when it comes to gaming. The only difference is you get more physical cores with AMD and AMD has the sub $100 market wrapped up.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-sandy-bridge-cpu,3030.html
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:47 pm

Interesting. Thanks for that review, it puts it into perspective. Well, yeah now I'm getting excited about the bulldozer..

Oh hey, another question, with a mega-airflow case such as the cooler master haf 922, should I worry about dust? Do I need filters for my fans? I don't want to assemble this new rig and then a week later have a solid layer of dust on everything..
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:10 pm

Ay, theres the million dollar question. I've had cases with and without fan filters. Do the fan filters help...sure. Are they a cure all...no, it still gets dusty in there. It also depends on the surroundings.
Back when I lived in the dorms in college, I had major dust problems. I was taking a can of air to the inside of my case once a month (dont let the fans spin while you're doing it). Put your computer on a hardwood floor?..lots of dust moving around down there, put it up on some blocks, that should help. My current apartment has really fine carpet dust, it goes right through the filters. Bottom line, your computer will have dust buildup regardless.
Filters do help to an extent, moreso if you have large clumps of dust moving around (hardwood floors). but cleaning out the inside of your case is just a general maintenance requirement that everyone has to deal with. My advice...give it a try without filters and see how it goes.
I like to minimize case fans as much as possible and use them more effectively where it counts. For instance, a low cfm fan blowing outside air right at your graphics card will be much more beneficial than 2 high flow fans on the front of your case trying to accomplish the same task (hdd cooling aside). Also, tower-style CPU coolers work well to move cpu heat out of the case as quickly as possible.
I really dont get the guys that pack their cases with 7 fans and such. Maybe they're looking to use their computer as an air purifier as well...who knows. To me its all about balance, eliminate stagnant hot air pockets with as few fans as possible results in less dust and less noise for essentially the same outcome. Thats my 2 cents.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:25 am

I'll probably try the pantyhose route haha. I've got a 200mm fan in front, a 200mm fan on the side, and a 200mm fan on top blowing out the hot air (along with the 120mm out the back), so I'll have quite a bit of airflow.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:08 am

officetally wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:Any particular reason you're going with AMD parts?


Brand loyalty. Always have had AMD chips in my desktops. (pre-assembled, haha) And I want to fight the power, that is, Intel. Nothing against them, they just cost too much.

And you guys got to me.. I had actually ordered the x4 975 earlier today from amazon, but before it had shipped I cancelled it and ordered the x3 450 with the discount from newegg haha.. thanks for the tip on that!


Not gonna knock your choice in parts--you did just fine for yourself. Definitely gonna point out that your brand loyalty runs deeper than you think it does. Intel just doesn't "cost too much" anymore and really hasn't for a while. Microcenter (you may not have one near you) has been selling the 2500k for $150 on and off recently. I suspect you paid about $160 for your 975. A 2500k mops the floor with a 975. So, there's a little more going on inside your head than just a price thing (experience, whatever, familiarity is comforting, etc.) and I think it's worth you hearing that so you can be aware of it next time out. In the meantime, enjoy your new rig.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:13 pm

cjcerny wrote:
officetally wrote:
Sunburn74 wrote:Any particular reason you're going with AMD parts?


Brand loyalty. Always have had AMD chips in my desktops. (pre-assembled, haha) And I want to fight the power, that is, Intel. Nothing against them, they just cost too much.

And you guys got to me.. I had actually ordered the x4 975 earlier today from amazon, but before it had shipped I cancelled it and ordered the x3 450 with the discount from newegg haha.. thanks for the tip on that!


Not gonna knock your choice in parts--you did just fine for yourself. Definitely gonna point out that your brand loyalty runs deeper than you think it does. Intel just doesn't "cost too much" anymore and really hasn't for a while. Microcenter (you may not have one near you) has been selling the 2500k for $150 on and off recently. I suspect you paid about $160 for your 975. A 2500k mops the floor with a 975. So, there's a little more going on inside your head than just a price thing (experience, whatever, familiarity is comforting, etc.) and I think it's worth you hearing that so you can be aware of it next time out. In the meantime, enjoy your new rig.

The cheapest 2500k I saw was $210, that's mainly why I didn't get it. And I actually switched to the x3 450 while I wait for the new bulldozer architecture to come out soon, and then I'll upgrade to that.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:27 pm

cjcerny might be right on the 2500k pricing, after a quick browse on the microcenter website, they are in fact selling the 2500k for $180 right now. I wouldnt doubt that it could drop to $150 from time to time. Thats a frickin steal!!! However, "in store pickup only" kinda sucks for those of us that dont live anywhere near one of their 23 stores in the US.

officetally, dont worry, you're still ok with your choice. Obviously cjcerny is an Intel guy, and yes the 2500k runs circles around the x4 975. Bulldozer should make a sturdy showing next week though and level the playing field a little. Everyone has a favorite.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:24 pm

DPete27 wrote:And honestly your GPU has way more effect on gaming performance than your CPU as long as youve got at least 2 cores running at 3.2ghz or higher.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/18799/15


That article is 18 months old so the performance picture has changed A LOT since then. The games used in that article weren't very demanding even back then (L4D2 uses the 7 year old source engine for example) either. I wouldn't base buying decisions off 7 year old game engines. ;) The GPU is still very important but so is the CPU.

Here's a much more recent article with newer games. The dual cores have a pretty rough time:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20188/6

This article is testing at high resolutions/settings only using a mid-range GPU (GTX460) and the CPU still makes a difference in many games. So with a faster GPU the difference would be even larger. Certainly you can get by with a dual-core but you are fooling yourself if you think they are anywhere near as fast as a quad-core. My minimum framerate DOUBLED in BC2 going from a E8400@4ghz to my 2500K (for $150 I might add :))
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:22 am

Ok well, once everything is set up and I boot it up for the first time, what do I do from there? Which bios settings do I change/leave the same? All this stuff about clock speeds for the FSB and memory, temperature settings, memory timing, latency, motherboard/memory voltage... all of this I have no idea how to do.. any ideas?
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:45 pm

A simple thing to keep in mind with bios/UEFI is if you do not know what a setting does, do not mess with it. Most mobo makers have a downloadable PDF users guide on their websites for their motherboards, that list your bios options and what exactly they do. Always be sure to read this info before you start changing around random settings in the bios.
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Re: First Time Builder -> Do these parts check out?

Postposted on Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:44 pm

travbrad wrote:
DPete27 wrote:And honestly your GPU has way more effect on gaming performance than your CPU as long as youve got at least 2 cores running at 3.2ghz or higher.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/18799/15


That article is 18 months old so the performance picture has changed A LOT since then. The games used in that article weren't very demanding even back then (L4D2 uses the 7 year old source engine for example) either. I wouldn't base buying decisions off 7 year old game engines. ;) The GPU is still very important but so is the CPU.

Here's a much more recent article with newer games. The dual cores have a pretty rough time:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20188/6

This article is testing at high resolutions/settings only using a mid-range GPU (GTX460) and the CPU still makes a difference in many games. So with a faster GPU the difference would be even larger. Certainly you can get by with a dual-core but you are fooling yourself if you think they are anywhere near as fast as a quad-core. My minimum framerate DOUBLED in BC2 going from a E8400@4ghz to my 2500K (for $150 I might add :))


Thank you "travbrad" for the updated processor gaming comparison. Honestly, I pulled my link from my favorites, it was a "quick and dirty" to prove a point. (point being: dont buy a x4 975 when you will be able to get something comparable to sandybridge results at the top of your graph with bulldozer when its released tomorrow at roughly the same price). "officetally" seemed to be chomping at the bit to get a new system and didnt want to wait until bulldozer availability so I was trying to limit the damage, especially when he's looking to upgrade to bulldozer in 3 months or less. I was fully aware that my link was dated.

To "officetally" on your startup issue, read the manual, most everything should default to something "acceptable" the only thing to check would be to make sure your ram comes in at 1600mhz (it will probably default to 1333mhz). You can also certainly google "overclock x3 450 stock voltage" and find something in forums for a moderate overclock, otherwise most MB's will have an auto-overclock setting either in the bios or included software that is deemed "safe" (but not always the most efficient as they often raise voltages more than needed) I like to keep my overclocks at or near stock voltage just to stay on the safe side and prolong life of the processor and components while not affecting temperatures significantly. I would think you should be able to get somewhere near 3.6 ghz or so without too much trouble. That should up your frame rates a bit. Modest overclocking isnt overly hard (IMO) but if you're not confident in your abilities its probably best to leave it alone.

Also, you could try unlocking a 4th core instead of overclocking, most MB's will have a pretty simple method of doing this (oftentimes a flip of a switch on the MB). Its not guaranteed to work but its a nice possibility for free performance increase. Boot your system up and get everything running before you try this, then shut down, and flip the "unlocker" switch. If it works.. great, if not, the system wont boot (happened to me) or just be unstable (crash). If this happens, just shut down, flip the switch back, and continue with your x3 lifestyle.
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