|20 Jun 2011||#1|
Rebuilding a system!
I started out with a PC built for me by a company on EBAY, it was based on a Coolermaster Elite case and a ASUS M4N72-E motherboard and I have learnt so much more about computers since that day.
Had loads of issues with drivers initially, then bad ram, ram slots not working.
After a year the system had settled down into being a nice workhorse.
It had 6GB DDR2 800 RAM, AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8Ghz, ATI HD5770 1048 Graphics card and everything pretty much standard.
The computer has been slowly evolving. I chose new and better options after I started overclocking my processor, which is now stable at 3.54Ghz.
First came a new graphics card, this is an Nvidia GTX 470, i got this card because it was twice the memory bandwidth of the HD 5770 and also because the Fermi and Cuda enabled card was capable of being used in Adobe CS5 as GPU acceleration, it also has 1280MB of RAM, which is a slight increase.
After installing this and a new CPU cooler, an Arctic Cooling Pro 7, rev 2 which considerably helped with the heat generated by the CPU allowing the overclock, it was becoming increasingly apparent that the Elite case was getting rather cramped, coupled with the fact that the cable management wasnt the best, this meant that the airflow was somewhat reduced.
Bring on the Coolermaster CM690 II, a larger case with more fan mounts than you can shake a stick at, given that you can mount ten fans in the box!.
So i set about remounting my motherboard and doing a reassemble on the PC with much better cable management.
The new case as well as being larger has a different arrangement for Hard drives, this allows tool free mounting and also better cable management, coupled with lots of neat cable management tricks preinstalled in the case, it makes for a great base to any system.
Even with all drive bays installed there is ample room for what is quite a large Graphics card in the GTX 470. The case came with 3 fans, a 140mm at the front with blue LED's, a 140mm exhaust mounted on the top, and a 120mm exhaust at the rear.
This was supplemented by myself adding two further 120mm intakes to the bottom and to the bottom left hand side as well as a further exhaust in the shape of a 140mm white LED fan on top.
I also installed a little 40mm fan on the heatsink for the MCP.
This needed some way of controlling the additional fans as only two headers are available on the motherboard, rather than daisy chaining them which is an option, i instead went for the aerocool touch double drive bay fan controller which looks great mounted in the CM690.
All these factors have certainly helped with my overclock to 3.54Ghz. I have also increased the RAM too 10GB, again this helps with the Adobe applications if not so much for general gaming.
I also sorted out a niggling problem with my boot time, which was being slowed by an external usb hard drive, I took the drive out of its case and lost the PCB converter and installed it in a drive bay instead running on the IDE channel, i get 66Mb/s from the drive now and boot time is so much faster.
My system was hanging when it got into Windows proper with the internet ethernet connection taking 2-3 mins to initialise, I was unable to do anything else until it started up. By doing a clean boot I was able to identify that the problem was Kontiki, software that BBC iplayer puts on your system to allow it to share its data with other users from your PC - Cheek! anyway after disabling it in services, the internet connects again after 10-15 seconds which is much more reasonable.
The next stage for me is adding a new processor in the form of the AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE, this will help me to stabilise the RAM better by not relying on the FSB to overclock, as it has an unlocked multiplier, it also adds the L3 cache which apparently helps things along.
The system then will look like this:
Coolermaster CM690 II Advanced Case.
1 x 140mm Intake Blue LED
2 x 120mm Intake
1 x 140mm Exhaust White LED
1 x 140mm Exhaust
1 x 120mm Exhaust
Arctic Cooling freezer 7 Pro revison 2
1 x 40mm MCP fan.
Aerocool Touch 4 fan controller
1 x Samsung BDROM/DVDROM SATA
1 x Toshiba DVDROM SATA
1 x 5400rpm SATA 1TB WD Caviar Green
1 x 5400rpm SATA 500MB Seagate ST (boot)
1 x 7200rpm IDE 250MB Samsung HDD
10GB DDR2 800 Ram at 840Mhz 6-5-5-15-20
AMD Phenom II X4 955be 3.2Ghz (try 3.8 - 4.0Ghz)
ASUS M4N72-E AM2+ Motherboard
Gigabyte Super OC GTX 470 at 780 processor, 1750 Ram.
DSI wireless keyboard with track pad
Samsung 40 inch LED display at 1920x1080p 60hz.
Just thought i would share my entire experience with this PC, should say that it is running Windows 7 Home Premium, I have had some niggles with it but i think overall it is a good OS, has to be better than Vista, looking at XP now makes me laugh!
Its mainly the visual elements that are so much more appealing but it all adds to the mix of experience when you switch on.
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