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Windows 7: Show Us Your Rig [4]

15 Jan 2013   #1041

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Nice work Lady Fitzgerald, looks great.
Waiting to see the finished pics.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jan 2013   #1042

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the kind words, guys. More pictures will be coming once I actually do the build in the next month or two.

I was going to pull the trigger in February or March on the major parts for my first computer build but Iíve run into a snag (more on that later). To start, Iím going to order only the bare bones parts necessary to get the thing up and running. I figure the less that gets installed at first, the easier it will be to troubleshoot any problems. I didnít want to order the parts until Iím ready to install them so I can return them if needed during the vendorís narrow return window. Once it is running, I can add parts as needed. What I would appreciate is if you all can review the parts Iím going to order to make sure Iím not forgetting anything or doing something stupid.

These are the parts I already have:

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB (Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)). It went on sale recently and since it can be tested and has a five year warranty, I went ahead and ordered it. I got it last week and it tested ok.

HDDs: Western Digital Black WD2002FAEX 2TB (Newegg.com - Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive) for the main data drive (Iíll cannibalize the one from my XP machine since it doesnít have much use on it; itís the only part in that machine thatís worth salvaging). This drive will store my music, books, pictures, personal data, etc. 2TB will last a long time for this.

Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB (Newegg.com - Western Digital WD Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive) for video storage drives and backups (I have seven of them already tested and ready to go). I have room for up to five of these drives. Should these drives be too slow for watching videos, I'll switch to blacks (reds or blues would be better since they are less power hungry but they are getting lousy reviews) and save the greens for backups only. Hopefully, I can set the UEFI to not spin them up until I call for a video on one or rip a video to it (learning how to set up the UEFI for anything is going to be...ah...fun?).

Iíll initially have only the black and one green installed once the SSD is up and running. Iíll add greens as needed. Each HDD in the computer has three greens for back ups. I also have a couple of Western Digital Scorpio Blues 160 GB salvaged and reformatted from dead netbooks (they checked out as healthy) to back up the SDD (I just received a third one last week and it has tested OK). I also have all the SATA data cables I need.

Monitor: My old 22Ē HP w2207h. I already have it from my old rig. Iíll upgrade later to an ASUS PB238Q (Newegg.com - ASUS PB Series PB238Q Black 23" 6ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 80,000,000:1 Built-in Speakers IPS panel, Height, Pivot and Swivel adjustable). I eventually want three of them but first I have to find a place for my ADF scanner other than the top of my desk (probably modify a drawer to put it in) and get rid of the DVD/VCR combo hanging under my TV (Iím stuck with the combo until I can record all my VHS tapes).

Keyboard: Logitech G110 USB wired (new and tested).

Mouse: Logitech M525 USB wireless with Unifying Receiver (up to six devices on one receiver) (new and tested). I use two mice (mouses, meece, meeces?) with my desktop machine: one on my desk and the other on the nightstand by my bed so I can scroll pages when reading an e-book on the TV patched into my computer.

These are the parts I will be ordering:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V Premium (Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with Thunderbolt). I chose this board over the Deluxe for the extra two SATA 3.0 ports, more flexibility with the PCI-e sockets (Iíll need them for a graphics card, a SATA controller card, and one or two TV tuners), more RAM capacity, onboard WiFi and a thunderbolt port. Most of it is overkill right now (especially the thunderbolt port although it can be used as a display port) but Iíll hopefully be future proofed.

This is the snag I was talking about. NewEgg just ran out of them (wah!). Their site is showing them as discontinued although there is a statement that they may or may not get them again (they did the same thing last summer and NewEgg restocked the board). I wanted to get this from NewEgg because they have a one year accidental damage service plan available for this board. Many of the negative reviews claim that the reviewers received the boards with bent CPU socket pins which ASUS considers to be user inflicted damage so that service plan would be desirable in case I get a damaged board or I manage to damage it myself.

Fryís has just started listing the board and is taking preorders. Iím going to be watching both sites and will probably jump on the first one to become available. In case you havenít figured it out, I really, really want this board.

CPU: i7-3770K Ivy Bridge (Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K). I donít plan on overclocking it (heck, my idea of intense gaming is the pinball game that came with XP) but at least I will have the option should I change my mind. It costs only $20 more than a locked chip.

CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500 (Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink). Good reviews and should be small enough to fit in my case (in case the Zalman doesnít fit, the stock cooler packed with the CPU is Plan B until I can find something else). The stock cooler would probably be adequate (albeit barely) but the Zalman should be quieter and keeping the CPU a wee bit cooler certainly canít hurt it.

TIM: ARCTIC MX4 Thermal Paste (Newegg.com - ARCTIC MX4 Thermal Paste - 4gram). Good reviews and is nonconductive, spreads easily, and doesnít require burn in. Hopefully, that will be idiot proof enough for this old idiot.

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9 (Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9). This is Plan A. Itís not listed in the MOBOís tested memory (the one that is has been getting poor reviews) but itís in the same family as the one in Plan B which is on the list and was recommended by an experienced builder on another forum who has experience with a similar board (the Deluxe version of the MOBO I want). The RAM sticks are insanely tall but should clear the cooler (barely). If not, Plan B is to use the stock CPU cooler until I either find another cooler or different RAM that will clear the cooler.

I didnít list a video card because Iím still looking. Iíll use the on board video to get me up and running on my existing monitor and, hopefully, the TV. Eventually I will need a video card to run the three monitors I want and use the onboard video (both can run at the same time on the MOBO I want) for streaming to DLNA TVs (I donít have one now but I eventually will).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1043
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

You do a fine job of modding Lady Fitzgerald! Good choice of components as well. I though the Green drives' controller determined when they spin down when idle?

If I can figure UEFI out, anyone can, you'll like it, but may take some manual reading, for what little help they are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jan 2013   #1044

Win7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

@Lady Fitzgerald Nice job! you can see the effort you've put into it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1045

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Good choices all around.

Did you check the firmware on the SSD?
Their Magician program will tell you the firmware you have now, the latest is DXM04B0Q.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1046

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Lady Fitzgerald,
I would suggest serious consideration to a sealed water cooler like the new H80i by Corsair or other fine brands. You have one rear fan simply add the radiator to it and run the second pusher fan into the waiting fan header and voila super cooling and no ram height issues. More importantly you gain a ultra clean look with zero maintenance. Just a thought.......
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1047

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
Good choices all around.

Did you check the firmware on the SSD?
Their Magician program will tell you the firmware you have now, the latest is DXM04B0Q.
Magician couldn't see the SSD when it was in a USB dock. It'll have to wait until I build the machine to check it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1048

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Lady Fitzgerald,
I would suggest serious consideration to a sealed water cooler like the new H80i by Corsair or other fine brands. You have one rear fan simply add the radiator to it and run the second pusher fan into the waiting fan header and voila super cooling and no ram height issues. More importantly you gain a ultra clean look with zero maintenance. Just a thought.......
I looked into something like you suggested. First, the lower radiator tank would interfere with the top PCIE slot where the graphic card would go. To get the most benefit from a water cooler, it has to be taking in outside air. To do that, I would have to put an exhaust fan in the blowhole and I would run into an interference problem again (the fans would overlap and the radiator tank would be in the way). A bigger case would take care of those problems but I've already have a bit of work in this one and I just don't have room for a bigger case.

Then there is the concern for leakage. Granted, they are rare but I have read reports of it happening, taking out expensive parts like MOBOs, PSUs, etc. I've yet to hear of an air leak taking out anything.

Thanks for the suggestion anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1049

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Lady Fitzgerald, You've done a fantastic job. All I can say is well done, very well done.

As far as the Motherboard, I may suggest you check Amazon. I've received boards with bent pins a couple of times. It was a real fight with Newegg and a long drawn out process. I've since ordered from Amazon. Not one single problem. When you ask for in RMA on your account, it is automatically approved, a return shipping label is given to you to print and the replacement board is shipped that day. You have 30 days to send the damaged board back. I've spent thousands with Newegg and still buy from them, but not motherboards. Maybe there is something to be said about Amazon customer service not even knowing what a motherboard pin is. I know, I called them. The guy on the phone stopped me and said, Mister, I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about. I will send you a return shipping label. I already had one. IMO, there is no better customer service and RMA policy than Amazon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2013   #1050

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
Lady Fitzgerald, You've done a fantastic job. All I can say is well done, very well done...
Thanks for the kind words.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
...As far as the Motherboard, I may suggest you check Amazon. I've received boards with bent pins a couple of times. It was a real fight with Newegg and a long drawn out process. I've since ordered from Amazon. Not one single problem. When you ask for in RMA on your account, it is automatically approved, a return shipping label is given to you to print and the replacement board is shipped that day. You have 30 days to send the damaged board back. I've spent thousands with Newegg and still buy from them, but not motherboards. Maybe there is something to be said about Amazon customer service not even knowing what a motherboard pin is. I know, I called them. The guy on the phone stopped me and said, Mister, I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about. I will send you a return shipping label. I already had one. IMO, there is no better customer service and RMA policy than Amazon.
I agree with what you said about Amazon but, sadly, that is not true of their Marketplace vendors (and it's one of those that has Amazon's only stock of the MOBO). Many range from dodgy to downright crooked and getting Amazon to stand behind them is like pulling teeth (the exception being vendors that are "fullfilled" by Amazon). I had to resort to filing a complaint against Amazon with the BBB to get them to do anything about a defective knockoff of a product I received from one of their Marketplace vendors. I've had problems with a couple other of their Marketplace vendors. I've learned to read the reviews (not just the overall rating since many people don't know the difference between a product review and a vendor review) and look for patterns of problems. This particular vendor is a wee bit dodgy. Also, the board is roughly 100 shekels more through Amazon than what NewEgg and Fry's list it for. Even Tiger Direct (I've heard tales about them, none good) sells it for close to NewEgg's price.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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