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Windows 7: Suggestions for Steps Setting Up My new hardware (Upgrading)

27 Jan 2012   #1
Marshall Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Suggestions for Steps Setting Up My new hardware (Upgrading)

If you will look at my system specks you will see what my present system consist of. My plans are to replace my mobo with a Z68. Add 120 gb SSD. Up my memory to 16 gb's. Upgrade my video card (I probably will not go crossfire or SLI). Add higher wattage PSU. Also buy couple more HD's.

Here is where I need help. I have never setup an SSD for quick sync, I have never setup a RAID configuration. I am presently researching exactly what Brand and Models of Hardware I want.

Before anyone asks I will explain why I am doing this. I am a student in computer science about one more semester away from associates degree. My needs with this system is to learn more by doing. I want to experiment with overclocking both ram and cpu. This is what I simply want to buy and do. I don't want to have many questions unanswered while I am rebuilding my system to minimize issues with the setup process. If you have suggestions or know of some links that will explain step by step what to do first to last I would appreciate it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Just a hint, but usually the more RAM you have the tougher overclocking becomes. Unless you actually have a need for 16GB of RAM, I would most likely skip it. As a systems admin that works at the computer all day long and runs concurrent virtual machines, I've not found a need yet to run more than 8GB of RAM on any of my PC's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2012   #4


I would not use RAID as it confers little advantage except in the storage of huge (video) files across multiple HD's. It is not redundant so if you lose one HD you lose them both, so it's much smarter to use the second HD for file and image backup.

Win7 does not much like RAID so we see lots of installation problems here solved by not RAIDing.

What are they teaching you in your classes about RAID's advantages and the use of RAID in Win7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #5
Marshall Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I must say that in class I have learned a lot and I have not learned much. That sound contradictory I know but, that is how I feel. About RAID the only mention was a definition and a basic idea that with RAID data can be sent from one hard drive while data is received from another. Hence more speed.

That about sums it up, everything else I have learned has been from researching on the Internet. I will tell you I am 52 years old and going back to school at a local college. I am somewhat disappointed in the amount of new information I am learning. 75% of what they are teaching is already outdated. I do understand why. By the time new technology becomes standardized the textbooks are still being written. By the time the textbooks are printed many topics are old school. But it is what it is.

I will adopt your suggestion to forgo the RAID if it could lead to issues with Windows 7 as this will be my personal machine but, that still means that if asked to setup a RAID system for someone I will have no experience, which is why I was going to do it in the first place. I also have no personal need to overclock anything I just want to play with it and learn. I am trying to gain some hands on experience even if it's not much.

I also will consider the other suggestion to keep the ram to 8GB.

If any others reading these posts would like to add or suggest please do. Thank you for your responses so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

If you are doing this for an experiment, it would not hurt to set up a raid array. I just wouldn't put anything on it, I wasn't willing to lose. Certainly not my OS. But, you could learn how to set one up and how they operate. When you get ready many of us here can tell you how to set up an SSD, or pick a graphics card. Look at the pros and cons between a P67 board and a Z68 board. Both will overclock well, but the advantages of the Z68 are only important if you will use them. Based on reviews, the P67 boards seem more stable than the Z68, and are cheaper. That's just my observations. Of all the upgrades you have discussed, the SSD will be the most noticeable and most immediate improvement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
If you are doing this for an experiment, it would not hurt to set up a raid array.

Experimenting is good, but as Steve says be mindful of having your data backed up elsewhere in case the experiments go bad. You might also like to play around with a RAID1 configuration (which is good for backups) if you have the HDD's (minimum of 2) - its the same procedure as setting up a RAID0.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #8

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

Like you, I am a 52-year-old who went back to school. My user title refers to the fact that I am one semester hour shy of Senior status. One thing I would highly recommend (if you have not already done so) is to check out . If your school is participating you can get enough free stuff to keep you busy for years. The Windows Server 2008 R2 I have listed in "My System Specs" is a very expensive piece of software I expect to be using in the business world in another year or so: Shop now - Microsoft Store Online

I get to practice on it now and it didn't cost me a cent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #9
Marshall Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

They do participate in DreamSpark, I got Web Expressions free.

Another post referred to Z68 vs P67. I do a lot of video editing and converting so I would like to be able to use the graphics engine on the CPU, I have read it is better for video than a video card. My H67 board I have now has a video card and it disables the graphics engine on my CPU. I play some games and love great graphics. My understanding is that the Z68 will use the video card for games and switch to CPU for video editing. However I am not happy to hear the Z68 isn't as stable. I am hoping that the manual that comes with the mobo will be straight forward. I am leading toward a Gigabyte Z68 (UD4 or UD5). But may at this point change my mind. I will probably start ordering components Tuesday.

Thank you guys for your imput. If I had researched these facts before when I built this system I would have never ordered a H67 and for that matter a microATX form factor with only 2 memory slots either. At that time all I new was that I had chosen i7 2600k and had to have a 1155 socket. So we live and learn.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2012   #10

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

I'm no expert and have no experience with the P67 boards. My new computer (see "My System Specs" below) is on an ASUS Z68 board and has been rock solid. There may be a big difference from brand to brand, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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