GenHard Sticky Discussions...

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by enginurd, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    This thread is for discussing the Gen[H]ard FAQ, Build Guide (short & long versions), and Basic Troubleshooting Guide. We'd like to keep the discussions separate from the actual sticky threads, so please post any suggestions/questions here.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BlindedByScience

    BlindedByScience More Human than Human

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    A sincere "thank you" to all the guys that put these FAQ's together, and have kept them edited and maintained. A great resource for us all....:cool:
     
  3. BlindedByScience

    BlindedByScience More Human than Human

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    A small adder - my first weapon of choice when I'm working on PC's is the Ulitmate Boot CD. It's a free download and the CD just rocks. It's got most all of the diagnostic software tools mentioned, and a bunch more to boot (not intended as a pun but not bad.....:D)

    It's bootable, so I use it with new builds before the OS goes on the system for some basic testing. I won't load an OS on a machine that doesn't pass a 24+ hour run of Memtest86+ error free. Also, I always run the manufacturer's tests on the new hard drives. I run the "advanced" or "full" tests at least three times. Only then will I go ahead and try to load an OS.

    For systems that have an OS, booting from this CD ensures that if the OS got somehow corrupted you are up and running in a very "clean" environment for diagnosis and testing. It's well worth the money.....which is free.
     
  4. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    quick update: added UBCD to the BTG.

    I have a few more things to add, but no time to write it, lol.

    edit: Just to remind myself...
    • Request to change title to: Basic HW Troubleshooting Guide. Remove "(Please read...)" since title is too long.
    • Help determining if your problem HW or SW related...
    • Link to the OS troubleshooting guide: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=937835
    • Drivers... wlwc?
     
  5. techminster

    techminster Limp Gawd

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    You really got the time to have it all or most of it all covered thanks a lot for the guide. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Thanks techminster.

    FAQ: When is the right time to build my new system?
    FGA: Wait as long as you can. Build/buy when you can't wait any longer.
     
  7. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You know, you could've sent me a PM asking me to add that "question" to the rest of the FAQs. (No, seriously; I'll add it with the additional FAQs that I'm working on....)

    And for those who are overwhelmed by the length of the FAQ: use your web browser's search feature to look for some keywords or a specific phrase.
     
  8. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have a special request...

    We need more recommended online retailers for those looking for parts in the UK, EU, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. While we do have some stores listed in the FAQ, there's no way that we (the ones who revise the FAQ, and I'm not just talking about myself here) can verify all of them as good, reliable retailers.

    If you know any off the top of your head, please send me a PM with the name, location, URL of the site. Any personal experiences that you would like to share about the store in question would also help.

    I will be updating the FAQ quite a bit over the next few weeks. But if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the FAQ (and/or its revisions), please address them here.
     
  9. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Since my PM box gets full often, I'll post this here, so this thread also gets a bump (for tiraides' question above). :)

    We should add a step to the build guide...

    11) Assemble the computer! If you need help with that, there are several build guides listed in the FAQ, under PC Building Guides: http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033118488&postcount=2

    12) Post pics of your handiwork in your thread! :p (optional)

    This suggestion was inspired by chips4me's thread: http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033488443&postcount=116

    I guess we could also add a link on how to install HSF's with direct touch heatpipes, but I don't have it right now, lol.
     
  10. Russ

    Russ [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wow this place has changed a lot! I used General Hardware to maintain a "build" thread back when I was making my first PC in early 2005 (I was a super noobie back then, but I definitely did my research. ;) ). It's good to see some moderation in this forum, it was pretty cluttered when I was last here. I attempted to maintain some hardware/building guide topics, but lost interest after I realized how much work they were to maintain. That was probably at least 3 years ago.

    Kudos to all you guys who've worked on these stickies, it's a lot of work, and it's impressive that you're keeping them up to date!

    Anyway, I just wanted to suggest you add a "mouse/keyboard" section (or maybe just an unstickied discussion?) to the "Building or Upgrading a Computer (The Detailed [H] Guide)" thread. [H] doesn't have a dedicated keyboard OR mouse forum, and I figure most people just what to know what works for different purposes, what's worth the money, etc...

    I'm looking around for different mice atm, and it's hard to find a really good breakdown of what's out there, besides just browsing Newegg and deciding for myself. Like, are there any mice with >5 buttons worth a damn? Laser vs. Optical? Are wireless mice responsive enough for gaming now? How much DPI is "enough"? Who besides Logitech, Razor, and Microsoft makes good quality mice? Do I really need one of those specialty pads? etc....
     
  11. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    Well most of the work goes to Tiraides for collating and putting everything together :)

    Anyway, TBH, even I don't know that much about mouses besides the fact that Optical > Ball :.)
     
  12. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The reason why mice aren't discussed in greater detail around here is the fact that selecting a mouse (and/or a mousepad) is a highly subjective matter. Personal tastes and individual preferences matter as much as the technology used or whether the mouse is corded or cordless. For most everyday users (that don't consider themselves serious gamers and/or multimedia editors), just about any mouse would work for them. And there are quite a few people who would rather use a trackball than a "normal" optical mouse.

    As an aside, I have to retool the detailed building guide as well as add a few more FAQs into the GenHard FAQ. That will probably take a few weeks to complete everything, so suggestions are welcome. But keep in mind that, due to the ever-evolving nature of computer components in general, we can't accept any parts recommendations.
     
  13. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    If anyone is willing to do a writeup on mice/keyboards, tiraides could link it in the FAQ or build guide. ;)
     
  14. kencheeto

    kencheeto 2[H]4U

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    writeup.. I mean I can write at length about my personal tastes, but like tiraides said mice & keyboards are tricky. If there is something valuable to contribute there I'd love to :)
     
  15. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    I wanted to bump this thread, so...

    Should we add this to the FAQ?
     
  16. zoobaby

    zoobaby [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't think it would hurt. I'll let others (active members here and mods) chime in on this and check back later.
     
  17. Markyip1

    Markyip1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hey guys,

    How about we update the FAQ section on overclocking and RAM speeds to match best practices with Nehalem chips (i7/i5/i3.) Right now, the overclocking section refers to raising FSB speed, which as we know is irrelevant for i7s or AMD chips. We should probably differentiate between overclocking a Core 2 (via FSB,) and i7 (via BCLK, Uncore, etc.)

    We may also want to update advice on RAM selection depending on whether the intent is to pair with an AMD chip, Core 2, or i7. For instance, the common advice given with Core 2 is not to purchase RAM faster than 800mhz (or 1066mhz with the 45nm chips,) and when overclocking a Core 2 system, going for tighter timings usually provides better results than overclocking the memory. From what I've seen, the i7 benefits more from faster memory than from memory with tighter timings (even though at the end of the day, performance improvements are slim.) It also seems that certain variables that had a large effect on performance with Core 2 , such as Command Rate, don't matter as much with i7.

    Lastly, while I would still follow my own stead-fast advice on SLI/CrossFire when going for brute-power, best-of-the-best solutions, I'd also point out that the biggest disadvantage of such a setup (the requirement of an nForce board) is moot with i7. While loading a system with multiple 4870X2s or GTX 295s may still be silly in most cases, video card prices on high-power, mid-range models have dropped considerably such that certain mult-GPU setups may be worth considering. For instance, today I'd probably pick up two GTX 280s for not much more than the cost of a single 4870x2 for superior graphics performance.
     
  18. Markyip1

    Markyip1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    One more thing (almost forgot!) I would definitely add a section about pairing older DDR3 RAM with i7 chips -- namely that while Intel strongly recommends not going over 1.65v on the RAM voltage, what is key is that RAM voltage and VTT remain within .5 of each other.
     
  19. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    enginurd: I can add Danny's recent comments to the FAQ.

    Markyip1: I meant to redirect the user into the particular forum(s) for overclocking their processors, so I'd have to rewrite the "generic" answer that I gave in response to overclocking.

    RAM may need to be defined further (I thought it was, but the Phenom II, with its onboard DDR2/DDR3 controller, screwed everything up).

    I'll also expand upon SLI/CrossFire as to when it may be beneficial for the user. Unfortunately, all of these things take some time, so I'll contact you later (privately) as to how you believe is the best way to answer these questions.
     
  20. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm bumping this thread since I'm going to update the FAQ sticky over the next several days.

    Again, any questions, comments, or suggestions for the sticky should be left here. If you see any of the stickies open, regardless of the reason, please don't post in them.
     
  21. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    On that note, I may get a chance to update the troubleshooting guide as well, so don't hesitate to post some suggestions.
     
  22. zoobaby

    zoobaby [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you guys need anything, let me know.
     
  23. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Any ideas/comments/suggestions for the troubleshooting guide while I'm working on some updates?
     
  24. Ghettobox

    Ghettobox Limp Gawd

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    I know we have a PSU forum, but that seems to be the biggest issue with many people. Some places to find accurate wattage needs of various vid cards, known good PSU's vs. what the guy at best buy told you. I ten to see people do one of two things with PSU's. Either A) greatly underestimate their power needs or B) greatly overestimate their power needs. Let alone all the guys with their various 800w chan li special that might push 250 in a freezer. I know people should hit the PSU section, but I'd say a good 60% of build requests have not even a rudimentary understanding of modern PSU's or how the good can be differentiated from the bad.
     
  25. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    So what exactly are you suggesting?
     
  26. Ghettobox

    Ghettobox Limp Gawd

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    Excellent point. ;) I think we could at least use a sticky pointing to a couple of places or past threads that deal with it. I know the Jonny Guru FAQ you linked for me about determining amps and PSU's with multiple rails was really helpful to me. Not just for my build, but helping others to. I know there was a thread detailing all the crap PSU's out there in the PSU forum. Maybe just a general explanation of what a PSU does, and how things can go bad. Some links to past threads dealing with the subject, and I know this is pushing it but a list of good PSU's that can be recommended. It'd be a lot of work but would make a great resource if not in the Gen[H] than in the PSU subforum at the least. I guess since I have opened my fat mouth I should at least volunteer to help out if not do the damn thing.
     
  27. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    We technically already do: Look through the General Hardware FAQ dude. Tons of links about PSUs.

    If you look at the JonnyGuru FAQ link I provided to you as well as linked in the General Hardware FAQ, you'll see that it contains several link about what a PSU does, what's it made of, the splitting of the +12V rails, etc. In addition, that list of crap PSUs is also linked in the General Hardware FAQ. So in other words, we've done it already :D. Just gotta look a bit more...

    There are several challenges with a list of "good" PSUs, at least in the past:
    1) The huge amount of work and time spent updating it.
    2) The fact that people will still want to know which PSU is better than the other. As such, that may require one to order the list from highest to lowest in terms of good quality. That would require a lot of research on how well a PSU did under proper testing. Then you have to develop a criteria and organization table for varying degrees of quality, etc.
    3) The inclusion of an entire PSU brand model even though not all of the models within a certain brand are good.
    4) The fact that people will still ask "What PSU do I need?" so they'll ask about the PSU again and again.

    Here's a thread discussing a proposal for an update PSU list on JonnyGURU:
    http://www.jonnyguru.com//forums/showthread.php?t=6189
     
  28. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Oh look, there's a mouse and keyboard subforum now! :p

    Anyhow, this is just a reminder for people to please post suggestions on how to make these stickies more helpful. Simply saying "the sticky wasn't helpful" is quite useless. :(

    Reminder to self, for TSG updates:
    finish editing the photos
    add some help for RAID users
     
  29. garry26

    garry26 Gawd

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    Currently my PC will not boot up.
    I get the safe mode screen (safe mode, safe mode w/networking, safemode w/command prompt, start windows normally, etc). Regardless of option chosen, it doesnt work. Windows starts to load and then reboots. The cycle repeats endlessly.

    I tried using the Windows Repair Console via my windows CD, but after pressing "R" it asks for a password. The heck did I know I needed a password. Anyhoo, I dont know it so Im SOL unless theres a way around it.

    Anyone?

    Im sure the repair console would fix the issue if i could get around the password issue.
    I cant hook up that pc to this one or anything like that. Nor am I very tech savvy. I was looking at the ULTIMATE BOOT CD thing in one of the sticked threads and that thing has an "ATA Password Tool." Would that help me get around the password hurdle?
     
  30. bastage

    bastage Pics of your wife?

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    There should be a Footnote added to question 8 of the build help sticky asking to only ask for help within 3 or so weeks.
     
  31. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    annual bump! wow, 2 yrs later and i still haven't added the photos to the TSG, lol.

    oh, and we can remove zipzoomfly.com from the faq/wlwc as of aug '11.

    I'll be adding photos to the TSG soon. Any other updates aside from link updates (thanks danny for updating most, if not all, of them)?
     
  32. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    No prob on the link updates. Though I'm not sure if I got all of them.

    Oh see if you can somehow squeeze PSU testing with a digital multimeter in the TSG. A link to another website showing how would be fine.
     
  33. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Yah, I noticed that dead link last night. Tried looking for an archive.org snap, but couldn't find one. Might link to one of the posts on jg forums.
     
  34. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm currently working on (yeah, I know... it's loooong overdue) updates to the FAQ, including new links and (maybe some new) questions. If you see the thread unlocked, please DON'T POST IN THE THREAD. The ultimate goal is to keep the FAQ thread as clean as possible, and it's already a long enough read without other users' comments in there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  35. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    Fair enough. Good luck with the FAQ.
     
  36. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    oh yah... the stickies... i had to use the links the other day cuz i couldn't remember some of the sites i used to buy from (cuz yah, it's been THAT long), lol.

    thanks for updating the links in the TSG, danny. ;)
     
  37. Bbq

    Bbq King of Charts

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    How about a big list of the parts you suggest ?

    Also: Pcpartspicker can help you get the lowest prices and help you see what is and isn't compatable with your other parts.
     
  38. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

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    Prices change so frequently, keeping that list updated would almost be a full time job. I'm not talking about keeping the prices of the parts updated, as much as the parts in the list updated due to the prices. Some things simply aren't worth it once the price gets too high, so you have to find the alternative. Man, just thinking about all the work involved is making me tired. :eek:
     
  39. enginurd

    enginurd [H]ard as it Gets

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    but if we make our lists public, ppl would bitch to us if we didn't keep it updated. :(
     
  40. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    How about a guide for building multi-gpu, multi-display setups for widescreen gaming? I would be willing to assist in writing and providing information for that FAQ, given my experience with both CF and SLI on multi-monitor setups. Although I do not have much experience with the 3D setup for those wanting NV 3D surround.