New 1st time build, research not enough, advice requested.

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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^ actually with 15 total USBs, I'd need (using that math) about 37.5 watts. Although I may have stuff plugged into almost all of them at one time or another, it'll be rare that all would actually draw power at once, and even if they did, that 750 would easily power them, considering some of them would be powered by the monitor's buit-in hub. Card reader is a Roswill model that reads a lot of cards including my SD HC cards. Optical is ASUS's fastest drive for DVD burning and light scribe. Other 2 optical drives are old DVD ROMs.

I finally took some pictures with a cheap camera (S5 IS) and resized them to 800x600.

This is a work in progress, as I haven't gotten everything back together yet, but here's the workstation in general. Being cheap, I built the furniture, except the spray painted table (old incredibly strong steel model from the 60's). The (left) secondary monitor is an old 17" Dell CRT running at 1600x1200 - good for side projects, Media Center TV to watch on the side while working, and games where input lag hurts too much for the bigger screen. The right is Samsung SyncMaster 275T+. There is a remote sensor for the TV card's remote behind the air-filtered, vented bay covers - the metal cover doesn't seem to interfere with the signal even at angles and distances.



The interior was very easy to work with considering the giant size of the CM Stacker tower. RAM was 16GB G.Skill DDR2 800. TV card is Hauppauge 1800. Video card is EVGA's GTX 260, CPU is intel 2.8 GHz quad core. HDD is Seagate's fastest SATA 1TB model, in addition to some old PATA hard drives adding up to 370 more gigs. Note the casters that came with the case. If you don't have them, buy some at the hardware store and install; they're priceless for handiness. For those of you that like to keep things cool, in addition to the 5 fans in the box, I have found a new, effective, and relatively inexpensive way to keep the computer cooler - the same way I keep cool after a hard week of work.



The case has a removable "other side" which allows me to hide some wiring, but only after drilling a pair of holes with a hole saw - one on the back, and one on the inside panel (hidden by the outside second layer panel). I'm in a bit of a problem as the edges of the drilled holes are sharp, even after filing and sanding, so I need some kind of rubber grommet or something to protect the wires. For now, it's that ugly-ass piece of paper that you can see.



The rear pic shows the same in addition to all the rear connections. The 120mm fans are very quiet, almost 100% silent. Although there are tons of wires, the single optical sound wire cut the total number down an enormous amount (as opposed to loads of 1.8" jack wires). The loudest part of this machine is the video card, and even it's pretty quiet when not under an extreme load. The eSATA ports will be handy for my external HDD which is file backup that stays in a fireproof file cabinet at work when not in use.



OS is Vista Home Premium 64, and I'm considering adding XP x64 as a duel boot option. Overall, it's a decent-to-good box for now, but with loads of potential for anything that I want/need down the road. Thanks for the help in choosing and assembling all this stuff.
 

Alai

2[H]4U
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Dammit... I don't understand why these pics keep showing up so small. Something up with my Firefox settings or my graphics card or Windows settings?
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
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Dammit... I don't understand why these pics keep showing up so small. Something up with my Firefox settings or my graphics card or Windows settings?

No that's just a fileshack thing. They provide thumbnails and full size links. Looks like he chose the small just in case some people have slow connections.

Anyway, nice work swingdjted! I especially like how there's already alcohol inside the computer :D
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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Click on each thumbnail for 800x600 resolution.

If you want larger resolution (that camera took 8 megapixel pictuers I think) of any picture I post, tell me and I'll send something bigger.

I'd rather place larger images right on the post (rather than thumbnail links), but I was unsure how big a pic was allowed to be on these forums. Is there a general guideline as to what size I should make the picture if I want to post the whole picture on the post?

It seems that my work internet filter blocks those pictures (even the thumbnail previews). If that's the case for you, you might have to quote the post, find the URLs, and copy/paste them into the browser, but that still might work if your filter blocks imageshack.

Also, anyone have any suggestions as to how to protect my wires from the sharp-edge holes without using that paper?
 

Alai

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Yeah, I think my comp is blocking imageshack. I can see the thumbnails, but the links elude me.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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274
Resized to 640x480 and posted directly on forum. There have already been changes since these pics were taken. All those wires on the floor and back wall have tied and carefully routed with the table legs so that they're now hidden. I didn't feel like getting the camera out again, so these are the old pics again, but directly on the forum for those members that can't click on the thumbnails.




 

crazyhorsejohnny

Limp Gawd
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Jan 23, 2006
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133
Click on each thumbnail for 800x600 resolution.

If you want larger resolution (that camera took 8 megapixel pictuers I think) of any picture I post, tell me and I'll send something bigger.

I'd rather place larger images right on the post (rather than thumbnail links), but I was unsure how big a pic was allowed to be on these forums. Is there a general guideline as to what size I should make the picture if I want to post the whole picture on the post?

It seems that my work internet filter blocks those pictures (even the thumbnail previews). If that's the case for you, you might have to quote the post, find the URLs, and copy/paste them into the browser, but that still might work if your filter blocks imageshack.

Also, anyone have any suggestions as to how to protect my wires from the sharp-edge holes without using that paper?

Try caulking.
 

GonzoP

2[H]4U
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Jul 3, 2006
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3,660
Get a metal file and smooth them down. Any serious case modder is going to have a Dremel or like-type product that comes with a couple attachments which will easily round down sharp edges
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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Your assumptions on quad core mhz performance are a bit off... Supposing a program can make use of four cores as well as it can make use of one, then yes, you would stand to see a 4x improvement. However, I know of no program in existence. Even the tasks best suited to multi-processor work require some overhead so that the scaling isn't 100%, and the vast majority of programs available today (including those mentioned in your initial post) won't make use of four cores at all.


It turns out that all of the programs I use make use of all four cores, and the programs that render pictures (photoshop, cinema4d, etc.) make 100% usage of all 4 cores during renders, so if another reader sees this and is curious as to whether or not the cores will be used to their capacity, they most certainly will. Although I'm not unhappy with the 2.83 quad core, I would definately be saving paid time on renders if I had bought a faster processor.
 

engiNURD

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Mark's point was that you cannot attain 100% scaling for any program with multi-threading alone, since all programs have an overhead of processes that must be done in serial and cannot be done in parallel.

It turns out that all of the programs I use make use of all four cores ...

You're currently using a web browser to view this post. It does NOT make use of all four cores... :p
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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After a quick test, Firefox and MS Internet Explorer (my only two browsers) both were found to make (I'll admit, little) spikes on the task manager's CPU usage for all 4 cores when I open the browser and when I switch pages. (Although I think I'm in danger of becomming a troll now.) Games and more involved programs go from around 10-100% (countless sharp spikes), and media renders flatline at 100% until done.

It just seems like even programs that aren't designed to run like that will anyway - maybe it's the operating system or motherboard that does it; I don't know, but either way, it's extremely rare that i see spikes on just one/some and not all.
 

Markyip1

[H]ard|Gawd
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Also remember that Windows task manager is just showing which programs are using your processor's resources, and not what those programs are doing with those resources.
 

swingdjted

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Another update...

Remember those 'fugly' sheets of paper I had protecting wires from the sharp edges from my drilled holes? I tried looking for correct-sized rubber grommets, but my hole saw was an odd size I guess, so no luck there.

Well, I found a nice and cheap solution. Fish tank tubing. Silly, but effective. It costs 29 cents per foot at the hardware store, and one foot was more than enough.

I just took it and cut it lengthwise (like a closed letter "C" instead of the "O" that it was), then cut strips to the length of the circumferences of the holes, then made custom-fitted rubber grommets out of them. They work like a charm.

Only problem is, now, without the ugly paper in the way, the holes have extra space around the wires that acts like a non-filtered air intake, which compromises the intended filtered airflow design. To solve that, I'll probably get some gray soft foam packaging (available from all the component boxes from the computer parts) and fill in the extra space.

The beauty of this case (Coolermaster stacker 810) is that originally, all intakes are filtered to keep dust out and when I need to clean it, I simply use a brush-style vacuum attachment right on the front of the case - very fast & easy, very clean. I'd like to keep it that way rather than letting a wire hole in the back change the direction of air including the invasion of evil dust.

If I remember, I'll take some pictures of it all and post here.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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274
followup...

Better late than never on the fish tank tubes:



It turns out that there are so many wires that have to go through them that very little extra space is there for filtering, so I'm just going to let it go.

I added two 1.5TB Seagate HDDs in addition to the 1TB drive already there due a need for much more video clip storage, plus an old iOmega 120 GB external that's been sitting around (connected via USB), plus a 1TB Western Digital My Book drive for occasional critical file backup. I also added an old 4 x USB 2.0 PCI card because I needed more USB ports in the back due to so many rerouted to the front. Also added (although minor) was some dust filtering material to the unfiltered bottom grate and right side panel (not pictured). I felt that if the front panels of the case were to be filtered, it would be stupid not to filter the other vents. I just used some gray foam from air conditioner filters, cut it to shape, and glued on. I occasionally use the brush attachment of the vacuum to clean it. The interior stays extra clean all the time because of this now.

The stock intel CPU cooler & paste proved to be quite inadequate for video transcoding and photo rendering, and caused the warning alarm from the motherboard to sound. Prime95 made it go to 97 Celcius before I turned it off. I ended up buying a Noctua NH-U12P cooler, which is more than enough to keep transcoding and rendering cool. Color choices of Noctua are ugly as sin, but I'm not in any way trying to impress anyone with how the computer looks, just trying to impress with the end product that the computer produces.

For the most part, this box has been very good for me, in large part because of previous posters' suggestions on this thread. For that I say thank you.



My next request is to ask if there are any suggestions as to whether or not I should learn/attempt some light (but extra safe) overclocking of this Q9550/NH-U12P combo.

As a reminder, the hardware is as follows:
PSU - Corsair 750 Watt
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R
CPU - intel Q9550
RAM - G. Skill 16GB 800 MHz
Vista Home Premium x64
(other hardware likely not applicable)

Is this something worth overclocking? Should I post this in the Cooling/Overclocking subforum?
 
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swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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Is this thread pretty much dead and should I start a new thread if I have additional questions, or is this where I should post if I have any more requests?
 

Dangman

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If it's about general hardware, then yeah post your requests here.

Oh nice work! No need to OC until you actually need the speed. Or get bored. Or just feel like taking a risk. :)
 

engiNURD

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A tiny risk would be to simply change your FSB speed from 333 to 400 (1333 to 1600). Make sure to keep your RAM at DDR2-800 (DRAM multiplier 2x).
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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So here we are in 2017 with a necro-bump.

I still have this machine, and until just recently, it has been perfect with some minor hard drive updates/upgrades, CPU cooler upgrade, and dead PSU replacement.

I have a major problem that might or might not be fixable. My user account is borked. I was able to get to the welcome/login screen. I couldn't log in and/or see the desktop unless I reinstalled Windows 7 onto a separate drive with a whole new fresh account. Online solutions don't work because I can't get to safe mode, since my keyboard for some reason doesn't work until I get to the logon screen. When I created a fresh new account on a separate HDD, I accessed my old boot drive as a storage drive, but the C>users>(my old username) account did not exist. I was hoping to do this to recover my recent docs, pics, audio, and video. All the Windows files and program files were still there though, not that it is helpful for them to be there, as I can easily reinstall that stuff.

So I have two overall questions here:

1.) Who can I contact to help me recover the old docs, pics, audio, and video?

2.) Now that I am having to recreate a new user account and reinstall Windows/programs, it might be a good time to get a new boot drive. I was thinking an SSD priced around $200 or less that could still work well on my old machine with Windows 7 and/or 10. Is this a reasonable request or am I going to have to build a new machine?

Here are the current specs:

I have a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit, OEM license

Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128344 which has SATA 3GHz/sec headers (do new hard drives still work with these?)

CPU = Intel: model BX80569Q9550 (Core2Quad, 2.83GHz, LGA 775 socket) https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

Video Card = evga EVGA: model 896-P3-1260-AR https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130370

RAM = I think it's this: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231183 but not absolutely sure. It's G. Skill DDR2 800, 4x4GB (16GB total) for sure, just not sure if that's the exact product link or not. Mine are red, Newegg's pics are orange.

Anyway, what would be a good SSD for me to revive this computer?

Thanks in advance for your time. Again, it's much appreciated.
 

Daleon

Limp Gawd
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Nov 1, 2004
Messages
293
A new SSD would be perfect to breathe some new life into the build. A samsung evo 850 or similar should be fine.

If your old account folder is just gone, ugh... Your looking at finding a data recovery service and paying to get it restored.
Time to think about Win10 and cloud storage.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
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Thank you very much for replying; it is very much appreciated. Do you or anyone you know have suggestions for a reputable data recovery service? I understand this service can be quite expensive, but the data is important enough to justify the cost. I don't know enough about how to choose a business that has a good chance of recovering the data. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
Messages
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I will look into that option if Seagate's data recovery software doesn't work. Thank you for the suggestion.

Also, based on an above recommendation, would this hard drive work with the current motherboard/system?
SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-75E500B/AM
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W02DV8166

And maybe this for storage (or would a lower priced model be better? I'd actually make better use of an 8TB model if you have a suggestion):
WD Black 6TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD6002FZWX
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822235281

Let me know if these are good options or if I should also look at some specific competitors. Again, your help is greatly appreciated.

 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
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Anyway, what would be a good SSD for me to revive this computer?
Also, based on an above recommendation, would this hard drive work with the current motherboard/system?
SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-75E500B/AM
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W02DV8166

Any SSD would work, including the Samsung 850 EVO, but it won't feel as fast as you expected due to the motherboard's limitations with its SATA 3Gb/s ports.

I'd recommend Samsung over other SSDs because the Samsung Magician software is better (IMO) than other similar competitors.

WD Black 6TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD6002FZWX
Out of the two, I'd recommend the WD Black. Seagate has a bad reputation over recent years due to reliability problems with its hard drives.

If you choose a different drive than the WD Black 6TB, don't use a NAS, an "enterprise," or a "green" drive as the majority are designed to run (comparatively) slower than the WD Black's 7200RPM speed.
 

swingdjted

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Thanks as always; I'm starting to hear that between Seagate and WD, WD is more reliable, but in my research, I'm now hearing the HGST drives are as good or better when it comes to reliability. Which models would compare to those mentioned above? I don't game much; just want a storage drive that gets my media loaded without too much hesitation, especially when toggling through large file size images. I would guess that most drives are decent at this. Thanks again for your information.
 

swingdjted

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This computer has been a super-reliable workhorse for many years and I'm not ready to throw it away just yet. I'd really like to upgrade the video card so that I can watch high-def 1080p videos but have 60 frames per second. Right now it hesitates often when I try to play 60 frames per second high-def videos. Do you have any recommendations for video card upgrades for this particular motherboard so that high-def videos that are 60 frames per second will play smoothly? Any cards that would also handle modern virtual reality programs/hardware? Or is that beyond the scope of this particular machine?

Edit: Specs are in post Number 62 of this thread and I did add in a really good Samsung SSD and 8 terabyte storage drive.
 
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TheFlayedMan

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I think its time to let go of the past and buy a nice shiny new AMD 2200G or 2400G system. These APU's would be perfect for your use case and $99 for a fast quad core with built in semi decent GPU is a steal.
 

E4g1e

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This computer has been a super-reliable workhorse for many years and I'm not ready to throw it away just yet. I'd really like to upgrade the video card so that I can watch high-def 1080p videos but have 60 frames per second. Right now it hesitates often when I try to play 60 frames per second high-def videos. Do you have any recommendations for video card upgrades for this particular motherboard so that high-def videos that are 60 frames per second will play smoothly? Any cards that would also handle modern virtual reality programs/hardware? Or is that beyond the scope of this particular machine?

Edit: Specs are in post Number 62 of this thread and I did add in a really good Samsung SSD and 8 terabyte storage drive.
The sad truth is this:

Modern game and program publishers do not like to support anything that's even four years old, let alone ten years old. In fact, some of the programs that you're considering require a second-generation i-series CPU platform (e.g. i5-2500K) or later just to even run AT ALL. That Core 2 Quad QX9650 does not meet that minimum requirement.
 

horrorshow

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The sad truth is this:

Modern game and program publishers do not like to support anything that's even four years old, let alone ten years old. In fact, some of the programs that you're considering require a second-generation i-series CPU platform (e.g. i5-2500K) or later just to even run AT ALL. That Core 2 Quad QX9650 does not meet that minimum requirement.

This.

I'm still using the first gen i-series platform myself and I'm barely skating by....

(and that's with an overclocked odd-duck 4c/8t Xeon)
 

swingdjted

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In that case, perhaps I will limit my request to just getting this old machine to play the 60 fps full HD video, if possible. I don't game anymore. I did ask about a VR, but only as an educational tool for my daughter, and I can still get her access to VR machines at work.

Is there a way to just upgrade the video card for the 60fps 1080p playback? Or do I have to buy all new mobo, RAM, processor, cooler, and vid card (and possibly PSU and TV card)?

As always, thank you for all of your valuable input.
 

silk186

[H]ard|Gawd
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If you are on a budget you could pick up an older I series board and CPU with support for DDR3 but it won't last you another 10 years.
Something is going to give.
 

TheFlayedMan

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D

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It's time to hand that system down to one of your kids for minimal use.

You really should consider getting something more modern.
 

swingdjted

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So the Gigabyte card you linked could make this machine handle 4K video playback, such as 4K youtube vids or home recordings from my camera (Lumix FZ1000) if I were connected to a 4K display? That would be good enough for me. Even if it could simply play 1080p @ 60fps smoothly, it would be worth it to buy that card.

Right now, my current video card needs a dedicated wire from the PSU to run it. I don't see where I would do that with this Gigabyte card. Is that to say that I won't need that wire anymore? In other words, is the card receiving enough power from the slot on the mobo?

Another question: with the Gigabyte card, can I run a 1920x1080 monitor plus a HDTV simultaneously like I do now with my current card?

There will be a day when I do another major build from scratch, but I'm not sure I have enough need for that yet. There are some things I'm waiting for, such as widespread use of 4K broadcasting and TV cards that can do something with 4K. I still have some pretty amazing hardware where I work for the heavy lifting if I need to use VR or other hardware intensive use, and at home I just need decent browsing, video playback, music, office, etc. If I can make this machine do that for less than a hundred bucks, I'd prefer that. When I do make a new machine, I'll probably drop a few grand into it again like I did this, but for now, I'm not ready.

As always, thank you for the input.
 
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