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My 1st/New Build

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Hey guys how are you, you might of saw my thread in the system builds and upgrades area of the forums. Ok Sam asked me to post up pics of my new build once i get everything clean and organized and I just spent like 2 or 3 hours today trying to do some cable management because my case is a REALLY TIGHT space imo lol. Ill start off with posting the specs of my new build that I'm very proud of and glad it works very well in the end =). UPDATED PC SPECS AS OF 6/10/12 Case - Cooler Master Storm Enforcer CPU - Intel i5 2500 CPU Cooler - CM Hyper 212 Mobo - ASUS LGA 1155 P8Z68-V/GEN RAM - 16GB Corsair Low Profile RAM 1600MHZ Video Card - EVGA GTX 670 FTW HDD - Crucial M4 128GB SSD PSU - Corsair TX 750W Modular CD Drive -Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive Mouse - Razer Naga Molten Edition Mousepad - Razer Vespula Transformers Edition Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 Speakers: Razer Ferox Speakers Mic/Webcam: PS3 Eye Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp 23'' U2312HM & HP 21.5'' 2210m Ok guys, onto the pics of my build!! Front of case: http://imageshack.us...2020800048.jpg/ My 1st attempt at cable managing (lemme know what you think) http://imageshack.us...2020800047.jpg/ A side view of my stuff inside: http://imageshack.us...2020800049.jpg/ A closer up side view: http://imageshack.us...2020800050.jpg/ Finally, what my desk looks like with everything on it (small rollable desk) Yes those are pokemon I used to be a huge fan back in the day haha. From right to left: Snorlax, Dragonite, Squirtle http://imageshack.us...2020900051.jpg/ Upgrades/Purchases since Original Build Recent Upgrades: I ended up returning the HP 2511x because I found a Dell Ultrasharp 23'' for $250, almost the same price of the 2511x and much nicer quality/picture since its an IPS panel. Had a $100 Gift Card to Walmart and purchased a 1TB Caviar Green to go along w/my Crucial 128GB SSD, just so I can have some more space for games/movies/etc. Biggest Upgrade: I ended up returning my MSI 6950 TFII, it was an excellent card but it had way too many driver issues, and I kept getting BSOD's daily, quite annoying lol. I purchased the GeForce GTX 670 and its been smooth sailing since then, much smoother gameplay at maxed settings, only con is that it runs a bit hotter. Bought another pack of 8GB Corsair Ram to max out at 16GB Ram @ 1600mhz Added a 200mm red LED fan to the top of my case for extra cooling/more red lights haha: Cooler Master Computer Case Cooling Ended up buying this Corsair 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Survivor its a really fast USB and I use it to transfer any files under 30GB if i need something on my desktop quick such as music, movies, etc. My Favorite upgrade I've made so far: Bought the Crucial M4 128GB SSD This thing is blazing fast and got really nice numbers on the benchmarks I did with Crystal DIsk (See second page). Thanks to CPC Sam for this helpful suggestion, as its a very fast and reliable drive and boot ups are only about 8-10 seconds maximum after loading everything. Just some background info/story Ok guys, well this is my first time building a computer, let alone handling any other component. I'll give you some background information as to why I even built this is in the first place. I saved up alot of money and ended up buying the base model 21.5'' iMac, let me tell you it was a good computer but it had HARDLY any gaming capabilities compared to the machine i have now. Also the fact that the ports were in the back and the computer would get extremely hot to the touch sometimes worried me, so I used Amazon's amazing return policy and returned it for a 100% refund much to my surprise. I recommend Amazon over Newegg btw, amazing return policy and 3.99 overnight shipping, very helpful for anxious people like me. I then asked my friend if he had any experience on how to build computers or any experience in that field whatsoever, he told me hes hooked up a psu before and i was like LOL ok good enough come over. 6 hours after trying to put this damn thing together it didn't even turn on, and I'd say only 70% of the cabling was right. Ok, he left because it was getting late, and I got a bright idea. I said to myself, I hate manuals with a passion but maybe if I look at the motherboard manual it'll tell me how to do the proper connections. What do you know! Asus has a extremely helpful mobo manual with a lot of extensive pictures and exactly what to do. So i reconnected half of the wires and it didnt even get to bios. Then i realized, maybe I have to boot up w/o the video card inside, sure enough that was the problem and all I had to do was install my video card after installing Windows and such. This whole troubleshooting process took me about three days with school and such, very frustrating, thought I had dead parts and was 90% determined to just ragequit the whole thing and return everything. I guess the lesson is always keep trying no matter what, because chances are in the end everything will work out. Thanks for checking my thread guys. Hope you enjoyed. :)

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Added a Potential upgrades section, will probably post some more pics tomorrow as its getting late now. biggrin.png

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Sorry for some reason when i edited my post it created 2 new threads, how can i delete them lol edit: nvm they are gone
Don't worry about that. I fixed it biggrin.png Dude that rig looks awesome! Very glad you got it to work! So what you planning on dropping in next? tongue.png

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Haha thanks man. Ah, right I forgot to add the upgrades part. As I said before the 2511x should be shipped to me sometime soon hopefully, besides that though I wanna see if I can sell my current 6950 and get a 7950 once they get a little cheaper or I can just save enough money for it. I would love that performance increase in BF3 as I get like 40-45 FPS average on it now w/everything maxed and I'm sure I'd get a decent bit more performance with that new shiny 7950 on BF3 and whatever other game comes out in the near future smile.png. Also, I wanted to buy a 200m red LED fan for the top but I gotta check if it would fit in with that hyper 212 there also, and I wanna get a corsair force gt ssd once I have some extra $$ to blow. Thats about it

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great rig! The first build is always the most exciting one. All the experimenting, learning, and carefulness makes the first boot all the sweeter. Congratulations.

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Thanks Toaster smile.png Couldn't of done it w/o my trusty anti static strap (built entire thing on carpet) and the ASUS manual which saved me returning $1000 worth of parts haha

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Haha thanks man. Ah, right I forgot to add the upgrades part. As I said before the 2511x should be shipped to me sometime soon hopefully, besides that though I wanna see if I can sell my current 6950 and get a 7950 once they get a little cheaper or I can just save enough money for it. I would love that performance increase in BF3 as I get like 40-45 FPS average on it now w/everything maxed and I'm sure I'd get a decent bit more performance with that new shiny 7950 on BF3 and whatever other game comes out in the near future smile.png. Also, I wanted to buy a 200m red LED fan for the top but I gotta check if it would fit in with that hyper 212 there also, and I wanna get a corsair force gt ssd once I have some extra $$ to blow. Thats about it
Sounds awesome! That HD7950 is going to be sweeeeeeeeet. Definitely gonna be worth every penny. I think Nvidia's new stuff will be coming out soon though so maybe it'd be worth it to wait for that as well if you aren't planning on selling that HD6950 anytime soon. That Force GT will be aweeeesome! Ever used an SSD before?

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Sounds awesome! That HD7950 is going to be sweeeeeeeeet. Definitely gonna be worth every penny. I think Nvidia's new stuff will be coming out soon though so maybe it'd be worth it to wait for that as well if you aren't planning on selling that HD6950 anytime soon. That Force GT will be aweeeesome! Ever used an SSD before?
Nah I've never used an SSD on Windows 7 before but I have an ssd on my 2010 macbook air and its just purely amazing, the best part is that the OS boots up in like less than 7 seconds and is ready to use immediately, also shutdown is a second or 2 only and apps pop up really fast compared to a regular HDD. Can't wait till I get the corsair ssd or any other new one that comes out by the time I have the money for it.

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Nah I've never used an SSD on Windows 7 before but I have an ssd on my 2010 macbook air and its just purely amazing' date=' the best part is that the OS boots up in like less than 7 seconds and is ready to use immediately, also shutdown is a second or 2 only and apps pop up really fast compared to a regular HDD. Can't wait till I get the corsair ssd or any other new one that comes out by the time I have the money for it.[/quote'] Oh that's awesome. I don't even have an SSD for my macbook yet haha. Definitely planning on adding one soon. Snow Leopard and Lion are blazing fast though... even on a traditional hard drive. IMO Apple's really done a great job with OSX. Too bad games don't really support it.

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yea i love OSX so much more than windows tbh lol, but windows 7 isnt too bad. It really is a shame you cant play games on OSX that much :/

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Random question: If I were to instead run crossfire with 2 MSI 6950's instead of buying a new 7950 to replace it, would I need a bigger PSU than my current one?

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Random question: If I were to instead run crossfire with 2 MSI 6950's instead of buying a new 7950 to replace it' date=' would I need a bigger PSU than my current one?[/quote'] Nope current PSU is fine..... But I still recommend getting a single HD7950 instead.

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Nope current PSU is fine..... But I still recommend getting a single HD7950 instead.
Great! thanks for letting me know I thought it'd be just enough since my i5 2500 isnt overclocked at all, I wonder if it could handle 2 6950's in cfx if i OC them to 900 MHZ like i have my single setup now. I think it should do ok though. I only plan on doing this if I have a hard time selling my 1 6950 and I can't get the 7950 worst case scenario.

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Great! thanks for letting me know I thought it'd be just enough since my i5 2500 isnt overclocked at all' date=' I wonder if it could handle 2 6950's in cfx if i OC them to 900 MHZ like i have my single setup now. I think it should do ok though. I only plan on doing this if I have a hard time selling my 1 6950 and I can't get the 7950 worst case scenario.[/quote'] Should be fine. The guys over at Guru3D are using a power hungry LGA 1366 system and it only draws 329w at load. They don't run Furmark though so I think if you're running Furmark you'll prolly hit something closer to 375-400w. Overclocking won't change much. Your 750w is more than enough.

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Ok update: just put in a red LED 200m fan for the top for extra cooling and just to have some more red showing smile.png. Also I received the corsair usb 3.0 drive in the mail today and damn it looks like an armored vehicle really high quality stuff.. lol Heres some benchmarks if anyone is interested: USB 2.0 Speeds: (HP 16GB Drive): http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/62/usb20benchmarks.png/ USB 3.0 Speeds: (Corsair USB 3.0 32GB Drive): http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/708/usb30benchmark.png/

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Ok update: just put in a red LED 200m fan for the top for extra cooling and just to have some more red showing smile.png. Also I received the corsair usb 3.0 drive in the mail today and damn it looks like an armored vehicle really high quality stuff.. lol Heres some benchmarks if anyone is interested: USB 2.0 Speeds: (HP 16GB Drive): http://imageshack.us...benchmarks.png/ USB 3.0 Speeds: (Corsair USB 3.0 32GB Drive): http://imageshack.us...0benchmark.png/
Holy crap! that's like double LOL niceeeeeeeee!

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Ok so I finally saved up some money and I'm going to get an SSD, my choice is between only 2 drives at the moment. The Crucial 128 GB M4 or the Corsair Force GT 120GB I've been hearing that the Corsair is generally faster for most things, but its not too noticable. I'm wondering if you guys know which one is more fast/reliable? Price isn't a concern as the crucial m4 is only $20 cheaper at the moment so not really a big deal. Also I heard that these SSD'd have issues with SATA 3 Marvel controllers as opposed to Intel controllers. I'm wondering how do I know which one I have? lol This is my motherboard if it helps: ASUS LGA 1155 P8Z68-V/GEN

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I'd grab the Crucial 128GB m4. That's a fantastic deal man. It's crazy fast too. I actually have one that I'm reviewing at the moment and it's dropping over 500MB/s sequential reads and 200MB/s writes on incompressible data which from my testing is faster than most SandForce SF-2281 based SSD's I've seen. It's a tad bit slower on the 4k (which directly relates to the "snappy" feel of the drive, but it's not down by much... I wouldn't say it's worth the $20 difference to grab the GT. Also, Crucial's parent, Micron actually produces their own NAND chips, so they have access to the creme of the crop when it comes to NAND chips so they're going to be good in the reliability department as well. As for the SATA3 controllers, you only have the Intel controller. Basically Sandy Bridge only natively supports 2 SATA 3 6GB/s drives, so in order to add more, motherboard manufacturers contract with companies like Marvell to put in a chip to add more. Unfortunately, the chip has to interface back with the CPU, so think of it like adding a middle man into the process. That's why it's recommended you don't use the Marvell controller. Just make sure to plug your drive into the Intel controlled ports (there are 2 of them) and you should be fine. They should be the ones in grey it's outlined in your mobo's spec sheet. .

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I'd grab the Crucial 128GB m4. That's a fantastic deal man. It's crazy fast too. I actually have one that I'm reviewing at the moment and it's dropping over 500MB/s sequential reads and 200MB/s writes on incompressible data which from my testing is faster than most SandForce SF-2281 based SSD's I've seen. It's a tad bit slower on the 4k (which directly relates to the "snappy" feel of the drive, but it's not down by much... I wouldn't say it's worth the $20 difference to grab the GT. Also, Crucial's parent, Micron actually produces their own NAND chips, so they have access to the creme of the crop when it comes to NAND chips so they're going to be good in the reliability department as well. As for the SATA3 controllers, you only have the Intel controller. Basically Sandy Bridge only natively supports 2 SATA 3 6GB/s drives, so in order to add more, motherboard manufacturers contract with companies like Marvell to put in a chip to add more. Unfortunately, the chip has to interface back with the CPU, so think of it like adding a middle man into the process. That's why it's recommended you don't use the Marvell controller. Just make sure to plug your drive into the Intel controlled ports (there are 2 of them) and you should be fine. They should be the ones in grey it's outlined in your mobo's spec sheet. .
Great thanks! Just noticed my BIOS was out of date so I just went ahead and updated that lol. I'll order the Crucial M4 sometime this week as it seems very reliable like you said and I won't notice the performance difference probably either. Thanks for the info about the Intel controllers, I only have 2 Sata 3 ports so I guess I don't have the marvell ones anyway. (only plan to use two drives at once anyway). I think I have a 3.5-2.5'' drive converter from my case, so no problem that they don't include it. I'll take some benchmarks when I have everything installed and optimized and post back my results here within the next week or two smile.png

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Just one final quick question, I saw some people advising to do a Secure Erase of their SSD before installing Windows 7? Is this necessary and will it actually improve performance like people have been saying?

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Just one final quick question' date=' I saw some people advising to do a Secure Erase of their SSD before installing Windows 7? Is this necessary and will it actually improve performance like people have been saying?[/quote'] If the drive is new and has never been filled before, no it isn't necessary. I think what they're referring to is drives that have been filled with data previously. SSDs tend to go slower as the drive is filled up with data, so in this case, a secure erase may improve performance especially on drives using Asynchronous NAND.

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Ok Thanks for the clarification on that, I was just wondering about that stuff.

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Loving the SSD so far, boot ups are around 8-10 seconds at max, the Loading Windows 7 logo is on the screen for less than a second or 2 at most lol, amazing stuff. As promised I took some benchmarks of the Crucial M4 SSD. One w/some stuff installed, the other with everything installed that I had on my previous HDD minus 1 or 2 things I didn't bother installing because I don't need at the moment. New WEI Scores: n5n4w0.png #1: n2bpyt.png #2: KSQf1.png Just a quick question, I was planning on returning my old WD 500GB Drive but I heard you can use it as a secondary drive for data and such. I know how to completely format it and erase all the data on it, but just wondering how to use it as a secondary drive. I saw some guides about it but they were confusing to me. Also when installing my SSD I followed this useful and helpful guide, recommended to anyone trying to install a SSD for the first time imo. http://www.overclock...e-for-ssds-hdds

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Niiice! Glad you like it. Those numbers don't look too bad at all. If you want to use your WD as a storage drive, just leave it connected and format it through the disk manager. Start --> Type in "Administrative Tools" --> Administrative Tools --> Computer Management --> Storage --> Disk Management --> At the bottom of Computer Management you should see all your disks, just right click the hard drive and click on "Format..."

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Niiice! Glad you like it. Those numbers don't look too bad at all. If you want to use your WD as a storage drive, just leave it connected and format it through the disk manager. Start --> Type in "Administrative Tools" --> Administrative Tools --> Computer Management --> Storage --> Disk Management --> At the bottom of Computer Management you should see all your disks, just right click the hard drive and click on "Format..."
Ok, great thanks for the info! Sais I don't have permission to view the attachment btw lol

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