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First PC build- gaming! please confirm spec choice


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#31
Macboatmaster

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YOU HAVE DONE WELL.
The reason I did that, rather than just give you the answer, is that you probably know far more now about hard drves and chkdsk than you ever did before.

I've just run a read- only check on the hard drive and it says: 'Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode.' (It also deleted a few 'index entries') Are these 'errors' definitely 'bad sectors?'


chkdsk run in read only mode produces unreliable results

If you run it from a command prompt, it may report errors. Mine does
not but it might some day and here is how Microsoft explains:

....CHKDSK may report that a disk is corrupted even when there is no
real corruption present. This can happen if NTFS happens to modify
areas of the disk on behalf of some program activity that CHKDSK is
examining at the same time. To verify a volume correctly, the volume
must be in a static state, and the only way to guarantee that state is
to lock the volume. CHKDSK only locks the volume when /F or /R (which
implies "F") is specified. Thus, you may need to run CHKDSK more than
once to get it to complete all stages in read-only mode.

If you are running chkdsk from a command prompt, you are not in the
static state required and you may see errors "when no real corruption
is present". This is why it works okay in RC and when you reboot.


In simple terms that means that whilst chkdsk is running in read only mode which does not require the hard drive to be locked, as it is when you receive the message chkdsk cannot be run as the volume is in use. So it is entirely possible that whilst chkdsk is trying check the file structure, the files are being written to. hence chkdsk reports errors.

There are basically and this is only a simple explanation:-
1. File errors - caused by many things, including shutting down when the drive is being written to - for example updates are being installed. - repairable, even if it is so severe that it requires a reinstallation.

2. Failing sectors of the drive.
For this purpose, although it is not actually as simple as this :-

The physical HDD is divided into sectors, which is the smallest unit of storage possible. The sector-size is defined during the low-level format performed by the HDD-manufacture (Standard 512 Bytes).

When formatting a HDD-partition it is divided into clusters with a certain cluster-size. A cluster is a group of sectors and can can only be occupied by one file, so if having a
10 KByte file and a 4 KByte cluster-size, the file would occupy 3 clusters and 12 KByte space. This would create a so called "slack" of 2 KByte.

These bad sectors cannot be repaired, if they are REALLY bad, in otherwords tiny portions of the drive that are no longer capable of retaining data.
When you read that the bad sectors have been repaired, if they were actually failing sectors, they can NEVER be repaired. Chkdsk retrives your data from the failing sector and rewrites it to good sectors.
That failed sector is then marked as BAD and data is not then wtitten to it in the future.

3. Mechanical errors
On all hard drives, except for the Solid State drives, there are mechanical parts consisting of course not only of the disc itself but a read/write head, which moves across the platters of the disc, so close to it that we are talking about very fine measurments. If the disc is subjected to shock, especially whilst it is running resulting in "damage" for the sake of simplicity of explanation then the drive is useful ONLY as a paperweight. (Unless of course your data is so valuable that the cost of retrieval is irrelevant|)

That in simple terms aside from the very unusual failure of the electrical components of the drive - is more or less it.

4. Did you burn the CD as an ISO image if not it will not work.

5.

Finally; the hard drive is pretty old now, and I imagine them micro- particles will probably have drifted, or whatever, and it's true that the old PC was shut down improperly MANY times (not by me!). Do you think I should just buy a new one? I'd rather that, than to have a defective one

100% correct - complete waste of time.

With the amount of money you are spending - IF presumably you get the position - and are then able to commence your build - putting that hard drive in, is a waste of time.

Good luck with the interview.
I suggest you post when you have the parts if you require any further advice, we will be more than willing to assist.
OR of course, if you have any last minute questions before purchase.

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#32
Macboatmaster

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Locia

I was wondering how you have progressed with the project.
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#33
Locla

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Hi again Macboatmaster, nearly a year later!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to acquire the build we discussed; the job never came through and so I was unable to afford it.

I now have the funds with which to buy the parts, though technology releases during the last few months mean that I should probably adjust the previous build.

To that effect I have scrapped the motherboard, CPU, GPU, and RAM (unless you think otherwise.)

I've researched the following components and I believe they're all compatible with each other but I'd rather have that confirmed here than go ahead, buy it, and have something that doesn't work:

Mainboard: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3)
http://uk.msi.com/pr...tml#/?div=Basic

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor
http://ark.intel.com...yspecifications

GPU: GeForce GTX 660 Ti
http://www.geforce.c.../specifications

RAM: G.SKILL [ ARES ] F3-1333C9D-8GAO
http://www.gskill.co...s.php?index=472

(please note that the GPU memory interface is GDDR5, while everything else is DDR3; does this matter?)

I still have a month to go before I return to the UK and start ordering parts; should be enough time to research and finalize every component!

All help is much appreciated,

many thanks,
Locla
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#34
phillpower2

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Hello Locla

If I may chime in while good colleague Macboatmaster is not online!

From your OP dated 07 December 2011;

would want to at least be able to play dawn of war 2 on ultra settings with no lag.

Is it a gaming build that you are putting together.

Your parts and some pointers for you;

Your MB, MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) this platform is now dated so consider swapping to the Z77 type.

The CPU, : Intel Core i7-2600K, you would be paying for the HyperThreading technology that is more suited to games programmers, 3D designers or CAD professionals so unless you will be doing any of this type of work you will be wasting your cash and the CPUs performance.

GPU: GeForce GTX 660 Ti
A great card.

RAM: G.SKILL [ ARES ] F3-1333C9D-8GAO
Good choice of Ram but it may not be compatible if you do swap the MB for the newer type.
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#35
Locla

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Hi Phillpower2

Thanks for the chiming response first of all :)

This is certainly a gaming build! I'd like the best graphics and performance I can get.

Many thanks for the motherboard and CPU heads up; I guess I should revert to the i5-2500k CPU? these are my new choices for those parts:

Motherboard: MSI Z77 MPOWER
http://uk.msi.com/pr...tml#/?div=Basic

CPU: Intel i5-2500k
http://ark.intel.com...-up-to-3_70-GHz

The video card I will keep, and the RAM is still compatible. In your opinion, is it worth getting a higher clock speed RAM? (the MB goes up to 3000...)

These are my other component choices in case they are relevant:

PSU: OCZ ZT Series 750W Modular
http://www.ocztechno...wer-supply.html

Case: NZXT M59 Black Mid Tower
http://www.nzxt.com/...ssic_series/m59

Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.coolermas...product_id=6603

The only problem that I can see; shown by the part picker website, is that the MB has an onboard usb 3.0 socket, but the case does not have front panel usb 3.0 ports -.-

Again, thanks for the help!
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#36
Zolton33

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The 3570k is about $10 more then the 2500k and its is a newer ivy bridge cpu with less power consumption and a higher clock. You could also now consider the fx 8350 which is priced at about $200 and compares to the i5 intel chips. They do have more power in multithreading and the i5's still have a slight lead in single threaded apps. But unless your plan is to use this pc only for gaming and do nothing else on it then an i5 3570k would be a better choice. But if you plan to game as well as do some other things on your pc out side of gaming a fx 8350 may be more suited to your needs.

http://www.tomshardw...eview,3328.html

That is tomshardware's review of the 8350 and it looks like amd may have a great cpu here that keeps up with the i5 in most cases and surpasses them in others.

2500k http://www.newegg.co...essors-Desktops $219.99

3570k http://www.newegg.co...essors-Desktops $229.99

fx 8350 recommended suggested retail price? $195

If you must build now i strongly suggest the 3570k over the 2500k. It may be $10 more but you get a newer model cpu less power consumption and a higher base clock. If how ever you can put off until the 8350 releases then you can get a similar cpu offered from amd with better multithreading. A tough choice i know. But thought it was worth noting the 8350 in case some one else comes across this post a while from now and was considering their options. All 3 cpus are great cpus. The intel cpus do offer better single threaded apps performance while the amd offers better multithreaded apps performance. All 3 do well in gaming.. So it would come down to brand and price preferences really.
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#37
Locla

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Hi Zolton33,

Thanks a lot for your input; I have compared the two CPUs and indeed the 3570k is more desirable.

About the AMD; I'm really not so keen on AMD processors, I think they do good graphics cards, but my brand preference is Intel for this build. In fact that first link you sent me didn't have that much enthusiasm for the 8350.
Other than that, this build is exclusively for gaming so the 3570k looks great :)

$10 more is nothing; I'm saving a lot more buy buying 1 and having to replace it in a year or so! :D

Thanks again,

Locla
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#38
Locla

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Edit: $10 more is nothing; I'm saving a lot more money by buying a better CPU and not having to replace it in a year or so! :D
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#39
phillpower2

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Hi Locla

Not sure what the cost of the MSI MB is but worth a look http://www.dabs.com/...tm_content=TB00

I would also choose the 3570k CPU :thumbsup:

OCZ are a good brand but personally I am not a fan of modular PSUs, please see my canned text below regarding PSUs;

You should never choose a PSU until all other hardware has been decided on and then confirmed as being available - then use a PSU calculator such as the example @ http://images10.newe...tage-Calculator as this will help ensure that you will have enough clean and stable power and keep in mind that an 80% output efficiency rating is a must.
Quality brand modular PSUs are very expensive + they are an unnecessary expense when you are choosing your own case as all that is needed is good cable management.

I like your choice of case, regarding the lack of front USB 3.0 ports consider an alternative case if it is an issue http://www.amazon.co...C/?tag=pcp0f-21 or adding http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/B004EXJ60E

I would consider DDR3-1600 Ram be the minimum for your build.

Your aftermarket cooler, a very important thing I must make you aware of is that you do not need the additional heatsink and CPU fan and if you did use it you would void your CPU warranty, Intel are clear on this, see below;

damage to the Product due to external causes, including accident, problems with electrical power, abnormal electrical, mechanical or environmental conditions, usage not in accordance with product instructions, misuse, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing;


Full article available @ http://www.intel.com...b/cs-009862.htm

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#40
Locla

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Hey Phillpower,

The ASUS MB you linked has all the specs I needed that the MSI one had, and for a much lower price, so thanks! I will get that one.

Yep, that CPU has some seriously good reviews :)

For the PSU; I don't mind paying a little extra for the modular cable system.

For the case; with the change of motherboard the original choice is now compatible! yay :)

Regarding the RAM; unfortunately on the CPU spec page it says it only supports 'DDR3-1333/1600' :(
http://ark.intel.com...up-to-3_80-GHz)

Do you think that I can still put higher speed RAM in?

For the cooler; I know that it would void the warranty, but when I want to overclock the CPU (say in 6 months- a year) I would like to have the extra cooling that the aftermarket one provides. What are your thoughts on this?
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#41
Locla

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Ops please disregard MB and RAM bits of last message.

I was comparing the MSI MPOWER MB to a different one to the one you linked, so I got confused :S I think I will stick to the MPOWER even though it is about 160 quid. It has a nice HDMI/ Display port combo and several nice expansion options.

The RAM only has to match the MB and not the CPU, right?

If that's correct I will get the following RAM, even though its about 60 quid:
http://www.gskill.co...s.php?index=528

Really want a high end thing here that will last for at least 3 to 4 years; I've been working super hard recently so I've managed to save up enough to buy good parts. Quality > cost for this one, within reason of course!

Same as last message RE cooler and PSU, and I know you liked the case choice but I was wondering what you think of the Antec 12 Hundred V3?
http://www.antec.com...d=704632&pid=87

In your opinion am I being too overkill here or are these parts worth it?

Edited by Locla, 28 October 2012 - 12:21 AM.

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#42
phillpower2

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The RAM only has to match the MB and not the CPU, right?

Technically speaking this is correct but performance wise you would not be advised to use entry level Ram with a high end CPU and video card as it would create a bottle neck, please see my canned text below;

For the best and most stable performance you should where possible purchase a CPU and Ram that have been tested and approved by the motherboard manufacturer, this is referred to as the QVL ( qualified vendors list ) understand though that there are too many products released for them all to be tested so other hardware will be compatible but not proven to be.

The Ram information provided by MSI is poor at best;

Main Memory

• Support four DDR3 DIMMs 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2000*/2133*(OC), 2200*/2400*/2600*/2667*/2800*/3000*(OC, 22nm CPU required)DRAM (32GB Max)
- Supports Dual-Channel mode


Compare the above to the information available from ASUS - see the Memory Device Support tab (this one 2012.08.20 update) http://uk.asus.com/M.../P8Z77V_LX/#MSL

I prefer the 1200 but suggested the 900 down to cost.

I do not think anything is overkill and fully understand for your financial outlay you want to future proof as far as you can.
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#43
Locla

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MSI also has a support tab which provides a similar depth of detail to ASUS:
http://www.msi.com/p...?div=TestReport

Both qualified vendor lists only go as high as 2400 MHz but as seen in your quote the MSI MB claims it can support up to 3000. I guess I will get the highest speed I can? G.SKILL is a good brand from what I've read so I'd like to stick with them but their highest speed RAM is 2800 C11... would you recommended I go for a higher RAM speed from a different brand; would the difference be perceivable?

Sweet, I will get the 1200 case as an investment; looks really good!

Your help is much appreciated! :D
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#44
phillpower2

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The Ram you refer to is for overclocking which is something that I personally do not do and so cannot comment too much about it, do note however the CL11 rating of the 2800 Ram, the CL (Cas Latency) number is very important as the higher the number the longer the time it takes for data to be communicated between the CPU and the Ram, a better explanation below;

CAS Latency
Aka CL
Example timing: 9-10-11-24 2
Highlighted in bold is your CAS Latency. This is the delay time in which the memory a) receives a command from the processor, to the point where it b) sends data back to the processor. It is fairly obvious why this is regarded as the most important timing when it comes down to it. Memory with a CL of 7 will respond faster than memory with a CL of 9.


Read more at http://www.thinkcomp...bfl5KvO0hS5k.99

The Ram that I would choose on the MSI list is G.SKILL [RIPJAWSX] F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#45
Locla

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Ahh ok, thanx for that link, I will go with your suggested RAM choice (expensive! :P )

Ok, the final thing I need advice on choosing now is the hard drive(s).

In your opinion should I get a SSD? If so what size would you recommend? Is a PCIe interface noticeably faster than a normal sata3 interface for SSDs?

This is one I was looking at, say as a template:

OCZ Octane SATA III 2.5" SSD (256GB)
http://www.ocztechno...ii-2-5-ssd.html

They're still pretty expensive, I'm undecided if I even want a SSD or not.

As for the HDD I need advice on whether to get a standard 7,200 RPM or a faster 10,000 RPM model.
I guess the faster ones are noisier, but then I've read that the velociraptor models are pretty quiet. Here's one I was looking at, again just as a template:

Seagate Constellation ES 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.seagate.c...nstellation-es/
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