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Mid-range Gaming Rig (Resolved)


Best Answer Lokhe , 07 December 2015 - 01:54 AM

if you havnt seen them already take a look at replies #7 and 8  here and you will see why, you will note that I did mention bad MB settings as a possible cause in my reply #13   I di... Go to the full post »


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#1
Lokhe

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In the summer of 2012 I embarked on what felt like an epic adventure, building my first PC! I came naked and crying into this world at one point and I felt equally helpless as I was swimming in the vast ocean of hardware, looking for solid ground to plant my feet on. After a while I found an island of hope, which happens to be this forum. Its inhabitants were mighty helpful indeed and I was set on the right course. I settled on a build, got the parts and assembled my rig. It's been running like a dream since! :)

 

My trusty work horse was perhaps not the most powerful rig, even in its younger days, but it has served me well. It doesn't quite have the juice to keep up with the latest and greatest, though, thus time has come to adopt a sibling!

 

I've decided to go a little more long term this time, building for the future so to speak. One can't be prepared for everything of course but I used some components in my first build that prevents much meaningful upgrading in today's climate. I'd like to be as smart as possible with that this time around.

 

I tried to find some articles to narrow down my options a bit and create some sort of template as a starting point. I read through the following and think it sounds more or less like what I'm after: http://www.pcgamer.com/best-gaming-pc/

 

As a general rule I am decidedly more interested in running games well than running them at the absolute maximum graphics. 1440/1080p and 60fps is the target, anything above is a neat bonus. The article speculates that the rig in question would be good for about four years without upgrades (the article does presume that overclocking will be done). If anyone has a second opinion of this, that would be welcome :)

 

If you don't fancy going to a second tab to read an additional wall of text then here's the list of components:

 

CPU Intel Core i5-6600k $260 (£215) Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming $162 (£110) Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400 (8GB) $55 GPU MSI GTX 970 4G $335 (£270) PSU Corsair CX600M 600 watt 80 Plus Bronze $65 (£61) Primary storage Samsung 850 EVO 250GB $98 (£74) Secondary storage Western Digital Black 2TB WD2003FZEX $125 (£96) CPU cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $35 (£25) Disc drive Asus 24x DVD-RW $21 (£14) Cases NZXT S340 (see below for more) $70 (£57)     $1226

 

I'm pretty fond of Fractal Design cases and instead of the one listed above I was looking at this one. Thoughts? http://www.fractal-d...2-titanium-grey I build my first rig in their Arc case (the predecessor to this one http://www.fractal-d...ies/arc-midi-r2 )and I'm very pleased with it!

 

Primarily I have opted to instead go for an EVGA SuperNova G2 PSU after recommendations. Also switching the CPU cooler to a BQ Pure Rock since it's the same price but with much better reviews.

 

As always, thanks for any and all help, it is greatly appreciated!

 

-Lokhe


Edited by Lokhe, 01 December 2015 - 06:28 AM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hello again Lokhe, long time no hear  :)

 

That build with your two adjustments looks all good to me  :thumbsup:

 

My offerings here

 

What is the situation with the OS, do you still have the same availability or will you need to also purchase Windows for the build.


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#3
Lokhe

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What is the situation with the OS, do you still have the same availability or will you need to also purchase Windows for the build.

 

I had to laugh a bit at this because I checked my old thread from three years back and what is the first reply in it? You, asking me if I have an OS ready! As it turns out, I had completely forgotten about that this time :) I think I have an extra license for Win7 which I could bump up to 10, curious to try out the newest offering.

 

Looking over your list I noticed you went with a 750W PSU. I assume this is just an extra bit of future-proofing though (since you made no particular mention of it)? 

 

You also put twice the amount of RAM in there. Reading around a bit I get the impression that a rig like mine wouldn't really need more than 8GB. Having more can't be bad of course but it seems like an easy enough thing to get 2 more sticks of 4GB memory to add later if I find myself with the need at some point. This brings me to the real question; I read in another thread, although I'm not sure if I understood correctly, that adding more RAM later might not "work"? 

 

While I was sitting here I was also considering adding an extra fan to the case. Wondering if you might have some input on the best way to go about this :)

 

 

4x5BfGm.png

 

Case comes with three 140mm fans, located in the bottom, in front of the top HDD cage and in the back. Due to the large CPU cooler there is no room to install a fan on the side, thus I'm left with two options.

 

1) I put it on the top (if I do, I assume it's supposed to be an exhaust?) 

 

2) I put it in front of the bottom HDD cage.

 

Either way I have some questions regarding the HDD cages, how to prioritize really. The GPU is going to sit level with the top cage, so if I removed that cage I would have much better air flow on the card. That means putting the discs in the bottom cage which leaves them in a sort of "blind spot". Would this be a problem?

 

If I opt to remove the top cage to increase air flow towards the GPU, should I stick the extra fan in front of the discs in the lower cage, or chuck in in the top? :)

 

Cheers :)

 

 


Edited by Lokhe, 02 December 2015 - 04:55 AM.

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#4
phillpower2

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I had to laugh a bit at this because I checked my old thread from three years back and what is the first reply in it? You, asking me if I have an OS ready! As it turns out, I had completely forgotten about that this time :) I think I have an extra license for Win7 which I could bump up to 10, curious to try out the newest offering.

 

 

The very reason that I asked was in case you had forgotten to include one in your build and therefore not allowed for it in your budget.

 

Looking over your list I noticed you went with a 750W PSU. I assume this is just an extra bit of future-proofing though (since you made no particular mention of it)? 

 

 

You only made reference to an EVGA SuperNova G2 PSU in your OP and no mention of any particular wattage, I looked at the cost of each then as you surmised allowed for future upgrades.

 

You also put twice the amount of RAM in there. Reading around a bit I get the impression that a rig like mine wouldn't really need more than 8GB.

 

 

Got to hold my hands up here (again  :whistling: ) twas an oversight on my behalf as I only intended including 2 X 4GB sticks but mistakenly selected 2 X 8GB instead, having checked back though I would stick with the 2 X 8GB sticks as 2 X 4GB sticks is $71.99 while 2 X 8GB sticks is $116.99, this will help future proof your build but you are correct 8GB of Ram is all that you need at present.

 

This brings me to the real question; I read in another thread, although I'm not sure if I understood correctly, that adding more RAM later might not "work"? 

 

 

Not sure what you read so can only advise the following, as long as your other hardware and the OS will recognise it you can add more of the same spec of Ram at any time, the same brand and spec is always best so as to reduce the chance of incompatibility.

 

I would opt for two intake fans at the front.


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#5
Lokhe

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It's nice of you to look out for me! 

 

Ah, my bad. You try to be thorough but there's always something you forget...

 

Regarding the sticks of RAM. Where I live they're closer to $116 for the 2x4GB so I'll just stick with 8 for the time being. Money isn't a problem really but I'd fell better saving a little bit nonetheless ;)

 

I gave it long hard thought and it appears to have been worth is since I arrived at the same conclusion then! Just wanted a second opinion before I started fiddling with any fans!

 

Guess I have some shopping to do then :)

 

Cheers!


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#6
phillpower2

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It's nice of you to look out for me! 

 

 

No problem after all we are one big happy GTG family are we not  :)

 

2 X 4GB it is then, at least you are safe in the knowledge that you can add another 2 X 4GB sticks in the years ahead, if, games get that demanding so soon that is.

 

I had a bit of prior knowledge on the case fans lay out and only suggested how my own gaming rig is set up so cheated a bit when answering  :whistling:

 

Looks like you are all sorted now so yep time for you to get the best deals that you can  ;)


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#7
Lokhe

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Yup! Time to hunt :)

 

I'll get back to you with a verdict as soon as I have one. Hopefully it will be lots of :) :) :) :) :) and not so many :( 

 

Cheers!


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#8
phillpower2

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Please do and don't forget we are here if you have any questions along the way  :thumbsup:

 

I'm sure you will be fine, you have done your research and have previous build knowledge and so are well prepared.


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#9
Lokhe

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Alright! I managed to get all the parts I wanted (props to the well stocked retailer hehe).

 

Final Build:

 

Case: Fractal Define XL R2 - Titanium Grey

 

Mobo; ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600k 3,5GHz

Cooler: be quiet! Pure Rock 

RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400 (2x4GB)

GPU: Msi GeForce GTX 970 4GB

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 2,5" 250GB SSD / Seagate 3,5" 1TB 7200rpm HDD

DVD: ASUS something... it reads discs :P

 

The assembly:

 

Putting it all together went relatively painless. The XL R2 is a much more spacious case than the Arc and cable routing options are pretty good. Looks much better than the last build :) Removed the top HDD cage for improved airflow and stuck the 4th fan in the front. Had to, what seemed to me anyway, somewhat harshly relocate the fan cables because they interfered with the installation of a second fan in the front panel. They work nicely though, hooked them up to the front panel fan controller for easier routing.

 

The moment of truth:

 

It turned on! So far an improvement over last time (when I forgot to plug in the CPU power :whistling:) I triumphantly turn around to see my screen defiantly stating "no signal". Would've been too easy I though! Popped the side open to have a look, red lights everywhere! A quick read through the manual tells me those red lights are supposed to be there... most of them anyway :P

 

One little light called dram_led caught my attention. Must be something wrong with the RAM then probably. Tried both sticks in the recommended slot, still not working. Somewhat resigned I remember that I have another computer, I'll just borrow the RAM from that one. I know those work after all... It doesn't fit! Oh well, put the RAM back in. Hmm, it didn't quite sound like that last time, maybe I'll try it one more time. Turns out I had just failed to get the RAM in the slot properly  :bashhead:

 

Next up: boot_device_led. That's probably to do with the discs right? Yup, one of the power cables was loose. Reboot again, no debug LEDs! Wohoo!

 

Still not posting... and here I am :P All in all mostly :) :) :) and only a few :(

 

Next course of action:

 

Try each stick of RAM individually in every slot without the GPU in the board. According to some people with similar issues, putting one stick in the b2 slot (which is not the one recommended in the manual) worked to get into the BIOS and set the clock speed to match the RAM, from there on out things should be fine.

 

If that doesn't work out, I guess it's back to square one, putting one component in at a time.

 

Additional suggestions: Removing the mobo battery to reset the BIOS. Also, maybe try with a VGA cable instead of HDMI in case that would need drivers installed.

 

Everything runs though. Fans are spinning, including CPU cooler and GPU. LEDs on the mobo pulsate like they should. HDD is moving. It's just not posting...

 

Anything you got I'll take!

 

 

-Lokhe

 

 

P.S

 

If my theatrics are tiresome, that's OK. I'll try to stick to 20 words or less next time!

MuMnRFz.png


Edited by Lokhe, 04 December 2015 - 06:18 AM.

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#10
Lokhe

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UPDATE-1

Tested without GPU, posted.

Trying in PCI-E slot 2 next...

-

PCI-E slot 2 not working either.

-

Tried new GPU in old rig = no post
Tried old GPU in new rig = no post
Updated new mobo with latest BIOS = no post

-

UPDATE-2

 

Installed OS, installed mobo drivers from DVD. What do I do now? Can I be sure the graphics card is faulty? What confuses me is that my GTX 570 didn't work either. But then, the  GTX 970 didn't work in my old rig where the mobo is 100% functional.

 

I am in need of your advice now :)


Edited by Lokhe, 03 December 2015 - 05:03 PM.

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#11
phillpower2

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Can you confirm that you have cleared the CMOS by removing the battery and that when you did this the power was isolated from the wall socket and that you drained any residual charge in the MB by pressing the power on button on the case before replacing the CMOS battery and resetting the time and date.

 

Did you install the drivers  for the GTX 970 before physically fitting the card.

 

Different cards have different power connections, one example is 1x 8-pin + 1x 6-pin, are you connecting the two that your card requires.

 

Polite request;

 

We understand that computer issues can be stressful but please do not double post, if I am not around then I am not around to read and respond to one reply let alone two  ;)


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#12
Lokhe

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Polite request;

 

We understand that computer issues can be stressful but please do not double post, if I am not around then I am not around to read and respond to one reply let alone two  ;)

 

Oh, my apologies. I didn't do it to "bump" you, it was just to break up the info a bit and isolate the updates for easier reading. I'll refrain from it in the future, thanks for the reminder! :)

 

I have not yet tried clearing the CMOS. Guess I'll try that next.

 

Power is a 2 x 6-pin, According to the manual that's all. Fans on the card are spinning when I power on.

 

I have not installed any GPU drivers because it won't let me without a card fitted. If I fit the card it doesn't post, hence I can't reach Windows to install any drivers.

 

I'm particularly interested in why neither card works in the new rig and only the old card works in the old rig. Compatibility should not be an issue at least.


Edited by Lokhe, 04 December 2015 - 07:26 AM.

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#13
phillpower2

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Not a problem (as long as you dont do it again  :lol: )

 

CMOS battery and supplemental power connection information acknowledged.

 

Have you tried booting into Safe Mode with either card in the new MB.

 

I have not installed any GPU drivers because it won't let me without a card fitted. If I fit the card it doesn't post, hence I can't reach Windows to install any drivers.

 

 

My apologies, I inadvertently said installed instead of saved  :blush:

 

Best way to install the drivers if and when you get the card running is in Safe Mode, I always download and save to the desktop the latest drivers for any new device and then reboot into Safe Mode only and then install the drivers, less chance of any conflicts that way.

 

I'm particularly interested in why neither card works in the new rig and only the old card works in the old rig. Compatibility should not be an issue at least.

 

 

The odds would normally suggest that the GTX 970 was DOA due to not working in either board while the GTX 570 at least works in the original MB or alternatively the cause is bad PCI-E slots or settings on the new MB and your old MB is not compatible with the GTX 970, we must keep in mind though that the GTX 570 is PCI-E 2 as opposed to PCI-E 3 so there is an outside chance that is the reason why it will not work in the new board.

 

Will wait on an update from you for now before suggesting anything further.


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#14
Lokhe

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Alright, I solved it. It was the simplest bloody thing in the world. All I had to do was go into BIOS, change the default display from [auto] to [PCI-E] and plug the HDMI into the graphics card. Guess I should've tried that first huh? I did not think that was gonna do it though, but I'm not complaining!

 

Thank you once again for your patience and time. It's very comforting to know there are friendly, knowledgeable people out there willing to back you up if you run into trouble :)

 

I'll post a celebratory picture of the rig in all its glory later!

 

Cheers!


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#15
phillpower2

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Good job on your behalf and believe it or not what you have done yourself was something similar to what I would have suggested next, if you havnt seen them already take a look at replies #7 and 8  here and you will see why, you will note that I did mention bad MB settings as a possible cause in my reply #13  ;)

 

You are most welcome :)  I am happy that you are now up and running, well done and please do upload a pic or two for us  :thumbsup:


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