Time for an update is fast approaching...

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eire1274
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Well, hardware has its life, right?

My main rig is a few generations behind, and I was already considering the next upgrade path, but as the CPU cooler has degraded (at stock clock the CPU used to hit 38-39°C at full throttle, now it's 47-48°C at idle and close to 60°C at full), I've had to move away from overclocking. This wasn't a big deal, because while I lost a few hundred megahertz, with Vegas 10 Pro I gained an extra processor (the GPU) for vid compression, which was the real reason I was overclocking in the first place.

But the last couple days, it's been BSOD every few hours, on a system that was BSOD FREE!!! NTFS.SYS, DLLs, even unnamed STOP errors demanding BIOS updates. I have 2 2Gb GSkill DDR2 dimms, which were still being overvolted by .1V. Ridiculously little voltage. And they were overheating. I never bothered to change them down from the overclock settings, because it was so little (1.9V vs 1.8V stock). But after two years of solid service, they are unhappy!

It's time to think forward.

Current rig is an AMD X2 (Brisbane) 6000+, an MSI K9MM-V (rock solid VIA based mini-ATX), 4Gb (2x2Gb) GSkill 1066, and an HIS HD 4670 AGP. Yes, I'm still running AGP.

I'm looking currently at the Phenom II X6 1100T BE, though those change almost weekly (dear AMD, may I have X8 available when I'm ready to buy? I promise to use every core to it's fullest!), a Gigabyte full-sized board with a 990FX (or what ever chip comes out for the Bulldozer) (I'm going to say... MSI's newer boards, Asus, and others, just seem to be declining in quality recently. Gigabyte hasn't), 8Gb of something really snappy, and an HIS PCI-e card, most likely an HD 6950.

Working on all this new stuff has really made me realize how behind I am. And I was able to ignore it until this happened:

Nick McDermott

Tivon
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Probably is time to upgrade. Have you tried taking a stick of ram out to see if one has gone bad?

Don't test my skills, I was trained by myself! Check out my Gaming Videos!

eire1274
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I tested both of them on a standalone tester. Both passed. Since I dropped the voltage back to 1.8V, the system has been stable.

Just hot.

I took off the CPU cooler, removed the thermal pad (the stuff AMD gives you pre-applied on the stock heatsink), THOROUGHLY dusted it, and greased it up with Arctic Silver 5, and at load I'm back to 52°C. Not nearly as good as it had been, but far better than before. System temp hasn't changed, nor has the sensor on the GPU. It's stable now, but I need SOMEBODY TO PAY OFF THEIR CONTRACT FEES so I can fix my van, and then hopefully have enough left over to do some business with Newegg.

God, I hate being self employed.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Another BSOD last night, with the system idling. STOP error referring to MEMORY_MANAGEMENT.

I brought the voltage up again by .05V. Let's see if we get any improvement.

I hate picky old hardware.

Nick McDermott

Tivon
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During idle it should defrag the drive.. perhaps there is a problem with the HD? Did you check it for bad files or sectors?

dustyschaffner
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Back a long time ago when I had that identical motherboard, it gave me problems every now and then too. Eventually I found out that if my computer starts acting up (usually no matter what computer or what part) a thorough rebuild would fix the problem.
Eventually I found out that it was a loose SATA cable.
See if a complete teardown and rebuild will fix it, it does for me even on my newer rig.

eire1274
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The drives passed OK. The SATA cables also checked out as OK, and are tightly fitted.

I ran a stress test while we were down filming the flooding at the Missouri river, and came back to a healthy system. So, I don't know.

Well, lets just hope it lasts a while longer.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Okay, I just edited a 7 minute long video (around two hours of work), rendered it (35 minutes), and the system hasn't twitched a bit. Uploading to YouTube now. I think I'm back in business!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Down again this morning, and again this afternoon. This time, one DIMM was showing HUGE memory errors through MemTest+. I yanked them out and realized I had no idea what memory I was working with. These are OCZ DDR2 800 and are supposed to be at 1.9V.

Turns out the tester I was using couldn't read the clock on either DIMM and was just showing OK. Cheap crap.

Just contacted OCZ on an RMA.

What else can break on me! LOL!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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How long does OCZ's "stellar customer service" take to issue an RMA?

Good God, I'm impatient, I know, but my computer is SO SLOW with 2Gb of memory!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Well, I'm going to do something I haven't done in 15 years. I am going to build a brand new system, not upgrade. I will most likely wait for the AMD Bulldozer cores to be released, as 8 cores will help me out as I do a lot of AV editing, and the FX-8130P which will "turbo" up to 4.2Ghz (times 8! Holy crap!) will dominate in Vegas 10 Pro.

I got a look at the Cooler Master Cosmos S case. A local shop special ordered one for a customer and let me poke through it before they started messing with it. Amazing. HUGE!!! And TONS AND TONS of fans, which means it will be COOL.

So, my proposed build:

Cooler Master COSMOS S
Corsair HX750 modular PSU
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ mobo
AMD FX-8130P x8 CPU (or if not available when I'm ready to buy, then the Phenom II x6 1100T BE)
Corsair Hydro H100 Self-contained Liquid Cooling System
Corsair DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600
HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNX2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series (for the drive bay attachment for additional audio inputs)
2x HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 1.5TB 7200RPM SATA3
LG Black Super Multi SATA Blu-ray burner
LG Black SATA DVD Burner
6x Rosewill RFA-120-BL 120mm LED Lit (2 Blue for intake, 4 Red for exhaust)
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Sad thing is, I'm looking just shy of $2K. Even with the Phenom at $190 compared to the expected $320 for the Bulldozer. And I won't put this on credit. The only time I buy parts on credit is when a customer is paying me back. Interest is the enemy, and I only buy with cash on hand.

So I may not be buying until the next tax refund. Unless someone wants to randomly gift me a couple thousand dollars! LOL!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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OCZ "Acknowledged" the RMA request. No actual response yet.

Nick McDermott

Tivon
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There is no telling how long it will take. Maybe 2 ~ 4 weeks. I've had as little as one week with some places.

dustyschaffner
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Antec H20? Have you tried a Corsair H70 yet?

eire1274
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Just got a form letter from OCZ this morning. Asking me what I put into the original request (place of purchase, date, part and serial numbers, etc.), but I won't gripe. The fellow working the RMA claim was, of course, still needing my name and address (last question) so I resubmitted everything. Oh, PLEASE, I need my RAM back!

dustyschaffner wrote:Antec H20? Have you tried a Corsair H70 yet?

The H70 is actually the preferred product (made by CoolIt Systems), but no one seems to have it in stock at the moment. I have had many issues with Antec electronics in the past, but the H2O series is made Asetek, and they build good stuff. If the H70 (or a new product in the same capacity) is available when I have the money, yes, I'm leaving Antec in the dust.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Swap! Just got the specs on the H100. Beautiful. Theoretically, the x8 chip at turbo will not produce more heat than what the H100 can handle with the fans set on low. Nice! Cool and QUIET PC, that fits what I want.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Well, after rendering another video and getting that uploaded, I'm yanking the good DIMM out of my machine. FYI, rendering a 10 layer deep Vegas vid on 2Gb is SO SLOW!

Anyway, OCZ approved the RMA, so the memory kit goes off. Several days shipping, then the replacement, and shipping back, and I'm not going to be buying any more DDR2 just to keep the rig up while I wait for the good memory to get back to me. So my "test rig," P3 550Mhz with 192Mb running Linux, will be my internet machine. And I didn't build it for surfing, I just built it to image hard disks to the server. Funny, it can image a terabyte, no problem, nice and quick, but the web browsing is SO BLEEDING SLOW.

So, I may not be on every 7 minutes like I am now.

I HATE waiting for replacement parts. HATE, HATE, HATE!!!

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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New memory arrived! Thanks to OCZ, because the new RAM is actually better than the last.

Old was 1.9V, 2,6,6,7
New is 1.8V, 2,5,5,5

Not a huge speed difference, but a couple extra clock cycles and lower temps can't be sneezed at.

OCZ gets props for great customer service. No griping, no BSing about "maybe the USER broke the RAM." They just simply waited for the old, and air shipped the new to me. As this is the FIRST OCZ part I have had to replace (personally or for clients, and that in and of itself says something) they remain on my HQ list.

The BIG UPGRADE still is in the plans, as a couple of my bigger contracts are finally closing (and clients are writing checks!), but don't expect it until later in the year or early 2012. House, power, gas & water, these things need to take priority!

Nick McDermott