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Yet another (re)build thread - OPINIONS / SUGGESTIONS?? - Page 4

post #91 of 145
I use FancyCache.
post #92 of 145
Daver - Don't turn off system caching. Also, you only have 16GB of ram, the ideal amount for Windows at the moment. Don't bother with any software caching solutions. You'd just end up making one thing a bit faster at the expense of making a bunch of other stuff a bit slower.

In our consumer systems, FancyCache doesn't really do anything that Windows' caching doesn't already do without you having to think about it. The interesting part is right here:

"FancyCache can utilize SSD (Solid-state Drive) as a cache medium, as ReadyBoost does."

If it works properly, then that can give us a nice hybrid SSD/HDD where the most commonly used files are on the SSD, but Windows still sees it as a large HDD. A second 128GB SSD paired up with a 2TB HDD could be a very nice solution to our storage problems. That is again if it works properly. A storage-level interception driver is a pretty deeply embedded thing to trust as a beta with your data.
post #93 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

If it works properly, then that can give us a nice hybrid SSD/HDD where the most commonly used files are on the SSD, but Windows still sees it as a large HDD. A second 128GB SSD paired up with a 2TB HDD could be a very nice solution to our storage problems. That is again if it works properly. A storage-level interception driver is a pretty deeply embedded thing to trust as a beta with your data.

That would be very cool. I have an empty mSATA slot on my motherboard - I would love to pop a 128 SSD card in that and create a hybrid with the 2TB game storage hard drive. cool.gif
post #94 of 145
" I have an empty mSATA slot on my motherboard "

Is that because your board already natively supports exactly what you want to do through firmware? wink.gif The Z77s let you marry an SSD to an HDD for a caching system in the BIOS, last I checked. I'd trust Intel to do this reliably more than I trust FancyCache. That single feature is the one thing that almost got me to go Intel on this last upgrade.
post #95 of 145
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching-review/2

Intel Smart Response SSD caching.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching-review/4

Page 4 is interesting. Almost SSD level performance, but not quite. Significantly faster than an HDD alone though.
post #96 of 145
Thread Starter 
Very interesting, thanks for the info DLJ! I cracked open my motherboard manual to see how this is set up, and it seems simple enough - RAID mode in BIOS, plus loading the Intel Smart Response config software under Windows.

Although I'm not entirely clear if I can run a HDD+64gig SSD in RAID mode for Smart Response in addition to the SSD w/ my Windows 8 OS? confused.gif

Has anyone here tried this? I'm thinking about giving it a shot.
post #97 of 145
You should be able to specify which SSD you want as the cache drive once you have the Smart Response software loaded.

http://www.asrock.com/support/note/z68srtguide.pdf

The last page in this PDF shows selecting the SSD and the target HDD. I'm wondering if you could just shrink your current SSD's OS partition, then create a new 32GB partition for HDD caching?

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/resize-a-partition-for-free-in-windows-vista/

This page shows you how to shrink partitions. It's the same process in Win7/8, and I know from first hand experience that it works fine. I shrunk my 128GB SSD partition to 100GB to force free space at all times so I never hit that wall of being too full that TRIM can't properly do it's job any longer without massive speed penalties. Then you can take the empty space and create a new partition. If you have a 256GB drive, I'd throw 64GB at caching as a test. If you have a 128GB drive, then just grab a new 64GB M4 mSATA drive to dedicate to this.
post #98 of 145
Thread Starter 
Thanks DLJ. I messed with this, but for some reason I'm only able to shrink my 256gig SSD by around 14gigs smaller, even though it has well over 100gigs free. I was experimenting with trying Intel Fast Boot, and it was recommending shrinking the boot SSD drive by the amount of RAM possible, so I was targeting 16gigs on my system but couldn't get my SSD to shrink that far. I think I have to disable hibernate mode, but at that point I realized this tech is probably better served on a laptop - my PC boots up almost as fast as the LCD-TV it's connected to. tongue.gif

Anyway, I notice the 64gig mSATA drives seem in low supply right now, so I might wait a month or two to see if the impulse to try Smart Response hits me again. Thanks for your help!
post #99 of 145
Thread Starter 
I'm playing Borderlands 2, and performance in some areas is not as good as I had expected. I was reading that the PhysX can be offloaded from the system's video card to the CPU or another video card to improve GPU performance.

So I'm thinking about adding my old 8800 GTX back in the rig, only for PhysX, to remove the load from the GTX 670.

But the concern is:
  • a 8800 is a lot of power just as a PhysX card.
  • extra noise of the 8800
  • might cut down on air flow

So I'm wondering if the advantage of removing the PhysX load from the 670 is even worth the downside? Anyone doing something like this, or have any info and/or comments?
post #100 of 145
I'd not put that 8800 in your rig. The disadvantages out weigh the advantages. especially for a psychics card that won't be fully utilized.
post #101 of 145
Toss it in, give it a try. If it works how you like, then order up a quiet GTX 650 to replace the old 8800 with for like $100.
post #102 of 145
I tried it a while back and it worked ok. If you mix it with Lucid you're asking for trouble though.
post #103 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

I'm playing Borderlands 2, and performance in some areas is not as good as I had expected. I was reading that the PhysX can be offloaded from the system's video card to the CPU or another video card to improve GPU performance.

So I'm thinking about adding my old 8800 GTX back in the rig, only for PhysX, to remove the load from the GTX 670.

But the concern is:
  • a 8800 is a lot of power just as a PhysX card.
  • extra noise of the 8800
  • might cut down on air flow

So I'm wondering if the advantage of removing the PhysX load from the 670 is even worth the downside? Anyone doing something like this, or have any info and/or comments?
I don't think PhysX is your issue. I turned up all Borderlands 2 in-game settings to max, including PhysX, and rarely saw it drop below 60fps. I did not adjust the game in the Nvidia control panel. I'm running a 2500K and a 670, so your setup should have no problems with the PhysX.
post #104 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwatkins View Post

I don't think PhysX is your issue. I turned up all Borderlands 2 in-game settings to max, including PhysX, and rarely saw it drop below 60fps. I did not adjust the game in the Nvidia control panel. I'm running a 2500K and a 670, so your setup should have no problems with the PhysX.

Hmmm... thanks for letting me know.

But now I'm wondering the source of this issue. BL2 runs at 60fps most of the time, but there's some areas where the frames will bog down in the 40s and occasionally in the 30s. I'll mess with it some more to see if I can figure it out. Maybe it's textures loading? I'll try moving the game to the SSD to see if that helps.

EDIT: moving over to the SSD didn't really help. It seems to be bogging down in a complex environment when there's a lot of explosions and particles. That's why I was thinking PhysX. Must be something else. confused.gif
Edited by DaverJ - 2/24/13 at 4:58pm
post #105 of 145
That's weird. I never saw the game drop below 50. I don't really have any ideas.

I will say that I got stuttering with Nvidia CP vsync turned on, but the in-game vsync worked perfectly. Thought that was strange, because I thought the hardware vsync was supposed to be better. Not sure how your vsync is set up.

EDIT: I have my copy installed on the HDD.
EDIT #2: I think I read somewhere that Borderlands 2 was one game that had some performance issues with Windows 8. I played on 7 and I'm pretty sure you have 8. Check into that, maybe.
post #106 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwatkins View Post

I will say that I got stuttering with Nvidia CP vsync turned on, but the in-game vsync worked perfectly. Thought that was strange, because I thought the hardware vsync was supposed to be better. Not sure how your vsync is set up.

Thanks for this, it might have put me on the right track.

I messed with the in-game v-sync and frame-cap settings, and my solution seems to be a choice between hardware v-sync (off, on, or adaptive), the game's v-sync (which wasn't working well for me), and the frame-rate capping.

I need to experiment more, but I think my solution might be hardware v-sync on adaptive, and in-game framecaping on "smoothing 22-62fps".
Edited by DaverJ - 2/25/13 at 7:08am
post #107 of 145
I've been reading a bit about Windows Blue. I'm curious to see how it plays out. It would be nice if they tweaked the Metro apps for 720p, but knowing MS I'll keep my enthusiasm in check.
post #108 of 145
Thread Starter 
I'm coming close to the 6 month mark of this gaming build, and still enjoying the heck out of it. If you would have told me that after doing this project I would have no desire to even power on the Xbox 360 or PS3, I wouldn't have believed it, but it's true. I think this build is a true next-gen gaming console, and I have been thrilled with the results.

The only hitch lately I've discovered: I was playing the Grim Dawn alpha, and noticed my CPU fan was kicking into overdrive (game must be highly CPU bound?). So I installed Real Temp GT 3.70 to monitor my CPU temps, and my idle temps are now running in the 50s Celsius. This seems high for idle, right? I'm not overclocking and using stock cooling.

Now I'm thinking about replacing the stock cooling with the aftermarket cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO I was originally considering. But before I make that leap, for now I'm going to pull the stock cooler off the CPU, clean off the contacts points of the CPU cap and the heat sink with ArtiClean, and try Arctic Silver 5 with the stock cooler. I would like to drop those idle temps into the 40s, and preferably in the 30s - but I don't know if the stock cooling can do that.

If that doesn't work, I guess I go with 212 EVO, unless anyone has any suggestions? confused.gif

btw, my GPU temps are comfortably in the mid 30s.
post #109 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

I'm coming close to the 6 month mark of this gaming build, and still enjoying the heck out of it. If you would have told me that after doing this project I would have no desire to even power on the Xbox 360 or PS3, I wouldn't have believed it, but it's true. I think this build is a true next-gen gaming console, and I have been thrilled with the results.

The only hitch lately I've discovered: I was playing the Grim Dawn alpha, and noticed my CPU fan was kicking into overdrive (game must be highly CPU bound?). So I installed Real Temp GT 3.70 to monitor my CPU temps, and my idle temps are now running in the 50s Celsius. This seems high for idle, right? I'm not overclocking and using stock cooling.

Now I'm thinking about replacing the stock cooling with the aftermarket cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO I was originally considering. But before I make that leap, for now I'm going to pull the stock cooler off the CPU, clean off the contacts points of the CPU cap and the heat sink with ArtiClean, and try Arctic Silver 5 with the stock cooler. I would like to drop those idle temps into the 40s, and preferably in the 30s - but I don't know if the stock cooling can do that.

If that doesn't work, I guess I go with 212 EVO, unless anyone has any suggestions? confused.gif

btw, my GPU temps are comfortably in the mid 30s.

Yeah, thats pretty high for idle...both my CPU and GPU sit at 30C on stock cooling with a pretty weak fan curve. Its far from danger zone though. Did you somehow disable speedstep, or maybe the fan is blocked or coming loose?
post #110 of 145
I have a 212 EVO and I'm idling at 35-40C at this moment, but the ambient temp in the room is higher than normal right now at about 80F. Normally, I idle in the low 30's with ambient temps between 68-74F.

I'm kind of surprised you don't have an aftermarket cooler already, so If I were you, I would just go ahead and get one. It will run cooler and quieter than the stock one and you will be all set to OC if you get the itch.
post #111 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Yeah, thats pretty high for idle...both my CPU and GPU sit at 30C on stock cooling with a pretty weak fan curve. Its far from danger zone though. Did you somehow disable speedstep, or maybe the fan is blocked or coming loose?

I opened the case and pushed on the fan while the computer was off... still seems solid. The fan is running as normal, and increases in speed as the temps go up. But I'll double check EIST in my BIOS, just in case.

I remember getting temps in the 30s when I first set this up. My first thought is the thermal glue from the stock heatsink has worn, or the heatsink isn't seated well for reason, as you mentioned. If anything, applying the Artic Silver will at least reseat the heatsink.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwatkins View Post

I'm kind of surprised you don't have an aftermarket cooler already, so If I were you, I would just go ahead and get one. It will run cooler and quieter than the stock one and you will be all set to OC if you get the itch.

Yeah, I'm not an overclocker - more of a "set it and forget it" guy. But I might go the aftermarket route - just want to avoid pulling everything out and dealing with a big heatsink + fan if I can avoid it. But if it's worth it, I'll do it.
post #112 of 145
Another recommendation for the Hyper Evo 212. I have my i7 3770k overclocked at 4.2 ghz and am sitting at 34 C idle temp. It works great and is relatively easy to install.
post #113 of 145
I don't know how practical it is, but I love the looks of this cooler.

http://www.pcwhipped.com/news/scythe-grand-kama-cross-cpu-cooler-enters-rev-b.html

It just screams Hemi Power!
post #114 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

.... Did you somehow disable speedstep

Well this is interesting - I went into BIOS, and saw that EIST options are automatic/enable/disable. It was set to automatic, which I assume means the OS controls Speedstep? confused.gif

As an experiment, I changed this to enable, and now I'm back to idling in the upper 30s!

Nice call bd!!!! You win the awesome person of the day award. biggrin.gif I don't know how or why, but I don't think Speedstep was active in Win8 for some reason, even though it was set to auto via the BIOS and Win8's Power Options are set to "Balanced". But one BIOS change later, and I'm back to a much happier/cooler idle CPU temp. cool.gif
Edited by DaverJ - 5/19/13 at 11:07am
post #115 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Well this is interesting - I went into BIOS, and saw that EIST options are automatic/enable/disable. It was set to automatic, which I assume means the OS controls Speedstep? confused.gif

As an experiment, I changed this to enable, and now I'm back to idling in the upper 30s!

Nice call bd!!!! You win the awesome person of the day award. biggrin.gif I don't know how or why, but I don't think Speedstep was active in Win8 for some reason, even though it was set to auto via the BIOS and Win8's Power Options are set to "Balanced". But one BIOS change later, and I'm back to a much happier/cooler idle CPU temp. cool.gif

There you go. smile.gif

I think the settings that control how it acts within windows are buried in the advanced power settings. You can control the minimum and maximum processor speed. By default it should go from min to max on its own, somehow it might have been changed? Who knows, its fixed now at least. tongue.gif
post #116 of 145
Thread Starter 
So, I decided to try to install a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. As I was removing one of my video cards, I accidentally didn't have one of the PCI-E support clips unlatched, so I pulled the plastic connector off one of them! mad.gif A couple of the tiny prongs bent, and there's no way to thread all those zillions of tiny wires back into the connector, so that slot on the mobo is ruined, which means no SLI.

I figured I have to order a new motherboard now if I want to go back to SLI, so I didn't even bother installing the 212.

Not a good night. frown.gif
post #117 of 145
I can't imagine the hulk levels of force required to make that happen. You either have a crappy made motherboard or you learned your lesson in how not to be the hulk.


I'm sure you could re-thread it. Will take some tiny pliers or tweezers, and lots of patience. I've had to bend all types of pins back in place before.
post #118 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrd View Post

I can't imagine the hulk levels of force required to make that happen. You either have a crappy made motherboard or you learned your lesson in how not to be the hulk.


I'm sure you could re-thread it. Will take some tiny pliers or tweezers, and lots of patience. I've had to bend all types of pins back in place before.

Yeah, that's the thing - all I did was loosen the videocard's screws and start to lift the back of the card - forgetting the back clip on the PCI-E connector. It just lifted off - no Hulking required. Once I saw it was lifting, I tried to put it back on before it came all the way off, which made it worse because it bent some of the tiny pins on the back, and eventually a couple in the front.

I could rethread them all, but fitting 82 tiny pins in 82 tiny holes, with some of the them needing to be rebent to fit, plus the fact that there's two rows so close to each other. I can see it's possible, but way beyond my skill and patience. At my age, I just said "&^%$ it" and ordered a new mobo.

Here's a pic of the disaster. tongue.gif

post #119 of 145
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: One motherboard later, and I'm back in business - SLIed 670s and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. cool.gif

The install was pretty smooth, thanks to YouTube videos showing the process. I used ArtiClean1 and 2 to clean off the CPU top, and ArticSilver5 for paste, and the backplate and mount were no problem.

The only minor hitches was the first bootup with the new motherboard, where it hangs for a couple seconds, shuts down and restarts. eek.gif I think I motherboards do that the first time they post? Also, I had to re-activate Windows, which was a somewhat lengthy but smooth and easy automated phone process. Lastly, I was getting some red flashing/flickering in games using SLI - a quick Google search revealed the issue to be the SLI cable not seated properly, which was true.

Noise level at idle isn't much different then the stock, but I can tell it's going to be much quieter when it heats up because the stock fan made a loud "whir" sound when first powering on, but I don't think I've heard the EVO spin loudly yet.

As for the temps - not ground-breaking, but a nice improvement. Before I was lucky to be idling in the very high 30s, usually in the low 40s. Now I'm at the mid to uppers 30s idle. But the good news is when I push it in intensive games temps haven't gone above low to mid 50s, which is quite an improvement. I used to be seeing 70s with stock cooling, so I'm pretty happy with it. Now after it settles in I might try to OC that "K" CPU. biggrin.gif

So, bummer I had to buy a new motherboard, but I learned a lesson and feel the system is better off now than it was before, so it's all good.

Here's a pic of the install in progress:


Edited by DaverJ - 6/1/13 at 1:00pm
post #120 of 145
Thread Starter 
So... Overclocking.

I'm still not sure I want to enter this realm, but wanted to give it a try anyway. I could use some advice please.

My CPU is an Intel i5 3570k Ivy Bridge. I OCed it using Gigabyte's bundled software EasyTune6, and testing using Real Temp GT 3.70 with Prime 95 for maximum CPU load.

Here's what I got at the default 3.40 GHz speed:



I like those results - the TJMax never falls under 41 degrees, so it stays nice and cool even when pushing the CPU to the max.

===

Then I set ET6's "Quick Boost" to level 1, which is 4.08 GHz, and here's the results:



It still runs stable and didn't have any problems, but TJMax around 20 degrees at full load looks pretty hot to me. eek.gif

So my question to overclockers - is going from 3.4 GHz to 4.1 GHz worth running that much hotter? Will I see any real-world gaming improvements? If this was your gaming rig, would you keep it nice and cool at stock, or push it hot to get some extra performance?

Thanks in advance for any comments or insights.
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