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Minsc

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Everything posted by Minsc

  1. Damn I was crapping myself. Lightning was right overhead, the delay between the lightning and thunder was less than a second. Power goes out, and I get three diagnostic lights on the mobo! Turn off, wait 30 seconds, try again, same thing. I'm freaking out. I let it rest for a few minutes while I download the DFI manual on another computer, and give it another try, and it starts right up. Close one! I'm pushing 1.7V on my clawhammer, and got a voltmodded 7900GT, I figured that the something like this would easily push it over the edge and blow a gasket somewhere. I'm so lucky.
  2. BAH! Been stable for more than a year. It's fine.
  3. I've got four Hitachi 7K80 drives in a RAID stripe... does anyone know a way to monitor these with a S.M.A.R.T. tool? All the tools I've tried only show my extra regular IDE disk. I also can't seem to Ghost it no matter what I try with Ghost 8.0. I tried the -FFI and -FFX switches in various combinations and nothing can recognize it. I did Ghost it once a while back but don't remember which version or switches I used. It might have worked when I had only 2 drives, perhaps adding the extra 2 made it more difficult, but I doubt it. Perhaps another tool like Acronis TrueImage would work? Anyone had luck with this?
  4. My system loves to be overclocked so much, it crashes when I go back to stock! Anyone seen this? I live in SoCal and our energy prices just jumped due to the Summer rates. My bill has just jumped from $150/mo to $250/mo, without any increase in power consumption. I bought the Kill-a-Watt device from ThinkGeek to measure and cut my power usage. I've read many places that overclocking severely increases the power drain. I've been wanting to go back to stock settings, as my system is "fast enough" now that I have a 7900GT, and mostly I just play submarine sims, browse the net, and watch DVDs. I'd rather consume less power. In fact, I'm going through an underclocking phase - how low can I get my power consumption while still maintaining acceptable performance levels for my games? Anyway, I'm at work right now so I can't give details on the stock settings crashing. The one thing that really seems to trigger it is changing the voltage of the CPU back to Auto. Has anyone ran into this? The only time I had it stable with Auto voltage was when I had the multiplier wrong and the CPU was at an extremely low 2 or 2.1 GHz (the 4000+ stock is 2.4 GHz I think.)
  5. Don't they need to be auto for the cool 'n quiet to work, in order to allow it to dynamically throttle the voltage? This is a feature I want to use.
  6. Well I'm pretty good at keeping Windows clean (borderline obsessive about that), and in my overclocked state, it's been stable and remains stable, even through hours-long gaming sessions, DVD viewing, OCCT, Prime95, etc etc. Switching to the stock settings is directly causing the crashes, within a half hour to an hour of bootup, at random times doing random things, repeats over and over until I load back up from the saved overclocked config. Definitely not a Windows thing. Hopefully I'll figure this out in the next few days and I'll come back with info that will be helpful to others. I'm dead set on getting this thing to "take" stock settings. Again I think if I ease it in, it might take.
  7. Try leaving it off for 24 hours. Seriously. During my overclocking adventures I recall similar situations that would magically go away if I just went to sleep and came at it tomorrow.
  8. that's my feeling too. The stock settings will frequently boot windows, and be stable all day (idle), but if I try to do anything (watch a DVD, play games), it bluescreens with IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. I think maybe I need to "train" it to take less voltage. Maybe if I let it sit long enough idle in Windows, with the occasional short-term load, it'll get used to it's new low-power state. Then I could try the more exotic stuff like enabling Cool 'n Quiet for the nifty MHz throttling and whatnot. That really seemed to aggravate it further. I can't help personify my CPU at this point. It's like a rabid dog that eats only live kittens, and one day you try to cut off two of its legs and switch it to Alpo, and it craps on your furniture and bites your toes off while you sleep, then randomly passes out for no reason. I also worry since I run a 4x Hitachi RAID setup, and there's some disturbing spinups/clicks during the RAID initialization that only happens when I get an unstable crash reboot. The RAID takes a long time to init, with each drive spinning up slowly one after another, very audible. So I'm trying to figure this out and keep the crashes to a minimum.
  9. Minsc

    How is this for a fan grate?

    Cut off all your grills and even any built-in grill on your case. You should be able to put your fist through the hole, and then mount your fan with no grill attached to it either. If you don't have bare fins spinning with zero obstruction, you're not optimized. It's quieter too. Turbulence caused by the air moving through the grill goes away, and it's slightly noticable. Yes it will hit your fingers but come on, their plastic, you could jam your pinky right in there - it's not going to slice it off. This might sound like a joke but it's not. Note that if you do this on the intake, you will get a LOT more dust in your system and have to blow it out more often. This is key since dust accumulating on the heatsink and other parts will heat it more more than cutting off the grills helped in the first place. I recently replaced my VGA card and hadn't blown anything out in a while. The fan was so caked in dirt that air couldn't have possibly went anywhere.
  10. I did this on my goofy Corsair memory and it worked. With further exploration it showed it wasn't all the Autos the mattered as much as using known-good settings for those, and then using 2T and no Bank Interleave, which my memory doesn't hate. I just replaced it with G.Skill DDR500 memory which writes at 1 GB/s faster because it supports 1T and Bank Interleave even when clocked at 250 FSB. 1-stick at a time is always a good method for testing. If they both pass, put them both in yellow slots to disable Dual Channel and test that. If that passes and it only crashes in Dual Channel, well that's something. I don't think you're ready to RMA that memory yet, you're just giving up. I was told after I bought my Corsair that it's really bad, won't work, etc with my board, but I made it work. Wasn't as good as other memory but memory speed increases don't affect benchmarks and games that much anyway. This supposedly unworkable memory stayed in my system running 24/7 overclocked at 250 MHz (as high as 275 stable at times) for over a year.
  11. Minsc

    moving a raid 0 array

    I have a 4x RAID-0 array of 80 GB drives, about 320 GB. But I'm not using all of it, and when I want to back it up or Ghost it to another drive, there's a lot of stuff I can burn to DVD and get it down to a reasonable 100 GB or so. I could Ghost all of that to a 60 or 80 GB drive with heavy compression (I happen to have an extra 200 GB for this - who doesn't?). So that's one way to rebuild your array, even if it seems obvious. Ghost it, nuke it, rebuild it to the SI controller, and ghost back. Ghost doesn't care about the underlying drive structure, it just sees a big NTFS partition.
  12. I was here quite some time ago, fighting a set of Corsair XMS-3200s trying to get decent timings. Later I overclocked, at one point reaching 290MHz FSB but ultimately settling on a more stable 250MHz - not too shabby for chips that the mobo seems to hate. I never did get Bank Interleave or 1T to be stable, which was always annoying. Of course, I never would have accomplished anything if it weren't for the fine folks on this forum. Some advice - be polite, be thorough in providing information. Don't think you know what the cause is, just include every bit of information you can - relevant or not - and let the pros sort it out. Today I spent over $500 at Newegg for an upgrade. You can see the new parts in my sig. I'll let everyone know how it goes. My inability to get over 40-50 FPS with typical settings in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter prompted the upgrade (that and some unspent tax return money.) As good an excuse as any. It's really wild that with all this hardware, which is considered godly to the average PC owner, performs so badly. The minimum system requirements for that game are 128 MB of RAM and a 450 MHz Pentium 2. Ridiculous. A game website should actually build some of these so-called 'minimum' PCs that so many games claim are adequate and report on how fun the game is. I guess the game companies consider 1 FPS playable. There's a really interesting article at TomsHardware.com that attempts to settle the age old question of whether tight timings or loose timings/overclocking gets better performance. While interesting academically, it's clear that getting memory chips that overclock well are more important than those reported to work with tight timings effectively, since this allows you to max out your FSB and CPU, which provide more overall performance gains than any memory bandwidth related tweaks. Here's the article. I really wanted the XFX 7900 'XXX' card but they're hard to find. The 7900 GTs seem very overclockable anyway so I'll just try that. On that topic, an interesting OC story - I used the CoolBits and the Automatic Overclocking function on my 6800 Ultra and it seems to have blown a gasket. It now produces noticable artifacts in virtually all games even at the DEFAULT clock and memory bandwidth settings! This was pretty surprising - I've always thought overclocking hardware damage would be either total or nothing - not this 'semi-unstable' state I am now in. The stable settings I have to use now are 415 MHz (instead of 425) for the GPU, and 1.00 GHz (instead of 1.10 GHz) for the RAM. So, I'm a little scared to OC the new $300 7900 GT but I think a good strategy is to try the Automatic Overclocking, and then reduce it's suggestion by about 15% (that is, if I overclock it at all. It might be fast enough to keep me happy at stock settings.) A while back I did the 4x RAID-0 mod which was interesting. I benchmarked it a little, you can navigate my sea of data over here if you really want to see the results. It's noticably louder and I get really nervous hearing 4 drives spin up and click into place every time I boot - which sounds especially rickety after a crash. The additional noise and paranoia about increased possibility of drive failures (especially with my shoddy backup regimen) is almost not worth it. But it was fun. And it is ridiculously fast. It actually seems a little slower than the 2-drive array when accessing many small files. An easy way to see this is to simply open a folder full of shortcuts in list mode and watch it draw the icons, which is always painfully slow. My never-ending, money-is-no-object quest for performance continues...
  13. Minsc

    hard drives & raid - benchmark and compare!

    I just finished adding 2 more Hitachi 7K80's SATA 300 GB/s to my setup. Added the data to my .. ahem... "database" (shameful to call it that, I should really at least convert it to Excel). But there's a lot of solid data there for researchers. http://knepfler.com/hd I'd love some info on why my speed line is all over the place, not smooth like others (I'm guessing non-empty disk, and possibly not getting ideal 300 GB/s mode due to crappy SATA cables. If I move one of them it loses the drive, has to be taped down just right.)
  14. bump? Was hoping for some info on my questions..
  15. I'm using the LP NF4 Ultra-D with NV Raid-0 with 2 hitachi drives. How do I ghost it? I'm adding two more drives to the array. I tried Ghost 8.0 and Ghost 2003 from boot CDs, no go. My girlfriend wants me to add "one of those smileys at the end" so :nod:
  16. Ahh, I'll try that next time. I didn't know if I needed the others, but it worked and I wanted to be done so I let it be. How much data can you back up in 2 minutes? I did 80 GB in 40 minutes (though I strongly suspect the last 20 went by in 10 ... but I can't prove it.) Perhaps the -FFX and -FNX were slowing me down (those switches disable direct disk access.) Also, here's my drive performance with 4x Hitachis - why aren't I getting a flatline? I don't have a clue there. Maybe because the drive is being tested while full?
  17. Y'all didn't listen. Ghost 2003 worked fine restoring an image to my 4-disk Stripe array. Used a boot CD and ran ghost with: ghost.exe -FFX -FNI -FNS It restored 80 GB of data in less than 40 minutes (reading from an older, slower 200 GB drive. Still that's fast - 2000 MB per minute restore speed.) Another useful thing I discovered: The Hitachi Feature Tool, required to enable 3 GB/sec SATA mode, works only with a boot floppy. By using VFD (a floppy emulator), making the virtual floppy with that, then using winimage to make an image of the floppy, then burning that onto a bootable DVD with Nero, I was able to run it from the bootable DVD without any floppy drive installed. Definitely a great trick for those situations where you (supposedly) HAVE to boot from a floppy. VFD: http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd.html WinImage: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_desc...id,22460,00.asp Nero: Get it yourself
  18. It worked. For others, the Ghost 2003 command line parameters that worked with this raid-0 setup are -FFX -FNI -FNS Hope that helps the searchers.. ..and I hope 4 drives is worth it!
  19. Thanks, I'll try that. I also found a thread about something called "Image for DOS" which uses the BIOS to read the drives so that looks promising. Of course, if I could just find a damn boot CD ISO image that I could insert this stuff into and burn, I'd be set... trying "Ultimate Boot CD" from sourceforge, any other suggestions in case that's a bust?
  20. I can't get surround sound working in games. Not even sure if its supposed to. I've read all the threads. Everything works SO perfectly on my system except for this. My sound system is the venerable Logitech Z-5500. I've tried the Coax output and the Direct outputs. I've used the registry hacks to enable the extra tabs in NVMixer and tried many settings. I've enabled the center channel via the registry and via that odd little SoundStorm utility exe. I have the Karajan module installed and the appropriate jumpers set to 2-3 for the NVidia mode. With just the Coax output, running the speaker config wizard in NVMixer locates nothing on Analog of course, but emits sound via Digital. It doesn't even try after that to test the additional speakers, and sets itself to 2-speaker. With just the direct outputs (center/front/rear), the NVMixer speaker tests detect Analog and proceed to test the remaining speakers. No sound emits from anything but the front right and left. I get surround via PowerDVD (though a bit different - I tell PowerDVD I have 4 speakers and it works, since the next option is 6 speakers which I don't have.) Haven't tried WinAmp in this mode but its already crippled at this point. In Coax mode, I can play DVDs with full surround (DTS or Dolby) since PowerDVD uses the S/PDIF. wmplayer is a little finicky on this but I don't care, I never use it except for crappy net videos. Music plays through WinAmp in full surround as well, due to its S/PDIF support. Of course, 2-speaker mode doesn't give me any surround in games. If I try to enable surround (such as in Doom3) it says my speakers are set up wrong, and refuses to stick. If I go to NVMixer and force enable 5.1, Doom3 will allow surround mode, but the rear-speaker content simply plays out the front speakers. I find it hard to believe that this top of the line, enthusiast gamer board supports EAX on the sound card, and has tons of outputs, but doesn't have basic surround support for games like my old SurroundStorm boards. If I could just be given a solid answer that this is the case for this sound card, I'll go buy an Audigy. It just seems odd to put EAX support, a Coax S/PDIF, and center/front/rear outputs on a board and then not support surround except via S/PDIF passthru mode. Hearing people come up behind me in CS and other games is awesome and I can't live without it. Then again I don't think I could switch boards... I love this one too much... but I don't want to spend $200 on an Audigy unless I have to.
  21. I have the same memory and it's highly unstable for me at 2-2-2-5 1T. Maybe there's some sort of error correction thing going on where it's retrying or something, who knows. All that matters is that you should use the best settings that work for you. I found that something really loose like 3-6-5-11 2T is excellent for overclocking. My FSB is 293mhz and memory bandwidth is absolutely through the roof at over 2GB/s in Everest. Trust me, don't fritter your life away trying to get 2-2-2-5 1T working on these chips.
  22. Someone somewhere said the DFI NF4 boards don't fit in the CM Stacker, but if you're an enterprising young lad (with a dremel) I'm sure you can make do. I have the ThermalTake Armor myself and absolutely love it. I got the black one which is twice the weight of the aluminum one, but personally I love that the rig weighs 100 lbs. Less likely to be stolen. The little wings in front are neat but sometimes vibrate and cause noise with the DVD drive in use, but otherwise are cool. The 5.25" bay covers are plastic, but the CM Stackers are metal which is a plus for you. Not that it matters much but hey. I also like the side mounting PSU which gives bonus airflow to the hard drives which are right next to it. The front mounting fan setup kind of sucks - you have to get a special HD tray just to put another 120mm in the front, not sure what the deal is on the stacker regarding this. Looks awesome loaded up with fan controllers (I put the 2-bay GateWatch and a Hardcano 13, along with the cigarette lighter), but eventually I removed the controllers as they restricted airflow and didn't really do much for the system - the temp monitors weren't even close to the built-in temp sensors, and getting up to adjust fan speed is just a bother. Plus the additional cables are a pain to manage and further restrict airflow. On that note, I have a GateWatch and a HardCano 13 for sale cheap..
  23. Minsc

    File Corruption

    I had a similar problem, was tied to my aggressive memory timings. Loosening them fixed all
  24. Let's get this working. These chips are $200 and rated at 2-2-2-5. It's unstable in several games (BF2, Bloodrayne 2, Silent Hunter III) within 5 minutes. Disabling Bank Interleave seems to be the key, making the system stable regardless of any other settings. I have used RGone's guide to put the most conservative settings I know of, with the exception of selecting the rated 2-2-2-5 settings and Bank Interleave ON, which is still unstable. Even 3-3-3-8 with B.I. ON is unstable. They are here for your viewing: http://knepfler.com/DFI.htm http://knepfler.com/dfi.xls (use this if you want to send it back to me with suggestions - dfi at knepfler dot com) I have also tried 3-3-3-8, as well as 2-2-2-5 2T. That one seems to work with Bank Interleave On, but the performance penalty is very great. Ultimately I want to find the magic combo that gets me 2-2-2-5 1T Bank Interleave ON, so my Everest write times are above 2000 MB/s. Optimized defaults w/ B.I. OFF = 1554 MB/s Best I've ever seen with these chips on my system: 2325 MB/s Because I've seen 2325 MB/s I don't consider 1554 MB/s acceptable for RAM that costs $200 for 2x512MB.
  25. Ok, time for all your OC'ing work to pay off, for a few minutes anyway. http://www.daionet.gr.jp/~masa/rthdribl/ I've been anxious about HDR in Lost Coast in HL2 which is coming from Valve. This URL seems to be the *only* functioning HDR demo. And it is absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to spend some time with it - learn how to change models, light environments. Set your video options, crank up the multisampling and go full screen. I hear it's a good stress test as well. The beach environment really shows off the system, like when you look at the sun, then look away (have to let go of the mouse though I think) and your pupils dilate. The way the overcast weather lights the objects is unbelievably realistic. This is one of those things that makes me want to ride slower on my motorcycle, so I don't kill myself before games come out utilizing this technology which are truly reasons to go on living.
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