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zaphthegreat

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Everything posted by zaphthegreat

  1. Weird.. I just tried to post this, but the forum ate it. Second attempt... Hi everyone. In 2010, I made a thread here about building a new PC and people were very helpful, so I'm back for more now that it's time for a new machine. A few upgrades aside, I have indeed been using the same rig ever since. I kept putting off the upgrade, mostly due to financial reasons. I can no longer put it off. Yesterday, I took advantage of Boxing Day deals and bought my new parts. However, last time around, I was working with a single HDD and a Windows 7 installation. Years later, I wanted to try Linux out, so I set up a dual-boot with Mint. I eventually switched over to Windows 10 as well and would use the Windows partition for gaming and the Linux one for everything else. Today, many of my Steam games are available on Linux, but I still need a Windows partition for games like Rocksmith Remastered and a handful of others that have no Linux versions. My plan is to install every game I can on Linux Mint and to use Windows only for games that don't exist for Linux (and my little income tax program that's also Windows-based). So now, I bought (still waiting for the items to ship) a 525GB SSD and a 1TB conventional HDD. I'm trying to sort out what is the best way to set up a dual-boot. I've been looking online and finding a lot of differing opinions. Also, most of the articles/threads I found were about setups that were quite different from mine (2 SSDs, for example). Some people seemed to favour installing only the OSs on the SSD and everything else on HDDs. Others described something that was more like installing OSs and programs/applications on SSDs and keeping the HDD for file storage, a bit like a built-in external drive, if you will. What I'd like to ask is if the following plan is viable, as well as a few follow-up questions on it: -Partition my SSD, possibly a 50/50 split or a 60/40 favouring Mint; -Install Windows and all my "Windows only" games and a program or two on one partition; -Install Mint on the other partition, along with all its games and applications; -Use the HDD for file storage for files I'd like to access quickly without having to plug in external drives. Assuming this is viable, I then have the following questions: -Should I only plug in the SSD at first, install everything, and THEN plug in the HDD? -Is there a way to be able to access the HDD from either OS, like I can do with an external drive? -If not, will I need to do anything with the HDD, like dedicate it to one OS or partition is for both? -If my needs change over time and I need more space for games/programs/apps, is there a way to partition the HDD as well, so that it can also be used to install programs for both OSs on that? In this scenario, I'd basically have both drives divided between the two OSs. Knowing myself and remembering the experience I had here with the kind posters and their wealth of knowledge, I expect I'll have many more questions after I get responses to this, but I suppose that this is a good starting point. :-) Now for the obligatory computer info, here are the parts I bought. Keep in mind that I'm in Canada, so not only do we have the exchange rate to consider, but Canadians pay more for most things in life. Also keep in mind that I was going for a mid-range-or-so build, because I can't really spend more and, y'know, remain happily married. I compromised less on the case, however. I like large, sturdy cases with good airflow and room to work. Note: Edited to use a table. Canadian prices no longer apply, but it cost me $1,550 Canadian. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Newegg) Motherboard: MSI Z170A SLI ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($133.98 @ Newegg) Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($94.99 @ Newegg) Storage: Crucial MX300 525GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($128.05 @ Newegg) Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg) Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB GAMING X Video Card ($229.99 @ Newegg) Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($144.99 @ Newegg) Power Supply: EVGA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.98 @ Newegg) Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit ($132.98 @ Newegg) Total: $1199.94 Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-12-27 16:55 EST-0500 Linux Mint is free, so no need to link anything. :-) For what it's worth, I'll also be taking my old optical drive from my old tower and moving it over to the new PC. Thank you all for reading and big thanks to those who are able and willing to help.
  2. While I'm here, I'll add that I received all my parts except one. It shouldn't really slow me down, since it's just the motherboard. :-) Anyway, the expected delivery date is January 9th. I hope it gets there sooner, because aside from maybe putting the power supply in the case, there isn't much I can do.
  3. Mind you, it was a Windows 7 / Mint dual boot and I later upgraded to 10. I tried to dual boot my wife's computer and didn't have any success. I found some workarounds online, but none of them worked with her machine. From what I read, her specific type of motherboard/bios didn't have any workarounds for it at the time.
  4. I dual boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint on a single HDD on my current machine.
  5. Ah, yes. That's quite sensible. Thank you for that.
  6. Thank you for that. I was actually planning to have the SSD partitions as 375gb for Windows and the remaining 150gb for Linux, minus 4 to 8gb for a swap (I'll have 16gb of RAM and I'm having a hard time finding any consensus on the proper size for a swap partition, assuming it's even needed). I've been told to avoid playing higher end games on Linux with that GPU, so I'll mostly play smaller indie games on Linux, meaning that I'll require far less space for applications on Linux than on Windows. I figure I'd have Windows along with 3 or 4 games on the NTFS partition of the HDD and leave the rest as wiggle room to keep Windows happy. With regard to the HDD, why did you opt for two separate NTFS partitions? Couldn't files and games be on the same NTFS partition, or would it have a negative impact on performance?
  7. Over time, quite a lot, but then again, most of it could be kept on external storage. That said, I think the plan is to format the HDD as NTFS. That way, unless I'm misunderstanding how it works, I'd be able to install games/applications on there if the need arises, while still able to access files on it from Linux. If this sort of thing is possible, I might also create a smaller Ext4 partition on it for the sake of having a bit of space that's dedicated to files that I'd only use with Mint.
  8. All right, duly noted. I'm not that comfortable using virtual environments like that anyway. I never run Windows software through similar applications on Mint either. If I need to use Windows, I boot into it. That said, I appreciate the advice because I always enjoy learning.
  9. You're giving me something to consider. Thank you.
  10. Edited to add a table to make it simpler.
  11. Hello all. First and foremost, I am a complete newbie. I'm not just new at building computers - I'm essentially illiterate when it comes to computers. I mean, I know how to surf the Internet and play games, but I don't really know much about a computer's physical components and what they do. Of course, I'm slowly learning as I'm researching building this PC, but most of you will probably find my questions and concerns profoundly stupid and/or uninformed. A bit of background: I currently own an HP a6235x. Right off the bat, this is no gaming rig. As a matter of fact, it seems to be just about the opposite of one. To make matters worse, it looks like the CPU's overheating and that its fan is no longer operating at full capacity, because I now have to resort to keeping the case open with a big fan blowing right into it if I want to avoid crashing all the time when I overtax its capacity by, say, surfing some website. I decided that I'd had enough; not just with this computer, but with HP and other major computer companies of that sort in general. Since I enjoy playing computer games and I'd never been satisfied with any of the HPs I'd owned over the years in that department, I started to look at gaming rigs. Like any newbie, my Google searches were pretty random and not overly helpful at first. I quickly stumbled onto Alienware's web site and became pretty sad about the whole thing. Judging by their web site, gaming computers cost about the same as a second hand Honda Civic. While I could afford to buy one, I'd probably be going through a divorce the next day. While some might assume that this would be like killing two birds with one stone, I decided to try to have a gaming rig and preserve my marriage. So, I looked around and asked here and there and came to the conclusion that my best option might be to build my own computer. So, I undertook the rather overwhelming task of learning (a tiny little bit) about the components required for a computer and of trying to put one together from various websites. Since I'm in Montreal, Canada, my choices seem a bit limited. Although the US and Canadian dollars are nearly on par with each other now, Canadian retailers still insist on charging about 200$ more on a system (whether "pre-built" or in separate parts) than their American counterparts. Also, as far as I can tell, there's no such thing as a good computer store in Montreal, so the Internet seems like my only option. Anyway, here's what I've put together so far. Please remember that I'm completely new at this, so be gentle with me: CPU: Newegg.ca - AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor GPU: Newegg.ca - HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card HDD: Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Motherboard: Newegg.ca - ASUS M4A89GTD PRO AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard Memory: Newegg.ca - A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-2G DVD/CD: Newegg.ca - ASUS 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Writer LightScribe Support - CD / DVD Burners PSU: Newegg.ca - Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply Case (I don't like the look, but it's big and looks like it moves air around pretty well): Newegg.ca - XCLIO A380COLOR Fully Black 1.0 mm SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case While I'm at it, OS: Newegg.ca - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems Stock cooling, since I don't think I'm going to mess around with overclocking. So, a few questions/comments/concerns of mine: - Is this a viable gaming rig? If so, what would its limitations be? - Is there any way to improve this while remaining within the same budget (or even cheaper)? - Is this reasonably upgradeable? - Would this motherboard allow me to "crossfire" in the future? It talks about "CrossfireX", but as far as I can tell, that's something different involving combining a discrete GPU with an integrated one. Am I on the right track with this assumption? - Is a full sized case a good thing? Could I get away with a mid-sized one without any issues? I probably have more questions, but I have to get back to work now. I probably won't be very active in this thread for a few more hours, but I'll be able to pick things up in a few hours. Thank you all for any help you can provide me.
  12. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    I realized here there might be a misunderstanding. The connectors in back of the PC - those that are part of the motherboard - are working well. The headphones and mic connectors on the case don't seem to work. I've more or less thrown the towel on them, but if anyone has any ideas, I'm listening.
  13. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Thanks. It's getting stranger. The headphones don't even show up in the list at all. Also, when I go into the Reaktek HD Audio Manager, the jacks for headphones and mic don't show anything plugged into them, no matter what I try to plug into them.
  14. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    I downloaded the drivers. Based on the fact that it had to uninstall the previous version, I'm guessing that the disk that came with my motherboard had already taken care of it. After the download, the situation is the same: my speakers work, but my headphones don't. I'm starting to think that Antec makes good cases, but crappy front panel audio jacks. I'm starting to think it because it's either that, or come to the conclusion that I'm an idiot.
  15. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Ah. No disk came with them. Can I assume those drivers are available online? I'm not at home right now, but I'll try to look for them when I get back. As a side note, it would have been nice on Antec's part to colour-code the jacks for the headphones and the microphone. It's not the end of the world, but it's a minor annoyance.
  16. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Well, now everything seems to work, except for the headphones port on the front panel. I've tried to plug each connector for it in turn (HD audio and AC'97), but getting nothing either way. Any ideas? Those same headphones work just fine on my old PC and at my work.
  17. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    All right, quick update: I've installed the GPU and I'm now getting my full 4 gigs of RAM. I also realize now that the USB ports on the back work perfectly well. They just don't work with that old HP keyboard I'm using. Other hardware I've now tested there works fine. I guess I'll have to to choose between getting a new keyboard or getting used to plugging it into the front panel.
  18. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    I left the BIOS alone, since I didn't want to mess with any of it. I installed the motherboard drivers, but that didn't seem to help. I'll be going home soon, so trial-and-error will hopefully show me what went wrong. It's not like there could be something I forgot to connect to the PSU that could be causing this, right? In the worst case, I'll need a hub.
  19. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Glad to hear it. No, not yet. I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong with the USB ports.
  20. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    If I may try to answer my own question, could it be due to the fact that I haven't installed my GPU yet and still using the on-board? I guess I'll find out tonight when I get home and install the GPU.
  21. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Hmm... does anyone know why my system info states that I have 4 gigs of RAM, but only 3.50 gigs of usable RAM? Is this normal? Thanks again.
  22. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Things are looking up. I got Windows installed. Now my only issue is that the USB ports in the back don't work. I can only use the ones on the front panel. So, my keyboard is awkwardly hooked up to the front of the computer.
  23. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!! Fixed!!!!!! I can't believe I missed that.
  24. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    I don't have the Asus. I finally got the Gigabyte one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435&Tpk=Gigabyte%20890GPA-UD3H%20890GX
  25. zaphthegreat

    Complete newbie wanting to build a budget gaming rig

    Ack! Help! I've built the computer. I powered it up and all the LEDs and fans came on, including the CPU fan. However, nothing showed up on the monitor. I tried it at first with the discrete GPU, and then I removed it and tried a direct connection to the on-board GPU. I tried it in DVI and VGA, on two different monitors. I'm getting worried about shutting this machine down over and over again like this. What could cause this? One thing I should point out, most articles I've looked at about building computers mention a 4-pin CPU plug. I've found the CPU fan plug (as evidenced by the fact that it spins), but I saw nothing like a connector for a 4 pin CPU plug on the motherboard. The manual doesn't seem to mention one either, unless I'm completely blind and/or stupid. Otherwise, I have no idea. Thanks for any help.
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