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My New PC (GA-EP45-UD3R) - Your opinion is needed!

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June 19, 2009 8:51:03 PM

Don't have a lot of $$$ to spend on this project, but wanted to get the group's opinion of the following CPU - Motherboard - Memory combo.

First off, I'd prefer to stay with the recommended CPU & memory from the motherboard manufacturer. So if its not on their list of approved memory, no matter how good, I feel it is a potential compatibility issue just waiting to happen. Also, I'll be reusing my PC Case, IDE DVD Burner, WD SATA Raptor hard drive, XFX HD4770 Video Card (recently upgraded), Monitor-Keyboard-Mouse, and Corsair 520W power supply (recently upgraded).


So here goes....


Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

CPU:
Intel Q9550 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Memory:
Kingston KVR800D2N6K2/4G ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
or
Kingston KVR1066D2N7K2/2G ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )


References....
Gigabyte Motherboard: http://tinyurl.com/kpy2tt
Kingston Memory: http://tinyurl.com/nqrxxu


Ok...so now you know my selections.

With today's economic situation, I'd prefer to get my best "bang for the buck"...so although a i7 combo would be wonderful, its just a bit too far outside my price range at this time. Also, PCI ports are important as I still use a modem (for faxing), WiFi and TV Tuner / Video Capture Card.....which I don't want to have to re-purchase.

I'm not a gamer...nor do I wish to overclock the system, but I do want a stable PC. Other than the typical programs (Word - Excel - Outlook - Firefox...etc), I regularly use Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium (Photoshop & Dreamweaver & Flash mostly) and do of video & audio editing occasionally for my family. I use older versions of Adobe Encore & SoundBooth.

My final thought of concern is that the FSB on the Q9550 is 1333MHz...however, the Kingston memory is only rated at a 800MHz (or 1066MHz). Will this "de-tune" the CPU? Or will it overclock the memory? Additionally, will this potentially become a bottle-neck or cause stability issues?

So based on your knowledge (especially if you own or have worked with these hardware models), I'd like to submit for everyone to kindly give me your valuable input and opinions so I can make a final decision. Your opinions are greatly valued and appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
GB
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 19, 2009 10:36:18 PM

I think you'll be happy with the 9550 - it's still my #1 recommendation for bang/buck ratio. I don't recommend i7s at all, yet - the technology is too new - everyone's going through what is, in essence, beta test headaches: it's a brand spanking new processor mask, with new memory technology, and a new northbridge; the MOBO circuitry is new, the BIOS are, of necessity, experimental - not for the faint of heart! All the GB Intel 'd' series (DS3, DQ6, DS5 - the UDs are just GB's "ultra durable" designs - which is pretty much just a ditzy marketing yap) MOBOs are pretty much equivalent, and pretty much tried and true technology... I run a DS5/Q9550 on my main workstation, at 450 (1800) FSB w/8G DDR2-8640. I used to brag about the machine 'coasting' at over 4G, but that was before I started playing with video. It'll run stress tests, memory tests, and the thermal analysis tool easily at 475, but the real test is: watch one channel of HD ATSC off a network tuner, record another NTSC off an on-board, while transcoding & 'de-commercialing' yesterday's stream to NAS! @ 450, it's stable as a rock, and since Win7βRC1x64, goes days between reboots; @ 451, random blue screens and reboots, as soon as the third video stream hits it.

Here are some tips from previous posts about memory speed and selection:

Lots of memory that will work never makes the approved list - it's endemic to the industry. For GBs, what happens is the approved memory list is made up when the MOBO is introduced from sticks they have been provided samples of, and never updated thereafter; in addition, many of the memory manufacturers that you'll see there you've never heard of, as (and I've said this before) I'm sure you can pick them up at any gas station in Taiwan, but they're not to be had here. That's also why, for a lot of boards, there are scads of 512M and 1G sticks, but few 2x2s and 4x2s...

You can always use faster RAM with any modern CPU/MOBO setup - you're just likely to have to set it up manually in the BIOS to take advantage of it. Pretty much all DDR2 ram is actually DDR2/800; they 'speed-bin' it, i.e., test and select the sticks that will work at either lower (faster) latencies, or higher (faster) speeds, or both, and sell it at a premium as 2/1066, 2/1200, and so on. JEDEC spec'd RAM has a little EEPROM chip in it that stores the set-up information/tables for running it at 800 at various FSB (Front System Bus) speeds - has the preferred memory multiplier and timing info - this is called an SPD (Serial Presence Detect) just to confuse us; faster, higher rated sticks may (but don't necessarily) contain another set of tables (called an EPP - this one makes sense - Extended Performance Profile) that will tell the BIOS what multiplier/latncies to use at its higher rated speed - BUT - not all BIOS are created equal: some will read this EPP automatically, and set the RAM at the higher speed; some will require intervention (on a lot of GBs, it's "Load Optimized Defaults" [but, to keep it more confusing - not all BIOS with the "Load Optimized Defaults" fuction actually use it to set the EPP]), and some just plainly don't know the EPP exists (if it does) and you have to set the higher speed manually!

Now, you have control over the basic system clock (I'm going to cal it B_CLK), once you start manually timing the MOBO through the BIOS. B_CLK times four is your FSB (once again, Front System Bus); B_CLK times your memory multiplier is your DRAM rate; B_CLK times your CPU's multiplier is your CPU frequency.

Examples: if you set your system clock to 333, you will need a 2.4 memory multiplier (333 x 2.4 = 799.blahblahblah) to run your RAM at 800, and if the CPU multiplier is, say, 8.5, you will get a CPU clock of 2.83GHz; at that same B_CLK you would need a memory multiplier of 3.2 (3.2 x 333 = 1065.6) to take advantage of 1066 RAM. Now, lots of CPUs that are rated at a 1333 nominal FSB will run a lot faster, sometimes with a little more 'oomph' from a voltage increase; for example, I run a Q9550 that is rated at 1333 FSB (333 B_CLK) times an eight point five multiplier, for a 2.83GHz speed. It will comfortably run with the B_CLK well over 450 - and here's where faster RAM comes in. The smallest RAM multiplier available from a MCH (Memory Control Hub - or 'NorthBridge') is 2.0, but, with a 2.0 multiplier, that means at a 450 clock, your RAM will need to run at 900 (again, 450 B_CLK x 2 = 900), which most 800 RAM just won't do! This is referred to as a 'RAM limited bus', meaning the CPU can't run a B_CLK any higher than (roughly) half the RAM's available speed - and thus, the need for faster RAM. Mind you, this only applies if you both can, and intend to, run your FSB above 1600 (once again, a B_CLK of 400+ times 4 gives you a 1600+ FSB)...

To further complicate matters, people often misunderstand the actual quantitative speed improvements inherent in faster ram... Here's the mistake: 1066 is 33% higher than 800 ([1066-800]/800 = 266/800 = .33), so 1066 RAM must be a third faster than 800, right? Not so! You have to figure in latencies. Most 800 will run at 4-4-4-12, while most 1066 is rated at 5-5-5-15, or, even worse, 5-5-5-18. Here's how to appraise the situation in reality: at 800 MHz, a RAM bus cycle is 1.25 μSec long (1000/800); at 1066 (1000/1066), it is roughly .938 μSec long - so, with an 800 stick at a 4 average latency, a RAM bus transaction takes 1.25 (cycle time) times 4 (latency), or 5μSec, while at 1066 it is .938 (cycle time) times 5 (latency), for a transaction time of (roughly) 4.7μSec - so you see, by going to nominally 33% faster RAM, you actually gain three tenths of a μSec per transaction - .3 (transaction gain) over 5(transaction total) = .06, for a real-world improvement of 6%

My experience with 'GB-friendliness' by manufacturer has been: mushkin - GBs love mushkin, but it's pricey, and the speed selection is limited; G.Skill - works well, has a functional EPP, and will usually also run at 'auto' settings, unless you run four sticks; OCZ - likewise; Kingston, Crucial, & Corsair - seem to account for most of the problems I see here with RAM (wich, of course, could possibly be due to the fact that more people buy them, as they're generally cheap), with Crucial having a few times had problems with apparent 'degrading' over time, i.e., a previously working OC simply 'goes bad', and MemTest86+ shows it to be RAM...
a b V Motherboard
June 20, 2009 12:09:41 AM

^If you need to type that much you need some RL friends.
Related resources
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 20, 2009 12:39:04 AM

First - I use Win7 speech recog - dictate most everything (you can tell the rest by the typos :pt1cable:  )
Second - this is simply a cummulative repost that's been gaining sized as I consolidate past pieces...
June 20, 2009 12:48:16 AM

Hi bilbat....and thanks for your quick reply.

I appreciate your info on the Q9550....and agree with you that it seems to have the best performance for its price point. The Q96xx series seem a bit high and doesn't appear to have much more performance.
I'm all but sold on the Q9550 CPU....from what I've read and adding your knowledge to that is just a reinforcement that its the one to get.

Yes, I agree with you also on the i7 and the beta headaches. Best I've read is that the P45 chipset was an upgrade from the previous P35 generation...and the P35 generation of chipsets were a popular product line. I've read on how fast the new i7 series is, but the price seems a bit steep....especially for motherboards. Although there was a recent post about a price drop on a Gigabyte motherboard that brought it under $200....but that's off topic.

I had heard of a new P55 chipset that was to come out next month (July 09), but has been delayed until September by Intel. But again, I agree with your assessment in that this too will be a new architecture (and CPU socket), with all of the "fun" of driver and compatibility issues....and for me, its not worth the hassle. Maybe in a future upgrade :) 

Thanks also for the re-post concerning memory timings. Just from the first read of it, I'm wondering if my memory choice is poor. Although the memory is on their support list, I'm uneasy about my decision with it. I've used Kingston ram in most all of my builds and not had any issues with it....but then I don't overclock or make any unusual configurations since my goal is for a stable system. I'm going to re-read your memory timings re-post to take in all of the info you've provided....thanks again!

Your opinion is VERY valued....thanks!
GB
June 20, 2009 12:57:50 AM

bilbat said:
First - I use Win7 speech recog - dictate most everything (you can tell the rest by the typos :pt1cable:  )
Second - this is simply a cummulative repost that's been gaining sized as I consolidate past pieces...


Ok, first deviation from the subject...but just had to ask.

You mentioned your using Win7....I presume its the RC that came out in early May? Is it the 32 or 64 bit edition? Also, I've read about a feature in Win7 (not sure if its 32 or 64 bit version) that is called "XP Mode"....which, from Microsoft's PR seems to imply it has better functionality with older XP programming? If so, have you tried it?

I'm asking this because its my wish to upgrade to Win7...and leave Vista ASAP. Its got to the point I actually go back into WinXP (dual boot w/Vista) just because I don't enjoy Vista's experience. I've seen the new Win7 interface...and although it is similar to Vista, it simply looks more "refined".

Not wishing to create a new thread....or new elongated topic (as this would be better placed in a different category)...but just wanted to get YOUR take on Win7.

Thanks...
GB

a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 20, 2009 5:12:32 PM

I'm in love! Win7 is the first MS product I've thought was worth a damn since '98SE. I faithfully 'did' betas up until 2000, which had so many fatal bugs throughout the beta that I simply got fed up with the whole 'reformat & reinstall' cycle, and gave up. Also, I had an MCSE up until 98, as the company I worked for paid for the tests - so long as you passed 'em; most of the employees and the company decided that 2000 was such an awful mess that there was no real point in 'maintaining' them, as it was obvious that 2000 was just a 'revenue stream' product that no one in their right mind would actually use! Now, I'm so enthralled with 7 that I'm actually considering becoming certified once again - and I'm working my little (well, actually, not so little) tail off learning C# and the 'ins and outs' of dotnet programming... Mark my words - assuming RTM happens on-schedule, people will, for once, be buying new systems at Xmastime to get a new MS OS, instead of negotiating with suppliers to get Xp to avoid Vista!

First thing: I have both x86 & x64 on my system (did a fresh install of both when TechNet released RC1), as well as both flavors of VistaUltimate & Xp; I haven't used anything but 7x64 for weeks - I've found that, using its 'compatibility manager', it will even run 32 bit programs that wouldn't run under Vista64, and, the virtual 'Xp box', which I use to run old Rockwell programs that are basically 'ill-behaved', works like a charm! I was so impressed that I tried a couple of 'other flavors'; I now run Ubuntu64 under Sun xVM, and Ubuntu32 under VMware - both work, but I'm still ironing out some networking problems under the Sun box - mostly my ignorance... It's quick: when I saw the question, I did a reboot - ninety-five seconds from 'click to click', and that counts a roughly four second 'waiting for BIOS entry keystroke' for my jMicron AHCI BIOS, a twelve second pause while the Intel RAID manager 'discovers & checks' the drives, and a five second pause while my boot loader (BootItNG - which I can also rave about for a paragraph or two...) defaults to the last selected boot! In contrast, Vista takes nearly three minutes to accomplish the same thing.

I wasn't real thrilled with the 'new paradigm' task bar, but I found I can easily add the old 'quick-launch' to it, and get it like I want; it will use the whole 8G of my HyperX ready-boost drive (instead of the 4G Vista would access), and I'm pretty sure that's part of the quick load time - I notice that if I go from 7x64 to x86, or the reverse, the boot is ten or fifteen seconds slower - so I'm assuming it has to write a new file to the ready-boost, rather than use the existing one from the last boot.

Here's my entire 'bug list':

1 - there is a limit to the number of 'root level' entries to the start menu; when you get to somewere around seventy items (and I have well over a hundred programs installed...), 'poof!', your start list 'all programs' menu is completely bare. I saw this during the earlier builds - the only fix I knew involved taking ownership of the user's menu directory, and, after each reboot, cutting the whole folder's contents to a temp location, and then pasting it back - a real PITA! Now that the problem is known (the seventy item limit), the fix is easy. Once again, take ownership of the menu directory, and consolidate items under subdirectories - for instance, I had 11 Microsoft menu items (ahh, 'Live', 'Office', 'Visual Studio' 2005 & 2008, 'Technet', 'MSDN', and on and on), consolidated them under a 'Microsoft' 'sub-item', and gained ten 'slots'; I assume this will be fixed by RTM...

2 - IE8 is 'broken' by the ATI Catalyst drivers (and not fixed yet by the 9.6 build); mind you, this is ATI's problem - the 'native' ATI drivers work fine, but I use the control center to do my GPU OC, and 'manage' the Avivo codec; what happens is that a right click on any 'favorites menu' item crashes IE8...

3 - Win7 sometimes 'loses' icon positions, and sometimes will 'swallow up' a few icons (and, oddly enough, it's always the same seven icons - if I could determine 'what's different' about them, I might have the solution); the problem is helped by opening up the storage slots ([HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell] "BagMRU Size"=dword:00004e20), but not fixed, and the old standby, 'layout.dll' from Xp, which worked under Vista, will not work under 7; I use a German program "DesktopOK", as Enterra's IconKeeper (which is a better, more convenient solution) was 'broken' around build 7068, and still doen't work under RC1 (build 7100)...

and that's it!

Here's a pointer to someone's new feature list (who certainly has more patience than me!):

http://4sysops.com/archives/windows-7-new-features-the-...
June 20, 2009 8:00:22 PM

bilbat said:
I'm in love! Win7 is the first MS product I've thought was worth a damn since '98SE. I faithfully 'did' betas up until 2000, which had so many fatal bugs throughout the beta that I simply got fed up with the whole 'reformat & reinstall' cycle, and gave up. Also, I had an MCSE up until 98, as the company I worked for paid for the tests - so long as you passed 'em; most of the employees and the company decided that 2000 was such an awful mess that there was no real point in 'maintaining' them, as it was obvious that 2000 was just a 'revenue stream' product that no one in their right mind would actually use! Now, I'm so enthralled with 7 that I'm actually considering becoming certified once again - and I'm working my little (well, actually, not so little) tail off learning C# and the 'ins and outs' of dotnet programming... Mark my words - assuming RTM happens on-schedule, people will, for once, be buying new systems at Xmastime to get a new MS OS, instead of negotiating with suppliers to get Xp to avoid Vista!

First thing: I have both x86 & x64 on my system (did a fresh install of both when TechNet released RC1), as well as both flavors of VistaUltimate & Xp; I haven't used anything but 7x64 for weeks - I've found that, using its 'compatibility manager', it will even run 32 bit programs that wouldn't run under Vista64, and, the virtual 'Xp box', which I use to run old Rockwell programs that are basically 'ill-behaved', works like a charm! I was so impressed that I tried a couple of 'other flavors'; I now run Ubuntu64 under Sun xVM, and Ubuntu32 under VMware - both work, but I'm still ironing out some networking problems under the Sun box - mostly my ignorance... It's quick: when I saw the question, I did a reboot - ninety-five seconds from 'click to click', and that counts a roughly four second 'waiting for BIOS entry keystroke' for my jMicron AHCI BIOS, a twelve second pause while the Intel RAID manager 'discovers & checks' the drives, and a five second pause while my boot loader (BootItNG - which I can also rave about for a paragraph or two...) defaults to the last selected boot! In contrast, Vista takes nearly three minutes to accomplish the same thing.

I wasn't real thrilled with the 'new paradigm' task bar, but I found I can easily add the old 'quick-launch' to it, and get it like I want; it will use the whole 8G of my HyperX ready-boost drive (instead of the 4G Vista would access), and I'm pretty sure that's part of the quick load time - I notice that if I go from 7x64 to x86, or the reverse, the boot is ten or fifteen seconds slower - so I'm assuming it has to write a new file to the ready-boost, rather than use the existing one from the last boot.

Here's my entire 'bug list':

1 - there is a limit to the number of 'root level' entries to the start menu; when you get to somewere around seventy items (and I have well over a hundred programs installed...), 'poof!', your start list 'all programs' menu is completely bare. I saw this during the earlier builds - the only fix I knew involved taking ownership of the user's menu directory, and, after each reboot, cutting the whole folder's contents to a temp location, and then pasting it back - a real PITA! Now that the problem is known (the seventy item limit), the fix is easy. Once again, take ownership of the menu directory, and consolidate items under subdirectories - for instance, I had 11 Microsoft menu items (ahh, 'Live', 'Office', 'Visual Studio' 2005 & 2008, 'Technet', 'MSDN', and on and on), consolidated them under a 'Microsoft' 'sub-item', and gained ten 'slots'; I assume this will be fixed by RTM...

2 - IE8 is 'broken' by the ATI Catalyst drivers (and not fixed yet by the 9.6 build); mind you, this is ATI's problem - the 'native' ATI drivers work fine, but I use the control center to do my GPU OC, and 'manage' the Avivo codec; what happens is that a right click on any 'favorites menu' item crashes IE8...

3 - Win7 sometimes 'loses' icon positions, and sometimes will 'swallow up' a few icons (and, oddly enough, it's always the same seven icons - if I could determine 'what's different' about them, I might have the solution); the problem is helped by opening up the storage slots ([HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell] "BagMRU Size"=dword:00004e20), but not fixed, and the old standby, 'layout.dll' from Xp, which worked under Vista, will not work under 7; I use a German program "DesktopOK", as Enterra's IconKeeper (which is a better, more convenient solution) was 'broken' around build 7068, and still doen't work under RC1 (build 7100)...

and that's it!

Here's a pointer to someone's new feature list (who certainly has more patience than me!):

http://4sysops.com/archives/windows-7-new-features-the-...


Good God bilbat, you're making my head hurt.... but it's a nice kind of hurt.

I for one am extremely grateful that you're "out there" for us "less technically involved" people.

And now, I can't wait to get my hands on Win7. When is it scheduled to be released?
Is there any way I can get it now?
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 20, 2009 11:09:35 PM

Thanks; alway welcome...

from a June 8th post:

Quote:
Last week at Computex, the largest computer exhibition in Asia taking place in Taiwan, Steve Guggenheimer, the corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division announced both the RTM and the general availability dates for Windows 7.
According to the announcement, Windows 7 will be in stores for the holidays, beginning October 22nd, 2009. In order for this to happen, the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) will be made available to Microsoft partners in the last two weeks of July.
As customers purchase new PCs over the summer and onwards, they will be given the option to participate in the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program. This will be made available to anyone buying a PC with Windows Vista Home Premium and above. At the time of purchase, the PC will run Vista, but when Windows 7 becomes publicly available, they will be given the option to upgrade for either a low cost or free, depending on the manufacturer.


and, on schedule, the first RTM branch (build 7260) was leaked June 16th, but only in the x86 flavor (no verified x64 yet)...

An excellent place to see the build history as it develops is Windows7 NewsInfo, (I think, a Russian site, though it lists a Netherlands suffix) run by Riso Oost, and his mad cadre of build investigators:
http://windows7newsinfo.com/smf/index.php
You will also find torrent download pointers there, as well as 'public' working serial numbers, arranged by builds...

If you're looking for a more 'user-oriented' source of fixes, comparisons, and tweaks, try the Windows 7 Forums, here:
http://www.sevenforums.com/#seven-forums

I would also be remiss in not pointing out that, finally, MS seems to have, for the main part, gotten Media Center right in Win7: setup works; I finally get the 'virtual tuners' I paid for (use a Hauppage HVR-2250 'in the box', which win7 'sees' as four sources: two NTSC, and two ClearQAM; + two channel ATSC/ClearQAM SiliconDust HD_HomeRun on the household network...); lots of people have gotten an OCUR-compliant 'BIOS loader' patch to work enabling use of the new ATI CableCard tuners without paying a premium for a not remarkable machine, just to have CableCard (though, support for the CableCards themselves appears a bit sketchy from some cable providers); and, the stuff you always wanted, that MS didn't see fit to include is available from the support community. If you're running 7's MC, you owe it to yourself to visit Hacking Windows 7 Media Center:
http://www.hack7mc.com/
On a daily basis, they showcase addons and tweaks to make MC friendlier, more functional, and, believe it or not - "aesthetically pleasing!"

Have fun!!

Bill
July 1, 2009 6:21:08 PM

Thanks everyone for your assistance. It took me some additional time to review and research the additional new info.

I was lucky enough (or just dumb luck) to wait until 6/26 to purchase the motherboard and found that NewEgg had a 10% off code for 72hrs that weekend....SWEET!!! I also saw that the Q9550 CPU was $20 lower than its typical $230.

I took the group's advice and went with 2 sticks of G.Skill PC2 8500 DDR (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
NewEgg had it for $49.99 and free shipping.

The ONLY thing I did (out of my norm) is I purchased a different CPU cooler. Several noted that the stock cooler was a bit high on its readings....and not that I'm going to overclock it, I do want a stable system. So I purchased an ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
NewEgg had it for $26.98...and it has high reviews from a lot of people. Hope that's a good buy!


Bilbat...
Thank you ever so much for clarifying my RAM question...and for your opinion on Windows 7. I've heard a LOT of positives in the media about it also. What I've not heard is the conflict with IE8 and the ATI drivers. I typically use Firefox anyway. I have a new ATI HD4770 video card and that would certainly become an issue for me! Any advice for a work-a-round or solution until a compatible ATI drive is released (other than the native Windows 7 driver)? Also...Do you foresee any issues during a typical Windows 7 install?

Off topic...
I've downloaded (and burned) a copy of Windows 7 RC1....64bit & 32bit. I'm anxious to see how it performs on my new equipment. I also see that several stores are now offering lower cost upgrades for Windows 7 when it comes out later this year. A local store (MicroCenter) has it for $10 less than the adds I've seen...$40 & $90 respectively!
(http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/06/26/micro-center-o...)
But you have to go to the store in person to get the coupon. I've got a couple of coupons for copies of Pro...although I'm curious as to the differences between Pro and Ultimate.

If anyone has any other suggestions or assistance, PLEASE don't hesitate to post.

Again, thanks to EVERYONE here for your assistance! I'll post back after everything is assembled.
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 1, 2009 9:53:25 PM

Great timing - I'm gonna send you to buy my lottery tickets!

As I said, the problem only appears if you actually load the Catalysts; the baseline ATI drivers that 7 installs on it's own don't exhibit the problem... I just use the Catalyst for my GPU OCs and to manage the Avivo codec; I felt it was an acceptable trade-off, and, who knows, maybe, in six or eight revs, ATI'll get it fixed!

Freezer 7's are great, and reasonably priced - people obsess too much about getting that last erg of heat transfer. I decided on a three fan radiator for my WC, and was frustrated as my supplier always seemed to be out of the 'high-priced spreads' (the $150 kind) so I settled for a $45 model - it's way overkill, I get only a degree or two drop across the radiator, and I'm sure I could have done fine with a two fan, or even single fan 'cheapie'; my cores are permanently 'pegged' (regardless of load) at 38 or 39, and my GPUs run at 21 - less than half what they were with stock fans. Unless you're really pushing it - it's all pretty much wasted effort (though I have spoken to someone who's at 5GHz on phase-change)! To OC, anything you buy will be scads better than the crap Intel ships with it!

I didn't even know there was a 'pro' version; I get my stuff from technet, so 'it's all ultimate to me'... I knew they were gonna do a 'lowly' version, that would be upgraded by simply paying a fee, and getting a new activation code; I think they were aiming at atom-based net machines, limited to two or three processes, but I don't know if that concept had a name; I'll hunt a bit at MS - one would think, this close to RTM, that their marketing plans should be pretty well 'firmed-up'...
July 2, 2009 5:58:11 AM

Bilbat...
Get your lottery tickets? LOL! I'm blaming it on pure luck. Being at the right place at the right time is all. Gotta have pity on us idiots out here! <g> At least I had the sense to ask about these components before I whipped out the plastic!

I appreciate your input on EVERYTHING you've listed. You are a wealth of info! (and I mean that in the most polite and respectful manner). The ATI driver issue is something that would have caught me blindly going into Windows 7...but I'm glad to hear that Microsoft is listening to the issues they have had from customers over the Vista debacle. I've read they have revamped their version names (again) and are reverting back to names that were previously used. Instead of Vista Business, they are using Window 7 Pro (like the old XP Pro). I think the "ultimate" and "enterprise" and "home premium" are carryovers from Vista though. I'd not opt for the "basic" edition since there is presumably severe limitations...besides, its probably only sold in other parts of the world (not in the US).

I'm glad to hear that that the Freezer 7's are good models. The others who have given their opinion on NewEgg's forum seem to praise the product. Again, I'm not wishing to overclock the CPU, but I do want to have good cooling on the processor (better than the stock heatsink).

I know that the Windows 7 discussion here was a bit "off topic"....but I do thank you for your assistance. Do you typically post here (in the hardware forums) or in the OS / Software forums? I'd like to read some of your other previous opinions and perspectives.

Thanks again to everyone!
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 2, 2009 5:03:34 PM

Quote:
Do you typically post here (in the hardware forums) or in the OS / Software forums?


I've decided to kinda limit it to here, in view of other time commitments... As I've said, this doesn't take all that much time in general (with a few 'deep research' type exceptions...); I have a huge collection of GB manuals, and most problems 'resolve' just by a quick (educated by nuns - they had me reading over a thousand words a minute by the time I was eleven - I've still got the grooves in my skull from the 'lessons'...) perusal of the manual, bounced off a lot of years of troubleshooting experience. There is a serious investment from time to time, though - right now I am working my way through a 43MB directory full of all the Intel i7/x58 documentation - PDFs and PowerPoints - h'ware and s'ware guides - to 'bring myself up to speed' on the new technologies, as they'll obviously be with us for a long time!

I do a 'lot of stuff', though; I dunno how much I can put in one post, so this may be a few - I've never really introduced myself here!

I paint a little, and do some ceramics:


and have been working on designing and building a 'roll-your-own' potters' wheel:

using an old 2HP DC servo motor and drive I had laying around - should be able to 'spin-up' over a hundred pounds of clay!

Oops, I gotta 'post&run'; that's another time commitment - I'm taking care of fairly elderly parents, and I've got some yard work calling to me - be back soon :hello: 
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 2, 2009 6:12:20 PM

I got interested in ceramics and Chinese calligraphy while spending a couple years in prison (DUI - manic-depressives love their 'self-medication!); led me to their language and culture, so now I spend an hour or so a day working at teaching myself Mandarin...

Am (like every real engineer) a car-nut; did this little piece a few years back - kit from England, redesigned from the ground up to use American parts, substituted a little aluminum blocked V8 for the original 4 - was going to import here, but deal went south:




Now, am sort of half-assed planning (and it will take a year or two of just planning) to stuff:

(600 HP DOHC 32V Ford 5.4)

Into this:



Wanna disconnect the supercharger drive from the crank, drive it, 'on-demand' from the ECU through a brushless servo motor, and use 'add-on' ethanol direct injection to quench the cylinders at high boost - will need titanium rods and sodium-filled exhaust valves, I figure...

Lessee, what else? Oh - major current project is to find a job - unemployed systems designer - know the economy's gone south...

Next slide:

a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 2, 2009 6:40:54 PM

I'm spending considerable time teaching myself tensor calculus, to follow developments in quantum mechanics and string theory, just because I'm nosy!

You want something to worry about (besides creeping socialism, I mean), there's, I think from 'FireFly', a discussion with an old spacer, who is asked if he finds a lot of planets which, like Earth, have been trashed by nuclear war. He says, yeah, once in a while, you come across one of those - but the galaxy is littered with the remains of civilizations who reached the point of having available the energies to 'show' the higgs particle, and never thought to do the experiments outside the gravity well - once they 'force' the particle to appear, the disturbance in the higgs field collapses the planet to a 3/4 mm sphere of neutronium!

I also follow cognitive psychology and philosophy, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence theory, and the neuro-sciences pretty closely; as I mentioned, I'm nuts, but a peculiarly biological 'flavor' of nuts - and I owe (after years of indescribable misery) cognitive treatment and modern neuro-chemical pharmacology my sanity!

So - all in all, my time is pretty well committed - I don't lose a lot to boredom, anyways! Though an 'introduction' might give people a glimpse into some of my (undeniably peculiar) viewpoints...
July 7, 2009 3:42:54 AM

Bilbat...

WOW...you are VERY creative!

I can't comment on art as I'm not qualified...and my tastes are pretty bland.

As for your vehicle restorations....WOW! Now that is cool! I'm not any kind of grease-monkey, but understand the basics. Is that cobra a kit car? If so, I saw something similar to that on a SPEED Channel show. That is something I'd LOVE to do, but not certainly not by myself! <g>

Now as for calculus, in my HS years I was pretty good at math (trig / calc / algebra)...but I'm afraid that time and lack of use for that kind of math (and a bit of aging) has diminished my capacity. They are right...if you don't use it, you'll loose it! Thing is, my wife teaches HS advanced biology & chemistry....so you'd think it would at least rub off (no pun) on me. (lol). Where we reside (southern US) there is a lot of debate over the creationism vs evolution teachings...so she has to present to the students what is prescribed by the district.

BTW...computer update.
Over this past weekend I cleaned out the old case (full tower) and got it prepped for the new equipment. I received the motherboard and RAM today....still awaiting the CPU and CPU cooler.

I've also downloaded Win7 RC1 32 & 64 bit (mentioned that earlier)...and dug around over the holiday weekend for an old 60g laptop hard drive...and installed Win7 32bit on it. Put lots of free software on it (Microsoft's BETA antivirus, Open Office, InfraRecorder, K-Lite Mega Codec Pack, 7zip, Firefox 3.5 with several plug-ins, Windows Live essentials...and several other programs). So far I REALLY like it.....Pretty Slick!

We'll see how it goes with the new PC after all is assembled.
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 3:15:26 PM

Yeah - both of 'em are 'kit cars'; the black one is an English Midtec Spyder, and the Cobra (probably the same company you saw on TV - they're the biggest) is from Factory Five:
http://www.factoryfive.com/index.html

I'm torn, though; FF has a neat mid-engined supercar wannabe, that's built from Corvette pieces, with a Porsche transaxle, in addition to their tasty Cobra, which is built from Mustang pieces - it's a battle between brutality and refinement!

Lemme know when the pieces arrive; I can walk you through the satrup and some easy tweaking...
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 5:10:58 PM

@bilbat: Shelby Cobra 472? That looks VERY like it. It's a nice car. Plan to take it to a strip or is it a show car?
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 6:36:37 PM

The cobra kit will take a 302, a 352 cleveland, any big block (427, 460, one guy's even got a 'cammer' 427 side-oiler), or the newer modular v-8s - the 4.6 & 5.4 liter SOHC/DOHC stuff...

Quote:
Plan to take it to a strip or is it a show car?


I haven't been much for drag racing since my early twenties - it's too much of 'the guy with the most money invested wins' for me. I just like tear-assing around for the hell of it! We're in an area that was carved up pretty good by the glaciers during the second-last ice-age, so we've got a bunch of roads that are pretty much a roller-coaster with asphalt applied... That black thing had: concealed in-the-body front-and-rear radar and lidar detection; laser lidar jammers in the license plate frames; anti-camera plate 'blurring' covers; a police-band scanner that 'watched' for local cops (you know how the cops these days are all 'wearing' a microphone on their lapel? well, there are only two frequencies for these 'repeaters', and they're all low power, so the scanner 'looks' at those two frequencies, and lights a dash indicator so you know there's a cop within a half mile or so...!), and an aircraft landing light in the front with a military grade infrared filter on it, so you couldn't see any light, but could toast bread about six inches from the grille - makes lidar entirely useless!

The cobra has all the aerodynamic finesse of a barn door, but the GTM sports car on that page should, depending on gearing and tires, be good for over 200MPH; somehow, I can just picture talking to the cop with the ticket pad in his hand: "Jeeeez, officer, I only thought I was doing, like, one-seventy-five!!"
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
July 7, 2009 10:20:01 PM

^lol. Good luck.
July 15, 2009 3:09:34 AM

Well I've hit a road block (sort of) and I'm stumped.

Need everyone's opinion again....
(Bilbat, I know you read these forums a lot and I'd enjoy your opinion on this issue also.)

Got everything installed in my case (you can read the components above), but the motherboard requires a 12v EPS 8 pin wire from the power supply...and of course (Murphy's Law) my power supply only has the traditional 4 pin wire.

So, I dug around and found a few options.

#1, 4 pin P4 ATX wire to the 8 pin EPS
http://www.aerocooler.com/products/CBL4MP48F_m.jpg

However, I'm concerned that since the power that typically comes from the 4 pin ATX now has the current draw for two (since its split) that this could cause stability problems or worse (blow out the power supply).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#2, one 4 pin Molex (inserts into the power port of an older style hard drive / cdrw) to the 8 pin EPS
http://www.htpcusa.com/drcom/ebay/image.php?img_source_...

Same concern as above, however this is drawing current through a rail.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#3, two 4 pin Molex (inserts into the power port of an older style hard drive / cdrw) to the 8 pin EPS
http://images.ibrook.net/ik_021308-05010_elg.html
http://ebay.datasun.hk/ryan/R130B.JPG
http://ebay.datasun.hk/ryan/R130C.JPG

I think this might be a better choice since it could be attached to any molex power plug and thus could balance the power draw across 2 rails.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, that's it...now I need your assistance (because I don't want to pay for a new power supply at this time). FYI, my current power supply is a 580w.
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 4:17:29 PM

The first thing I'd do is simply try it with the existing x4 connector - lots of people find they can 'get by' with only this... The CPU is a kind of 'ragged edge' one, if it were the next step higher powered, I recommend the x8, but it's only 95W (or 65 for the 's' version); look at it this way - even if all the CPU power came through these pins (which is not the case), you'd be looking at 95 watts divided by 12 volts (roughly eight amps) divided by two wires, or about 4A per wire, which a 23AWG wire should handle easily - and I'll bet the wires in your connector are at least 18 if not 16 or 14...
Your not very likely to damage the PSU - anything worth ten dollars or more should just 'crowbar' the rail off if overloaded...
September 19, 2009 7:30:09 AM

bilbat said:
I think you'll be happy with the 9550 - it's still my #1 recommendation for bang/buck ratio. I don't recommend i7s at all, yet - the technology is too new - everyone's going through what is, in essence, beta test headaches: it's a brand spanking new processor mask, with new memory technology, and a new northbridge; the MOBO circuitry is new, the BIOS are, of necessity, experimental - not for the faint of heart! All the GB Intel 'd' series (DS3, DQ6, DS5 - the UDs are just GB's "ultra durable" designs - which is pretty much just a ditzy marketing yap) MOBOs are pretty much equivalent, and pretty much tried and true technology... I run a DS5/Q9550 on my main workstation, at 450 (1800) FSB w/8G DDR2-8640. I used to brag about the machine 'coasting' at over 4G, but that was before I started playing with video. It'll run stress tests, memory tests, and the thermal analysis tool easily at 475, but the real test is: watch one channel of HD ATSC off a network tuner, record another NTSC off an on-board, while transcoding & 'de-commercialing' yesterday's stream to NAS! @ 450, it's stable as a rock, and since Win7βRC1x64, goes days between reboots; @ 451, random blue screens and reboots, as soon as the third video stream hits it.

Here are some tips from previous posts about memory speed and selection:

Lots of memory that will work never makes the approved list - it's endemic to the industry. For GBs, what happens is the approved memory list is made up when the MOBO is introduced from sticks they have been provided samples of, and never updated thereafter; in addition, many of the memory manufacturers that you'll see there you've never heard of, as (and I've said this before) I'm sure you can pick them up at any gas station in Taiwan, but they're not to be had here. That's also why, for a lot of boards, there are scads of 512M and 1G sticks, but few 2x2s and 4x2s...

You can always use faster RAM with any modern CPU/MOBO setup - you're just likely to have to set it up manually in the BIOS to take advantage of it. Pretty much all DDR2 ram is actually DDR2/800; they 'speed-bin' it, i.e., test and select the sticks that will work at either lower (faster) latencies, or higher (faster) speeds, or both, and sell it at a premium as 2/1066, 2/1200, and so on. JEDEC spec'd RAM has a little EEPROM chip in it that stores the set-up information/tables for running it at 800 at various FSB (Front System Bus) speeds - has the preferred memory multiplier and timing info - this is called an SPD (Serial Presence Detect) just to confuse us; faster, higher rated sticks may (but don't necessarily) contain another set of tables (called an EPP - this one makes sense - Extended Performance Profile) that will tell the BIOS what multiplier/latncies to use at its higher rated speed - BUT - not all BIOS are created equal: some will read this EPP automatically, and set the RAM at the higher speed; some will require intervention (on a lot of GBs, it's "Load Optimized Defaults" [but, to keep it more confusing - not all BIOS with the "Load Optimized Defaults" fuction actually use it to set the EPP]), and some just plainly don't know the EPP exists (if it does) and you have to set the higher speed manually!

Now, you have control over the basic system clock (I'm going to cal it B_CLK), once you start manually timing the MOBO through the BIOS. B_CLK times four is your FSB (once again, Front System Bus); B_CLK times your memory multiplier is your DRAM rate; B_CLK times your CPU's multiplier is your CPU frequency.

Examples: if you set your system clock to 333, you will need a 2.4 memory multiplier (333 x 2.4 = 799.blahblahblah) to run your RAM at 800, and if the CPU multiplier is, say, 8.5, you will get a CPU clock of 2.83GHz; at that same B_CLK you would need a memory multiplier of 3.2 (3.2 x 333 = 1065.6) to take advantage of 1066 RAM. Now, lots of CPUs that are rated at a 1333 nominal FSB will run a lot faster, sometimes with a little more 'oomph' from a voltage increase; for example, I run a Q9550 that is rated at 1333 FSB (333 B_CLK) times an eight point five multiplier, for a 2.83GHz speed. It will comfortably run with the B_CLK well over 450 - and here's where faster RAM comes in. The smallest RAM multiplier available from a MCH (Memory Control Hub - or 'NorthBridge') is 2.0, but, with a 2.0 multiplier, that means at a 450 clock, your RAM will need to run at 900 (again, 450 B_CLK x 2 = 900), which most 800 RAM just won't do! This is referred to as a 'RAM limited bus', meaning the CPU can't run a B_CLK any higher than (roughly) half the RAM's available speed - and thus, the need for faster RAM. Mind you, this only applies if you both can, and intend to, run your FSB above 1600 (once again, a B_CLK of 400+ times 4 gives you a 1600+ FSB)...

To further complicate matters, people often misunderstand the actual quantitative speed improvements inherent in faster ram... Here's the mistake: 1066 is 33% higher than 800 ([1066-800]/800 = 266/800 = .33), so 1066 RAM must be a third faster than 800, right? Not so! You have to figure in latencies. Most 800 will run at 4-4-4-12, while most 1066 is rated at 5-5-5-15, or, even worse, 5-5-5-18. Here's how to appraise the situation in reality: at 800 MHz, a RAM bus cycle is 1.25 μSec long (1000/800); at 1066 (1000/1066), it is roughly .938 μSec long - so, with an 800 stick at a 4 average latency, a RAM bus transaction takes 1.25 (cycle time) times 4 (latency), or 5μSec, while at 1066 it is .938 (cycle time) times 5 (latency), for a transaction time of (roughly) 4.7μSec - so you see, by going to nominally 33% faster RAM, you actually gain three tenths of a μSec per transaction - .3 (transaction gain) over 5(transaction total) = .06, for a real-world improvement of 6%

My experience with 'GB-friendliness' by manufacturer has been: mushkin - GBs love mushkin, but it's pricey, and the speed selection is limited; G.Skill - works well, has a functional EPP, and will usually also run at 'auto' settings, unless you run four sticks; OCZ - likewise; Kingston, Crucial, & Corsair - seem to account for most of the problems I see here with RAM (wich, of course, could possibly be due to the fact that more people buy them, as they're generally cheap), with Crucial having a few times had problems with apparent 'degrading' over time, i.e., a previously working OC simply 'goes bad', and MemTest86+ shows it to be RAM...


Hi bilbat

This is an excellent dissertion of what is going on visa vie memory and FSB speeds
I have a problem with my GB EP45 UD3R in that I am unable to get my FSB higher than 375 mhz (Q9550 EO stepping) While trying to up my FSP speed above this figure I am keeping the CPU clock standard 2.83 Gig or as close as possible, even underclocking by utilising a lower CPU multiplier
The same goes for my memory I rather clock it at lower rated speed so that I can find out the upper limit of my FSB. 375 GiG FSB max seems a bit low, Any suggestions what I could do to get beyond that

Henties
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
September 19, 2009 10:23:48 PM

What kind of ram? What cooling? I can give you a 'canned' OC that has worked for others to at least 401; can be taken higher, but I like to do l'ow voltage' OC's here - no risk to the hardware...
September 20, 2009 9:35:16 AM

I have to use Transcend TX1066QLU-4GK (2 pieces totalling 4 gigs.) another 2 pices for a toatal of 8 gig will be added soon. Namibia is a third world country and you have to use what you can get. "My" cooler - Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme - is on order, just wander if it will ever get here.

In anticipation of the arrival of the cooler I am trying to find out the upper limit of my FSB which will make my OC less time consuming when my cooler eventually arrives.

Specs.
EP45 UD3R also got an EP45 UD3P with bios version F11 and FB respectively
Q9550 EO
Lestech 600W PSU
BFG GTX 285 OCX
Hauppauge PVR 500 dual analog tuner which only works when memory is configured below 4 gigs (msconfig setting)
Transcend TX1066QLU-4GK presently 4 gigs.

At the moment I can overclock to 3 gigs with standard cooling.
FSB 375 CPU X 8 ,vcore 1.1375V (underclocked in fact) and stable 1hr.OCCT 3.1.0 CPU test with core1 temps reaching 70 gegrees C and the other cores round about 68 degrees C Have not lapped the CPU yet

I am not using the OCCT:linpack test as that seems to be designed to test how quickly it can "melt" a CPU
Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

Food for thought
Have been wandering why people are wanting to overclock in the first place, Computers spend so much more time waiting than doing anything usefull, so OCing cannot make such a big productivity difference at all when measured over a longer period of time. When cosidering that all computers wait at the same speed OCing seem to be a waste of time,effort and money


a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
September 20, 2009 2:31:36 PM

Quote:
Have been wondering why people are wanting to overclock in the first place, Computers spend so much more time waiting than doing anything usefull, so OCing cannot make such a big productivity difference at all when measured over a longer period of time. When cosidering that all computers wait at the same speed OCing seem to be a waste of time,effort and money

I am often asked about "should I buy now, or wait for the [fill in anything] to come out?", and "how much should I invest in speed?"; the answers are pretty indeterminate... First off, I explain that, no matter what you buy, when you zip the tape off the box - it'll be obsolete! Moore's law guarantees that - next month, there'll be a faster graphics card, a CPU with more cores, - something, that will make your investment moot... The second thing I point out is exactly your point - most computers spend the vast majority of their time in a tight 'wait loop' around your keyboard interrupt service routine, so the best investment you can make is to learn to touch-type (or, take the time to train and learn the dictation software in your OS...)! That said, there are several good reasons for a fast, optimized system:

The first is continual and unending 'software bloat'; for many years I had a win98se machine with a Celeron OC'd to around 800 MHz, that would run rings around my dad's 2 GHz Pentium running Xp, simply because of, well, simplicity. Not only the OS, but all the applications, were 'leaner and meaner' - but, not as 'pretty', or feature full... Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster."

The second is a system that does a lot 'on its own'; usually, in the background, my box is downloading, either via torrent or TechNet's transfer app, gigabytes of 'stuff'; also, in the background, it's recording and transcoding (using a multi-threaded app - sometimes via the ATI hardware-assisted Avivo codec, which, had I known, would have caused me to invest in faster video hardware) video to either pull commercials, or re-size it for permanent storage on a media server, or both! Compiler 'builds' are faster; the aero interface is smoother; I can afford 'wasted cycles' better...

Another thing that has a huge impact on actual productivity is interface design, as well as rational, carefully though out file names/directory structures; I have used a 'dead black' wallpaper since visiting with Niklaus Wirth at PARC in eighty-four. Keeps your shortcuts easily visible, fast to access, 'rememberable'. It's a tool, not an art display! Another thing that taught me a lot about interface organization was studying cockpit layout in preparation for a (never built!) kit-plane project; the principle there is never have a row of switches [icons, shortcuts] longer than seven, (five is better) and always an odd number, and grouped by function. That way, the human cognitive tendency to classify things as center, left of center, left end, etc., is accomodated - less confusion = faster access. Same with directory structures and file/variable naming conventions - doesn't matter what you use - but use something, and do it consistently - it's well worth the time invested. I also have found a great deal of productivity gain in using multiple (or very large - same principle) monitors; having several large apps open to cut'n'paste between them is much faster if you don't need to continually switch between them - much more intuitive...










October 30, 2009 5:39:41 PM

Bilbat-

Thinking about upping my Ram from 4GB to 8GB and saw this post. I have the same Gigabyte EP45 -UD3R Mobo and same Q9550 CPU. I have WD Raptor drives for OS and Gaming. I am just about done with my system build, and I want to future proof my build, hoping that it will meet my needs for the next 2-3 years. I currently have 4 - 1GB sticks of Corsair Dominator 1066 Ram running stable. I would have to buy 4- 2GB sticks to get my desired 8GB.

I am running Windows 7 64 bit.
I play the latest PC games like Crysis and the upcoming COD-modern warfare 2.
I do photo and video editing among other multi-tasking with Itunes, Utorrent, IE8, similar.
I often draw with Microsoft Visio, and view CAD drawings with Autodesk 2008.

This sums up my current usage. Like I said, I want to future proof my build and I am willing to buy 4 new sticks of Ram to get 8GB.

The question is,
Is it worth it and what is the best value considering I have to buy 4 new sticks?

I have found good reviews with the G.Skill DDR1066 ram, and Kingston DDR-1066. I love the Dominator Ram but to buy 4 new sticks may be outside of my budget.

Another question based on your initial response is, can I buy 8GB of DDR800 Ram (instead of 1066) and satisfy my future proof needs while still maintaining performance.

I am still digesting your responses to gbullard94's post, which is why I am asking my own questions.

thanks in advance.
-jaker
October 30, 2009 5:51:06 PM

I might add that I have not overclocked the CPU, and probably won't.
a b } Memory
a c 177 V Motherboard
October 30, 2009 10:37:28 PM

I, personally, as well as a large number of people here in the forum, have had great luck with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It always does at least spec, and I have run 8G at 1100 a half-tenth volt under specified voltage (but I 'speed-binned' my own DIMMs, selecting the fastest four out of six)...
I have seen a number of problems both in getting eight gig of either Kingston or Corsair to successfully run eight gig at spec'd voltage, and, with Corsair, a couple of times I have seen it appear to 'degrade' over time, i.e., a once working setup goes to hell, MemTest86+ diagnostics show it to be memory problems, and raising the timings appears to be the only way to recover it...

I think it's kind of a waste not to OC any of the (higher end, at least - 8400, 8500, 9550, 9650) Intel CPUs; they always can be 'bumped up' at least 20% with a safe, low-voltage, no-stress OC, simply by adding any aftermarket heatsink/fan, and taking the FSB from 1333 to 1600 directly - takes about five minutes to set up, and is guaranteed to give you a subjectively noticeable speed-up, unlike fast RAM, whose major advantage is not the RAM speed itself, which you likely will not 'see' directly, but serves to allow you to increase the FSB past 1600...
November 2, 2009 12:42:01 PM

Bilbat,

Thanks for the info and advise.

I have been looking at the G.SKill and reading the reviews, it looks like the best option (price/performance) for stepping up to 8 Gigs.

I have always been hesitent to dabble with overclocking the CPU, because I don't have money to replace the parts if I screw up. I

Am I better off using Easy Tune-6 or going at it manually?

What would be an example of settings for a safe 20% overclock?

Thanks.
!