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HELP - PCI Slots No Power or Response - i7 Gaming 1500 Build

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July 23, 2009 12:18:42 AM

Hey guys, been lurking on the forums for the last 2 weeks or so checking things out, looking at other people's set-ups and reading the stickies so here goes... Is it like this year round or is this all just the summer rush?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now – August 15th BUDGET RANGE: $1,000 – 1,500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Office Applications, Music, Internet, Watching Movies, some graphic design. I tend to run many applications at once, especially Itunes + whatever else I am doing, photoshop, games etc...

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg or microcenter (I have a store nearby)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 920, Nvidia however, I am open to Radeon if better price for performance…

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe – I have read several things indicating OCing the i7 is recommended. This would probably be a get it running then figure out OCing?

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if not initially due to price constraints I would like this option in the future, and the x58 boards support it so…

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I will likely get a new monitor so 19in 1440x900 (low end) or 21.5 1920 x 1080 (higher end) If I stay on budget... :) 

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first build, I have upgraded parts in a PC before, put in new HD’s and the like but otherwise I don’t usually mess around inside. Decided to build my own after not really liking a lot of Dell’s options and prices and not really comfortable dropping a grand on a custom machine on ibuypower or some such with very mixed reviews.

So here I am… I am currently running a Dell 9100 p43.0ghz(2 CPU -hyperthreading), with a nvidia 6800 or GT can’t remember can run Assassins Creed or Mass Effect on lowest settings okay wouldn’t go all the way to smoothly. As previously mentioned I will be using this machine to play video games as well as apps with some minor photoshop and am looking to create a machine that I can upgrade as needed in the coming years but will run today’s games.

Couple upfront questions/comments.
Audio Card – Is the onboard audio enough? I currently have a separate card, but with modern boards is there a performance or quality issue? Should this be a future upgrade if I decide its necessary or should it be part of the initial build? The stickies indicate that I wont suffer for not getting one.

Does OEM (In particular to HD’s) vs retail matter?

Case, PSU, Mobo, Gfx card are the areas where I am really open to suggestions, or more accurately strong armed guidance. 

-THE BUILD-

CASE $75-150
Mid or Full Tower? The mids are cheaper and prettier, but being my first build will I appreciate the extra space, and do some of the newer components need it? Also heard a lot of issues with people having problems fitting some of the newer gfx cards in the cases…

PROCESSOR $279.99
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... – May purchase for 200 from microcenter if they are still in stock and on sale when I buy

THERMAL PASTE?

MOTHERBOARD
Looking to go w/out a sound card so that’s a consideration here, obviously want it to fit my case nicely and the gfx card… Also I have heard mutterings about some bios setup being better then others, im new…easy is good.

HEAT SINK

RAM $114.99
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GRAPHICS CARD
GTX 275 or ATI equivalent, with possible SLI in the future.

POWER SUPPLY
Just needs to power everything and not meltdown.

SOUND CARD
Is this necessary?

HARD DRIVE $74.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have a 500gb external I store music and videos as well as many other things on so space is not a huge issue.

OPTICAL DRIVE
1x CDRW+/DVD+RW – No preference or idea.

MONITOR $179.99
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS $109.99
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any Reason not to get OEM?

WIRELESS CARD
Simply not practical to wire my entire house and so I use wireless, would just pop out my old one, but my old machine will likely be used by my GF (who will need the wifi). So any suggestions I have a D-Link wireless router.

Thanks in advance!
July 23, 2009 4:14:53 AM

OEM versions of OSes are basically tied to your motherboard; once your computer is gone, the license expires.

If you've got the workspace, go for a full-size tower. That will save you potential problems down the road if ever you decide to go SLI or upgrade to a bigger video card. The bigger internal space also encourages air circulation.

Can't complain about your processor. If you're getting an i7, the 920 is the way to go.

When choosing RAM, just make sure its listed on your future motherboard's qualified vendor list (QVL, Google "[motherboard] QVL". That's a list of RAM that's been tested with the motherboard.

Can't complain about your video card as well. It's a bit over-powered for your 21.5" display, but at least if you decide to get a higher-resolution display, you won't have to get a new video card immediately.

Considering your system, I'd recommend a 550W power supply. If you're going to do some overclocking get a 750W PSU. Brand? CORSAIR.

A sound card isn't necessary, unless you're doing professional audio work or something.

Great choice of hard disk, though I'd suggest you spend a bit more and get the 1TB version.

For the optical drive, get something from LG or Samsung. They're the two best optical drive brands IMO.

Get a WiFi card from D-Link; it's best to keep the router's and network adapter's brand the same.

Hope my incomplete thoughts help!
July 23, 2009 4:37:07 AM

Nice memory choice. I am a big fan of the EVGA X58 SLI Micro. It's a high end classified with one of the three PCIe 2.0 slots cut-off. If you never planned to go 3XSLI why would you care? I spent some bucks on my case because I wanted the cooling. COOLER MASTER HAF 932. I use Artic Silver 5 Thermal paste. For a heat sink I went with the Prolimatech Megahalems. You could save $20 by going with the Titan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ. PSU .... always give me pause. You need a minimum of 500W. I always go higher because I don't like driving a PSU at 90%. I would recommend a 750W PSU. The EVGA X58 SLI Micro comes with a very good audio chipset built in. Even for a home entertainment system you wouldn't need better so I would drop the sound card.

For a monitor, I spent $210 at Costco for a Viewsonic 24" HD/DVI Display. Hey, it looks real nice. For wireless, the linksys wmp54g wireless-g pci adapter is one choice. Depends on your router.

Others can suggest other systems that are just as nice. This is one man's opinion.
Related resources
July 23, 2009 11:49:23 PM

PSU -
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
ASUS P6T
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

Looked at all three of these QVL and none of them had the OCZ Plat, in fact none of them really looked at 6gb packages it seemed like. Any guidance in this area would be appreciated.

GFX Card - The ATI's are all around $20-50 cheaper. In anycase is their a recommended brand/vendor (ie gigabite or asus or sapphire etc..) Any size considerations with these cards/mobo combos?
GTX 275
HD4870
HD4890

Case: Gotta fit all this stuff somewhere...
NZXT ZERO 2 Crafted Series CS-NT-ZERO-2 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case is shiny, any opinions recommendations? I would like to stay in the $100 range but could be persuaded, the COOLER MASTER HAF 932 is very nice as well...kinda undecided in this area. Probably the main area I would worry about things all not fitting well together..

Also how big is the size difference in terms of working inside room with a full tower vs mid tower? Is it noticeable / helpful?
July 24, 2009 12:43:31 AM

Ryric,
The compatible memory list is made at the time the mobo was released. The memory that you want is rarely going to be on that list.

The only knock on the OCZ memory is that it runs at 1.65 volts. The Intel i7 CPUs are designed to run at 1.5v. They handle 1.65v but no more. With OCZ memory you are riding the edge. A decent memory is G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666). It says dual memory (and only supplies two sticks so you would have to buy an additional single) but dual vs. triple channel lies with the memory controller on (for i7) the CPU and not the memory. I point to this memory because it runs at either 1.5 or 1.6v (over clocked). The lower voltage puts less stress on the CPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have the OCZ platinum so I chose to ride the edge.

I looked at all those boards and went with EVGA X58 Micro. It is the high end classified minus a PCIe 2.0 slot. Other folks have made different choices.

If you are going to buy an ATI card then get a mobo that supports CrossFire. If you buy a NIVIDA graphics card then buy a mobo that supports SLI.

I am of the school that if you add a little to a little then you end up with a big pile. I would get two 3rd tier cards rather than one 1st tier card. Mind the power! BTW, you can buy that 1st 3rd tier card now and add the 2nd card later ... like when you have more money. The GTX 260 is less expensive than the GTX 275.

"two GeForce GTX 260 cards in SLI offer advantages in titles that run better with the GeForce GT200 architecture. If you have an SLI-compatible motherboard, the decision becomes a no-brainer as two GeForce GTX 260 cards are a serious force with which to reckon. As with the single cards, we recommend the newer Core 216 versions, thanks to the similar price and enhanced performance."

and "Two GeForce GTX 275s in SLI will deliver performance superior to the GeForce GTX 295 for about $370, which is $50 less than the SLI-on-a-card GeForce GTX 295."

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP is a good case at $70. Also consider the NZXT TEMPEST for $110. The cooler master has more room....
July 24, 2009 2:25:38 AM

ezkiller,
I am not an expert on GDDR5 but I am not so sure that it is better than GDDR3 in practice.

"While at first we thought that the difference between the two types of memory was negligible, these figures show we were wrong. In games and at equal speed, GDDR5 thus proves to have 3 to 16% lower performances than GDDR3, in other words, a significant impact.

Tests continued and we wanted to know at what frequency GDDR5 should be set in order that performances are more or less similar to those obtained with GDDR3 at 993 MHz. In our tests, this turned out to be +/- 1250 MHz (still for the transmission of data) versus 993 MHz. GDDR5 is therefore 20% less efficient than GDDR3. Of course, this is an average and depending on the game and its manner of accessing memory they adapt more or less well to GDDR5."

http://www.behardware.com/articles/726-5/radeon-hd-4800...
July 24, 2009 11:22:55 AM

Easy killer,
On June 25, 2008, AMD became the first company to ship products using GDDR5 memory with its Radeon HD 4870 video card series. The link's age is still relevant.

GDDR5 is actually Quad Data Rate RAM; it transfers 2 bits of data per upwards and 2 bits of data per downwards clock cycle, effectively doubling the theoretical bandwidth of GDDR3.

But ATI uses only a 256 bit memory bus. Why? ATI wants to compete on price, not performance.

July 28, 2009 11:43:47 PM

After browsing the forums, checking out other builds and hitting microcenter I decided on a couple things...and need a little more guidance or pros/cons on a few others.

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Checked out cases at Microcenter and this one seems nice, simple, lots of air vents/fan spaces and doesn't shout I am a gamer and had to pimp my case...

Question: Should I buy additional fans to augment the factory installed fans?

Processor
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model (D0 Stepping - checked Microcenter's $200 Units are D0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE AND PSU ISSUES? The Antec is a full tower, the 690 is a mid-size so not sure if this is an issue?
Quote:
The PSU will be located @ the bottom of the Antec 1200.. You should get this Power extension cable, specially if you want to hide all your PSU cabling.

1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F $7.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Over this past winter I built a computer for my friend using the same case, using the Corsair 1000w PSU. The Power will fit if you do not want to hide it, using the 1200 cable management cable system, but does look better when using the above Power extension cable
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267906-31-gaming-buil...


HEATSINK
COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...



PROBLEM CHILDREN...

GFX Card
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both Cards are priced pretty much the same. Looking at the specs, the ATI has a slower mem clock, but has double the memory, and a slightly fast core clock. Not sure the difference in processor cores vs processing units. so guidance here would be appreciated.


MOBO

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P $259 (239 after rebate)
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 $289
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 $239

Boards seem to have the same features and all seem fairly popular, any guidance.

I know Ram mentioned the EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX ($209). Any other opinions on that board? Any implications going with the micro ATX board? Newegg only had 3 reviews compared to the 200-300 on the other boards mentioned.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The Less Shiny Essentials
Monitor
ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Looks like I will be getting some parts from microcenter and some from newegg, I plan on messing around with combo's to attempt to get the best deal I can and remain in the 1400 ballpark if at all possible... (any tips in this regard would be appreciated.)
August 15, 2009 12:30:48 AM

Specs are above (went with the Gigabyte Board)

Computer has been running well for the last couple days, went to install a new Wireless card (DLINK WDA2320) and it wasn't working tried re inserting several times nothing...

Then the machine died. Now when I power on it powers up for 3 seconds or so and dies right away then Re-powers up...just looping.

Anyway the wireless card could have shorted the board/psu via the pci slot or something weird?

I tried resetting the bios several times..
August 15, 2009 12:47:39 AM

Okay shorted the power connectors on the case and held the CMOS botton while restarting form the MB powerswitch and its on, but not getting input to the monitor now, and all the MB lights are lit.
August 15, 2009 1:02:02 AM

Okay another update. Pulled my gtx 275 and tried my 6800 from my old machine, still no go on the display input but the system seems to be running stable. Also tried to play around with different sticks of ram...no joy

Doesn't look like the graphics card fan is spinning either.

So from the looks of it the PCI slots are fried? Anyway to fix that short of dismantling and RMA the MB?
August 15, 2009 1:17:35 AM

Do you have a second display to plug in?

I recently did a new system build and of all things, my Samsung display was bad.

Are you getting any post codes? Any beeps?

Oh, and by the way, but a second 140 mm fan for the case top.
August 15, 2009 2:24:12 PM

Yea I tried my second display and the old 6800 card / new display and 6800 card.

All lights, except lights indicating overheating are on, but they normally come on during the POST process.

I checked the manual again and those seem to be the indicator lights, no beeps or at least none described in the manual...

I had previously changed the RAM to Manufactures specs otherwise BIOS are default, however the problem only happened when I started trying to use the Wireless card...

(I installed 1 bottom, and 2 top 120mm fans in my case...nice and cool)

Should I RMA the Motherboard? Motherboard + other items to be safe? Will I encounter problems with my vista install if I RMA the MB? - Really not looking forward to that, just glad my secondary pc still works decently...
August 15, 2009 3:54:57 PM

Read this first. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

Go to chapter 5 of this http://china.giga-byte.com/FileList/manual/motherboard_...

"The system reports system startup status by issuing a beep code. One single short beep will be heard if no problem is detected at system
startup. If a problem is detected, the BIOS may issue beeps in different patterns to indicate the problem. Refer to Chapter 5, "Troubleshooting," for information about beep codes."
August 15, 2009 5:14:05 PM

1-11 YES
12 NA
13 NO
14 - Always strap in...static electricity scares me
15 Doesn't seem to have a speaker that I can see - speaker plugs near pwr/led is empty - can I get something like that at fry's? or Microcenter both which are near me?
16-19 YES
20 - no integrated (at least no port to plug a monitor into any integrated output)

Looks like the rest of it you need to be able to hear those beeps, which I can't atm - anyone know a good store that may have them? I check microcenter and fry's website couldn't seem to find one. Just seems like by the time I order that and receive It I may be better off sending it back to newegg just b/c it would seem like all of a sudden your getting kinda close to being outside the 30day warranty with newegg...
August 15, 2009 7:54:24 PM

http://www.frys.com/search?search_type=regular&sqxts=1&...

Or borrow a set of PC speakers from a friend.

BTW, an on-board LCD that displays the post codes was a nice feature of the EVGA board that I bought.

You need to find out what is wrong before you can be sure that RMA'ing the mobo isn't a waste of time. Or you can roll the dice. It's your time.

BTW, have you tried removing the mobo from the case, hooking it up, and trying to power on? This would eliminate shorting to the case as a cause.
August 15, 2009 9:54:17 PM

Didn't realize external speakers would work...
August 15, 2009 10:18:18 PM

Well plugged in a set of dell speakers, and no beeps on power up, plugged in the monitors sound as well and no go as well. No sounds emitted.

Pulled both the memory and gfx card and restarted (assuming that these would for sure cause some response, but still nothing.

Makes me wonder if everything is powering up but nothing is truely working atleast not intelligently and its not trying to post? The CD tray will also come out upon request...
August 15, 2009 10:22:54 PM

I guess I am going to have to pull it out of the case, so should I just operate on the anti-static sheet included with the board or another surface. Should I be using the standoffs to keep it off the ground?
August 16, 2009 10:43:18 AM

Some people recommend that you place the mobo on a telephone book. This way cards have room to extend over the side of the mobo without touching anything.
August 16, 2009 6:49:20 PM

Okay did that, and placed it on the anti-static sheet with the cushion, still no beeps, tried plugging into the onboard audio channels, as well as plugging the cases cable for audio into the audio slot near the pwr on and off/led's still no beeps.

Not sure what else I can really do... Seems odd that the MB lights up so nicely and everything seems to power up except the gfx card....

Any possibility that the PCI power rails are fried? I have 3 plugs and have tried them in various combos...
August 17, 2009 2:16:35 AM

You have tried
  • a different graphics card
  • different PCIe slots
  • a different display

    No beeps. Hmmm, sounds like a fried mobo.
    !