APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Everything's here BUDGET RANGE: Total was just over $1,100
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Word processing, spreadsheets, lite gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I'm reusing a 19" Dell LCD
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, INFOTECH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Case: Lian Li PC-60FWB, PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750HX, MB: GigabyteGA-790FXTA-UD5, CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955, Cooler: Tuniq Universal w/ Arctic Silver, Memory: G. Skill DDR3 F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK, Hard Drive: Samsung F1 HE502IJ 500GB 7200RPM, Video Card: XFX HD-477A-YDFC, Optical Drive: MSI DH-24AAS-17 24X SATA DVD Burner
OPERATING SYSTEM: W7 64-bit clean install
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe later. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As is stands now, this is just enough to get me up and running, with room to grow a little.
My questions are what settings to use configuring BIOS. The Gigabyte manual seems pretty detailed, but I have little confidence, in spite of doing weeks of research. I feel like there are a few things one is supposed to know automatically - so here are a couple of questions I haven't been able to sort out:
1) Configuring the HD. The first one failed (W7 refused to load it, saying it was going to fail soon. It's been RMA'd and has been picked up by UPS for replacement). I'm not going to run a RAID configuration (for now, anyway). Do I configure BIOS for AHCI, with the HD in SATA2_0 socket, and the optical drive in SATA2_1? (pg 50 of the manual)
2) HD SMART is enabled, yes?
3) Gigabyte has a AMD SATA RAID chipset driver that is to be downloaded via floppy during Windows Setup from a floppy via F6? Is that after the OS install? Do I need that now? When I expand the system and go for RAID 5, does the referenced "DriverAgent" work satisfactorily to install this?
4) Gigabyte provides a Utility DVD. Is that already obsolete software?
I apologize for my ignorance - it's been over 25 years since I was active as a system tech and a LOT has changed in the interim.
I went ahead and ordered a WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS, hopeful that it may perform better than the RMA'd Samsung (that 7 year warranty is nice, but a working drive with a better reputation makes more sense, IMO).
1. Configuring your BIOS for RAID will offer more flexability later on, but if you're confident that you don't need the extra storage, then AHCI would be good.
3. When installing Windows you will be prompted to press F6 to install third party or RAID drivers. This includes SATA. This is because before Vista, Windows had no way of recognizing SATA without the drivers. Motherboard manufacturers have since taken care of that problem and installed an emulator on the boards. This emulator will trick Windows into thinking that an IDE drive is installed, allowing you to bypass the need to press F6 during the first stage of a Windows installation. You must enable this option in the BIOS.
Use GParted for partitions, it's free and also safer, partition magic is an overpriced piece of crap that won't let you make any partitions unless you buy a license, they make you think you have to pay 50$ for doing what many other FREE software can do even better.
though if i'm not wrong, windows itself has a partition manager, not sure about 7, but xp does.