I will be building this rig this weekend. This is my first build, so I have no idea what I need to do after I build it. Setting up the bios, flashing the SSD firmware before installing OS, getting what drivers...what do I do? Which drivers do I need? And I heard something about avoiding the newest nVidia driver and getting Intel drivers over Microsoft drivers. Confusing!
i7 920 D0
EVGA x58 SLI LE
XMS3 6gb 1600
BFG gtx 260 Maxcore
Intel X25-M 80gb Boot Drive, Spinpoint F3 1TB
Read my Step-by-Step guide in my sig to help with how to put together (if needed).
Flash the firmware first on the Intel X25-M G2 first before installing the OS.
After flashing, set your SATA drive to ACHI in the BIOS instead of IDE. This helps with the support the Windows 7 TRIM and other features of a SSD.
Install Windows 7 OS
Install the Audio drivers from the EVGA website (download onto a flash drive a head of time)
Install the Intel RAID drivers from the EVGA website, if might setup a RAID (download onto a flash drive a head of time) Note: I didn't install any other board drivers at this point. I let Windows assign the drivers.
Install the GPU drivers. I would stay away from the latest Nvidia drivers. I'm running 196.21 with no issues.
Go back into your BIOS and verify your RAM is set to the proper timings, speed & voltage, as listed on the RAM. Note: I would recommend setting up your overclocking around this point, if you plan on overclocking. It isn't a must at this point but fits good into the flow.
Install all of your other apps and games. Remember to limit what you put on your SSD do to space limits. I moved my User folder to my 1TB and updated the OS to save/pull from that location. I used the hard drive clone trick in the 2nd video to clone my WD VRaptor 300GB hard drive for my games (working nicely for me ). I install as much as I can on the 1TB drive... Myself.
Benchmark your system with programs like PCMark Vantage, Prime95, 3DMark Vantage... etc to get a feel for your performance and stability.
-After flashing, set your SATA drive to ACHI in the BIOS instead of IDE. This helps with the support the Windows 7 TRIM and other features of a SSD
What about my other HDD?
It will not effect your other hard drives installed in your system. As I said, I'm running the Intel X25-M G2 80GB, WD VRaptor 300GB and the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB on the ACHI settings
-Install the Audio drivers from the EVGA website (download onto a flash drive a head of time)
What do you mean ahead of time?
What I mean is download the drivers onto a flash drive from another PC and have it ready for the build. Once you have the OS installed, you load the flash drive and install the latest drivers off of the drive.
-@ the SSD tweaking video, I'm not sure why the guy puts in 32 bit Windows 7 and does all that junk on the command.
I won't worry about that step. I think he was going over steps to completely wipe the SSD once it already had information installed on it. With a new build, the step isn't required but could be useful if you have to reformat down the road
-How do I make sure everything goes to the storage by default, and only programs I want go on the SSD?
Whenever you install a game, music, etc., you need to do a custom install process and select the storage drive for the installation path. There is no way to default the install process to a drive different than the C drive, that I know of.
@ jsc: I knew I forgot something ...installing the Anti-virus. I had that listed but Tom's took a crash and when I re-typed the post I forgot it.
I'm having trouble understanding the MaximumPC article. I installed Windows 7 64 bit on the SSD and some heavily used programs, such as Firefox and Avast. I also partitioned my HDD into two 500 GB volumes, one for media files and one for games. But I'm lost now: how do I get everything to automatically go on my HDD, and only go on my SSD when I want? I've been following the guide but I get lost after Step 1.
Copy the C:\User folder onto your Storage hard drive
Right Mouse click on C:\Users\Your Profile\Desktop folder
Click the Location Tab, select Move, tell it to use Your Storage Drive:Users\Your Profile\Desktop
Do that for each one of the folders in the C:\User folder and moving forward, your applications will default their saves or storage to the new User location.
I have not found a way to automatically have program installs go to my HDD, outside of the custom install.
I would try and complete Step 4 on the MaximumPC list for your Games. Since you have already created a partition, you'll have to delete the Games partition and have it listed as unallocated to get that step to work. If you already have games installed in that folder, don't worry about reformating and reinstalling them.