I've always ended up with hand-me-down computers that I just swapped parts out to make them slightly better and able to handle the current games. This is my first 100% new computer, and I ended up actually building this one because I'll be starting a Computer Science degree program next year and for gaming as well.
OS - Windows XP (Would upgrade to Windows 7 if the install wouldn't tell me there is a problem communicating with drives.)
Mobo - EVGA P55 SLI
Processor - Intel Core i7-870 1156 2.93
Memory - Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600 (2x2GB for now till I can get Windows 7 installed)
PSU - Corsair 650w 80+ Bronze
Graphics - EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX-460
Cooling - Corsair Hydrocool Liquid Cooling
HDD - WD 1.5Tb Green 7200rpm 3GB/s
CD - ASUS DVD-RW Combo Drive
Case - NZXT Apollo Black
1. First problem I noticed was that when I installed XP then went to install Windows 7 Student Upgrade (32-bit to 64-bit), the install said there was a problem communicating with a drive (theoretically a failing CD Drive or Hard Drive). However, both have worked fine for installing all the programs I have, and all of them have worked so far.
2. Opening programs has a slight lag, clicking on things has slight lag, and slight lag when typing in things like IE. (URL's and Searches)
3. Installing programs takes longer than with previous computers. (By a large margin)
4. The CPU Temp and POST Code display stops on 38 (Initialize USB Controllers) during the boot process and the motherboard beeps 5-6 times. The front USB ports won't recognize my USB in-line sound-card/Headset combo, but will recognize a keyboard. (Keyboard isn't plugged in there anymore though, checked that first to see if that was part of the typing issue.)
I did run a few different Prime95 tests to see if there was a problem with power fluctuation or stability with the processor, which didn't seem to cause any problems and the CPU temp maxed out at 56 C. Once games and programs are actually running, (specifically games) there isn't a problem, and is a VAST improvement over the slower dual-core/worse GPU combo's I've had in the past.
Another thing I've never had to mess with in the past is BIOS settings. I did go into the memory voltage and timing to make sure that was set to the Corsair Dominator specs. Other than that, I left things at the "Optimized Defaults". One thing I noticed was the IDE Configuration, which I haven't noticed on the older systems I had. A couple people that I asked were wondering why it was setting it at IDE when it was purely SATA drives. I'm not entirely sure about what the different settings for that are, since all I've messed with in the past was CPU/GPU/PSU/Cooling/Memory upgrades.
Any help is appreciated, I've tried what I know to get rid of the lag and try to get Windows 7 up on the system, but I'm at a loss as to what's wrong.
"You can use the Upgrade option during Windows 7 installation, which preserves your files, settings, and programs, only if you're currently running a 32-bit version of Windows Vista and you want to upgrade to the 32-bit version of Windows 7. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you can only perform an upgrade to a 64-bit version of Windows 7. For more information, go to Upgrading to Windows 7: frequently asked questions on the Windows website." http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/32-bit-and-...
You can also format the harddrive during install if you don't mind losing all your data. If you try going this route, change your BIOS setting that is at IDE to AHCI before you do the Windows 7 install. To change it with XP you have to create a disk with the specialized drivers on it which is a pain considering the drivers are part of Windows 7.
Is the Dvd/rw Cd/rw drive that your trying to install from an older IDE style drive? I am not entirely sure on the reasoning why? but i know that when I attempted to install windows 7 on a computer with an IDE DVD /RW drive it was an extremely slow process that ended up failing. When i switched out the drive for a SATA one... install took about 10 minutes and done.
As for things being a bit slower or lagging, It may be that WDC Green drives are not the fastest drives(i am NOT calling them bad drives, but access time is imprtant when the drive needs to get data that is fragmented) on the market. They in fact have some of the slower access time. I am not even aware of a 7200rpm Green to begin with.
Other then that, I have also seen slow downs when running apps that do not get along with multi core cpus(creative audio mixer for Audigy 2zs cards). I find this un-likely in your case since you had multi core before anyway. You could try eliminating non used software from startup to see if it helps.
As said above, you may be unable to upgrade from XP 32 to 7 64. I never use upgrades anyway.
I ended up borrowing a Windows 7 OEM disc that is used by a family member's business just to see if it recognizes the drives and such, which it does. I assume that it may just be an issue with the installation media that I have then, since it won't even start up a clean install before saying it can't communicate with the hardware attached to the computer. I have been trying to do a clean install each time attempted, since I know you can't go from 32 to Windows 7 64-bit from within the operating system. (The upgrade is only as a clean install option as listed by Microsoft's upgrade eligibility listings.)
I will try out the test of the hard drive to see if there is an issue with it. Thankfully, if there is, I am still within the return period on it. I am also going to test out the XP install on a different clean formatted hard drive to see if there is any issues with the same install with a different hard drive.
As for the WD Green drives being slower access, I was wondering about that when I was looking at them, figured that I'd try it out since it was on a much better sale as compared to the others. Hopefully it's not just that they are slower in general, because that's an annoyance I'd gladly spend the money to replace.
I "should" be getting replacement install media for Windows 7 in the next day or so to be able to see if it fixes that particular issue, so I'll check back once that is here.