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Bios settings for new build

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October 21, 2010 10:31:14 PM

I am about to fire up my first self built computer and was wondering if someone could tell me or post a link of what I need to do for my BIOS settings.
Thanks
my computer: ASUS P6T Deluxe
Intel I7 930
Sparkle NVIDIA GTX 480
6GB 3 x 2GB 1600Mhz 1.65v Corsair Dominator memory
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB HD
Corsair TX850W PSU
NZXT Tempest Evo case

More about : bios settings build

a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2010 10:43:49 PM

Theres not really much you need to do unless your overclocking. Make sure your mobo is recognizing your ram as 1600mhz. If not you'll have to change it manually, along with the timings unless you have an X.M.P. option.
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October 21, 2010 10:51:50 PM

bavman said:
Theres not really much you need to do unless your overclocking. Make sure your mobo is recognizing your ram as 1600mhz. If not you'll have to change it manually, along with the timings unless you have an X.M.P. option.

Do you know what category that would be under? What about RAM voltage?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2010 10:53:10 PM

Accept the default options and stress test your build BEFORE fooling with BIOS. After you know how your PC responds, then go back and make changes (like memory) one at a time.

This way, if/when things go bad, you'll know what caused it.
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October 21, 2010 10:59:47 PM

Twoboxer said:
Accept the default options and stress test your build BEFORE fooling with BIOS. After you know how your PC responds, then go back and make changes (like memory) one at a time.

This way, if/when things go bad, you'll know what caused it.


How do I sress test it? Do I do that after I install Windows ?
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October 21, 2010 11:20:55 PM

Should I go ahead and install Windows ?
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2010 11:25:55 PM

The best way for a new builder to do things is one step at a time, so that if/when something goes wrong you have a feel for what did it.

1. Install Windows, formatting the disk.
2. Boot into Windows and load the chipset, audio, NIC, etc drivers from the CD provided with the mobo. This may not be optimal, but the mobo should run with what is provided. If you have a wireless connection, alos install what is necessary to connect to the Internet.
3. With Internet connection established, download/install Prime95, Furmark, and CPUID's Hardware Monitor.
4. Run Prime95 (with "Detect Rounding Errors" checked) for an hour watching temps with Hardware Monitor. This tests cpu stress, heat, and memory.
5. Now that the basic system is running smoothly, go to nVidia site, let them autodetect your graphics card, and dl/install the recommended drivers. If it doesn't detect your card correctly, try and resolve that issue.
6. Run Furmark and watch with HWM again.
7. Run Prime95 + Furmark watching cpu/gpu temps with HWM. Watch temps closely. If you were happy with the temps before this test, keep in mind this is an extreme test of cooling.

Now you can consider looking for latest mobo drivers from mfger's website. You can dl/install CPUID's CPU-z to show you available memory settings, and compare them to what BIOS defaulted to. After you change memory settings, run Prime95 again to ensure your memory remained stable with new settings.

Of course you can do a lot of this up front, but then you have little idea what caused the problem you may find you have.
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October 22, 2010 12:51:17 AM

Twoboxer said:
The best way for a new builder to do things is one step at a time, so that if/when something goes wrong you have a feel for what did it.

1. Install Windows, formatting the disk.
2. Boot into Windows and load the chipset, audio, NIC, etc drivers from the CD provided with the mobo. This may not be optimal, but the mobo should run with what is provided. If you have a wireless connection, alos install what is necessary to connect to the Internet.
3. With Internet connection established, download/install Prime95, Furmark, and CPUID's Hardware Monitor.
4. Run Prime95 (with "Detect Rounding Errors" checked) for an hour watching temps with Hardware Monitor. This tests cpu stress, heat, and memory.
5. Now that the basic system is running smoothly, go to nVidia site, let them autodetect your graphics card, and dl/install the recommended drivers. If it doesn't detect your card correctly, try and resolve that issue.
6. Run Furmark and watch with HWM again.
7. Run Prime95 + Furmark watching cpu/gpu temps with HWM. Watch temps closely. If you were happy with the temps before this test, keep in mind this is an extreme test of cooling.

Now you can consider looking for latest mobo drivers from mfger's website. You can dl/install CPUID's CPU-z to show you available memory settings, and compare them to what BIOS defaulted to. After you change memory settings, run Prime95 again to ensure your memory remained stable with new settings.

Of course you can do a lot of this up front, but then you have little idea what caused the problem you may find you have.


Ok, I will do everything you you listed.
Thanks. Do I install the video card drivers when I install the mobo drivers ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 1:03:35 AM

No. Video driver is in Step 5. Mobo drivers are in Step 2.

Windows will operate your graphics card just fine with the "driver" it will use. Screen resolution will be quite restricted BUT it will WORK. And until Step 5 we don't need (potential) driver issues adding to what might go wrong.
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October 22, 2010 1:21:51 AM

Twoboxer said:
No. Video driver is in Step 5. Mobo drivers are in Step 2.

Windows will operate your graphics card just fine with the "driver" it will use. Screen resolution will be quite restricted BUT it will WORK. And until Step 5 we don't need (potential) driver issues adding to what might go wrong.

Ok, thanks. I'm on the mobo drivers now.
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October 22, 2010 2:55:29 AM

I've been running the prime95 torture test for about a half an hour now. The core temperatures are between 84-91 degrees celsius. What else should I do with this program ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 4:16:20 AM

Shut it down. Too hot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 4:21:53 AM

Wanted to get that msg out quickly. If you are using the stock cooler, you need to consider a better cooler. If you are using any other cooler, its possible you didn't install it correctly.

What are you using?
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October 22, 2010 10:35:41 AM

Stock CPU fan + optional fan that came with mobo and the 6 chassis fans. All tests said 0 errors 0 warnings but all of the temps wer like within 1 degree of max. What should I use for cooling ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 2:35:30 PM

Hyper 212+. Get some good thermal paste like arctic silver 5.

Look up some tutorials on youtube or google on how to apply the paste because thats what really makes all the difference.
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October 22, 2010 7:39:26 PM

I got a Corsair H50. We'll see how it does after I install it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 9:43:56 PM

H50 is better than stock, but not as good as the $30 Hyper.
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October 22, 2010 9:58:07 PM

Dang, the tech guys at Comp USA swore this one would be better as long as I sandwich the radiator between two fans.
Any advice on removing the old thermal paste from the CPU ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 10:22:32 PM

Its hard to know who to listen to lol. While the Hyper isn't the very best cooler, you really didn't have to sepnd $75 for the very best air cooler. Self contained liquid coolers have their uses. There are a series of articles by the real staff here at Tom's, if you are interested:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Components,1/Coolin...

Anyhow, I've use single-edge razors and credit cards to accumulate paste in the center for removal with a lint-free cloth. Then isopropyl alcohol (on a cloth) is an adequate solvent for the remaining film, and evaporates quickly.
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October 23, 2010 2:57:50 PM

Ok, I ran the Prime 95 test again. This time the hottest temp I seen was 64 degrees. Should I move on to the next step ?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 9:26:18 PM

TERRIFIC! Much better temps, eh?

Anyhow, just to confirm, you completed Step #4. Move on to Step #5.

When you get to the Prime95 + Furmark step, stop the test if cpu > 75C or gpu > 90C and report. Remember, you've already passed the cpu stress test - you can cool it now - the combined test is more of a total case cooling test.
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October 23, 2010 10:34:26 PM

I'm running furmark only right now and It went up to 94 then for a split second spiked to 177 !, came back down to 94, then the fan(s) kicked into high gear and it's flatlining around 92. I'm going to shut it down . Let me know what you think.
Actually HM said it got up to 94 not 177.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 10:48:45 PM

LOL. You card is apparently set to go max fans at 90 or so. And apparently its happy enough to run at 92.

The max temp is apparently 105:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_gtx_480_us...

So, go back and do it again, it shoud run over 92, then settle back to 92. If you see it creeping up to 100C, shut it down and consider additional case cooling.
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October 23, 2010 11:13:58 PM

Ok, it's hitting 105 and the fan is going on and off. Any suggestions ?
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October 24, 2010 12:04:58 AM

I ran Furmark for a half an hour with the case side cover off. It only got up to 92 degrees c . I flipped the fan on the side cover so it will work as an exhaust. We'll see what that does.
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October 24, 2010 1:19:18 AM

Ok, after turning the case side fan into an exhaust I ran furmark for over an hour and it never went over 94. I think that did the trick. Time for step 7.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 5:42:29 AM

Nice progress!! Keep working at it. You've corrected two flaws already, and your build won't kill itself prematurely.
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October 24, 2010 2:09:30 PM

Yes, and I definitely appreciate all the help you have given me. I'm glad I didn't just throw a game in there and burn up my new computer.
I ran Prime 95 and Furmark twice now for over an hour. The hootest my GPU got was 87, and the hottest CPU core was 68. I'm going to go get the latest mobo drivers now.
Thanks!
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October 24, 2010 3:32:38 PM

I've installed CPu-z but I don't know what to do with it. It says my DRAM Frequency is 801.8 mhz, that doesn't seem right. I set it to 1600 in BIOS. I really don't know what any of these numbers mean or what they should be .
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 24, 2010 7:21:07 PM

That sounds right, you have to multiply it by 2 because fsb:D ram ratio. So its running correctly at 1600. Your temps look good.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 3:22:22 AM

CPU-z will be useful later, after everything is stable, to check whether your memory can run standardly at faster settings.

Keep going, all is well with your numbers.
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October 25, 2010 12:22:08 PM

I ran prime 95 again, with it passing all tests. So what's next? And what does fsb ram mean? Is that what dual channel is?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 4:34:33 PM

Timonator said:
I ran prime 95 again, with it passing all tests. So what's next?


1) Install some games, e.g. fallout new vegas.
2) HAVE FUN!
3) (optional) Watch your grades in school decrease and blame it on your new computer.

Timonator said:
And what does fsb ram mean? Is that what dual channel is?


Not dual channel (your is triple channel) but because its DDR ram or dual data rate. So its reported at 1600mhz because it cycles twice with an actual rate of 800mhz...something like that.

If your running your ram at manufacturer's specs, its not too important to test it. If you've ran through prime95 for hours without it crashing because of memory problems than you're probably ok. I used memtest86 to test mine, so you don't have to boot up into windows every time you change a little thing in your timings or speed.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 26, 2010 5:22:06 PM

Congratulations - you reached the end of the "Build" road, and the beginning of the "Use" road !! (Sorry, been away for a travel day.)

Dunno if you've gone to the mobo manufacturer's web site to check for driver updates. Frankly, if everything is running fine, there's no need but usually no harm installing them. The sole exception is re-flashing BIOS. You can get your BIOS version onscreen during post by disabling (in BIOS) the "Show Logo Screen" that is used to cover it up. The screen falshes by very quickly but you can use the "Pause" key on your keyboard to pause things so you can read the BIOS version. Sometimes the BIOS version is available by going into BIOS setup itself.

Each new BIOS release will have a reason attached to it. Since there is some risk in flashing BIOS, it isn't advisable to do it unless one of the things fixed actually applies to you.

Using CPU-z, the Memory tab will show the DRAM freuqncy (divided by 2), and the four main settings (CL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, etc) currently being used for your memory. The "SPD" tab will show some number of alternate settings that can be used (eg, JEDEC#X, XMPs). One of those settings may be higher than your curren, and can be activated. Note that normally the gains will be small, and this step can be skipped if you wish. OTOH, most folks feel they'd like to use what they paid for.
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October 26, 2010 9:49:21 PM

I did end up reflashing the motherboard to update the BIOS. Everything went well. The computer works awesome! I've been playing CRYSIS on it and it runs seamlessly.
I really,really appreciate the help I got on this. I had no idea about running those tests you had me do. I probably would have fried my computer if you did'nt tell me what I needed to do.
THANKS !
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2010 3:07:20 AM

YW! Your smile is the best reward. Enjoy!
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October 27, 2010 3:47:43 AM

gotta chime and note that this thread helped me as well!
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2010 3:51:17 AM

Great, a twofer :) 
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November 6, 2010 3:35:01 PM

Best answer selected by timonator.
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!