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February 3, 2012 11:45:10 PM

I'm in the process of buying a new desktop PC. Currently I'm looking at one from Novatech here (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/barebones/bb-i7268a....). My question is, is it worth just buying a i5 2500k overclocked already as opposed to the stock i7 2600k? Can anyone find better? My budget is £500.

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February 3, 2012 11:46:57 PM

pulseheartbeat said:
I'm in the process of buying a new desktop PC. Currently I'm looking at one from Novatech here (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/barebones/bb-i7268a....). My question is, is it worth just buying a i5 2500k overclocked already as opposed to the stock i7 2600k? Can anyone find better? My budget is £500.


I'd preferable have a whole system rig for around that budget (with gfx/hard drive/optical drive).
February 3, 2012 11:52:36 PM

It is not advisable for most people to buy 2600ks instead of 2500ks, the cost difference is usually about $100 USD, or about 50% more and most people don't get anywhere near 50% more performance out of their 2600k than they do out of a 2500k.

The average person probably gets 0% more out of a 2600k rather than a 2500k.

That being said, I need to know what you want to use the computer for before I tell you what to get.

I personally have a hard time conceiving of a situation where I would ever advise someone to get the barebones kit that you pointed out.

If I owned a computer store and had 1000 people come in and tell me what they needed a computer for, I would probably set up less than 10 of them (under 1%) with a computer resembling that.
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February 4, 2012 12:24:03 AM

Thanks for the reply. Why would you recommend against a barebone system? I would be using the computer for gaming, photoshopping/sometimes video editing. Would very much like the system to be future proof too.
February 4, 2012 12:48:27 AM

The barebones systems, in my experience, aren't made by people who really understand how computers work.

I think that the people who design them just find what parts they have too many of and make a "kit" out of it.

Some pieces are average, some are excessive, and some are terrible. You must take the good with the bad and end up with some parts you may have to replace on day 1.

It is better if someone who knows what they are doing chooses parts that are made for a specific purpose.
February 4, 2012 12:50:28 AM

So you think that barebone system was made by someone who doesn't know what they're doing? what do you suggest I do?
February 4, 2012 3:48:10 AM

pulseheartbeat said:
So you think that barebone system was made by someone who doesn't know what they're doing? what do you suggest I do?

Oh, no. They knew what they were doing. It is just that what they were doing does not match your needs. But it is strange that they do not have an i5-2500K system.

Raiddin has a good idea. Start there. I realize that parts are more expensive in the UK than the US, but try to stretch your budget to include an i5-2500K and a Z68 motherboard and a Hyper 212+ EVO cooler. That will let you overclock the CPU, increasing both performance and the useful life of the system.
February 8, 2012 1:40:35 PM

Ended up chopping and changing and ended up with this system:


CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 Black Case
MEMORY: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 XMP
PSU: OCZ Technology ZS Series 750W 80+ Bronze Power Supply
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 LGA1155 Intel Z68 DDR3 ATX USB 3.0


Total came to £434

Just a quick question, do I need to buy a anti static wrist strap? couldn't you just work with everything turned off? or am I missing something?
February 8, 2012 4:34:07 PM

You definitely do not want to have the power cord connecting the computer to the wall when you are working on the computer internals. If you do this, you open yourself up to far too much risk.

So take the cord out first, definitely.

Second, put everything on a wooden table before you do things, and preferably in a place where you are not standing on carpet.

Third, you can do just fine without a static wristband, but you will definitely want to be working in a non-windy space and you want to touch the metal part of the case very often, a couple times a minute for best results.

It should go without saying if you are going to be on carpet that you probably shouldn't vigorously rub your feet or hands on it while you are working on the computer.

As long as you limit your own risk by not doing things to increase your risk (leaving the window open, leaving the computer plugged in, rubbing your body on carpet) and you try to do things to decrease it (touch the case early and often) then you should have nothing to worry about.
February 10, 2012 7:36:12 AM

Thanks I appreciate that. I will have to work in an environment with carpet as my room has carpet on the floor. Can I not just wear trainers?:~)
February 13, 2012 6:46:22 PM

So I've hit a stumbling block.. connected the 24PIN ATX and the 4 pin to the motherboard, then the power switch to the motherboard. Had the PSU spinning and hard drive booting, turned it off to proceed putting the reset switch in etc and now the PSU doesn't even wanna turn on..
February 13, 2012 7:02:49 PM

So you put it in, it worked just fine, then you turned it off, then it doesn't work anymore?

Did anything else happen in between there that you didn't mention?

Take the power cord out of the back of the PC, take the battery out, put them both back in after 30 min in the reverse order and try to start it again.
February 13, 2012 7:05:03 PM

Yeah, I turned it off and added the Reset switch and some led switches into the motherboard. Tried turning it on and it wouldn't. Had the fan spinning for a second before it cut out but it's not doing even that now.
February 13, 2012 7:06:26 PM

Tell me if the fix I just said works when you are done doing it.
February 13, 2012 7:13:45 PM

I've tried literally everything for the past 2 hours. I just can't seem to get the PSU to spin and power up.. just tried the battery thing and no luck. Surely if I shorted anything I would of heard it? I don't understand how I had it working and only put in the reset switch that it would stop working?
February 13, 2012 7:17:27 PM

Stranger things have happened.

Take the PSU out of the case and find a paperclip.

Unfold it and make a U out of it. Then put one end into the green wire on the 24 pin connector and the other end into any of the black ones.

Tell me what happens.

Whenever you do this, try not to be standing on carpet and try to use leather gloves if you can.
February 14, 2012 6:33:51 AM

I didn't have time to do that but I'm almost sure that the PSU is gone, although I heard no popping noise to indicate shorting etc. I took out the PSU from my old computer and plugged the 24 pin connector and 4 pin connector and nothing happened.
February 14, 2012 7:42:47 AM

pulseheartbeat said:
Yeah, I turned it off and added the Reset switch and some led switches into the motherboard. Tried turning it on and it wouldn't. Had the fan spinning for a second before it cut out but it's not doing even that now.


If it was working before you added these connections, could you possibly have connected them incorrectly?

Also, agree with raiddinn to try the paper clip method.
February 14, 2012 9:36:41 AM

Connected what incorrectly? is there no other way to test if the mobo/PSU is gone?
February 14, 2012 10:05:07 AM

pulseheartbeat said:
Connected what incorrectly? is there no other way to test if the mobo/PSU is gone?


The connections for the reset and leds. Unlikely, but i thought it worth a mention as you say the problem occurred after that. Sometimes its the simple things we overlook.
February 14, 2012 11:27:19 AM

Panic over, seems like I made the most amateur mistake according to a work colleague - I didn't put the brass standoffs in the case for the motherboard to rest on, lucky I didn't fry the mobo. I've got the PSU/CPU FAN spinning now:)  Now another problem. My case came with 3 fans already in there but they're 3 pin male connections. On the motherboard the SYS_FAN, SYS_FAN2 slots are also male.

Also, is there such thing as a MOLEX to IDE cable? I have a IDE hard drive that I want to put in there.
February 14, 2012 12:06:06 PM

Glad you got your first problem sorted.

Well as far as i'm aware, molex is a power connection and IDE is a data connection, your IDE hard drive will have the molex to power it and IDE that transfers data.

Ive never seen a case fan with male connections before. Looking on google quick, you can get female to female adapters so a few of those should ahve you sorted.
February 14, 2012 12:17:00 PM

Thanks, so am I. Thought I had a dead mobo/PSU or both on my hands. I just had a quick google search and it seems that the Phantom 410 comes with a molex which is connected to the 3 pre existing fans - the male connections are for future fans that need to be connected to a molex.

I've had a look on Maplin and they do IDE to SATA conversion cables but at a price. The bay has them for a few quid so might opt for that.

My SATA HDD is clicking so I think it's died.. which is strange since I transferred data to another hard drive from it only a few days ago.
February 14, 2012 12:23:11 PM

Ah that makes more sense. You said before molex to IDE not SATA to IDE. But yes they exist as you've found. I've heard they're not great to use though and sometimes have problems. I would suggest doing some more research into them first as i havent read anything on it for a long while.

Thats a simple enough arrangement with the fans then, just one molex to connect.
February 14, 2012 12:28:25 PM

As the PSU has molex connectors which would mean one molex to end of IDE hard drive then molex to IDE>IDE slot on the hard drive. Can't seem to find a molex to IDE cable though, probably doesn't exist.
February 14, 2012 12:45:04 PM

pulseheartbeat said:
As the PSU has molex connectors which would mean one molex to end of IDE hard drive then molex to IDE>IDE slot on the hard drive. Can't seem to find a molex to IDE cable though, probably doesn't exist.


I do not understand what you are trying to get at im afraid. IDE and molex are two completely different types of cables. Molex is power and IDE is data. An IDE hard drive will have one of each, IDE for data and molex to power it. See the picture below.

February 14, 2012 12:59:35 PM

Yeah I know that.. but obviously on newer PSU's there are only SATA connections and none for IDE. I think I confused myself in thinking that you could have a MOLEX cable that converts to IDE and a MOLEX slotting into the power cable connector.. does that make sense? lol

Heading home in a bit so will put the standoffs etc up on the motherboard and see how that goes.
February 14, 2012 1:07:48 PM

I've never seen a PSU that didnt have molex connections as well as SATA, even new ones have them as there are many things that still run off molex's i.e fans, fan controller. What is your PSU?
February 14, 2012 1:20:55 PM

Raiddinn said:
So you put it in, it worked just fine, then you turned it off, then it doesn't work anymore?

Did anything else happen in between there that you didn't mention?


pulseheartbeat said:
Yeah, I turned it off and added the Reset switch and some led switches into the motherboard. Tried turning it on and it wouldn't. Had the fan spinning for a second before it cut out but it's not doing even that now.


This is the part that tripped me up.

You said you put the cables in the motherboard, turned it on, turned it off, inserted some front cable connectors, turned it on again and it wouldn't work.

Wherever you had it the first time, it should have worked the same way after you plugged in the other front cables.

This is why I wanted to confirm that nothing else happened in there that you didn't mention.

If you put it in the case in the middle of there, that would have been a pretty clear signal where the problem was and I could have easily pointed that out.

In the future, even if you don't think something is important, you may want to mention it. It would help us to save you time at the very least.

As for the molex/ide/sata stuff, there has to be 2 cables to any hard drive. It will never work with just 1 thing connected to it. It must somehow connect pretty much directly through some cable or series of cables to the motherboard and directly through a cable or series of cables to the PSU.

If you have a ribbon cable that goes to the hard drive and only SATA ports on the motherboard, there is a converter for this. It would be a SATA to IDE cable converter.

If you had only a MOLEX cable connector on the hard drive and only SATA power cables on the PSU, then there is also a converter for this I am pretty sure.

Either way, both connections should definitely be made.

However, if you have a hard drive with only a MOLEX connector, a PSU with only SATA power connectors, and $80ish then I would suggest you just buy a SATA hard drive instead of buying and using a bunch of converter cables to keep the old drive working. I would just retire the old drive in this case.

Many hard to diagnose problems can occur when you try to drag along a lot of seriously old hardware and at the very least you are going to suffer a performance loss when you are using the 2 converter cables.

I am one to talk since I have such a low budget that I can only buy a couple parts a year, but I generally try to replace the oldest ones first as I go along and as of the end of 2011 I am not using any parts 6 years old now. The oldest is more like 4 at this point.

I had an old IDE hard drive that was making it take 10 minutes for me to boot up even though it worked just fine in the computer once it was in Windows. I tried for quite a long time to figure out the problem until one day I accidentally unplugged the CD drive and didn't plug it back in and the system booted in 30 sec. Plugged it back in and again 10 minutes. Unplugged it and again 30 sec. If I would have known a 6 year old IDE CD drive could make it take 10 minutes for me to boot up I would have replaced it many years before. Not like they are overly expensive at $20.

Anyway, learn from my mistakes. Even if you don't think some old piece of hardware could cause problems, it can.
February 14, 2012 1:29:25 PM

Raiddin - you're assuming that I put it in the case and forgot to mention it. However that's not the case. The motherboard was already in the case. Literally the only things that happened between the PSU turning on was me switching it off and putting in the hdd led lights/reset switch. The mobo was already in the case, the mobo was not touched moved in any shape or form so there was no tripping up there.

As regards to the hdd issue - I'll have to figure out a way to keep a SATA hdd as the one with the OS on it.

I have 4 hard drives at my disposal, a 1.5 tb SATA one which has a load of random stuff on it (movies etc), a 80gb IDE which stored all my music but was formatted, a 250gb sata that seems to be clicking and a 250GB SATA is currently running in my old rig. (I have to give my old rig to my sister).
February 14, 2012 1:44:05 PM

Stick the 80gb IDE drive in your sisters computer and keep the SATA drives for yourself :p 
February 14, 2012 1:56:09 PM

Haha! good idea.. although my current SATA hard drive has data on it, if I just transfer it into my new mobo I'm sure it won't boot up with windows etc as it does in my current rig? :p 
February 14, 2012 1:58:09 PM

If you have any data on the 250gb sata, transfer that to the 1.5tb drive. Then wipe the 250 and use that for a clean install in the new system.
February 14, 2012 2:00:33 PM

Any hard drives with OSs on them will probably have to have the OSs reinstalled if you change the motherboards they are connected to.

Also, I guess it was some other point that tripped me up, because it couldn't have worked right the first time if the motherboard was screwed into the case wall the first time.
February 14, 2012 2:03:26 PM

I can't wipe the 250 from within windows, I'm assuming if I put the 250 in my new rig and have the windows cd in it'll give me an option to reformat?

I have no idea, maybe because I pushed the mobo in further against the steel case when I put the reset switch into the mobo? I dunno, I'm game to any other reason why!
February 14, 2012 2:09:36 PM

Yes, if you put the 250 in, windows install disk in and have the bios set to boot from cd then you can format, partition etc from the installer.
February 15, 2012 11:46:09 PM

Bought a 2TB WD Caviar Green for £25 off a work colleague today:)  so booted windows onto that. 2 more things then I'm all set!

Ran into a problem.. can only get my screen to work if i plug it into my tv (hdmi to hdmi from the connections on the motherboard) but can't get it to work from a graphics card? I had it POSTING then it just didn't want to work again.
February 16, 2012 6:16:48 AM

pulseheartbeat said:
Bought a 2TB WD Caviar Green for £25 off a work colleague today:)  so booted windows onto that. 2 more things then I'm all set!

Ran into a problem.. can only get my screen to work if i plug it into my tv (hdmi to hdmi from the connections on the motherboard) but can't get it to work from a graphics card? I had it POSTING then it just didn't want to work again.


So it works when you use the on board graphics but not when the connection is plugged in to the GPU?
February 16, 2012 7:58:45 AM

Yeah I think that's what's happening.. Any idea? The fan on the gpu is spinning so I know it's working yet not showing a video out.
February 16, 2012 9:18:06 AM

Boot into windows using the on board graphics and take a look in device manager, make sure your gpu is being picked up. Install/update latest drivers etc and try again would be my first start.
February 16, 2012 3:35:06 PM

Look in the BIOS to make sure that the video card set as the default video output device too.
February 16, 2012 4:12:29 PM

Everything up and running now thanks everyone for your help! Just waiting for my graphics card now :) 
February 17, 2012 8:26:49 AM

Glad we could help.
February 20, 2012 7:37:35 AM

Cheers.. already had it but missed out the SPD tab. 6870 should be arriving today so hopefully everything set up today!
February 20, 2012 8:04:33 AM

Also another problem I'm having when running Prime95 (not overclocked) it's running to the 90 degrees mark within 5 mins using the stock cooler. Something's not right there?
February 20, 2012 8:31:25 AM

I would have to agree to that! It should stay below 70C without overclocking, and I would not suggest running it much hotter than that anyway. Higher temperatures might lower the components lifespan. (although the temperature safeguard does not kick in until 98C)
I know some people has accidentally forgotten to remove some plastic cover or label from the bottom of their heatsinks, which might cause such issues.
There should have been 3 small blobs of thermal paste at the bottom of the stock heatsink before you installed it? If you take it off now, you might have to remove it and get some new paste, and you might want to control that the fan is even spinning.
What are your idle temperatures like?
February 20, 2012 8:36:24 AM

That's the strange thing, my idle temperatures on RealTemp are reading around 30 degrees average. One thing I've noticed though when Prime95 is running is that the CPU fan is not increasing in RPM, could this be a setting in the BIOS?
!