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New Computer, again

Overclockers shafted me. They wouldn’t repair the motherboard. I just got it back from Gigabyte and they did repair it. But it took them so long that I ended up buying another system, this time from a decent reseller (Kustom PCs). I decided to go for the latest socket:

Asus P7P55D (socket 1156)
Intel i7-860
4GB G.Skill NQ Series DDR3 12800 (1600MHz)
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler

I also got a SATA DVD-RW drive, so I’m ditching IDE finally. No more floppy drive either.

I built it on Thursday night and it worked! So after about 3 months of having no computer, I’ve got a good one! I’ve got Windows 7 pre-ordered so I can’t really build the new system yet. I’ve got Win7 64-bit RC1 on it just now, but I’m not sure if it’s working. I’m having trouble copying data to the new hard drive and am getting a few hard drive errors. I’m a bit worried about corrupting my data so I should probably just leave it well alone until I get the retail version of Win7, either that or I should stick XP on it just for kicks, so I can see how much quicker it runs than it did on my old AMD64.

Computer saga continued

I got the processor back from testing last week. The retailer had tested it for 48 hours and there were no issues. The new video card I bought didn’t make a difference either, so I’m now down 30 quid for a video card that I didn’t need.

I asked Bill about it and whether he could test it for me. It’s disappointing that I’m supposed to be offering a PC repair service and can’t even get my own working without going to ‘the other guy’. The only think I can think that it would be is the RAM, but it seems unlikely that I’d get four dodgy DIMMs. Maybe though; they are all the same brand (2 kits of 2 x 2GB DIMMs).

It was Thursday I spoke to Bill and I’ve not heard back yet so I will phone OCUK on Monday and ask either if I can send the RAM back for testing (another two weeks) or if I can send the whole lot back and buy a bundle. Trouble is their bundles are all overclocked and I’m actually looking for stock or underclocked for reasons of cooling and quietness. If they agree, and I don’t think they will because they are not nice to deal with, I suppose I could discuss component options at that stage.

It’s really driving me nuts though. How long has this been going on? I waited literally for years to get this upgrade and it’s at least two months since I bought the new gear. If only OCUK were nicer to deal with and more helpful. I shan’t go into an anti OCUK rant just yet; they’ve still got a chance to redeem themselves and get a glowing report from me. One can only hope.

By the way, I’m quite enjoying MarsEdit as a blogging client. I shall post this straight to Vox and Sunbane then I’ll be off for ice cream and a decision of which movie to watch: Quantum of Solace or The Boat that Rocked.

New computer – the saga continues

Can anyone confirm whether the Q9450 CPU is compatable with an Asus P5Q Pro Turbo Intel P45 motherboard?

There is a bit of a story behind my question. First of all, I bought a system as documented here:

Looking for advice on platform

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 LGA775 ‘Yorkfield’ 2.66GHz 12MB-cache (1333FSB) Processor – OEM
  • Asus P5Q Pro Turbo Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX 8GB (4x2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel

The system wouldn’t boot and I asked for some help on SPCR with that, which of course I got (I love this place!)

System won’t boot

I eventually RMAed the motherboard back and, after Overclockers having had it for 12 DAYS, they refunded me. So I called to find out why a refund and not a replacement, to which they replied that there may be an incompatibility issue with the motherboard and CPU. It seemed unlikely, but possible, so I ordered another motherboard, one which they assured me would work, a Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5.

The new motherboard arrived yesterday and the problem was exactly the same as with the first board: no post. So I have now RMAed the CPU back.

Meanwhile, I requested a refund on the shipping I had to pay to return the motherboard and was told that they do not pay refunds for incompatibility issues. Now, had the second motherboard solved all my problems, I could have believed that the initial problem was one of incompatibility. But it didn’t so I am now very dubious as to whether that really was the cause of the problem.

If I get another CPU and find that it works, I’m sure I would have a very good case for arguing that the initial problem was NOT one of incompatiblity and therefore I should be able to demand a refund on the shipping costs.

But I thought I would ask here as I’m sure there must be someone out there in SPCR land that knows whether that Asus P5Q Pro Turbo board is incompatible with the Q9450 CPU. Anyone know?

New computer ordered!

We finally got some good news today. Turns out we earned so little last year that the UK government paid us too little in tax credits. So we got a backdated lump sum today, clearing my overdraft and enabling us to pay of the Luxembourg tax man and get the Luxembourg chapter finally closed! It’s a happy, happy day!

It also meant that I don’t have to wait until my eBay campaign is completed before I can order my new computer parts!

I have been reviewing parts for a couple of weeks now, thinking I’d go for the new Intel i7 chip, currently on sale at my preferred vendor for £210 (it’s actually gone up since last week). I decided that I didn’t need that kind of power, nor indeed did I want that kind of thermal output. I like quiet computers, which means I prefer lower output from the chip so that it’s easier to cool. So I’ve gone for a Core 2 Quad, the Q9450 OEM for £148.99. Here’s the complete order:

  • £129.56 x 1 – Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 LGA775 ‘Yorkfield’ 2.66GHz 12MB-cache (1333FSB) Processor – OEM
  • £91.30 x 1 – Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB 2.5″ SATA-II Solid State Hard Drive Kit (SNV125-S2BD64GB)
  • £78.25 x 1 – Asus P5Q Pro Turbo Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
  • £36.51 x 2 – Kingston HyperX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel (KHX8500D2K24G)

I post this mainly for myself to refer back to, as I know I will want to at some time.

Main things to note are:

a) 8 gigs of RAM. The original order was going to be for 4, but since I’m still planning to sell the Digitech Jam Man and possibly the Mama Bear, I’m celebrating the windfall with 8

b) Solid state hard drive. This is another indulgence that I wouldn’t ordinarily have gone for. I’m told that an SSD will really make things snappy, and, if it’s snappy enough that the boot time is increased to what I hope it will be, there is a very good chance that I’ll shut down the computer when I’m not using it, thus reducing our electricity bills and helping to save the planet 🙂

The only thing I neglected was a 1TB or 1.5TB drive. This would allow me to take out the three storage drives that I use and replace them with one. Again, reducing the power bill and making files easier to find (no more ‘oh what drive is that on again?’ ) So I may just order one with free shipping on Amazon. It makes sense.