MedIC86's Advanced Information Guide
Current mainstream sockets:
AM2/AM3/AM3+ (due for this summer)
Phenom II X4 955BE ($120) or Intel Core i3 2100 ($120)
200$ and up
Core i5-2500K (~220$)
CPU's priced over 220$ are not really worth it, you can overclock the i5-2500K a great deal, you should have enough Mhz to keep you going for quiet some time.
A lot of people in this thread are interested in overclocking. So I give you the top 7 Myths about overclocking:
1) Overclocking should be pronounced “proc-es-sor”
Many newcomers to overclocking make the mistake of focusing too much on their processor and forget that overclocking is an equation that contains multiple variables. Putting an adequate cooling system into place, adjusting the power provided to your component, monitoring your results with the right tools and doing the necessary research are all critical steps on the path to safe and successful overclocking. It's also very important to verify that other key components are able to handle the speed bump. For example, if you plan on overclocking the bus speed and keeping the memory synchronous, make sure that you are using memory that's been rated or tested for the new target speed. If you are a gamer, you might also want to look into overclocking your GPU for maximum performance.
2) Overclocking is dangerous and will make your computer explode
Speeding up the operation frequency of a hardware component will increase its thermal output in a linear fashion, while boosting voltages will cause the generated heat to sky rocket. If improperly managed, these increases in temperature can cause permanent physical damage to the component or even “heat death”. Having said that, your computer will generally show signs of malfunction, such as crashes or lock ups, long before something dramatic happens giving you the chance to make the appropriate adjustments. Recent hardware is also equipped with thermal sensors that will trigger a throttle mechanism or even a complete shut down when the heat level is too high. Add to that the fact that you are a responsible overclocker and that you will provide sufficient cooling to your system, and you may go about your overclocking business without fear of explosions.
3) Overheating is the only side effect of overclocking
Overheating gets most of the attention when it comes to the side effects of overclocking since its manifestations are flashier and make for better stories. However, functional incorrectness is a much more prevalent and often overlooked side effect of overclocking. Since an overclocked component operates outside of the manufacturer’s recommended operating conditions, overclocking can create unpredictable errors which may lead to system instability and data loss. Although it is near impossible for a private individual to thoroughly test the functionality of a component, “stress tests” such as the System Stability Test provided by EVEREST Ultimate Edition can be helpful in detecting potential errors before they get out of hand.
4) There exists a universal recipe for overclocking
Truth be told, overclocking is trial-and-error and very much so. The reason for this is simple – all hardware components are different. Each component has its unique limits and will behave in diverse ways depending on its configuration and the environment it operates in. Even two processors originating from the same manufacturing process, with the exact same specifications on paper, may give you conflicting results in practice. For example, one could be stable at a higher clock rate than the other with the same voltage. This means that you should always be cautious when reading about overclocking recommendations for your hardware or when comparing notes with others. Nothing beats hands-on testing.
5) Overclocking will allow you to retire richer
A well-known benefit of overclocking is that you can purchase a lower performance, cheaper component and overclock it in order to attain the performance of a more expensive one. However, people often forget that overclocking incurs new costs that may or may not offset these potential savings. For example, you might need to purchase a high-performance fan or acquire a water-cooling system in order to better handle the heat generated by your overclocked component. It must also be said that overclocking results in higher power consumption which may in turn raise your energy bills. At the end of the day, you should consider overclocking more like a hobby than an investment.
6) Half of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives are overclockers
Actually, there are absolutely no laws against overclocking. In fact, overclocking is sometimes offered as a legitimate service or feature to consumers by manufacturers and retailers. Several manufacturers even offer factory overclocked versions of their hardware components, warranty included, which can be an attractive solution for computer enthusiasts seeking better performance that still includes warranty protections. However, it must be said that this is not a universal practice. Many manufacturers will void their warranty if they detect overclocking related tampering. Even though proving such modifications have been made can be very difficult, we highly recommend that you read the manufacturer’s warranty policy before any overclocking attempt. Just in case.
7) Only computer gurus should bother with overclocking
While considering overclocking for the first time, one often feels overwhelmed. If that’s your case, remember that every expert was a beginner at some point. Just take it slow, do your research, familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade and get involved in overclocking communities such as www.overclockers.com
– the rest will follow. Did i mention that you should take it slow? i highly recommend that you approach overclocking with baby steps. Try changing your bus speed from 60 MHz to 66 MHz and see how it goes. If that works, try a little higher. If it doesn’t, take a step back. Whatever you do, make sure to have fun! Overclocking can be an engaging and highly
rewarding hobby that will allow you to gain valuable knowledge about your system and computers in general.
If you are in the market for a new Motherboard there are a few things worth looking into.You have to determine a few things for yourself:
Type (wich processor are you going to buy ? this will determine wich socket you want to get)
(the chipset will determine in a great way how your mobo will perform. its good to think this over, every chipset has its own feature set -> check this out if you are looking into a certain chipset)
(How much memory can your mobo accommodate ? what memory is supported DDR2 or DDR 3 etc. Also when you are going to buy memory check if its on the QVL list of the mobo, you can usually find this on the manufacters site.)
slots (How much expansion slots do you need? you want 4 videocards? A soundcard?)
(Do you need HDMI? USB 3.0 ports? on board digital out? all things to consider when buying a mobo)
(Your case will have room for a certain formfactor of motherboard, not all motherboards fit in all cases so check your manual/site from the case if it will fit)
(Double check if your hardware will be compatible with your new mobo, when in doubt contact your seller or neogaf ;) )
(Brands are always a big debate, everyone will have his personal preference. Most brands nowadays are pretty ok. its important to check tho if your motherboard has solid capacitors these will run a lot longer then the normal ones)
consumption (If you find this important check reviews to find out if they write about power consumption)
(These days quality is mostly used for marketing, but the golden rule "you get what you pay for" mostly applies, more expensive motherboards use better quality parts then cheaper ones -> remember tho! it does not mean that these are bad mobo's!)
(again check reviews for performance, check what you find relevant)
-ability (If you want to overclock check out the pre-installed cooling on the mobo, especially the north and south bridge. there are mobo's that cater for overclockers and use good parts for this)
(Always try to find the best bang for your buck, dont buy a mobo with 100 features that you will never use!)
So in short, when buying a mobo try to follow these points:
1. Determine your budget
2. Determine the platform (Chipset + Socket)
3. Determine what functions you deem necessary for the motherboard to have
4. Make a shortlist of all motherboards that have your demands
5. Pick the board that has good reviews and has the best price
4GB or 8GB memory is recommend nowadays. DDR3 prices are currently quiet low so its no real problem i reckon.
Going over 8GB is pointless if your main goal is gaming. Ill drop a few links with some food for thought.
CAS vs. SPEED
DDR2 & DDR3
When you are in the market for a new GPU follow the same rules as with the motherboard. Determine your budget, features that you need etc.**CHECK REVIEWS!**
Best PCI Express Card For $80:
Radeon HD 5670
Best PCIe Card For $130/150:
GeForce GTX 460 768 MB/1 GB
Best PCIe Card For $250:
GeForce GTX 560 MSI TwinFrozr 1GB
Best PCIe Card For ~$280:
Radeon HD 6950 2 GB
: There are many different brands in videocards, do they differ?
: Well that depends, if the card uses the reference PCB, there is **NO
** difference per brand, its the same card they just slap a different sticker on it.
But if you have a pre-factory overclocked card or they are using another cooler then the reference design there might be a difference, check hardware review sites for these GPU's.
SSD is a abbreviation for 'Solid State Drive': a 'drive' with no mechanical parts, but with a conventional disk-interface (usually SATA).
An ssd contains memory chips (flash memory) to store the data.
The biggest advantage is data is almost immediately available, without the need of moving a mechanical head to the area on the hard drive where the desired data is stored.
At this moment pc-components such as the processor, memory (ram), graphics processor and other components, perform well enough to meet the demand of the most users. Still we have to wait while using a computer...
So where can performance still be increased dramatically? The answer: SSD's!
In 2009 prices of ssd's have dropped by a factor 4. Still at this moment ssd's are much more expensive than hard drives: ssd's now cost around $2.5 per GB, in contrast to approximately $0.1 per GB for conventional hard drives.
collection: part of the functionality of the firmware of ssd's that automatically merges fairly unused memory blocks for better performance
-partitioning: leave blank space for better performance
: OCZ method (tool) to improve performance
: creating a partition with a size that is exactly the cluster size multiplied by a factor
: a ATA (contoller) command from the operating system to an ssd, that can tell that a memory block on the ssd can be erased to improve write performance - It's a feature of Windows 7 but keep in mind that your SSD must support it!
leveling: spreading write-actions on memory cells evenly over the whole ssd - this prevents wear of the flash cells increasing their lifetime
/ SLC: Multi Level Cell or Single Level Cell - the latter lasts longer, is theoretically faster but more expensive, so mlc-based ssd's are now sold more, especially to consumers.
Tips for SSD's on a Windows based system:
- Firmware: YES (check if there is new firmware out and if so install it, usually gets speed increases)
- Partition alignment: YES (Windows Vista (SP1 and later) and Windows 7 always create aligned partitions.)
- Defragmentation: NO (it's important that you turn off automatic defragging on the SSD. see below)
- Indexing: NO (its better for the drive durability + speed to turn this off. right click on the SSD in "my computer" and uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" you will probably get some error for some files that cant be accessed just skip them)
- AHCI: preferably enabled (this is a bit tricky since not all motherboards can actually do this. To enable ACHI also differs from pc per pc but there are some steps that are necessary. you can google this easily enough. -> be warned tho! there is no guarantee that this will speed up your SSD, also enabling ACHI requires to be done before installing Windows, you can hack it into the registry later but that can make your system unstable, so read up if you want to do this)
How to check if TRIM is enabled in Windows 7?
Go to the command prompt (run -> CMD) and key in "fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify" if you get a 0 (zero) TRIM is working. To enable it key in "
fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0"
Here is a list with some good tweaks for your SSD (*WARNING
* as always be careful what you change, most of these are quiet harmless but there are never guarantees!)
Description: Indexing creates and maintains a database of file attributes. This can lead to multiple small writes when creating/deleting/modifying files.
Searching for files will still work.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Windows Search -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK
Description: Defragmenting a hard disk's used space is only useful on mechanical disks with multi-millisecond latencies. Free-space defragmentation may be useful to SSDs, but this feature is not available in the default Windows Defragmenter.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Disk Defragmenter -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK
Disable Write Caching
Description: There is no cache on the SSD, so there are no benefits to write caching. There are conflicting reports on whether this gains speed or not.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Device Manager -> Disk drives -> Right-Click STEC PATA -> Properties -> Policies Tab -> Uncheck Enable write caching -> OK
Firefox - Use memory cache instead of disk cache
Description: If you use Firefox, there's a way to write cached files to RAM instead of the hard disk. This is not only faster, but will significantly reduce writes to the SSD while using the browser.
Instructions: Open Firefox -> Type about
:config into the address bar -> Enter -> double-click browser.cache.disk.enable to set the value to False -> Right-Click anywhere -> New -> Integer -> Preference Name "disk.cache.memory.capacity" -> value memory size in KB. Enter 32768 for 32MB, 65536 for 64MB, 131072 for 128MB, etc. -> restart Firefox
Free up extra drive space
Disable the Page File
Description: Eliminate writing memory to the SSD, free over 2GB of disk space. Warning - If you run out of memory the program you're using will crash.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Settings (Performance) -> Advanced Tab -> Change -> Uncheck Automatically manage -> No paging file -> Set -> OK -> Restart your computer
Alternatively, if you want to play it safer, you can set a custom size of 200MB min and max.
Disable System Restore
Description: Don't write backup copies of files when installing new programs or making system changes. Can free up between a few hundred MB to a couple GB. Warning - Although unlikely, if a driver installation corrupts your system, there won't be an automatic way to recover.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> System Protection Tab -> Configure -> Turn off system protection -> Delete -> OK
Description: You may free up 1GB of space on the SSD if you have 1GB of memory, 2GB of space if you have 2GB memory. You will lose the hibernation feature which allows the equivalent of quick boots and shutdowns.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Type cmd -> Right-Click the cmd Icon -> Run as Administrator -> Type powercfg -h off -> Type exit
And finally the ever important question: What SSD should i buy ?
Unfortunately there is no definitive answer for this question, technology changes and evolves all the time. So if you are planning on buying an SSD read up some reviews on trusted sites (see the websites in the link section).
Links to useful SSD tools:
Crystal Mark Bench + NFO Tool
As for PSU's use this calculator to check how much power you need: PSU Calculator
In general a good 500w is fine for 1 GPU. 650/750 for 2 GPUs.
Also, never skimp on a PSU, get a good one from a reliable brand (Seasonic, Corsair, Antec, etc.) especially if you want to overclock the PSU is a much overlooked part.