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Thread: Today's Build

  1. #1
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Oh boy.
    Today at the shop (which I DO NOT own BTW, I am a wage slave only) I get to assemble a pretty nice system.
    It's a birthday present for a gamer and for a change, money wasn't a primary concern.
    Specs:
    -Silverstone TJ06 case (black w/window)
    -DFI LP nF4 SLI DR mobo (Expert still not in stock...damn!)
    -AMD Opteron 150 (Venus core @2.4GHz)
    -Patriot EP RAM (2x1GB @2,3,2,5 1T)
    -XFX 7800GT vid card
    -Seagate SATA HDD (80GB)
    -Antec NeoPower HE550w PSU
    -LiteOn DVD-RW
    -XP Home

    Most of the parts came in yesterday, this morning I expect the case and RAM so the build can begin.
    I'm taking my camera in so you can see some pics tonight when I get home.

    One of the (very few) perks of this job is that occasionally...very rarely, I get to sell a system that I'd like to have/see and can preview parts I'm interested in for myself.
    Of most interest to me are the Antec PSU and the Opteron.

    Assuming UPS shows up as normal, the build should be done by noon, XP OPKed by 1PM and then stress testing overnight.
    Tomorrow I'll play in BIOS and run some benchmarks-see what this baby can do.

    Clocker should have some fun today.
    The owner has even expressed interest in having a waterloop installed (which would be a side job for me...i.e., pure gravy ), but we need to see some temps before he makes that decision.
    I'm thinking it'll happen cause he's really interested in major bling and swinging the biggest e-dick at the next get together with his buddies, but we'll see how it goes.

    I'll keep ya'll posted.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Clocker tells a story...
    Gather 'round and make yourselves comfy.
    Let me tell you how the new build went.

    Poorly.
    Very poorly, in fact.

    The day started with UPS being late.
    He always shows up before we open at 10, yesterday, the day I really, really want to see him, he shows up at 12:30.

    OK.
    That's irritating, but not disasterous...just a glitch in the schedule.
    Get over it.

    Now all the parts are finally in, the invoices have been checked and everything has been vouchered and all serial numbers recorded (paperwork is the bane of my existence).
    The build assembly has been entered into the POS and we're ready to go.

    The customer shows up.
    He has taken the afternoon off so he can see his PC being built.
    Great.
    No one likes having people standing over their shoulder and asking inane questions...me included.
    And, just like the making of hot dogs, the customer really doesn't want to see how a machine is assembled; not that we cut corners or are sloppy, but the wiring might get redone a few times ("Damn! Got the HDD LED header on backwards!" and the like), the second optical moved down a bay so the stupidly dimensioned IDE cable fits better...that sort of thing.
    Finally I distracted him out for coffee and cigarettes while Eric finished up.

    This semi-pisses me off.
    Assembling the parts is what I find most enjoyable, the rest is boring...and I'm missing it.

    <clocker digresses>
    I had spent the time waiting for UPS by fondling the parts we already had.
    Some observations...
    The new Antec NeoPower HE 550 is a brute of a PSU.
    If one judges quality by weight (which is actually a fair way to get a quick impression of a PSU) this thing is King.
    I still like the Hiper's method of modularizing the cables better, but at least Antec now sleeves everything.

    The XFX 7800GT comes in their x-shaped box (why they spend the money on packaging that no one cares about, I don't know) and is a black/electric lime green color scheme ...even the I/O panel is black w/ green DVI ports.
    Oddly, it does not use a PCI-e power connector- it has a regular Molex.
    Weird.

    Patriot is now shipping RAM with finned aluminum heatspreaders...dunno if they're any better than standard, but they do look nice.

    With high-end DFI boards you get everything AND the kitchen sink bundled in.
    What you don't get is documentation.
    Industry's worst manuals.
    This will turn out to be important.

    To continue...
    When the case finally shows up we start slamming parts into it...then the Buyer shows up and the whole day goes to hell.
    I finally convince him to leave, but in the interim he has decided he wants to pick it up tomorrow (Sat...i.e.today) instead of Monday as originally planned.
    Crap.
    We wanted to play with it.
    I had a whole list of things I wanted to run to evaluate the parts for personal purchase.
    sigh.
    Not to be.

    I finally go back in around 3PM and guess what?
    Damn thing won't POST.
    Even worse, the DFI "diagnostic display LEDs" are giving us different stop points every time.
    WTF?
    Frantic searching through the manual...finally! in the back, behind the Russian translation (hope you are enjoying your mobo there, Ivan!) is a small description of what these are theoretically trying to tell us.
    Not good.
    Sometimes it's halting on "detect CPU".
    Sometimes it passes that stage, but starts the measured BEEP..........BEEP........BEEP that is failed RAM.
    Sometimes it will go beyond both of them and fail the video.

    According to the manual, ALL of the new parts are bad.

    Wonderful.
    Naturally, we don't have any comparable parts to swap in and see what's really wrong.
    Well, we do have lots of RAM (all Mushkin) but that doesn't help.
    Still get no POST no matter what RAM , no matter what slot.

    Does the board need a BIOS flash to work with the Opteron?
    How do you flash a board that won't POST anyway?
    Let's see what DFI-street has to say.
    Oh fuck....
    "DFI does not support the use of Opterons on ANY of our boards".
    HUH?
    I've seen hundreds of threads showing bench results for Optys on DFI boards.
    Had there been a big incompatability issue, I was sure I would know about it.

    OK.
    Time to begin panicking.
    It's 5:30, the damn machine won't even POST and it's to be delivered the next morning.
    Do I call the customer and tell him his new (expensive) baby uh, doesn't quite turn on? At all?
    Not really a call I want to make.

    Damnit.
    Sprocket has the very same board and is running great, couldn't we put the CPU in her and at least start narrowing down the possibilities?
    Maybe we toss Sprocket's Winny into the new build and at least get to the BIOS and maybe flash it.
    Gotta try something....

    So now I'm speeding home in Friday rush hour to gut my machine for the sake of his.
    There goes all my breakin time on the AS5 TIM, too.

    Swap out chips...POST.
    No sweat...BIOS even knows what it is- "Opteron 150".
    Whew.
    Now the RAM.
    One stick...POST.
    Other stick....POST.
    BOTH sticks...POST.

    OK, now what.
    Is the mobo bad?
    Bloody Hell, that would be a dealbreaker...no way to get a new board tonight or even by Mon morning for that matter.

    Gather parts, hop in car, race back to shop.

    Something else HAS to be going on...this is all high-end, quality stuff...it MUST work.

    Well, it does.
    I have even told you what we did wrong (well, kinda, but what fun would it be if I made it too easy?).

    Anyone care to hazard a guess?


    Clocker has to take a shower and get to the shop, where, with any luck at all, the new PC has passed a night of WinStress without crapping all over itself.
    Naturally, it fucking snowed last night so the roads are crap....
    I shall return as time allows.
    Meanwhile, I expect someone to figure out where the problem was.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
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    You let the customer watch! That's it.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    Missed the 4pin power conector or some other power connector? (you said the board uses molex, 4pin, floppy, etc. )

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    suprafreak6's Avatar Suprafreak6 is Back!
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    yeah i hate when people look over your shoulder when you are doing something, it really messes me up

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossco
    Missed the 4pin power conector or some other power connector? (you said the board uses molex, 4pin, floppy, etc. )
    No, we did not miss any connections.
    You are on the right track though.

    Hint:
    What didn't we do and what hasn't been tested yet?
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker
    No, we did not miss any connections.
    You hooked up too many
    Last edited by tesco; 12-03-2005 at 04:06 PM.

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    Power supply!

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtualbody1234
    Power supply!
    What about it?

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    Defective, I suspect.

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