Some P4C800-E Deluxe Q's and upgrade advice requested please

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Barry, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. Barry

    Barry Guest

    I have just brought a P4C800-E Deluxe mobo, reading through the User's guide and I've got some questions; probably the 1st of many since I have never built a PC before. Sorry if these questions are rather basic.

    The UG lists 3 fan connectors; CPU, PWR & Case. Do these connectors supply variable power to the fans depending on the case/CPU temperature? Or do they simply monitor the fan speeds? I've currently got 2 case fans; one at the front/bottom sucking air in and another top/rear blowing out. Is it possible to use a 3-pin fan splitter to power/control both case fans attached to the Case fan connector? Or can I use the PWR connector for the 2nd case fan? (It's not uncommon to have multiple case fans.)

    I'm considering buying the Global Win SAF-Sapphire 450 PSU :

    http://www.globalwin.com.tw/products/power/sapphire.html

    The users guide is here :

    http://www.globalwin.com.tw/products/power/pdf/SAF_Manu_E.pdf

    As with most modern PSU's it has it's own thermal fan control. It can also control 3 case fans. Would this be a better option to use the PSU fan connectors rather than the mobo fan connectors? I'd guess that if I do then I wont be able use MBM or AsusProbe to display the fan speeds.

    -----

    I'll be upgrading my current PC and it's the only PC I have. So once I start I will be unable to use the net to download additional files or ask questions. I'm going to download the latest BIOS from the Asus website along with any other updates there. I'll also get the latest video card drivers, etc. Is there any other files that I will need before I upgrade?

    I'll be installing 2 SATA HDD's on the Intel ICH5R (unless it's better to use the Promise controller), one of which will be my "C_Drive" and the other will be installed in a mobile rack.

    Do I need to:

    A) Install the drivers when installing WinXP Pro?
    B) Are there updated versions available? If so, where?

    My current PC has a 4gb HDD and I'm considering buying a Tekram DC-315U PCI SCSI card and use the 4gb HDD for the windows swap file, temporary files and the like. I seem to remember reading some posts that when using SATA you set the boot drive to SCSI in the BIOS. If so, is this going to cause a conflict?

    I also have a 8gb HDD which I'm going to use to store the updates that I need during the install. Some time in the future I plan to use this HDD to dual boot with Win98 for some old games my son likes to play (I already know they wont work under WinXP.)

    Any other advice/recommendations gratefully received.

    TIA for your help
    Barry...
     
    Barry, Apr 12, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Barry

    Paul Guest

    A typical situation for three fan headers is: all three monitor
    fan speed, but only the CPU header supports Q-Fan. I'm not sure
    the manual always gives details on each individual model. Some
    of the -X Asus motherboards have fewer capabilities in this
    department.

    Since an Intel retail fan has its own thermally controlled speed,
    leave Q-Fan disabled. If you buy a third party CPU fan which is
    single speed, then and only then enable the Q-fan. Combining two
    control methods can leave you with a stalled fan (due to the fan
    voltage dropping below 7 volts).

    Many case fans have only two wires, meaning they have no rotation
    (tachometer) wire. They cannot be monitored, so you can power
    one of those from a drive power cable or one of those special fan
    power cables that some power supplies have.

    If you indeed have four fans with monitor signals and only three
    headers to monitor them, do an analysis of which fan can fail
    without screwing up the PC. In your case, the fan blowing into
    the case on the front does not need to be monitored - when it
    fails, the PS fan and back case fan will work together just
    fine to keep the case cool (slightly warmer than normal but not
    dangerously so - disconnect the front fan and test how hot
    it gets while gaming). In the end, you may find the PS fan is
    too slow to monitor, and the decision is made for you.

    For a P4 motherboard, much of the power consumption will be
    on the +12V output. Power supplies have current ratings on
    their outputs, and you will want at least [email protected] amps for
    a basic computer with P4, one disk, and a video card. I've
    posted before about doing a power estimate here, and there
    are actually several web sites that give their own recipes
    for estimating power needs. It isn't the total watts that
    count, it is making sure there is enough current on each
    output. There are some lousy supplies that tout high total
    power, and they only have 10 or 12 amps of that on +12V.

    Here is a sample calculation for +12V:

    ******
    Processor
    P4 3.2Ghz/FSB800/512KB cache = [email protected] = [email protected]
    including 80% conversion efficiency by the mobo Vcore cct,
    the required current is 10.5A for a top end P4.
    Hard drive
    2A during spinup of the disk, 0.5A while sitting in Windows desktop.
    Allow 0.5A for a CD. If you don't have a lot of drives,
    don't worry about spinup current, and concentrate on idle current.
    Fans
    Allow 1 amp for case and CPU fans.
    Video card
    Low end video cards use no +12V. An Nvidia FX5900 or an ATI9800
    have a separate +12V cable. Estimated power is [email protected] and [email protected]
    for one of those video cards while playing a 3D game.
    Total = 10.5 + 3*0.5 + 1 + 1.5 = 14.5A on +12V (2 disk drives, 1 CD)
    A 15amp on +12V supply is barely adequate, and maybe 17amps is
    a good target. More if you expect other +12V loads. Generally
    the other rails (+3.3, +5) are so massive, you don't have to
    worry. (The Globalwin 450W has 22amps on +12V - plenty...)
    [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
    ******

    As for other setup issues, you have picked one of the most
    compatible motherboards around at the moment. If you had a
    Via chipset and an ATI 9600/9800, then I'd be recommending you
    download every file in sight. That shouldn't be necessary for
    a P4C800-E Deluxe.

    Personally, I'd leave the existing PC in working order, and
    pick up a second case to go with your new power supply.
    Either that, or use a PC at work to download or post to the
    net. Not having a PC to "call for help" just sucks. Imagine
    what happens if the motherboard needs to be returned under
    warranty some day - a backup computer is worth the cost
    of another case.

    For OS install, there is a guide on Abxzone, by "Mr. Steveo".
    About the only tricky part, is remembering to press F6 at the
    appropriate time and install drivers for any "exotic" disk drive
    types. You should plan in advance which drives are going on
    which interfaces (i.e. the final disk layout), so you get the
    drivers you need on the system disk now, rather than later.
    Other than that, it should just be a lot of rebooting. I think
    Asus provides some MAKEDISK files, which can be used to prepare
    driver floppies, so check the CD to see what is on there.

    http://www.abxzone.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=34558&highlight=steveo+winxp+install

    Your motherboard will be delivered with a BIOS that works.
    Something like 1011 perhaps. The latest beta BIOS may not be bug
    free, so since your mobo is a good one, I'd do the install
    with the BIOS that comes with it. If you are lucky, there will
    be a sticker on the flash chip, stating what release of BIOS
    is inside the chip, and you can then Google on the release
    number, to see whether that BIOS is a good one.

    For updates, I'd burn those on a CD, as you can use that CD
    at a later date, if your system dies on you. I wouldn't bother
    dragging any old disk drives over from the old system, because
    you need a disaster plan, to escape from the P4C800-E install
    if something is DOA. If you put a SCSI controller on there,
    there may be issues getting the SCSI BIOS to behave with other
    devices that use SCSI emulation (at least if you want to boot
    from the SCSI drive). There have been issues with the control
    of boot order in the BIOS, so if it was me, I'd use as few disk
    drives as possible.

    As for disk layout, I recommend keeping the boot disk simple.
    For example, some people say not to put a boot disk on a
    RAID stripe, as if one disk fails, you'll have a hard time
    recovering from the problem. (A RAID mirror would be OK but is
    still a headache and the owner of a mirror should practice
    repairing the mirror, for the panicky day when a drive fails.)
    Similarly, your idea of putting the swap on another disk,
    assumes the SCSI disk has superior seek time or data rate, and
    in the case of your 4GB disk, that probably is not true. Keeping
    a "bog standard" disk layout for the system disk pays off later
    when some piece of software is making assumptions about your system.

    I like systems with either one or two disks. A one disk system
    is good for surfing/business applications, as there is no
    heavy disk I/O to speak of. You can partition the drive if you
    want a dedicated data area. If you use software to do
    transformations on a stream of data (video editing, video
    compression, imaging the boot disk etc), having a second disk
    reduces the seeks needed if you were only using one disk.
    (One disk is your source and the other is you destination.)
    More disks than this is overkill. Reducing the number of disks
    means less risk of a disk failure per unit time, less noise etc.
    Some people find, that while a RAID array gives great benchmarks,
    sometimes a RAID array will drop frames on video capture that
    a single IDE disk will handle just fine.

    So, have a read though the "Mr. Steveo" guide, and pick up
    another computer case. It doesn't have to be fancy - a beige
    steel case will work just fine :)

    Keep track of what software you used to do the install (what
    version of Catalyst, DirectX, Intel INF etc) and burn those
    to a CD for a rainy day. When you need to reinstall the system
    disk in a couple of years time, you'll never remember how it
    is all bolted together.

    With the older BIOS versions, the computer beeps once for
    each USB interface it finds at startup. If this bothers you,
    flash the BIOS after you've tested your system thoroughly.

    Memtest86+ from memtest.org is a good program to use for
    testing the memory, for example. You can test the memory
    via the bootable floppy that the memtest program will prepare
    for you - test the memory before installing Windows. Zero
    errors is the only acceptable number of errors in an overnight
    test.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 12, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Barry

    Barry Guest

    Thankyou Paul for another comprehensive and helpful reply.

    Specifically,

    Yes I'm going to buy a Intel box set.

    I don't have the CPU yet but looking at the installation diagrams in the ASUS UG it doesn't show using any thermal compound between the CPU and fan. Is that included with the CPU or doesn't it need it?

    I haven't read all of the UG yet, but there's no section just on Q-Fan listed in the ToC. The "Special Features" states: "The ASUS Q-Fan technology smartly adjusts the fan speeds ...". Note the singular.

    I gather from what you said above the 3 fan headers on the MB can actually be used for what ever fans I want to use them for. Is this correct?

    Given that my PC will eventually have:

    P4 3.0C, Corsair TWINX1024-3200LL memory (maybe 512mb instead, see below), 2*120gb Hitachi 7K250 SATA HDD's (or SAMSUNG's if I can't get the Hitachi's), GlobalWin SAF450W PSU, GeXcube 9600XT Extreme, Plextor CD burner, Plextor SATA DVD burner (in a few months), Pioneer DVDROM, 2 case fans (Enermax, Evercool or similar). Lastly my old 8gb IDE HDD for Win98.

    Which is why I choose the GlobalWin because of their good reviews, because it provided a few extra features over what other PSU's provide and plenty of grunt on the 12V.

    As to buying another case, I have/did seriously considered that. I would love to do. However, about 3 weeks ago my Epson LX printer died and *YESTERDAY* my 19" Mitsubishi Diamondtron monitor blew up (almost literally, the house stunk for a while). Neither of these items were in my original budget. Whatever spare cash I had has "walked out the door" replacing them. Using a work PC isn't a option either. I'm asking these Q's mostly because I don't have a backup PC that I can use.

    For the time being I'll drop the idea of using my old 4gb SCSI HDD. Maybe I'll look at using it in the future. AUD$40 isn't much for the PCI SCSI controller. I had NO intention of booting from it. Just to provide a separate physical I/O path to the swap file.

    Today I don't have a CD burner, I'm using the old IDE HDD as a substitute.

    I'll read "Mr. Steveo" at Abxzone tomorrow.

    Thankyou very, very muchly
    Barry...
     
    Barry, Apr 12, 2004
    #3
  4. Barry

    Anon Amous Guest

    You really put some effort into this -- well done.
     
    Anon Amous, Apr 12, 2004
    #4
  5. Barry

    Pluvious Guest

    SNIP
    ||
    ||Thankyou very, very muchly
    ||Barry...


    Check out the 19" NEC MultiSync FE991sb (super bright). It comes in
    black too. Very nice monitor and relatively cheap. $250 at Newegg.com.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=property&DEPA=1

    Pluvious
     
    Pluvious, Apr 12, 2004
    #5
  6. Barry

    Paul Guest

    <<snip>>

    On some of the processors I've purchases, there was a square of foil
    glued on two edges to the bottom of the heatsink. On this foil is
    a black powdery material, which is the thermal interface.

    When you place the HSF on the CPU, that black stuff gets scratched
    up, so if you only install the HSF once on the CPU, that should
    be OK. If, on the other hand, you have to install/remove it
    several times, it is time to remove the foil and switch to a
    "thermal paste". Isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean the bottom
    of the heat sink before applying paste, making sure to let the
    alcohol residue dry before applying the paste.

    There are a whole bunch of different kinds, and the kind to avoid
    is the zinc paste (white in color, not very thick). The problem with
    zinc paste, is it separates into an oily carrier and the zinc solids,
    and the oil escapes from under the HSF. This tends to leave a dry joint.
    I use Arctic Silver 3, but a lot of similar products keep the CPU within
    a few degrees of the same temp as some AS3 would give you.

    As with any thermal interface material, let the material "settle
    in" for several days of normal operation, before recording the
    CPU temperature at idle. This temperature is your "reference value".
    Record the case and room temperature as well - subtract room temp
    from the other temps to get a "delta-T" or temperature rise, for
    the CPU. After a year or so, you may find the delta-T at idle is
    5 or 10 degrees C higher than it used to be. At that time, you may
    want to remove the HSF and refresh the thermal interface material.
    A good guide for installing one of these products is here:

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm
    Q-fan sets fan speed, according to some temperature it is measuring.
    The CPU socket has a temp sensor, so it is logical that the CPU fan
    header is the one with the control on it.
    Always connect the CPU fan to the CPU fan header. Some BIOS will not
    leave a computer running for more than a few seconds, if they aren't
    seeing pulses on the CPU fan header rotation wire. The other two
    headers can take any fan you want, subject in all cases to the
    current limits specified in the manual. If a fan takes more than
    a couple hundred milliamps, it is generally best to power the fan
    from a disk drive power cable.
    It doesn't actually take that long to pull a motherboard and put
    another one back in. Keep the original system disk and original
    motherboard to one side, and then you can swap them back in if there
    is trouble with the new setup. Once you are used to the cabling
    procedure, it goes a lot smoother. If your original computer doesn't
    have a manual, _take careful notes of where the wires go_ .

    As for monitors, there are a couple of weak points. The degauss
    coil on some monitors, uses a thermistor type device to interrupt
    the current after about 5-10 seconds. These devices are stressed
    every time the monitor is switched on, and that could be what has
    failed. The second weak point, is anything to do with the HV to
    the picture tube. My flyback started to arc a few years ago, and
    a professional should be consulted, on the best way to fix a problem
    like that. In some cases, a little "corona dope" can provide a
    temporary fix, but don't do that yourself - if you've been thrown
    across a room by high voltage once, it is an experience you don't
    soon forget (been there, done that).
    Every city has a junk or recycled PC shop in it somewhere. You could
    find an old case, and move the old computer components and old PS
    into it. That will give you some practice with cabling :)

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 12, 2004
    #6
  7. Barry

    Tim Guest

    Barry,

    Paul did mention it, but using a SCSI disc drive to swap is not a god idea
    in your case as a 4GB drive is bound to be slower than a modern SATA drive
    ( I have SCSI on my server and modern SATA on this desktop: the desktop
    thrashes the server in disc IO performance several times over). As Paul
    said: keep it simple. I would recommend leaving out the SCSI discs and
    controller completely.

    Check up on anti static procedures before doing the build :)

    - Tim






    I have just brought a P4C800-E Deluxe mobo, reading through the User's guide
    and I've got some questions; probably the 1st of many since I have never
    built a PC before. Sorry if these questions are rather basic.

    The UG lists 3 fan connectors; CPU, PWR & Case. Do these connectors supply
    variable power to the fans depending on the case/CPU temperature? Or do
    they simply monitor the fan speeds? I've currently got 2 case fans; one at
    the front/bottom sucking air in and another top/rear blowing out. Is it
    possible to use a 3-pin fan splitter to power/control both case fans
    attached to the Case fan connector? Or can I use the PWR connector for the
    2nd case fan? (It's not uncommon to have multiple case fans.)

    I'm considering buying the Global Win SAF-Sapphire 450 PSU :

    http://www.globalwin.com.tw/products/power/sapphire.html

    The users guide is here :

    http://www.globalwin.com.tw/products/power/pdf/SAF_Manu_E.pdf

    As with most modern PSU's it has it's own thermal fan control. It can also
    control 3 case fans. Would this be a better option to use the PSU fan
    connectors rather than the mobo fan connectors? I'd guess that if I do then
    I wont be able use MBM or AsusProbe to display the fan speeds.

    -----

    I'll be upgrading my current PC and it's the only PC I have. So once I
    start I will be unable to use the net to download additional files or ask
    questions. I'm going to download the latest BIOS from the Asus website
    along with any other updates there. I'll also get the latest video card
    drivers, etc. Is there any other files that I will need before I upgrade?

    I'll be installing 2 SATA HDD's on the Intel ICH5R (unless it's better to
    use the Promise controller), one of which will be my "C_Drive" and the other
    will be installed in a mobile rack.

    Do I need to:

    A) Install the drivers when installing WinXP Pro?
    B) Are there updated versions available? If so, where?

    My current PC has a 4gb HDD and I'm considering buying a Tekram DC-315U PCI
    SCSI card and use the 4gb HDD for the windows swap file, temporary files and
    the like. I seem to remember reading some posts that when using SATA you
    set the boot drive to SCSI in the BIOS. If so, is this going to cause a
    conflict?

    I also have a 8gb HDD which I'm going to use to store the updates that I
    need during the install. Some time in the future I plan to use this HDD to
    dual boot with Win98 for some old games my son likes to play (I already know
    they wont work under WinXP.)

    Any other advice/recommendations gratefully received.

    TIA for your help
    Barry...
     
    Tim, Apr 12, 2004
    #7
  8. Barry

    Barry Guest

    NEC and Mitsubishi are the one company these days. I brought a Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 93SB which has "SuperBright" ... didn't have much choice on a Easter Sunday.

    Probably the same monitor with a different name. In Australia it cost me AUD$400 about HALF the price I paid a few years ago for the Mitsubishi that died.

    I really wanted to buy the new SAMSUNG 172X 12ms LCD but they cost AUD$800 and SAMSUNG Australia can't supply enough of them to meet demand. Even if I had the money to buy one it would have been 1-2 MONTHS before I it was delivered.

    PS. If you have a relatively recent NEC or Mitsubishi monitor take a look at NaViSet here:

    http://www.necmitsubishi.com/naviset

    (assuming you haven't already).

    You need to fill in a form (you can give false name/email addy) and allow a cookie to get to the download page.

    Cheers
    Barry...
     
    Barry, Apr 13, 2004
    #8
  9. Barry

    Paul Guest

    You will be much happier with a CRT based monitor than an LCD.

    1) The CRT has a larger color gamut (for Photoshop)
    2) On my LCD, it is too bright, even when turned all the way
    down. You cannot see this problem in a brightly lit store.
    3) The LCD monitor will not go all the way to black.
    This could be related to (2).
    4) There is the annoying aliasing effect when you scroll
    a document, one pixel at a time. My screen is pretty fast, but
    the intensity of the screen flickers while you scroll, which
    doesn't happen with the CRT.
    5) LCD only looks good at one resolution - the native resolution.
    Fortunately, I'm happy with the native resolution of 1280x1024.
    6) I am lucky that my LCD doesn't have the "blue cast" that
    a lot of them have.

    The only positive I can see from an LCD, is the power saving. My old
    monitor probably was drawing 200W, and this LCD draws 30W or so.

    What amazes me most, is I didn't detect the properties of the LCD
    while viewing it in the store - even though I disconnected the
    "movie" the store was displaying on the desktop, and tried some
    word processing, to see how it would look doing business apps.
    None of the annoying properties really showed themselves
    while I was in the store.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 13, 2004
    #9
  10. Barry

    Pluvious Guest

    ||>
    ||> SNIP
    ||>
    ||> > and *YESTERDAY* my 19" Mitsubishi Diamondtron monitor blew up
    ||> >(almost literally, the house stunk for a while). Neither of these items were
    ||> >in my original budget. Whatever spare cash I had has "walked out the door"
    ||> >replacing them. Using a work PC isn't a option either. I'm asking these
    ||> >Q's mostly because I don't have a backup PC that I can use.
    ||> ||
    ||> ||Thankyou very, very muchly
    ||> ||Barry...
    ||>
    ||>
    ||> Check out the 19" NEC MultiSync FE991sb (super bright). It comes in
    ||> black too. Very nice monitor and relatively cheap. $250 at Newegg.com.
    ||>
    ||> http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=property&DEPA=1
    ||>
    ||> Pluvious
    ||>


    ||. If you have a relatively recent NEC or Mitsubishi monitor take a look at NaViSet here:
    ||
    ||http://www.necmitsubishi.com/naviset
    ||
    ||(assuming you haven't already).
    ||
    ||You need to fill in a form (you can give false name/email addy) and allow a cookie to get to the download page.
    ||
    ||Cheers
    ||Barry...


    Thanks .. I hadn't found that NaVisSet thing before.. score.

    Pluvious
     
    Pluvious, Apr 13, 2004
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.