Thursday, June 17, 2010


Hooray, I'm doing an upgrade my work machine!
Last time a significant upgrade was seven (duh!) years ago.
But if you don't run some crap like Windows Vista, it's ok.
So, now I have:
1. Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 (rev.1) motherboard. As seen from the model name it bears the latest USB3 controller on it. I don't have any USB3 devices yet. But it's cool isn't it?
2. Intel Core i5-750 (Lynnfield) 2.66GHz Quad-Core Processor. Why all other i5 processors except this one are double cored?
3. 4GB (2x2Gb) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 (PC3 10666) memory. (F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM)
4. XFX GeForce 8400GS PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card (fanless).
5. CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W Power Supply (very good package).

I chose this motherboard not only because it has USB3 (actually I don't care about it), but because it is simple yet powerful and hopefully reliable. It has only one PCI16 socket, no extra whistles, PATA port (JMicron) and even an old good floppy drive port! I'm going to keep the same OS which is Windows v5.2, on the same RAID set, so I need an easy way to install the new ICH9 driver.
The fight for life of the current RAID installation is still ahead of me (probably on the weekend). But now the system is assembled in an old borrowed case, it works with a freshly temporary installed Windows v5.2 on an old (borrowed) 9Gb hard drive and it works fine and smooth and even has survived a number of stress tests.

Now, about some issues.
1. Another similar system was not able to boot old Windows XP.
2. Memtest86 v3.5 goes to reboot if both DIMMs are installed. It's the Memtest's issue, as the internet says, because it does not work with 4Gb memory. Older memtest v3.4 works fine.
3. Memory timings of the memory I bought is declared as 8-8-8-21, but the system auto setting was 9-9-9-24. I set the timings manually to 8-8-8-24, it seems it works.
4. The videocard's heat sink is hot as hell. 70 degrees in idle. I'm not going to play games, but still it's a lot.

Speaking of the temperatures.
Idle MB's CPU is 31C, under load is 71C.
Idle CPU core is 41, under load 80C
Everything else is cool.

Everest's CPU Queen gives me 8700 points. It's funny, but accordwing the score, Core2Extreme 2.6GHz still beats it.

Installation procedure:
I find out the 1156 socket CPU does not have holes on it, it has just contacts. I was sure the 775 socket CPU had holes. May be I was mistaken.
The CPU fan sink is light and small and set easily, much easier then 775's huge heavy sink.

Stage 2.

Ok, now is time to migrate the current system (MS Windows v5.2) to the new platform.
Two major problem I mostly afraid of are:
1. Will the existed RAID0 set be recognized by the new platform
2. Will the windows run on it.
The firs one was resolved instantly. As soon the RAID controller is Intel made
it's compatible, at least in one direction. So the set is created on ICH5R was recognized instantly on the motherboard with ICH9 (P55 chipset). All I need to do is set the RAID mode to the SATA controller in the BIOS setup.
The second was not so easy. Windows started to boot but suddenly restarts computer, same way as XP did with another case.
Not thinking long I started the repair procedure, providing the floppy drive with the ICH drivers. After the repair had done, the windows loaded succesfully.
But the repair procedure brought me some more problem: Internet Explorer 8 was gone. Windows SP2 was gone. Many other MS made utilites were not functioned as well.
Also I had to reactivate Windows because the hardware was significantly changed.

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