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bk T
01-08-2014, 10:38 AM
Building a new PC:

CPU: Intel i5-4690K
MB: Asus Z97-A ATX socket 1150
RAM: G.Skill RipjawsX (2x8)16GB 1866MHz
OS HDD: Intel 240GB 530 Series or Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
HDD: Seagate 1TB
Video: To be decided - subject to LOTO results tomorrow night. :D
PSU: CoolerMaster V-series750S Gold 80 Plus
Case: CoolerMaster CM690 III mid-tower
Optical: any

Will the RAM match the MB (as I don't see it in the vendor list) ? 1866MHz vs 2400MHz, much significant difference?

Your views and comments are welcome.

pctek
01-08-2014, 11:17 AM
http://nz.pcpartpicker.com/parts/memory/?compatible_with=asus-motherboard-z97a

See the above for compatible RAM.

And you're leaving the GPU up to a lotto lose????!!!

Other than that, excellent parts.

Speedy Gonzales
01-08-2014, 11:18 AM
Looks like (according to the site it supports 1866 and 2400 (OC). And it may or may not support that CPU out of the box. You need 1008 of the BIOS before it'll support that CPU

bk T
01-08-2014, 11:44 AM
... And it may or may not support that CPU out of the box. You need 1008 of the BIOS before it'll support that CPU

That makes me a bit worried. What if the MB's BIOS is not up-to-date? There's no way to flash it myself if there isn't any compatible CPU available. Buying one is totally out of the question!

How to go about?

pctek: Thanks for the link. Very useful.

Speedy Gonzales
01-08-2014, 11:53 AM
Ask the shop to flash it before they send it. That's the only other way it'll work, if the BIOS that's on it (out of the box), doesn't support the CPU you're going to install on it

They'll have to open the box install a lower spec CPU to do it.

I would have done the same with the PC I just built. But in the end decided to get one, that worked out of the box. (I figured this out because the BIOS, this CPU needed, wasn't on the ASUS site). So, it must have been on the mobo already

And it was. It's up and running at the mo

bk T
01-08-2014, 11:56 AM
Regarding the BIOS version, does it indicate on the box of the MB?

Or, how do I find out before hand?

Speedy Gonzales
01-08-2014, 12:01 PM
Nope don't think so. Well, I've never seen it. That's one thing you have to watch out for when building PC's. Whether the CPU you're going to install will work with the mobo. Once you install it

icow
01-08-2014, 12:09 PM
Regarding the BIOS version, does it indicate on the box of the MB?

Or, how do I find out before hand?

Find out the revision number of the board that you're buying. Check the manufacturers website to see what version of the bios came with that board the day it was released. It'll be this version or newer. If there isn't a bios version listed it will likely be the version that was released around the same time as the revision was. Or you could just ask the store whether cpu X is compatible with motherboard X (mentioning the bios specifically). If no you could ask them to flash the bios for you.

Speedy Gonzales
01-08-2014, 12:16 PM
The site will tell you if it's compatible or not. And show what BIOS update is needed for the CPU to work. I doubt the shop would know, without looking online

Mobos may have a revision version, that's about it. It wont tell you, what BIOS is on it

bk T
01-08-2014, 12:49 PM
Find out the revision number of the board that you're buying. Check the manufacturers website to see what version of the bios came with that board the day it was released. It'll be this version or newer. If there isn't a bios version listed it will likely be the version that was released around the same time as the revision was. Or you could just ask the store whether cpu X is compatible with motherboard X (mentioning the bios specifically). If no you could ask them to flash the bios for you.

1. How and where to look for the revision of the Board before opening the box?

2. I can't find any information re BIOS versions that was released at their website; in this case, Asus Z97-A

Just rang PB Tech in Penrose, spoke to a guy and he has no idea at all!

Or, it's all try my luck type of thing?

dugimodo
01-08-2014, 01:32 PM
It's always a risk when buying the latest CPU, MB vendors take a while to catch up and retailers have old stock to clear. In a lot of cases the CPU will still work well enough to flash the BIOS but won't be recognised and may not be set correctly (clock speed, voltages) by default. That's a gamble also. PBtech should be able to update the BIOS for you, maybe for a fee. Pretty hopeless PC specialist shop if they can't :)

If you are not planning on overclocking or don't need every last scrap of performance maybe consider one of the older haswell i5s - perhaps not a "K" version. Put the money saved towards the graphics card and it will game better than an overclocked K machine anyway :)

Is that a devil's canyon i5? tempted by them myself but I've resolved to skip haswell for the next generation as my 3770 is plenty quick enough.

1101
01-08-2014, 02:26 PM
Buy the mb ram & cpu all from the same place
Tell them you want them to all be 100% compatible . Makes things a bit easier if you then run into issues

Or choose another mb that is 100% compatible, as is, with the CPU you want (easier said than done I guess)

Speedy Gonzales
01-08-2014, 02:36 PM
The prob isn't compatibility. Of course it'll be compatible, if the mobo and CPU are socket 1150. It's whether the BIOS on the mobo supports the CPU after you install it. If the CPU is recent (like the devils canyon CPU), then the shop may have to flash the BIOS before they send it.

Easiest way to find out go to the mobo maker's site, search for the mobo / CPU you're going to get.

If the BIOS update isn't on the site then it should work. That's why I decided to get the mobo I've got now.

The CPU / mobo I was going to get, (the BIOS update) was on the ASUS site. If I had ordered it, the shop would have had to flash it before they sent it. For it to work

The H97M-E (what I've got now), the BIOS for this G3240 CPU wasn't listed on the ASUS site. That's how I figured out that the H97M-E would work with this CPU out of the box

How exactly (would a shop know, if you don't know) if it'll work out of the box?? They don't

icow
01-08-2014, 10:29 PM
1. How and where to look for the revision of the Board before opening the box?

Think it might just be Asus (or maybe there aren't revisions of that particular board?) :(

I know Gigabyte (and a few other brands) usually makes it pretty clear ie: http://www.gigabyte.co.nz/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4995#ov

Chilling_Silence
02-08-2014, 04:05 PM
Whats the PC going to be used for ?

bk T
02-08-2014, 05:53 PM
It's for general use, no specific tasks.

Some gaming - guildwars when the youngsters come around

bk T
03-08-2014, 02:38 PM
Got my stuff this morning from PBTech - Z97-A with i5-4690K CPU.

The guy at PB told me that this MB has the latest BIOS, and confirmed that if it's not, then they will flash it free of charge.

Got home and put everything together, checked the BIOS ver and it's only ver 0702! Luckily, as dugimodo said, it does allow me to flash the latest BIOS, and I did. :)

Using the on-board graphic for the time being as LOTTO results were not to my favour. :D

Everything works brilliantly to my expectation. :)

However, there's one minor issue which I over-looked was that this MB has only 4xSATA ports and I need at least 2 more SATA ports.

Any work-a-round suggestions? Can I make use of the SATA Express ports? Do I need an adapter or something like that?

Speedy Gonzales
03-08-2014, 03:36 PM
Looks like its got a sata express port, but it may also use 2x sata ports up if you use it. And the express port also shares its bandwidth with the m.2 slot. According to the manual

bk T
03-08-2014, 04:04 PM
You mean, I can use the SATA Express ports for my SATA devices?

wainuitech
03-08-2014, 04:33 PM
However, there's one minor issue which I over-looked was that this MB has only 4xSATA ports and I need at least 2 more SATA ports.
You sure ?? According to the ASUS site and all the reviews that board (ASUS Z97-A) has 6 on the rear -- 4 x USB 3.0 (blue) 2 x USB 2.0 and more onboard.

5878

dugimodo
03-08-2014, 04:59 PM
Lol Wainui you might want to read the question again.
bk T yes I believe a SATA express port can be used for 2 standard SATA devices, the specs for that ports say 1 SATA express port compatible with 2 SATA 6GbS devices. You either plug in 2 x standard cables or one larger SATA express cable.
I don't have access to one myself to test it but the standard is supposed to be backwards compatible with both the drives and the cables.

bk T
03-08-2014, 05:12 PM
Thanks, dugimodo. Will have a closer look later as am now running all the fine tunings.

Just completed Intel's CPU/Memory stress tests, all seem to be good. :)

bk T
04-08-2014, 11:07 AM
Thanks for your suggestions, the SATA express ports perfectly with the SATA devices - just tested it. :thumbs:

Just another issue, the reset button doesn't seem to work properly - when I press the RESET button, the system shuts and re-boot (Asus POST screen) but stops at a black screen with a white cursor blinking on the top left corner. I got to press the PWR button to shut it down and restart it. I have swapped the RESET +- wires around but produces same results.

What is happening here?

Speedy Gonzales
04-08-2014, 11:22 AM
Change the bootdisk back to the hdd. See if that fixes it

bk T
04-08-2014, 11:26 AM
Sorry, Speedy, I don't quite understand by that. If I change the bootdisk priority, it won't boot, right?

Speedy Gonzales
04-08-2014, 12:14 PM
If you change the bootdisk to hdd in the BIOS it should boot

bk T
04-08-2014, 01:01 PM
My bootdisk is selected correctly, and it works OK, no issues.

It's only the Reset function doesn't work correctly as it should.

bk T
05-08-2014, 08:21 AM
New issue.

The Reliability log shows that 'Windows was not properly shut down';

5882

but, I did shut down the PC correctly by - Alt+F4 -> Shut down.

What's this about?

Speedy Gonzales
05-08-2014, 08:42 AM
Double post

Speedy Gonzales
05-08-2014, 08:45 AM
So which hdd did you get in the end?? The intel or the samsung?? And if windows is installed now, whats it on in the BIOS?? UEFI or legacy?? And how did you install windows?? With a DVD or a flash drive?

This - stops at a black screen with a white cursor blinking on the top left corner according to some sites can mean it cant find the OS

bk T
05-08-2014, 09:46 AM
I got the Intel SSD used all default settings in the BIOS, must be UEFI; installed with DVD - Win8.1

Installation went very smoothly and loads perfectly. Only problem with the MB was the Reset button which doesn't seem to work properly but, I can go without it, though. If it can't find the OS, I won't be able to load Windows in the first place. Windows is loading fine and I am using it now.

Re the Reliability log, after I tried to use : Right-click the Windows logo at the bottom left corner -> Shut down or sign out -> shut down, Windows shuts down properly and the Reliability log doesn't show the error any more. Strangely, I tried to use Alt+F4 -> shut down to shut down and after restarted Windows, the Reliability log no longer reports the error -- self-healed!

Speedy Gonzales
05-08-2014, 10:05 AM
I would see if there are any firmware updates for the Intel. Because it did have probs. And what connection are you using? Because, the Intel SSD's did have probs with displayport connections

Speedy Gonzales
05-08-2014, 10:41 AM
This sound like your prob?? (https://communities.intel.com/thread/44258)

As above if you restart it, it cant find the hdd, (I would say thats why the cursor comes up). But if you turn it off then on, it boots fine

bk T
05-08-2014, 05:37 PM
It's different - I only have that issue when hard 'RESET' (pressing the Reset switch to force a shut down and restart).

Normal Restart works fine.

Well, I can bear with this as not very often I need to press the Reset switch to force a restart of Windows.

My main concern now is the Reliability log says my Windows was not properly shut down but it was shut down through the proper way. The 'self-heal' (I mentioned above) doesn't really work as the error log comes back randomly.

Maybe, there's something's not actually 'shut' down and still runs behind; but what is it?

Some Windows 8.1 gurus here please help to save me having to reinstall Windows.

Cheers

wainuitech
05-08-2014, 06:22 PM
What you can try, may or may not have any effect at all, BUT disable hibernation & Fast startup ( options on same window/ instructions below). When you shut down W8 /8.1 even though the Computer is off, its Not, it actually does a hybrid Shut down (confused) :illogical

http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-disable-or-enable-fast-startup-in-windows-8-1/

What happens is fast boot may be causing a problem during a hard reset. Its designed to start windows faster from "shutdown".

May fix it, but then again may do bugger all :p

bk T
05-08-2014, 11:16 PM
wainuitech: as suggested, I have disabled Fast startup and have shut down and reboot 3 times and so far, so good, no more error. Hopefully have fixed the problem. Thanks.

From the error log, I recalled it happened after I 'forced' restarted the PC by pressing the RESET button 3 times yesterday and ended up with the above headaches. I actually did a system restore to a time prior to resetting the PC but doesn't seem to get rid of the problem. System Restore doesn't seem to restore to its original state. Why is it so?

I have also created an Active@ image but somehow, I couldn't complete the restore process due to some confusion (on my part as I never done any restoration before). I tried to follow the user manual but still find it very confusing. After selected the image file (I created), the next step was to select Source Disk or Partition, this is the confusing part, haven't I already selected the image file, why is it asking for source disk? when I selected the disk, it says that it's being used and is locked (or something to that effect). I got to abort the operation.

How do I go about? I've created the image on a 500GB external HDD drive in a folder called Active@ - I have no problem in selecting the image file, but the next step confused me - as mentioned above.
Any simple to follow instructions?

Cheers

wainuitech
06-08-2014, 08:22 AM
If you speak to Gary nicely :) hes downloaded or maybe linked to a rough video I made once on youtube. Cant find the link at the moment, and really dont have time today to rewrite it out.

bk T
06-08-2014, 10:08 AM
Thanks, wainuitech, will contact Gary.

BTW, it could be the SSD is having problem because Windows pops up a warning about the c:\ and I have to restart and Windows scanned the drive 2 times before it boot up Windows. I better get it replaced.

If the Active@ image works fine, can I restore it onto the new drive?

Can Active@ wipe the disk before I send it back for replacement?

Speedy Gonzales
06-08-2014, 10:25 AM
Like I said update the firmware on it . If it hasnt been updated yet. Thats why I didnt get the Intel, (I brought the Samsung instead), after reading online the Intel had too many bugs in the firmware

bk T
06-08-2014, 10:27 AM
OK, maybe I should request to replace it with another brand - Samsung.

bk T
06-08-2014, 12:13 PM
Just spoke to the supplier, they agreed to replace it with another brand of my choice.

Should I get the Samsung 128GB Pro (http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=HDDSAM3128&name=Samsung-128GB-840-Pro-Series-2.5-SATA3-SSD-Drive--) or Samsung 120GB 840 EVO (http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=HDDSAM4120&name=Samsung-840-EVO-MZ-7TE120BW-2.5-120GB-SATA-III-TLC) ?

Speedy Gonzales
06-08-2014, 12:20 PM
I would get the 250GB. Or higher, if you can afford it.

120/128 may fill up pretty quick. There's not much diff between Evo and Pro. Only price and the ram they use. And the lower the capacity, the lower the cache (and maybe the write/read speed)

I've got the 250 GB Evo in the other PC here, nothing wrong with it. Still fast enough for me. I've partitioned it into 2. C is 150 GB I think it is. The rest of it, is D

And I know it'll never get to 150 GB. It's only using 30 or so GB at the mo, with Windows 8.1. office, and its updates, and a few programs

bk T
06-08-2014, 12:32 PM
I think 120GB is good enough for my use. Thanks, Speedy.

Speedy Gonzales
06-08-2014, 12:39 PM
Depends if you want to pay for the Pro then. Either way theyre both good

bk T
07-08-2014, 01:07 PM
Got my Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD, Active@ restored from the image I created earlier, it works brilliantly, took about only 5 minutes.

Somehow, I do notice that it is faster than my previous SSD; so far, quite happy with the new drive. :)

Do I need to install the 'Intel AHCI/RAID Driver Path for Windows', even there's no RAID created?

Speedy Gonzales
07-08-2014, 01:32 PM
You should install the chipset drivers I think that installs (or may) install an updated sata / AHCI driver. And the Rapid storage tech drivers. And Samsung magician (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/downloads.html) so you can optimise the SSD. This will also tell you if there are firmware updates

bk T
07-08-2014, 02:30 PM
Thanks, Speed, for all the advice and suggestions.:thumbs:

Speedy Gonzales
07-08-2014, 03:04 PM
No probs :)

bk T
08-08-2014, 11:34 AM
Speedy, which OS 'Optimization' option did you select, Max Performance, Max Capacity, or Max Reliability?

Speedy Gonzales
08-08-2014, 11:36 AM
Performance

bk T
08-08-2014, 11:42 AM
Thanks

Speedy Gonzales
08-08-2014, 11:43 AM
No probs