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The Showdown: Personal Computers

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The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Thu 24 Apr 2008 - 22:18

In today's world technology is progressing very rapidly and one common example is computer technology. Being myself a computer enthusiast, I build my own PCs and I find it very interesting trying to keep pace with its evolution.

I have recently upgraded my latest computer which I initially built a year ago. The upgrade consisted mainly of replacing some buggy peripherals and improving the thermal solution so as to allow future overclocking of the system.

Initial configuration:
  • Chassis: Asus Vento TA-88
  • Power Supply Unit: Cooler Master eXtreme Power 550W
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 (Rev. 3.3)
  • Central Processing Unit: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • Central Processing Unit Cooler: Asus P5A2
  • Memory: 2 x 1GB Kingston DDR2-667
  • Visual Graphics Accelerator: Gigabyte GV-NX88S320H-B-RH
  • Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
  • Optical Drive: Asus DRW-1814BLT
  • Hard Disk Drive: Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 200GB SATA2
  • Card Reader/Writer: Generic Internal 3.5" All-In-One
  • Monitor: Asus MM17D
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Logitech Cordless Internet Pro Desktop Combo
  • Printer, Copier & Scanner: HP F380
  • Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 Digital
  • Webcam: Logitech QuickCam Fusion


Space was limited and there wasn't any other cooler mounted except for the CPU, VGA and PSU.


The HDD had to be mounted in the 5.25" bay because of the monster VGA.


The initial build.

Actual configuration:
  • Chassis: Gigabyte 3D Mars
  • Power Supply Unit: Cooler Master eXtreme Power 550W
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 (Rev. 3.3)
  • Central Processing Unit: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • Central Processing Unit Cooler: Gigabyte 3D Rocket II
  • Memory: 2 x 1GB Kingston DDR2-667
  • Visual Graphics Accelerator: Gigabyte GV-NX88S320H-B-RH
  • Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
  • Optical Drive: Sony Nec Optiarc AW-G170S
  • Hard Disk Drive: 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE 160GB SATA2
  • Card Reader/Writer: Generic Mini External All-In-One
  • Monitor: Asus MM17D
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Logitech Cordless Internet Pro Desktop Combo
  • Printer, Copier & Scanner: HP F380
  • Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 Digital
  • Webcam: Logitech QuickCam Fusion


My new set of wealth... Razz


The 3D Rocket II stands at an impressive 16 cm on the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 and has
two fans mounted, one at the bottom to cool the area around the LGA 775 socket and
one at the top which eliminates the heat coming from the processor via the heat-pipes.


WOW... It's so spacious inside.


The DVD burner, the fan controller and the front panel connectivities.


Simple, sleek and stylish!

As already underlined, the principal idea behind the upgrade was to improve the cooling system of the computer. Before, the temperatures I used to record with the Asus P5A2 were as follows:

Idle
  • Central Processing Unit: 34 - 40 degrees Celsius
  • Chipset: 54 degrees Celsius
  • Visual Graphics Accelerator: 63 degrees Celsius
  • Hard Disk Drive: 49 degrees Celsius

Medium Load
  • Central Processing Unit: 41 - 47 degrees Celsius
  • Chipset: 57 degrees Celsius
  • Visual Graphics Accelerator: 63 degrees Celsius
  • Hard Disk Drive: 50 degrees Celsius

Gaming/Full Load
  • Central Processing Unit: 48 - 64 degrees Celsius
  • Chipset: 62 degrees Celsius
  • Visual Graphics Accelerator: 74 degrees Celsius
  • Hard Disk Drive: 50 degrees Celsius

Now, the results speak for themselves... Very Happy


Thanks to the 9 cooling fans! geek

This temperature reading was taken while writing this topic and I should admit that it was pretty shocking to see the CPU dissipating a heat of only 23 degrees Celsius with its cooler set to run at its minimum level (Silent: ~1500 RPM & 16 dB) while room temperature was 30 degrees Celsius.

I will be back with some more results soon but in the meantime I want to hear a bit about your computers and also, what you think about mine.


Last edited by Varun on Wed 20 Aug 2008 - 12:31; edited 7 times in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 11:10

Not bad, indeed! Well, I don't know much about computers and all the stuffs that lie inside the CPU, however I can state, after what Varun has said, that this computer is surely something out of the ordinary and mind-blowing. It's really fascinating when you compare the Central Processing Unit Cooler, Asus P5A2, with that of now, that is, Gigabyte 3D Rocket II. Not only the functions vary, but also the size. Moreover, look at the difference between Asus chassis and the 3D Mars, isn't it amazing? The 3D Mars is so spacious, which makes the whole system appear
Varun wrote:Simple, sleek and stylish!
Varun, that's all I have to say until you post more results about your computer... Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 12:43

woooow....tro bon ha!! n pc kumha komie couT??

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 12:50

Interesting question... But, the price doesn't matter as far as the quality of the computer is very good. Smile

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 13:05

non mo lai ken so prix!!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 13:08

Sorry Deesha, I can't reveal the price, else ICAC investigators will be looking for my lovely ass. Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 13:10

Dee, kan n dimun donn toi 1 rose, eski to demann li prix la ou swa to admire li avan? N'importe kisanla ti pu admire rose la, abe torsi admire computer la so bann fonctions... Ki to pu fer ek so prix? To pu aster n parey?

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Kavi on Fri 25 Apr 2008 - 21:21

lol! Varun bzn accepter ki PC la seryer ek pa bzn kozer komier so prix eter. Razz

Twa to ti p dir mwa to in sanz PC la net but ton sanz zis so CPU ek 4-5 zafer.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sat 26 Apr 2008 - 1:12

Here are some night shots...


Light On - Front View


Light On - Side View


Light Off - Front View


Light Off - Side View

Now, with the computer running so cool I'm tempted to replace the ventillated steel mesh side panel with the transparent acrylic one. tongue


Last edited by Varun on Tue 24 Jun 2008 - 19:58; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sat 26 Apr 2008 - 4:53

ventillation vs looks? hmm.. keep the mesh panel Smile

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Kavi on Sat 26 Apr 2008 - 10:07

He li tro seryer varun. Sa mem to ti p dir mwa 2ciD ant sa 2 CPU la.
Sanla mo ti dir twa pren. Transparent la!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 1:07

It's not the transparent one, Kavi. It's a ventillated steel mesh side panel. However, I also have the transparent acrylic side panel as the chassis supports a multi-functional window but then, the ventillated steel mesh side panel remains a better option, as stated by Visham, as it provides better cooling and I think I'll stick to it.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 9:58

Alright, this is supposed to be a 'showdown', right? so here i go!

Initial Requirements:
- small and portable for my LAN parties
- powerful enough for the latest games and some heavy 3D rendering in 3D studio Max
- should last for at least 2 years before any major upgrade

System Specs:
- Casing : Thermaltake Lanbox Lite with windows
- Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R
- CPU : Intel Core2Quad Q6600
- CPU Cooler : Thermaltake Blue Orb II
- Graphics : XFX 8800GT XXX Edition
- Storage : Seagate Baracuda Sata II 160Gb Lacie 750Gb External
- Optical Drive : Optiarc DVD-RW AD720A
- Game Controller : Powerwave 360-style PC controller
- Memory : 2 x 1Gb Kingston DDR2-800
- PSU : Coolermaster ExtermePower 500W
- Monitor : BenQ 19" G900W

The casing has been slightly modified to improve airflow as shown in pics below.


CPU cooler



92mm fan on modded left panel to push more air towards graphics card



2 x 80mm fans on modded right panel to improve airflow in cpu area



My System

It is now around 2 months old and has become my main machine, replacing my trusty old Asus a6Km laptop. The CPU has been slightly overclocked to 2.9Ghz at stock voltage. Temps are as shown in the following screenshot - 23 degrees being the idle CPU temperature, 25 degrees under very light usage (writing up this post with music in the background) and 39 degrees being the temperature while gaming, i.e, moderate load. At 100% load, with prime95 stressing the CPU with small FFT's, the CPU sits at a comfortable 57 degrees with the room temp at a constant 22 degrees.


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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 10:48

An appealing system, Visham! Smile

However, I doubt it that your system will have a good score on the mobility graph. On the other hand, the system is a powerful one and will surely assure a decent performance for the next 2 years.

There's something I don't quite understand though. Your VGA card has an in-built cooling solution on the PCB along with an exhaust fan. How come do you push fresh air against the direction where the fan exhaust the hot air? I would like to see the temperature of your VGA card with your 92 mm fan on the left panel turned off and compare it with the actual temperature, is it possible?

Tell me, do you really feel the need to overclock a Q6600 to meet your requirements? Also, your memory modules seem to be slightly overclocked at 1.95 V, am I right?

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:11

The built-in fan on the VGA card draws air into the pcb enclosure to cool the circuitry. The way i positioned the 92mm fan, it actually draws air from outside and blows it towards the built-in fan, not against it. Moreover, there is a 60mm exhaust fan placed above the graphics card to draw away any heat it produces. Without the additional fans, the GPU temps were actually at around 52 degrees when idle, and shot up to 67 degrees when under load (crysis, gears of war). With the fan, as u can see, it only goes up to 55, which is an improvement.

Talking about mobility, i don't move the whole system (monitor etc), jst the case which easily fits in a small handbag and weighs just over 8.5 Kg when packed, compared to 10+ kg's for some empty full sized ATX cases Smile

Honestly, o.c'in is not a must for my personal requirements (2.4Ghz quad core @ stock is enough juice for anything i do) but as we both know, computer enthusiasts are never satisfied with what they have and always want MORE! And anyway, everything has been done at stock voltages, so no harm is being done to the CPU.

Memory modules have been overvolted. This is done automatically by my board, allowing me to run my DDR-800 RAM at ~1066Mhz without any trouble... and before you comment about it, latency has not been modified and there is no performance lost.


Last edited by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:17; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : mistakes)

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:24

visham wrote:Talking about mobility, i don't move the whole system (monitor etc), jst the case which easily fits in a small handbag and weighs just over 8.5 Kg when packed, compared to 10+ kg's for some empty full sized ATX cases Smile
Yeah, I was talking about the chassis only. Mine weighs 8 Kg when empty and when fully assembled it becomes so heavy that my legs tend to bend if I carry it from a place to another. Razz

visham wrote:Memory modules have been overvolted. This is done automatically by my board, allowing me to run my DDR-800 RAM at ~1066Mhz without any trouble... and before you comment about it, latency has not been modified and there is no performance lost.
How does it automatically overclock the memory?

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:37

Yeah, I was talking about the chassis only. Mine weighs 8 Kg when empty and when fully assembled it becomes so heavy that my legs tend to bend if I carry it from a place to another.

Exactly my point Razz

How does it automatically overclock the memory?

I overclocked it manually using 2:3 FSB:DRAM ratio. FSB is set to 323 Mhz, giving a DRAM frequency of ~484 Mhz, which is effectively 969 Mhz. The voltage, on the other hand, (1.95 v) was automatically set by my motherboard. During my overclocking tests, ~1066Mhz was achieved with the same voltages, running at 355Mhz FSB with a 2:3 divider. This, however, required me to pump more voltage through my CPU to keep it stable.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:49

I see...

Looking at my temperatures, I'm tempted to push my E6600 at 3 GHz. However, I should admit I'm shy at playing with voltages and on the other hand, powerful computer parts cost a lot of money and I don't have enough money which can motivate me to gamble in overclocking my system. silent

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 11:54

lol! wasn't the whole point of the upgrade to make your temperatures safe enough for overclocking? Razz You should probley start by stressing your CPU with small FFT's in prime95 to check your actual temps under 100% load, then think about how far you really wanna go Smile 3.0Ghz should be a piece of cake on that chip.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 12:02

Yeah but after hearing your story about that fried E6600 at 4.2 GHz the other day it has made me a little diffident. Embarassed

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 12:04

4.2 Ghz is a 75% o.c with liquid cooling. You're only going for 25% Very Happy

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 13:10

I think I'll go for some stress tests with Prime95 first.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Shanu on Sun 27 Apr 2008 - 13:31

Competition lor competition.. Seryer seryer.. Moi mo dire zot bizin fer 1 show televisť.. koumsa zot pou kapav defier ban mensonge ki cash and carry et les autres company dire lor television.. Very Happy


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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 1:28

I have finally turned my E6600 into a virtual E6850! Yes, my CPU power has now been unleashed at 3.0 GHz and that was a direct hot shot! Wink

  1. System Voltage Control was set to "Auto".
  2. CPU Host Clock Control was set to "Enabled
  3. CPU Host Frequency was increased to "333 Mhz" at one go. Razz".
  4. System Memory Multiplier was set to "2.0x".


My E6600 now running at 2997 MHz (3.0 GHz).


At the same time, a synchronous ratio of 1:1 has been achieved for
FSB:DRAM while leaving the latencies and command rate unchanged.

On the other hand, a temperature increase of 5 degrees Celsius was noticed for the CPU while keeping the 3D Rocket II running at minimum level. The CPU and DDR2 voltages were automatically raised to ensure system stability.


Temperature readings after overclocking the E6600 to 3.0 GHz.

Last but not least, I was more than satisfied running my E6600 at stock speed. Then, why did I perform this overclock? geek


Last edited by Varun on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 15:18; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 2:51

Auto voltage is for rookies. Razz Your DDR-2 is not being overclocked, so the voltage increase is redundant and only produces more heat and decreases the longetivity of your RAM sticks without any valid reason. Going manual, and setting the voltage by yourself ensures you have more control on what you are doing. These are idle temps btw, with the CPU running with a x6 multiplier (~2.0Ghz, not 3.0Ghz), thanks to intel's speedstep. Post back with your CPU temp at 100% load under prime95. You should know that the heat output increases linearly with the bus frequency and is proportional to the square of the voltage and that idle temps are of no interest while overclocking, what we want are stable low temps at full load. Smile E6600's are known to run at ~3.0Ghz @ stock voltage, which produces less heat.

Goodluck!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 15:54

Okay, here it is...


Click to open in pop-up window.

  1. CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E), CPU Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2) and CPU EIST Function have been left at "Enabled" to decrease speed and save power when system is idle.
  2. System voltages have been set to "Manual" and left unchanged at their normal values to prevent generation of excess heat.
  3. CPU Host Clock Control is left at "Enabled".
  4. CPU Host Frequency is left at "333 MHz".
  5. PCI-E Frequency is set at "100 MHz".
  6. System Memory Multiplier is left at "2.0x".
Note that the CPU is idle between 22 to 24 degrees Celsius with the Fan Controller set at its minimum level.


Click to open in pop-up window.

Each core has been stressed with 100% load for more than one hour and the CPU speed was automatically bumped to 3 GHz while its temperature never exceeded 50 degrees Celsius with the Fan Controller still left at its minimum level.

Click to open in pop-up window.

The CPU returns back at low speed and sits comfortably between 22 and 23 degrees Celsius after successful completion of the stress test.

Intel specifies 60.1 degrees Celsius as maximun temperature for its E6600 which means the processor can be pushed further more than 3.0 GHz with air cooling and may be, I'll set my next milestone at 3.2 GHz for my E6600 and 800 MHz for my DDR2-667. pirat


Last edited by Varun on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 5:02; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 16:23

nice temps. time to set that fan on 'o.c' and beat the crap out of that chip? Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 16:38

I hate that little humming sound of the 3D Rocket II when tuned to its maximum level (OC: ~3000 RPM & 34 dB). ~1500 RPM sounds better at 16 dB. Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Mon 28 Apr 2008 - 18:34

Euh, mo kuma dir zaco dan la music bann experts... Crying or Very sad

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 2:28

lol! varun penkor provide twa required training Razz

Going back to your '3.2Ghz dreams'.. Dream on Razz Your RAM is clocked at 667Mhz, going anywhere beyond FSB 333 will require looser timings, which can be quite tricky when you're not used to them Smile

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 4:26

SneH wrote:Euh, mo kuma dir zaco dan la music bann experts... Crying or Very sad
Tell me what aren't you understanding, baby?

visham wrote:lol! varun penkor provide twa required training Razz

Going back to your '3.2Ghz dreams'.. Dream on Razz Your RAM is clocked at 667Mhz, going anywhere beyond FSB 333 will require looser timings, which can be quite tricky when you're not used to them Smile
I'll try raising the DDR2 voltage first because I don't really want to losen the timings as the CL is already high at a value of 5 and a command rate of 2T but then, my DDR2 modules are naked. May be, I'll need to find a pair of DDR2 heat sinks at a first instance. By the way, can you get them at Nexus or some other store for me, Visham? Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 7:01

lol! how abt some crucial tracers rated at 1200Mhz @ 2.2 volts? haha Razz Raising your DDR2 voltage might make your RAM stable at a higher frequency at the cost of latency. You just had a major crash at 668Mhz, thinkin abt 800? You're either nuts, or on your way to being a hardcore overclocker (which i doubt... Suspect)

Anyway, just an update... I inverted the 2 x 80mm fans on my left panel to draw more air into the case instead of acting as exhausts. This will create a slight positive pressure inside, keeping dust out (most of it at least). As a result, my temps have gone down by an average of 5 degrees while gaming and up to 8 degrees at 100% load with prime95 cheers



I now idle at 21 degrees, go up to 23-24 degrees for random tasks.. 35 while gaming and around 51 under stress Very Happy


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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 9:13

Everything that you are talking is out of comprehension, atleast for me. It's technical language afterall, and I'm not that learned in this field so as to understand the computer language you, both, are talking here. Embarassed

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 10:30

visham wrote:lol! how abt some crucial tracers rated at 1200Mhz @ 2.2 volts? haha Razz Raising your DDR2 voltage might make your RAM stable at a higher frequency at the cost of latency. You just had a major crash at 668Mhz, thinkin abt 800? You're either nuts, or on your way to being a hardcore overclocker (which i doubt... Suspect)

Anyway, just an update... I inverted the 2 x 80mm fans on my left panel to draw more air into the case instead of acting as exhausts. This will create a slight positive pressure inside, keeping dust out (most of it at least). As a result, my temps have gone down by an average of 5 degrees while gaming and up to 8 degrees at 100% load with prime95 cheers



I now idle at 21 degrees, go up to 23-24 degrees for random tasks.. 35 while gaming and around 51 under stress Very Happy

Crucial is not available in Mauritius and DDR2-1200 will be a waste of money on my P965. On the other hand, I may opt for a 2 x 2GB DDR2-1000 kit from Kingston or Super Talent. Very Happy

Moving on to the crash, it's obvious that a raise in the voltage was required for the DDR2 if planned to run above 667 MHz and keeping the actual timings as this the Value RAM from Kingston.

Concerning the inverted pressure, I find it quite interesting but my chassis is a giant one measuring 205 mm x 522 mm x 565 mm (W x H x D) and I doubt I will benefit from this technique but I should admit that your results are very good, just like mine. Razz

SneH wrote:Everything that you are talking is out of comprehension, atleast for me. It's technical language afterall, and I'm not that learned in this field so as to understand the computer language you, both, are talking here. Embarassed
Don't worry baby, with me by your sides, you'll get to know a bit about these things. Wink


Last edited by Varun on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 17:37; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 10:39

Varun wrote:Concerning the inverted pressure, I find it quite interesting but
my chassis is a giant one measuring 205 mm x 522 mm x 565 mm (W x H x
D) and I doubt I will benefit from this technique but I should admit
that your results are very good, just like mine.
Should i remind you that your E6600 only has a TDP of 65W @ stock, while my Q6600 is rated 105W @ stock? O.C'd that value is even higher Razz So results are not comparable.. It's like comparing apples to oranges lol!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Sneha on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 10:46

Yeah, I know sweetheart... Smile

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 18:40

visham wrote:
Varun wrote:Concerning the inverted pressure, I find it quite interesting but
my chassis is a giant one measuring 205 mm x 522 mm x 565 mm (W x H x
D) and I doubt I will benefit from this technique but I should admit
that your results are very good, just like mine.
Should i remind you that your E6600 only has a TDP of 65W @ stock, while my Q6600 is rated 105W @ stock? O.C'd that value is even higher Razz So results are not comparable.. It's like comparing apples to oranges lol!
Yeah, you're right! At stock speed and voltage my E6600 comes at a maximum of 65W while right now at 3 GHz but still at stock voltage it comes at a maximum of 80W. Smile

Now, here are some results which I recorded for a session of Need For Speed - Underground 2...


The CPU temperature never exceeded the 35 degrees Celsius barrier.


Click to open in pop-up window.

Need For Speed - Underground 2 makes use of only core but anyway, a stable gaming session was enjoyed.

I'll be back with results from some more resources demanding games shortly. Smile


Last edited by Varun on Sun 11 May 2008 - 16:24; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 18:51

Yeah, underground 2 is pretty old and has not been designed with multicore setups in mind. Newer games have multi-threading ability and should take full benefit of your E6600, something that is not currently possible with quads as most games out at the moment only use 2 cores.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Prithvi on Tue 29 Apr 2008 - 18:56

Pa p kompren nanier futu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Wed 30 Apr 2008 - 21:56

Prithvi, if you don't understand ask questions. Don't be afraid because this is the way you will learn.

Visham, I can see that we both use the same type of power supply units from Cooler Master, with the only difference that mine is rated at 550W and yours at 500W but both wattages are more than sufficient for our configurations.

However, we are talking about overclocking here. A Q6600 is normally rated at 105W but when overclocked the value changes to 119W at stock voltage. Now, coming back to our power supply units, they both use an ATX 12V 2 x 2-pin power connector, which means they won't be able to handle a CPU which outputs more than 130W. So, I doubt you'll be able to have stable operation if you increase the voltage of your Q6600 by only 0.1V because the Q6600 outputs 139W at 1.35V.

Nevertheless, we all know that Cooler Master produces good quality power supplies and just by curiosity, have you tried increasing the voltage to 1.35V at 3 Ghz? I just want to have an idea about this in case I plan to replace my E6600 by another processor with an output similar to yours in the future.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Thu 1 May 2008 - 3:11

It is a known fact that people tend to over-estimate their power requirements. I've gone upto 3.2Ghz @ 1.395 volts and it was stable with prime95 for over 5 hours =) These power supplies are very efficient, so no worries there. Extreme power supply calculator is a pretty realistic online calculator and is strongly recommended on most o.c forums. It should however only be used as a guide, as the power draw varies from system to system, even with the same specs.

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Under full load, with all components at 100% (which never happens in real life), my system's power draw is only at around 340W with the CPU at 2.9Ghz. At 3.2, my power draw was around 385W and still within spec. 500W is more than enough Smile. It's not all about wattage. For optimal stability during overclocking, it's the amperage on the 12V rails that counts. You need voltage to turn on the circuitry, and amps to keep in going.

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Thu 1 May 2008 - 8:59

Very true and I am now assured! Smile

By the way, my system draws much more power than yours. With my actual configuration listed above (E6600 at 3 GHz and 1.325V) and with 25% capacitor aging, it draws an impressive 462W at 100% system load. Now, when I think about my 1010W Logitech Z-5500 Digital which is coupled with my Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic... Damn, that's too much! Neutral

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Thu 1 May 2008 - 10:24

lol! i wonder what your electricity bill would look like if that system ran 24/7 Razz

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Thu 1 May 2008 - 16:59

Well, it already runs 18/24 hours everyday and I listen to music for extended periods almost everyday. May be this is the reason why my mom gets frustrated at each end of the month. Razz

By the way Visham, you haven't mention anything about computer audio system...

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Thu 1 May 2008 - 17:55

Audio system? Nothing fancy. Onboard HD audio with a pair of logitech R-20 speakers

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Thu 1 May 2008 - 23:20

Why was the word fancy used? Suspect

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sat 3 May 2008 - 14:17

Guess Razz

BTW, i doubt we're the only ones with computers. What about the rest? Cmon, post your specs!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sat 3 May 2008 - 16:12

Do you rate my Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic and Logitech Z-5500 digital as an overkill audio system, Visham? Suspect

Concerning the rest, may be they use palmtops. lol!

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by visham on Sat 3 May 2008 - 16:24

To non audiophiles like me, it is an overkill Razz But yeah, everyone has his/her own specific needs lol! And about the others... Cmon, post your specs/pics even if it's a freakin Pentium II. Now, some people might not know what's actually inside their PC's (yea, you know who you are lol), but at least get some pics!

** Night Shots **





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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

Post by Varun on Sun 4 May 2008 - 10:48

Visham, your night shots look much like some cosmic landscapes and yeah, I am an audiophile. Smile

My love for high quality audio began about some 11 years ago when I went to watch Conspiracy Theorie in Cinema Star at the Caudan Waterfront. At that time, the theatre was a technological breakthrough in Mauritius bringing DTS and Dolby Digital sound to the great public.

I went there with a friend and we really enjoyed the movie along with the good sound quality. At one stage of the movie, I heard the sound of a helicopter which seemed to be above our heads and I exclaimed to my friend: "I think there's a helicopter which is attempting to land on the roof of the theatre."
He then replied with a big laughter: "No, dumbo. This is what Dolby Digital is all about."
Eventually, the helicopter appeared in the scene some seconds later and it amazed me so much that I really wanted to get hold of an audio equipment which could deliver such realistic sounds.

However, good quality home theatres were too expensive and rare at that time and my mother would have never gifted me such a sound system. In the meantime, I got a 2.0 set of PolkAudio Speakers with my HP Pavilion 9731 (my first computer) which also included a Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 sound card. I couldn't complain with those equipments and sound quality was good but still, no 5.1 sound and no DTS and Dolby Digital decoders.


My HP Pavilion 9731 and its monitor-mounted stereo PolkAudio speakers.

The hunger for theatre sound just got bigger and I then got myself a set of Altec Lansing V3151R paired with a Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit on my next computer, which was based on the already obsolete AMD Socket 939. 5.1 sound and Dolby Pro Logic II software decoder were there but the system lacked the power and exquisite quality of home theatres and was then gifted to Shanu after some time. Razz


My Altec Lansing V3151R and the already obsolete AMD Socket 939 system.
(Sorry for the poor image quality... Embarassed)

The replacement of the Altec Lansing V3151R was a serious one, the Logitech Z-5400 Digital. What can be said about this sound system? 620W RMS of total power with a 6.5" down-firing high-excursion band-pass subwoofer and 5 2.5" aluminium phase plug drivers. Its THX certification guaranteed high-quality audio and it included a hardware DTS decoder for master-quality sound, as well as support for DTS 96/24, an enhanced and higher-resolution studio-quality format. It also featured Dolby Pro Logic II decoding for surround-sound playback from 2-channel analog sources, creating realistic 5.1 surround sound from stereo music, movies and games.


The Logitech Z-5400 Digital.

The Logitech Z-5400 Digital used to rock my house and was a flawless audio equiment but then, my crave for high-fidelity sound turned into extreme-fidelity and I finally landed the Logitech Z-5500 Digital in my room. It is coupled with my Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card as stated above in the topic.

The Logitech Z-5500 Digital has only one 'true' competitor in the face of the Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1 but the latter has been suffering from hundreds of burnt BASH amplifiers. They are both on par concerning sound quality (though one may sound better than the other depending on your ears) but the Logitech offering edges itself out with a better life-long lasting class A ultra-linear high-capacity amplifier and Cirrus Logic DACs.

Sound quality of the Logitech Z-5500 Digital is unprecended and housed in a 1010W THX-certified power pack. It features a 10" long-throw front-firing high excursion subwoofer and tuned bass port producing earth-shattering shakes and quakes at a distortionless level. Its 3" aluminium phase plug drivers offer crisp vocals and and crystal-clear treble at an unsurpassed quality. Its digital equalization actively adjusts frequency response in real time for the cleanest and most accurate sound reproduction. Moroever, it has support for up to 6 simultaneous devices, including optical, coaxial and auxiliary inputs. I have enjoyed all my favourite audio pieces, movies and games on this sound system and it is simply WOW!


The Logitech Z-5500 Digital.

I just googled a bit and find a review which will give you a broader idea of what the Logitech Z-5500 Digital is really about...
www.TheTechLounge.com wrote:Testing
Well, as you may have expected, there was no crappy sound emitted by these bad boys. The Z-680 system was an award-winning concept for Logitech and I would expect the Z-5500s to receive the same accolades as it is much the same. Where to begin?

I arranged the speakers as the instructions dictated. Set up was simple and the speaker inputs were clearly labeled. With the Z-680s, poor Kurtis had to mount the speaker stands to the satellite and center channel speakers. Not so with the Z-5500s. The stands come pre-installed. The spring clip inputs are a great improvement over the Z-680s screw-type connections. The only problem with set up that I might foresee concerns the massive subwoofer. At 13" x 13" x 15" (WxHxD) dimensions the sub is anything but small. Factor in the near 50 lb. weight and finding a nice corner to hide this monster in might pose a problem, although you could probably use it as an end table. (Kurtis' Note: I chose to place the Z-680s subwoofer under my L-shaped desk in the corner where I can kick back and put my feet up on it. It's not as comfortable as something like a small step stool would be, but it does the job nicely. I just wish the top of it was padded for a little extra comfort!)

Music
For music testing I started with some of my favorite speaker testing material. I started out with some straight up punk rock. Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Ducky Boys...they all sounded great and even better at full volume! I moved along to some heavy metal and rocked out for a while and rumbled the floor boards until I remembered that Kurtis had furnished me with the THX deepest bass test MP3. Ummm, yeah. I don't think I can even use rumble to describe what that track does to my floor. The bass was ultra clear and powerful...DID I MENTION LOUD! Sorry. Very loud. And as much fun as the THX deepest bass song is, I generally regard it as the musical equivalent of Barney the Dinosaur. I had to get some Beastie Boys flowing through these monsters. Of course MCA, AdRock and Mike D sounded like they were performing live in my office. I spent the better part of 4 hours listening to a large chunk of my MP3 collection, the first night I hooked them up that is.

Cranking the sub up to full volume never created any discernable distortion but it did make the control unit hop across the top of the sub with every resonation. (Kurtis' Note: That's what you get for placing the control unit on the subwoofer lol. Control unit should go on your desk.) Simply amazing! In fact, the only real complaint I had with the sound quality of these speakers was that with some very intricate and wide range music I noticed a slight lack of mid-range response. But the occurrence of mid-range murkiness was a rare one and 98% of the music I ran through the Z-5500s sounded top notch.

Movies
For movie tests I chose four scenes from three different DVDs. The first was the pod race from Star Wars: Episode One followed by the final light saber duel between Darth Maul, Obi Wan and Quigon whatshisname. The pod race scene was nothing short of 3-D sound. Cranking the rear satellite volume and fiddling with the surround delay setting (more about that below) really added depth and distance to the speeding pod racers, a true surround sound experience. The light saber duel hummed heavily wreaking more havoc on my poor floorboards. The second DVD I reached for was Matrix Reloaded. I just can't get enough of that freeway scene...motorcycles, high speed car crashes, gunplay, explosions, bumping techno, Carrie-Anne Moss in tight leather...it could very well be the finest piece of cinema ever conceived. Despite the tight leather, the sounds and sound track are an excellent speaker test bed. Once again I was thoroughly impressed. The scream of Trinity's Ducati was an Italian love call of bassy exhaust and shrill RPMs. Gunshots are heavy thumps while explosions work to loosen the nails in my drywall. A second successful test. For my final DVD test I loaded up disc 2 of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, special extended edition. I figured the gargantuan battle scene with the olyphants would sound right good over the Z-5500s. I'm sure you're tired of hearing me say it, but I was right again. Absolute beauty. These speakers are an excellent choice for a home media PC enthusiast and movie geek. (Kurtis' Note: Sorry to butt in again; however there is something I feel I should mention here. The Z-680s ended up being a popular choice for use as home theater speakers, you know, the kind you put in your living room and mount on walls, and I imagine that their new Z-5500s will follow suit. These speakers are incredibly powerful and can easily fill a room (hell, an entire house! and your neighbor's house!) with amazing sound. Just thought I would mention that, lol.)

Gaming
What else could I test these speakers with besides Half-Life 2? The 5.1 surround setting really enhanced the realistic sounds and with the Surround Delay setting I felt like I was right in Gordon's shoes. Gunshots were thumpy and loud with explosions to match. I also ran through a few multi-player sessions of Counter-Strike: Source and Soldier of Fortune 2. Both of these games blared machine gun fire at an equally impressive volume as the screams of my slain enemies rang crisp and clear.

Of the three mediums I tested, gaming is my least favorite as far as these speakers are concerned. It's not that they sound bad, but more that they are overkill for most games. I doubt many games will really utilize the full potential of these speakers...on PC. For you Xbox and PS2 faithful out there the optical/coax inputs will be a nice feature. The built-in audio features in console games seem a perfect match for these speakers. Although personally I am a PC gaming purist, I can't help but think that these speakers would be an excellent choice for console gamers.

Sound Settings
As if the sound quality wasn't good enough to begin with, Logitech dropped in 5 different listening modes: Stereo, Stereo x 2, 6 channel direct, Dolby Pro Logic II Movie and Dolby Pro Logic II Music. Each utilizes not only the media you are listening to/watching; it also utilizes the type of connection running to the back of the control unit. For example to access DTS encoding you must use an optical or coax connection. The same holds true for Dolby Digital effects. The remaining effects are all accessible with the optical/coax connection except for the 6 channel direct. A direct RCA connection is necessary to utilize the 6 channel direct effect. As my computer's motherboard only has the 5.1 direct connections, I wasn't able to utilize the full features available to the optical/coax connections, but you won't hear me complain.

My personal preference for music listening was the Stereo x 2 effect. This essentially just uses the rear channel satellites to create additional stereo sound from behind as well as blaring sound from the fronts. I found this effect setting produced clearest and crispest sound while also cranking out the loudest volume... and in my book amplitude counts for a lot. The Dolby Pro Logic II Movie setting was indeed the best choice for Movie watching. The plain old boring Stereo setting only utilizes the sub and the front two satellites - what fun is that? Dolby Pro Logic II Music did sound quite crisp and had many settings to play with but still takes a back seat to the Stereo x 2 effect for listening pleasure.

Within some of the effect choices there are additional settings. These settings (Panorama, Dimension, Center Width, Surround Delay) are also restricted to certain decoding and input connections. Surround Delay is available to DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, Pro Logic II Movie and Music as well as the Stereo x 2 effect. As the name implies, the Surround Delay prolongs the time betwixt the front and rear channels creating a sort of echo effect and lending more depth to the surround sound effect. I rather liked it. In fact, I prefer to listen to movies with the Surround Delay setting on full. The Pro Logic II Music effect flaunts the most settings, however. The Pro Logic II Music effect Dimension setting was more or less a fade control between front and rear channels while the Center Width spread the sound between the front speakers and the center channel to varying degrees depending on the setting. But because I didn't have a coax or optical connection I couldn't access any of the other settings.

Read the full article here.


Last edited by Varun on Mon 16 Jun 2008 - 0:34; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The Showdown: Personal Computers

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