Building a PC, Part VII: Rebooting

I've had more or less the same PC, with various updates, since 2007. I've written about most of it here:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Very nice.There is a lot going on in that box but it doesn’t look cluttered.I’ve promised myself to build a system from scratch when Windows 8 comes out.

Important note for those planning to go the integrated graphics route: the P67 motherboards do NOT have the output headers needed to actually use that GPU that’s sharing die space with the Sandy Bridge cores. If you want to use integrated graphics with a K series CPU, you need a Z68-based board. The one Jeff lists above will work, as will any other with the Z68 chipset.

Also note that with the Sandy Bridge graphics, you'll be limited to two displays. Even if you never do anything more taxing on the GPU than watch a 1080p video, you'll probably still want to upgrade to a Radeon 6000-series card for the triple-head output capability. Jeff's already talked at some length about why this is desirable for a professional programmer.

I recently built myself a similar system (i5 2500K, Asus P8P67 Deluxe), and you should be stable at 4.5GHz at that that voltage - I am. I mean sure, there’s differences between every CPU but that’s an extra 100MHz for each core you could be using :wink:

Hi Jeff,

I’m very curious about your SSD setup with this exact motherboard (since I have it as well with the same CPU). Have you been affected by the Vertex 3 BSODs with this setup (c.f. the OCZ forums)? Did you use the white tipped 6G SATA cable that came with the P8Z68-V Pro? Are you using Intel’s RST driver? Did you have to apply the registry hacks to prevent stuttering/freezes? What Vertex 3 firmware are you on? 2.09?

Thats’ a nice rig, think I might have that as a base for the system I’d like to build.

One question would be if there would be enough room for a hardware RAID5 setup, and if the cooling setup could handle the extra drives?


Interesting; I was seeing a bit of that – but also with a clean build and a traditional 2.5" HDD – and it seems this might be the resolution:

Guys, the hot-swapping label is misleading. Set to disabled puts the Intel controller into a type of safe mode. This was done for compatibility issues with some drives, mostly older ones. At initial setup this setting should be set to enabled for all ports. Only if you have a drive that doesn’t work properly should that individual port be changed to disabled. I had asked that enabled be made the default setting before the Vertex3 was ever released. It appears that some of BIOS’ are no being released set like this with the remainder to follow.

So you probably want to go through and make sure all the SATA ports are set to hot-swap enabled per that advice from the OCZ rep.


I had the stuttering issue (i.e. everything freezes for ~90 seconds) that went away with the Intel RST registry tweak and setting the SATA ports all to hot-swap enabled. However, I still had a KERNEL_INPAGE_ERROR type of BSOD (apparently some I/O error with the paging subsystem) when I was doing some heavy SQL Server work. The scary part is that on reboot the drive is unrecognized and doesn’t become visible to BIOS until a power down and cold reboot. I went BSOD free for 3 days and then got another one. At that point, I updated the firmware from 2.08 to 2.09 and haven’t had a BSOD since (but it’s only been a few days, so I don’t know if it’s really fixed). It seems like the 2.09 firmware is a bit of a hack (perhaps just throttling the SATA6 connection) which is why they don’t recommend you update unless you’re having problems.

I just wanted to ask about your situation because OCZ claims that it’s only happening to ~1% of users but it seems like quite a bit more are affected. Furthermore, OCZ support staff in the forums want to fault Asus’s cable as being inferior for reliable 6Gbps traffic (which seems odd). I’m curious if OCZ is seeing these problems earlier because they were the first out with a Sandforce 2xxx drive, or if it’s something unique to their firmware or board design.

I’m hoping you go BSOD free and don’t run into it, but just wanted you to be aware in case you see it too. Thankfully, SSMS autosaves your SQL work in progress, so I didn’t lose much of my DB update I was working on at the time.

@Jeff Moser

I had the same issues on my Agility 3, fixed it by updating to 2.09.

@Jeff I had another laptop which was just fundamentally incompatible with the Vertex 2 (not 3). Constant random BSOD on resume from sleep, I “fixed” that by swapping that drive to another more compatible machine and plopping an Agility 3 in it… pretty much exactly as documented here:

Preface: I’ve been advising, building, testing and fixing builds for a long time. Just a hobby, but I’ve learnt a lot along the way. I can even fix certain motherboard hw defects.

A few things (it started with two):

  • Fractal Design Define R3 would’ve given you a great case with sound dampening built in.
  • Sound dampening does raise the overall temperature, so be ware of that.
  • Your cooler is facing the wrong way. Maybe this one is different, but typically they suck air in, so you want the fan on the right or bottom to grab cooler air and push it towards the rear or top exhausts. Currently physics says you are hampering airflow by having the fan blow into the case against the cool draft coming from the intakes. As far as I am aware, you cannot flip that fan to move the air the opposite direction.
  • You always want positive or negative airflow. Positive means more intakes meaning hot air will be forced out of the case. Often times people find it leads to less/more focused dust. Negative is more exhausts. Most people do this by default. Moving the hot air out causes air to be sucked in regardless of intake. Creating a perfect equilibrium between the two often creates stagnant air, depsite wht you would expect.

Cool. I used your 2007 post as the basis of my previous machine (since had upgraded video card and purchased a Vertex2 SSD).

About 4 weeks ago I completed my latest build with similar specs to what you’ve done here, except I bought a Vertex3 120GB and WD Black 2TB and kept my old Vertex2. Also I used the GA-Z68 UD4-b3 board and kept my old P182 case because it’s so friggin awesome still. really happy with the performance so far.

As far as I am aware, you cannot flip that fan to move the air the opposite direction.

Sure you can, it’s currently blowing away from the cooler toward the rear. Most tests show trivial differences between “fan in front pushing” and “fan in back pulling” e.g.

Does the lack of VT-d support noticeably hurt the i7-2600K’s virtualisation performance relative to that of the i7-2600, or are casual users (who happen to run VMs) unlikely to notice?


I choose the nonK 2600 for that exact reason, but I have no benchmarks. Plus I had no desire to overclock, and this was a micro ATX system I was building. I also choose an H67 board, figuring that the integrated graphics would come in handy when I put this machine in for server duties.

Hey Jeff,
Nice Build!
Did you look at the NH-D14 cpu cooler? it reigns supreme. I’m at 4.5ghz @70*c (2500k). Corsair also makes fancy water coolers. The latest are h80 and h100 (1/2 rads respectively).
You could also put your 2 HD’s in the same cage and remove 1 from the case entirely. It will help air intake. And you could probably even move the HD cage to the bottom of the case for even more airflow. I know the Corsair 650D (my case) supports this.
Also, I hope you tweak your cabling a bit :wink:
See pics in this thread:

I’m currently looking for a replacement for my trusty 2007-issue MacPro. Your new rig has me considering getting a Wintel machine for the first time in just over a decade :slight_smile:

If it could run OS X and Windows 7 like my 'Pro I’d do it now, but I’m not sure that it will :frowning:

So you bought a motherboard that supports SSD caching, and still spent $500 on a 240GB SSD? That’s interesting to say the least :slight_smile: What’s your rationale behind this?

My current machine’s lasted me since 2005 or 2006, so I haven’t really kept up-to-date on most of the newer hardware, but I’ve recently begun feeling The Call, so this post is perfectly timed. :slight_smile:

One thing I thought I did hear despite being out of the loop was that triple-channel RAM was the new hotness. Is it not worth getting a mobo that supports it?

Congrats on your new PC. This should be enough hardware to run the latest Microsoft software for a while.