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#328636 - 11/16/10 02:37 PM Another naive computer question....
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
I'm installing a new 2TB internal drive at the moment, and want a good backup system for it. The plan is to back up to a 2TB external drive which will be kept off-premises. I'll bring it "home" to the office periodically to "sync" the files from the internal drive.

I'm looking for software that will, in effect, "watch" the internal drive for changes in files and folders, so when I periodically hook up the external drive, it can sync (mirror) the internal drives changes....without copying all the contents with every sync.

I know I have this capability with my HP PC, which I back up faithfully, so I'm assuming that most "backup" software will do this, but there are so many backup software packages available, I'm not sure where to start.

So, I'm starting with you guys: Is there a favorite, or an "old standby" in this category of software? I'm concerned about reliability and even ease of use over cost.
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#328640 - 11/16/10 02:41 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
We use suresync at work to make backups from satellite sites back to HQ. We've never used the "always on" feature of it, though.

At home, I use Carbon Copy Cloner, but that's Mac only. So that's helpful.
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#328644 - 11/16/10 02:43 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Thanks, Ken. I should have mentioned PC, Vista 32 bit, with a likely change to Win 7 in a few months.
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#328647 - 11/16/10 02:45 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Naw, I knew you were on Windows. Suresync has been compatible with everything we've thrown at it, and they do update frequently. The interface is definitely hinky, but it might be worth having a look at.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#328648 - 11/16/10 02:51 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
You don't want to know what I use.

rsync

Listen to someone else, you don't want to go down this road (it's cobblestone, sure fully functional, but a bit old fashioned).
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
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#328655 - 11/16/10 03:22 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Aieeeee!
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#328656 - 11/16/10 03:23 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
TSA: Your choice, we take naked pictures of your teenage daughter, or we feel her up and give her an STD.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#328660 - 11/16/10 04:01 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
Capn_Pickard Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
syncback is free and it lets you customize your sync preferences, like frequency and time of sync. It lets you pick drives, folders, files, etc.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html

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#328673 - 11/16/10 06:03 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Capn_Pickard]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Hmmmm.... I might have another problem to deal with first: It seems as though I'm not having success in formatting the drive (NTFS).

The first time it ran 3-4 hours, reached 54%, then didn't progress over the next hour. I had to shut it down.

I then tried a quick format (twice) and it couldn't do it.

Thinking I must need to do another full format since the first attempt left it unfinished, I started another full format. Again, it seems as though it's reached about the half way point and has not been making progress.

I won't stop it now, in case it's doing one of those things where the progress bar isn't showing much, then it races at the end(!)..... but I'm beginning to wonder if I have a bad drive.

What was the old DOS line? Scandisk? Maybe I'll give that I try...
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#328674 - 11/16/10 06:04 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Adrien, thanks for the suggestion. It looks pretty good! smile
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#328675 - 11/16/10 06:10 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
I use syncback, also.

rsync, Chris? What, you're just too effing lazy to write your own perl scripts or something? wink

I tried implementing rsync on a Linux box I was building once - fortunately, JP says that, between the drugs and the therapy, I should be employable again within a couple years.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#328676 - 11/16/10 06:12 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Real men write assembly.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#328682 - 11/16/10 06:28 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
54% of a 2 TB drive (as the manufacturer counts) is probably 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. I'm wondering if something is hanging up at 1 TiB.



Perl is too high-level. I never use anything more than C or BASH. The only assembly I know is for the Zilog Z80, and the IBM Cell processor in the PS3 (yeah, I skipped a few generations).


Edited by ClubNeon (11/16/10 06:39 PM)
Edit Reason: Forgot the thing in something.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
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#328683 - 11/16/10 06:31 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Fortunately, I never said that Chris wasn't a real man.

Also, I am in no way a real man under that criterion.
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#328694 - 11/16/10 07:14 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
Yeah, me neither. I was just trying to join in the geek banter.
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#328702 - 11/16/10 09:14 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16298
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
If Chris were a "real man" he'd be using tcsh, not bash.

I'm not a "real man", either.
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#328737 - 11/17/10 12:54 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: pmbuko]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I've tried tcsh, while the scripting is nice (being I'm most familiar with the C language), I don't write many scripts I keep. I'm more of a

for foo in $(seq -w 0 999); do touch bar-$foo; done

on the command line type of guy.

I did try using bash in vi command mode before. That's kind of interesting, but also not really needed.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#328763 - 11/17/10 11:28 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Henry66 Offline
local

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
This is probably an issue with your SATA controller. If you have an Nvidia (nForce) motherboard then try updating to the latest drivers for it.
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#329047 - 11/20/10 09:54 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Henry66]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Hey Guys, I’m hanging my head in shame again, because I hate relying on you guys for what should be simple computer things. This is really, really frustrating me, though, and I can’t find an answer.

I bought a WD Black Caviar 2TB SATA bare internal drive for my Photoshop computer (Dell, running Vista 32). The steps I took for installation were:

- After physically installing it (power and Sata cable), under disk management I initialized it (MBR).
- I right-clicked the graphic area representing the drive, and clicked format. I left the whole drive as a single partition, made sure it was NTFS, and changed the drive letter to “Z”. The format continued until it reached 54% then it hung.
- Upon Henry’s recommendation, I made sure all drivers were up to date.
- Western Digital recommended I download and use a utility (Data LifeGuard) to check the drive. I did a quicktest, and this (also) seemed to have progressed but then stop at the roughly half way point. The final result was something along the lines of “too many bad sectors”.
- My assumption was now that this was indeed a bad drive.
- I RMA’d another in advance, and it arrived yesterday.
- I followed all the same steps with the exact same results.

Now I’m obviously thinking that the first drive was not bad, because it would be too much of a coincidence to have a second drive fail in exactly the same way.

I’m beginning to think: was I wrong in thinking I don’t need jumpers? Was it supposed to be quick formatted BEFORE initializing or something? Do drives not like the letter Z?

There are four SATA jacks on my MB. Are they different? Should I go through the entire procedure with a different SATA connection?

I have no idea what’s going on, but I now have two drives that are both useless and I’ve had WAY too much downtime that I can’t afford right now, over something that should have been very simple.

I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m missing something obvious, but I can’t find what.

I would be very, very grateful for any ideas that anyone has.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#329060 - 11/20/10 01:10 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10400
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Try updating the SATA controller driver or running the drive on another machine if possible and formating it there.
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-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

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#329064 - 11/20/10 01:13 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
jadon Offline
regular

Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 6
try putting it in a different sata port. That can make a difference. I don't think i've ever seen a drive format partially then stop repeatedly. Sadly, it IS possible to get 2 bad drives in a row. So don't necessarily rule that out. Shouldn't make a big difference what the pins are set to, if it was wrong it wouldn't detect it.
_________________________
All Things shall be revealed through the passage of time.

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#329077 - 11/20/10 01:44 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: jadon]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10400
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Forgot to ask does the bios see it as a 2 gig drive?
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#329081 - 11/20/10 01:59 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: jakewash]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
And try a BIOS update.

When a drive is larger than some piece of hardware actually supports all sectors after the last addressable show up as bad.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#329177 - 11/21/10 03:57 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I bought a WD Black Caviar 2TB SATA bare internal drive for my Photoshop computer (Dell, running Vista 32). The steps I took for installation were:


Is that WD an "Advanced Format" drive? I had lots of probelms with "Advanced Format" Drives on my WHS (Server 2003), moved them to a W7 based machine and all is well.

On the EARS green drives, you do need to set the jumper for older OSs.
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Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#329179 - 11/21/10 04:23 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Glitchy]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
If it's 2TB, I bet it is. However, I haven't had a problem with those drives under Vista or Win2k8.
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#329181 - 11/21/10 04:42 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
I don't believe it is. This is the info on it: WD2001FASS

I've been able to try a couple of suggestions made here. I switched to a different SATA connection on the MB (no difference; same result of an incomplete Format) and I've checked for updated drivers for the NVIDEA nForce SATA controllers (2 showing under Device Mgr) and anything else by right clicking under the Device Manager.

I'm at a loss for what the problem is. I think I will try to format the drives on a different PC, though I have to say I'm going to have a hard time trusting them since I haven't figured out what this particular problem is....

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to the reliability of the drives if they only format successfully in a computer other than the one their destined to be installed in?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#329182 - 11/21/10 04:46 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
Personally, I'd be glaring daggers at the nForce controllers, myself.

SATA cards are cheap, like <$25. Try one from Promise or SIIG.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#329183 - 11/21/10 04:48 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
Originally Posted By: kcarlile
If it's 2TB, I bet it is. However, I haven't had a problem with those drives under Vista or Win2k8.


For me, they "worked", but I was using them as video server drives, and had stuttering, bad file copies, just strange behavior. Sometimes they worked .... sometimes they didn't

Looked up his drive on newegg (well with the limited info, no model number) and lots of RMAs, lots of no worky


Edited by wordgasm (11/21/10 04:49 PM)
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#329187 - 11/21/10 04:57 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to the reliability of the drives if they only format successfully in a computer other than the one their destined to be installed in?

If the format completes in another computer, I'd still do a full surface scan in the destined machine. I'll bet that it starts finding bad blocks at the 53% mark.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#329189 - 11/21/10 05:01 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Word, is it likely that two drives would both be bad in the same, identical way?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#329193 - 11/21/10 05:04 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Word, is it likely that two drives would both be bad in the same, identical way?


Nope different lots, (but "luck of the draw").

I'd concur, bios, drivers, pesky NVidia controllers, or you need to do the jumper trick.

Try a search for "WD or Western Digital Advanced Fromat jumper". That might do it. Can't remember the jumper pins, think it was 7 and 8)


Edited by wordgasm (11/21/10 05:05 PM)
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#329195 - 11/21/10 05:07 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Glitchy]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
I love this group. You guys are great.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#329200 - 11/21/10 05:35 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Glitchy]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
deleted


Edited by wordgasm (11/21/10 05:38 PM)
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

Top
#329223 - 11/21/10 08:43 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Glitchy]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Tom's right.... you guys ARE great.

But this effen computer is going to be thrown out the window shortly, and I'm going to carry it to the third floor attic first.

I thought this sh*t was going to be simple.....
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#329228 - 11/21/10 09:25 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Try this link Mark:

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Foru...37-ee7f3af2dfbd

In the second post it say:

Quote:

I just solved this problem for my HP Blackbird PC, and am now able to easily partition and format a new Seagate 2TB internal hard drive from 32-bit Vista that runs on this PC. 

The solution was to upgrade my Nvidia 680i chipset drivers, available in an update package from Nvidia, not through Microsoft's normal driver and OS updating pages as far as I know.  See the above URL for more details.


Could be the same issue you are having. When you looked for driver updates did you go to the manufactures website? If not I would start there.

There is also a link to a work around in the link above.
_________________________
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#329286 - 11/22/10 12:59 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: grunt]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Grunt, that did it!

Basically, it came down to needing to upgrade the NVidia drivers for the SATA controller, but doing it the normal way was useless as it kept telling me that the drivers WERE up to date.

Going directly to NVidia's site and downloading an "update package" took care of it, and a drive just formatted to 100%! I'm going to do a "check disk" on it just to be sure, then do the same process for the second, replacement disk (I'll just keep it, as WD charged $30 less than the good price I paid for the first one!).

So, thanks to everyone... many of you were right about the SATA controller needing updating. Special thanks to Grunt for pointing out that I can't do that update in the normal way.

Tom was right, you guys ARE awesome!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#329287 - 11/22/10 01:03 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I’ve usually have better luck using the manufactures firmware updated downloaded and applied directly. Only on one occasion has using Windows Update/or the driver update feature worked for me when the manufactures didn’t in getting 5.1 to work directly off the motherboard.

_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#329321 - 11/22/10 03:20 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: grunt]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
Wasn't Ken giving the NVidia drivers the stink-eye early on?

A bunch of charismatic savants, you are.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#329322 - 11/22/10 03:21 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Yes. It was dagger-related. smile
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#350093 - 06/13/11 07:50 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
I'm maintaining this as my own computer tech support thread. Popes and walls and beer aren't the main topics here, though derailing is, of course, expected. Well, beer is on topic as always, I guess. smile

OK, so I ordered a Dell Studio XPS 9100 last week, and I got it with 8GB of RAM (the minimum) with the intentions of ordering more on my own. I'd like to think that landing around 12~16GB would be ideal.



The XPS 9100 is listed as tri-channel memory on all BUT the 8GB configuration, where, as it shows in the screenshot above, it's listed as dual channel. I liked the idea of ordering it with 8GB because:
A- I'm not paying Dell's high prices
B- It shows that I'll have two free slots (the 9100 model has 6 DIMM slots) in a dual-channel mode allowing for me to add 2X 4GB sticks to the 4X 2GB already in place without me having to throw anything out.

Now I'm wondering if this thinking is faulty?

I'm wondering it the tri-channel mode is something that's inherent in the motherboard or something, and this particular configuration is ONLY dual channel because they happen to be giving me 4 sticks. Despite what the screenshot above says, is this system inherently tri-channel?

So the question is: Do I add 2X 4GB sticks to what's there, or do I just scrap it all and buy two kits from Crucial...a 12GB and a 6GB?

The system will have an ATI Radeon HD5670 1GB video card, so I don't think I'll need to lean into RAM for video performance (Photoshop and Lightroom work, no gaming).

I can download the auto-configuration tool at Crucial after
I receive and install the Dell, but I'd kinda like to order this Memory and a USB 3.0 card before the Dell gets here so I can install them before moving the computer into it's new home.

Any advice at all would be appreciated.


Edited by MarkSJohnson (06/13/11 08:00 AM)
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#350097 - 06/13/11 08:57 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
EDIT: I should have written:

"So the question is: Do I add 2X 4GB sticks to what's there and use it in two channel mode, or do I just scrap it all and buy two kits from Crucial...a 12GB and a 6GB and use it in tri-channel mode?"

Also, I noticed the Dell RAM is 1333MHz, while Crucial only has 10600MHz or 12800MHz. Will the speed difference be significant...again, for Photoshop work, not gaming? My goal is to have 2-3 programs such as Adobe Bridge and LightRoom open while working on 500~800MB photos in Photoshop without slowdowns.
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#350101 - 06/13/11 09:59 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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If you have a multiple of 3 sticks of RAM it'll operate in tri-channel mode. Adding 2 to the 4, will make 6 (try to keep up).

There's two different ways of indicating RAM speed. One is to identify the way the clock is read (DDR/2/3), and the clock speed 1333 MHz. The other is the "PC" speed, which combines the different data-rates with the clock to give an over-all view of how different types of RAM compare to each other. DDR3 1333 is the same as PC-10600.
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#350102 - 06/13/11 10:08 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
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The motherboard is tri-channel with a less-than-optimal dual-channel fallback capability. You'll notice that all the tri-channel configs are evenly divisible by three. Since the 8GB configuration comes with 4x 2GB DIMMs and there are only six slots, you'll hit a max of 12GB if you don't want to "waste" any of the memory that came with the computer. You need to have triplets of the same size, for optimal memory performance. 16GB is sub-optimal.
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#350103 - 06/13/11 10:36 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: pmbuko]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Thank you both. I understand the multiples of two and multiples of three part. smile I just wasn't sure that this particular build wouldn't be dual-channel instead of tri channel.

Before purchase, when researching dual channel v. Tri channel, it didn't seem like the difference was all that big.... but it also seems the posts I was finding were 1-2 years older.

Is tri-channel reasonably faster than dual-channel in real world use?

So, ideally, with four existing sticks in the coming PC, I'd throw away one stick, leaving three remaining. Put them in the (for example) 1-3-5 DIMM slots.

Then, I can order, say, a 12GB/3-stick combo from Crucial, put those three sticks in the 2-4-6 slots.

That'll give me 18GB total, with two sets of three matched to each other. My understanding is that two sets don't need to match each other, as long as the three sticks within each set do.
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#350105 - 06/13/11 11:29 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Chances are you can add two Crucial sticks, and suffer no ill effects. You'd probably want to run Memtest86 http://www.memtest86.com/ to check for errors (I do this on every new machine anyway). As long as the sticks have the same basic specs you'll be fine.

But yeah, dropping one, and adding three identical would be ideal. But ideal isn't always needed.
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#350106 - 06/13/11 11:31 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Awesome! Thanks Chris! smile
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#350111 - 06/13/11 12:14 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
The Crucial kits don't actually save money either. If you buy individual sticks you can save a penny on two, or two cents on three! So if you do end up with errors, you can pick up the third stick (just use the part number on the one you get out of the kit) and not be out any extra money (except for the Dell stick you threw away).
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#350113 - 06/13/11 12:15 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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What kind of CPU does this thing have? If it's a 9 series i7, then you want triple channel, no question. No way would I do 9 GB, though (6 DIMMS? Haven't these people heard of 4 GB DIMMs?) What awful config choices.
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#350114 - 06/13/11 12:18 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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great- thanks Chris!

Is Crucial a preferred brand? I was also wondering about Corsair or G.SKILL from Newegg?
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#350117 - 06/13/11 12:48 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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For instance, this set seems highly rated, less expensive and (I think) should be compatible (unless I'm missing something like the Cas latency or Voltage differences or something).
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#350118 - 06/13/11 12:51 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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I use Crucial because I like their web configuration tool, and it's very high quality. Corsair is similarly high quality, tends to be more expensive. G.Skill gets high ratings for speed, but I don't know about the quality. Mushkin is also a high speed/quality? brand. Kingston is a solid performer, but the quality's not as high as Crucial or Corsair in my opinion. And to round it out, I'm running OCZ in my home computer that has probably about 8 hours of use on it over the last 2 years.
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#350123 - 06/13/11 01:24 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Certainly, there's a part of me that likes the confidence of Crucial's guaranteed compatibility.

Do I need to worry about voltage or latency or anything? Or will any DDR3 SDRAM 240-pin work?

EDIT: Hmmm, now I'm seeing that you can get 10600, 10660, 10666, etc... in speeds. I think I'll end up with Crucial where they guarantee that compatibility!!

Any difference between, say, 12800 and 1600 speed if I'm not gaming?
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#350124 - 06/13/11 01:30 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I'd stick with the 10600, since that's what all the other DIMMs will be.

Working with large images in Photoshop, faster RAM will improve performance (slightly, just as it improves game performance slightly), but you'd have to have it all the faster speed. I'd not bother (even though I did bother when upgrading my system from 16 to 32 gig, I replace all the RAM with faster--I had a buyer for the old stuff though).
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#350126 - 06/13/11 01:42 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
tomtuttle Offline
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Registered: 06/20/03
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I have G.Skill in a couple of machines at home and haven't had any problems.
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#350127 - 06/13/11 01:44 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
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I should say that when I said "I don't know about the quality" that was meant as I don't know, not being skeptical.
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#350128 - 06/13/11 01:55 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I love this group. You guys are great.

Tom said it best above! Thanks, guys! smile
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#350130 - 06/13/11 02:57 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
Ken, that's exactly how I read it in the first place. I was just trying to provide a data point.

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Tom said it best...


Just wanted to preserve that little snippet to document my worth to society. grin
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#350430 - 06/17/11 07:31 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
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One more very quick question:

The Dell Ram is 1333MHz. If I found faster Ram (DDR3 1600) at a good sale price is there a disadvantage to the mismatched speeds, or would I simply not be able to take advantage of it?

(They would be installed in two matched sets of three, so 3X DDR 1333 2GB sticks, and then 3X DDR 1600 4GB sticks added).

Thanks guys! Hopefully I'll get this wrapped up today.


Edited by MarkSJohnson (06/17/11 07:32 AM)
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#350441 - 06/17/11 10:21 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I've not mismatched RAM for a long time. It is supposed to gracefully degrade, and everything run at the speed of the slowest. I assume that still works, but don't have any firsthand experience.

Is the price good enough that you could go back and buy 3 more if you do end up with compatibility issues?
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#350442 - 06/17/11 10:28 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Loc: Central NH
It's a Newegg sale, $108 and free shipping after a promo code.

Yeah, I guess I could buy two sets, though the promo price only runs through the weekend I think.

It sounds like it _might_ be an issue, and maybe I should just order all 24GB mow or get something at the same speed, huh?
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#350451 - 06/17/11 11:59 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Ideally all RAM would be of the same make and speed. The further you get from the ideal the more likely problems become. I say "more likely", but in real life, you could have every stick from a different maker and still have no problems (I see computers coming in for repair like that--they're being repaired for viruses or dog fur, not RAM issues).

But me, I like all my RAM to match.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#350452 - 06/17/11 01:05 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Thank you, Chris! I really appreciate your expert opinion!
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#350453 - 06/17/11 01:07 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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I would be nervous about it trying to OC the lower level RAM, but it theoretically shouldn't.
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#350454 - 06/17/11 01:46 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: Ken.C]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
The BIOS should report the auto detected speed, if it configures the speed to high, it can be overridden manually too. That memtest86 I linked to before, should be run regardless.
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#350471 - 06/17/11 04:25 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
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Thanks guys-
I lost internet for awhile this afternoon, and didn't get a chance to post that I decided to just order two sets and install 6 matched sticks, giving me 24GB. I also ordered a USB 3.0 card as they weren't available from Dell at the time of ordering.
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#350472 - 06/17/11 04:26 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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And I also didn't get a chance to post that, though Dell still has the status of the computer as being built, it arrived this afternoon! smile
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#350475 - 06/17/11 04:56 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Look closely, maybe it's still being assembled my nano-machines.
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#350476 - 06/17/11 04:57 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
That's the way I would have gone with the RAM too. Just put the rest on eBay, and someone looking to upgrade their Dell will pick it up.
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#351031 - 06/26/11 04:56 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
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Chris, I installed the 24GB of RAM and, as per your suggestion ran memtest86 which showed everything to be "good to go".

Now I have to put in a USB 3.0 card I bought and an extra 2TB HD I've had sitting on a shelf....

Just wanted to say thanks again!
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#351034 - 06/26/11 05:30 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8305
Loc: Tacoma
Does memtest86 work on AMD machines?
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#351035 - 06/26/11 05:33 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
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Absolutely.
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#351038 - 06/26/11 06:30 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Awesome, enjoy the machine!
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#351064 - 06/27/11 12:24 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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OK, one more quickie (Woo Hoo, I'm having a quickie!!):

I have not been able to determine how to get the "other" side of my case off. I installed an add'l 2TB HD, and could only attach screws on one side when mounting it. It kind of fit into a "slot", so it's not drooping or hanging off-level.

Anyone think the two screws on the other side of the HD are important? If so, I'll pursue it before final installation! (still loading software titles today)
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#351065 - 06/27/11 12:27 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
If that case is like many I've seen, it is almost impossible to get to the other side of the drive. Two screws is enough, and possibly all the case maker intended.
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#351069 - 06/27/11 01:49 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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As always, thanks Chris!
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#351091 - 06/27/11 09:16 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7232
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
OK, one more quickie (Woo Hoo, I'm having a quickie!!):

I have not been able to determine how to get the "other" side of my case off.

You're kidding right? Mr. Got Wood and all his tools?

A few suggestions: Skill saw and metal blade, Sawsall, or the simple, but ever effective, hammer. Geesh...
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#351096 - 06/27/11 11:51 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: fredk]
ClubNeon Offline
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Registered: 02/06/09
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Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Most of the time to get the other side off all you have to do it drill the rivets out.
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#351106 - 06/28/11 07:07 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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I wondered about that Chris, but thought it made sense to see if anyone thought the other two screws into the HD was even worth bothering with.

I am surprised that the case doesn't open on both sides, though. The case is big enough to add quite a bit and is otherwise well designed.
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#351115 - 06/28/11 09:34 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3452
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
If you look at the case with that side being the bottom, as cases were originally designed, it makes more sense that it isn't considered removable.

Even my $350 case (that price includes PS and SAS backplane), the "bottom" can't be removed. Though the drives all get mounted into a carrier of some sort than that carrier locks into the case. So I can use four screws on each drive.
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#351127 - 06/28/11 02:02 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: ClubNeon]
Ken.C Offline
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Many newer enthusiast cases do have removable panels on the right side, though. Even my older Silverstone TJ05 has one, although I don't usually bother.
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#367871 - 02/24/12 08:03 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
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Loc: Central NH
I guess I should start MY own thread, too...except it would all be naive computer questions!

I picked up a Lacie USB 3.0 external drive and am testing it out a bit. Transferring a 69GB folder is running about 18 minutes (About 45MB/Second). Is it me, or does this not seem all that...well...blazing?

Dell XPS9100, Win7 64-bit, Core i7 3.2GHz, 24GB RAM
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#367873 - 02/24/12 08:07 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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What are you transferring from, and are you using a USB 3.0 port?
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#367880 - 02/24/12 09:14 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Hi Ken:
Just from my Primary drive and yes, it's through an NEC USB 3.0 card I installed.

I guess the speed isn't so great, huh, considering you didn't simply post: "You're doing great there, Mark!"
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#367887 - 02/24/12 10:29 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
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It's not terrible, but you're probably not going to see all that much more than that. Let's do the math... what you're seeing is 360Mbit/sec. The currently available SATA standards (which is what's on the drives themselves) are 150Mbit/sec, 300Mbit/sec, and 600Mbit/sec. Assuming mechanical hard drives on both sides, I'm frankly amazed at the numbers you're getting and suspect that I'm doing the math wrong. You shouldn't be seeming much more than 20MB/sec, if I am doing the math right.
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#367891 - 02/24/12 11:10 PM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
avjunkee Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 110
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I picked up a Lacie USB 3.0 external drive and am testing it out a bit. Transferring a 69GB folder is running about 18 minutes (About 45MB/Second). Is it me, or does this not seem all that...well...blazing?

Dell XPS9100, Win7 64-bit, Core i7 3.2GHz, 24GB RAM


That's about right. Go ahead and do the same transfer via USB 2.0 and you'll get roughly half the rate / double the time.

Spec says USB 3.0 is 10x faster than USB 2.0 but when tested, you'll get 2-3x faster (real world) depending on number of files and file size. Even with USB 2.0 you don't get close to spec performance: rated at 480Mbps but typically 150-170Mbps real world.
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#367899 - 02/25/12 07:10 AM Re: Another naive computer question.... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10966
Loc: Central NH
Hmmmm... I wasn't expecting 10X but thought 5-6X faster. Maybe my expectations were just too high.

Thanks for the feedback guys!
_________________________
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