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Please suggest RAM for z97 pro4

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Category: Technical Support
Forum Name: Intel Motherboards
Forum Description: Question about ASRock Intel Motherboards
Printed Date: 01 Mar 2024 at 2:25am
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Topic: Please suggest RAM for z97 pro4
Posted By: car313
Subject: Please suggest RAM for z97 pro4
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2015 at 6:53pm
dear people,
hell to all of you.
i just now joined the gang! so i thought a little intro is in order.

i am a retired physician living in india, with a huge interest in all things computer. in my limited circle generally i am the computer guy, ;).

after a long long time deciding, i decided to take the plunge into building my own system.

I have decided to base it upon a xeon e3 1220 v3 (which is the only xeon i can afford, price wise). the motherboard is asrock z97 pro4.

now for my question.

i want to populate all the 4 dimm slots with 4gb sticks for a total of 4x4=16 gb.

could some one tell me if i can just buy any 4 standard 1600 mhz 4gb and get it working or should i go in for 2 "dual channel memry kits"? i could not decode the memory support list for the product site.

i would be grateful for any hints/suggestions! thanking you for your time,

***** Topic moved to Technical Support > Intel Motherboards *****

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2015 at 9:13pm
Hi and welcome :)

Generally you always want to go with kits when it comes to RAM, its not strictly necessary for the system to work but it does help to avoid instability. In your case where you want to populate all 4 RAM slots you would be best served getting 2 identical 8gb kits (2x4gb). DDR3 is relatively inexpensive these days and kits are often cheaper by capacity than buying single sticks anyway. I am using an 8gb kit of Adata XPG 1600 with CL9 timings which was reasonably affordable at the time of my build. 

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2015 at 11:32pm
thnx Xaltar, for the warm welcome and advice!
by the way, on the asrock 'memory support list' page for z97 pr04, (i hope i got that right) when i select, copy and paste entries from the table i almost never find them on either amazon or ebay.
could you tell me what the column heading 'SS/DS' means on the memory support page? and also the column heading 'dual channel' and the entries '2pcs' or 'v' under it?
thnx again!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 1:02am
The memory support list is just a small sampling of popular RAM that was tested prior to the release of the board. Basically if it is listed there it is guaranteed to work with the board however most RAM from the vendors listed should also work fine. 

SS = Single sided as in the ram chips are located only on one side of the RAM circuit board
DS = Double sided

v = Verified
2pcs = 2 sticks tested in dual channel, generally it is not necessary to test RAM in dual channel if one stick works so in cases where it was tested it is listed as 2pcs.

To know what kind of RAM you need to get I would need to know what you are aiming for. You stated that the Xeon e3 1220 v3 is the only Xeon in your price range, is there any reason you want a Xeon in particular? There is practically no benefit to a quad core Xeon over an i5 unless the Xeon is hyperthreaded like the e3 1230 v3 or higher. The only real reason to go for a socket 1150 Xeon, asside from price when they are cheaper than their "Core" equivalents is for ECC RAM support and a few architectural features the average user would never use.

ECC = "Error Correcting Code" and is only really used in servers that are built to run 24/7 and be as stable as possible. ECC RAM is generally slower than non ECC RAM though does often come in larger capacities. ECC is not however supported by all motherboards, your board does not list support for it under its memory specifications for example.  

I would recommend an i5 4590 over the Xeon e3 1220 all day long, it is cheaper (at least it is here) and has higher clocks. In the case of the E3 1220 v3 the Xeon falls behind in value. The 1220 is equivicable to an i5 4460 in performance and the only differences are that the Xeon has no integrated GPU, supports ECC RAM and has support for mixed RAM configurations. So far as I know all other features are more or less identical.

If you really want a Xeon I would suggest getting the e3 1231 at the very least. The 1231 has 4 cores plus hyperthreading which puts it roughly on par with an i7 4770. If not you will be better served with the i5 4590.

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 1:50am
Originally posted by car313 car313 wrote:

thnx Xaltar, for the warm welcome and advice!
by the way, on the asrock 'memory support list' page for z97 pr04, (i hope i got that right) when i select, copy and paste entries from the table i almost never find them on either amazon or ebay.
could you tell me what the column heading 'SS/DS' means on the memory support page? and also the column heading 'dual channel' and the entries '2pcs' or 'v' under it?
thnx again!

Welcome to the ASRock forums car313!

Are you copying just the text in the Module column to search on? For example, if I search on "F3-12800CL9Q-16GBZL", which is a G.SKILL 4 x 4GB memory kit, I get results on both eBay and other retailers. That is in the USA, so your search results won't be the same, I understand that.

The heading SS/DS refers to the way the memory chips are arranged on the DIMM circuit board of a memory module.

SS means Single Sided, all the memory chips on only one side of the circuit board.

DS means Double Sided, the memory chips are on both sides of the circuit board.

DRAM memory specs like this are somewhat technical, and normally are not something we need to be concerned with. One of these two types does not perform better than the other. Occasionally the memory controller in a CPU or in a chipset will require a specific memory chip layout like SS or DS, but that is not the case for your board and CPU. You won't find a memory model number that is sold in both a SS and DS configuration, so that is nothing to worry about.

Your board and the memory controller in the processors compatible with your board provides two or dual memory channels. More memory channels allows more data to be available to the memory controller, processor, etc, at the same time. You must put at least one DIMM (memory module or "stick") in each channel available on your board to use all the channels.

Your board has four memory slots, two for each channel. Each memory channel has one black slot and one blue slot. ASRock suggests populating the two blue slots if you just have two DIMMs.

The 'v' and "2pcs" entries signify how many DIMMs were tested in the board and verified to be compatible. A 'v' means one or two DIMMs may be used in each channel if the 'v' is in the single or dual channel columns for a specific memory model. The "2pcs" entry means that only one DIMM per channel is compatible when used in dual channel mode.

Memory compatibility can be complicated because the specifications that must be matched are rather technical and are not always easy to find. I could show you the Intel document that lists the memory specs required by the memory controller in your CPU, but I've learned that memory manufactures will not always provide the matching specifications for their products.

That is why it is safer to use memory found in your board's Memory Support List. Memory manufactures also provide compatibility lists for their products, which you can trust. Can you find memory not listed in compatibility lists that works with your board and CPU combination? Yes, but just buying random memory is a gamble whether or not it will work in your system.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 10:32am
dear xalter, i get the point about i5 4590 vs xeon. i will probably rethink on my xeon obsession! here in india, the i5 is almost the same cost as xeon 1220.

i am a great fan of CAD and 3d modelling (SolidWorks, SolidEdge, IronCAD, Catia and Blender 3d, SketchUp). i generally download most of the trial versions of CAD software and play with them until the trial expires. i am also influenced by the fact that most (if not all) graphics workstations are generally built around xeons. that is the reason for my insistence on a xeon. of course, being just an amateur CAD enthusiast, switching over to an i5 should be no great let down. i think i'll take your advice about i5.

in any case an i5 makes shopping and assembly simpler! thnx a lot for the tips!

thnx dear parsec for your welcome!
i am copy-pasting the entry in the column 'Module' and pre-fixing it with the brand name.

you have given me a lot of information. what i understood is that buying random memory may not be such a hot idea. so i will be careful with the RAM choices.

by the way, what would be your take on Xalter's opinion about xeon and i5. it would be nice to know.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 1:44pm
I also do a lot of 3d work Wink

I think I get your confusion now. In the past there has been a wider gap between Xeon and mainstream CPUs, while that may still be true of some Xeons those Xeons do not exist on the socket 1150 platform. The type of Xeon you are thinking of more closely matches the E5 26XX range of Xeons for the socket 2011 platform, there you will find Xeons with 6 or more cores and low power options for blade and rack servers and can be placed on multi CPU motherboards. There was a time when CAD and other 3d centric workstations utilized Xeons for better stability and higher thread count, either because of higher core counts or multi CPU boards. That has largely fallen away with the advent of multi core CPUs in today's market. I have actually built and supplied CAD stations to engineering companies in the past and back then, Xeon really was the only choice. If memory serves the stations utilized 4 single core hyperthreaded Xeons on the same motherboard, 4gb of ECC RAM and a RAID 10 storage solution. The cost of those units was somewhere in the $10k range. The reason I mention this is because today you can build a system that outperforms that CAD station for under $1000 thanks to advances in multi core and hyperthreading technologies.

I will give a little breakdown of the socket 1150 CPUs, the Xeon and the core i(x) CPUs for you.

Xeon E3 12XX
This is basically a workstation Xeon, designed to be used in pretty much the same way as any regular CPU with the advantage that it is designed to be left to running 24 hours a day. These CPUs come in 2 basic configurations:

Quad core: E3 1220 and E3 1226
Quad core, Hyperthreaded: E3 1230 - 1276

Note: all Xeon E3s that end in a 5 or 6 have a GPU integrated while all E3s ending in a 0 or 1 do not.

Core i(X) 4XXX and Haswell Celeron/Pentium

Dual core: Celeron G18XX, Pentium G3XXX
Dual core Hyperthreaded: i3 4XXX
Quad core: i5 4XXX and 46X0K
Quad core Hyperthreaded: i7 4XXX and 47X0K

All of the CPUs above, Xeon included are fabricated on the exact same process with cores and features either enabled or disabled depending on the specification. When comparing Xeon and i(x) in the same category you will find performance to be near identical given similar clock speeds. Socket 1150 Xeons do not support multiple CPUs on the same board. I suppose you could say socket 1150 Xeons are consumer grade Xeons and their pricing reflects this. While they do have certain features that could be desirable in a corporate workstation, these features are of little to no benefit to the home user. The reason so many people are buying Xeons for home PCs these days is simply value, you can buy a hyperthreaded Xeon that compares well with an i7 for the price of an i5. The E3 122X range however are not priced well enough to be a feasible purchase over an i5 for a home user. The i5s in the lower to mid tier of the i5 range all perform better and cost less than the E3 122X.

Socket 2011 Xeons are another breed however and more in line with the old-school Xeon approach of old. Here you can have multiple CPUs in the same system, up to 18 cores on a single CPU with hyperthreading giving a total of 36 threads. These are the Xeons you have been lusting after (me too by the way Cool) these are what I call true Xeons and they are designed for servers and high end workstations. The problem is, they cost a fortune and for the most part are out of reach price wise for the average home user. Most of these Xeons are individually engineered and only that particular model and its derivatives use a particular fabrication process. Compare that to the socket 1150 Xeons that are ALL derivative of the same core and you begin to see why there is such a huge cost delta.

Now, I can totally understand wanting to stick a "Xeon inside" sticker on your case Approve I just wanted to be sure you understood that there is no benefit to a socket 1150 Xeon over an i5 of similar specs. When that i5 is cheaper there is absolutely no point in going for a non hyperthreaded Xeon. If you do want a Xeon you will be better off getting the E3 1230 v3 or better, then you will see a proper benefit as they compete performance wise with much more expensive i7s.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 5:27pm
dear Xalter, your detailed write up clarified a lot of things for me. just to see if i got your point:-
1) my xeon choice in non hyperthreading.
2) the xeons which would have me drooling are also the xeons that will bankrupt me, so to say.
3) multi core CPUs have somewhat dulled the over all need for xeon, at least as far as the for a home or private user.

thnx one hell of a lot! for your taking the time and trouble to give me a little more insight.

it would be wonderful if you can also suggest a suitable nvidia graphics card also for me. i also toyed with the idea of going in for a low or mid range quadro or firepro. but that is another whole new topic. for the moment i have shelved the quadro and firepro idea.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2015 at 5:50pm
You are most welcome, I am always happy to help people make an informed decision Thumbs Up 

I am using a Geforce GTX 960 with my system and it performs very well. The reason I chose it is that it packs a lot of performance for very little power draw but in my case the 3d work I do is for game design so in addition to being good with 3d elements I also need a GPU that is decent for gaming purposes. 

In order to help you pick out a GPU I would need to know 2 things:

1. What you want to be able to do with it, eg. Gaming, 3d modeling (game specs), 3d CAD work or production 3d animation for advertisements and movies.

2. Budget, are you looking for something adequate or the best your budget allows.

Right off the bat for a budget card though you really can't go wrong with a 2gb GTX 750, they are incredibly powerful for such low power GPUs and shouldn't break the wallet.

If you have a little more to spend the GTX 960 is pretty much the next step up with regards to performance per watt. If you can though, get the 4gb version.

The ultimate GPU to go for however would be the GTX 970 as it is probably the best value GPU out there at the moment, offering top tier performance and a decent power footprint. This however would likely be overkill for you not to mention costly.

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 12:25am
Xaltar, nice summary of the Xeon E3-1200 series processors, and comparing them to standard Haswell i5 processors. While your statement about the Xeon and the i5 and i7 processors being fabricated in the same way is true, the Xeon E3-1200 series processors have their own datasheet, so are not included in the datasheet for the other non-mobile 4th Generation processors. Is the significance of that simply marketing, to preserve the more exclusive nature of the Xeons, or something else?

The only thing I would add to your description is to be aware of the variants of the standard i5 and i7 processors, the K, R, S, and T models. The matching of features with an E3 xeon or standard i5 varies widely over these models, the K type having the least amount of matching features, the tradeoff for being unlocked. The R, S, and T models are missing at most two features relative to the E3 Xeons. Those models are the reduced TDP types with different base and Turbo clock speeds. Can we predict the 1 to 4 active core Turbo multipliers for the i5-4690T, with a base clock of 2.5GHz, and a maximum Turbo clock of 3.5GHz? Wink

My question about the E3-1200 series Xeons is, why the large price increase between the E3-1276 v3 and the E3-1280 v3, and the rest of the series up to the E3-1286 v3 and the E3-1286L v3.

The price difference going one step up from the E3-1276 v3 to the E3-1280 v3 is $262 ($612.) The price difference going to the E3-1286L v3 is $429 ($774.) At best the speed of the E3-1286 v3 is increased by only 100MHz. I suppose the higher priced models are binned better, but in what way?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 12:54am
Looking through the spec sheets and reviews on the E3 128X range I can only assume that the binning gets tricky at the clocks of the E3-1280 and even more so on the low TDP variant. You have to bare in mind Xeons have a reputation for stability over prolonged periods of continuous use this means that they are far more aggressively binned, in fact I would imagine it is high end Xeons that are binned first not the enthusiast i7 4790k as one may assume. Clock speed is not the only factor when binning a CPU, especially with the Xeon, other aspects of the chip need to be closely examined like TDP, cache stability and ECC functionality not to mention Hyperthreading. 

So far as I am aware the Haswell Xeons were developed first and the desktop variants were derivative as is usually the case with dev cycles. Desktop versions may well be manufactured on a modified process, Intel does not release this kind of information but the core layout and performance is so close that many speculate they are on the same fab. Without word from intel I guess we will never know for sure. The only really important factor is that they do perform similarly enough to be comparable same fab or no. I do know that the dual core CPUs in the desktop segment have smaller cores than the i5/i7 and Xeons so these CPUs actually use cut down dies even though the fab is the same. The question is, are they binned then cut or are they fabbed at that size. I wish intel would release more info on these kinds of things as they have always fascinated me Geek

As to the pricing of the E3 1200s it comes down to harvest sizes that become exponentially smaller the higher up the chain you go. Even the slightest problem will throw them down the binning lots. I suspect very few pass muster at the 128X level while significantly more pass at 127X and more still lower down which is why I think the 1220 being so expensive given it is the lowest binned Xeon is a little odd, by this stage there should be a more significant number of harvested CPUs. Unless there are diminishing returns under a certain level where if it fails at X level it will likely fail completely? It is fun to think about. 

I was going to add the variants then decided against it so as to avoid confusion. For the most part the variants tend to be more expensive anyway. That and I am not entirely sure what the purpose of all of them are lol. I know the T and the K but have never looked into the R and S variants. I think I will do that now, thanks for the heads up Thumbs Up

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 1:37am
dear Xalter
i am rarely (if ever) gaming (almost never - i only play mahjongg, freecell, cueball and some chess rarely.)
i am very frequently using CAD programs - free as well as time limited trialware.
i am very frequently using 3d modelling programs AND rendering using free and commercial render engines with free trial offers.

of course i do a lot of browsing, a huge lot of reading and occasionally play around with database programs. i also use gimp and inkscape for small time logo designing.

i hope i have given you some idea of the intended use of my prospective system.  and i hope you would be able to suggest something suitable for me with regard to a graphics card. i generally have a dual booting system with one or two linux variants and windows.

thnx as always.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 2:10am
In that case I would look at the GTX 750 or possibly even the GTX 730 as you do not game and rendering at any kind of professional level will likely be outside of your budget. The GTX 750 will probably be more than enough for your needs and even performs reasonably well in render environments. I wouldn't waste the additional money on the Ti version either, it costs a fair bit more and offers little noticeable improvement. With an i5 4590 and a GTX 750 you should easily be able to pursue your 3d and rendering activities. Another thing you may want to invest in is an SSD boot/OS drive, it will make your PC feel faster and more responsive and will help with rendering too (writing to disk). For 3d apps you should look at blender, it is free and has no restrictions. If you look on the numerous blender support and enthusiast forums you will even find CAD scripts and tools to allow CAD like workflow in blender." rel="nofollow - Here is a decent GTX 750 with 2gb of VRAM which should be more than enough for your needs and seems to cost about the same as a decent dual channel kit of RAM Smile

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 12:19pm
dear xalter
my primary purpose is to have a "reasonably" good system for mainly amateur 3d modelling and amateur CAD work. i generally watch tutorials and try to reproduce models from them. all these long years, though i had access to computers, most of them were almost unusable with blender 3d, sketchup (free), solid works (trial, all versions since 2004). i have not used autocad at all.

i use blender 3d and free sketchup quite a lot. i use luxrender and also indigo trial version. i also use povray. i am more into modelling and rendering and very little animation. with solid works trial versions i would like to be able to do some small time simulation. occasionally i use ms access, and mysql and other open source databases.

my budget is around 800 dollars. at a cinch i might be able to add another 100 dollars. the absolute upper limit is 1000 dollars. us dollars that is. at today's rate of 64.11 inr per us dollar.

also i do not need to purchase a monitor. i have decided to use my dell 24'' monitor for sometime until i can afford a mid range high definition monitor.

i almost always never play games (may be some freecell, solitaire, mahjongg and cueball now and then, but the children at home would welcome some amount of gaming capability in my proposed build)

i have no intention of over clocking.

this is an outline of my current situation. i request you to suggest a build that would fulfil these requirements.

thnx in advance!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 2:00pm
To do what you want to do you do not need a super powerful system. I use dual core Pentium G3258 with 8gb of RAM and a GTX 960 for my 3d work and I have no problems at all with performance. I can create 3 million polygon models and rotate/manipulate them without lag or stutter in blender, more if I use the sculpting tools. While I am not a "professional" 3d artist my work is pretty well known in PC game modding communities. I think our goal for you will be to build a solid performing system that will allow you to grow as a 3d artist and last you a good 4 - 5 years before you need to upgrade again. So, for your needs here is my recommendation:

CPU: i5 4460" rel="nofollow - $190
Or: Xeon E3 1231 v3 -" rel="nofollow - $250
RAM: 8gb Corsair Vengeance (2x4gb) -" rel="nofollow - $  50
Motherboard: Asrock Z97 Pro 4 -" rel="nofollow - $100
Graphics Card: Geforce GTX 750 -" rel="nofollow - $130
Power Supply: 430w Seasonic (very stable brand) -" rel="nofollow - $  60
Case:  Thermaltake Versa H25 -" rel="nofollow - $  40
Windows drive: PNY XLR8 240gb SSD -" rel="nofollow - $  90
Storage: Western Digital Black 1tb -" rel="nofollow - $  80
Total cost: - $740
With Xeon: - $800 

That will leave you with $60 for additional bits and pieces like keyboard, mouse etc. Click on the prices for the newegg links to the products I listed for you. I added in a really nice Xeon because I know you are a fan of them like me hehe and it takes the price up to your $800 limit. Please note, I chose quality components for you that will last rather than the cheapest variants available. The power supply for example is perhaps the most important element of your build as a bad one is capable of killing your entire system. The Seasonic unit I listed is one of the best low cost power supplies money can buy.

This system will make you smile from ear to ear performance wise. I included an SSD for windows and your 3d programs, using the SSD for booting and program loading will make your PC a LOT quicker, just be sure you save your files and documents on the 1tb data drive Wink

I know you said you do not game so bare with me here, new PC games are a great way to tell if your PC is up to speed with current 3d tech, the system I pieced together for you here would perform very well in games at 720p/1080p that means that it should be well up to the task for 3d apps for quite some time to come (4 - 5 years is my guess). I would also recommend you spend a little more on a decent precision mouse as I have found that to be insanely usefull when working in 3d productivity apps.

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 3:23pm
dear Xalter
i do not know what to say. you are truly generous with your knowledge and help!

the first thing i need to do is to find out the prices here in india and start building.

also (sheepish grin here ;) could you help me out with the assembly bit? i have watched a lot of youtube videos about assembling pcs. also i can confidently install cd rom drives, remove and replace rams, hdds and install add on cards. i think i will be asking questions along the way. so.

thanks for everything. by the way is that xeon you added capable of hyperthreading? i was just curious. anyway i'll look up the matter in google also.

have a great day and have a pleasant night! 

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 4:12pm
I would not have recommended a non hyperthreaded Xeon Wink That Xeon performs about the same as a core i7 4770 for a lot less money. It is the same CPU I am looking at for my next upgrade. 

As for build questions, by all means ask away when you are ready to get started. If this is your first build then you will need a few things. As a newbie to building I would strongly recommend you buy an "Anti-static Wrist band". This will help ensure that the static your body builds up does not damage any of your shiny new parts. You will also need a 5mm X head screwdriver though if you have been in and out of PC cases you no doubt already have the tools. You will want a large elevated work space like a dining room table that is clear of clutter so you can lay out your components in an easy to manage fashion being careful to keep things away from the edges so nothing can fall off. 

If you have all this then the build should be nice and easy to manage. The only elements I foresee you needing a little help with are cable management and possibly installing the CPU into the board as that can be a little fiddly for first timers.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2015 at 3:56pm
dear Xalter
i have run into an 'out of stock' problem with the 1231.

e3 1245 v2 and v3 are available. so is e3 1246 v3. all other available xeons are completely out of my purchasing capacity. 

i am making enquiries with real hardware shops (as against the virtual ones) in two major cities of my region for getting hold of a e3 1231 v3. but i have a hunch that e3 1231 v3 is widely hunted game and hence in short supply.

i do not know how long i need to wait for these online shops to replenish their stock.

if the worst comes to worse, which one of the others would you suggest i buy? being a newbie, i was thinking that as far as these esoteric naming schemes go, the higher number is better. but i could be wrong.

thnx in advance!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2015 at 4:25pm
Luckily understanding the Xeon E3 line is very simple Wink

E3 1245 v2 IS NOT A SOCKET 1150 CPU DO NOT BUY IT, it is socket 1155 and is based on the older Ivybridge architecture. Stay away from ALL v1 and v2 Xeons, bare in mind v1 will simply not have a suffix.

E3 1245 v3 is identical to the E3 1231 in both performance and clock speeds however it has an integrated GPU (iGPU) which means it can be used without a dedicated graphics card.

E3 1246 v3 is better than the E3 1231 in performance and clock speed by 100mhz and also has an iGPU.

Personally I would get the E3 1246 v3 as it is newer than the others (like the E3 1231) and is a little faster.

All Xeons with numbers higher than 1226 V3 are hyperthreaded so 1230 V3 and above. Any of these would be more than adequate for you. I listed the e3 1231 v3 purely because it is the best price/performance hyperthreaded Xeon. The others just cost a little more Wink

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2015 at 1:11am
dear Xaalter
e3 1246 v3 it is. primarily because it seems that e3 1231 v3 seems to be very difficult to purchase at least here in india. so.

so can i go ahead with the other components?

one more thing, i plan to install add on pci cards as i go along. so i want to ask if 430 watts would be sufficient?

another issue is about the ram. i changed my mind about populating all the four slots with 4gb stcks. instead what i have decided to do is to go in for 2 x 8 gb sticks. after a couple of months, i will buy another similar pair to max out the ram. does that sound reasonable?

as the 1246 is going to cost about 50 usd more, is there a chance for me to may be see if i can get away with a cheaper cabinet? also we have not provided for a cd/dvd drive.

thnx in advance. and have great day and a great night!


Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2015 at 2:47am
Whatever case you go for should be spacious and have good airflow. You will want at least 1 120mm intake fan and 1 120mm outlet fan in the case. 

The power supply I linked will be more than enough for that system even if you populate all your PCIE slots. The graphics card I recommended is very energy efficient and the other components will not be enough to max out a true 430w PSU Wink 

As for the RAM that is up to you and your budget Thumbs Up

Make sure all the components you purchase are compatible with one another, everything on the list I gave you is but you may end up buying different brands than those listed so be sure to ask whatever store you buy from if it will work together if that is the case.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2015 at 4:01pm
dear Xalter
have you come across a reddit thread about booting issues with z97 motherboard? the thread mentions asrock z97 extreme as well as an asus z97 boards.

could you kindly give me your opinion about this reddit thread?


should i be worried about it?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2015 at 4:47pm
Generally speaking just about every board and manufacturer will have a percentage of failures and common problems. Doing a degree of research is always advisable. Redit however is the LAST place I would ever do research. There is absolutely no control over the understanding and skill level of the people who post there. While it could be argued that the same could be said for tech forums you have to bare in mind that tech forums tend to attract tech oriented members so when one ignorant person posts bad advice there are 10 knowledgeable people on hand to correct them. 

Now I am not saying that the post is invalid, I have seen reports of similar problems on various tech sites however such things are subject to a near infinite amount of variables. Where 5 people experience a problem there are hundreds that did not. With all self built systems you run the risk of component failure or incompatibility, that is simply the way it is in a market saturated with so many choices. So long as the brand is reputable, which Asrock, Asus, Evga, Gigabyte and MSI are you will be covered by RMA policies and customer support. When researching today it is often best to research the customer service of a given brand before looking at the model's reputation and failure rate. 

Ultimately every board, stick of RAM, CPU, power supply, hard disk etc has a chance of arriving damaged or partially nonfunctional and while that may sound scary you need to bare in mind that the chance is very very small and in such cases the manufacturer will allow an RMA and send you a new working part or the original one with the problem resolved (usually when they return the original the fault was due to something simple like BIOS version). 

So by all means research each component you select but bare in mind that if you find 10 negative posts, often times those 10 people were the only ones to speak out and they did so because they had a problem where the hundreds of other users of that product had nothing to say because their system functioned as intended.

Cause for worry:
1. The component has a major problem sited in a reputable tech review.
2. The manufacturer forums of the component are flooded with complaints/problems to do with the product.
3. It has a rating less than 3 eggs on new egg with more than 50 votes.

Those are my own general research parameters. You can easily get carried away with research, try to avoid this or you will only generate anxiety about your purchase which could lead to mistakes during assembly. When you start putting it all together you will want to be calm and focused so as to avoid silly mistakes. We are along way from there still though Smile

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2015 at 12:32am
thnx for your prompt reply. it really helped.

i have ordered and paid for e3 1246 v3, asrock z97 pro4 mobo.

could you kindly suggest a good pair of 1600 mhz 2 x 8 GB ram sticks. i will find out if they are available and order them.

well i want to say this. it was pure serendipity that got me to the reddit page. blame google! ;) not any serious research. i hope you understand. i am well aware of the vagaries of manufacturing process variables and i am not even thinking about any kind of "100%" guarantee which by very definition is purely hypothetical, for there are no 100% facts of life. a good replacement policy is all one can ask for.


Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2015 at 12:42am
I used Adata XPG 1600 ram in my last build and it seems pretty decent. You should be fine with any of the big brands, Kingston, Corsair, Geil, Crucial, Adata, PNY, and Transcend are all good. 

The best thing to do is look through the compatibility list for RAM on your boards product page and choose from there.

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2015 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by car313 car313 wrote:

dear Xalter
have you come across a reddit thread about booting issues with z97 motherboard? the thread mentions asrock z97 extreme as well as an asus z97 boards.

could you kindly give me your opinion about this reddit thread?


should i be worried about it?

I'm sorry to say, that the post quoted above is an example of how easily misinformation is created and spread.

The thread on reddit (which I could go on and on about how inaccurate and worthless it is) mentions a specific Z97 Extreme mother board. Above we see a general reference to ASRock Z97 Extreme boards. That statement is FALSE and a wild over generalization. So now all Z97 Extreme boards have an issue like this (there are seven Z97 Extreme models)? Of course not.

Even worse, we also see above, " booting issues with z97 motherboard". So all Z97 mother boards have booting issues? Of course not, but a lazy reader reading this will use it later in a forum post somewhere.

The reddit thread contains a perfect example of the creation of misinformation. A post in that thread used the number of posts in the thread as the number of individual user complaints about a certain product in that thread. So a post that someone made that said, "What?" was counted as a complaint against a product. Yet someone out there actually believes they are right about the number of complaints made.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2015 at 7:31pm
Thats pretty much my sentiment too. Internet has made information easy to find these days but it has a dark side too, misinformation is ever more common and it takes knowledge and a fair bit of common sense to sift through and find actual useful info. I stay well clear of sites like redit for that reason when it comes to doing research on a product. Even things like newegg product reviews are only useful cumulatively, ie. if there are numerous complaints about a specific fault. I have seen some utterly laughable reviews on newegg. I saw one review on a power supply giving the product 1 egg stating that they plugged it in and it exploded, given that the unit was rated as 110v/240v and it was purchased from a US based etailer I am more or less 100% certain they did not check the voltage selector switch prior to attempting to power the unit on, naturally if you attempt to pump 240v into a 110v circuit its going to go up in a puff of smoke. You really have to filter your research these days. The best and only reasonably safe way to find information is from tech and manufacturer websites/forums. 

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 13 Jun 2015 at 11:39am
dear guys,

i am anything but a computer professional. i am just typing away into the google search box, and if some "alarming" search result hits the eyes, one just tends towards exploring - it more out of trepidation than any thing.

sorry if my post created some unintended impression!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 13 Jun 2015 at 1:08pm
We were just clarifying that not all information on the internet is worth reading, thats all Wink

This is a very common problem these days and it results in a lot of misunderstandings. You now know how to research better and can share the info with others, pass it on and help educate Cool

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 14 Jun 2015 at 8:07pm
Originally posted by car313 car313 wrote:

dear guys,

i am anything but a computer professional. i am just typing away into the google search box, and if some "alarming" search result hits the eyes, one just tends towards exploring - it more out of trepidation than any thing.

sorry if my post created some unintended impression!

I'm sorry about that car313, I know you did not mean any harm or were trying to make trouble. Embarrassed

Some people (not you) just start the blaming and hating so quickly, it is a shame. It seems as if that is human nature for some people.

The Z97 Extreme4 board has been in production for over a year now. I was very active in the other ASRock forum at TweakTown, and I never saw any posts about a problem like that with this board, or any ASRock Z97 board.

I have an ASRock Z97 Extreme6 board that I bought when they were introduced, it had the first UEFI/BIOS version in it from the factory. I can't believe it has been a year since I started using this board already. It has been a great board, I've never had a problem with it at all.

One thing that I've learned after building PCs for a while now, is if you do have a problem, don't start blaming things without really spending some time trying to discover what is wrong. I've done that myself in the past. Later on I would discover what the problem actually is or was something I did not understand. If someone that complained about their board found the problem to be something else, they may say nothing or add one post in a thread explaining the situation. But all the negative posts remain in the thread which are found by others.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 12:22am
thnx Xalter and parsec,
i am so glad to read your reassuring replies!
i want to put this thing behind us.

no offence meant and none intended!


Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 1:41am
You didn't offend anyone Car313 its all good Big smile

I think Parsec and I both just ranted a little in reference to articles like the one you linked, not at you Wink

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 9:42pm
dear Xalter
g.skill ripjawsx ddr3 16gb (2 x 8gb) 1600 mhz pc dram (f3-12800cl10d-16gbxl) is not listed in the memory support list page for asrock z97 pro4, but the g.skill site (after using their ram configurator) for asrock z97 pro4, lists this kit as compatible. this kit is available, while most of the other 1600 mhz modules are not available online.

i am slightly confused.

why does the asrock z97 pro4 page not list this kit? and the g.skill website does? anything here?

please do not take me to be paranoid. to be frank, i am quite a bit jittery. until the system actually boots, i suppose i will have to go through this tension.

by the way, i discovered that shopping for ram modules is anything but smooth. most other components are simpler to order. especially if i am checking and cross checking the available modules against the memory support list page.


Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 10:02pm
RAM is definitely a pain to decide on these days Dead

The reason that it is listed by G.Skill and not Asrock is because the RAM was either made after the board was released (these lists are not often updated by motherboard manufacturers) or that RAM was not tested with your board by Asrock. No manufacturer tests every possible RAM brand and model, the testing alone would take months if not longer given the number of products out there.

The most reliable compatibility listings you will find will be from the RAM's product page as it is easier to test your particular RAM model on a number of motherboards than every brand of RAM on every motherboard. RAM testing is made even easier for RAM manufacturers by the fact that if it works on 1 Asrock H97 model (for example) it will most likely work on all Asrock H97 variants with similar specs.

Basically if the RAM has a compatible listing for your board, on Asrock's product page or the RAM's product page then it will work fine.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 16 Jun 2015 at 11:34pm
thnx Xalter!

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2015 at 9:54pm
dear xalter,
i tried very hard to hunt down a thermaltake versa h25.
but i could not lay my hands on one.

things i have in hand:
2 x 8 gb ram
z97 pro4
geforce 750 ti 2 gb graphics card
seagate hdd
seasonic 430 watts psu
dvd drive

things i need to have in hand
xeon e3 1246 v3
computer cabinet.

this issue is with the cabinet. could you kindly suggest something in lieu of the thermaltake versa h25? (which i am unable to find online in india. i can buy it from the us, but that adds a big shipping cost).

corsair, antec and coolermaster brands are available. could you kindly help me (again) with your advice? i mean suggest something from corsair, antec or coolermaster that will be compatible with my other components?

thanks in advance!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2015 at 11:12pm
Hey Car313, its nice to hear from you again Smile

Don't worry too much about the case, any case that isn't a "budget" case will do fine for your needs. All the brands you listed are good, just be sure to get a medium tower with lots of room inside and at least 2 fans included (one intake and one outlet). 

The parts you have in hand are all perfect for your needs, as soon as you have everything in hand we can get started helping you with the build itself Smile

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2015 at 11:35am
dear xalter
"cooler master n200 advanced" is available "ready for dispatch". it has 1 front fan and 1 rear fan. included.

it is not great looking, but absolutely does not matter, as long as it gets the job done.

shall i go for it?

thnx for your quick and unstinting help! i am already feeling very confident :)

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2015 at 12:29pm
That case will be perfect Car313, so long as it isn't too expensive for your budget Wink

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 10:59am
dear xalter,
i am sorry about my long silence. after quite a long back and forth with the cabinet seller, i got my computer case. actually he first sent me a dented and twisted case. then i had to return it and it took me all these days to get a replacement.

first thing - i successfully put together the whole thing yesterday.

it even boots up and beeps and i can get into the bios and i went through the various screens/pages. so far so good.

now the bad news. 

the system keeps rebooting by itself after at the most three to five minutes of switching it on. after its first rebooting it then keeps repeating almost continuously.

i noticed that when i press the power button, the cpu fan starts, spins for a second and then stops and then restarts spinning. i do not know if that is normal.

i removed the cpu heat sink, cleaned the surfaces of the processor as well as the heatsink, applied thermal paste and then tried to boot it. but the same thing keeps repeating.

i am quite worried. my hope is that i haven't damaged anything.

it would be very nice to hear from you again!

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 3:31pm
To review so I'm sure I understand:

You can start the board and go into the BIOS. After being in the BIOS for three to five minutes, the board restarts itself.

After the first restart, the board then goes through a continuous restart cycle, where it restarts almost immediately, and you cannot get into the BIOS at all, or for very long.

Is the correct?

If so, I would let the PC/board be off for about five minutes. You could shut off the power supply with its switch while you wait. You should also use the CLR CMOS jumper to clear the CMOS/BIOS while the PSU is shut off and no power is applied to the board. The CLR CMOS jumper is at the very bottom of the board, in the middle. Do you know how to use that jumper?

After clearing the CMOS, turn on the PSU and start the board. Go directly into the BIOS, which you will be prompted to do after clearing it. Then go directly to the H/W Monitoring screen. At the top of that screen you should see the CPU and mother board temperatures displayed.

Now just watch the CPU temperature as time passes. See if it stays stable at about 35 - 40C. If it goes over 40C and keeps increasing, your problem is the CPU is over heating for some reason.

While you are in the H/W Monitoring screen, you can also check the PSU voltages that will be displayed. That is the 12V, 5V, and 3.3V PSU voltages. If any of them are +/- 0.5V or more, your PSU could be the problem.

What CPU cooler are you using? Where do you have its fan connected? You should also see the CPU fan speed in the H/W monitoring screen, if it is connected to the board.

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Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 8:40pm
dear parsec

yes. that is exactly what is happening. after a long rest, when i boot the system, it boots directly into the uefi screen. if it doesn't, i press ctrl+alt+del and then press f2, in which case it beeps and then it enters the uefi screen.

right now, i have removed the board from the case and have laid it down on news papers over a plywood sheet. i disconnected the spinning platter hdd, the ssd and the dvd drive leaving only the processor + fan and 2 sticks of 8 bg ram each (a total of 16 gb). i connected the 24 pin power supply as well as the 2+2 pin power supply thing. i put the mobo+processor cooler fan+2 sticks of ram on a thick bed of old news papers. to boot the contraption, i short the power button pins. for this i have an 'L' shaped piece of insulated wire that i use.

i was able to get it running for an hour in this manner and then i thought it was all right. but then again when i boot it, the same pattern of booting and cycling through quick boot-reboot cycle (a minute or two between reboots) persists.

as per your advice, i cleared the cmos by shorting the 2-3 pins of the clr cmos pins for five seconds. then after giving the processor quite a while to come to room temperature, i rebooted by shortening the two power button pins and noted down the readings you suggested.

they are as follows.
cpu temp 55.5 celcius
MB temp 35.9 celcius
cpu fan rpm  1695
cpu input voltage +1.744 v
vcore +1.017 v
+12.000v +12.355 (keeps quickly cycling through from 12.303 to 12.355)
+5.00v +5.112 to +5.088 v
+3.3v +3.294 to 3.582

the last three voltages keep going up and down constantly (only in the digits after the decimal).

when i was able to get it to stay powered on for an hour, i noticed that the cpu temperature rose to 55.0 celsius and stayed there. at my place during this time of the year the day temperatures are between 30 and 37 degrees celsius. today it has stayed at about 34.

i am using the cpu cooler that came with the processor. IMHO, it looks pretty flimsy, but i went ahead with it.

also the cpu fan is plugged into the four pin cpu fan 1 connector very near to the processor, along the top edge of the mobo, by the side of the auxillary 12 volt power connector.

also dear parsec, you guys are so helpful, i want to hug you!

also i wanted to ask you, at what cpu temperature do the insides of a cpu start getting "fried".

i am asking because, i have already switched the contraption on and off about a hundred times in my desperate attempts to isolate the problem. and my worry is that i might be frying it by degrees by trying to coax it.

very many regards.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 10:27pm
Hello again Car313, I am sorry to hear you are having problems.

The CPU should be able to handle up to about 90c so you are quite safe at 55c. 

After you cleared CMOS did the symptoms persist? I assume you got the e3 1246 CPU as you had planned? If so the CPU should be compatible with your board with even the release BIOS so that should not be the problem. Some slight fluctuation of the Power Supply voltages is normal so unless the fluctuations are very rapid, twice or more every second, I doubt it could be that. Double check that you have connected all the power cables correctly and have not connected the wrong one to the 8 pin power connection on the board.

I find when having problems with a new build it is best to go back to the beginning and start over. Take everything out of the case, remove the CPU and check for bent or damaged pins or contacts on the CPU and check to make sure no thermal compound has gotten on to the motherboard. Once you are sure everything is OK you can carefully put it back together outside of the case and test it again. 

Good luck  

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 11:50pm
dear xalter,

i got the same e3 1246 v3 xeon.

after i cleared the cmos and rebooted, the problem persists. 

and now that you mention it, the voltages fluctuate quite rapidly and i had to try really hard o note down the digits after the decimal.

i have checked and rechecked all my physical connections. all of them are firmly seated without any gaps or clearances.

i did exactly the same thing you suggested. i now have it like a breadboard lay out. i actually edited my response to parsec to include almost all details. as of now the contraption is just resting on a thick layer of news paper on a sheet of plywood.

i am tempted to jump start the thing and see if it runs and for how long. but i have resisted the temptation. now that you tell me that the cpu can go all the way upto 90 degrees celsius, do you think i should jump start it and see if the thing holds for an extended period of time like an hour or an hour and a half?

with the very warmest regards

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 12:28am
I wouldn't put it on newspaper as it can hold static electricity and could potentially damage things. The best option when running the system outside the case is to rest the board on the box it came in with the anti-static bag the board shipped in between the box and the board. While it is unlikely to cause damage it is possible if you have it resting on something that can conduct static.

I would try and fire up the board and leave it in the bios for 2 - 4 hours and keep an eye on temps periodically. If it remains powered on without any reboots, freezing or high temps (over 60c) you can go ahead and try install the OS and see if it is stable in windows. You can additionally try and clear CMOS using" rel="nofollow - this  method. It will completely clear the CMOS as well as date and time settings and should restore the board to completely factory defaults. If the problem still persists then it may be worth trying another power supply though I don't believe that is the case.

Hopefully there is nothing wrong with any of your components and the system just needs to settle in. 

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 11:55am
dear xalter and parsec
i noticed something which i would like to bring to your notice. the auxillary power connector on the top edge of the motherboard above the processor. not the 24 pin connector. the 8 pin one.

the female connector consists of plastic housing with square holes as well as pentagonal holes.

by pentagonal, i mean squares with two corners bevelled. using this terminology, the squares and the pentagons of the female connector on the motherboard do not match the squares and pentagons on the male connector from the psu.

supposing that i represent the square by a '4' and the bevelled square by '5', the pattern on the motherboard (femal) is like this
5445 (first row from the top edge)
4554 (second row)

but both the 4+4 as well as the 6+2 connectors (male) that come with the psu do not match this pattern.

the 4+4 connector pattern on the psu is as follows
54 55
45 55

the 6+2 connector pattern is as follows
554 4
455 5

i hope i have been able to describe the issue.  the pattern of squares and bevelled square holes on 24 pin single piece plastic connector from the psu and the female on the motherboard match exactly, whereas this is not the case with the auxillary power connectors on the motherboard and those from the psu.

i just noticed this and realized that this was all along sitting like a square hole in a round peg!

first thing, does this have any bearing on my problem. second, would i have damaged the motherboard by having pushed the male connectors without first looking to see if the holes match.


Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 1:53pm
Your power supply is the SeaSonic S12II 430B 430w?

If so there should be an 8 pin power connector, all in one block. The 6+2 connectors are for Graphics cards. It could well be what is causing your problems if you have the wrong one connected. 

I have not heard of it damaging the motherboard in the past but it is possible, the motherboard has safety features to prevent damage in such an event. If you could post a picture of the 24pin, 4 pin and 8 pin connectors provided by your PSU so we can see what you have going on that should help. If the power supply does not in fact have a true 8 pin connector then it is likely that your PSU is an older model in which case you will need to use a single 4 pin connector on the 8 pin board connector. The manual for your board should have an illustration of how to do it.

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 3:42pm
I understand what you mean by the shapes of the openings in that CPU power connector. They are made that way to prevent the wrong connector from the PSU being inserted into it.

I'm not sure what cable you had connected to the eight pin CPU power connector, but if it was the six + two video card power connector, that is wrong.

The 6 + 2 video card power connector has the +12V and ground (earth) reversed compared to the eight pin or 4 + 4 pin CPU power cable.

You MUST NOT use a video cable in the CPU power connector!! YES it can be causing your problem.

The reversed polarity is not good for the CPU voltage regulators.

Like Xaltar said, your PSU should have a 4 + 4 pin CPU power cable to use with the eight pin CPU power connector on your board.

The changes in the 12V, 5V, and 3.3V readings in the BIOS are not a problem, that is not unusual. Do not worry about them if they are as small as you said they were.

Is this your PSU? Scroll down to find the 430W model:" rel="nofollow -

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Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 8:01pm
dear xalter and parsec
my psu model is SSR-430ST Active PFC T3. it is not listed in the web page link shared by you.

no, i did NOT put the 6+2 pin pci-e male connector into the motherboard auxillary 12 volt connector.

there is a 4+4 pin male connector from the psu, but the pattern on this does not match the pattern on the female 8 pin connector on the motherboard.

but i should have made myself clearer. what i was saying about the 6+2 male connector is that this too does not have a matching pattern on the female connector on the graphics card.

the same is the case with the 8 pin female connector and the 4+4 male pin from the psu.

after following xalter's advice to keep the pins shorted (after removing the cmos battery) for four hours, i am faced with the same situation.

withing seconds the cpu temp shoots up to 58 degrees celsius and the three voltage values keep rapidly changing. and after 6 to 8 minutes, it reboots and then it is the endless boot-reboot cycles.

is there a way i could test the psu with a multimeter (which i can borrow)? or is there a way i can test the motherboard and cpu?

if it means testing the components in a known working configuration, then i might have a very tough time. meaning, if i need to find a working 1150 socket motherboard to test the cpu, and a working cpu to test in my mother board.

also as it once stayed on for all of 60 whole minutes before i shut it the day before yesterday, can i tentatively conclude that the issue can be resolved without a re-purchasing plan?

in any case, do you feel that i have a solvable problem on hand or eventually i need to replace one of the three - the mobo, or the cpu or the psu?

with the best of regards

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 10:48pm
How are you applying the thermal compound? If you use too much or too little it can cause the system to overheat pretty quickly. I would suggest you look at a youtube video on how to apply the compound and how much to use, if for no other reason than to rule it out as the problem. 

Now for the connector itself, you will be able to match at least one of the 4 pin connectors from your PSU to half of the 8 pin connector on the motherboard.

As you can see the connector is mirrored so you may be trying to connect the 4+4 in the wrong places, see if they match when you connect what you had in yellow in red and from red to yellow. I hope that makes sense. Also, you can try connecting only 1 4 pin connector to the board in the side I marked red in the image. This should allow the system to function as the additional 4 pin connector is not strictly required. See if the problem persists with just the one 4 pin connector connected.

Good luck Car313 and hang in there, it isn't pleasant when this kind of thing happens but what you learn here will stay with you for your next build and the one after Wink

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2015 at 11:30pm
dear guys
i love you guys man!
i will do as xalter has suggested, and report back.
as for the thermal paste, i did and re-did it three times. and i have seen quite a few youtube videos on the matter. i believe that i have gotten this right the third time.

the issues in particular are:
the cpu cooler plastic supports are just about equal to the height of the heatsink profile. so as soon as you try placing the heatsink, it smears the paste. with attempts to push the feet in and turn them, much smearing has already taken place.
the plastic supports are quite flimsy and even after being firmly seated, there is some play between the four holes on the mobo and the expanded feet of the plastic supports.
the teeny-weeny 'manual' that comes bundled with the intel processor is pathetic (if i may say so)
the heatsink that come in the pack with the processor already has three thin strips of greyish thermal paste (in my opinion). i had to wipe this off at the risk of loosing warranty (i understand that that the warranty is void if this is not used to mount the cpu (correct me if i am wrong)). but i was not deterred by this prospect. so i went ahead and wiped the three stripes of the intel paste with isopropyl alcohol and went ahead with a 'cooler master' v1 ic value thermal paste.
it is almost impossible to dispense a pea-sized 'glob' with the syringe provided. so i deposited a little and smeared it with a plastic spoon that came with the thermal paste.
as an aside, peas occur in a variety of sizes.

that was just a low down from a lay man's point of view.

now for my doubt.

dear parsec, what about my seasonic psu model? when i did a google search with that string, it took me to some croatian, serbian language pages (i think). does my model pass the test?

very many warm regards

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 12:46am
one more thing dear xalter
the 24 pin connector as well as the 4+4 pin connector and the 6+2 connectors have a kind of latching mechanism on the male connectors (from the psu). so they (the 24 pin, the 4+4 and the 6+2 pci-e male from the psu) can be 'wrongly' inserted only by disregarding the plastic latch. not otherwise. 

but it appears to me that the pentagonal male pins can enter the square holes of the female connector but NOT vice versa. that adds another layer of variability.

with very many thanks and 
with regards

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 1:43am
car313, is this your PSU:

The latch on the connector on the cable coming from the PSU will of course force the correct orientation of the connector in the female connector on the board.

I would be very surprised if the 4+4 connector on the PSU cable did not fit in the motherboard's female connector. If you try it, it should slide in easily, before the latch will catch and hold it in place. Don't worry about the shapes on the male connector, just try to put it in. If it is correct, it will easily fit into the connector on the board.

Seasonic is one of the best PSU manufactures in the world. I can't imagine they did not make a compatible connector for the CPU power connection. Or that this connector has changed at some point.

The latch on the 4+4 and the 6+2 connectors are different, and easily identifies each cable:

The 4+4 CPU power connector has a larger, dual latch, which allows it to be connected to boards that only have a four pin connector on the board. The PCI-E 6+2 connector on its cable has a much smaller latch. Identifying which is which should be easy.

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Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 9:26am
dear parsec
yes. this is my psu.

and thanks for your last photograph of a bombshell. sometimes (such as this time) i wish i was younger! she made my day! ;)

with the best regards

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 11:51am
dear xalter
i tried booting the system with only one 4 pin out of the 8 pins. you know the 8 pin connector is in two blocks of 4. the same thing. no luck.

i wrote about how one time the system stayed on for about an hour before i switched it off and tried rebooting and then it went back to being a bad boy. i noticed at that time the 3 voltages were constant and the 3 digits after the decimal stayed steady. the temp was fluctuating between 55 and 58 degrees celsius. so can i suspect the psu? i have an old computer in which the psu has a 20 pin atx connector and a 4 pin auxiliary power connector. would i be damaging anything on the new mobo by trying it out with this older psu?

will be eagerly waiting for your response.

by the way i just now tried booting my very old computer and it booted fine except that i do not have a ps/2 keyboard and mouse or a hdd or an optical drive. but the bios welcome screen comes on after a single beep. so in principle if i added a hdd and an optical drive along with  the ps/2 keyboard and mouse, it should work.

shall i try with the older psu from this sytem?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 12:05pm
I wouldn't try an old PSU like that as it will not provide adequate power for the newer board. 

In your testing do you have your graphics card installed or are you using the display output from the motherboard? If you are using the graphics card you can try removing it from the system and use the onboard graphics. I doubt it is the problem but the system will draw less power and it may help identify where the problem is.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 12:37pm
dear xalter
the setup consists of-
1) the motherboard
2) 1 X 8GB ram stick
3) cpu
4) heat sink + fan

no i removed the graphics card as well as the ssd, hdd, and optical drive.

the display is connected to the vga socket on the motherboard.

with regards

ps. this is an edit.

in the uefi the clock speed of the ram is shown as 1333 mhz, whereas i purchased what i thought was a 1600 mhz module. i did not change any setting except in the beginning i once loaded motherboard defaults when it first gave me trouble.

do you think i was gypped by the ram vendor?

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 2:18pm
No, the RAM needs to be set to 1600 in the bios using XMP, but that is not of concern for now, first we need to figure out what is wrong with your system.

The RAM will default to 1333, this is normal.

At this point I don't know what else to suggest, you could try and get your hands on a cheap second PSU to test with (preferably borrow one) and see if that makes a difference though I find it hard to believe you received a faulty PSU from Seasonic, as Parsec said, they are the best there is. Still, it isn't impossible. 

Also make sure you have no case switches connected to the motherboard when testing, use a metal object (screwdriver etc) to bridge the power on jumpers on the board. A sticky power or reset switch can cause problems as well as having LEDs hooked up where a switch should be.

Check that your RAM is fully seated into the slot, sometimes they lock but are not properly in.

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 3:05pm
dear xalter
i cut a 3 inch piece of a single core insulated copper telephone wire. i removed the insulation from about 1/2 an inch at one end, and bent this end into an 'L' shape. i am using this to short the power button pins on the front panel connector on the motherboard. the long arm of the 'L' is insulated while the short arm is naked. i hold this on the insulated end and i touch the short arm of the 'L' to the two pins of the power button to boot the system.

like i said, i am quite sure of the ram seating, the thermal paste and power connectors. i checked, rechecked and then checked again. i am also considering removing the intel-provided heat sink+fan and order a proprietary cpu cooler. or do you feel that may be immaterial?

another time i want to ask.

the system once booted and stayed on for about an hour. actually it was i who turned it off. generally the longest it lasts is about 8 minutes. more like 6 most of the times. from room temp start. that is.

would you consider that this one hour of uptime is incidental? i feel that there is something to that one-time one-hour uptime. i do not know if it would have gone into a reboot cycle, given enough time. but i also believe that about one hour of uptime should be enough to trigger any heat related faults as well as fluctuating voltage issues. by the way i do not have a ups (a battery backup, i mean). my system is directly connected to the wall outlet. in our area we generally have steady power. at least, i have never lost any computer or files on computers on account of power outages.

or do you think, i should get a ups? (i am going to get one, but if this could have a favourable impact on the outcome, i do not mind buying it immediately, off the shelf)

with many regards

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 4:00pm
I just noticed this in a post by car313, at the top of page 6 of this thread. I just copied the text rather than quoting.

"the issues in particular are:
the cpu cooler plastic supports are just about equal to the height of the heatsink profile. so as soon as you try placing the heatsink, it smears the paste. with attempts to push the feet in and turn them, much smearing has already taken place.
the plastic supports are quite flimsy and even after being firmly seated, there is some play between the four holes on the mobo and the expanded feet of the plastic supports."

This is a description of mounting the stock Intel CPU cooler. The first thing that troubles me is the, "... push the feet in and turn them".

If I'm understanding this correctly, you are doing it wrong. Turning the push pin's head is only done when removing the cooler. When you mount it you should not be turning anything, only pushing in the four push pins.

I'm guessing you turned the four push pin heads to remove the cooler, that is fine. You turn it to the unlock position, and pull up. But BEFORE you mount the cooler again, you must turn the head of each push pin back from the unlock position.

It sounds like you are pushing the push pin into place, and then turning it from the unlocked position. I can't predict what happens when that is done, but given what you said next, it seems to not work correctly.

That was this: "there is some play between the four holes on the mobo and the expanded feet of the plastic supports".

There should be no play at all between cooler mounting holes and the expanded push pins, or the top of the mother board and the contact pad on each push pin. I'm wondering if we have a simple CPU overheating problem caused by a bad CPU cooler mount.

Sorry car313, I can't see how your CPU cooler is mounted and I can only know what you tell us. It has been a long time since I used a stock Intel CPU cooler, but I'm pretty sure it should not be loose, have play between it and the board, or be able to twist it a bit from side to side.

If you were having an CPU over heating problem, you would see the CPU temperature in the H/W Monitor screen go a bit above 100C, and then the CPU would start throttling itself in an attempt to reduce its temperature. A processor runs at its full speed when using the BIOS UI, its power saving features (if enabled) are not active when in the BIOS. Eventually if the CPU did not cool off, or the BIOS crashes because of the lower CPU speed, the PC restarts. You would need to watch the CPU temperature in the H/W Monitor screen to see if it goes that high.

Just another theory regarding what your problem is. Confused

This scared me too... for a little while:

and thanks for your last photograph of a bombshell. sometimes (such as this time) i wish i was younger! she made my day! ;)

I was worried I download the wrong picture somehow, nothing like that on this PC. Cool

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Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 4:28pm
Good spot there Parsec, I completely missed that. It may well be the cause of the problem, especially if the cooler isn't sitting tight against the CPU. I am going to be so happy if this is the problem :)

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 6:00pm
dear guys,
the hell with the intel hetsink, i absolutely don't mind ditching this heatsink and getting myself a seperate one. shall i go ahead? just suggest me a good one. and i will.

but for all that when the sysytem reboots, the temp at the most is 55 to 58 degreed celsius. do you think the processor will restart at that temp? this is about half way to 90 celsius.

i just removed the heatsink and this time will get it right. i hope i can come back with some happy news. and i sure hope this solves my problem.

with warm regards.

ps. there WAS. i swear a beauty sitting in a seventies model open top car! i swear! it even looked to me like the good old mustang ford! exactly where parsec had posted a picture of of the label on the psu.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 8:27pm
If it made you smile then it was probably a present from the tech gods to make up for all your woes :)

Try with the stock cooler again but be sure it is firmly attached to the board. It should be tight on the CPU to the point where there is no wiggle. It is possible that the CPU is operating at ~58c when idling in BIOS and shooting up to thermal shutdown temps as soon as the BIOS polls the system for info. This kind of sharp rise can happen quicker than the polling intervals of the BIOS hw monitor (usually every 1 - 2 seconds). 

If you are wanting a solid cooler I would recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, it is very solid air cooler and quite popular among enthusiast users. It is a bit of an overkill for a system that will not be overclocked but given you are in India where it gets hot and humid it will be useful for those times you are not using an air conditioner. If you are after something a little smaller and cheaper I can recommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13, I have used this cooler myself and it is fantastic for its size and price.

Good luck Car313, lets hope we have found your problem and that you can get it sorted now Smile

Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 11:08pm
dear guys
i re-did the heat sink mounting procedure without the mistakes pointed out by parsec.

but no effect.

i will order one of the cpu coolers suggested by xalter and then get back. also in the meanwhile i will get an uninteruptible power supply unit. 

i am humbled by the readiness with which you guys share your insights.

with thw best regards

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 02 Sep 2015 at 2:13am
I was afraid that the heatsink mounting was not the problem. Confused

car313, I don't think a UPS unit will help with your problem, unless you know the electrical service in your area is poor.

I'm out of ideas besides the power supply itself. It seems as if you start from a cold start of the PC, the system will work for about an hour, and then go into the restart cycle.

I'm wondering if the PSU has a bad component that begins to fail after the PSU runs for a while, and the part warms up. Then it fails in some way, and the restarts begin.

Since that seems to be consistent, given what you've told us, I really wish you could try another PSU, if only to eliminate that as a cause.

Also trying to think why the board itself would act in that way. All I can think of is the CPU VRMs overheating for some reason, but that normally is not a problem when in the UEFI UI.

Still thinking... Geek

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Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 02 Sep 2015 at 10:40am
dear parsec
that one hour uptime was just once. it never happened again.

as of now the established pattern is -
cold start -> 5 to 8 minutes -> reboot -> 5 to 6 seconds -> reboot . . . . . .

i know that xalter would deprecate it, but i just want to ask. i am not going to do anything rash by myself without first asking.

would it damage the z97 pro4 if i just tried it for ten minutes or so with an old working psu. except that this old psu has a 20 pin atx and a 4 pin atx connector. keeping to the latched orientation, there would be 4 empty places on the motherboard while 20 would be occupied. while the 4 pin would go into the 8 pin on the motherboard with four unoccupied. i closely verified the pattern on the mating parts and they match. IF (i am not going to do anything like that, but just curious) i did this, would i be "frying" or "cooking" something on the mother board or the processor or the ram?


Posted By: car313
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2015 at 12:50am
dearest xalter and parsec

everything is all right!!!!!!

i am so very very very happy!. relieved i should say, the relief is worth the tension!! i would never have known what to do without you guys! i really wish i could buy you guys a beer if you are not teetotallers!!

i just connected an old antec 400 watts psu and you know what! its up and running!

as of the time of this typing the thing (mobo+ram, 1 8gb stick+processor+heat sink+monitor) has been up for about 10 hours. i decided to let it run for 2 hours more before i shut it down and re-start it tomorrow morning. it is about 10.20 in the night here. the voltages (in the hardware monitor page of the uefi) are only occasionally (maybe once in twenty to thirty seconds) changing and the processor temp is between 47.0 and 47.5 degrees celsius all the while. we are having a bit of a cool weather here and after a slight drizzle, the air temp is 28 degrees celsius.

i am tempted to shut the thing down, connect the rest of its entrails and install the os. but i am going to wait. for sweet, sweet revenge!

i will shut it down after a couple of hours and wait until morning tomorrow. just to get it back to a cold cold state.

i borrowed (with some difficulty) a smps with a 24 pin atx connector as well as a 4 pin 12 volt connector. i connected this psu and booted the the thing. the thing has been going on from about 12 nnoon. as it has been going on for so long, i am wondering whether to cancel the proprietary heat sink i ordered. or maybe i should just let it arrive and then adorn the processor with it!

i decided to go ahead with another psu. this borrowed one happens to be an antec. so i decided to sail with it. i think i will order an antec 500 watts psu and then i should be fine.

your suspicion turned out right. the psu WAS the problem. thanks a lot guys!

i love you guys man!!

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2015 at 3:22am
That is great news Car313 Thumbs Up

You should be able to return the defective power supply for a full refund and an Antec PSU, while not as good a brand as Seasonic is still a good brand so you should be fine with it. Sadly even the best brands sometimes have duds.

The new cooler is not strictly needed on a non overclocked system but you may as well go with it for better cooling. You can go ahead and shut down the PC and put your other parts in, 2 hours would have been plenty of time to test for problems so after 10 you are golden Wink Just be sure to take your time and be careful not to rush, it is so easy to go too fast and get careless once the excitement kicks in Embarrassed

Let us know how it all runs once you have it up and running Cool

Posted By: parsec
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2015 at 4:08pm
I'm thrilled you figured that out car313!! Thumbs Up

Power supply problems can be terrible to find, except by trying another power supply! I'm glad you trusted yourself by trying your small Antec PSU, it should be (and was) fine for the testing you did.

Antec, like most power supply companies, does not manufacture them themselves. Antec has used only the best OEMs for their higher end PSUs, like Superflower and Delta, and probably Seasonic too. So depending upon the model you purchased, it should be a good to great unit.

It seems like my theory was right, something in the bad PSU would fail after the PSU was on for about ten minutes after a cold start. Then the PC would fail to restart after that, which makes sense.

I want to verify that was the scenario as a learning experience, the symptoms of a faulty PSU that repeated the same behavior, given the same initial conditions.

I'd enjoy testing that PSU when it fails, to see what actually happens. That is, if one of the three DC rails went out of range/spec on its voltage. It seems the fault was not enough to cause the protection circuitry of the unit to shut it off, which would have made the diagnosis much easier.

If it is still under warranty you might be able to get a replacement.

Good luck with that PC in the future, visit us here anytime you like! And thanks for the beer Beer

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