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Planning a system - questions about fan speed, pci audio, 1394b


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This will probably get tweaked before I build the system - but

 

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishli...tNumber=6921851

 

I'm budgeting to build this in July or August, so don't bother critiquing the list too much yet - my guess is I'll change the main board by then. And yes, PS is overkill. I however like a PS to last through several builds, so I always go overkill on a first build in a new case.

 

Basically - there are 4 areas of concern I have.

 

1) Audio -

I have a pci sound card on that newegg list - M-Audio Revolution 5.1

I'm actually going to be using these speakers -

http://www.cyberacoustics.com/index.cfm?fu...;content_id=335

 

cheap speakers, but I have a set on my Linux box and they work well and certainly are sufficient for my audio needs (my music library actually goes through a squeezebox to my home stereo, not through PC speakers). The sound chipset on the board I chose actually seems to be reported to work, but reading other experiences with that sound chipset, it seems that line-in either doesn't work or is difficult to get working. I rarely use line-in but I definitely want it to work when I need it.

 

I figure going with a sound card that is supported in OS X by its maker is probably the best way to have the least issues with sound, and planning on it also gives me the possibility to select a different board if I want w/o worrying about sound.

 

However, before I make an assumption that it will work, is there anything about M-Audio in OS X on non Apple hardware I should know?

 

2) IEEE 1394b

I would like 1394b but I don't care about it being onboard or not. I would probably actually prefer PCI or PCIE from a maker that is known to use a chipset supported "OOB" by OS X. I believe the Belkin cards are, but the Belkin cards seem to be overpriced. I'll pay it if I have to, but do the less expensive 1393b (800 FireWire) "just work" or are there some chipsets that don't?

 

3) Fan speed

After reading an installation report, the builder noted he turned off bios control of the fans. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it has to do with EF8?

 

Am I correct in that?

If I have to turn of bios control of the fans, then I probably want one of those fan speed control switch things that you put in an external 3.5" drive bay to manually reduce fan speed (fans are noisy and annoying if running full speed all the time).

 

Is OS X able to report the temp of the CPU on a hackintosh? If yes, then I can manually turn fan speeds down and simply cron job monitor cpu temp, warn if getting warm, power down if warnings ignored and cpu gets too hot.

 

If bios control of the fans only needs to be turned off on *some* boards, is there more detail on which boards those might be so I can avoid them? Or maybe the hacintosh install guide that mentioned turning off bios control of the fan was bad information?

 

4) Gigabit -

My experience in Linux is that onboard gigabit is usually less than optimal and that it really is better to install a Intel Pro gigabit adapter. It's better gigabit hardware with solid drivers, at least for Linux - I don't seem to see any mention of drivers for OS X with those cards.

 

Is there a good solid gigabit nic for OS X that is likely to perform better than the cheap onboard gigabit that board makers tend to use?

 

Thanks for any knowledge I can glean,

FunkyRes

 

-=-

Why is this the only forum I use for which FireFox 2 spell checking seems to be disabled?

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PS is overkill. I however like a PS to last through several builds, so I always go overkill on a first build in a new case.

 

I agree it's overkill. I bought a 550W a couple years ago with the same attitude as you. But since then, you know I realised, power requirements are decreasing, not increasing. Electronic components are getting more and more energy efficient. I will never (out of principle) use a computer daily that eats 500W/hours. I have a quad core CPU (Q6600) that eats about 95W. That's my limit ;-)

 

Basically - there are 4 areas of concern I have.

 

1) Audio -

I have a pci sound card on that newegg list - M-Audio Revolution 5.1

Why? The inbuilt audio on the DS3L works fine, and as you stated, you aren't gonna be using the thing with good speakers anyway...

 

2) IEEE 1394b

I would like 1394b but I don't care about it being onboard or not. I would probably actually prefer PCI or PCIE from a maker that is known to use a chipset supported "OOB" by OS X. I believe the Belkin cards are, but the Belkin cards seem to be overpriced. I'll pay it if I have to, but do the less expensive 1393b (800 FireWire) "just work" or are there some chipsets that don't?

I don't know about other chipsets, in-fact this is something that I also need to get, as I bought the DS3R board. If you really want firewire, why not spring a few more bucks for the DS3P, although it's only 1394a I think. At least you can use it for now until there are FW800 cards available cheaply.

 

3) Fan speed

After reading an installation report, the builder noted he turned off bios control of the fans. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it has to do with EF8?

Am I correct in that?

If I have to turn of bios control of the fans, then I probably want one of those fan speed control switch things that you put in an external 3.5" drive bay to manually reduce fan speed (fans are noisy and annoying if running full speed all the time).

 

I use EFI V8, and I don't have a problem with the BIOS controlling the fans. In fact it works fine, as it's supposed to.

 

Is OS X able to report the temp of the CPU on a hackintosh? If yes, then I can manually turn fan speeds down and simply cron job monitor cpu temp, warn if getting warm, power down if warnings ignored and cpu gets too hot.

 

Not directly, there are a couple of issues. Most of the 3rd party Mac tools misreport the temps somewhat, and you have no chance at present of using the case internal (motherboard) temp sensor. Most of use just boot into windows and use the coretemp or similar tools to get an idea of what the temps are. If you do this, and use Prime95 to load up the system while monitoring temps, then you won't have to worry about it again...

 

If bios control of the fans only needs to be turned off on *some* boards, is there more detail on which boards those might be so I can avoid them? Or maybe the hacintosh install guide that mentioned turning off bios control of the fan was bad information?

 

Ok first report. Works fine on GB-P35-DS3R :-)

 

4) Gigabit - My experience in Linux is that onboard gigabit is usually less than optimal and that it really is better to install a Intel Pro gigabit adapter. It's better gigabit hardware with solid drivers, at least for Linux - I don't seem to see any mention of drivers for OS X with those cards. Is there a good solid gigabit nic for OS X that is likely to perform better than the cheap onboard gigabit that board makers tend to use?

Don't know, again it works for me.

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I agree it's overkill. I bought a 550W a couple years ago with the same attitude as you. But since then, you know I realised, power requirements are decreasing, not increasing. Electronic components are getting more and more energy efficient.

 

video cards are the primary culprit, and their power needs are increasing.

seven years ago when I built my first system, 235 watts was common and 350 watts was overkill. Power consumption use is going up, and it largely is video card related.

 

DVD burners also were responsible for increasing power consumption, but video cards are the big culprit - and they continue to grow in power consumption.

 

And over time, power supplies drop in their wattage output - that 650W power supply will not be a 650 watt power supply in 2-3 years when I upgrade mobo, but it still will probably be a capable power supply in 2-3 years.

 

-=-

 

As far as monitoring temps in windows, I'm not paying for a windows license so I can't do that. But if the guy who disabled bios fan control did so because he was a fool, then it doesn't matter - the bios can speed the fans up and down as necessary. Sometimes people who don't know how to apply thermal paste (use too much) run fans at full speed all the time because they overheat if they don't. Maybe that was his problem and he just didn't mention why he disabled it, only that he did.

 

The onboard audio on that board works fine for output - but I saw a couple posts (I believe on this board) that specified they could not get line-in to work with that chipset. I have to have line-in. I'll rarely use it, but there's nothing more frustrating then not having it when you need it. And I may decide to change boards by the time I build, depending on what the future of Intel looks like (goal is to build a box I can upgrade later w/ just a cpu swap).

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video cards are the primary culprit, and their power needs are increasing.

seven years ago when I built my first system, 235 watts was common and 350 watts was overkill. Power consumption use is going up, and it largely is video card related.

DVD burners also were responsible for increasing power consumption, but video cards are the big culprit - and they continue to grow in power consumption.

I think you are right to some extent, but all GFX cards are, is really another CPU with dedicated memory and a DAC for actually displaying the picture... Why can't they follow the trend of the rest of the components? I guess this has something to do with the fact that PC Gaming actually drives the PC industry to a large extent, and the GFX card is the core component. It's what differentiates my IBM desktop at work and my friends gaming PC.

 

And over time, power supplies drop in their wattage output - that 650W power supply will not be a 650 watt power supply in 2-3 years when I upgrade mobo, but it still will probably be a capable power supply in 2-3 years.

This is also true, and it's the cheap electrolytic capacitors that are used in the PSU that are responsible for this degradation. More expensive PSU's have newer tech caps which degrade a lot slower (in fact I think most Gigabyte motherboards now use these). They are still $ more though.

 

As far as monitoring temps in windows, I'm not paying for a windows license so I can't do that.

Sorry for overlooking this fact. I assumed that you would probably have access to a Windows XP install disk for 'temporary' troublshooting purposes. In fact, isn't this what the 30 days activation is for in XP...? a 'Trial mode' if you will :) On the other hand, if you feel that strongly about it, maybe there is a live CD linux distro that can do the same thing for you?

 

The onboard audio on that board works fine for output - but I saw a couple posts (I believe on this board) that specified they could not get line-in to work with that chipset. I have to have line-in. I'll rarely use it, but there's nothing more frustrating then not having it when you need it. And I may decide to change boards by the time I build, depending on what the future of Intel looks like (goal is to build a box I can upgrade later w/ just a cpu swap).

I also did hear something about this, but I didn't take notice because I only use line out (to drive the speakers) and I have a USB plantronics headset (left over from the mac-mini G4 which has NO audio in) that I use for Skype. I'm gonna have to do some testing.

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Sorry for overlooking this fact. I assumed that you would probably have access to a Windows XP install disk for 'temporary' troublshooting purposes. In fact, isn't this what the 30 days activation is for in XP...?

 

I grew up on macs, starting with the 512k.

My first Linux install was to a G3

My first x86 was one I built - and it ran Linux, and every x86 I've built since has been Linux - I've never owned a Windows system.

 

I've been tempted to buy a cheap windows box simply because I need to update firmware on some DVD burners and the manufacturers can't comprehend the concept of a bootable jump drive to do it, their firmware utilities want running windows.

 

I could boot the system off a live linux CD and run folding@home if I wanted to see the CPU temp. Since I don't have to, that's not a problem. If the bios turns up the fans for me when needed, then as long as I clean the cat hair out of the fans every couple months, she'll run cool enough.

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