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Thread: My Z87 Extreme 4 setup thoughts

  1. #1
    Leeds Martin is offline Junior Member
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    Default My Z87 Extreme 4 setup thoughts

    Hello, I'm new to building PCs and have just built my first PC using a Z87 board I thought I would share some of my experiences and hope some of you can comment.

    My key concern is having a stable reliable PC and I have that, not had any component compatibility issues with the mobo, everything has worked, no BIOS issues either, no freezes crashes or anything using stock settings. This makes me very happy and is what I was after in the first place so anything else is a bonus. I just wanted a fast PC to utilise my recently installed fibre optic Broadband.

    I recently upgraded BIOS to 2.3 using the internet flash function and it worked with no issue, great that you can flash from internet straight from BIOS without pre downloading first.

    On the z87 functions some of which confuse me, the Intel Smart Connect technology, I can not think for the life of me of what use this is on a fast home PC, you put the machine in sleep mode overnight and wake it up in the morning, 5 seconds later you have all your mail etc. It kept waking up my machine in the middle of the night so I took the bugger off. Does anyone use this? Maybe I'm missing something.

    The Intel Rapid Storage Technology - I was under the impression that there was a caching function available but it doesn't appear on my GUI. I was intending to cache a small portion of my SSD for the hard drive. I'm not that bothered as the thing is very fast anyway but it would have been nice to have got this working. I have set the SATA controller to RAID but I never get the caching option.

    I've tinkered a bit with the overclocking (I don't really understand a lot of it to be honest) and managed to get the Intel stress test to run for 30 minutes on 4.7Ghz without a crash, problem was cores were hitting 100C all the time and kept getting throttled. Anyway I settled for 4.4ghz with adaptive mode core voltage and it's fully stable with CPU temps when idle in the mid 20s and not hitting above 80C during a tress test - I'm very happy with this. Especially as I don't like noisy machines and have turned all my fans to silent mode.

    X-fast RAM - does anyone use this feature? it looks useful but again caching web pages etc on RAM looks a great idea but everything loads at seemingly light speed anyway. The new (beta) version of the a-tuning app also now has a driver check that seems to work - well it noticed I had removed the Samrt Connect anyway.

    I still haven't bought a GPU but the on board one is fine for me atm and I plan to buy some more disks and get the RAID working shortly.

    In conclusion I'm very happy with the AS rock motherboard and this Haswell setup, I'm sure I can utilise some more features but I'm not sure what applicable real life performance gains they would give me - especially as my main use is web browsing, excel spreadsheets and watching a few films and online sports - all seems very fast to me.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    parsec is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: My Z87 Extreme 4 setup thoughts

    Good for you, Haswell PCs are not the easiest for a first time build, particularly to OC. Your OC results are completely normal, some might say above average, but that is a Haswell thing, a major design change changed things.

    I agree about Smart Connect. I suppose users with slow Internet connections, or extremely impatient dispositions that can't wait for a web page to refresh might like it.

    The IRST "Accelerate" (caching) option will appear in the GUI only if certain aspects of a system are appropriate for caching. Some find that annoying, but Intel has put in enough checking in their software to prevent problems. I can't see your system specs so can't comment further on that. If you click the Help button in the IRST GUI, another screen will appear, and the Accelerate topics are under "Optimizing the Storage System".

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    Leeds Martin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: My Z87 Extreme 4 setup thoughts

    You should be able to see my specifications now. thank you for your reply. Do you think the fast RAM is a useful feature - allocating 128MB of RAM for internet cache, temp files etc.
    I still can't get RST gui to display accelerator options - did a driver check from Intel and everything is up to date.

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    parsec is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: My Z87 Extreme 4 setup thoughts

    Ok, I see your PC's 'drive setup now, Sandisk SSD for Windows, and a 1TB HDD for storage, which explains why you don't have the Accelerate option available. Multiple reasons for that.

    IRST Accelerate is "looking" for an OS to be installed on a HDD (the System disk), and a SSD that is not a System disk. Your current setup is exactly the opposite of that.

    The main "problem" with your current configuration and enabling Acceleration, is when that is done the SSD is formatted, which is the usual procedure whenever a RAID volume is created. An Accelerated volume is a new kind of RAID 0 volume, but only formats the SSD while not affecting the HDD system drive. Since your SSD is the System drive, formatting would destroy the OS installation on it, leaving you with a brain dead PC. IRST does not allow that to happen for obvious reasons, if a user was not aware of the consequences.

    It is apparently possible to have a SSD as the system drive, with a partition as a caching drive for a HDD, but you'd need to have Windows on the HDD at first, then create the Accelerated volume with a partition on the SSD for Windows. Then install Windows on that partition, while being careful that the Windows installation does not format the entire SSD. You can see this is not simple.

    Ran out of time, more about the RAM disk later...

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