Solved Custom built workstation for vfx artist not quite working

March 1, 2013 at 01:13:00
Specs: Windows 8
I just ordered custom parts for a new PC. My friend who helped me order and assemble it thus far has left me dry for personal reasons and now I'm left with a very expensive computer that is not working. I've tried to finish off what he didn't do with my limited hardware knowledge (I'm mostly a software guy) and so far this is what I have done:

It remained for me to put in the new GPU which I just received today, the NVIDIA Quadro 4000. This was put into the Gigabyte GA-X78-UP4 Motherboard. I plugged one of the 6-pin power suppply cables after inserting it into the motherboard. Then I booted the system. It asked me to press a key once the approproiate boot-up mediate was inserted. The only boot-up I have is the windows 8 disc I bought so I inserted that into the disc drive which seemed to work, so I assumed it was connected. Pressing keys once the disc was inserted did nothing. Reboot and go to the bios settings, only my hard drive and SSD are appearing. I investigate and find out that one of the cables, one which connects to my motherboard, is not connected, and I find a spare cable among the boxes which fits perfectly, and I connect the two. I boot up again with windows 8 still in the disc drive. This time the windows 8 logo appears, begins to animate, and after about 15 seconds shuts down again with no warning. I tried reading some of the manuals to no avail, and had an idea, so I booted up again. Before I had a chance to do anything, it booted to the windows screen, this time going to the installation menu. It went as far as beginning the installation, including allowing me to select the drive I wanted it to go on, before saying that there was an error and that the appropriate installation media cannot be found. Trying to reboot again I found that this time it gave me 3 options of boot drives, one was a special 350MB system reserved partition. I again chose the same SSD drive, and again the same error pops up. The next few boot-ups it just flat out doesn't even get to windows and shuts down without warning.

The only thing I did not install my friend is the GPU and that last cable to the disc drive, I assume everything else is done. These are the parts in the system currently:

- GPU: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- Motherboard: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- Power Supply: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- Case (if relevant): http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- CPU: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- SSD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- Disc Drive: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- RAM: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...

- OS: Windows 8 Professional Disc


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✔ Best Answer
March 1, 2013 at 06:19:42
It's not the RAM. If the CPU temp is reaching 91C, the cooling block was installed incorrectly on the CPU, that's pretty much the only possibility. Either the thermal material was damaged, or your friend forgot to remove the protective film, or the block wasn't installed securely. That's why we always benchtest before final assembly in the case.

If the block is removed from the CPU, the thermal material MUST be replaced with paste. Do NOT attempt to reuse the old thermal material/pad.



#1
March 1, 2013 at 04:52:40
Are you a graphics designer? Why did you choose that video card?

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#2
March 1, 2013 at 04:56:10
I'm a vfx artist and need that kind of power.. is that relevant?

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#3
March 1, 2013 at 05:08:23
What is the primary purpose of this system? It seems like you just picked the most expensive hardware available. The CPU you listed doesn't come with a heatsink/fan & there is no HSF on your hardware list. What did you use, who installed it, & what type of thermal material was applied? Did you benchtest the equipment before installing it in the case? If not, that was a huge misstep on your part. My guess is your CPU is overheating due to an improperly installed HSF & it's immediately shutting down to prevent itself from frying.

How to Bench Test / Troubleshoot Your System


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Related Solutions

#4
March 1, 2013 at 05:13:38
You/he should have bench tested it.
http://www.techsupportforum.com/for...
You should not install your operating system while the second hard drive is plugged in, otherwise you may get your boot files on one hard drive and your operating system on the other. This means that the system will not boot up unless both drives are working. This may be made worse by the fact that your conventional hard drive is a green drive (power down state).
Tear it down and bench test it as above. Do not remove the CPU/heat sink if you are sure that it was installed correctly. I am including some other useful links that you may want to familiarize yourself with:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...
http://www.memtest.org/download/4.2...
I have not looked at these, but Googled "my first computer build" and these are the first that came up:
http://technologizer.com/2012/01/24...
http://lifehacker.com/5151369/the-f...


There will be others depending on what your results are.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
March 1, 2013 at 05:14:43
My experienced friend installed it, he has a similar custom build for his gaming purposes which works just fine. I need this system to be a workstation PC for my work. I did not assemble random powerful parts, he assembled them and I chose from how he described everything. I wanted the most power for my buck. I did forget to mention the cooling, it's water cooling: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc... and it was also installed by him. He was going to apply some kind of cooling paste but said it already came with it. I just did a test with the bios and the CPU was at 91C, the overall system was at 30, and the PCH was 38-39.

I do agree that something is shutting down to prevent overheating, I just don't know what it is or what I didn't connect properly. The sytem also has 4 system fans and 1 for the CPU and 1 for the power supply.


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#6
March 1, 2013 at 05:17:53
Thanks Fingers, I will try these

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#7
March 1, 2013 at 05:32:15
"I did not assemble random powerful parts...I wanted the most power for my buck"

I didn't mean the parts you chose where random, but you did overspend on many of them. I'm sure most of us could have supplied you with a list of parts that would provide similar performance & reliability for 1/2 of what you paid.

"I just did a test with the bios and the CPU was at 91C"

There's your problem. Apparently your friend installed the water cooling block incorrectly.


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#8
March 1, 2013 at 05:48:30
Well at the time this seemed like the best option. The 3730K was an alternative but I really wanted the 3930K, overclocking to 5Ghz seemed too good to pass up. As far as the graphic card, I found out I was forced to upgrade and the Quadro seemed like a good choice. The rest wasn't really my choice. I'm not sure why the cooling isn't working, it feels like it is when it's running, just by the feel of it. I also tried doing one ram at a time, that didn't solve anything, and now I have no idea how to put the other ram sticks back in because my motherboard is very picky.

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#9
March 1, 2013 at 06:19:42
✔ Best Answer
It's not the RAM. If the CPU temp is reaching 91C, the cooling block was installed incorrectly on the CPU, that's pretty much the only possibility. Either the thermal material was damaged, or your friend forgot to remove the protective film, or the block wasn't installed securely. That's why we always benchtest before final assembly in the case.

If the block is removed from the CPU, the thermal material MUST be replaced with paste. Do NOT attempt to reuse the old thermal material/pad.


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#10
March 1, 2013 at 06:27:39
My biggest worry, the only part I don't know how to do myself..

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#11
March 1, 2013 at 06:44:21
I would have done a lot of things differently. In fact, there are very few parts from your list I would have used & I definitely would not have gone the liquid cooling route, but that's just me. Have a look at this & notice the error this "expert" made during assembly (luckily he spotted it):

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/50...


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#12
March 1, 2013 at 07:25:24
With all that horsepower, that 1000 watt power supply may not be enough either. Your pushing a powerful chip, powerful video card, server level motherboard, plus an SSD, HDD, any DVD/CD Drives you have, plus your water cooler.

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#13
March 1, 2013 at 08:04:57
The video card description states "Maximum Power Consumption: 142W" so it's really not that huge of a draw. The only problem I see with the PSU is the multiple +12v rail design: +12V1@20A, +12V2@20A, +12V3@30A, +12V4@30A, but further in the description it says "12V Combined Output 900W (75A)". There may need to be some balancing required to make sure one +12v rail isn't overloaded while another sits idle.


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#14
March 1, 2013 at 08:18:27
Honestly a lot of people would have a lot of different components, that's for each person to argue and speculate on, for me with my friend helping me, this was the build that made the most sense for me. Unfortunately like I said my technical knowledge as far as hardware goes is limited, and I don't know much about what you're saying. The PSU parts especially I have no idea how to configure. All I know about the PSU is that I took one of the power cables that came with the card, it was a 6-pin connector, female I believe, which led into two male 3-4 pin connectors (3 pins showing, slots for 4). I connected each of those to a spare power cable that came with everything and connected it back to the PSU through a 6 pin connecter. At first I tried doing just 6 pin to 6 pin but thought maybe I should use the cable that came with the card. It made no noticeable difference.

At this point I'm pretty sure it is the heat-sink, however I have no idea how to remove it properly, have no paste other than what was put on, and would not trust myself with something like that anyway. It seems my computer is useless until I can get it to a certified technician.


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#15
March 1, 2013 at 11:28:42
It sounds like you used a power adapter for video card, something like this?

http://virtuapin.net/images/adapter...

It may have come with the card but it's only required if the PSU doesn't have 6-pin PCIe plugs. According to the link you posted, your PSU has "3 x 6-Pin PCI-E Connector" & "3 x 6+2-Pin PCI-E Connector" so the adapter is unnecessary.

Your problem is due to the improper installation of the water block. The 91C CPU temp & almost immediate shutdown confirms it.


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#16
March 1, 2013 at 11:41:57
Yeah that's what the adapter looks like. Does anyone have a step by step tutorial on removing the water cooling and paste and putting it back? Meanwhile I'll try to find some paste.

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#17
March 1, 2013 at 14:08:49
Radio Shack sells "heat sink grease" for about $4. It's as good as any.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...

Application instructions are in response #4. And you should have gotten installation instructions with the water cooling unit. If not, everything you need to know is at the Corsair website, including a video:

http://www.corsair.com/hydro-series...



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#18
March 1, 2013 at 21:16:03
Absolutely, 91C is way too high. Redo it correctly (as indicated above) and use the 6pin PCIe connector that is supplied with your power supply for your graphics card.
I also would have made different choices in hardware.
Without your friend, you will probably need quite a bit of advice to tame that beast, especially if you plan to overclock it to any reasonable degree and still keep it's temperatures under control. Water cooling will not ensure that by itself, in fact, it may be only marginally better than a good air cooler.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#19
March 7, 2013 at 21:25:57
I'm happy to say that my original friend helped me diagnose the problem and we now have a functioning computer!

The issue was the h60 was defective, so the CPU ended up having no cooling whatsoever. Replaced it with a beastly Phanteks PH TC14PE and stabilized at around 48-49 Celsius. Thankfully there was no CPU damage!


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#20
March 8, 2013 at 05:22:00
Great to hear. That is the main problem with liquid coolers, they may not have enough liquid in them (air bubble), or loose it completely so a quality air cooler is a set it and forget it (until it is time to clean the dust out) piece of hardware. Much better.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#21
March 8, 2013 at 05:24:10
Well that was the idea with this one, I don't know much about water cooler types but when my friend put it in, that was the plan.. just bad luck I guess. Anyway I'm thankful the CPU is still in tact considering that was a hefty investment.

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#22
March 8, 2013 at 13:45:18
That is what the thermal shut down was designed for, to protect the CPU which protects your investment and protects Intel from warranty replacements when the damage may have been caused by the builder or user.
Good Luck

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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