Here is my hardware. All hardware was ordered from Newegg.
Total cost with shipping: $2,307.34
MB : MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
HD : Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
CPU : Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
Arctic Silver : Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
OS : Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
CASE : Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
PSU : Rosewill RX950-D-B ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91 950W Power Supply - Retail
RAM : G.SKILL 8GB(4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Quad Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5Q-8GBPQ - Retail
KB : Saitek PZ30AU Black USB Wired Standard Eclipse Keyboard - Retail
DVD : PLEXTOR 18X DVD±R Super Multi DVD Burner Black SATA Model PX-810SA/SW-BL - Retail
MONITOR : LG L226WTY-BF Black 22" 2ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
GRAPHICS : BFG Tech BFGR88768GTXOC2E GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
CPU Cooling : ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
After installing the OEM Vista that came with what I ordered, I read about the 4GB issue. Since I am using 4 x 2GB sticks of RAM, the OS would not install with all sticks present. Therefore, the OS was installed using only 1 stick (2GB) in Dimm Slot #1 -- the slot closest to the CPU.
In an effort to create a Vista DVD that had all of the hotfixes thus far already installed, I found that a user here had what I needed.
Downloaded the x64 Updates (v1.08; December 2007)from http://integrator.siginetsoftware.com/i ... dons&id=59
. I extracted the downloaded file, located the updates.
However, integration was beyond my level here. What made integration of the hotfixes a snap was vLite
. The version of vLite I used was 1.1 RC. I simply told vLite where all those x64 hotfixes were, and it took care of everything for me. vLite even created and burned a new DVD image of Vista x64 with all the hotfixes present.
Now, after burning that DVD, I rebooted my PC and instructed the BIOS to boot from the DVD first. The DVD booted fine, and I began my installation of Vista all over again. I didn't want to take any chances, and installed Vista this time with 2GB as before.
Vista installed fine, and I used Windows Update to make sure everything was up to date. I rebooted. Next, I went to nVidia's website, and downloaded both nForce and GeForce Drivers.
I had to disable DEP in order to get the nVidia updates to install. DEP was killing setup.exe before it had a chance to install. A quick Google search for how to disable DEP showed me how to remove it. I had to reboot for it to take effect.
Now, I could install the latest nVidia (nForce and GeForce) drivers. All this went without a hitch (remember I'm still using 2GB Ram here), and I rebooted.
Now, all of my drivers have been updated; Windows update is satisfied, and now I was ready to install the rest of my ram. I shut down my PC, made sure all LEDs were off, and then put in the rest of my RAM.
Motherboard Bios Version : 1.4
After installing 8GB of RAM, the computer rebooted fine. BIOS Post indicated that all RAM was present (8192). However, Vista did not get beyond the scrolling bars on the inital loading screen. Vista froze up. ARGH! Ok, so I powered off my machine, and removed a stick of ram from DIMM slot #4 -- the slot furthest away from the CPU.
Now I rebooted with 6GB (6144) of ram, and Windows loaded. Everything seems fine.
Dimm slot 4? or Bad stick of Ram? Well, I have been rotating the sticks of RAM, and all ram appears fine!
Now, I'm experimenting with DIMM Slot 4. In other words, I know that DIMM slots 1,2,3 are working with any combination of ram. So now I need to try out 1,2,4 to isolate that particular DIMM slot. However, I still need to experiment with Bios Updates, and perhaps more Vista Updates.
I'll keep everyone posted.