Just finished setting up my new system which comprises of:
Antec 300 case (2 large case fans which are pretty quiet)
Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPU
4 x 4Gb Crucial PC3-10600 RAM
2 x 1 Tb WD1002FAEX SATA III drives
2 x Pioneer DVD+-R DL writers
650W Corsair PSU
Sapphire Radeon HD6570 1Gb graphics card (to replace onboard graphics as I want to run 3 Samsung B2430H monitors)
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Microsoft Comfort Desktop 5000 (wireless keyboard and mouse)
Set up went well and everything worked first time.
I have now moved my old Creasive Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum PCI card into the box and found the rather shoddy drivers on Creative's website and am thinking of going back to the onboard sound with my 7.1 speakers.
Also added my old Hauppauge TV card - which seems to work much better now and also works well through Windows Media Center.
Having done all this I looked at the system rating by Microsoft and it pegs at 5.9 because the drives are the lowest value. (Graphics rate at 7.0 and CPU and memory at 7.5).
I just set up a barebones system for a customer and installed a WD SATA II drive on a SATA II interface and that also pegs at 5.9.
The question is why do SATA II and SATA III drives peg at the same value? How can I get more speed out of the SATA III drives without resorting to striped arrays?
I have enabled AHCI mode in the BIOS so it isn't stuck in IDE Mode.
Enabling AHCI Mode in Windows 7
I had the devil of a job to find out how to stop the system BSODing as a result - FWIW here is the simple solution:
Set the following registry value:
For some reason this is set to 3 at normal setup (even if you supply an AHCI driver during setup) which means AHCI is disabled. Setting it to 0 allows the system to install the drivers on the next boot. The process is as follows:
1) Set registry value
2) Reboot into BIOS and enable AHCI mode
3) Reboot into windows - allow the drivers to install
4) Reboot again.
If you miss booting into the BIOS it doesn't actually matter as the drives in WIndows simply stay in IDE mode - which begs the question why was it disabled in the first place?
The only other minor disappointment I have is that the stock AMD CPU cooler isn't exactly silent. It isn't bad but it is louder than I want - anyone know of a good AM3 coompatible silent CPU cooler that will keep a 6 core CPU nice and cool. (I don't want to splash out for water cooling!).