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Thread: My Dual Harper - Asus Z7S WS living review *56K warning*

  1. #1751
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    I say X7DWA-N if you can get it. I have my trusty X7DAL-E still running 24/7.. but its being sold to roomie 'cause his system sucks lol.

    All along the watchtower the watchmen watch the eternal return.

  2. #1752
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    My 3rd (and final) Z7S-WS finally died, not even a post beep, got some final mix of strange codes, and the MB still throws missing ram codes if you take them out, so it's dead. The build lasted for many years and while it was functional was the fastest computer I've ever worked with (at home), thanks J-cool and Stevil, Movieman and the rest of you maniacs for the help and direction, I'm thinking of a super-fast Ivy Bridge with at least a 7990. ASUS should have issued refunds instead of faulty board replacements. The supermicro is almost in my cart as a replacement for the Z7S....

  3. #1753
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    About the only positive outcome of the whole ordeal is that the guy responsible for the issue doesnt work at Asus anymore..

    All along the watchtower the watchmen watch the eternal return.

  4. #1754
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    0501 Bios

    Hello,

    I am still here with my faithful Z7S after four years. Overclocked, underclocked, still going strong.

    I've seen comments on here about the 0501 bios but cannot find it anywhere, PLEASE if someone still has it, can they repost a link or send me so I can host the file. I need the Intel VT-x support.

    Many thanks
    My Workstation:

    Asus Z7S Motherboard
    2 x Intel L5420 Xeon 2.5Ghz - Overclocked to 3.3GHz, currently underclocked to 2.0GHz
    2 x Kingston 800MHz 4GB FB-DIMMs
    Microsoft 7 64-bit, Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit
    1 x Adaptec 2405 Hardware RAID Controller 128MB RAM, 800MHz Dual core processor
    2 x OCZ Core 60GB SSDs in RAID 0 - 280MB/s Sequential Read with 0.2MS access times!!!
    1 x WD Caviar Green 1TB
    1 x XFX Radeon HD 6950
    1 x XFX Radeon HD 5450
    1 x Benq G2400WD 24" Widescreen TFT
    Watercooling System for CPUs and Northbridge
    1 x Antec TruePower Trio 650w Power Supply
    Thermaltake Armor Case with Optional Side Fan

    Total System PassMark PerformanceTest Score v6.1 - 5007.9 @ 3.08GHz

  5. #1755
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    Sent you a PM... sorry it took so long.
    I guess the reason why yours is still alive is the usage of L CPUs. They draw less power, thus straining the crappy voltage regulation less, thus not killing the board (as fast).
    World Community Grid - come join a great team and help us fight for a better tomorrow![size=1]


  6. #1756
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    Thanks for the PM. Asus also sent me the 0501 BIOS and I compared it against yours, it's identical, but unfortunately doesn't fix the VT-x bug. I'm considering buying another motherboard just for the virtualisation support. I've seen several HP and Dell workstation boards on eBay that should be compatible - the downside is I would lose the control of the CPU performance. I had a HP workstation a few years back and their BIOS support for overclocking/underclocking is roughly zero.

    The L-series Xeons were for me a natural choice, I didn't want to blow my electricity bill through the roof with the effective consumption of two computers in one. Even four years later, I don't see any Intel solution that gives 8 physical cores for 100 watts of electricity, and even less when underclocked...
    My Workstation:

    Asus Z7S Motherboard
    2 x Intel L5420 Xeon 2.5Ghz - Overclocked to 3.3GHz, currently underclocked to 2.0GHz
    2 x Kingston 800MHz 4GB FB-DIMMs
    Microsoft 7 64-bit, Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit
    1 x Adaptec 2405 Hardware RAID Controller 128MB RAM, 800MHz Dual core processor
    2 x OCZ Core 60GB SSDs in RAID 0 - 280MB/s Sequential Read with 0.2MS access times!!!
    1 x WD Caviar Green 1TB
    1 x XFX Radeon HD 6950
    1 x XFX Radeon HD 5450
    1 x Benq G2400WD 24" Widescreen TFT
    Watercooling System for CPUs and Northbridge
    1 x Antec TruePower Trio 650w Power Supply
    Thermaltake Armor Case with Optional Side Fan

    Total System PassMark PerformanceTest Score v6.1 - 5007.9 @ 3.08GHz

  7. #1757
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    Mine's still chugging along 4 years later with X-series CPUs. I do get this annoying thing however where the PC goes to sleep and then for some reason wakes up but doesn't fully wake up. Power light comes on, fans spin, keyboard lights up, but no video, mouse doesn't power on, and completely unresponsive. Have to reset. I've had that problem for a year or two now.

  8. #1758
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewhemm View Post
    The L-series Xeons were for me a natural choice, I didn't want to blow my electricity bill through the roof with the effective consumption of two computers in one. Even four years later, I don't see any Intel solution that gives 8 physical cores for 100 watts of electricity, and even less when underclocked...
    Oh, but there are... Dual L5630 for example. http://ark.intel.com/products/47927
    4 Cores, 8 Threads, 40W TDP I have one of those too (running alone tho). Or even the L5640 which is a 60W Hex
    World Community Grid - come join a great team and help us fight for a better tomorrow![size=1]


  9. #1759
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    Mmm..L5640. Soon...
    Member of XS WCG since 2006-11-25




  10. #1760
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcool View Post
    Oh, but there are... Dual L5630 for example. http://ark.intel.com/products/47927
    4 Cores, 8 Threads, 40W TDP I have one of those too (running alone tho). Or even the L5640 which is a 60W Hex
    i have some of them L5630's

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  11. #1761
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    Update on my Z7S-WS:

    Tried to wake it from sleep today, and panic ensued. Fans spin up, but then I hear a faint click from somewhere that should never click, and the system is unresponsive, black screen. Think to myself, "well, I've been stupidly lucky with this machine, but the inevitable has finally happened." Dollar signs start spinning in my head.

    Unwilling to just accept the inevitable, I start removing components one by one in hopes that it's not actually the voltage regulators on the mobo that have failed, but a bad component. Get it down to just the PSU, mobo and CPUs, but the diag card is still showing the dreaded "FF" and no signs of life from the machine.

    Remove the 2nd CPU, FF. Remove the 1st CPU, and the machine turns itself off immediately after powering on. Apparently needs a CPU (duh). Test the PSU under load with a multimeter, seems fine.

    Remove the heatsink from the voltage regulators to see which one has burnt itself to a crisp, but see no damage nor smell any smoke. Hmm... Actually kind of disappointed. I wanted to confirm with my eyeballs that the mobo had indeed converted itself to a toaster so I could bin it without any doubts. Scan the entire board, no scorching to be found. A bit frustrating.

    Go for the old, "well maybe if I put it back together after having taken it all apart, it will just work."

    Start putting things back in one by one. Put a CPU back in the 1st socket, but without a heatsink or fan. Turn it on, card still shows FF. Immediate dead end, I think. But I hear a very faint and steady ticking noise coming from the voltage regulators. Could not hear it earlier probably because of the fans. A little bit more satisfied, as I'm pretty sure a properly functioning voltage regulator does not tick. At least now I'm pretty sure it's toast, even if it didn't do any fireworks.

    But still, I have not ruled out every possibility. One of the CPUs might have gone bad. Need to swap them, etc.

    So I install the CPUs in reverse order from where they were originally. No go. Try each one separately in the 1st socket (socket 0), FF both times. Then, on a whim, because I'm sure it won't work, I put a CPU in only the 2nd socket. Surely you must have a CPU in the first socket in order to boot the PC... Wrong! Diag card goes through all its steps and shows 00, which means it's handed off to the OS. Moreover, I hear no more ticking from the voltage regulators.

    Overly optimistic, I put PC entirely back together, this time with only a CPU in the 2nd socket. Cross fingers, press power button, and well, I'm on the thing right now typing this. Was surprised the mobo would boot with only a CPU in the 2nd socket and nothing in the first, but what a pleasant surprise. Back up and running without having to spend any money. Sure, I'm down a processor, but oh well. Still have a quad-core Xeon working for me.

    What, me, lucky?

    Anyone else try booting their dead Z7S off only the 2nd CPU?



    Also, anyone wanting to get rid of their DSEB-DG? I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the regulators for the 2nd CPU eat it.

  12. #1762
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    you had a cpu without a heatsink in the socket and fired up the hole thing with your ear over the vrms (and your head in close proximity to the cpu)? thats brave man!

    anyways, nice read. thanks. i almost forgot about my z7s...
    Mainboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
    CPU: Intel Core-i7 3930K@4.8GHz
    Mem: 4x 4GB Corsair Dominator GT DDR3-2000@2133 9-11-10-27 1T
    Graphics: ASUS EAH6970@905MHz/1450MHz
    Storage: Adaptec 5805 + 6x Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 3TB RAID-6
    Storage: OCZ RevoDrive3 x2 480GB
    Display: Dell U3011 + Dell 2007FPb
    Case: LianLi PC-73SL
    PSU: Seasonic SS-1000XP

  13. #1763
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    yeah i would have put the heatsink but left the fan unplugged!
    Main: i7-930 @ 2.8GHz HT on; 1x GIGABYTE GTX 660 Ti OC 100% GPUGrid
    2nd: i7-920 @ 2.66GHz HT off; 1x EVGA GTX 650 Ti SSC 100% GPUGrid
    3rd: i7-3770k @ 3.6GHz HT on, 3 threads GPUGrid CPU; 2x GIGABYTE GTX 660 Ti OC 100% GPUGrid
    Part-time: FX-4100 @ 3.6GHz, 2 threads GPUGrid CPU; 1x EVGA GTX 650 100% GPUGrid

  14. #1764
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    It was fine. Only had it on for a few seconds to see if it would POST.

    In other news, I've modded the 0401 BIOS to include Intel's latest version of the ESB2 OROM, not that anyone cares. Pulled it from Intel's Skulltrail BIOS. Trying to get an SSD to work properly but don't have very high hopes. Sometimes it's recognized, most times it isn't. Might move it to the eSATA JMicron controller instead to see if it does any better there.

  15. #1765
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    Hey guys, one more update. I'm building a new SFF PC to replace my handicapped Z7S and will be parting out the working bits of the Z7S machine. I'll be putting most of it on eBay, but there is one thing that I think might be a bit too "extreme" to gain any interest on eBay.

    You may or may not recall that back in 2009 I bought some Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMMs from Movieman for this machine. Well, the FB-DIMMs did not last. Each and every one of them died. Kingston replaced one set under warranty, but when it was time to send back the other set, they had none to offer in replacement so they gave me a refund. When my last set died, rather than sending them back to Kingston I kept them and scavenged the excellent heatsinks on them to use on some other RAM.

    Right now the Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMM heatsinks are on 2x 4GB sticks of Kingston KTA-MP800K2/8G FB-DIMM RAM. They are working very well--I don't think there was ever a better heatsink solution for FB-DIMM RAM available.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested in either the heatsinks or the RAM + heatsinks, shoot me a PM with an offer. Unfortunately I only have two of the heatsinks available since Kingston kept the others. I begged them to send the non-working RAM back just so I could have the heatsinks but they would not do it.

    BTW in case you are unfamiliar with the Hyper-X FB-DIMM heatsink, this is what it looks like:



    Heatpipes are in contact with the raised section for the AMB chip, which is the part that generates the insane amount of heat.

    This is the RAM the heatsinks are currently installed on: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820134659
    Last edited by Syndil; 12-21-2012 at 01:46 PM.

  16. #1766
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    Question

    Hi all,

    Can someone here please confirm whether this board despite the latest BIOS (0401 or 0501) still doesn't allow changing the RAM timings from within the BIOS? I'm just trying to figure out if there's any point using Kingston HyperX's that do 4-4-4-12 at 800MHz Vs the 5-5-5-15 plain vanilla PC2-6400 FB-DIMM RAM out there?

    Thanks.
    + Asus Maximus Formula II (Bios 2202)
    + Intel Xeon X3370 @ 4.04GHz 1.288V (475x8.5) VID 1.250
    + 4GB Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 DDR2 @ 1199MHz 5-5-5-18-2-30 @ 2.15V
    + BFG Tech 9800GTX+ OC @ 760/1890/2250
    + 4x150GB Raptor X in RAID0 via Adaptec 2405 SAS/SATA
    + Samsung SH-203B
    + Chieftec CFT-850-14C
    + Thermalright 120 Ultra Extreme 2000rpm
    + Windows XP Professional x64
    + Samsung 275T

    Laptop Memory UK

  17. #1767
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    say what? might have to try this. this friggin' board.... nice discovery!
    Crunching to Crush Cancer
    Somebody, Stop Me!



  18. #1768
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    Scott sighting!

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  19. #1769
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFORCE100 View Post
    Hi all,

    Can someone here please confirm whether this board despite the latest BIOS (0401 or 0501) still doesn't allow changing the RAM timings from within the BIOS? I'm just trying to figure out if there's any point using Kingston HyperX's that do 4-4-4-12 at 800MHz Vs the 5-5-5-15 plain vanilla PC2-6400 FB-DIMM RAM out there?

    Thanks.
    I haven't played with 0501 but I don't believe it adds anything to do with RAM timing.

    I can tell you however that if you use the Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMMs, they will die. At one point I had 4 sticks in my machine--all are now dead. So if you do buy Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMMs, buy them from some place that sells them as new and gives you a receipt. Kingston will only refund the original purchaser of the RAM. They no longer have spare sticks for replacement.

    Right now I am using 2x 4GB sticks of Kingston's KTA-MP800K2/8G, and I have put Hyper-X heatsinks on them for improved cooling. Works great.

    Honestly I wouldn't spend too much--scratch that, any money on a Z7S build, because, well, read this thread.

  20. #1770
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    I haven't played with 0501 but I don't believe it adds anything to do with RAM timing.

    I can tell you however that if you use the Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMMs, they will die. At one point I had 4 sticks in my machine--all are now dead. So if you do buy Kingston Hyper-X FB-DIMMs, buy them from some place that sells them as new and gives you a receipt. Kingston will only refund the original purchaser of the RAM. They no longer have spare sticks for replacement.

    Right now I am using 2x 4GB sticks of Kingston's KTA-MP800K2/8G, and I have put Hyper-X heatsinks on them for improved cooling. Works great.

    Honestly I wouldn't spend too much--scratch that, any money on a Z7S build, because, well, read this thread.
    Thanks for replying.

    Yes, I hear these Elpida IC's in the HyperX FB-DIMM's are the culprits. I do have four of them but was thinking I could use their heatsinks on other FB-DIMM's. The only issue being I see that their notches are somewhat different to other FB-DIMM's so while I can take them off the HyperX's my thought process suggests I'll have some difficulties attaching them tightly to other FB-DIMM's. I could use some thermal epoxy but then that might be messy. Still thinking about it.

    As for the Z7S VRM. I've read a lot about it and it seems using L series CPU's (i.e. L5410, L5420, L5430) is a way to go. Whether it's a design issue that could still stand but temperature to me seems to be the #1 reason for why it burns up. I could be wrong but there's no fire without first high temperature hence my logic. The thermal putty Asus uses is poor as are the plastic pegs that hold the VRM heatsink in place. If I do install the board I would first redo all that and go for a metal bolt-thru + washer approach, perhaps even think about getting a custom copper shim under there too and artic silver 5 thermal paste.

    Any reason you settled on using only two DIMM's? Are you happy with sacrificing the extra memory bandwidth from employing the full quad channel architecture?
    + Asus Maximus Formula II (Bios 2202)
    + Intel Xeon X3370 @ 4.04GHz 1.288V (475x8.5) VID 1.250
    + 4GB Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 DDR2 @ 1199MHz 5-5-5-18-2-30 @ 2.15V
    + BFG Tech 9800GTX+ OC @ 760/1890/2250
    + 4x150GB Raptor X in RAID0 via Adaptec 2405 SAS/SATA
    + Samsung SH-203B
    + Chieftec CFT-850-14C
    + Thermalright 120 Ultra Extreme 2000rpm
    + Windows XP Professional x64
    + Samsung 275T

    Laptop Memory UK

  21. #1771
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    I didn't have any problems putting the heatsinks on different RAM, but I did use Kingston RAM, so that might have something to do with it. I didn't try any other RAM to see if it would fit.

    The reason I am only running two sticks now is because I only had two Hyper-X heatsinks available. I had tried modding some regular RAM heatsinks to fit FB-DIMMs in the past, and it failed miserably. Temps would regularly top 100 C. Since I refuse to have a machine that sounds like a turbine, that's when I went to the Hyper-X RAM, until it died. Temps were fine with the Hyper-X, and they're fine using the Hyper-X heatsinks on the Kingston RAM I am using now. If I had two more Hyper-X heatsinks I might run two more sticks as long as the temps stayed reasonable. But without them there is little chance of that.

    Anyway once I am done building my SFF PC replacement, if you want the 2x 4GB sticks of Kingston KTA-MP800K2/8G FB-DIMM RAM with Hyper-X heatsinks on them, let me know. The SFF build is taking more time than I had planned, as I am having to shorten just about every cable I put in it.

  22. #1772
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    A fan is much more effective than ramsinks.

    All along the watchtower the watchmen watch the eternal return.

  23. #1773
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    Yes, but I am a fan of silent cooling. I'll take good enough but quiet over more effective but noisy any day.

  24. #1774
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    I didn't have any problems putting the heatsinks on different RAM, but I did use Kingston RAM, so that might have something to do with it. I didn't try any other RAM to see if it would fit.

    The reason I am only running two sticks now is because I only had two Hyper-X heatsinks available. I had tried modding some regular RAM heatsinks to fit FB-DIMMs in the past, and it failed miserably. Temps would regularly top 100 C. Since I refuse to have a machine that sounds like a turbine, that's when I went to the Hyper-X RAM, until it died. Temps were fine with the Hyper-X, and they're fine using the Hyper-X heatsinks on the Kingston RAM I am using now. If I had two more Hyper-X heatsinks I might run two more sticks as long as the temps stayed reasonable. But without them there is little chance of that.

    Anyway once I am done building my SFF PC replacement, if you want the 2x 4GB sticks of Kingston KTA-MP800K2/8G FB-DIMM RAM with Hyper-X heatsinks on them, let me know. The SFF build is taking more time than I had planned, as I am having to shorten just about every cable I put in it.
    Thanks for your offer though I already also have 8GB of Micron PC2-6400 FB-DIMM's for quad channel mode. I have a OCZ XTC memory dual fan cooler that's quiet should I decide to leave the HyperX heatsinks as-is (i.e. not transfer them over to the Micron's).

    If it's not a bother may I ask what CPU's you've been running your Kingston PC2-6400 RAM with? I hear this board is quirky with 400MHz (1600MHz effective) FSB CPU's and was just wondering whether you were running PC2-6400 RAM at 800MHz with 1333MHz or 1600MHz FSB CPU's?

    Thanks again.
    + Asus Maximus Formula II (Bios 2202)
    + Intel Xeon X3370 @ 4.04GHz 1.288V (475x8.5) VID 1.250
    + 4GB Kingston HyperX PC2-9600 DDR2 @ 1199MHz 5-5-5-18-2-30 @ 2.15V
    + BFG Tech 9800GTX+ OC @ 760/1890/2250
    + 4x150GB Raptor X in RAID0 via Adaptec 2405 SAS/SATA
    + Samsung SH-203B
    + Chieftec CFT-850-14C
    + Thermalright 120 Ultra Extreme 2000rpm
    + Windows XP Professional x64
    + Samsung 275T

    Laptop Memory UK

  25. #1775
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Yes, but I am a fan of silent cooling. I'll take good enough but quiet over more effective but noisy any day.
    More effective in this case means it does something other than insulate the ram. Ramsinks are generally worse than nothing..

    All along the watchtower the watchmen watch the eternal return.

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