The doctor tackles Upgrades and Sidegrades, TV Tuners, Missing Boot Managers, and more
Is My CPU Melting?!
I’m still running a 32-bit Windows XP system, and am looking to upgrade it to Win 7. The computer has an AMD Phenom II X4 965 on a Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 motherboard that is 64-bit ready, according to Belarc Advisor. I want to go with 64-bit Windows 7, but am at a loss as to what will happen if I try and save all my 32-bit software when I upgrade. When I’m told to save the files I want to keep before transfer, I have to save them as 32-bit files. How do I transfer them to Win 7 as 64-bit? I don’t think that can be done, so do I lose all that and have and start over? Can they be run as 32-bit in a 64-bit system? April 8th is coming all too soon and I want to make the change by then, or soon after.
Note: This article was originally featured in the June 2014 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Too Much GPU, WiFi Upgrades, Disabling SkyDrive, and more
Question: From Integrated to Top-Shelf
After almost 30 years developing software on stock PCs I finally performed my first build from the pages of Maximum PC. I scoured your pages from many issues and planned a build during a long weekend and it’s been purring along for 18 months.
I have a Core i5-3570K on an Asus P8Z77.V board, with 16GB RAM, two 128GB SSDs, a 3TB backup drive, and 850W PSU in an NZXT Phantom 410 chassis. Now I’m thinking of adding a graphics card. I don’t do a lot with graphics and so I’ve managed with on-board, but I might do more. The 780 Ti sounds very cool. Will it work well in this system? Will overall performance improve? Apart from a Hyper 212 CPU cooler, I’m only using the Phantom’s stock fans… will I need more cooling?
The doctor tackles Too Much GPU, Wi-Fi Upgrades, Disabling SkyDrive, and more
From Integrated to Top-Shelf
After almost 30 years developing software on stock PCs, I finally performed my first build from the pages of Maximum PC. I scoured your pages from many issues and planned a build during a long weekend and it’s been purring along for 18 months.
The doctor tackles Surface Pro 2, Blu-ray Blues, Win 7 Downgrade, and more
High-res gaming: SLI or no?
I have a computer with a Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 GPU, and 8GB of RAM. I currently use a 28-inch 1920x1200 monitor. Can I upgrade to a 30-inch 2560x1600 monitor and maintain good frame rates in first-person shooters such as Battlefield 4? If not, would two GTX 760s in SLI solve this problem, or am I better off just getting a GeForce GTX 770 or 780? I would need a new motherboard in order to do SLI.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the April 2014 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Apple Ruining PCs, Eyefinity Gaming, CPU Upgrades, and more
Three-Headed Fan Header
I have an Antec Two Hundred case with a Gigabyte GA-P67X-UD3-B3 mobo. The case came with two fans (one 120mm and one 140mm) that exhaust out the back and top. This case can handle three more 120mm fans, two in the front and one on the side panel. I would like to fill these with three fans pulling air into the case, creating positive air pressure. This may be a noob question, but how do I connect these three fans to a single fan header on the mobo? How does the Maximum PC crew connect multiple fans in a case? Is my only choice to buy a fan controller or can this be accomplished without one?
Note: This feature was originally featured in the February2014 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles 255 C CPU?!, Surface Power Cables, 300TB Storage Volumes, and more
Is My CPU Melting?!
I have an AMD FX -8120 processor on an MSI 990FXA-GD65 motherboard with 16GB of Patriot RAM. Sometimes when my PC boots, Core Temp reports a CPU temperature of 255 C, which causes the CPU to throttle to 1.4GHz. When I reboot, it returns to normal. I've scoured the Internet, emailed with AMD and MSI, and have only tried one thing that made sense. I set the Windows power setting to High Performance, and set minimum CPU power to 100 percent, which should have set the CPU clock cycle to 3.1GHz.
Note: This article was originally featured in our January 2014 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Driver Overkill, Sidegrades Everywhere, Sidegrades Everywhere, and more
Nuke It from Orbit?
A while back, I was trying to update my graphics card drivers but was unable to update PhysX due to an error I kept receiving about already having the most recent version installed, despite my uninstalling it prior to running the update. After a search around the Internet, I found out that registry entries left behind by my original PhysX install were causing the error. I then read on the web several forum users advocating that whenever one wants to update their GPU drivers, they should go into safe mode, uninstall all of their driver-related programs, manually hunt for and delete remaining files, purge the registry of any references to GPU drivers, run CCleaner, and perform a variety of other tasks to nuke the old GPU drivers from orbit. Since that day I have been only using that method whenever installing new drivers. However, it's come to the point that it takes five to six hours to update my GPU drivers now, and my computer is unusable for that whole time. It's causing me to only update my GPU drivers every six months or so, and I would like to know if it's still necessary to go through all this. Is nuking my old drivers before putting in new ones really worth it? Or should I just update like normal?
Note: This article was originally featured in our Holiday 2013 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Big Coolers, Old Motherboards, IVB vs. SB-E, and more
In the August 2013 issue you indicate that using a third-party, aftermarket CPU cooler is a good idea. I have always had a concern about cooler and fan weight damaging the motherboard. I build in mid- or full-tower cases and it seems that having so much weight hanging from the motherboard risks damage. Is this a valid concern? I would probably use one of the Thermalright coolers designed for an AMD FX-series CPU.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Hot SLI Setups, Old games, 2.2TB Partition Limits, and more
2 Cards 2 Hot
I've got a solid gaming setup right now with a Core i5-750 at 3.2GHz on an Asus Maximus III Formula and 16GB of PNY Optima RAM. My problem is my two EVGA Superclocked GTX 550 Ti cards in SLI. Housed in a HAF922 chassis, I'm idling at 60 C and 40 C, and hitting 95 C and 80 C, respectively, under load, which is dangerously close to the 100 C maximum safe operating temperature. Ambient room temp isn't an issue, and the Core-i5 stays under 40 degrees. What would be the best option? I can go to a single GPU, though the 550s are super effective in gaming. I could get aftermarket cooling for the 550s. Or should I just get an even bigger tower?
Note: This feature was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.