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In need of more cache

27.10.2018 | Computing/Hardware

When you first have started spending, you know. You might as well go on on a spree. I have for come to look at a new Ryzen CPU. It amounts to 3.5 ghz per core and 18mb of cache. The cache is enormous. My Intel Q9300 Quad core can only deliver 6mb. But before I almost pressed buy, I found this gem from the past. Intel Q9650 - it has four cores. Each with 3ghz. It has 12mb cache. That is much. It can fit my current motherboard. And, and this it where I almost couldn't believe what I saw, it can be bought used for circa 300kr (including shipping). That is merely 45 us dollars. So I ordered. About two weeks later this showed up

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650

To be honest I didn't know what to expect. Maybe a broken CPU that for the price I didn't bother return.

The installation went quite smoothly, after I have gotten a new PC case, I have so much room when tinkering with the inside of the PC. I don't know why Intel decided to design the fan mount as they did. With a relatively big heat sink it can be troublesome to get the fingers positioned to press down those odd plastic mounting screws. And when you finally succeed to press down the screw, you know it will split in the bottom end, and you have to redo it. But I had it done in not that many attempts.

The CPU in place, the fan connected. And now with the power turned on. My screen appeared as it used to do. First I booted Linux Mint. Linux, as is my understanding, can't be bothered with new hardware. I did cpuinfo in linux and it just showed the new cpu. No new hardware alert. No nothing.

Windows 10, however, was another story. When reaching the boot screen nothing more happened. It just froze. I thought I might as well reinstall the thing. So I formatted the Windows drive with Gparted, made an USB stick and booted from that. And the boot screen just froze. Frantically searching the web I found that the USB stick might have been created the wrong way. I tried some Windows USB creator for Linux. And the boot screen just froze. OK. Microsoft recommended using the generic Windows boot creator, it should function better. This can't be used on Linux. I had my neighbor trying twice to download the installation using her Windows 10 laptop. Bot both times ended with an error. I then removed half of my hardware (this was recommended by Microsoft). That included half of my RAM. And the boot screen just froze. I then installed an old version of Windows Vista I have lying around, this takes time with 4gb RAM. In Vista I tried to download the generic image from Microsoft to create the USB stick. But this image can't be downloaded from anything older than Windows 7. At this point I wasn't very happy with Microsoft. I got the ÍSO file onto the USB stick using Rufus. And the boot screen just froze. I let the computer stay turned on for the whole night only to wake up to a frozen boot screen. And then I finally updated my Bios. And the boot screen didn't just freeze. The computer entered the install guide. Man I almost collapsed.

After installing Windows, I installed the removed hardware. This included an USB 3.0 controller with my sound card connected to it. In Windows I downloaded and ran the driver for the sound card. But Windows being Windows tried to configure the hardware in the background hindering the sound card driver. I could not close the process using ctrl+alt+delete, so instead I shut down the computer. This I could not, Windows being Windows still blocked the drivers. I hit the power button. And Windows could not boot anymore. This reminded me of problems you would have installing Windows 95. I reinstalled Windows twice, each time, when the installation was finished, an error occurred during boot. I looked up the error code, Microsoft recommended removing half of my hardware, so I did. And finally again I got Windows installed. This time I tried to install the sound card but did not power off the computer. I just left the installer and went for band practice. When I got home my computer was running Linux (this is the first choice of the grub boot loader), and I knew that Windows had messed up. In order to install the sound card do this: disconnect the card. That will stop Windows using all its power trying to configure the card. And finally, finally, finally I had Windows running.

Of course you learn from these experiences. But it can be difficult to figure what the problem is when you are dealing with new used hardware. The CPU drives like a locomotive. I have read that CPU's are very hardy. I'm very glad with my acquisition. And now if I can just find 16gb cheap DDR2 ram, I have a quite nice computer.

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