i7 it is, and SandyBridge to boot

So, I’ve decided to build a new computer! It’s been a while – now some five years since the last new one which has a Pentium D 3.4GHz CPU. The new beast’s parts that I already have are:

Case Corsair Graphite CC600TWM-WHT
PSU Seasonic XPseries 1000W 80PLUS PLATINUM SS-1000XP
Motherboard Asus LGA2011 P9X79 PRO
CPU Intel Core i7 3930K 3.3GHz SandyBridge-E BX80619I73930K
CPU Cooler Corsair CWCH100 Hydro (or H100i)
RAM Corsair PC3-15000 (DDR3-1866) 32GB (8GBx4) CMZ32GX3M4X1866C10R
Video card Asus NVIDIA GTX670-DC2-4GD5 (PCI-Express 3.0)
Boot SSD OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 120GB (I might add a Samsung 840 Series later)
Optical drive LG BH16NS48/BOX
OS Linux Mint 14 Nadia MATE 64 bit
Storage I have many SATA HDD and NAS so no worries there
Display I have three FlexScan S240W displays connected and working at 5760 x 1200 resolution. Two are on DVI, one on HDMI.

Having put all the hardware together and connected the SSD I removed from another box with LM14, it actually booted up – for a while. It then decided something was amiss and looped at the login screen – even a fresh Linux Mint 14 MATE on a USB did the same… So I Googled the question and the Linux Mint forum came up with this excellent suggestion from “Commando” under Linux Mint 14.1 Login Loop that “just worked”!

  1. At the login screen, press Ctrl + Alt + F1
  2. Log in from the terminal
  3. Once logged in, type the following in the shell, “sudo apt-get install nvidia-current” Note, you must have network access to download the latest drivers
  4. Once done, type “sudo reboot
    (All without “”)

Another thing was that the CPU cooling fans also needed a different setup because they ran at full speed the whole time and the noise was not acceptable. Instead of relying on the Corsair H100 to regulate the fan speed (not available under Linux) I swapped out the rear case fan and the two H100 fans and connected three KAZE-JYUNI PWM SY1225SL12LM-P to a MB PWM fan header that now controls them. There’s a forum article on that here.
That fixed the noise and all is great now. I also installed gkrellm system monitor to see what the temperatures were like – the cores individually hardly ever go over 40°C and the GPU was a cool 35°C. Oh, and I set the H100 to have three segments lit so it pumps at max all the time, but does it quietly.
Update: March 1, 2013

And to crown it all I have three FlexScan S240W displays connected and working at combined 5760 x 1200 resolution. Two are on DVI, one on HDMI. There are some triple screen wallpapers out there. More in HD would be welcome!


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6 Responses to i7 it is, and SandyBridge to boot

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