Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

Build successful!*

* No real setbacks to speak of. My first boot notified me that one of the fans on the CPU cooler wasn't running, so I seated the connection a little better and everything was good to go. Installed a second intake fan and the video card after that with no issues. To say that I took my time would be a massive understatement, and an embarrassing amount of that time was spent figuring out what the heck three identical short cables were supposed to attach to... which turned out to be the way to hook my fans into the integrated fan control. Because it was my first build, I followed build order directions a bit slavishly, which led to some awkwardness (like needing to detach a fan from the CPU cooler to install RAM and having to contort my hand in order to place the top corner motherboard screw), compounded with a few false starts (like thinking I needed to detach the lower set of drive bays in order to install the second intake fan until halfway through I learned that I could just pop everything out the front). I did indeed end up with an excess of cables and screws, so thanks for talking me through that minor panic the other night.

The only thing preventing me from writing this post from the new computer is that I totally spaced out and was so focused on the hardware aspect that I forgot to get a copy of Windows 7 ready; I believed I had a disc, but I don't, so I'm working on downloading an official ISO -- getting the OS installed is just a matter of time, hopefully. Once I'm absolutely certain that everything is good to go, I'll apply a few cable ties and close her up.

Thanks so much for all the guidance! With your help I have accomplished a goal that I've had since high school.

Nice!

I blew out my PC innards out this morning. Having a little air compressor blower thing is awesome. I feel clean now.

Awesome, Cyranix. I'm glad it worked out.

Cyranix wrote:

Okay, so I'm going to attempt my actual build this weekend. In a moment of panic due to lack of experience, I am suddenly concerned that I might be lacking in cables. I know that my video card, power supply, and coolers came with cables. My hard drives did not, but my motherboard included two SATA 6Gbps cables. I should be good, right? Any last-minute tips before I start to dive in?

Your motherboard should come with two SATA cables--one for each disk drive. Depending on your case, these may end up being too short. You'll need an additional cable for the DVD drive as well. It's pretty much impossible to use the wrong cable for something these days. Everything is polarized with different connectors for different uses. If the cable plugs into the thing it's probably the right cable for that thing. For general advice:

TAKE YOUR TIME. The single greatest cause of bad stuff is getting frustrated or trying to hurry. I've been building PCs for ages and I built my last one over the span of two evenings after the kids went to bed. Don't plan on it being ready for gaming before the weekend is out. You'll thank yourself later.

Find a reasonably large hard surface to work on. You'll have a lot of small stuff and it's no fun losing things in the carpet.

First, you'll want to get the standoffs in the proper location in your case for your motherboard. Without installing anything in the motherboard, put it in the case and note where the screw holes in the motherboard are. Take the motherboard back out and install a standoff for every hole in the motherboard. Then re-insesrt the motherboard and make sure all the standoffs are in the right location and you didn't miss any or install any extra ones. Rinse, repeat until correct, then take the motherboard back out and set it aside.

At this point I like to figure out how I'm going to route cables and get everything else installed in the case. Install the PSU first, then the disk and DVD drives. Route power cables as needed, ideally behind the mounting surface for the motherboard or via any other provided path that won't put them above the motherboard. Secure everything with zip ties.

Now back to the motherboard. Get out your CPU cooler and check out how it will mount. If there are any brackets that need to be attached to mount the cooler, do that now. Make sure all the brackets are snug but not over-tight.

You should be ready to install the CPU. Figure out how it's oriented (there's a little arrow or notch in one corner that matches the mounting point in the motherboard). Place it in carefully. No force should be needed. Maybe wiggle it a tiny bit to make sure it's in right. The pins on the back of the CPU are really really thin and bend easily so you don't want to force anything. If it doesn't sit right, take it back out and look again.

Clamp down the CPU lever, then follow the directions for attaching your CPU cooler. If you're lucky, it came with thermal paste. If not, you may need to buy some. The job of the paste is to fill in all the microscopic imperfections in the surfaces that are being pressed together so you want an even cover but it shouldn't squirt out the sides when the cooler is mounted. If it does squirt out and it's more than can be cleaned up completely with a Q-tip or twisted piece of paper towel, take the cooler back off and clean up carefully with a paper towel, then try again.

You can either insert the memory now or later. I usually wait until the motherboard is in the case, but depending on the case, inserting once the motherboard is in the case may be a pain.

Insert the motherboard in the case, screwing down to all the standoffs you installed earlier. Again, snug but not overnight. Then install the memory if you haven't already.

Now for the fun part. Your case has a bundle of wires with tiny little plugs that will attach to a bank of pins somewhere on the motherboard. These are for the power switch, reset switch, etc. As usual, white is ground. Figure out what attaches to what and plug it all in. This is the most annoying part of the whole install. Don't plug anything else into the motherboard yet.

If your motherboard has a video out, you're ready for a test. Plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and turn it on. Make sure it posts, go into the CMOS config and make sure that it says you have as much memory installed as you think you do, etc. If everything looks good, congratulations! You've just built a PC.

If your motherboard doesn't have a video out, you'll have to install the video card card now. Do that and don't forget the power cord to the card. Then continue with the step above.

Now plug in your drives. When finished, you should have the computer completely done, so plug it back in, turn it on, and go into CMOS. Change any settings as necessary. In particular, you may have to change something regarding the disk drives. Boot order, drive type, etc.

Reboot and install Windows. Note that I never said to close the case up. I like to have everything finished and working before I close the case because if I close it early it's guaranteed that something will require me to open it again. Once the Windows install is done and you can log in, you're officially done. Tidy up any remaining cable issues with zip ties, close it up and stick it under your desk.

Nice work Cyranix!

My computer is still turning off on me. Already emailed Seasonic but I want to try one last thing and reformat. Maybe it's just a driver error.

TempestBlayze wrote:

My computer is still turning off on me. Already emailed Seasonic but I want to try one last thing and reformat. Maybe it's just a driver error.

I missed where you stated that issue. What's the deal?

Remember when I said "Installing the OS will be a matter of time"? Apparently that utterance counted as sufficient hubris for the gods to be angered.

I tried multiple times to get Windows 7 ISO as bootable USB and was met with corrupt downloads until I used a download manager; once I had successfully downloaded a good copy and created the bootable USB thumb drive (using both xcopy and the Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool on separate thumb drives), the next issue is that the Windows installer believes that it's missing drivers for the optical drive (which it doesn't need!). The purported solution is to cancel installation back to the welcome screen, plug the thumb drive into a different USB port (seriously), and try again... but that doesn't fix it for me. And Windows 7 discs are still selling in stores for over $200 despite the lower price of Windows 8.

I even looked into getting Fedora installed first, but it seems that USB installation isn't possible under UEFI. Now I'm back from buying blank DVDs (I hate optical media) and am attempting to use the Windows installer burned onto disc while I download the full Fedora install ISO. Bleh.

EDIT: Still getting "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing" even though it's reading the install DVD to tell me that.

Cyranix wrote:

Remember when I said "Installing the OS will be a matter of time"? Apparently that utterance counted as sufficient hubris for the gods to be angered.

I tried multiple times to get Windows 7 ISO as bootable USB and was met with corrupt downloads until I used a download manager; once I had successfully downloaded a good copy and created the bootable USB thumb drive (using both xcopy and the Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool on separate thumb drives), the next issue is that the Windows installer believes that it's missing drivers for the optical drive (which it doesn't need!). The purported solution is to cancel installation back to the welcome screen, plug the thumb drive into a different USB port (seriously), and try again... but that doesn't fix it for me. And Windows 7 discs are still selling in stores for over $200 despite the lower price of Windows 8.

I even looked into getting Fedora installed first, but it seems that USB installation isn't possible under UEFI. Now I'm back from buying blank DVDs (I hate optical media) and am attempting to use the Windows installer burned onto disc while I download the full Fedora install ISO. Bleh.

EDIT: Still getting "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing" even though it's reading the install DVD to tell me that. :evil:

I've done USB installs under UEFI with Windows 7. You can't use a USB 3.0 port though...just like if you use a Sata optical to install make sure it's under the native Intel Sata rather than an addon

My computer has been randomly turning off on me and its been a little annoying. It turns off when I surf the web, play games or do nothing at all. Turns off when I overclocking and don't. When it does turn off I can't start it back up for another minute or two.

CPU temps are fine when load and idle, video card temps are fine, checked RAM chips and reset the BIOS by removing the battery. I also made sure the PSU connections were secure.

It has not shut down yet when leave it on in the BIOS. That's why I have a feeling it may be drivers.

Probably the PSU though.

TempestBlayze wrote:

My computer has been randomly turning off on me and its been a little annoying. It turns off when I surf the web, play games or do nothing at all. Turns off when I overclocking and don't. When it does turn off I can't start it back up for another minute or two.

CPU temps are fine when load and idle, video card temps are fine, checked RAM chips and reset the BIOS by removing the battery. I also made sure the PSU connections were secure.

It has not shut down yet when leave it on in the BIOS. That's why I have a feeling it may be drivers.

Probably the PSU though.

If all your temps are good I would say it was definitely your PSU. I've never heard of a driver problem causing pc to power down.

TheGameguru wrote:
Cyranix wrote:

Remember when I said "Installing the OS will be a matter of time"? Apparently that utterance counted as sufficient hubris for the gods to be angered.

I tried multiple times to get Windows 7 ISO as bootable USB and was met with corrupt downloads until I used a download manager; once I had successfully downloaded a good copy and created the bootable USB thumb drive (using both xcopy and the Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool on separate thumb drives), the next issue is that the Windows installer believes that it's missing drivers for the optical drive (which it doesn't need!). The purported solution is to cancel installation back to the welcome screen, plug the thumb drive into a different USB port (seriously), and try again... but that doesn't fix it for me. And Windows 7 discs are still selling in stores for over $200 despite the lower price of Windows 8.

I even looked into getting Fedora installed first, but it seems that USB installation isn't possible under UEFI. Now I'm back from buying blank DVDs (I hate optical media) and am attempting to use the Windows installer burned onto disc while I download the full Fedora install ISO. Bleh.

EDIT: Still getting "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing" even though it's reading the install DVD to tell me that. :evil:

I've done USB installs under UEFI with Windows 7. You can't use a USB 3.0 port though...just like if you use a Sata optical to install make sure it's under the native Intel Sata rather than an addon

Still no luck, and my weekend is almost over. I haven't been using the USB3 ports, only the USB2 ones. I got the latest firmware on the mobo. My current computer has gotten a BSOD twice when trying to burn the Fedora ISO to a DVD. Everything I've selected for either Windows or Fedora has been x86_64. All DVDs have been written at the slowest speed supported. In the BIOS under "SATA Configuration" I see "AHCI" selected (with my other options being IDE, RAID, and Disabled). Boot order is DVD drive (listed as ATAPI) before SSD, and no issues when booting into USB thumb drives.

I'm really at the end of my rope here. It's so frustrating having built something I was really apprehensive of only to be stymied by what should be a straightforward OS install.

EDIT: FWIW, the output from attempting to run the Live CD of Fedora:

[ OK ] Started Show Plymouth Boot Screen.
[ OK ] Reached target Basic System.
dracut-initqueue[261]: mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/loop2,
dracut-initqueue[261]: missing codepage or helper program, or other error
dracut-initqueue[261]: In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
dracut-initqueue[261]: dmesg | tail or so
dracut-initqueue[261]: umount: /run/initramfs/squashfs: not mounted
dracut-initqueue[261]: mount: unknown filesystem type 'DM_snapshot_cow'
[repeat previous line a bunch of times]
dracut-initqueue[261]: Warning: Can't mount root filesystem

Entering emergency mode. Exit the shell to continue.

EDIT2: SWEET FANCY MOSES, FINALLY GOT FEDORA 18 INSTALL DVD TO RUN!

I'm putting a build together and comparing prices on video cards. I noticed that there is a noticeable difference in price between the AMD 7870 and the Nvidia GTX 660Ti. I've heard that the performance of both of these cards were very close, yet I've also heard that AMD drivers leave much to be desired.

My questions are:
1. Is the performance of these two cards similar?
2. Do the AMD cards have issues with games?
3. The price difference between the two is about $50, which would you choose?

Gumbie wrote:

If all your temps are good I would say it was definitely your PSU. I've never heard of a driver problem causing pc to power down.

Blueeeeeeeeeeeee screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen

I reformat so much that I have my turnaround time from formatting to an hour.

I just finished so we will see what happens. It was never a BSOD though. Always just a hard shutdown.

That sounds like an overheating part, although I've heard of PSU's doing that as well. I had a desktop a few years ago where the CPU fan would spin up real loud like the CPU was overheating, even though it was idle and very cool, then the computer would do a hard shut down. I never really figured out if it was the PSU or the mobo that was causing that...

That was probably an incorrectly mounted CPU heatsink.

So it's tax return season, and apparently i've been a good little taxpayer this year, because I've got a pretty nice return coming my way. I've already mentioned in this forum that I think my PC's on its last legs, at least my video card is, and i'd like to upgrade, although i'm not that concerned about getting the cutting edge kind of stuff.

Currently, i'm sitting on a Core i7 920 running at 2.67GHz, with 6 GB of RAM and an aging (dying, really) 896MB GTX 260.

I've got a budget of about $1100 to work with (ideally less), and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I'd like to do.

So, here's the basic idea. I'd like to make the new PC a upgrade on my current machine, ideally that'll allow me to still do some basic gaming (I don't need top-of-the-line stuff unless I can get it cheap), would be capable of doing some graphics work and audio editing, and just generally would not suck. And I'm hemming and hawwing between seeing if I can DIY another tower for cheap (my current PC is a Shuttle barebones kit) or if i'd like to grab a laptop for the increased portability.

I will admit, a big part of my potential interest in a lappy is that there's a deal on NewEgg for a Lenovo IdeaPad that just seems fantastic both on the specs and the price.

I tried pricing a few DIY builds, but most of them ended up with me going well over budget. I briefly considered buying a desktop that someone else put together, but I couldn't find anyone that looked trustworthy and was within my price range.

So i'm asking the GWJ braintrust for any ideas or advice. That Lenovo laptop really looks amazing, and I must admit, that's the leader in the clubhouse at the moment, but I figure I might as well ask a bunch of people much smarter than me about what might have to say about my options and choices.

Prederick wrote:

So it's tax return season, and apparently i've been a good little taxpayer this year, because I've got a pretty nice return coming my way. I've already mentioned in this forum that I think my PC's on its last legs, at least my video card is, and i'd like to upgrade, although i'm not that concerned about getting the cutting edge kind of stuff.

Currently, i'm sitting on a Core i7 920 running at 2.67GHz, with 6 GB of RAM and an aging (dying, really) 896MB GTX 260.

I've got a budget of about $1100 to work with (ideally less), and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I'd like to do.

So, here's the basic idea. I'd like to make the new PC a upgrade on my current machine, ideally that'll allow me to still do some basic gaming (I don't need top-of-the-line stuff unless I can get it cheap), would be capable of doing some graphics work and audio editing, and just generally would not suck. And I'm hemming and hawwing between seeing if I can DIY another tower for cheap (my current PC is a Shuttle barebones kit) or if i'd like to grab a laptop for the increased portability.

I will admit, a big part of my potential interest in a lappy is that there's a deal on NewEgg for a Lenovo IdeaPad that just seems fantastic both on the specs and the price.

I tried pricing a few DIY builds, but most of them ended up with me going well over budget. I briefly considered buying a desktop that someone else put together, but I couldn't find anyone that looked trustworthy and was within my price range.

So i'm asking the GWJ braintrust for any ideas or advice. That Lenovo laptop really looks amazing, and I must admit, that's the leader in the clubhouse at the moment, but I figure I might as well ask a bunch of people much smarter than me about what might have to say about my options and choices.

That CPU might be a bit long in the tooth, but I'm guessing it would be fine for playing most current games (as well as audio and graphics editing) except the few that push the CPU hard. I think you'd get a pretty dramatic boost out of just replacing the video card with something like a 660ti. If you're using Photoshop CS4 or later for graphics work, it supports GPU acceleration for some functions as well.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

That CPU might be a bit long in the tooth, but I'm guessing it would be fine for playing most current games (as well as audio and graphics editing) except the few that push the CPU hard. I think you'd get a pretty dramatic boost out of just replacing the video card with something like a 660ti. If you're using Photoshop CS4 or later for graphics work, it supports GPU acceleration for some functions as well.

I posted about it before, as the card inside my machine is dying, but Shuttle systems are semi-notoriously finicky with what video card they'll work with. Maybe i'll give Shuttle a call, see if they can help me out RE: compatibility.

Gumbie wrote:
TempestBlayze wrote:

My computer has been randomly turning off on me and its been a little annoying. It turns off when I surf the web, play games or do nothing at all. Turns off when I overclocking and don't. When it does turn off I can't start it back up for another minute or two.

CPU temps are fine when load and idle, video card temps are fine, checked RAM chips and reset the BIOS by removing the battery. I also made sure the PSU connections were secure.

It has not shut down yet when leave it on in the BIOS. That's why I have a feeling it may be drivers.

Probably the PSU though.

If all your temps are good I would say it was definitely your PSU. I've never heard of a driver problem causing pc to power down.

I'm having a similar problem but mine resets instead of a hard shut down. Mine is random where can be 3 days or 30 minutes. No blue screen or error message, just a hard reset. I cleaned the CPU and checked temps and it looks like its fine. I'm leaning towards the power supply or the new 660ti. The memory passes overnight memtest. Intermittent computer problems are the worst!

Trainwreck wrote:

I'm putting a build together and comparing prices on video cards. I noticed that there is a noticeable difference in price between the AMD 7870 and the Nvidia GTX 660Ti. I've heard that the performance of both of these cards were very close, yet I've also heard that AMD drivers leave much to be desired.

My questions are:
1. Is the performance of these two cards similar?
2. Do the AMD cards have issues with games?
3. The price difference between the two is about $50, which would you choose?

I just put a 7870 ghz edition into my new build and I am really liking it. I had an older system with a 4850 in it. I can't speak to the 660ti, but you won't be disappointed if you end up selecting the 7870. I didn't have any issues installing the drivers for the card.

Malor wrote:

That was probably an incorrectly mounted CPU heatsink.

Lies! Actually I wouldn't be able to confirm or deny. It was a Gateway computer, so aside from opening it up to see what was wrong, the heatsink was never moved.

tundra wrote:
Trainwreck wrote:

I'm putting a build together and comparing prices on video cards. I noticed that there is a noticeable difference in price between the AMD 7870 and the Nvidia GTX 660Ti. I've heard that the performance of both of these cards were very close, yet I've also heard that AMD drivers leave much to be desired.

My questions are:
1. Is the performance of these two cards similar?
2. Do the AMD cards have issues with games?
3. The price difference between the two is about $50, which would you choose?

I just put a 7870 ghz edition into my new build and I am really liking it. I had an older system with a 4850 in it. I can't speak to the 660ti, but you won't be disappointed if you end up selecting the 7870. I didn't have any issues installing the drivers for the card.

I went with a 7870 Ghz in my recent vidcard update as well. I've been very happy with it so far (only been a couple of weeks). Coincidentally, I upgraded to it from a 4850 as well. Seems like a great performance/dollar spent value.

Prederick wrote:

So it's tax return season, and apparently i've been a good little taxpayer this year, because I've got a pretty nice return coming my way. I've already mentioned in this forum that I think my PC's on its last legs, at least my video card is, and i'd like to upgrade, although i'm not that concerned about getting the cutting edge kind of stuff.

Currently, i'm sitting on a Core i7 920 running at 2.67GHz, with 6 GB of RAM and an aging (dying, really) 896MB GTX 260.

I've got a budget of about $1100 to work with (ideally less), and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I'd like to do.

So, here's the basic idea. I'd like to make the new PC a upgrade on my current machine, ideally that'll allow me to still do some basic gaming (I don't need top-of-the-line stuff unless I can get it cheap), would be capable of doing some graphics work and audio editing, and just generally would not suck. And I'm hemming and hawwing between seeing if I can DIY another tower for cheap (my current PC is a Shuttle barebones kit) or if i'd like to grab a laptop for the increased portability.

I will admit, a big part of my potential interest in a lappy is that there's a deal on NewEgg for a Lenovo IdeaPad that just seems fantastic both on the specs and the price.

I tried pricing a few DIY builds, but most of them ended up with me going well over budget. I briefly considered buying a desktop that someone else put together, but I couldn't find anyone that looked trustworthy and was within my price range.

So i'm asking the GWJ braintrust for any ideas or advice. That Lenovo laptop really looks amazing, and I must admit, that's the leader in the clubhouse at the moment, but I figure I might as well ask a bunch of people much smarter than me about what might have to say about my options and choices.

There was some positive discussion about the Y580 a few months ago. edosan has one. Lots of options, except it seems Lenovo is already phasing it out (the model you linked to is discontinued and only two i7 models pop up on a Newegg search for Y580). I checked out a version of the Asus G75VW at Micro Center that was hitting about $1,200, featuring an Nvidia GTX 670M GPU and very solid build quality. I had actually gone to get hands-on with the Lenovo and found the Asus more impressive. I bought neither, which is basically par for the course: always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Prederick wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

That CPU might be a bit long in the tooth, but I'm guessing it would be fine for playing most current games (as well as audio and graphics editing) except the few that push the CPU hard. I think you'd get a pretty dramatic boost out of just replacing the video card with something like a 660ti. If you're using Photoshop CS4 or later for graphics work, it supports GPU acceleration for some functions as well.

I posted about it before, as the card inside my machine is dying, but Shuttle systems are semi-notoriously finicky with what video card they'll work with. Maybe i'll give Shuttle a call, see if they can help me out RE: compatibility.

Well, I gave Shuttle a call, and they agreed that my current PC issues sound like a video card problem. I know my processor's a little long in the tooth, but the system still gets along, and I don't see an immediate, pressing reason to get a wholesale upgrade if I can just slap a new video card in here and be able to work.

I wonder what NewEgg's return policy on video cards is.

I have a Biostar TA880G HD motherboard. It accepts up to 16 GB RAM. Am I limited to 4x4 GB or will it accept 2x8 GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/...

casamuel wrote:

I have a Biostar TA880G HD motherboard. It accepts up to 16 GB RAM. Am I limited to 4x4 GB or will it accept 2x8 GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/...

I did a quick bit of googling and found another 800g chipset board that said it would work with 4GB modules, but generally memory lists don't mention what they don't work with. 2x8 might work, but you'd be more certain with 4x4. I can't think why it wouldn't work as it'll be standard DDR3, and within the capabilities (16GB max) that the chipset can use.

casamuel wrote:

I have a Biostar TA880G HD motherboard. It accepts up to 16 GB RAM. Am I limited to 4x4 GB or will it accept 2x8 GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/...

Can't say for sure, but under "Memory Support", there's no 4gb sticks. To be fair, unless it's the chipset limitation, max RAM isn't always correct.

You might be able to try 8gb sticks, but no promises...

Citizen86 wrote:
casamuel wrote:

I have a Biostar TA880G HD motherboard. It accepts up to 16 GB RAM. Am I limited to 4x4 GB or will it accept 2x8 GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/...

Can't say for sure, but under "Memory Support", there's no 4gb sticks. To be fair, unless it's the chipset limitation, max RAM isn't always correct.

You might be able to try 8gb sticks, but no promises...

I was looking at that list too, and noticed it stated that the list isn't complete, but "sufficient for testing purposes."

I'm of the idea that as long as the sticks fall within the RAM types that it says are compatible (ie, DDR3 1600 or 1333) I would assume they'd work, but then I've never tried it with my motherboard (DDR2 is too expensive now) and am willing to bet that there are some other kinds of limitations inherent to the motherboard that I am not aware of. I just always figured that RAM limitations for motherboards are capped at what's available at the time for the number of open slots (ie, 8GB sticks weren't around when my motherboard was made, so 4 slots x 4GB gave my mobo a 16GB limit out of the box).

Citizen86 wrote:
casamuel wrote:

I have a Biostar TA880G HD motherboard. It accepts up to 16 GB RAM. Am I limited to 4x4 GB or will it accept 2x8 GB sticks?

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/...

Can't say for sure, but under "Memory Support", there's no 4gb sticks. To be fair, unless it's the chipset limitation, max RAM isn't always correct.

You might be able to try 8gb sticks, but no promises...

See my PowerMac 8600 for a perfect example of this. Apple listed the max RAM as 512 megs because 64 megs was the largest stick size when it released. I had 1 gig in mine thanks to using 128 meg sticks.