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New computer time

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
I built a new computer in 2009, and it was a very nice computer.  Then I tried to replace it in 2015 with a much newer computer, but kept the old one around as a backup.  The newer computer died after about a year (or more specifically, the motherboard died), so I took some components out of it, stuck it in the old computer, and had a working computer again.  I figured I'd get around to doing something better when the now-upgraded older computer was no longer good enough.  That still hasn't happened, but I want a new computer anyway.

I'm not meaningfully budget limited, so I can pretty much buy whatever I want.  It's for home use, including gaming.  My unusual requirement is that it has to handle three 2560x1440, 144 Hz monitors in landscape mode for a combined resolution of 4320x2560.  I already have the monitors, and they were what drove my upgrade in 2015.

Here's what I'm looking at:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.3793256

A Ryzen 7 2700X, together with an X470 motherboard.  You could argue as to whether that or Coffee Lake is better.  The difference probably won't particularly matter in the useful lifetime of the computer, however--and if it does, Socket AM4 has two more generations of upgrades coming, while Intel will probably require a new socket.  I would bet on the fastest Socket AM4 CPU that ever will be built (likely based on Zen 3 and launching in 2020) being markedly better than the best that will ever fit a currently available Coffee Lake motherboard.  It's also incontestable that the Ryzen 7 2700X is cheaper than a Core i7-8700K with a comparable build, in part because of the next paragraph.

I'm also going to use the stock CPU cooler.  AMD's Wraith Prism CPU cooler is massively better than the junk that Intel ships as their stock coolers.  It's not going to make $80 coolers obsolete, but it's competitive with what you might get for $30.  And it's "free", in the sense of being included with the CPU.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313799

Ryzen has been finicky about memory support, so I picked a memory kit on the official support list for the motherboard.  I want 1.2 V, as I don't want to overvolt the memory, and that seems to largely only be available up to 2666 MHz, so that's what I got.  I wanted 2x16 GB for 32 GB in total, but the official support list doesn't say that configuration is supported, so 2x8 GB it is.  If I eventually actually need 32 GB, it's easy enough to upgrade later.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIADF17442836

That would be 960 GB of NVMe over PCI-E SSD storage.  I've often scoffed at the advantages of getting a relatively faster SSD over a relatively slower one, at least now that the early, terrible drives are long since off the market.  But if I'm not meaningfully limited on budget, why not?

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814932031

Why AMD rather than Nvidia on an unlimited budget?  After all, a Radeon RX Vega 64 isn't competitive with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at top end gaming support.  The answer is multi-monitor support.  Plug in 3 monitors to a single GeForce card and it runs at the max clock speed, even at idle.  Run a monitor at above 120 Hz and it again runs at the max clock speed, even at idle.  My required use case is three monitors at 144 Hz, and my current Fury X has no problem with clocking down to 300 MHz with that setup, not merely at idle, but even while playing very undemanding games.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151172

Top end Seasonic quality in a 650 W package.  I didn't feel like paying extra for Titanium efficiency.  Platinum is good enough.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147237

Last time I built a computer, I decided to pay more for a nice case.  And regretted it, as the Corsair Carbide 400R that I bought was markedly inferior in several ways to the older and cheaper Antec Three Hundred that I had used for my previous build.  Rosewill has attacked the market with some budget-friendly cases with plenty of airflow for gaming rigs.  I'm curious if they're any good, but there's one way to find out.

I bought the full version of Windows 10 with my previous computer.  Since that computer died, the license isn't still in use.  So I can legally reuse it on the new computer, and plan to do that.

For the most part, I'm not getting new peripherals.  I'll probably grab a new mouse or two, though, as my current one seems to be on its last legs after about nine years, and I don't want to be left without a working mouse if it dies.  All I want is two buttons and a scroll wheel, as I don't play mouse-heavy games for fear of repetitive strain injuries, but the mouse needs to reliably work right.

And no, I haven't already placed the order.  Because buying hardware, and then asking for feedback after it's too late is stupid.
Gdemami
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Comments

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,297
    Why the Rosewill with 5.25" drives for $50? You aren't even using 5.25" drives from the looks of it. The Rosewill's in my opinion don't age well. I got 2 right now from 2010 that I cannot upgrade on. It also defeats your point of going for a cheap case. Just get something that has USB 3 ports, good airflow options, and enough room for your graphics card. You can get by with a BitFenix or DIYCase in the $30 range.
    Also from my understanding it was only the first batch of Ryzen parts that were finicky with memory, subsequent batches and the 2xxx series didn't have the same issues. But its better safe than sorry.
    Torval
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,143
    I thought the same thing about my Corsair Carbide 240. It is a nice looking case, and on paper is has all the bells and whistles that a case ought to have.

    In practice - I didn't like it. The video card never mounted quite right. Cable management was a royal pain in the butt. Hard drives split over two different cages in two different sections of the case. Cleaning fan filters required disassembly of half the entire computer.

    I wouldn't say I hate the case, but I sure hate that I paid a premium price for a name brand, when I've had a lot of just generic cases be a lot easier to work with.

    After about my 5th tear down of that rig, I gutted it and went back to Lian Li. I still have the case, I put together a rig for my son, but it's a bare bones affair now. Lian Li doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles, but I've never found a higher quality product.

    I used to be a big Corsair guy, and I liked most of their products. After my experience with that case, recent quality slips in their PSU lines, and this huge push into everything-RGB... I'm less of a fan.

    Have fun with the new build. I put together a Devil's Canyon build just before you built your Fury rig. I haven't felt the need to ugprade, but I am starting to get that new build fever, and Threadripper looks like the cure. I have no practical purpose for one, I think it's just my midlife crisis sports car.
    Torval
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,631
    You're not budget limited so...

    This is a better drive all around for $50 more. In the course of 3 - 5 years the savings is insignificant in my opinion. At least when I build that's how I make price comparisons.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147691&cm_re=970_evo-_-20-147-691-_-Product

    Also, I'd recommend doing all your RAM now. Make sure it all works now, together. We upgraded our workstations from 32GB to 64GB RAM and there were issues. It seems like if there is one finicky upgrade path it's RAM. Odds are nothing will be a problem, but why not find out early how the board likes to work on all channels and how the RAM sticks feel about each other. Maybe it's just a recent string of coincidences, but it's made me change how I think about RAM installations. Like you said, not being heavily budget constrained it seems like a good place not to cut a cost corner.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    Cleffy said:
    Why the Rosewill with 5.25" drives for $50? You aren't even using 5.25" drives from the looks of it. The Rosewill's in my opinion don't age well. I got 2 right now from 2010 that I cannot upgrade on. It also defeats your point of going for a cheap case. Just get something that has USB 3 ports, good airflow options, and enough room for your graphics card. You can get by with a BitFenix or DIYCase in the $30 range.
    Also from my understanding it was only the first batch of Ryzen parts that were finicky with memory, subsequent batches and the 2xxx series didn't have the same issues. But its better safe than sorry.
    Any case will have some features that I don't use.

    Why do you say that the Rosewill cases didn't age well?  Is it cheap build quality that fell apart?  Or didn't have some features that you later decided that you needed?
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    Torval said:
    You're not budget limited so...

    This is a better drive all around for $50 more. In the course of 3 - 5 years the savings is insignificant in my opinion. At least when I build that's how I make price comparisons.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147691&cm_re=970_evo-_-20-147-691-_-Product

    Also, I'd recommend doing all your RAM now. Make sure it all works now, together. We upgraded our workstations from 32GB to 64GB RAM and there were issues. It seems like if there is one finicky upgrade path it's RAM. Odds are nothing will be a problem, but why not find out early how the board likes to work on all channels and how the RAM sticks feel about each other. Maybe it's just a recent string of coincidences, but it's made me change how I think about RAM installations. Like you said, not being heavily budget constrained it seems like a good place not to cut a cost corner.
    Is the Samsung 970 EVO better in a benchmark sense than what I linked?  Maybe a little, though which is faster varies by benchmark.  Is it faster in any ways that matter?  I'm inclined to say "no", as something else will be the bottleneck first.  The 970 series is slower than the 960 series, and the EVO drives are also much slower than their PRO drives that earned Samsung their reputation.

    As for RAM, it's likely that I'll never need to upgrade.  I had 4 GB until about three years ago, and 16 GB is still a lot.  Even if I do need to upgrade, it will probably be cheaper to buy 16 GB today, then throw it in the garbage three years from now to replace it by 32 GB that I buy then than it would be to buy 32 GB today.  Memory prices are still about as crazy today as video card prices were six months ago, but I don't think that will last forever.
    Ozmodan
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,297
    No 2.5"drives and poor options for positive air flow. Build quality is so-so, typical within this price range. The details were good like black interior when everyone was using gray.
  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 257
    I would have made very similar build, but with cheaper graphic card like 580, just because its good enough for some time to come. And by the time its not, new ones will be out for sure. 

    Nvme drive looks like its a must building good computer, but since you have two m.2 slots, maybe i would take 2 smaller ssds. One for programs, windows, other one for... You know, games. But 2nd of the m.2 slots arent as fast as first one i heard, not sure how that works... 

    And motherboard! Why did you take this one? Can you give more insights on that? 
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,698
    I switched to a Rosewill case in my recent (re)build. Love the case. I wanted a slim full tower with USB 3.0 and I found the price right and the features very much right on for what I was looking for. 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KW1GNUS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
    Torval

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • bonzoso21bonzoso21 Member UncommonPosts: 374
    edited July 2018
    I know it's been said for a long time now, but a lot of people seem confident the Geforce 11s are being announced/released at Gamescom next month. Maybe 5 more weeks to see what the next-gen GPUs can do will seem like a long time once the bug has bitten, but it's worth a thought.

    Edit: Didn't notice the date. Probably moot at this point.
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,698
    I switched to a Rosewill case in my recent (re)build. Love the case. I wanted a slim full tower with USB 3.0 and I found the price right and the features very much right on for what I was looking for. 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KW1GNUS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
    They do have nice cases.

    But go microATX, people!  No reason for a standard ATX tower anymore if you're going with 1 video card.
    I have a Noctua CPU cooler in my case not sure a micro would be enough room lol 
    Seriously though I love the room I have and always preferred a full tower =) 
    Torval

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • wandericawanderica Member UncommonPosts: 366
    Yep, thread is several weeks old now, so probably not much point in discussing the build anymore, but my experience with cases has been the opposite of OP's.  I've used many over the years, and I certainly see the value in a well built case, but agree that many are simply overpriced for what they provide (Case Labs, for example).  These days, any full tower will get the job done, and look good doing it.  I find the most appreciable differences in the smaller form factor cases.  My favorites are Phanteks and Lian Li with a nostalgic shout-out to my very first Antec P180.

    Enjoy your new rig Quizzical!  Just built a 2700X system using an Asus 470i and a 1080 Ti on a custom loop, and couldn't be happier.


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    albers said:
    I would have made very similar build, but with cheaper graphic card like 580, just because its good enough for some time to come. And by the time its not, new ones will be out for sure. 

    Nvme drive looks like its a must building good computer, but since you have two m.2 slots, maybe i would take 2 smaller ssds. One for programs, windows, other one for... You know, games. But 2nd of the m.2 slots arent as fast as first one i heard, not sure how that works... 

    And motherboard! Why did you take this one? Can you give more insights on that? 
    I actually haven't placed the order yet.  I realized that I was going out of town for a while, and decided to wait until I got back to place the order.  I didn't want for some parts to take longer than I expected and then show up while I was away.

    I don't see any real advantage to going with multiple smaller SSDs.  It complicates things in that the PCI Express configuration on a motherboard isn't necessarily what you'd want.  One good SSD is plenty fast enough.  I'll probably switch the SSD to this:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226886

    That's the same Silicon Motion controller as in what I linked above, but quite a bit cheaper.

    For the motherboard, I wanted to get something decently nice that would probably support future CPUs.  The last MSI motherboard that I bought died, but I haven't had any such problems with Asus or Gigabyte.  And I didn't want to pay a fortune for one of the flagship motherboards.
    Gdemami
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    bonzoso21 said:
    I know it's been said for a long time now, but a lot of people seem confident the Geforce 11s are being announced/released at Gamescom next month. Maybe 5 more weeks to see what the next-gen GPUs can do will seem like a long time once the bug has bitten, but it's worth a thought.

    Edit: Didn't notice the date. Probably moot at this point.
    Just last month, Nvidia's CEO said that the next generation of GeForce cards wasn't coming for a long time.  Even if they announce something or other next month, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be a hard launch.

    My initial build actually included a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, as it is faster than a Radeon RX Vega 64.  I swapped that out before posting the thread.  As explained above, the issue is multiple monitor support, and Nvidia just isn't there yet.  The monitors will work fine, but the GPU will have to run at max clock speed all the time for two independent reasons:  three monitors and high refresh rates.

    I don't want a video card cranking out 100 W when idle at the desktop, and that's probably about what I'd end up with if I went Nvidia.  AMD GPUs are able to clock the GPU down when idle to save on power.  Nvidia GPUs will also do that under most circumstances, but not if you have more than two monitors, and not if any monitor has a refresh rate over 120 Hz.  I run three monitors at 144 Hz.

    AMD GPUs are also able to greatly reduce the clock speed when playing undemanding games.  When I played Elsword, my Fury X would commonly have the clock speed bounce around between 300 MHz and 400 MHz.  That saves a ton of power as compared to running at 1050 MHz all the time.  And some of the games that I play really aren't very demanding.

    Or perhaps rather, AMD GPUs can clock down while playing undemanding games if the game uses DirectX or Vulkan.  It can't for OpenGL.  It's noticeable, not just theoretical:  an OpenGL game that isn't very demanding heats up my room a whole lot more than a similarly light DirectX game.  I don't want that to also happen when my computer is idle at the desktop, which it would for Nvidia.

    If I knew that the next Nvidia series was going to be available soon and would fix both of the GPU clock speed problems associated with my monitor setup, then yeah, I'd wait for it--even if all that it would be is an 11 series identical to the 10 series except that it can clock down better to save power.  But that's three things that I don't know and probably aren't even true, so I don't intend to wait.
    Ozmodan
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    I switched to a Rosewill case in my recent (re)build. Love the case. I wanted a slim full tower with USB 3.0 and I found the price right and the features very much right on for what I was looking for. 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KW1GNUS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
    They do have nice cases.

    But go microATX, people!  No reason for a standard ATX tower anymore if you're going with 1 video card.
    My case is just going to sit behind my desk, which is where my current case sits.  Being six inches tall wouldn't really save me any space as compared to being three feet tall.  A smaller case makes it a little harder to assemble the computer in the first place and to swap things out later.  Besides, nice motherboards of the sort that I can be reasonably confident will get the relevant BIOS updates to support future CPUs are nearly always ATX, not Micro ATX.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    Quizzical said:
    I switched to a Rosewill case in my recent (re)build. Love the case. I wanted a slim full tower with USB 3.0 and I found the price right and the features very much right on for what I was looking for. 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KW1GNUS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
    They do have nice cases.

    But go microATX, people!  No reason for a standard ATX tower anymore if you're going with 1 video card.
    My case is just going to sit behind my desk, which is where my current case sits.  Being six inches tall wouldn't really save me any space as compared to being three feet tall.  A smaller case makes it a little harder to assemble the computer in the first place and to swap things out later.  Besides, nice motherboards of the sort that I can be reasonably confident will get the relevant BIOS updates to support future CPUs are nearly always ATX, not Micro ATX.
    Huh ... whatever works for you.  My ASUS microATX boards do seem to get BIOS updates when needed.  But if you're never going to move the computer around I guess it doesn't make much difference either way.
    What has sometimes happened in the past is that when a new series of CPUs would launch, relatively nicer motherboards would get a BIOS update to support the new line of CPUs, while cheaper ones wouldn't.  Sometimes the lower end motherboards simply can't support the new CPUs even if they wanted to, but those that were overengineered for the needs of the original CPU line readily can.  It's possible that basically the entire lineup of motherboards from all of the major motherboard vendors will support all of the Zen 3 based Socket AM4 CPUs that AMD releases in 2020.  Or there might be changes that make that impossible, and so only the relatively higher end motherboards available today end up getting support for the CPUs that launch then.  We really don't know what will happen, but both of those cases has sometimes happened in the past.
    [Deleted User]Gdemami
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    To give you a concrete example, Asus lists three Socket AM3+ motherboards on their site.  Only one of the three supports the FX-9370 and the FX-9590.  Not coincidentally, it's the most expensive of the three--and the one with the beefiest power delivery.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,143
    There are more reasons than just updated CPU support to issue BIOS upgrades. Specter/Meltdown are recent examples that go back a good way.
    GdemamiTorval
  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 257
    One thing to be considered is vram to support future cpus. You need to get nice quality and decent phase. But when you think about it, do you really need to be conserned about it? I imagine future cpus will be even less power hungry and it will be easier to handle, so maybe even avarege vram will do just fine.

    Logic behind two smaller ssds instead of one big, would be failure factor. Im paranoid about my ssds, hdd dieing on me and leaving me without my precious data. Which happened already... 


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,143
    albers said:
    One thing to be considered is vram to support future cpus. You need to get nice quality and decent phase. But when you think about it, do you really need to be conserned about it? I imagine future cpus will be even less power hungry and it will be easier to handle, so maybe even avarege vram will do just fine.

    Logic behind two smaller ssds instead of one big, would be failure factor. Im paranoid about my ssds, hdd dieing on me and leaving me without my precious data. Which happened already... 


    It’s been back and forth on CPU power. Overclocking has always been Power hungry. Stock CPU though the power envelope hasn’t come anywhere close to what overclocks can need. If you buy the cheapest white box motherboard you can find, I can see it being an issue. But any name brand with gaming, performance or overclocking branding that can do at least mild overclocks is going to have enough VRM phases to handle pretty much anything stock that comes from either side.

    Also, I’d be leery about promoting RAID as a backup strategy. For most people it’s a lot more expensive than other options, and the real benefit that it does pay out in (lack of downtime) - most people don’t need in a gaming PC. Nice to have, I will admit, but not without some drawbacks as well - can have issues being boot drive, has issues transferring to other platforms, can provide slower performance based on overhead and RAID controller, possible issues with TRIM and power management, etc.
    TorvalMrMonolitas
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,631
    Ridelynn said:
    There are more reasons than just updated CPU support to issue BIOS upgrades. Specter/Meltdown are recent examples that go back a good way.
    I have an ASROCK Z97 and I still get BIOS updates. They're still updating the BIOS. My latest updates were for nvme support and fixes. I don't think ASROCK has any intention of updating their firmware to deal with the aspect of Spectre/Meltdown on boards my gen though. They're only putting that effort into newer systems, if at all. Anyway, I still get bios updates.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,297
    The advantage of a flagship product is that the company tends to support it longer. My MSI X370 Titanium's latest Bios update was last week.
    TorvalGdemami
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    I bought the wrong video card.  I wanted three DisplayPort ports, and ended up getting a model that had two DisplayPort and two HDMI.  I didn't check that closely enough.  Fortunately, my monitors support both DisplayPort and HDMI, and come with cables for both.

    The mistake might end up being a good thing, as one of my monitors sometimes turns off for a few seconds before coming back on.  If that's a problem with DisplayPort--e.g., a bad cable--then using an HDMI cable for that monitor should fix it.  At least assuming that mixing HDMI and DisplayPort monitors doesn't create some incompatibility somewhere.

    I've assembled the computer, or rather, the case and everything that goes inside of it.  I haven't powered it on to see if it works yet, as it's getting late tonight.  I'll probably want to move a SATA SSD from my old computer to my new one just as a way to transfer files.

    The memory was easy to install, as memory commonly is.  Unfortunately, it was the only component that was notably easy to install.

    The Wraith Prism cooler is big.  AMD didn't want to make it tall, so that it could fit in narrow cases, as stock coolers have to fit in basically anything.  So instead, they made it wide, and that made it into an enormous pain to install anything behind it.  In particular, the 8-pin CPU power cooler was a pain, though that was the only thing that was a pain about installing the power supply.

    The motherboard also has a 4-pin fan connector behind the CPU power connector, which seems to be basically there to mock you.  But there are enough fan connectors on the motherboard without needing that one.

    The CPU cooler was also a pain to get on there.  The instructions say to read the instructions carefully, but the actual mounting instructions basically consists of a few pictures and that's it.  Getting both of the brackets to stay on simultaneously was a pain, in part because one of them had so little room to maneuver between the wide heatsink and the top of the case.

    Mushkin seems to think that an M.2 2280 SSD should be about a quarter of a millimeter longer than Gigabyte thinks it should be.  I'm not sure which of them is wrong, but it meant that the PCB for the SSD was partially blocking the screw hole used to mount it.  It was a tight fit, but I got it in.

    The video card had a plastic sheet covering the backplane, as well as saying that you should remove it before using the card.  A lot of hardware does that, but usually has an easy place that you can grab to pull it off.  The video card didn't; I ended up having to scratch up the plastic sheet with a screwdriver to get something I could grab.

    The case comes with a printed manual.  About half of its pages are completely blank.  From the page numbers on the pages that have text, it looks like the blank pages are also supposed to have text.  They just don't, for some reason.

    The power supply cables are stiffer than I'm used to, and remind me of the old IDE cables.  That's not a bad thing; it's just something I noticed.

    The underside of the motherboard is notably sticky to the touch.  I'm not sure why, as I don't recall electronics ever feeling sticky like that.  To make sure it wasn't something on my hands, I went and washed them, then tried touching other spots on the motherboard, which were also sticky.  The top of the motherboard wasn't similarly sticky, however.
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,343
    Quizzical said:
    ....snip...

    The underside of the motherboard is notably sticky to the touch.  I'm not sure why, as I don't recall electronics ever feeling sticky like that.  To make sure it wasn't something on my hands, I went and washed them, then tried touching other spots on the motherboard, which were also sticky.  The top of the motherboard wasn't similarly sticky, however.
    Flux residue from the manufacturing process?

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • MrMonolitasMrMonolitas Member UncommonPosts: 257
    Hah, got a giggle out of this :D
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,652
    edited July 2018
    The SSD is dead on arrival.  I tried both M.2 slots on the motherboard, and neither the BIOS nor Windows will recognize that it exists.  In principle, it could be either the SSD or the motherboard, but when the SSD doesn't work with either of the M.2 slots, it's probably the SSD.

    I managed to boot the new computer using a different SSD.  It locks up every couple of minutes or so, which shouldn't be that surprising considering that it has some of the wrong drivers installed.  I did manage to install the proper video drivers to verify that all three monitors worked with it.  But I can only set it to 60 Hz, not 144 Hz, as that's apparently the cap if you use HDMI.

    I'll see if New Egg will let me swap it for a different SKU at the expense of a restocking fee.  From their policy, it looks like they might not.  Well, I wanted a card that would use less power, and Radeon Chill when capped at only 60 Hz will mean less power.  That's just not the way I wanted to do it.

    The only real problem with the case is that the thumbscrews aren't.  That is, they have far too much friction to operate them with your thumbs.  A screwdriver still works fine, though, and for that to be the worst problem with a $40 case being used for a fairly high end gaming rig is pretty good.  It's a far better case than the Corsair Carbide 400R that I bought last time and cost more than twice as much.

    The mounting system for AMD's cooler is awful.  When examining it, it sure looks symmetric, as though it could be mounted in either of two orientations.  But if you mount it in one of the directions, you can't flip the lever to secure the heatsink.  Applying enough force that I was afraid of breaking the lever off entirely wouldn't do it, so I thought that maybe it didn't need to be flipped.  CPU temperatures of 66 C at idle in the BIOS disproved that assumption.

    Once I spun the heatsink around in the other direction, flipping the lever to secure it in place was pretty easy.  I didn't try that sooner because getting the two side things on their notches is such a pain, no matter which way it was oriented.  And if you rotate the heatsink in the proper direction, the connector to turn on the RGB lighting is up against the top of the case.  You pretty much have to plug in that cable before mounting the heatsink or you won't get the lighting.  In case you care about CPU cooler lighting, which I don't.

    And, of course, this is all completely undocumented.  When I've installed AMD's stock heatsinks on Socket AM3 motherboards before, it was so easy.  What happened?  My guess is that the mounting mechanism was designed assuming you wouldn't have a large fan pointing downward and thus covering up the mounting mechanism.  And the the Wraith Prism cooler did exactly that.

    Another stupid thing that I noticed is that Gigabyte shipped two SATA cables with the motherboard.  One of them goes straight out from a SATA port, and the other comes out at a 90 degree angle.  The orientation of the SATA cable and the SATA ports on the motherboard is such that if you try to plug that end into the motherboard, the cable then has to go down into the case.  The angled part is probably meant to plug into the SSD end, not the motherboard end.

    Now, a lot of what I've said both in this post and a previous one is nit-picking.  And there were a lot of things that were easy, straightforward, and exactly how you'd hope.  The SSD being dead on arrival certainly doesn't meet that description, however, and that's the big problem that I'm going to have to deal with.

    Probably the best part of assembly was using Gigabyte's G-connector.  You know how there's that patch on the motherboard with a ton of pins that go to the front panel and it's a pain to get every little connector on the right pin?  Gigabyte's G-connector is a little plastic piece that lets you put the pins into something that will align them properly relative to each other.  Then you put the whole plastic piece into the patch to connect all of the wires all at once, and aligning it at that point is like connecting the front USB ports to the motherboard:  the pins still have to line up, but they basically all do or all don't.  It worked exactly how you'd hope, and better than I expected from looking at it before I tried it.
    PhryGdemami
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