PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

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Mudpuppy
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

stan1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:20 pm Ugh, overnight my Asus B550 motherboard decided to not to POST.

I tried shorting the CMOS header, did not work, still can't even get into BIOS.
Two immediate thoughts, although I'm sure others will have more thoughts: power surge or a component on the board failed (popped capacitor, broken solder line, etc.).
stan1
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by stan1 »

Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:23 pm
stan1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:20 pm Ugh, overnight my Asus B550 motherboard decided to not to POST.

I tried shorting the CMOS header, did not work, still can't even get into BIOS.
Two immediate thoughts, although I'm sure others will have more thoughts: power surge or a component on the board failed (popped capacitor, broken solder line, etc.).
Didn't necessarily want to turn this into tech assist thread but all of the fans and their LEDs are lit up (power supply fan, AMD CPU fan/LEDs, memory LEDs, Graphics card fan/LEDs). So somewhere between power on and POST.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Do you still have the problem if you pull the DRAM and GPU card (connect the monitor to the mobo)?

If so, I wouldn't mess around. Return it to Asus for repair. Here's what you need to do:

Go to Official Support | ASUS USA, scroll down, then select the "Service and Repair" tab.

Scroll down, then "Prepare for repair" --> Create Online RMA. You'll get an email with all the info.

Pack your motherboard as instructed - include the RMA instruction sheet. Hopefully, you saved the plastic CPU socket cover. (I lost mine, but it didn't matter.)

For quick service, don't purchase the Asus shipping label. It was more expensive and would have taken a few days for them to mail it to me. If you're near a UPS, FedEx, or US mail office, use that.

==================
My Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus motherboard arrived from RMA repair today via FedEx. I'll reassemble my PC tomorrow and report back.

According to their RMA policy, motherboards are replaced, not repaired. I've got a brand new motherboard. It's not a complete package, just the mobo and an I/O shield.

I'm wondering if the replacements have extra testing to ensure that the customer gets a working part. The serial number suggests a special batch.

My replacement arrived a little under 2 weeks from when I sent it out. You're against the holiday shipping rush, so return it as soon as possible.
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stan1
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by stan1 »

LadyGeek wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:39 pm Do you still have the problem if you pull the DRAM and GPU card (connect the monitor to the mobo)?
With the GPU out and one stick of DRAM the Q-LED on the motherboard for the CPU is solid red. Is it really realistic that a CPU would fail after 3 months of moderate (at best) usage? It is a Ryzen 7 3700X with the Wraith cooler. I don't have another CPU on hand to try. Since it worked for 3 months not a bent pin.

Not happy with the ASUS BIOS either, was never able to get the faster DRAM to be stable so running at default speeds. Do I cut my losses with ASUS?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

It doesn't look good. Based on [Motherboard] ASUS motherboard troubleshooting via Q-LED indicators, if you've already checked for bent CPU pins, I'd send the CPU back for warranty replacement.

I think failure within 3 months is realistic.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

My Asus motherboard replacement is up and running.

My first POST resulted in no video and a solid yellow Q-LED on the motherboard for DRAM. I reseated the DRAM and repeated the error. Swapping the DRAM modules seemed to fit better and the DRAM error cleared. I was then able to access BIOS, all OK.

Booting into Win 10, I checked the license activation. No license, Win 10 was not activated. :shock: I was very glad I associated the license with an MS account, as this is where I would need it. Not so fast. I had forgotten to deactivate the license before I shipped back the old motherboard. :oops:

A new motherboard with a license from a different motherboard is a new license (still in use as MS sees it). Going through the troubleshooting procedures didn't help because the device could not found. The only way to do this is by activating your license by telephone. It's a bot, so you don't have to speak with anyone. Be prepared to spend a lot of time punching numbers.

- Start a command line as administrator and enter "slui 4"
- You'll get a dialog box. Pick your country and call the number on the screen.
- The dialog box will have an installation code - 10 groups of 6 numbers.
- Go through the phone prompts. You'll eventually enter those numbers in.
- Answer a question on how many Win 10 copies you have with this product key (1)
- You'll get a confirmation code, which is 8 groups of 6 numbers. Type them in. Write down the numbers, you might need them at a later time.
- "Activate" - your license is activated

Once Win 10 was activated, I installed the latest Asus BIOS (3001 2020/12/08). FYI - This BIOS supports the Zen 3 AMD Smart Access Memory, which doesn't apply to my CPU.

Picking up from where I left off, I modified the BIOS to use my overclocked DRAM (DOCP profile enabled), DRAM voltage = 1.35 V, SOC voltage = 1.20 V (default is 1.025 V), memory frequency = 3600 MHz.

I then ran Prime95 (large FFT) for 4 straight hours without a glitch. I switched to my Folding@Home app and it's still going strong. I'm calling this "hopefully fixed". We'll see, but I think this new motherboard timing helped enough to push things in the right direction.
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Wooo! I know it's still early, but that sounds promising. I wonder if it was a defective motherboard, or if you just happened to lose the silicon lottery and it was just a combination of that particular CPU, memory, and board that couldn't play well together.

Meanwhile, I'm probably going to have to wait until Q1 2020 to get my hands on a 5900X CPU. I don't actually mind waiting all that much, but in hindsight, I should have just bought a 3600 back in July when it cost $160, and then gotten 7-9 months of use out of it before upgrading. That just seems so wasteful, though. I've had multiple opportunities to buy a 5600X or 5800X, but I still think pricing is stupid on them, and would rather wait on the product I want. Who knows - if stock doesn't improve, the price on the 5800X might drop to a reasonable level when Rocket Lake gets announced.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ I have no doubt it was the combination that didn't play well together. I'll take what I got and hold- including BIOS updates. At this point, I think the Zen-2 updates are done and everything from this point forward is Zen-3. Note that the BIOS versions now start with 3xxx. (I'm using 2xxx versions.)

The supply chain is indeed in a world of hurt. Logical Increments has revised their PC configuration guide to provide alternatives that have a reasonable chance to be in stock.

See: The RX 6900 XT and Old Alternatives Update They're adding my NVidia RTX 2060 Super GPU back to the "excellent" tier. FYI - They call this "worse-performing", but it ranked just fine when I made the purchase.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

So... there appears to be plentiful 5800X stock out there. It's been available on Amazon for over an hour now - apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks the pricing is stupid on them. I'd be tempted by a 5600X as an interim computer until DDR5 becomes standard & affordable 4-5 years from now, but I'd really prefer a 5900X to hold on to for 8+ years.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by othermike27 »

Independent George wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:09 am So... there appears to be plentiful 5800X stock out there. It's been available on Amazon for over an hour now - apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks the pricing is stupid on them. I'd be tempted by a 5600X as an interim computer until DDR5 becomes standard & affordable 4-5 years from now, but I'd really prefer a 5900X to hold on to for 8+ years.
If you're still tempted, MicroCenter Chicago claims (website) to have 6 5600X in stock.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

othermike27 wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:20 am If you're still tempted, MicroCenter Chicago claims (website) to have 6 5600X in stock.
I've thought about it; the 5600X would still be an incredible upgrade on my decade-old machine, but I'd rather wait on the one I really want. For now, I'm perfectly content with my current system until stock normalizes.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:12 am HDD: 2xWD Gold 2TB (considering swapping this out for two 4TB drives)
Amazon had a good price on the 4TB Western Digital Gold drives the other day, so I went ahead and purchased them. I have a big deadline coming up at work on Monday, so I won't be able to swap until after that. But it's something to look forward to, once I pass that deadline.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Independent George wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:39 am
othermike27 wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:20 am If you're still tempted, MicroCenter Chicago claims (website) to have 6 5600X in stock.
I've thought about it; the 5600X would still be an incredible upgrade on my decade-old machine, but I'd rather wait on the one I really want. For now, I'm perfectly content with my current system until stock normalizes.
You're not wrong. I got the 5600X and installed my six year old R9 290 in the new system and it's running Cyberpunk 2077 at 30ish FPS on ultra quality at 1080p!

I think my perception of FPS was skewed by seeing numbers in the hundreds on the review pages and thinking something in the double digits was sub-grade. Even FPS in the 20s was not sluggish or laggy at all for me. Even combat flows well.

Maybe it's the 5600X. According to the Radeon software, my CPU is running at 20-30% while the GPU is maxed out throughout the session.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Brain wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:01 pm You're not wrong. I got the 5600X and installed my six year old R9 290 in the new system and it's running Cyberpunk 2077 at 30ish FPS on ultra quality at 1080p!

I think my perception of FPS was skewed by seeing numbers in the hundreds on the review pages and thinking something in the double digits was sub-grade. Even FPS in the 20s was not sluggish or laggy at all for me. Even combat flows well.

Maybe it's the 5600X. According to the Radeon software, my CPU is running at 20-30% while the GPU is maxed out throughout the session.
As a general rule, you tend notice changes in FPS than just the FPS by itself - that is, I'd rather have a consistent 30 FPS than a 120 FPS average that occasionally dips to 60. And if your monitor is 60 Hz, then you're not going to notice anything above 60 regardless. Anyway, a graphics-intensive title like Cyberpunk is going to be GPU-bound rather than CPU bound even at 1080p. What kind of performance are you getting if you drop it to high or medium quality?

Unless the 6700XT comes in at $350 or below, I plan on holding on to my RX 580 until the next gen of GPUs. Between (hopefully) a reduction in covid shortages, and much more intensive competition between AMD, Nvidia, Apple, and possibly Intel, I'm expecting insane price/performance on the next gen of GPUs.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Independent George wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:19 pm
Brain wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:01 pm You're not wrong. I got the 5600X and installed my six year old R9 290 in the new system and it's running Cyberpunk 2077 at 30ish FPS on ultra quality at 1080p!

I think my perception of FPS was skewed by seeing numbers in the hundreds on the review pages and thinking something in the double digits was sub-grade. Even FPS in the 20s was not sluggish or laggy at all for me. Even combat flows well.

Maybe it's the 5600X. According to the Radeon software, my CPU is running at 20-30% while the GPU is maxed out throughout the session.
As a general rule, you tend notice changes in FPS than just the FPS by itself - that is, I'd rather have a consistent 30 FPS than a 120 FPS average that occasionally dips to 60. And if your monitor is 60 Hz, then you're not going to notice anything above 60 regardless. Anyway, a graphics-intensive title like Cyberpunk is going to be GPU-bound rather than CPU bound even at 1080p. What kind of performance are you getting if you drop it to high or medium quality?

Unless the 6700XT comes in at $350 or below, I plan on holding on to my RX 580 until the next gen of GPUs. Between (hopefully) a reduction in covid shortages, and much more intensive competition between AMD, Nvidia, Apple, and possibly Intel, I'm expecting insane price/performance on the next gen of GPUs.
Absolutely, smoothness is more important than max FPS.

I have a 1080p 60Hz monitor, so, yeah, my requirements aren't too high.

I was convinced the game wouldn't even run with my R9 290, so my first few runs I put the graphics settings at the absolute minimum. I found the FidelityFX something or other setting, which I guess is similar to DLSS. It gave me the option to set a target framerate and then it would adjust the setting dynamically to meet my FPS requirement. I set it to 45. The game ran fine, but the graphics were a little sub-par. So I slowly inched the settings higher until I got to ultra and the game was still perfectly playable. I honestly couldn't tell a difference between 45 and 25 FPS.

According to the Radeon software, my avg. FPS for Cyberpunk is 30.3. It's mostly in between 15 and 45.

Apparently, I made a really good choice lo those many years ago:
My card: https://www.newegg.com/asus-radeon-r9-2 ... 6814121842
A five-years-later review: https://youtu.be/mf6xUvtvviU
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Back when there were physical movie reels, projectors used to run film at 24 frames per second; that's literally where term comes from. Granted, video games are two-way interactive media, so higher FPS can make a difference in performance (particularly competitive multiplayer games), but in terms of visuals a consistent 30 FPS is perfectly respectable. I believe most consoles target 4k/30 FPS.

The other thing to note if you're targeting high refresh rates is that the type of cable is a limiting factor, too, for displays above 1080p. I upgraded to a 1440p/144 Hz monitor, and soon learned that it was bottlenecking on the HDMI 1.4 cable I pulled out of my closet. HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 are roughly equivalent, supporting 4k/144 Hz (40 Gbps bandwidth). DisplayPort 2.0 doubles that, but as far as I know there are no consumer-grade electronics that require that much bandwidth yet.

I'm waiting for the day all of those get consolidated to USB-C, if only the USB standards weren't terrible. USB 4.0 has both a 20 Gbps and 40 Gbps variant, indicating to me that the USB consortium is not quite clear on the concept of a 'standard'.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by neurosphere »

Brain wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:01 pm You're not wrong. I got the 5600X and installed my six year old R9 290 in the new system and it's running Cyberpunk 2077 at 30ish FPS on ultra quality at 1080p!

I think my perception of FPS was skewed by seeing numbers in the hundreds on the review pages and thinking something in the double digits was sub-grade. Even FPS in the 20s was not sluggish or laggy at all for me. Even combat flows well.

Maybe it's the 5600X. According to the Radeon software, my CPU is running at 20-30% while the GPU is maxed out throughout the session.
So you are saying that my RTX 2070 super, coupled with my 8 year old i-3700K will likely play Cyberpunk just fine on my ultrawide monitor? I think I would be fine with 30 or 60 fps.

I'm not all that game/system savvy but it seems my graphics card is decent and will be the bottleneck (due to the how the game is coded) compared to even my older i7 based CPU. Although, I do want to finish Asguard's Wrath on VR, which I just started, before I jump to Cyberpunk. :)
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

neurosphere wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:59 pm So you are saying that my RTX 2070 super, coupled with my 8 year old i-3700K will likely play Cyberpunk just fine on my ultrawide monitor? I think I would be fine with 30 or 60 fps.

I'm not all that game/system savvy but it seems my graphics card is decent and will be the bottleneck (due to the how the game is coded) compared to even my older i7 based CPU. Although, I do want to finish Asguard's Wrath on VR, which I just started, before I jump to Cyberpunk. :)
Very, very few games are going to be CPU limited, and the 2070 Super is still a pretty good card today. You should be fine even at high detail settings. Honestly, from what I've seen, even medium detail and ray-tracing off looks pretty good.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:17 pm
Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:12 am HDD: 2xWD Gold 2TB (considering swapping this out for two 4TB drives)
Amazon had a good price on the 4TB Western Digital Gold drives the other day, so I went ahead and purchased them. I have a big deadline coming up at work on Monday, so I won't be able to swap until after that. But it's something to look forward to, once I pass that deadline.
Well, I didn't quite make the deadline. I was only mostly done by end-of-day yesterday, but I wrapped it all up by 2pm today, so well within the 24-hour delta for our deadlines. Once the holiday break begins, I'll work on swapping out the drives.

I'm also feeling the urge to reimage my laptop with a new version of Linux during the holiday break.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by othermike27 »

Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:49 am I'm also feeling the urge to reimage my laptop with a new version of Linux during the holiday break.
Care to say from which version to which version? Motivations/preferences?

I ask because my experience is limited to Mint, with some prior fiddling in Ubuntu. I've queued up iso files of a few others to explore on virtual machines when time permits, but I would be interested in any pointers on versions to consider, noteworthy features, etc.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

othermike27 wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:13 am
Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:49 am I'm also feeling the urge to reimage my laptop with a new version of Linux during the holiday break.
Care to say from which version to which version? Motivations/preferences?

I ask because my experience is limited to Mint, with some prior fiddling in Ubuntu. I've queued up iso files of a few others to explore on virtual machines when time permits, but I would be interested in any pointers on versions to consider, noteworthy features, etc.
I'm thinking old school.... Slackware. Lots of changes happening in the Slackware-Current change log to incorporate some modern features, including being in the lead edge of kernel versions, but it is still a minimalistic distribution that doesn't use systemd (systemd has had too many development issues for me to trust any distro that requires it to run). I'm a little upset that they use PAM now, although my dislike of PAM spans multiple decades so I should give it a second chance after all this time.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lightheir »

neurosphere wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:59 pm
Brain wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:01 pm You're not wrong. I got the 5600X and installed my six year old R9 290 in the new system and it's running Cyberpunk 2077 at 30ish FPS on ultra quality at 1080p!

I think my perception of FPS was skewed by seeing numbers in the hundreds on the review pages and thinking something in the double digits was sub-grade. Even FPS in the 20s was not sluggish or laggy at all for me. Even combat flows well.

Maybe it's the 5600X. According to the Radeon software, my CPU is running at 20-30% while the GPU is maxed out throughout the session.
So you are saying that my RTX 2070 super, coupled with my 8 year old i-3700K will likely play Cyberpunk just fine on my ultrawide monitor? I think I would be fine with 30 or 60 fps.

I'm not all that game/system savvy but it seems my graphics card is decent and will be the bottleneck (due to the how the game is coded) compared to even my older i7 based CPU. Although, I do want to finish Asguard's Wrath on VR, which I just started, before I jump to Cyberpunk. :)
I posted briefly earlier, but it's worth mentioning again.

You really have to try Google Stadia if you want to play Cyberpunk, Red Dead Redemption 2, or a bunch of other games that Stadia hosts. It's still early in its lifespan, but if you have a decent internet connection , it's literally black magic.

Cyberpunk runs in 1080p with almost no hiccups - on my 9 year old obsolete laptop. If you get/buy the Stadia controller, it comes with a Chromecast puck and you an instantly make any TV a gaming machine.

I've been eyeing a $2k-range gaming PC setup that I've been putting off since I haven't had any time to play (young kid, but she's getting older so I get more time with that), but I have 100% abandoned that plan after seeing what Stadia can do with game streaming.

It's amazing. I'm not being paid to give them free advertising, but consider:

- NO game installations. Zero. You might think 'no biggie, I only install once anyway', but consider that the with $9.99 Stadia premium you get access to about 15-20 good indie-type games that you can play INSTANTLY. Whereas on a similar service like Xbox live, even if you just want to try a game for 5 minutes, you have to download and install the entire thing first (which typically takes 40+ mins, even for small games.) And no waiting for game updates.

- Runs on like anything, with the caveat you need a pretty good wifi connection. Phone, obsolete laptop, linux, old tablet. It's nuts.

- Stadia premium comes with 15-20 games you can play without any additional fees as mentioned above. These games are pretty good, not junkware, albeit more indie.

The biggest drawbacks,
-Small game library (now)
-Can eat tons of data - this probably won't work if you have 3 kids all using Stadia 3-4 hrs/day - you'll likely go over your ISP data download limit. Works best for one user playing 2-4hrs/day.
-Not sure if Stadia will survive - right now, if you buy a game in Stadia you can play it free, forever, (don't have to pay $9.99 for Stadia premium) but I strongly suspect that if Stadia goes big-time popular, all of a sudden the monthly fee will double for premium (at least) and they will start charging to play 'owned' games. Right now they're in the growth model where they can take massive losses to build the userbase.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

What kind of bandwidth did you try Stadia with? When I tried it on a 250 mbps connection/Wifi 5, the lag made it unplayable. Super-sampling and improved bandwidth should improve that over time, but right now I don't think it compares.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:41 pm
othermike27 wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:13 am
Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:49 am I'm also feeling the urge to reimage my laptop with a new version of Linux during the holiday break.
Care to say from which version to which version? Motivations/preferences?

I ask because my experience is limited to Mint, with some prior fiddling in Ubuntu. I've queued up iso files of a few others to explore on virtual machines when time permits, but I would be interested in any pointers on versions to consider, noteworthy features, etc.
I'm thinking old school.... Slackware. Lots of changes happening in the Slackware-Current change log to incorporate some modern features, including being in the lead edge of kernel versions, but it is still a minimalistic distribution that doesn't use systemd (systemd has had too many development issues for me to trust any distro that requires it to run). I'm a little upset that they use PAM now, although my dislike of PAM spans multiple decades so I should give it a second chance after all this time.
Why not go with a distro in the top 10? You'll get a lot more support. Also bear in mind that your experience has quite a bit to do with the graphical display manager, i.e. "Windows". You should be able to install any "Windows" on any OS. I'm running Fedora with Xfce, but can use Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE, LXDE, etc. if I want a change of pace.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:14 pm
Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:41 pm
othermike27 wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:13 am
Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:49 am I'm also feeling the urge to reimage my laptop with a new version of Linux during the holiday break.
Care to say from which version to which version? Motivations/preferences?

I ask because my experience is limited to Mint, with some prior fiddling in Ubuntu. I've queued up iso files of a few others to explore on virtual machines when time permits, but I would be interested in any pointers on versions to consider, noteworthy features, etc.
I'm thinking old school.... Slackware. Lots of changes happening in the Slackware-Current change log to incorporate some modern features, including being in the lead edge of kernel versions, but it is still a minimalistic distribution that doesn't use systemd (systemd has had too many development issues for me to trust any distro that requires it to run). I'm a little upset that they use PAM now, although my dislike of PAM spans multiple decades so I should give it a second chance after all this time.
Why not go with a distro in the top 10? You'll get a lot more support. Also bear in mind that your experience has quite a bit to do with the graphical display manager, i.e. "Windows". You should be able to install any "Windows" on any OS. I'm running Fedora with Xfce, but can use Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE, LXDE, etc. if I want a change of pace.
Because I'm a crusty old UNIX curmudgeon at heart, and level of support is WAY down on my list of priorities when choosing a distribution, as is choice of desktop environments. I don't want things to "auto-magic" for me, particularly when that auto-magic isn't doing what I want it to do and it doesn't make it easy for me to configure it to do what I want it to do.

I'd much prefer something that follows the original UNIX philosophy of giving a lot of smaller, simpler utilities that the user can configure to do amazing things. I also prefer something that puts security at the forefront, particularly when security is considered more important than ease of use. I can live with a little bit of a learning curve if it greatly improves my defensive posture.

Essentially, I am a power user and I prefer a distribution that respects that and responds to that. Slackware practically caters to that.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

So, found out this morning the hard way that my UPS battery is dead (because why find out the easy way through software alerts when you can just shut everything down during a minor brownout). I'm now engaging in the age-old debate of buying a new UPS unit or replacing the batteries on the existing unit.

My primary reason for considering a new unit is the Linux software support on the existing unit (TrippLite) is very poor, hence not getting a software alert about the battery before it fully failed, even though it failed over to battery power in early December, when it should have run a self-diagnostic. I also don't really want to go to the local battery shop in-person right now, and the online prices for the OEM battery pack are absurdly high (~$150 range).

I'm normally rather partial to APC, given the decent Linux support for monitoring their UPS units, but any other brands I should consider?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Are you sure about the lack of Linux support? A quick google search "TrippLite linux driver ups" scored big time with "NUT" - Network UPS Tools. It's available for several distros, including mine. I don't see a GUI for it, though.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:50 pm Are you sure about the lack of Linux support? A quick google search "TrippLite linux driver ups" scored big time with "NUT" - Network UPS Tools. It's available for several distros, including mine. I don't see a GUI for it, though.
I have NUT installed. All it did was very unhelpfully log "battery is low" about a microsecond before the whole thing shut down. I went back through the logs and the only thing it had in the past was when it went on battery power for about 30 seconds in early December when there was a partial city-wide power outage that skipped my neighborhood, but caused a series of brownouts as the load shifted.

Edit: And one thing that irks me about NUT is when it walls (sends a text message to all the active terminals) it does not include a time stamp. Looking at the config files, there's no easy way to change this, unless there's a hidden format string for the time stamp. I'm also not a fan of the fact you have to put the password of the monitor user in plaintext in a configuration file, although I've mitigated that by making that user one that cannot be used to log in to the system.

Edit 2: Reading the reviews of the current APC pure sine wave UPS models intended for the home environment reminds me of why I switched to Tripp Lite in the first place. CDW appears to have the best price for the Tripp Lite OEM battery pack at $130. Amazon has some no-name compatible battery packs for far cheaper, but I know better than to risk that.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

All of my UPSes are APC (I have five) rather than Tripp Lite, but I've had excellent luck buying replacement batteries from refurbups.com. Tends to cost just over $50 including shipping both ways to get batteries for one of my larger units (1250-1350VA).

Here are their replacement batteries for TrippLite UPSes: http://www.refurbups.com/TrippLite-RBC-Batteries
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Good point. For a battery, I think it's low risk to buy an "off-brand" replacement. Electronics (parts with semiconductors) are a different matter, however.

Likewise, all my UPSes are APC.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Well, I got tired of waiting for a 5900X, and just submitted an Amazon order for the 5600X. Stock on the 5600 and 5800 seems to be increasing, as I've had multiple opportunities to buy it before now.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

LadyGeek wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:45 pm My Asus motherboard replacement is up and running.

...Picking up from where I left off, I modified the BIOS to use my overclocked DRAM (DOCP profile enabled), DRAM voltage = 1.35 V, SOC voltage = 1.20 V (default is 1.025 V), memory frequency = 3600 MHz.

I then ran Prime95 (large FFT) for 4 straight hours without a glitch. I switched to my Folding@Home app and it's still going strong. I'm calling this "hopefully fixed". We'll see, but I think this new motherboard timing helped enough to push things in the right direction.
Nearly a month after I replaced my motherboard, my PC crashed during Windows boot. Event viewer showed the dreaded Kernel-Power "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first." critical error.

Previous shutdowns show Kernel-Power "entering sleep state" entries. Last night's shutdown did not have those entries. Going back to the last thing running, I checked my folding@home logs. I did not exit the app and had shutdown my PC with it still running. Yup, the GPU had crashed with a Windows exception. I'm thinking that the crash prevented a clean shutdown.

Previous folding@home entries also show crashes, but I'm thinking it was a matter of timing that Windows was able to work around it (or not) during the shutdown process.

I'll exit my folding@home app before shutting down my PC to see if I get any more crashes. If so, it's probably time to replace the DRAM with the correct part (not overclocked).

================
Independent George - I recommend editing the thread title to remove "2020" and use a single thread for ongoing PC build discussions. You can change the thread title by editing the Subject: line in Post #1. If you need help, let me know.
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Re: PC Build Topic 2020

Post by Peculiar_Investor »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:18 am Independent George - I recommend editing the thread title to remove "2020" and use a single thread for ongoing PC build discussions.
Yabbut a PC Build Thead Topic 2020 would be much different and of little use in 2025 (or perhaps much earlier). Maybe PC Build Topic 2020-21 might be appropriate to cover a 'lifetime of current' builds.

<rant=minor> The forum software has topics, not threads. Hence my strike-out above</rant>
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:18 am Independent George - I recommend editing the thread title to remove "2020" and use a single thread for ongoing PC build discussions. You can change the thread title by editing the Subject: line in Post #1. If you need help, let me know.
I've updated the title - I left the 2020 in there because, given the lifespan of PC hardware, I think there is some value in seeing how old the thread is. If it's still active three years from now, we can all laugh at ourselves and how excited we were about hardware weaker than our mobile devices. I will remove the year entirely if you think that will be better.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:18 am I'll exit my folding@home app before shutting down my PC to see if I get any more crashes. If so, it's probably time to replace the DRAM with the correct part (not overclocked).
I'm not folding (maybe I should as a torture test), but mine has been running for 2 months straight following the board replacement, with the DOCP values for my PC3600 RAM. I had one issue the day after I installed the new board, but nothing since then.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and BEYOND!!!

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Thanks. I'm running folding@home because I'm supporting the cause and that I like maxing out my PC. It's not really a torture test.

If you want to torture your CPU, Prime95 with a large FFT will kill it in no time flat. MSI Kombustor will torture your GPU.
Independent George wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:28 pm I've updated the title - I left the 2020 in there because, given the lifespan of PC hardware, I think there is some value in seeing how old the thread is. If it's still active three years from now, we can all laugh at ourselves and how excited we were about hardware weaker than our mobile devices. I will remove the year entirely if you think that will be better.
Looks good, but perhaps changing "BEYOND!!!" to "Beyond!!!" for readability.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by Independent George »

Got my Ryzen 5600X CPU last night, and immediately jumped to building my PC.

Flash BIOS: 7 minutes, including two minutes with my thumb drive plugged into the wrong USB slot. BIOS flash buttons really needs to be a standard feature on every motherboard - that was just absurdly easy.
Assembly: 64 minutes from unboxing the CPU to loading windows. Really, it should have been maybe forty, except I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to figure out how the clips on my CPU cooler works.
Cable Management: 4 hours and 30 minutes last night, and I'm still not happy. This would be less of a problem if I weren't so insistent on having everything back up to an HDD.
Biggest mistake: I stripped the screw on my second M.2 mount; I had to take the entire standoff out with a set of needle nose pliers, and won't be able to install the second drive until I get a replacement. In my defense, I think Gigabyte way over-torqued a really cheap screw, because I did not apply anywhere near enough force to strip it like that.

Conclusions: Holy cow I didn't realize just how noisy and slow my old computer was until I got this one running. Unless I put my ear right up against the case, I couldn't even tell it was on. Windows setup was seamless - following LadyGeek's example, I was able to boot immediately into my old SATA drive without any issues, then cloned it to the NVME drive in roughly 20 minutes, rebooted into BIOS, and was done. Booting into the NVME drive is so fast that I actually missed my window to load BIOS and enable XMP.

Final Build:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 4 x 8 GB 3200 Mhz CL 16
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Pro
PSU: BeQuiet Straight Power 11 650W
GPU: Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8 GB
SSD 01: Samsung EVO 970 2 TB
SSD 02: Crucial P5 2 TB (inactive until I get the new M.2 standoff)
HDD 01: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB (mirrors SSD 01)
HDD 02: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB (inactive - will mirror SSD 02)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12A
Case: CoolerMaster NR600
Case Fans: 2x Noctua NF-S12A PWM Chromax (I don't mind Noctua brown on the cpu cooler, but those front intake fans are staring right at you).
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by LadyGeek »

Congrats! :beer

You've booted and cloned Windows, but have you activated the OS? I've posted earlier how to get that going via phone activation.

As for installing the cooling fan, I didn't keep track of how long I spent looking at the diagram and dry fitting the installation to see how everything played together. Oh, and those heat sink fins are sharp. :)
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:19 pm Congrats! :beer

You've booted and cloned Windows, but have you activated the OS? I've posted earlier how to get that going via phone activation.

As for installing the cooling fan, I didn't keep track of how long I spent looking at the diagram and dry fitting the installation to see how everything played together. Oh, and those heat sink fins are sharp. :)
The windows license was already linked to my email account, so I just had to log in the first time, and I was good to go. I also had to reactivate Office since it detected new hardware, but thankfully that went just as easily. I hate the O365 subscription model, and I'm holding on to this Office Professional 2019 home use license like my life depended on it.

ETA: Also, yes, those heat sink fins hurt. And, being me, of course I didn't learn my lesson the first time, and kept grabbing at it in exactly the same way despite the sharp hurty bits.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by Independent George »

So, I've done some non-scientific testing on boot times. On my old computer, Windows 10 loaded from my SATA drive in about 50 seconds; this is a SATA 3 drive limited to SATA 2 speeds due to the motherboard.

When I set up my new system, the same drive booted in about 25 seconds - exactly as fast as you'd expect given the bandwidth doubled between generations. The NVME drive (PCIE 3.0) boots in about 15 seconds, which is a solid 40% improvement, but still not quite what you'd project from the 5x bandwidth from SATA 3; I think that means loading the OS to memory is now bottlenecked by the CPU and not drive bandwidth.

I haven't even played any games yet, but there's been a noticeably improvement in responsiveness and smoother transitions while multitasking on dual monitors. A large part of that is from quadrupling ram from 8 GB to 32, but I can't help but feel a little regret that I've only gone from 8 threads to 12 instead of 24 like I wanted to. Oh well; it's still a night and day improvement in both performance and noise. I genuinely can't hear my computer at all unless I stop and concentrate.

ETA: another unscientific benchmark: I created a new world in Dwarf Fortress using the default parameters. On my i7-920, that process takes between 45 minutes and an hour. On my 5600X, it took just over six minutes. I can't wait to see what kind of ridiculous city I can now build.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by Independent George »

This is a pretty danged cool a motherboard showcased by Gamers Nexus - it positions the CPU on the back of the board. It was originally designed (and is currently used) for industrial computers that need passive cooling in a small form factor. It can be retrofitted onto several current cases, but I think there are a lot of possibilities for something like this with a custom case designed around water cooling - by having the CPU on the other side (along with the loop and cooling), it frees up an awful lot of space on the other side. And if a high-end APU were to ever hit the market - like the rumored AMD 5700G - there are some really interesting designs possibilities that can be built around it.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by knightrider »

Anyone tried installing a Tesla K80 GPU into a standard workstation desktop? The specs says it requires 300W power. Would most power supplies be able to provide that? If not, how hard is it to just upgrade the power supply? And would I need to add some fancy "liquid-cooling" to?
Last edited by knightrider on Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by lazydavid »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:55 pm Anyone tried installing a Tesla T4 GPU into a standard workstation desktop? The specs says it requires 300W power. Would most power supplies be able to provide that? If not, how hard is it to just upgrade the power supply? And would I need to add some fancy "liquid-cooling" to?
The T4 is a 70-watt part:
The NVIDIA Tesla T4 takes a single slot and only uses 70 watts of power. One can easily install two Tesla T4 in the same physical space and power budget of one Tesla V100.
Source: https://www.servethehome.com/nvidia-tes ... of%20power.

Perhaps the recommendation is a minimum Power Supply of 300w for the whole system. But it's not clear to me why you'd actually want this in a desktop. it costs between $2,000 and $6,500, has just over half the horsepower of a GeForce 1660 (which costs $219), and no video outputs of any kind.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by knightrider »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:21 pm
knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:55 pm Anyone tried installing a Tesla T4 GPU into a standard workstation desktop? The specs says it requires 300W power. Would most power supplies be able to provide that? If not, how hard is it to just upgrade the power supply? And would I need to add some fancy "liquid-cooling" to?
The T4 is a 70-watt part:
The NVIDIA Tesla T4 takes a single slot and only uses 70 watts of power. One can easily install two Tesla T4 in the same physical space and power budget of one Tesla V100.
Source: https://www.servethehome.com/nvidia-tes ... of%20power.

Perhaps the recommendation is a minimum Power Supply of 300w for the whole system. But it's not clear to me why you'd actually want this in a desktop. it costs between $2,000 and $6,500, has just over half the horsepower of a GeForce 1660 (which costs $219), and no video outputs of any kind.
Sorry, my mistake. Meant to write K80, not T4. I need this for machine learning applications like running Tensorflow. We do not need any video outputs. Just looking for something cheap that will outperform our 28 core Intel CPU machines by an order of magnitude.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by lazydavid »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:38 pm Sorry, my mistake. Meant to write K80, not T4. I need this for machine learning applications like running Tensorflow. We do not need any video outputs. Just looking for something cheap that will outperform our 28 core Intel CPU machines by an order of magnitude.
That makes more sense. Yes, it has a 300W rating, requires one standard 8-pin PCI-E power connector, and a 700w power supply is recommended for the overall system. Totally doable in a desktop.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by tortoise84 »

Independent George wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:35 pm When I set up my new system, the same drive booted in about 25 seconds - exactly as fast as you'd expect given the bandwidth doubled between generations. The NVME drive (PCIE 3.0) boots in about 15 seconds, which is a solid 40% improvement, but still not quite what you'd project from the 5x bandwidth from SATA 3; I think that means loading the OS to memory is now bottlenecked by the CPU and not drive bandwidth.
You may be able to shave a few more seconds off by enabling "Fast Boot" in your BIOS. Beware that you won't be able to enter your BIOS by hitting Del anymore. But instead you can do it by holding down Shift while clicking Restart which will bring up the Recovery screen, then Troubleshoot, Advanced options, UEFI Firmware Settings.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by LadyGeek »

If you want to track Windows boot time only, use the Windows Event Viewer. Boot starts at event #1. Track boot time until the OS is ready for the human to login.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by knightrider »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:41 pm
knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:38 pm Sorry, my mistake. Meant to write K80, not T4. I need this for machine learning applications like running Tensorflow. We do not need any video outputs. Just looking for something cheap that will outperform our 28 core Intel CPU machines by an order of magnitude.
That makes more sense. Yes, it has a 300W rating, requires one standard 8-pin PCI-E power connector, and a 700w power supply is recommended for the overall system. Totally doable in a desktop.
Thanks. Would this under $1000 workstation from Dell do the trick for installing a Tesla K80? It says the power supply is 950W.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by lazydavid »

knightrider wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:37 am
lazydavid wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:41 pm
knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:38 pm Sorry, my mistake. Meant to write K80, not T4. I need this for machine learning applications like running Tensorflow. We do not need any video outputs. Just looking for something cheap that will outperform our 28 core Intel CPU machines by an order of magnitude.
That makes more sense. Yes, it has a 300W rating, requires one standard 8-pin PCI-E power connector, and a 700w power supply is recommended for the overall system. Totally doable in a desktop.
Thanks. Would this under $1000 workstation from Dell do the trick for installing a Tesla K80? It says the power supply is 950W.
Yes, the main product page for that model actually shows it taking two dual-slot traditional GPUs, so the K80 should work just fine. One concern I would have though, is 4 cores enough to manage scheduling of whatever jobs you're using the Tensor cores to do? The actual work is being done on the card, but you presumably need the main CPU to manage and dispatch the jobs. I don't know anything about your workload, just something to consider.
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Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Post by knightrider »

lazydavid wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:15 am Yes, the main product page for that model actually shows it taking two dual-slot traditional GPUs, so the K80 should work just fine. One concern I would have though, is 4 cores enough to manage scheduling of whatever jobs you're using the Tensor cores to do? The actual work is being done on the card, but you presumably need the main CPU to manage and dispatch the jobs. I don't know anything about your workload, just something to consider.
I am not sure about the workload. All I know is the researchers want to run machine learning python code like TensorFlow. Basically image training. I'll do some more research if 4 cpus is enough for the main OS to dispatch that to the GPU. I would think it is ok. Memory may be an issue though. I am not sure if machine learning uses the GPU memory or the machine memory or both?
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