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efaardvark

Building a new gaming PC

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Got an AMD 2700X for Christmas!  Yeah, my family is like that.  OTOH, that's ALL they got me.  Just the CPU.  Yeah, my family is like that too.  :D  I can't use the AM3+ socketed motherboard or the DDR3 RAM from my old FX system, so it looks like I'm going to be spending some money.  Anyone have suggestions for a nice AM4-socket  MB/RAM combo?  I'll be running my usual Linux (tho maybe an Arch-based distro like Manjaro rather than the Ubuntu I've got on here now) and some development stuff for work, but secondarily I want to make the new system a good place for VR and gaming as well.  Extra bonus points for having a full PCIx4 channel for an NVME SSD (I compile a lot) and/or being able to run 2 GPUs so I can dedicate one to a virtual machine for testing.  TIA....

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Gotta love the family that buys you a very expensive item that you can not use. My fam has done this before. Here is a couple examples for what I would suggest I am not sure what your price point is, but I'll list one higher and one lower. Hopefully this is some good stuff for you. Let me know if you want help with anything else. I love helping people build computers, and helping picking parts for them.

MOBO MSI X470 GAMING PRO CARBON AM4 AMD X470 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

MOBO Cheaper  : MSI X370 GAMING PLUS AM4 AMD X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM CORSAIR Vengeance LED 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Memory (Desktop Memory) Model CMU16GX4M2C3200C16B

RAM Cheaper : CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory Model CMK16GX4M2B3000C15R

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Thanks for the refs.  With this CPU I'm definitely looking at the upper-end x470 boards.  Right now I'm liking the ASUS Crosshair VII...

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-CROSSHAIR-VII-HERO/

A bit expensive, but looks quite capable of anything I might want to do with it.  I've also seen several reports that it works flawlessly with linux.

To be paired with some G.SKILL TridentZ C14, 3200Mhz memory..

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232206

I'd love to go for 3600Mhz memory, but memory is pretty expensive right now.  Even just this much is already more $$ than the motherboard itself!  Even "just" overclocking to 3200 is more than I need, tbh.  I just want to have a little fun.  :)  Fortunately I've already got the CPU for free and I can reuse the rest of my system's parts or I'd probably back off a bit.

The partpicker list for the complete system (as currently envisioned) is here..

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/jmgrant/saved/drB6sY

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15 hours ago, efaardvark said:

Thanks for the refs.  With this CPU I'm definitely looking at the upper-end x470 boards.  Right now I'm liking the ASUS Crosshair VII...

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-CROSSHAIR-VII-HERO/

A bit expensive, but looks quite capable of anything I might want to do with it.  I've also seen several reports that it works flawlessly with linux.

To be paired with some G.SKILL TridentZ C14, 3200Mhz memory..

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232206

I'd love to go for 3600Mhz memory, but memory is pretty expensive right now.  Even just this much is already more $$ than the motherboard itself!  Even "just" overclocking to 3200 is more than I need, tbh.  I just want to have a little fun.  :)  Fortunately I've already got the CPU for free and I can reuse the rest of my system's parts or I'd probably back off a bit.

The partpicker list for the complete system (as currently envisioned) is here..

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/jmgrant/saved/drB6sY

ahh your an ASUS person huh thats cool. I prefer MSI for mobo myself, and corsair wherever possible. My PC is basically msi, intel, and then most the rest is all corsair. :) 

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7 hours ago, ArchieKun said:

your an ASUS person

Not intentionally, though I do seem to be on an ASUS run recently.  I built my brother a system using MSI last year however.  Their BIOS was a bit confusing, and needed an update to recognize the 2200G I/we put in it, but they're certainly a lot cheaper than ASUS.  Gigabyte is also decent in my experience.

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2 minutes ago, efaardvark said:

Not intentionally, though I do seem to be on an ASUS run recently.  I built my brother a system using MSI last year however.  Their BIOS was a bit confusing, and needed an update to recognize the 2200G I/we put in it, but they're certainly a lot cheaper than ASUS.  Gigabyte is also decent in my experience.

Ya I have now used all three of those manufactures. When I used ASUS which was used on the second computer I ever built mind you it was hell to say the least. I was a great deal less experienced mind you, but nevertheless it was a nightmare. BIOS bugs issues with memory timings you name it. Though now I grateful for that as it honestly taught me quite a bit. I still have one of my Gigabyte computers. I am in the process of converting it to be a Linux box for a Minecraft server. That should be rather fun. My current rig, and my wifu's laptop rare both MSI computers from last year, but still running like new. Of course we ain't sporting any of them 20 series RTX cards or nothing, but they really are not needed for what we do plus the gaming market is so not ready for those as barley any games, or software even truly takes advantage of them except Battlefield 5, and FF 15.

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22 hours ago, ArchieKun said:

BIOS bugs issues with memory timings

That's odd.  The one thing I usually rely on ASUS for is good memory support, especially for overclocking.  (XMP now.. that's another issue that all manufacturers seem to be struggling with.)  I have heard questionable things about ASUS-spinoff ASRock, but ASUS itself has always worked well for me.  My only issue with them is price.

That said, I went and pulled the trigger on the C7H board.  Should be here by next week.  Gotta remember to back up everything important this weekend before it gets here though.  I'm kind of bad about playing with new toys as soon as I get them and forgetting stuff like that.. until I get in trouble.  Oops.  :)

23 hours ago, ArchieKun said:

Of course we ain't sporting any of them 20 series RTX cards or nothing, but they really are not needed for what we do plus the gaming market is so not ready

Yeah, my "old" 8G Radeon RX 480 is plenty for everything I've tried so far too.  Overkill even.  Even stuff like FFXV works fine at "normal" 1080p HD.  Maybe I'd go to 1440p on some titles if I really wanted to push it and it didn't drop the frame rate too much.  According to game-debate, FFXV's "recommended" (i.e high-end) card is a 4GB GTX1060/RX480, which will get you 60fps on "high" settings at 1080p.  Unless you're really, really into games - and have money to burn - I just don't see the need for anything much beyond a 1060 tbh.  Though some games definitely benefit from more memory than is on most low-end 1060 cards, the GPU itself is perfectly serviceable. 

I think a lot of the hype pushing the 20xx cards is about 4k gaming.  Honestly I think that's getting a bit ridiculous.  Heck, my eyes aren't that good!  What's the point of going to higher resolutions if the dots are already too small to see??  :) Higher-end GFX cards might become more of a thing when/if games get more thread-aware and can push more polygons into the GPUs, but we're definitely not there yet.

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17 hours ago, efaardvark said:

That's odd.  The one thing I usually rely on ASUS for is good memory support, especially for overclocking.  (XMP now.. that's another issue that all manufacturers seem to be struggling with.)  I have heard questionable things about ASUS-spinoff ASRock, but ASUS itself has always worked well for me.  My only issue with them is price.

That said, I went and pulled the trigger on the C7H board.  Should be here by next week.  Gotta remember to back up everything important this weekend before it gets here though.  I'm kind of bad about playing with new toys as soon as I get them and forgetting stuff like that.. until I get in trouble.  Oops.  :)

Yeah, my "old" 8G Radeon RX 480 is plenty for everything I've tried so far too.  Overkill even.  Even stuff like FFXV works fine at "normal" 1080p HD.  Maybe I'd go to 1440p on some titles if I really wanted to push it and it didn't drop the frame rate too much.  According to game-debate, FFXV's "recommended" (i.e high-end) card is a 4GB GTX1060/RX480, which will get you 60fps on "high" settings at 1080p.  Unless you're really, really into games - and have money to burn - I just don't see the need for anything much beyond a 1060 tbh.  Though some games definitely benefit from more memory than is on most low-end 1060 cards, the GPU itself is perfectly serviceable. 

I think a lot of the hype pushing the 20xx cards is about 4k gaming.  Honestly I think that's getting a bit ridiculous.  Heck, my eyes aren't that good!  What's the point of going to higher resolutions if the dots are already too small to see??  :) Higher-end GFX cards might become more of a thing when/if games get more thread-aware and can push more polygons into the GPUs, but we're definitely not there yet.

I see yah I have heard similar things about pretty much any off ASUS's offshoots that they basically suck, and your going to have one hell of a time with them. Though looking back on it now even more so after you say this I am almost certain I may have broke something back then when I really was far less experienced then now. Its basically night and day in that regard at least in my case.

Far as the graphics settings for gaming and video steaming go I am kinda odd when it comes to that. I understand how it all wworks, and do play with it a lot on my toy/play machine though ffor my main computer not so much since for my default settings normally is enough. I mostly am playing things like JRPGs and VNs, or anime games. I do like things like The Witcher, and whatnot, but rarely mesas with things unless something is not working. 

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The FedEx guy left me some boxes today.  👍  Still need the memory and the NVME M.2 stick though.  With luck they'll get here tomorrow (Sat.) & I can install everything this weekend.  Otherwise I'll probably have to put it off until next week.  Not much time to play with toys during the week, and Sunday is already spoken for.  :(

IMG_4082.thumb.JPG.5734c7f49b13dbcb99870c0c1e06b8ed.JPG

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Success!  I installed the new hardware and did a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04 to the M.2 stick.  I still have a bunch of configuration to do as a result of the clean install though.  I haven't tried KSP or minecraft either. :D  But the machine is obviously way faster and the magic blue smoke is staying inside so I'm declaring victory and going to bed.  😪🛌 Gotta work tomorrow .. or today.. or whatever.  What time is it anyway??  😱

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OMG niccceeeeee I wish i could upgrade my pc!!! 

Who needs to know what time it...

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Spent a couple hours after work restoring from backups & of course I had to test things as I went.  One of the things was making sure minecraft still runs. ("apt install openjdk-8-jre" is the magic incantation to get the right version of java btw.)  Maybe it is just me, but I always feel a sense of visiting the old neighborhood when wandering around on the old multiplayer server.  :D

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Dangit.. I *just* got my spiffy new 2700x system running, and now they've announced spiffier new CPUs, 3rd-gen Ryzens to compete with Intel's i9s....

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13829/amd-ryzen-3rd-generation-zen-2-pcie-4-eight-core

Isn't that the way with electronics?  Next week's toy is always faster/better than the one you bought this week.  And more expensive too.

Well, I'm not going to get too upset.  PCI 4.0 means a new chipset too, and if they're competing with i9s... did I mention that new toys are expensive?  I think I'll just enjoy the one I got for now and see what develops over the next couple years.

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On 1/7/2019 at 9:05 PM, Greeneyes said:

OMG niccceeeeee I wish i could upgrade my pc!!! 

Who needs to know what time it...

Its easy honestly they make it so much easier then it used to be. Just fits together and connect all the wires and there you go. You normally geet manuals for most of your parts, and building/upgrading a PC unlike a laptop is fairly standard across the board. I'd just just find a old, or unused computer laying around the house and start experimenting with taking it apart. Thats how I learned in the beginning.

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20 hours ago, ArchieKun said:

Its easy honestly they make it so much easier then it used to be. Just fits together and connect all the wires and there you go. You normally geet manuals for most of your parts, and building/upgrading a PC unlike a laptop is fairly standard across the board. I'd just just find a old, or unused computer laying around the house and start experimenting with taking it apart. Thats how I learned in the beginning. 

I agree.  Hardware-wise things are pretty bulletproof these days.  Virtually all the modern slots and connectors (PCIe, M.2, SATA, memory, etc.) are keyed so that you physically can't connect things wrong.  There's still ways to configure things wrong, or at least non-optimally, software-wise but a modern BIOS on modern hardware pretty much won't let you do things so wrong that you let the magic smoke out.  Occasionally I run into difficulties getting legacy components working but that's getting more rare every year.  Pretty much anything that doesn't autoconfig correctly these days I consider to be broken.

The only things you do have to be careful about are static discharges (I always wear a grounded wrist-strap) and working with the CPU.  All those pins on the CPU chip are extremely susceptible to damage if mishandled so you want to be very careful when handling the chip and plugging it in or taking it out of the CPU socket.  Making sure the heatsink is on securely and the fan(s) connected is also critical, though not especially hard.

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18 hours ago, efaardvark said:

I agree.  Hardware-wise things are pretty bulletproof these days.  Virtually all the modern slots and connectors (PCIe, M.2, SATA, memory, etc.) are keyed so that you physically can't connect things wrong.  There's still ways to configure things wrong, or at least non-optimally, software-wise but a modern BIOS on modern hardware pretty much won't let you do things so wrong that you let the magic smoke out.  Occasionally I run into difficulties getting legacy components working but that's getting more rare every year.  Pretty much anything that doesn't autoconfig correctly these days I consider to be broken.

The only things you do have to be careful about are static discharges (I always wear a grounded wrist-strap) and working with the CPU.  All those pins on the CPU chip are extremely susceptible to damage if mishandled so you want to be very careful when handling the chip and plugging it in or taking it out of the CPU socket.  Making sure the heatsink is on securely and the fan(s) connected is also critical, though not especially hard.

Yes I know what you mean. I have been working with tech my whole life, and have kept up on how to use, and operate it. Ido think a lot of times people try to troubleshoot to quickly without really knowing the issue. It is a good skill to spot a issue quick thats something for the most part I to know how to do having worked with many. Though I personally like configuring bios and other computer hardware/software myself. Sometimes when they make it to easy it actually makes it harder for those expecting to set thugs up.

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22 hours ago, efaardvark said:

For anyone interested in what personal computers were like back in the last century... 
https://youtu.be/sewt2pqc3us

 

OMG !!!! I love retro stuff for collection purposes mainly but its fun to tinker with that old stuff. 

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5 hours ago, ArchieKun said:

I love retro stuff

Then you would love my junk boxen.  I've got an old dual athlon, ECC memory system that used to be my household server before I got my Synology NAS.  I turned it off and set it aside a few years ago, but never tore it down.  Still has the RAID card and drive array that was my very first experience with setting up a RAID.  It has to be at least a decade old at this point.

Also nearby is an "EP-MVP3G5" socket-7 motherboard ca. 1999, with ISA, PCI (original), and AGP slots.  That was my do-anything system for many years.  I kept it around "just in case" I needed to access some old tech, but I haven't even seen an ISA card for over a decade.

I used to have a lot more but that's pretty much all I have left.  I had a bin in the garage and for a long time I just threw the old stuff in there when I built a new system.  It kind of took on a life of its own after a while.  :)  As I get time & energy & enthusiasm over the last few months I've been going through it all and slowly getting rid of it.  One problem was/is that I didn't destroy the old drives, and I'm not sure enough of the contents to just throw them in the trash.  I made copies of everything on the new system(s), but there might be things like old tax or other financial records still on the old drives.  As soon as I'm sure I don't have any old media (I even have an old ZIP drive and a "PD" optical drive - both SCSI) that I want to format over and/or copy to the NAS it is all going out the door.  Kind of fun going through it all one last time too.

Edited by efaardvark

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16 hours ago, efaardvark said:

Then you would love my junk boxen.  I've got an old dual athlon, ECC memory system that used to be my household server before I got my Synology NAS.  I turned it off and set it aside a few years ago, but never tore it down.  Still has the RAID card and drive array that was my very first experience with setting up a RAID.  It has to be at least a decade old at this point.

Also nearby is an "EP-MVP3G5" socket-7 motherboard ca. 1999, with ISA, PCI (original), and AGP slots.  That was my do-anything system for many years.  I kept it around "just in case" I needed to access some old tech, but I haven't even seen an ISA card for over a decade.

I used to have a lot more but that's pretty much all I have left.  I had a bin in the garage and for a long time I just threw the old stuff in there when I built a new system.  It kind of took on a life of its own after a while.  :)  As I get time & energy & enthusiasm over the last few months I've been going through it all and slowly getting rid of it.  One problem was/is that I didn't destroy the old drives, and I'm not sure enough of the contents to just throw them in the trash.  I made copies of everything on the new system(s), but there might be things like old tax or other financial records still on the old drives.  As soon as I'm sure I don't have any old media (I even have an old ZIP drive and a "PD" optical drive - both SCSI) that I want to format over and/or copy to the NAS it is all going out the door.  Kind of fun going through it all one last time too.

Far as removing your files you can always use the cipher command in the command prompt to prevent any data on those old drives from being recovered. Here is also a software called Derek's Boot & Nuke that may help in this as well if your windows OS on there dose not support the command as I believe its a newer one starting with Vista.

That is pretty too that you have kept all that old stuff. I have a good amount of my old computer parts and several bins of cabling still, and of course my tools which I have been wanting to organize just have not made the time as of yet.

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1 hour ago, ArchieKun said:

you can always use the cipher command in the command prompt

That's assuming you can get the drive connected hardware-wise in the first place.  Some of this stuff is so old that even that is a problem.  My current motherboard doesn't have either IDE or SCSI connectors for instance.  I've had some luck with an IDE to USB adapter for the former.  The SCSI is still a problem in some cases however.  One of the reasons that I still have that old dual-athlon system for instance is because that RAID card is the only way I have to interface with the drives connected to it.  Unfortunately it is a proprietary interface that doesn't support direct interface with the drives from the OS.  (The RAID card announces itself to the OS as one huge drive, but manages the individual drives "privately".  Otherwise I'd just use linux's "dd" utility to overwrite all the blocks with zeros and be done with it.)  I do have a USB->SCSI adapter as well, but it is the 50-pin variety and these use the 78(?) pin LVD interface.  I kind of painted myself into a corner with those drives.

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59 minutes ago, efaardvark said:

That's assuming you can get the drive connected hardware-wise in the first place.  Some of this stuff is so old that even that is a problem.  My current motherboard doesn't have either IDE or SCSI connectors for instance.  I've had some luck with an IDE to USB adapter for the former.  The SCSI is still a problem in some cases however.  One of the reasons that I still have that old dual-athlon system for instance is because that RAID card is the only way I have to interface with the drives connected to it.  Unfortunately it is a proprietary interface that doesn't support direct interface with the drives from the OS.  (The RAID card announces itself to the OS as one huge drive, but manages the individual drives "privately".  Otherwise I'd just use linux's "dd" utility to overwrite all the blocks with zeros and be done with it.)  I do have a USB->SCSI adapter as well, but it is the 50-pin variety and these use the 78(?) pin LVD interface.  I kind of painted myself into a corner with those drives.

You could try looking for a legacy drive sled. A device that lets you test hard rives to see if they work. Those typically come with most standards for connection both old and new though scsi may be tough as that was more of a enterprise tech still used today, but being phased out by U.2. Honestly in your case for getting that drive interface with something id you got the cash may not be bad idea to just order a old mobo that supports thise connections. You can just use your screw driver to short the power butyton pins hook up the drive to the port of your choice, or that it requires and so long as the drive is in a sled, or nay of some kind you should not run into to many issues. Even if you do short out the mobo in some way in this situation its a through away one for a singular purpose anyway, That way you could at least get things removed from your disk for security.

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