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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by abuzar1, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    SSDs are excellent for your OS especially. They really improve the responsiveness and snappiness of your entire computing experience. Really a big jump from mechanical HDDs, especially if you are using older ones.

    As for what my choice will be I have a couple ways of approaching it but here's the basic rundown. My motherboard is Z97 which was one of the first generations to support NVMe SSDs. Basically PCI Express SSDs through the M.2 slot. The normal standard is 4x PCIe lanes for an SSD, however my older Z97 board only supports 2x. This is still about 3x faster than my 850 Pro using SATA. I know I can use modern 4x drives just fine, a friend with an identical board uses a Samsung 950 Pro. All that being said, I can actually go to a cheaper drive then.

    https://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-FORCE-MP300-120GB-Storage/dp/B07D98DZ38/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=corsair+SSD&qid=1551008126&s=electronics&sr=1-7&th=1

    Released last year with the odd choice of being only a 2x drive, the Corsair MP300 seems like a pretty solid product. It's gotten a surprising amount of good reviews, and the underlying hardware is said to be tried and true. I can save some money because the extra performance from higher end SSDs isn't really usable. It's more than capable of saturating the 2x bus no problem and dirt cheap for 240GB.

    I'll be throwing in a new WD 4TB Blue HDD to fill all the bays in my main PC case. I am currently at 2TB for game installs, and 2 x 2TB plus 1 x 4TB for storage. Add to that 6TB of storage in my other PC. All of my storage drives on both PCs are totally full, lol. I have a lot of files to remux, compile, re-encode, or otherwise finish up and get off my drives. Some breathing space will work wonders.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As far as re-doing the fans in my case I have a lot of options and a lot of good ideas. My favorite so far is a pretty interesting one. The NZXT H440 can either fit 3 x 120mm fans in front or 2 x 140mm fans. Since the front airflow is very restrictive, it's a good idea to use radiator fans at high RPM that are designed to produce a lot of air pressure. This helps overcome the restriction.

    Well the pair of fans left over from my Corsair H115i AiO liquid cooler are Corsair SP140Ls. They're basically the highest performance, highest static pressure 140mm fan you can get, period. There's maybe one other model that matches them in outright performance.

    Corsair SP140L 140mm(H115i Fans)

    Speed: 2000+ RPM
    Airflow: 104.65+ CFM
    Noise Level: 40+ dBA
    Static Pressure: 3.99 mm-H2O

    For a 140mm fan these are monster specs. Corsair is understating their power as well from what I've been told. They really spin well over 2000RPM, possibly up to 2500, and approach 120CFM of airflow. But that 40dB+ of noise, ouch. So I'll hook these up to the fan hub and let them auto throttle with the CPU temperature. That will ensure plenty of strong airflow when things get toasty, but keep them at a lower speed at all other times.

    Considering the ultra high performance and static pressure of the front fans, I can mount basically anything for exhaust and still end up with positive pressure. I have many other fans hanging around, and am experimenting with other combos. I still want 2 x 140mms in the top for exhaust, but I'm not sure what to do with the rear. I might remove the fan there entirely, because the Noctua CPU cooler's rear fan is already very close to the rear fan slot.

    The Thermaltake Riing 14 140mms are all in good shape. Despite dying LEDs, the fans themselves work fine and are quite nice as multi-purpose fans. They have anti-vibration rubber mounts, and are a damn sight quieter than the Corsair fans. I have a set of three working fans, all matched just with dead LEDs.

    Thermaltake Riing 14 140mm

    Speed: 1400 RPM
    Airflow: 51.15 CFM
    Noise Level: 28 dBA
    Static Pressure: 1.58 mm-H2O

    Using the three of these as top and rear exhaust in combination with the two high performance fans would just about guarantee positive pressure for my case. Their overall specs aren't great but they produce decent pressure and are much quieter for the given performance than the Corsairs.

    When I get around to mounting fans, I'll take a look and see what can be done. It seems like the two high performance Corsairs and the three current 140mm Thermaltakes might be a good setup. It's already going to get a rebuild as I reconfigure my drives and re-route my cabling, so experimentation will be easy. Positive pressure will be the main goal to reduce dust build up on the chassis and air filter.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As for video cards, yes the GTX1070 comes standard with 8GB of memory. It's quite a good card, and more than up to the task of 1080p and 1440p gaming.

    My Samsung 32" 1440p monitor has continued to deteriorate. There are waves in the display where the separation of layers has gotten much worse. I fully intend to replace this monitor and very soon.

    I kind of want to stick with 32" as it fits my desk and my viewing needs quite well. However 32" 1440p displays are expensive and I am growing weary of the extra demand 1440p places on my video card. Also DSR works much better with a 1080p display. When using 4 x DSR, 1080p monitors will work out to 4K, but 1440p will work out to about 5K. Much more demanding. Some games I could DSR fine with a 1080p display are hard to run on this 1440 display. UI scaling is also much better at 1080p. Other games, such as Ghost Recon Wildlands, require video settings sacrifices to run well at 1440p.

    Well there's really only one 32" 1080p panel around that's not monstrously expensive, and it's used in a few displays. This Dell is pretty much universally considered the best of the bunch.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07767YLNC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    The overall specs aren't great and reviews rate it as mediocre. That said it's a good deal and comes recommended by many. It's using IPS and LED lighting so at its worst it can't be too bad. I need it as an entertainment display more than as a professional or graphics display. With a little calibration I imagine it will be better than the many cheap TVs I've used. It will be a nice performance upgrade, and a nice change from the blotchy/streaky image I see now. The Samsung is also using a different color temperature than other displays, which I'm not particularly fond of for accuracy reasons. The worst caveat of the Dell is that the stand is quite lame. I'll replace it with a universal VESA stand. Worst case scenario the monitor is quite cheap so I'm not out much.

    If I wanted UltraWide or 1440p, the pool of choices would be much larger. For 1080p I am very limited. Should be an interesting buy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  2. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Hello again all :)

    I haven't actually made the leap to using M.2 SSDs for my local machines yet, I've still found regular SATA fast enough for my needs. I imagine I might start doing so the next time I rebuild a machine. As it stands, replacing the 960GB SSD in my games PC (Voyager, in the HAF932) with an M.2 example wouldn't be cheap.

    The world of business computing has finally woken up to using SSDs after all these years and we're now finally quoting SSDs as standard across the board for new workstations at work. Likewise I have a few SSD upgrade rollout plans in place for existing machines.
    One of those projects involves machines that were built many years ago (I'm guessing around 2010) for CAD purposes - opening them to check their eligibility for SSD upgrades was a real bit of nostalgia - they're all running i7 950s with Gigabyte X58 boards, 6x2GB of Corsair XMS3 RAM and 300GB WD Velociraptors - the latter of which I don't think I've ever actually worked with in the flesh before. The little 2.5" to 3.5" heatsink caddies are still as odd now as they were then. Paired up with old Dell 3007WFPs (and 2407FPWs as secondaries), it was quite a pleasant setup to work with.

    We've been using Crucial pretty much across the board as they're pretty competitively priced, easy to get hold of and you can also get them via Crucial's system analysis tool which we find indispensible for RAM upgrades.
    Very recently I had my first foray into deploying an AMD Ryzen machine which was a rather negative experience, it must be said. We can only next-day machines from Lenovo with 8GB RAM fitted, so if the customer wants 16GB fitted, we have to order that separately.
    I picked out the right DDR4 speed, CAS latency and voltage in a module from Kingston expecting that to be enough. Alas, the machine refused to POST with the second stick installed, in any configuration. We RMA'ed it for another with the same result. As soon as I used the Crucial tool to advise on what seemed like an identical specification, that worked just fine. It's possible we had two defective sticks in a row from Kingston, but I suspect whats more likely is that the AMD memory controllers are more picky about what memory they work with. One to keep an eye on.

    As for personal storage, it hasn't increased all that much in the last couple of years but a refresh is certainly on the 'to do' list.
    My on-site server (Intrepid, in the 4U 20-bay case) is sitting with the same mishmash of disks it's had for almost three years now, 71TB spread across various 2,3,4,6 and 8TB WDs. Many of these disks are now over 5 years old, some of the ones I'm using for on-site backup are now over 10. The concept of some of my 1TB WD Green drives being 11 years old now is rather scary. Not so long ago, we used to write off hardware that old as useless relics...
    The off-site server (Unimaginatively called FTP2 - it was also built by a friend to colo in their datacentre, so I haven't actually seen it in person) was only built in 2016 and has been expanded a couple of times since. Due to the pretty extensive list of faults with the board in my on-site server, the off-site box does the vast majority of the work now in terms of acquiring new content.
    It's running three 8TB WD Reds, and two 12TB Seagate Ironwolf drives, plus a 240GB M.2 SSD for the OS. The idea, once I can afford it, is to upgrade this box with enough capacity to back up the full 71TB off-site (not that every drive is full, there is around 14TB of free space split across the 19 data disks). Quite when I'll actually manage to get round to doing that I'm not sure. It's long overdue!

    Quite comically, cooling is basically a complete non-issue nowadays. All three machines that are used regularly are running the Intel stock cooler, as indeed is FTP2. The 4 side fans on the HAF are never used now, and the top 2 stay at half speed. Modern CPUs just don't put out that sort of heat any more. Likewise, the GTX1080 installed almost 3 years ago hardly makes any noise at all, certainly compared with the GPUs I used to run. It's also plenty powerful enough for the job at 4k and based on the RTX series pricing, I can't see that being upgraded any time soon either.
    Likewise with the two 4k monitors, the UP3216Q is approaching 3 years old, the UP3214Q is already well over 5 years old, yet there's nothing I would replace either of them with. The panels on them are both immaculate with, as far as I'm aware, not a single dead pixel on either of them. Just as well really, given their price, but they've certainly earned their keep.


    So right now, what's next is to replace the mostly-dead Z170 board in Intrepid, and I imagine the i5 6500 that came with it, with something that hopefully doesn't lock up if you apply more than 10% CPU load to it for more than a few seconds, or if you use any of the front USBs, or if you download too much data in short succession, etc. etc. It's pretty much useless and thus, that server has seen very minimal use of late!
    There's also the question of whether to replace the Z270 board in Voyager, as the onboard audio doesn't work properly, and neither does the onboard LAN. I used a separate PCIe sound card to resolve the former, but the latter is infuriating, and I don't really want to resort to putting two separate 1x cards in, or using a USB ethernet adapter. The rest of it still seems to work OK though, so I'll probably leave it for a bit.
    Once that's done, onto the disk cascade. There are certainly more efficient ways of getting 71TB than using 19 separate disks these days, and I can then use the currently live disks to replace the numerous 10+ old backup drives. Augment that with an appropriate number of extra disks in the remote server and a disk controller to run them and that should be that for quite a while.
    All pretty spendy stuff though, between changing jobs a year ago to one paying a little less, paying for a car and a fairly expensive holiday, upgrades are moving at a pretty slow pace compared to the old days!


    Games-wise, up until relatively recently Overwatch had been the title of choice between me and my friends, though recently that's been sidelined in favour of Apex Legends. We're also currently doing a co-op runthrough of Factorio.

    Hope you're both well (since nobody else apart from us seems to post in this thread any more!)
     
  3. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Ha it's been a while. Nice to see you still around :)

    Since switching to Intel and the 1070 a few years ago my hardware has been pretty static. It plays all the games I want with the settings cranked at 60FPS, and is appropriately overqualified for video playback. Not much need for anything newer. Just a smaller case with dust filters which has been a blessing in many ways.

    I also have been putting off M.2 for a while, but freeing up a power and data lead for another HDD would be nice. It will also make cable routing easier and let me have a cleaner overall build. It was still fairly expensive here until not too long ago. In the last year or so the prices have really dropped, and there has been more competition. I'm still pretty set on the cheap little 240GB Corsair drive. It will manage over 2x speeds on a 4x bus, so would be fine in future builds, and more than meets my needs for now. I don't really need it as 128GB is enough for my OS, but the breathing space would be nice, as well as the speed boost. Sometimes I'd just like to have 100GB open to get a project done quickly. Also the drive is VERY affordable for what you get. This will fit the bill perfectly.

    As for cooling I prefer an aftermarket cooler when available. Modern overclocking still sees 200W+ TDPs for high overclocks and plenty of heat output. If you don't overclock though, the need shrinks quite a bit. I like to overclock for a lot of reasons. It's very beneficial for emulation, encoding, and a few other things. I'm not serious enough about encoding to jump to a 6 or 8 core CPU quite yet, but the overclock helps. Also, while not really necessary, it helps some with PC gaming as well. It especially helps with older game engines that can't manage multi-core very well. I'm not pushing my 4690K very hard At 4.4GHz it can stay around 1.22v under max load with a stress test, so the power and heat are very reasonable, and it runs with very low temperatures.

    Dumped the AiO liquid a while ago for a VERY nice Noctua NH-D15 air cooler. Far quieter than an AiO's noisy rad fans and performs just as well. And both are quieter than stock coolers. The fans on it are awesome. Rated at 19dB for 1200RPM with 67CFM and 1.51mm H2O static pressure, they're incredibly high performance for how quiet they are. Basically purpose designed as fans for tower coolers as the frame makes them awkward for other uses. They have provisions to mount to several different types of coolers, but would be hard to mount properly in a lot of PC cases or radiators. Because my CPU isn't using a ton of volts, instead of its incredible cooling I can take advantage of the Noctua's super low noise. It's completely inaudible over my case fans, even when it's at max and they are throttled down.

    I have since gone through all my Thermaltake fans and mechanically they're all good. Just dead LEDs. Pretty much all of the LEDs are dead now, lol. I have traced the rattle to a loose HDD tray. A piece of electrical tape on the support tabs has quieted that down. Some vibrations are to be expected when spinning up 5 drives in the front of a mid size gaming case. It's pretty stuffed, lol

    As far as fans go I think I'm going to stick with the Thermaltake Riings now that I've had them out and inspected them. Just clean them up and rotate them and keep using them. The reason I got them was that they are similar to the stock fans for the case in that they are optimized for low noise, but trade some of that quietness for more static pressure. The H440 has a lot of noise reduction padding, uses very low noise stock fans, and has a very packed internal layout. It overcomes its airflow restrictions by using a large number of fans. Problem is, NZXT went slightly TOO quiet with their stock fans, and gave them very gently angled blades. So they might be high quality fans, but they're not really low noise, just low performance all around. Given how restrictive the H440 is for airflow, CFM doesn't make a gigantic difference, but more static pressure certainly can. Several tests from around the net and in fact a user's advice on another forum, convinced me the Riings were a good match.

    Comparison of the two 140mm models.

    Thermaltake Riing 14 140mm Blue

    Speed: 1400 RPM
    Airflow: 51 CFM
    Noise Level: 28 dBA
    Static Pressure: 1.58 mm-H2O
    Hydraulic Bearing

    NZXT FN V2 140mm(Stock Fan)

    Speed: 1200 RPM
    Airflow: 50 CFM
    Noise Level: 21 dBA
    Static Pressure: 0.9 mm-H2O
    Rifle Bearing

    Compare to the Corsair fans I outlined above. These are MUCH quieter. There is already a noticeable improvement in overall system temperatures just from switching from the NZXTs to the Thermaltakes, so going to something that makes ludicrous noise doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. My hardware already runs pretty cool.
     
  4. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    As soon as overclocking is involved, absolutely I would still recommend an aftermarket cooler. These days though, I haven't seen the need to buy an overclockable CPU. At some point I will want to perform more video encoding, once the on-site server to store the output is sorted. Just due to its age though, the most powerful CPU I have happens to be in the Mini-ITX LAN PC where there isn't room for a decent cooler.

    Even if I could overclock my i5 7600, I'd have quite a way to go before I'd just match the performance offered by the 8400. Coffee lake was a real step change, at least in total performance and performance per watt even if not performance per core.

    You'd only have to run a 4690K at 3.7Ghz to surpass the 8400 in single-core applications, but to match it in a fair few applications that are fully multithreaded, you'd need 5Ghz+. All the while that 8400 is pootling along on the tiny stock cooler drawing 40-50W tops, and despite what you might think, really isn't that noisy either.
    All the machines I run are still fairly low noise, but that's moot since by far the loudest piece of equipment in the room (since the portable A/C was replaced with a fixed split unit) is the fibre-optic NTU. Utterly unnecessary how powerful those fans are (and 40mm too, so not a nice pitch), but since it's datacentre kit, cooling obviously trumped low noise in the design brief.
     
  5. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Well just look at this thread :D I hope everyone is well.

    M.2? What is that? :rolleyes: I'm still running a 2009 AM3 motherboard lol My 1090t 6 core is chugging along, and a secondary machine is utilizing a Phenom II 940 black quad core. The latter is really showing its age. Certainly when running X265 encoding jobs. Even the 1090t is brought to its knees...
    Even a ryzen am4 8 core seems tempting. Try as I may to justify the cost of Threadripper, or even AM4 offerings, I just can't do it...
    Been living in my apartment for 3+ years. Between wanting more space, and wanting to move away from my neighbors, everything else is kind of on the back burner. Still working part time, but I'm extremely high on the seniority list at my place of work. Only a matter of time.
    I have an upgrade itch like you would not believe. But thankfully, X264, and my gaming needs are currently sufficient. I sure would like to begin encoding Via X265 though. If it could cut even 25% of my current storage usage, that would save multiple terabytes. My secondary machine typically reports a 24+ hour encode. The only reason I run it lately, is to heat the underneath of my desk for my feet lol!!! Even overclocked to 3.8Ghz (it's done it), I'd be lucky to see 18hr encodes. The 6hrs seems trivial, unless I queue up multiple jobs, and leave it. But heat is a concern.

    Fact is, I'd like a new case for those components. A cheapy of course $30 - $50. But everything I look at seems to fall short. I think it's because I'm a tightwad lol But the thought of updating a 10+ year old machine, does not seem appealing. Ebay has been looking quite tempting. But that computer case is from my very first build. It holds particular value lol

    Running a 4k Samsung for gaming, and 4K viewing, thanks to a GTX 1070ti. Both bought last November. I literally thought I may be dying, and you only live once. Apparently, stomach ulcers when bad enough, can really make one feel like crap lol
    Another reason was for native x265 decoding though. The 1090t could barely barely handle decoding.

    And a little while later, I see a deal on ebay for 3 x 2TB for $104.99. Hey, less than 2 cents per gigabyte! How could I refuse! lol I've had good luck with Hitachi/HGST. I'll definitely be quick to run diagnostics on them. But it would appear they've merely sat in there packaging for 7 ish years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  6. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    All jokes aside I would really like a case with front USBs that actually work. The HAF932 is way bigger than I need a machine to be nowadays but there's just no reason to spend money replacing it. It otherwise does the job just fine and the machine isn't doing LANs 10 times a year like it used to.

    Glad to hear your health issues weren't terminal, and good to hear from you again mate!
     
  7. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Front USB ports. Indeed! I have random disconnects every once in a while. Mostly use it for my mouse dongle, and my usb microscope these days. I still have the HAF 932 as well. That was from my second build. I'll probably never get rid of that. Even though I've been looking at some "cubes" that could easily replace it. My credit is doing VERY good, but I refuse to use it, only for financing a house this year or next.

    But a 3.0 port in the front would be SOO much better. Hate reaching for the back every time for a flash drive. Ordinarily, I just use the 2.0 hub, and just be patient. Otherwise I have to disconnect my USB 3.0 dock, or it's too tight. Flash drives are a bit thick lol

    Good to hear from everyone!
     
  8. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    My original HAF932 had the same issues but my HAF932 Advanced had perfectly good USB ports. The size is indeed ridiculous, and since I was no longer cooling an overclocked 1100T, I decided a smaller case would be much better. It's much lighter and easier to move, and thanks to good design, the H440 is a joy to work with when making changes. It has 2 x USB 2.0 ports and 2 x USB 3.0 ports on the top panel of the case, and all are fast and reliable. Overall build quality is noticeably better than the HAF, and cooling is fine once you upgrade the fans.

    I definitely don't run many heavily threaded applications, and those I do, are great on a quad core. That said, the IPC on Coffee lake is excellent, and the overclocking potential is pretty good. At 3.3GHz you are already matching my 4.4GHz 4690K. 4GHz+ I basically can't touch. My CPU maxes at about 4.6 before voltage becomes an issue. A shame that the good overclockable Coffee Lake CPUs are a bit expensive unless you buy the i3. The boards are also likewise a bit expensive. My 4690K was under $200 new, and the z97 board was $180 direct from mfg. If I were to buy a newer CPU I'd definitely be looking to give it a nice healthy overclock like my current CPU. I will always get a stout motherboard and overclock. For me, the need for aftermarket cooling will always be real for that reason alone.

    As far as gaming goes, the 4690K is still excellent at it. Most of the time my video card is still the biggest bottleneck. For every game I currently play, and have played, the 4690K is overqualified. If I were to leave it at stock speed I doubt I'd notice much difference in the majority of my games library. Now if you're doing high refresh rate gaming like 144Hz it maybe a different story with newer games. However for my needs, I could get a much more powerful video card and still be very happy with my CPU.

    Glad to hear everything worked out Omega. I suffered similarly with my sciatica, and thought I had a much more serious problem. Good on you for finally upgrading your video card. I trust it runs all your games pretty well! The GeForce 10 series is fantastic.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    M.2 is a small game changer for me as it gives me back the power cables I need to max out the H440's drive cage. It also frees up my SATA3 interface so just the mechanical HDDs are using it. I will probably never invest in a rack mount drive enclosure, but I will certainly fill both of my cases. I will probably replace my smaller drives with larger ones in the future, but my overall number of drives has sort of a hard limit. I don't mind that as I want to keep everything compact and very simply organized. I'm always pruning my collection as well. I keep only the best stuff.

    Eventually I want to replace the remaining 2 x 1TB HDDs in my other box with some more 2TB drives. Due to not being a UEFI board, it can't handle GPT formatting, so over 2TB is a hassle to work with. Look in my profile for a current version of my hardware array. I am moving the Samsung SSD over to that rig when I get the new drive. After its latest round of upgrades, an SSD would be the ultimate finishing touch to somewhat modernizing that older PC. It's still a perfectly capable PC. Barring some of the more demanding games nowadays, it can handle just about everything I throw at it. Makes a fantastic HTPC and armchair gaming rig. The Gigabyte X38-DS4 also has no problem utilizing the speed of SATA3 HDDs, despite being SATA2. It can't take heavy saturation as well as SATA3, but it's perfectly usable for my needs. It's not ideal for SSDs, but SSDs seem happy enough to run on it. Feels like a system running on an SSD. Pretty snappy.

    Still not decided entirely on what I want to do for a monitor. There aren't a lot of options that I really like. I'd definitely go more expensive if there was something that really caught my eye. Other than video, I don't have much use for 4K monitors. 1440p at 32" would be fine if this panel wasn't garbage. 1080p has a lot more affordable options, and seemingly more reliable and consistent panels in the 32" range. Have considered a modern 32" TV on a VESA stand. I wonder how a TV would compare to an IPS monitor. Probably not very well. I'll bide my time and wait on it. Another 32" 1440p with better specs might be doable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Well I went through again to make sure, and sure enough two of the 120mm Thermaltake Riing fans have bad bearings, especially when using variable RPM. They rattle and grind, whereas the one good 120mm is very quiet at the same RPM. That quality has me MAD for what I paid. Dying or dead LEDs on all 6 fans and bad bearings on two, after only a couple years in a dust filtered case. The two 120mm Riings in my secondary PC are fine and the LEDs are perfectly fine. They're about a year newer. We'll see how they last. I won't be using them in my main PC anymore though. They're not especially good fans as they have pretty cheap specs, but their performance isn't garbage for the noise level and I liked the LEDs. A shame.

    So I bit the bullet and bought a set of six Noctua redux fans for my case. Basically Noctua fans in OEM packaging with no accessories, and gray instead of tan and brown. NF-P12 1700RPM for the front, NF-P14s 1200RPM for the rear. All have a six year warranty, and outright superior specs to the Thermaltakes in every single aspect. I went for a large disparity in airflow and RPM, so the front fans are for sure overwhelming the rears and creating solid positive pressure.

    The 1700RPM 120mm Noctuas are very close in specs to the pair of 1600RPM 120mm Scythe S-Flex's on my secondary PC's CPU cooler. Very quiet for their given RPM, static pressure, and airflow. Both the Scythes and Noctuas are simply an outright better fan than the Thermaltakes in every respect. The Scythes however have far more static pressure than any 120mm fan I've ever owned. They're basically a match made in heaven for air coolers and radiators. In exchange for a little less pressure, the Noctuas have noticeably better CFM airflow. They'd still be GREAT on a radiator or air cooler, but they're IMO best suited to exactly what I'm using them for. They're considered some of the best high pressure case fans available, and EXCEL in filtered, cramped cases where airflow is restricted. They completely outspec every other fan I've looked at, and were one of the cheaper options as well.

    At 1700RPM they make about the same noise as the 1500RPM Thermaltakes, and push TONS more air. Like night and day difference. When using the NZXT H440's fan hub to throttle them down via the motherboard, they're nearly silent at idle speeds. The Thermaltakes made more noise when throttled down, and pushed even less air in comparison. So it seems the Noctuas' performance scales down better with the RPM as well.

    Still waiting on the 140mm Noctuas, but at 1200RPM they TOTALLY outspec the 1400RPM 140mm Thermaltakes, and have a ludicrously low noise rating of some 19dB. I expect I'll be similarly impressed with them. I want to be able to let my fans run at motherboard auto speeds at all times, and still have good performance at idle RPMs. The Thermaltakes were fine at max speed, but just kinda sucked at idle. These Noctuas are just what the doctor ordered. Now every fan in the case, save video card and PSU, will be Noctua. My PC will run cooler AND quieter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  10. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I was never very keen on the quality of the Thermaltake fans I had. I also had a couple of Noctuas which, ordinarily speaking had an excellent airflow to noise ratio for the normal noise a fan makes - unfortunately the examples I had (one 1200 and one 800) both had a bearing resonance noise at around 550Hz which completely drowned out any noise you would otherwise have heard - they weren't exactly loud, maybe 25dB, but loud enough and at a sufficiently annoying pitch that the S-Flexes I replaced them with were vastly quieter for the same job. A shame as without that bearing defect they'd have been pretty decent fans. That was over 10 years ago now so I imagine they'd have sorted those issues by now.
     
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    The fans on my CPU cooler will get some bearing resonance at their max of 1500RPM. Anything below that they're fine. Leaving the motherboard at "Normal" for auto fan control never sees them hit max RPM. Otherwise they're great fans and give excellent performance.

    The NF-P12s at 1700RPM have very quiet bearings, but the noise of the airflow is pretty noticeable. At auto speed they are exceptionally quiet.
     
  12. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    I certainly feel better. I see the stomach doctor in less than two weeks. Can't wait to put that behind me lol

    Yes! The GTX 1070ti has been more than adequate. Wish I could say the same about my recent purchase on ebay. 3 x 2TB @ $105 for new hard drives wasn't bad. But when you discover that 2 of the three have ~25 thousand or more running hours, and the other isn't exactly new either... it's a bit disappointing lol
    The seller offered to refund me $35 for the "mistake". Eh... perhaps lol I accepted the offer for now. I'm now running more extensive tests, to determine trustworthiness.
    They're for redundancy... so if I can get at least a year out of them, I can probably get a couple more 10TB (or larger) drives down the road.
     
  13. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Ouch 25,000 hours. Also, it depends a little on how much they were written and used in that time frame. For my main PC, the two 2TB Greens and single 2TB Black drive are at 29,000 hours, the 4TB Green is at 17000, and the 4TB Blue and SSD are brand new. They are all as fast and quiet as new with good SMART reports. All the old ones have a batch of UDMA CRC errors logged on them that was due to a wrestling match with cheap SATA cables a few years ago. Nothing that bothers me knowing their history. I have no problem believing they'll all go another several years problem free *knock on wood, lol*. In my experience, hard disks that make the first few years without issue usually last a long time.

    The only one bought used was the 2TB Black WD2003FZEX. It was sold honestly as used with a few hundred hours on it, and for a rocking price at the time. He just didn't like the seek noise. It has been rock solid for years now, despite having deafening seek noise at times, lol. The others are nearly silent in comparison. It's very fast though, and easily outperforms any other HDD I own.
     
  14. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Yeah, I agree. Generally, 20+ thousand hours doesn't bother me. I sold my 1TB black WD1001FALS not long ago around 70 thousand hours. That one was the most I've personally owned. No errors, but a single terabyte resembles a 500GB for my uses. Which I don't employ lol

    My 3TB (30EZRS) has 51K. I'll likely be selling that one on ebay soon. Not sure yet. I probably trust it more than the other 3TB that I have. I won't even connect the other, until I know I have a trustworthy drive to back it up to.
     
  15. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Monoprice has an amazing sale going right now. $200 for a 32" 1440p monitor with 10-bit color, FreeSync and HDR. Every single thing I've been looking for. It even has overdrive and additionally many have overclocked to 75Hz. Fantastic. Purchased tonight.

    Funny enough it uses the same exact LCD panel as the Samsung, but has more features and better implementation. The current pricing of the S32D850T is a scam. Also, I would have to imagine that after a few years of maturing, I will definitely get a better batch of the panel. I bought this one used to begin with, so the previous owner saw the issues as well, and there's a good chance it's much older than the purchase date. It's an excellent monitor. The best I've used, mine is just defective. It would be cool to give the panel another try with more compelling features. FreeSync at the very least will be nice. I don't mind running 1440p for the most part. When it works well, it's the perfect resolution for this size. 4K is just too small, and is overwhelming for game performance.

    This Samsung panel sits just south of true 10-bit and sRGB color coverage. Likewise it doesn't really deliver the claimed 3000:1 contrast ratio, and 300cd/m2 of brightness. Many of the more modern 32" panels are much better at matching their listed specs. The Monoprice panel is one of them and with calibration will do about 107% of sRGB, mostly due to better contrast. When I bought it, the Samsung was the first and only 32" 1440p display on the market. Now there are far more options.

    Especially looking forward to 10 bit color and HDR after using this Samsung with its defects and funky color temperature. Even fake HDR would be neat, as many have confirmed the display will make use of an HDR signal.

    As far as my space concerns go, I have made somewhat of a hobby of cramming as much content as I can into the smallest data footprint possible. Everything I have is usually 1:1 quality, so its quite a challenge. No raw remuxes, but very high quality encodes at ~14Mb/s. Every bit of space I can get is a blessing.

    2TB is enough for my game installs usually. Everything I'm not currently playing is stored in highly compressed repacks. I also have about 250GB of music, most of which is lossless. However, I can just stuff the music onto my buffer drive and it stays out of the way.

    I couldn't imagine using a 1TB drive for storage anymore. I still have a WD1001FALS in my other PC as a game installs drive. It has about 50,000 hours on it. But hey it's still reasonably fast and if that drive goes I don't lose anything critical. Just Steam downloads and maybe a few game saves.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  16. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    The 140mm Noctua fans are here. NF-P14s redux-1200PWM. 1200RPM means exceptionally quiet at max speed, and actually, literally silent at idle speed. Under load they move plenty of air but at idle I absolutely cannot hear my PC above the ambient room noise with 8 fans spinning at once. 6 on the case, 2 on the cooler. Video card turns the fans off at idle so is totally noiseless.

    This type of silence is a first for me, and not something I ever expected to achieve with so many fans. The sound deadening padding in the NZXT case combined with the superbly quiet bearings on the Noctuas is a match made in heaven. The three 140mm Noctuas make less noise than the single Thermaltake I had been using as a stopgap in the last few days. And the Thermaltake is not a noisy fan at all. The Noctuas FAR outperform the fans they replaced with way less noise. What beautiful, excellent fans.

    As far as positive pressure goes I remain hopeful this achieves that. The performance difference between the 120mm and 140mm Thermaltakes was not enough to accomplish positive pressure. The case was definitely negative pressure, and collected a lot of dust on the filter and grills. The performance difference between the 120mm and 140mm Noctuas is significantly larger. Hopefully that will cut down on the dust buildup. Using the single Thermaltake as rear exhaust while waiting for the Noctuas definitely created positive pressure. The PC ran several days straight and not a spec of dust on the filter.

    To add to all this, I never really felt comfortable running the Thermaltakes at auto fan speed. They didn't seem to move much air at low RPM, so I left them at max most of the time. The Noctuas move significantly more air at idle, so I definitely feel comfortable running auto speeds 24/7.

    Just a much better deal all around, and makes the NZXT H440 seem that much nicer.

    Sorry for the potato photos, my phone is cheap. Took these photos just before I installed the new 140s. You can see the old Thermaltake still in the rear exhaust spot. The H440 is a nice case and beautiful to work with.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So the 32" Monoprice monitor is here. And so far it's quite good. Has some neat features and even the little FPS crosshairs for cheating in hardcore mode, lol. In its basest form, it's very very close to my Samsung in overall image, but it has a few distinct advantages.

    First advantage is that it no longer uses a non-standard colorspace, instead coming stock with factory calibrated sRGB. The color is a grand slam upgrade, and comes damn close to my 27" Dell Ultrasharp. Just beautiful and natural rendering of color. The Samsung pales in comparison. Whites are much truer on the newer display especially.

    The backlighting is much brighter, and when tested, shows a similar amount of bleed and consistency as the Samsung. Not as evenly pitch black as the 27" Ultrasharp, but very reasonable light bleed. Very non-intrusive. The better backlighting means that the contrast is noticeably better. So despite a little backlight bleed in a pitch black room, blacks in images and media are very true. This display has a killer contrast ratio and very deep blacks for a backlit display. The Monoprice display comes much closer to the panel's rated specs than the Samsung does. Dark scenes are better defined than the Samsung OR the Dell. It comes nearly perfectly calibrated from the factory as well. Very impressive stock image quality. If this is what the Samsung was like to begin with, I never would have thought about replacing it.

    Now HDR is another story. It's interesting, and does put the display into a different mode. I haven't tested any actual HDR content, however the display does not detect as HDR in any software. I suspected as much. Will be sure to try this out and see what it acts like with different sources. There's more than just a fake setting here I think. The desktop looks terrible with it on however.

    The display is flawless as well. One dead/stuck pixel when I got it, quickly remedied with a few light flicks. No peeling or blobbing or waving. Much better all around. The included stand is very hefty and solid but limited in usefulness. Both the Dell and Samsung have very fancy multidirectional stands. This one just gives you tilt adjustment. Low cost but high quality. I might get a vesa based stand for it eventually. Until then it works fine and doesn't get in the way.

    The good news is that FreeSync works beautifully through Nvidia's G-Sync mode. CRU shows that it has a rated FreeSync range of 48-75Hz which is fine for 99% of what I'm doing. It also means that FreeSync will play nicely if I decide to overclock this panel. I've done a little overclocking and it has fared much better than the Samsung. Whereas the Samsung couldn't hit higher than 64Hz without stuttering, this one is wanting to do in the range of 70. I'm testing at 72Hz right now but I think I'll be happier at 70. Now that's a nice gain for me. Most games save the most demanding will happily vsync at 70Hz. Along with FreeSync, it provides a fantastic, smooth experience. It's nowhere near a true high refresh rate monitor like 144Hz, but definitely a cut above your average 60Hz display. Old games that lock at vsync no matter what are especially improved. Even 2D games like Diablo II have seen a noticeable improvement.

    Overall this Monoprice 32 WQHD monitor seems promising. Very nice results so far, and I am already liking it. Like a v2.0 of the Samsung, and seemingly better in every way. For $200 I think it was worth every single penny. I have no need for a fantastically high spec display, but a slightly more modern one doesn't hurt. At this price it puts the $350 USED price I paid for the Samsung to shame. You're basically getting the stand for another $150. At ~$500 new the Samsung is obscenely priced. The non-sale price of $300 for this Monoprice is about where the Samsung should be sitting new.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  17. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Digging your cooling setup! My secondary machine has been a space heater under my desk this winter. Kept the CPU around 54C under heavy load. But the fan scheme allows it to get there. If it were to hit 57C, it gets very noisy lol
    Honestly not bad for the stock cooler. Keep talking myself out of buying more hardware. Tightwad :oops:

    Funny I say I don't employ 500GB hard drives, but then I use one for backups lol An IDE no less :eek:

    I also just bought all the Grand Theft Autos for $80 on steam. No more disc installs. Installed windows 10 on my main machine yesterday. Gonna have to start over on those games... but that's ok lol $40 from paypal made it hurt a little less lol
    I prefer to keep all my games in one place (Like steam). Internet is kind of slow at 12 megs, but since I'm actually only paying for 8, I can't complain lol Something I'll probably be upgrading to 30 here shortly. The top dog in my area has been offering $14.99 a month for a year, no contract, and free modem. Since I'm currently paying $50 a month, it's a no brainer to switch lol

    Windows 10 already has me slightly irritated. No CPU/mem gadget, and windows photoviewer is gone (more or less). These may seem trivial to some, but they were everything to me lol

    I think I may have tapped my Corsair PSU yesterday. Or that particular sata power cable may have an issue. Had to swap for a molex to sata connector. That did the trick. Certainly hope my PSU isn't on the fritz. I suppose it is pushing 7 years old.
     
  18. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    I was under the impression that GTA IV & 5, and games of the like, cannot be sold used? E.g. the codes are locked to one person. And yet I see GTA 5 selling on auction (6 bidders) right now. Thoughts on this?

    I'd wager the seller is aware of this, and hoping buyers are unaware. Fricken sickening...
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  19. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Well, Sam and Kevin - the old gang is back!!!

    Sam - you changed jobs???!!! And you went on an expensive holiday!!! (Out of curiosity, where did you go, London? - oh wait - you live over there - uhhhh, Kansas?)

    No Sam, all kidding aside, actually where DID you go - Venice, Tahiti, Cancun? And why did you change jobs. (Did you also get married - are you holding out that information from us?)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kevin - high up on seniority - you're still with UPS, right? I remember that one time you had thought about becoming a driver - which I did one Christmas as a part-time fill-in. But driving is pretty hectic. So yes, it seems about time that UPS bump you up to full-time in the office, or packing trucks, or whatever you are doing for them.

    So you're thinking about buying a house - great.

    And wow - you jumped into 4k! Congratulations!!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry about those fan bearings, Jeff. Yes, I agree, Noctua fans are excellent.

    I picked up a couple of tiny Noctua fans a while back - 40mm?? 25mm? I think they're only about an inch high, so that would be 25mm. The purchase was to cool 2 usb drive enclosures that I've had for over 10 years. One fan had failed - the other enclosure never had a fan. I couldn't believe the packaging they came in - really deluxe. I can't remember what I paid - $25 each, maybe $35 each - but I wanted something that would NEVER fail, lol. They even included a throttling cable to reduce noise - which I did install for a while, until after a month I decided that a little bit of fan noise was a cheap price to pay for the extra drive cooling that full rpm would provide.

    Funny, but I don't back up too much anymore to my external drive - just once in a while. I threw a 2-TB enterprise WD drive into my little compaq DC5800 ($100 on eBay) desktop pc, and I back up on that religiously - and in addition I run Acronis backup every week so I can recover my main drive with xp and w7 partitions if my primary 1 TB WD enterprise drive ever died.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    I would recommend - look for a company on eBay called Gohdd - or their website is gohdd.com. They also sell on newegg. I picked up 6 enterprise 2 TB sata2 drives from them about 18 months ago (for two htpc's that I support here at the house) - and they were $50 each, brand new! HDTune shows benchmark starting at about 125 MB/sec, versus 150MB/sec on the two 2-TB enterprise sata3 drives that I put in my gaming spedo case about 3 years ago.

    For hours, 25,000 is not really that much - the better drives will run up to 70,000 or so - the important thing is to keep exercising them - drives can die stuck in a closet for 5 years as I discovered - something about bearing grease drying out among other problems.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Jeff, congrats on the new mono-price monitor purchase!! Nice to see you staying with high def!

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Well, Kevin, getting all the Grand Theft Auto Games steam deal!

    Regarding the guy on eBay selling a used game - good point. Is he offering returns? Ebay offers its own guarantee - supposed to protect a person from being ripped off. Similarly I saw a guy selling a game for dirt cheap - Metro Exodus - plus a lot of steam games. I emailed him - "How does the steam thing work - doesn't steam ask you to verify that you are the owner when they see you running on new hardware?" I told him I was just curious - I already had most of those games.


    I'm going to stay away from windows 10 until I just have to upgrade - I don't think ray tracing compels me that much - I am already irritated by "immersive" qualities like looking out of a room into blinding daylight - which means I can't see anybody who is shooting at me. And I don't think that camera lens effects add immersion - unless you want to pretend you are immersed in a movie.

    Kevin, they took away the cpu/mem gadget?!! Shame on windows 10!!!

    But surely you can run task manager in tiny footprints mode (in the Performance tab, you double-click on an empty area and it shrinks into a bar graph with red and green - you have to select "show kernel activity" to get the red) and then at least you'll have cpu usage on your desktop. I run taskmgr.exe, found in the windows/system32 folder, on all my desktops. Don't tell me that this file is missing from windows 10. Even so, I bet you could find a third party cpu/mem gadget.


    -----------------------------------------------------

    But I might get the Metro Exodus - no longer on steam - on Epic. It won't be on steam for a year. At that time I'll get it on steam. I'm like you - I prefer to have all steam games.

    He offered it at about $8 - said he had 10 more available. Username and password are locked. If it works, I want to see if it will run at all on my setup, without ray tracing and god knows what else they have added to the game, dialing back a lot of post-processing I suppose.

    If it won't run, then I'll have to wait for a cpu upgrade.

    So what cpu do you guys think I should get in a year, with overclocking, on a 16 gig motherboard, with an eye toward eventual 4k and probably a gpu upgrade in 2 years. You mentioned coffee lake - is that it for now?

    -Rich
     
  20. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    I was unaware of that task manager trick. Thanks for that! lol

    No, that ebayer does not accept returns, according to that GTA 5 listing. Which sold for $15 + shipping. He had 100% positive reviews at the time of sale. I suspect he's gonna lose his perfect rating lol

    From what I know of steam, you can log in on any machine, provide your credentials, and you're good to go. Now... simultaneously playing on two machines at the same time? I can't answer that. Nor would I probably try it lol

    My seniority is quite high. There's only 3 people above me. But two of them are content where they're at. I'm hopeful something will happen in the next year or less. We'll see...

    I've been out of the loop on current tech. But I have had my eyes on the 12 core 24 thread, Threadripper. But I like to encode videos, from time to time. But I seem to do that less and less. But at least going that route, I'd be ready for the 32 core 64 thread behemoth. I am an enthusiast lol
    Unless a new game requires a beast like threadripper, I may be content with an 8 core Ryzen.
     

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