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The Official PC building thread - 4th Edition

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by ddp, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    I thought about B550 boards. But it sounded like PCIe 4.0 was the way to go for a more future proof board. Now, the difference could be negligible. Impatience certainly played a small role here. I chose the board I did, ALSO, because it was one of few options when I purchased. Though I still have time to cancel, as it's a back-order item. But they should ship any day as it's over two weeks now.
    I chose the 3900x for both horsepower, and resale value(theoretically). It's my hopes that it holds a little resale value anyway lol
    Chances are I'll be content with this upgrade. But If I like the numbers I see from 4000 series, or the price drops significantly on 3950x, I MIGHT consider a switch.

    Still shopping NVME drives. I definitely want one, as my current 2.5" SSD will migrate to my laptop, where it can do some serious good :cool:
     
  2. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    B550 includes PCIe 4.0 and is a brand new release within the last few weeks - it's B450 that didn't have it.

    Resale value is in my opinion a bit of a waste of time with PC hardware - I did nearly purchase a 3900X when I saw what they were going for on Amazon but then realised it was a questionable seller who only had 1 in stock and delivery would take several days. The price of the same CPU anywhere else was a bit beyond what I was prepared to pay - given most of the time I won't see any gain from it, I decided against it.
     
  3. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    This is the link/page that ultimately convinced me to go with X570. Not sure if it's 100% correct, but it was what tipped the scales for me.
     

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  4. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    What you're seeing there is the chipset downlink to run all the other devices, the NVMe, SATA ports and so on. That remains PCIe 3 with B550 versus PCIe 4 with X570 but due to the lesser extent of the anciliary devices on B550 boards, that should not be an issue - notice the x4 rather than x16 - the x16 PCIe 4.0 comes straight off the CPU in either case, if the board has a PCIe 4.0 slot, which B550 boards often do.
     
  5. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Ah ok. well put!
    The 1090t held a reasonable resale value (imo) for a time. That's what I'm hoping for with the 3900x. I don't mind burning a little cash lol Again, impatience played a role here. Despite having an abundant supply lol
    Having a decade old machine (minus the 1070ti), it was definitely time, and I had the funds.
     
  6. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I was initially holding out to see what Zen 3 had to offer but given my general apathy for going inside the case these days, I preferred to get it all done in one hit as it looked like the Zen 3 based parts might be a way off and with no real competition from Intel, I was a little sceptical they'd provide any huge gains at the same price point. At least with B550 here that's one thing I could partake in and if the next generation of CPUs does turn out to be transformative, I still have the option of upgrading for a time. A big song and dance is made about VRMs for high-TDP CPUs these days, and rightly so, but given I ran a CPU that drew more power than most of AMD's lineup outside Threadripper back when I had my overclocked i5 750, that was back when boards had a fair bit less in the way of VRM cooling than they do now. I'm not intending to run one of the 300W chips in my machine on air cooling as I frankly don't want to deal with that much heat output from my PC any more, it really isn't necessary just to make encodes a little faster and applications like Handbrake really can't deal with many more than 16-24 threads anyway.
     
  7. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Senior member

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    Mmm, I knew I would get performance gains through my video encoding apps. Heard of Handbrake, but use a few others. HEVC/X265 is a strong reason for upgrading. Even under fastest settings for 1090t, a ~90 minute movie takes around 4hrs to complete. I prefer a slower higher quality means, but don't want it taking half a day either lol

    But I also want to experiment with rendering in Blender. I doubt I'll become some blender guru, but If I can learn a few tricks and have fun with it. That was my main reason for the Ram, and horsepower though. I'm sure the 8 core ryzen would have stomped on my 1090t in regards to Hevc encodes. But, a little more $$$, and I may just be good for 3 - 5 yrs. Who knows. Ugh... I haven't even considered my power supply. But I don't believe it's older than 4yrs. And I do have a backup that'll at least get me running.
     
  8. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Congrats Sam! Good luck on the new AMD build! Looks solid! X570 and B550 have much better VRMs to begin with so you shouldn't have any issues with a stock clock 3700X. It was a serious issue for B450 though. Many B450 boards will throttle the 3700X.

    I finally got my new(to me anyway) RAM working, and took care of some other stuff. Also added the new SSD to my main PC. Quickly returned the 500GB WD Blue, when I realized it wasn't going to be large enough, in favor of a 1Tb Samsung 860 QVO. $109 Amazon Warehouse Deals with a slightly wrinkled corner on the box. Can't beat that. The I/O on this board is currently maxed. Every single lane of bandwidth of any type is being utilized fully, haha. My poor case has a rat's nest in the PSU cove, haha. Clean up front, dirty in back.

    80239678_215840376139787_3661183474959516925_n. Drive comparison.

    The FireCuda never handles synthetic benchmarks well, though it handily stomps the 2TB WD Black drive in IRL usage. The 2TB Black is way more consistent with benchmarks.

    The 950 Pro is being severely limited as it's only on a PCIe 2.0 bus. It'd probably be nearly twice as fast on PCIe 3.0. That said it's still WAY faster than the brand new 860 QVO on SATA. The 860 does the intended job well, and is a fantastic scratch drive for my modding projects. Fast enough to be a huge boost in performance, but not so much that little touches like custom loading screens are totally passed over. A much faster NVMe drive would be somewhat problematic in that regard, so the modest QVO is a great fit for the job.

    Now to get my pair of 4TB Blue drives and replace those 2TB Greens. I want my little storage array to be stout and reasonably reliable, hence avoiding larger drives with their possibly higher failure chance. However I want it to fit in one chassis, and disciplining myself on data has improved my housekeeping habits. I store and handle files much more efficiently than I used to. It will help on larger drives in the future. It's not as massive as your array Sam, but in the last year or so I have nearly doubled my capacity. For me, it's a LOT of data.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  9. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I find it amazing that throttling occurs on any non-budget basic board with a CPU like the 3700X, unless you're referring to overclocking? Using the stock boost behaviour it tops out around 90W, less than many quad core CPUs of old.

    My case is absolutely filthy inside, going to need a vac when I take the old board out for sure, but when stuff doesn't go wrong there's little reason to touch it really. The old HAF isn't ideal for cable management but I'll try and make a bit more of an effort this time round.

    As for long-term longevity of bigger hard disks, now that many smaller drives (especially WDs) come with SMR, I'm not necessarily sure that's true any more. I'm keen to avoid SMR in any of my disks as I'm not comfortable with it (nothing much to do with performance concerns as anything performance-centric really ought to be solid state these days). That said, WD drives are also considerably more expensive than the competition in the high capacity sector. 10% was worth paying back when they were the best manufacturer, but now it's 40%+ in many cases, it isn't justifiable.

    For me the discipline needed is more in file organisation than it is total usage. My storage usage doesn't grow anything like it was doing in the mid 2010s. Go back to try and find a file that predates a decent filing system, however, and it's a real pain when you have lots of data. Bigger disks just help keep everything more neat and tidy. I'm not replacing all my 2-4TB drives with 12/14/16s any time soon due to the cost, but using a single 14TB disk to refactor all my miscellaneous content and retire a 6TB drive that's had some errors in the past just in case seems a fair shout.

    With a much faster CPU I can also get round to transcoding / merging a load of old content that's in lots of smaller files.
     
  10. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Sam, that's exactly what I'm trying to tell you. Yes, many B450 boards and even some X470 boards have such terrible VRMs that they are throttling 8 core CPUs at stock settings or severely hampering their turbo ability depending on the board. It's a very serious issue.

    https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-X470-AORUS-ULTRA-GAMING/dp/B07BZ239Z2

    This board right here being a prime example. It is literally inadequate to handle an 8 core CPU at stock settings. It will throttle a 3700X. Yes. I really mean it. The 8+3 being advertised for this board is false as it's a 4 phase design in reality. It can barely handle a 6 core CPU. MSI's 4+3 phase design in their B450 boards is the real deal and is much better than the VRMs on this Gigabyte X470 board. Many entry-level, mid-range, and mid-to-high end Asus and Gigabyte boards among others have the issue.

    That isn't to say there NO good X470 boards. The ASRock Taichi X470, Aorus X470 Gaming 7, Asus Strix X470-F, MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon are all very solid boards. However, anything lesser than those models from those brands, ANYTHING, is going to have pretty bad VRMs. It's pretty black and white. Likewise, pretty much all of MSI's B450 boards save the cheapest are pretty solid. I wouldn't even bother with a B450 board from other brands. They are terrible. The real shame is, the B450 and X470 chipsets themselves are quite good. Something weird happened with board manufacturers, and they were not adequately informed about the power characteristics of these chips.

    X570 and B550 are an insanely vast improvement in build quality. Most of the X570 and almost all of the B550 boards have wonderful VRMs. They're simply much, MUCH better boards. I know, I'm harping on it, lol. But it really is a bad issue that lots of people aren't noticing because they simply have nothing better in their possession to compare.

    All that mouthful being said, I will leave the subject there. I have made my point known and it doesn't bear repeating again. Everyone gets the point :p
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Point taken on HDD longevity. Old habits die hard. 8TB enterprise class drives are supposed to be pretty reliable. I will definitely look into some larger disks in the future as my storage needs grow steadily. Not by leaps and bounds, but I'm always approaching full on at least one drive. It's a slow build up.

    My discipline is as much about organization as it is space usage. Extremely meticulous metadata, track info, mastering provenance, artwork, etc. I'm very choosy about what I consider to be worth saving and putting time into. I use the space constriction as a measuring tool to determine what I consider worth keeping. I use kind of a tiered system of elimination. Once every possible option to squeeze more files into the space has been exhausted, only then do I upgrade a drive. Good way to keep the scope of my projects within reach for how meticulously they are assembled. And also a great way to keep my tiny array of disks rotated and fresh.

    I have set my organizational system up around minimizing file nesting/layering. No more embedded folders than necessary. My film collection is very much so organized, and I think anyone would be surprised at the sheer quality of my encodes and the polish with which they are presented. I'm very proud of them, and am very critical of my results. I usually have to make two or more tries to get the results I want. My OCD has gotten the best of me, but it's made for a very refined collection... at least in the way that a big drive full of backed up films can be refined, lol.

    As far as pricing, even if WD drives are only a few percent more reliable, I consider it worth every penny. Every little bit counts when it comes to data integrity. Of course if I really cared I'd be running a mirrored array. Alas, I run single drives. So a little bit of extra assurance doesn't hurt.

    Encoding is a long process for me. I just accept that when I start encoding, it's an overnight project or something to leave running while I'm at work. I do a very slow 2-pass encode, with absolutely zero consideration for time spent. I don't remember how long the last one took, but suffice to say it is definitely not encoding in real time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  11. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    The B550 Aorus Elite I ordered advertises itself as having '12+2' phase VRMs, so presumably by the logic above that's 6+2. I've honestly not read up on the difference in capabilities between 4+3 and 6+2.

    I don't think I've seen any solid evidence yet about SMR having a handicap on reliability but to me it seems only natural that it could be a risk and I'm not keen on the risks about what happens if a machine shuts down unexpectedly during disk housekeeping activity since you don't necessarily know when it's taking place.

    For the same reason as you I've run WD almost across the board here at home, with 50 something drives from them. As you say, a small increase in reliability is worth a much bigger financial outlay, but with disks larger than 6TB all coming in 7200rpm variety only (do not believe WD's spec page for their 8TB+ drives being 5400rpm, it is a lie) none of them are perfect.

    As far as encoding is concerned I'm only really encoding stuff that either came from sites like youtube, or from a dashcam, so the quality isn't great to begin with, thus only content that's in 4k tends to encode slower than realtime, at least on current CPUs, with the 3700X hopefully that will no longer be the case either.
     
  12. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Nope, B550 and X570 advertise their VRMs honestly. It's a real 12+2 board. They're just that much better. And yes it's better than MSI's 4+3 phase. It's not that the 4+3 is so fantastic, but it's the only adequate solution anyone came up with for B450. That it turned out to perform so well, is just a bonus. MSI just happened to come up with a really nice design. Current boards are much better thought out. Also especially for I/O. X370 and X470 have some limitations that make them not a whole lot better than say my Haswell setup. X570 and B550 provide more lanes of bandwidth somewhat akin to the PCIe 2.0 Plex controller on my Z97. Hence your board having some lanes of PCIe 3.0 despite being a PCIe 4.0 board(afaik the extra lanes are 4.0 on X570).

    Basically, your board should be very good for you. It could handle a 3900X no problem.

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

    The Xbox One S is doing its job quite well. I have both PCs set up as Plex servers, and when transcoding the living room PC struggles sometimes due to its ancient CPU. The Xbox One S has so far been capable of Direct Play for every single format I have tried, eliminating the need for transcoding altogether. x265 4K is no match for it. Flawless playback even via Wi-Fi. Some of my ~14Mbps average 1080p encodes spike well over 20Mbps and it doesn't even flinch. It even handles all the fancy lossless sound formats in their raw form, and all the funny obscure formats I've thrown at it. Even Opus audio which is an especially uncommon distant relative of Ogg Vorbis. It totally destroys the PS3 in format support. I know huge difference in technology, but the PS3 was unnecessarily limited by its 256+256 memory layout. Both the PS3 and 360 needed a full gig of memory to really be proper multimedia platforms. They just didn't have enough to do all the really good stuff.

    Very nice video quality and built in DXVA scaling as well. Super nice! Its 5Ghz wireless manages a solid ~100Mbps from the other side of the house(thanks in part to my nice triple antenna router) so it has easily enough network bandwidth available to it. It's a really powerful video player that does all the right video acceleration tricks to really give it some oomph.

    It can also use its DXVA abilities for Blurays as well! It's a great Bluray player, and easily equal to or better than Sony's monumental efforts with the PS3. Still having the option of optical out, it also allows me to bypass my receiver for video and get the most out of my 4K TV. The lossy surround it sends through the optical cable is just fine, and I really can't tell a difference. It does a great job with sound over optical and I'm not missing the bitstreaming abilities of the PS3 via HDMI at all. My receiver is pretty dang good but it can only handle 4K 24Hz and even then it has issues despite actually displaying an image. Simply put, it's really a 1080p receiver. Being from 2008 it has limits to its abilities nowadays. That said it does an amazing job for sound, with awesome power for films, and isn't going anywhere.

    That takes the living room PC from barely adequate for the task, to totally overpowered now. It used to have to work very hard to produce results suitable for playback on the PS3. Barely any CPU usage at all now, and the little bit of transcoding it has to do for the audio and subtitles, is hardly a task for it. Maybe spikes to 20% CPU usage once in a while. Most of the time it will even hover around in a downclocked state while streaming. MUCH better all around, and I get way better final video quality on my display to boot. Really cuts down on my power usage as well. No more heavily loading my PCs just to stream a Bluray to the living room or bedroom. The Q9650 continues to amaze. I just wish the board could take more than 8GB of memory.

    I have my old 43" TV on a VESA mount on the bedroom wall with a Roku Ultra velcro'd to the back. It can do ~95% of my 1080p encodes via Plex without transcoding as well(the ones that do transcode are on the main PC so not an issue), and just has much smoother video playback and Plex navigation than the PS3. It makes for a highly convenient stealth install in my bedroom that only requires some neatly routed power cables. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, and my entire digital film collection accessible with the touch of a button anywhere in the house. I'm pretty proud of that. Been working my way through the Star Trek Voyager DVD box set my dad got me for Christmas last year. It was a monumental task to encode, about a week long project, but totally worth it. I can start an episode in the living room, then later resume it from where I left off in the bedroom. I haven't had cable for a long time. Not since I started buying and borrowing stuff and encoding my own copies. A good half of my content is from my own hard copy collection. I have a nice little Bluray collection. The rest is acquired privately from a friend. No need for torrents for a while. I'm trying to stay legit.

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

    Also got all 24GB of RAM working fine at 2400Mhz. Found out which kit had the looser timings and made that Channel A so one kit is running looser timings than stock vs one trying to run tighter timings. The looser timed kit turned out to be the original 16GB Team Xtreem LV with the larger 8GB modules. It also includes a built-in XMP profile in the case of 4 sticks(it has a lot of well behaved presets and excellent auto timings), which the G.Skill Trident X kit does not. That was the cause of my failure to boot. The leading kit of G.Skill RAM had only one profile which was too tight for both the 16GB kit AND too tight for four sticks at the same time. With the Team Xtreem LV taking the lead, I can simply set XMP and away it goes. No modifications. Happy about that.

    24GB makes a difference, and my memory performance remains mostly the same for benchmarks. 2400Mhz is a sweet spot for the Haswell architecture and makes a really noticeable difference over the recommended stock of 1600MHz. Haswell really loves memory speed, and gains almost as much benefit from it as Ryzen does. 2400Mhz is the equivalent of a few hundred extra MHz of core clock in performance gains versus say 1333 or 1600. Also my CPU will do 4.3GHz just fine but puts out a lot less heat at 4.2GHz and seems more than adequate for anything I throw at it. I can transcode 4K in real time just fine with performance to spare via Plex Media Server at nearly the highest quality settings. Looks great on my TV. That's pretty satisfying. I've done my best to squeeze every drop of everything from Z97. I can't believe how potent this PC has remained after all this time. Haswell and Z87/Z97 are truly a great platform. The only shame is a lack of 6 core CPUs. I would definitely have bought one by now. Suffice to say I have totally maxed the capabilities of the board, and it performs with gusto!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  13. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Bump updated my post with more.
     
  14. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    The performance of my 7600 was largely fine to be honest, it was perfectly adequate for games and general desktop use - the main reason for replacing it was the pretty sorry state of the board it was installed in, the fact that the cooler had become rather inadequate, and that I wanted better encoding performance. The 3700X has certainly handsomely resolved those issues, the 7600 transcoded 1080p dashcam footage at around 25fps, the 8400 around 40-45, the 3700X achieves 90+. The NH-U15 cooler is not as noisy as I feared two 140mm fans would be as their acoustic profile is excellent, considerably better than the old Noctua fans I tried when they first started out as a brand.
    32GB of RAM up from 16 is also useful, as is finally having an NVME SSD in my main machine. Nothing puts any stress on the machine in normal work other than encoding and even then the CPU tops out in the high 60s with the fans at full speed and the air coming out of the case is barely perceptibly warm to the touch, probably still <30C. It's amazing to see how far AMD have come.
    The previously "I thought it was almost silent" GTX1080 Founders Edition is definitely the most noticeably noisy component in the system now. Cleaning it out during the rebuild has brought the load temperatures back down to 83-85 from 87 previously, but the fan speed is still fairly high at over 3000rpm in games like Overwatch. Not enough to warrant me doing anything about it yet but nonetheless with the case cooling I have available in the HAF 932 I might be less hesitant about going axial for my next GPU, whenever that may be.

    The disappointment of the build was the Corsair Commander Pro, which blew a channel within 5 minutes after connecting two of my Slipstream fans to one of its outputs. Rated at 0.535A each that sums 1.07A on a channel rated for 1A - should not be an issue for 5 minutes, I suspect perhaps the actual capabilities of the unit are far less than 1A. The unit also crashes every time a fan is commanded to spin at any great speed, and the rpm readings in the CUE utility are all over the place. Fortunately the fan controller on the motherboard itself is excellent, and although I don't want to run more than one fan off each header, it does at least have 5 outputs which are customisable using a sensor-based graph node interface in the BIOS. To see a better UI for fan control in the BIOS than you get with third party tools in Windows is a bit odd, but there you go!
    Long term, if I can justify the price, I may end up going with an Aquaero solution, though I wish they had slightly more convenient mounting mechanisms.
     
  15. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    The 4770K continues to surprise me and is easily adequate for my needs. It runs WiiU emulation with all the bells and whistles flawlessly and is more than enough for Gamecube and PS2 even in software mode. Those are historically very demanding tasks for a CPU, and the 4770K does a great job.

    It would take a really fantastic deal to get me to switch platforms right now. This one works great and since I don't need anything more it lets me be economical. I've spent enough on hardware in the past few years. One of the only things that has made me consider it is that I would like to retire LGA775 eventually. It'd be nice for a change to have a PC that is overpowered in the living room instead of one that is only adequate.
     

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