Random Tech Questions you want answered.

yeah, I'm looking at some sources now about external GPU, and some say that they cut about 10-15% of the graphics power out of the card. It's a considerable amount, but I'm thinking if i get a AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT I could compensate for that.

I dont really understand how the technical aspect of this works. It seems to me that you would get diminishing returns on upgrading your graphics card in these as only so much info can go across the thunderbolt cable.

And also with the external GPU option, it seems that I will not have enough thunderbolt 3 ports for both my quest and external GPU

Go check out videos from Linus Tech Tips, Dave Lee (dave2d) they do laptop reviews regularly. I keep hearing good things about the Dell XPS lineup. I'm just not sure if you can get them with discreet graphics cards in them, and if you can how well they handle the extra heat.

thanks for the advice,

What i finally landed on was getting a razer core x chroma with a rtx super 2070.

It turns out that the new line of nividia cards come with a USB C port on the back perfect for my oculus quest.

before i caught that usbc thing, I was about to get an AMD card and have to send the signal back to my computer before i could use a USB 3 port. that would double the eGpu penalty to ~20%. I think this will work very well as it looks like the 2070 super is one of the better cards you can get for VR now. I'm hoping the penalty won't be noticeable at all

Now I'm actually looking at trying to upgrade my laptop to a non-gaming one that would have a faster processor and other improved specs

Woah, woah, woah!
That thing is $300-$400 just for the enclosure, and power supply? What a friggen rip off!

yeah that's one way to look at it. It's still cheaper than buying a desktop with comparable specs as to my laptop though. I can keep this thing for a while though and continuously upgrade my "laptop's" video card as time goes on. I don't know why, but i just don't want to have a desktop and a laptop.

My 2016 rig is starting to struggle with modern games, so I'm eyeing a GPU upgrade when the next round of graphics cards launch.

I reckon I can get away without upgrading the CPU (i7 6700K 4.0GHz) and RAM (32 Gb DDR4 2666MHz). My GTX 1070 would get replaced with an RTX 30xx card.

This'll be my first "install yourself" upgrade ever. Any gotchas I'm missing?

What size/rating is your power supply? (PSU)
We have not confirmed what power draw the RTX 3000 series will have.

The other thing to consider is the size of your case and its layout. There has been issues in the past with longer gpus not fitting in the case by either bumping into where the drives are located or running into the ram sticks if they are not low profile.

Oh, and make sure your monitor has the required DVI or HDMI port for those coming out of your gpu.

fangblackbone wrote:

What size/rating is your power supply? (PSU)
We have not confirmed what power draw the RTX 3000 series will have.

The other thing to consider is the size of your case and its layout. There has been issues in the past with longer gpus not fitting in the case by either bumping into where the drives are located or running into the ram sticks if they are not low profile.

Oh, and make sure your monitor has the required DVI or HDMI port for those coming out of your gpu.

Good questions.

My PSU is 850W, and was purposely overspecced for future-proofing when I bought the rig. But fair point that we don't know how power-hungry new cards will be.

My case is fairly massive - again, purposely overspecced. I've got 3-4 inches of empty space beyond the length of my existing card.

Monitor should be fine, I'm already running DisplayPort to it, and I have spare HDMI inputs to boot. And a monitor upgrade to a 144Hz would be the next thing after the GPU anyway.

I guess cooling might be impacted, but currently, the fans barely spin up even during heavy lifting, so I suspect I've got some margin to work with there.

850W should be plenty even if it is a less than stellar bronze rated one.
The case sounds fine. But again, take a look at where your RAM is. Your case may have enough space but the RAM can be in an awkward spot. Or you could have 4 slots and 2 of them could be compromised which could make it difficult to upgrade to 4 slots or run in dual channel. Is your 32GB 2x16 or 4x8?
The monitor having both hdmi and display port has you covered. Is it 1440p? If it is 1080p, you will need to replace it to use the capabilities of the RTX 3000 series.
As far as cooling, as I was just reminded, just get a hyper evo 212 and be done with it. They are pretty cheap and compatible out of the box with intel and AM4. The only concern is the case size which you've got covered.

So here I am playing a game and my PC crashes. Not a BSOD; it was almost like the power was turned off except that the power light was still on.

I hit the reset button and it does nothing. This is when I get a bad feeling. I hold down the power button and it does nothing. The feeling worsens. I literally pull the plug and, aside from the power light coming on, nothing. No POST. No BIOS. Nothing except lights and fans. Oh dear.

I've now disconnected everything in the PC: GPU, RAM, HDDs, SSDs, all USB stuff. Still nothing.

This brings me to my question: what do I do next?

This is a Ryzen 2600 in a ASRock B450M Pro4, if that is pertinent.

My first instinct is look for burnt spots through the slats of the power supply.

First thing I'd guess would be that the power supply failed. Do you have another around to test with? If not, pull all the wires out of everything so you don't damage anything more than it's already damaged, run a wire between pins 4 and 6 on the main, wide motherboard connector, and run a voltmeter on the various pins to see what you're getting.

You can check Youtube for how to do the wire thing; it's very easy, it's just getting the right pins that counts. Connecting pins 4 and 6 should power up the supply. (I don't remember whether it's momentary or constant; try a momentary connection first. If that doesn't work, try a constant one. If THAT doesn't work, you know what's dead.)

Sorry if I wasn't clear: I am getting power. The case fans, CPU fans, GPU cooler fans, and PSU fans are all running. THE RGB on the GPU is lit too.

While unlikely, I still wouldn't rule out a bad power supply. Whenever you have to trouble shoot a hardware issue, you always have to start with power! Once you know the power supply isn't the issue you can try to eliminate other parts.

If you don't start with power you can end up chasing your tail trying to problem solve an issue.

PC power supplies have several rails at several voltages, and individual pieces can fail without affecting the others. If, for instance, 12V to the motherboard is dead, you might still get lights all over from 5V to the other components.

You have to check something first, and the power supply is one of the most likely culprits. It sucks to test and replace them because of all the damn plugs you have to unplug (and replug, later), but that's the foundation on which everything else rests. It's the most basic, simplest thing, and once you've proved that's working, you can move on to other components.

If you know the supply is good, then you can reason with much more confidence about tests to the rest of the system.

There are relatively inexpensive PSU testers available, too. If you don't want to drop a chunk of change on a new PSU outright, this might be worth it. And even if you find out your power supply is fine, for as long as I've been building PCs, power supply failure is probably one of the most common failures. So this probably won't be the only time you have use for the tester.

Be warned, it usually it takes something along with it when it dies.

Math wrote:

So here I am playing a game and my PC crashes. Not a BSOD; it was almost like the power was turned off except that the power light was still on.

I hit the reset button and it does nothing. This is when I get a bad feeling. I hold down the power button and it does nothing. The feeling worsens. I literally pull the plug and, aside from the power light coming on, nothing. No POST. No BIOS. Nothing except lights and fans. Oh dear.

I've now disconnected everything in the PC: GPU, RAM, HDDs, SSDs, all USB stuff. Still nothing.

This brings me to my question: what do I do next?

This is a Ryzen 2600 in a ASRock B450M Pro4, if that is pertinent.

An update: I pulled an old mobo/cpu out of a closet and plugged the PSU into that. Same behavior: lights and fans but nothing else. Should I take it as pretty solid evidence that the PSU is dead and needs replacement?

I would, yes.

So I just bought a new video card and tried to install it. Case was too small. Bought a new case and moved all the innards to the new case. Video displays, computer posts, but no boot. Not even to a usb drive. BIOS sees all devices, but when it comes time to boot, just a blank screen. Signal is being sent, just no info, not even an error. HELP!

Does it boot with the old card in?

Did you use the standoffs for the motherboard, that fit on the back and hold the back of the board away from the case? I've seen short-to-case problems with that symptom, especially after a heavy card goes in and kind of bends the board a bit to touch something it shouldn't.

It could also be something simple like connecting to the wrong display port on the video card, or the video cable not being quite plugged in on one side in the monitor or the card, or a RAM piece that got slightly dislodged during the move.

Or the new video card draws too much power for your older power supply?

I am giving it some time before I get back in and reset everything. I will check for shorting too. My power supply is 900w are there cards that would require more?

At 900 watts you should have more then enough power. Although the rail that provides power to the video card also needs to be able to supply enough amperage as well. I would assume yours would be able to, but it might be worth checking.

Gaald wrote:

At 900 watts you should have more then enough power. Although the rail that provides power to the video card also needs to be able to supply enough amperage as well. I would assume yours would be able to, but it might be worth checking.

This might be the issue. It is a 4.0 card and a 2.0 slot.

Aren't they backwards compatible?
Do you have a 4x slot?

Is your PSU modular?

I thought they were backwards compatible, but I plugged in the old card and it booted up right away.

Edit: Yes, PSU is modular. And when I hook everything up to the new card, the led on it is blue which is supposed to indicate that power is good. It displays post ,and BIOS menu just fine, but refuses to boot.

Are you sure it is not just a display output problem? Like there is no signal to your monitor. Same port and cable with both cards? Does your new card have multiple output types and can you try them all?

LeapingGnome wrote:

Are you sure it is not just a display output problem? Like there is no signal to your monitor. Same port and cable with both cards? Does your new card have multiple output types and can you try them all?

There is a signal. The monitor doesn't go to sleep. There is no post error, it just proceeds to the boot step and just stops. Everything is fine with the old card using the same cable, same port.

fangblackbone wrote:

Do you have a 4x slot?

It is a PCIe x16 2.0. All the reading I do online just indicates that it will limit throughput, but should still work.