Help me build my PC 2017 Catch All

And yet so expensive. I love the M2 based NVMe drives in my laptop and my server. They both boot so fast, especially compared to my old Hackintosh.

Planning on buying or building a new desktop to replace that Hackintosh soon, since I built it in 2011. Not sure if I want to do another Hackintosh or just go Windows or buy a real Mac. I have a lot of workflow automation on my Hackintosh and the thought of trying to recreate it all on a Windows computer is daunting.

Installing those sticks of gum is so simple.

I know they're wicked fast but is there a significantly noticeable change vs an older SSD on SATA3? Might be my next upgrade if that's the case- my drives are now the oldest components.

Not likely. I have an M.2 in my gaming PC, and a 2.5" SSD running my wife's laptop, and if anything her laptop boots faster (mine has more applications at startup, but it's still up and running in about 20 seconds).

The biggest benefit is basically less cabling inside the PC since it doesn't require a data or power cable, but plugs directly into the board. But given the choice, I likely would go with a larger SSD instead of the M.2 next time... I spent over $100 and mine's only a 128GB. The SSD I put in my wife's laptop was a 240GB and it cost me $30.

The problem is that most game loading is bottlenecked on the CPU. Games store themselves in highly compressed form on disk, and require a great deal of CPU power to decompress, possibly load to the graphic card, and generally get ready to run. The degree to which a game will be accelerated in an HD->SSD transition depends very strongly on how much CPU the compression takes. Further improvement from a faster SSD is typically minimal; the biggest advantage (zero seek time) is already there on even the cheapest and slowest SSDs, and even slow ones can provide compressed data faster than the CPU can unpack it.

This is particularly true post-Spectre security flaws, as drive transfer rates on Haswell and earlier chips took a major hit from the security workarounds implemented by Microsoft, and even later chips see quite noticeable declines. The CPU I/O bottleneck is much narrower than it used to be.

Further, if they decreased their use of compression, drive space consumed would explode. You'd probably see 100gig+ installs for AAA titles, and up until recently, SSD space has been expensive and in short supply. Now that terabyte SSDs are starting to get reasonable, you might see games asking if you'd like the fast or the small versions when they install. At that point, you might well see very substantial gains from M.2 drives; if the CPU can just get out of the way and load the data without thinking about it too much, those suckers are directly connected via PCIe, and should be able to load data at ridiculous speed.

But games would have to be written to explicitly support that, and I don't know any that do or plan to. Further, this wouldn't work well on older CPUs, it would likely take something quite new, possibly even the next generation of CPUs, rather than anything shipping today.

Until then, the incremental gains from M.2 over SATA3 SSDs, at least in gaming, will probably be small.

I think in benchmarks the M2s win but in the real world it doesn’t really matter.

OK thanks. I have a new Ryzen 2600X so it's got some firepower to decompress quickly, but it looks like a faster drive isn't going to be a big help. A new quiet case might actually be the best quality-of-life improvement, but it's just not sexy like new electronics are.

Maybe I'll stop tinkering and just play games for a while.

The prices on the M2 drives has really dropped. I got my 1 TB drive for about $125.

I feel like I need someone to talk me out of buying this.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B077SQ8J1V/...

Dakuna wrote:

I feel like I need someone to talk me out of buying this.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B077SQ8J1V/...

I was all ready to talk you down then I clicked the link and realized it's the same chip I just got as a Christmas present from my parents! I installed it a couple weeks before Christmas because my storage drive failed and this was the only extra drive I had on hand in the middle of a big work push, so I installed Windows on here and set up my older 500GB SATA 3 SSD as my secondary drive.

It's probably due to the clean Win10 install, but this Crucial M2 drive actually is faster to boot up (and load PUBG levels) than the Corsair Neutron GTX SSD that used to be my primary drive.

Honestly, if you've got $80 to spare, I'd say it's a great deal.

Now I just need to save up to get another 1TB drive to really replace my old one. I don't want to use platters anymore if I don't have to.

Splurge for the 1TB version.

Don't get confused between M.2 and NVMe. Many M.2 drives (like the one linked) are actually just SATA devices. This means they only have 6 Gb/sec theoretical transfer rates versus the 32 Gb/sec theoretical transfer rates of an NVMe device. As Malor pointed out above right now in real world performance it doesn't make a huge difference, but as they remove other bottle necks in future revisions to motherboards and processors it will become more noticeable.

Personally I am all in on M.2 drives be they SATA or NVMe just because it eliminates 2 cables I have to run in my case. My server build was super clean and nearly cableless until I added in the SAS card and all the cabling for the big old spinning drives

WizKid wrote:

Splurge for the 1TB version.

I wish. I am going to have to do some creative thinking to justify spending even CA$80.. but I really am sick of having no space for games.

Looks like Nvidia's not doing so well:

Nvidia CEO warns of “extraordinary, unusually turbulent, disappointing” Q4

My take: they raised prices enormously while not actually giving gamers anything interesting for the price. As someone in the Ars comments points out, the amount of performance you get for $300 has stayed static for the last four years. All that's changed is the labeling on the card, dropping a tier or two, but maintaining both price and performance points. New performance tiers were introduced with corresponding price jumps. $300 is supposed to be a very strong video card, but it isn't anymore, not even close.

NVidia is in an extremely weak position, and AMD should be stomping them. But that's not happening. AMD's not even really keeping up.

It was a fairly lame product lineup with even worse pricing.

Screw'em.

I can't help but wonder if they priced like the cryptocurrency boom was going to continue, and then just aren't backing down off the cliff? It's either that or trying to abuse their near-monopoly in graphic cards, and I'm not liking either explanation. And of course they seem to be blaming everyone but themselves.

I don't think the market can support $1400 graphic cards, at least not enough to keep a company the size of NVidia going. I think $600-$700 is about as far as they can push it. I don't think the vast price increase they're trying to jam down our collective throat is going to happen.

You could buy their top tier gaming card for $699 unless you wanted the fancy workstation like Titan series.. Overnight they now want $1200 for their top tier gaming card. Its not even outrageous.. that isnt a strong enough word.

Lets be real.. AMD is pricing a $499 card at $699 because of Nvidia shenanigans..and if early benchmarks are true AMD is plenty fast at 1440P and reasonably good at 4K but it should be a $500 card GPU at the most.

I am probably looking at building a new PC this year at some point. Thankfully I am in no rush, so I will just keep an eye on video card prices and this thread to see if and when the time becomes right.

At least Nvidia had a decent day at the stock market (after falling 50% that is). Only fair that they should pay back my gpu that way. 25% of the way so far.

I wonder if Nvidia has any headroom for cutting their prices. Either the RTX cards are that expensive to make due to silly ray-tracing focus, or they thought they could sell their cards for whatever they wanted.

Shadout wrote:

At least Nvidia had a decent day at the stock market (after falling 50% that is). Only fair that they should pay back my gpu that way. 25% of the way so far.

I wonder if Nvidia has any headroom for cutting their prices. Either the RTX cards are that expensive to make due to silly ray-tracing focus, or they thought they could sell their cards for whatever they wanted.

what makes you think it's not the latter?

Oh, I think it is the latter. But that should mean they could reduce prices if they continue to struggle too much.

I read this on the train today. Interesting (read: unsurprising) that Nvidia is blaming everyone but themselves for their piss poor sales and GPU business strategy. They overcharged for new hardware that purports to solve a problem that's not really a big issue with games (yet), without any killer apps to drive the need for said hardware.

Oooh.. hello unexpected work bonus...! I guess I'm getting my Crucial MX500 tomorrow after all!

Dakuna wrote:

Oooh.. hello unexpected work bonus...! I guess I'm getting my Crucial MX500 tomorrow after all! :D

Enjoy!

Hmm, I have been having crashes since I installed my RX580. It seems to be running hot, though the rest of the machine seems fine. Without digging into it too much, is it possible I need to do an aggressive driver removal, or would that even help?

I am going to take a look at some event logs, if I can find them.

Use DDU to clobber old drivers.

Use MSI Afterburner to set some custom fan curves. The default fan curves can be overly conservative.

TSMC chip output for Nvidia and Huawei hit by defective chemical

Probably meaningless in the long term, but just another headache for Nvidia right now.

So guys, random question. How often do y'all dust out your computer? I hate doing it but I know I need to do it every so often but I hate doing it. Do y'all have a rule of thumb that seems to work for you?

Six months is what I strive for, but it ends up being more like a year. If you have your fans arranged to have positive pressure inside the case (more blowing in than out), it also helps control buildup.

Yeah I built my rig almost a year ago now and haven't needed to open it aside from swapping out the hard drives. I've taken the tempered glass side panel off once or twice to Windex it, but otherwise haven't seen any real dust build-up at all yet....