Help me build my PC 2020 Catch All

And.... Holy crap!
That is that barring a complete disaster. (knock on wood and cross fingers)
I am typing this on my upgraded ryzen 3600, 16GB DDR4 and gigabyte b450 mobo.
I am... current?!
I am having trouble activating windows but I am dumbstruck how it just came up and said new things in system info. I will call microsoft later today and then, wow!

Seriously, the only trouble I had was I needed a flashlight to see the pins on the mobo (reset/power/etc)
I don't even know where to begin to test the new guts.

Muahahahahaha! Peg those threads!
Blender benchmark render:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Sgr3Qsh.jpg)

Installed the NVMe drive into the adapter and slapped it into an X16 slot. (The X4's had a different form factor, too small.) Downloaded Samsung Magician and Samsung Data Migration Tool (usable since my original SSD is an 840 EVO). Downloaded the NVMe driver.

So I installed the card, then rebooted and installed the driver. Benchmarked the two existing drives, one SSD and one HDD. Then I cloned the C: SSD to the new NVMe SSD. I rebooted. Got a few complaints from Backblaze about two drives with the same backup ID, but it booted, so I shut down and pulled the connectors for the old drive. (I may use it for the occasional backup.)

Booted again, and the system autodetected the boot sector and popped right up. It's a lot faster coming up. I have a few things that I might put on there to speed them up, but mostly I wanted to see how simple the transfer was. "Very", is the answer. The new drive is about 8x the transfer rate of the old one, so I'm pretty happy.

This is a cool way to upgrade an older PCIe 3.0 system to run an NVMe at 3Gb/sec (notional). I'm toying with the idea of upgrading my 4TB drive, but right now, that's pretty expensive. Still, aspirations, and now I know how simple it is, it's a possibility.

Thanks for the advice on transfer programs and such.

I've owned Sapphire cards in the long past (back when AMD was still ATI), and they were always good. If they've been around this long, they've probably developed substantial expertise.

I'm really considering the 3300x. But I feel like my i5 6600k is still good. I should just wait for another round of upgrade.

You can't lose either way.
What is here now is great. What is coming is even better!
(7nm or 5nm)
8/16 core/thread laptop cpus that draw ~40 watts
Nvidia 3000 series seems like a winner
AMD next gen rumored 50% faster than a 2080 ti

I saw something on Moore's Law is Dead that AMD is moving towards internal SSDs as RAM buffers on next gen GPUs. It is basically like having fast GDDR + 128-256GB of slower RAM on board (high throughput SSD). It is essentially like plugging a console into your GPU PCI Express slot on your motherboard.

You'd probably want to go a little higher end than that. An i5-6600K -> 3300x is kind of a sideways move, since they're both quadcores of about the same overall speed. But if you went up to 6 or 8 cores, that would be quite different, and the total cost wouldn't be a ton higher.

edit; much later: to my mind, the amazing part of that 3300X isn't the absolute performance, but that they're providing it in a $120 chip. You can buy CPU, motherboard, and RAM for less than the cost of an equivalent Intel CPU alone, two or three years ago.

OK, I went with the Sapphire Pulse 5700XT. Online the vanilla 5700 cards were only $40 less so it didn't seem worth the hassle to mess with BIOS flashing and other tweaks. I also had $300 sitting in my "perksatwork" credit and I found out that Newegg was a partner so that threw me over the edge.

Thanks for the help guys!

The number of items out of stock and discontinued as I try to build are crazy. Having to search for alternates constantly.

Keep checking throughout the day. I ran into that a little with Newegg. Something was out of stock so I went to amazon and buy the time I loaded up my cart, the Newegg items were in stock.

bighoppa wrote:

The number of items out of stock and discontinued as I try to build are crazy. Having to search for alternates constantly.

I've just punted for now. My computer has temporarily recovered for the most part; I'm trying to hold out until I can get exactly what I want.

This is not a great time to actually get stuff you want.

Rats. Installing an M.2 drive is going to be a little more complicated than I thought. I have a USB controller in the PCI slot, and it's blocking the main M.2 slot. I installed it in the other slot, but that slot disables 2 SATA ports. I may be able to move stuff off those ports. Is this slot going to be slower than the main one that disables the third PCI-E slot?

Does it really block the M.2 port? Do you have the drive yet? They are about the size of RAM sticks... maybe it goes in horizontally?

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Rats. Installing an M.2 drive is going to be a little more complicated than I thought. I have a USB controller in the PCI slot, and it's blocking the main M.2 slot. I installed it in the other slot, but that slot disables 2 SATA ports. I may be able to move stuff off those ports. Is this slot going to be slower than the main one that disables the third PCI-E slot?

Sounds like the modern day version of when we were swapping jumpers for IRQs and memory addresses to get sound cards and modems working.

Cue Archie and Edith: "Those were the daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays!"

Boy, the way that Fortnight plays.
See those vid-cards tracing rays.
I don't have enough drive bays.
These are the days.

-BEP

Robear wrote:

Does it really block the M.2 port? Do you have the drive yet? They are about the size of RAM sticks... maybe it goes in horizontally?

Well, I'm dumb. So, the one that had a controller (actually a SATA controller) blocking it, actually wasn't blocking it, but it's the short non SSD M.2 type of port. So, that's fine. I didn't realize there was a port hiding behind my giant graphics card, and that's the one I need to use. It disables SATA slots 4 and five. I only had a Blu-ray drive on one of those, so that's where it needs to go. I moved the Blu-ray drive to a SATA connector that was behing used by a front panel eSATA port which never was going to get used.

So everything is installed, and that M.2 port is enabled via UEFI, and... nothing. Not sure why it's not showing up in disc manager. Maybe I didn't get it plugged in quite right.

Well, that's a relief. Next step is to install the manufacturer's NVMe driver on the disk itself. With mine, I upgraded the motherboard so that it would recognize the NVMe devices, but that still did not show the disk in the BIOS disk list. However, the driver installer (in this case, Samsung), spotted it and loaded the driver on the device, no problem. After that, it rebooted and the BIOS could see.

So make sure your BIOS is NVMe capable, and then download and install the correct driver for your new disk (by correct, I mean the driver for your OS). That should do it.

Hmmm... drive is definitely installed fine. I'm at a bit of a loss. It shows the correct M.2 port enabled which shows the SATA ports disabled when you do that. There is a section to check NVME in the UEFI, and no devices are detected. Windows sees nothing. The Samsung NVME driver won't install because no drives are detected. Weird.

Okay, reseat the M.2 card (you might have to use a screw to secure the other end), then try the Samsung Disk Magician. If it sees it, then you should be able to manipulate it.

Well, I'd try that, but I updated the BIOS, aaaaand it won't power on. I'm going to leave it sitting before completely cutting power. Ruh roh.

I was a ways back on BIOS updates, so I figured I should get that done regardless.

You waited for it to restart itself after it powered off, right? That's the usual thing, at least for ASUS.

Robear wrote:

You waited for it to restart itself after it powered off, right? That's the usual thing, at least for ASUS.

Yeah, it didn't restart. Then tapping the power button did nothing after a few minutes.

Cut power and can get into UEFI but loaded my setting and now it's having issues. I took pictures of all my settings just in case. This is gonna be rough.

Yeah, it's doing weird stuff. Gonna table it for today. Will have to go through the motherboard manual and check error codes and troubleshooting options. I can't get it back into default bios settings now. Hopefully fixable.

I suppose I could probably replace motherboard with same model worse case. That would be a nightmare of work though. I put a lot of care into installing it with thermal paste and whatnot. It's an EVGA Z370 FTW.

Ouch. I hope it's not bricked. Good luck.

Hello, folks!

I’m thinking it’s time for me to upgrade my home-theatre PC. At the moment, I’m using an Alienware Alpha R2, sporting a 6th generation i7 6700T and a GeForce GTX960. It has served me pretty well over the past four years, and continues to do so (if I ignore the fact the front USB ports are dead), but I think it’s time for an upgrade.

My main requirement is that I want a PC that looks like a console, so it doesn’t look to out of place under my TV. Looking for small form factors gaming PC, I found this build on Tech Buyer’s Guru’s website (someone might have linked to this site further up in the thread, which is probably where I got it from). The mini-ITX gaming PC looks pretty interesting. Here are the main components:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor
  • MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC motherboard
  • Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5700 XT

Now, I actually have no idea how good these components are. Are they a significant upgrade from my current Alienware Alpha? Or, if my current computer is still doing OK, should I just hold off for another year or so?

The components are solid.
They are a significant upgrade from your current setup. Especially the gpu is a huge upgrade.
Do you have a 1440p or better monitor?
I'd recommend getting 16GB of RAM and 1 TB SSDs are ~$100. (which I see the build already includes)

I definitely prefer wired mouse and keyboards, though. And I got a 750W corsair power supply for $70. Silverstone is a highly recommended brand and it is gold rated vs. my corsair 750W. But corsair is a great brand too and (bronze) 80% of 750 is 650W for $70 as compared to 100% of 550W for $110.

fangblackbone wrote:

The components are solid.
They are a significant upgrade from your current setup. Especially the gpu is a huge upgrade.
Do you have a 1440p or better monitor?
I'd recommend getting 16GB of RAM and 1 TB SSDs are ~$100.

I only have a old 1080p Sony Bravia TV at the moment, but I expect the next one will be 4K. It is ten or eleven years old at this point, and I expect it to die in the next year or so. I had a 1440p ultra-wide monitor two weeks ago, but ended up returning it to the store due to it being too big (my neck was always looking either left or right) and having a dead pixel in the middle.

I did not include the RAM or the SSD in my listing, as I figured these were obvious. I will probably go with 500 GB M.2 SSD, as I already have it in my Alpha (installed it in the last year).

Thanks for the feedback, looks like I have some online shopping to do! Wish I could order everything from a local store, but unfortunately they don't have the case at all and some of the items are not available for curb side pickup.

Just like the Alpha, this computer likely won't be tied to a keyboard and mouse very long, just long enough for me to set it up so it, because after that it will be mostly controller by a controller via Steam Big Picture and Kodi.

Are all power supplies the same physical size? If not, that is a factor I need to consider, as big ones may not fit inside the case.

FWIW I just got the exact same processor and a b450 motherboard.
I forgot one other recommendation. Get a b550 or x570 motherboard. AMD just announced that 4th gen ryzen desktop cpus will not support below b550 motherboards.

-Now, it can be said that either motherboard manufacturers might be able to support 4th gen in limited supply with bios upgrades but that is iffy.
-Also, you still have quite a lot of powerful upgrades available in 3rd gen topping out at the 3900x 12 core 24 thread cpu. It will be very hard to pass up if that sucker ever gets below $300.

edit: yeah it looks like that case only supports sfx psus. It is a shame since it is such a slight difference in size:
6x5x3 vs. 5x4x2.5
Corsair SF psus are just as expensive an apparently out of stock at newegg and amazon.

fangblackbone wrote:

FWIW I just got the exact same processor and a b450 motherboard.
I forgot one other recommendation. Get a b550 or x570 motherboard. AMD just announced that 4th gen ryzen desktop cpus will not support below b550 motherboards.

I checked x570 motherboards, but none of them have the mini-ITX form factor that fits into that case It's not that much of a problem, since once I have this thing built, I don't plan to upgrade for a few years, and by that point all the components will probably be outdated anyway.

Found a few, but they are about twice the price of the B450 and/or not in stock.

Support for 4th gen Ryzen CPU's on mobos below 500 series may be up to the board manufacturers to provide a BIOS update, possibly losing support for 1st-2nd gen CPU's in the process due to the size limitations of the BIOS chip. AMD officially says that 300 series boards don't support 3rd gen CPU's, and we all know that virtually all of them did with a BIOS update. We will wait and see. Of course if support for 4th gen doesn't come then it definitely undercuts AMD's promise to stay on the same socket through 2020 from a consumer standpoint.