Help me build my PC 2020 Catch All

I think monitor arms have been talked about a few times over in the monitor thread. Take a look and if not maybe post there and you might get more replies.

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

Any crazy, can't-miss deals today, Cyber Monday?

*Legion* wrote:

There's a good chance a B450 board you buy now will have a recent enough BIOS, but if you don't want to risk it, you can buy one that supports USB Flashback (allowing you to flash the BIOS without a CPU). Probably the ones you'd be looking at would be the MSI B450 A-PRO or the MSI B450M Gaming Plus. The Tomahawk Max you already have in your build list also supports it, so if you're more comfortable with that one rather than these less expensive options, you can also stay with that.

I think if you order from someplace that turns over inventory quickly, like Newegg or Amazon, you're extremely likely to get a B450 board with updated BIOS. I just upgraded my system and the B450 Tomahawk motherboard came with a "Ryzen 3000 Desktop Ready" printed right on the box. It worked great for me. And even if it didn't come with an updated BIOS the board supports USB flashback so it's straightforward to update before you build.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

There's a good chance a B450 board you buy now will have a recent enough BIOS, but if you don't want to risk it, you can buy one that supports USB Flashback (allowing you to flash the BIOS without a CPU). Probably the ones you'd be looking at would be the MSI B450 A-PRO or the MSI B450M Gaming Plus. The Tomahawk Max you already have in your build list also supports it, so if you're more comfortable with that one rather than these less expensive options, you can also stay with that.

I think if you order from someplace that turns over inventory quickly, like Newegg or Amazon, you're extremely likely to get a B450 board with updated BIOS. I just upgraded my system and the B450 Tomahawk motherboard came with a "Ryzen 3000 Desktop Ready" printed right on the box. It worked great for me. And even if it didn't come with an updated BIOS the board supports USB flashback so it's straightforward to update before you build.

Make sure you stick with “popular” B450 boards. Look for ones that have a decent amount of reviews.

Question: I have a Corsair H150i cooler with a radiator. I'm a bit confused as to the best way to install the radiator fans. I assume I should blow the air off the radiator and out of the case. So I guess a "pull" configuration?

Question: Do any cheap PC monitors take CEC HDMI remote commands?

Just curious. Was thinking about replacing a cheap TV in the kitchen. Don't need an actual "TV". If one could take CEC commands for powering on and off, I might use a monitor.

Limited space under the cabinet where it sits, so my options are limited. Just looking to expand them.

staygold wrote:

Question: I have a Corsair H150i cooler with a radiator. I'm a bit confused as to the best way to install the radiator fans. I assume I should blow the air off the radiator and out of the case. So I guess a "pull" configuration?

I just installed one myself. I put the radiator on the top of the case, with fans attached below it blowing up, through the radiator, to exhaust out the top.

I believe that push is on average slightly better than pull by a couple of degrees, but in tests it varies depending on fan design and even fan speed (some fans are better at push at some speeds but better at pull at other speeds). The best configuration is a push/pull one where you have fans on both sides of the rad if your case has room for it. I would research your fan to see what configuration it is designed for.

staygold wrote:

I assume I should blow the air off the radiator and out of the case.

Not necessarily. You may get better performance having it mounted on the front and pulling cool air onto the rad, radiating the hot air into the case. Generally, it doesn't make a significant difference either way.

I always mount my radiators at the top of the case and use their fans to vent out... figure heat rises so draw cool air from the front of the case and use the back and top fans to vent heat out.. Power supplies vent downwards which I've always hated.. I wish the design would allow for the PSU's to vent out the back of the case.. some of their heat dissipates naturally in the back but their fans are typically pointing down..

TheGameguru wrote:

I always mount my radiators at the top of the case and use their fans to vent out... figure heat rises so draw cool air from the front of the case and use the back and top fans to vent heat out.. Power supplies vent downwards which I've always hated.. I wish the design would allow for the PSU's to vent out the back of the case.. some of their heat dissipates naturally in the back but their fans are typically pointing down..

Hot air rising means you're going to be moving the hottest air in the case through the radiator, which reduces the radiator's ability to transfer heat. It is better to pull ambient air from outside the case, ideally from a front mount. The temperature between the air outside of the case and the hottest internal air can be significant with a non-blower GPU dumping 250W inside the case.

TheGameguru wrote:

Power supplies vent downwards which I've always hated.. I wish the design would allow for the PSU's to vent out the back of the case.. some of their heat dissipates naturally in the back but their fans are typically pointing down..

I'm confused. All of the recent power supplies I've used have a large intake fan which usually points downward (gets air from below the PSU) and they vent out the back. Way back when, most didn't have any input fans but they had an exhaust fan on the back instead.

LouZiffer wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Power supplies vent downwards which I've always hated.. I wish the design would allow for the PSU's to vent out the back of the case.. some of their heat dissipates naturally in the back but their fans are typically pointing down..

I'm confused. All of the recent power supplies I've used have a large intake fan which usually points downward (gets air from below the PSU) and they vent out the back. Way back when, most didn't have any input fans but they had an exhaust fan on the back instead.

Ahh maybe I'm wrong.. always assumed that was an exhaust fan..could be an intake.

Judging from the dust accumulation on the small foam filter that slides under the power supply, the bottom fan is an intake fan on my systems.

Robear wrote:

Judging from the dust accumulation on the small foam filter that slides under the power supply, the bottom fan is an intake fan on my systems. :-)

Well there you go.. I never keep a system long enough for things like dust to be an issue

I do, but even if I didn't, 3 dogs. Dust would be an issue.

peanut3141 wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

I always mount my radiators at the top of the case and use their fans to vent out... figure heat rises so draw cool air from the front of the case and use the back and top fans to vent heat out.. Power supplies vent downwards which I've always hated.. I wish the design would allow for the PSU's to vent out the back of the case.. some of their heat dissipates naturally in the back but their fans are typically pointing down..

Hot air rising means you're going to be moving the hottest air in the case through the radiator, which reduces the radiator's ability to transfer heat. It is better to pull ambient air from outside the case, ideally from a front mount. The temperature between the air outside of the case and the hottest internal air can be significant with a non-blower GPU dumping 250W inside the case.

But then you're blowing the hot air from your radiator onto your GPU. There's really arguments for either way and neither way is necessarily wrong. Probably depends on what gets hotter or which cooling you want to prioritize. Also aesthetics since you got an AIO anyways

The way I figure: cool the hottest thing first, since you'll have more headroom on the other components. You're probably raising the overall temperature of your computer, by blowing cool air over the hottest radiator and then dumping the warm air through the rest of the case, but assuming everything else is being properly cooled, it's the peaks that matter more than the overall average, and you're reducing the sharpest peak.

If all the components are far enough below their maximum temperatures, set up the airflow however is most convenient.

I just grabbed this motherboard, but unless I'm wrong, I will have to buy a separate WIFI adapter, yes? Any recommendations, or any old one will do?

Wifi is such a hard thing to recommend because what you need depends so much on your specific wifi network. It's hard to judge whether something would be necessary or complete overkill.

*Legion* wrote:

Wifi is such a hard thing to recommend because what you need depends so much on your specific wifi network. It's hard to judge whether something would be necessary or complete overkill.

I didn't bother putting wifi in my bigass tower - it was going to be sitting in the same dang spot the whole time, so I just assumed I'd have a hard-line, and then buy an external wifi adapter down the road if I needed it. Which I haven't.

Natus wrote:

I just grabbed this motherboard, but unless I'm wrong, I will have to buy a separate WIFI adapter, yes? Any recommendations, or any old one will do?

I have had issues with both add-in cards and USB dongles so I suggest one of these. Just plug it in to a nearby outlet and run an ethernet cable from your PC to the jack on the bottom. I have had one almost two years now and haven't had to do anything to it since I first set it up. It has the added benefit of not taking up a PCIe slot or a USB port. It is Wifi 5 (AC), but there don't seem to be a lot of Wifi 6 (AX) ones on the market yet and they are way more expensive.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Windows 10 automatically use both your wireless adapter and your wired connection to maximize your connection? I've certainly noticed a big boost in my speed whenever I have both wifi and wired running on my PC.

I haven't heard that, would be cool if it did. That's not a very common use case though

Are you suggesting your internet connection is faster than your Ethernet connection? Your limiting factor on speed is almost never Ethernet.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Are you suggesting your internet connection is faster than your Ethernet connection? Your limiting factor on speed is almost never Ethernet.

Mine was, for some reason. We ran lines ourselves when our basement was being redone and I suspect the line to my desk got pinched or hit by a nail when they put the walls and ceiling up; it’s only 100 megs instead of the gigabit connection it should have. I just ran a line around from my wife’s desk like we did before.

Speaking of Windows 10, the last step of my build requires Windows 10. Is this all I need?

There are some comments on the Amazon page that gamers got corrupted USB sticks. Is that really a thing?

So my wife and I are in the market for a laptop. If she wants to have the ability to do CAD and GIS in addition to a bit of gaming, what specs should we prioritize?

Difficulty: I also need a new video editing rig, so we’re probably going to try to scratch all the itches with a 16” MacBook Pro with enough storage for dual-booting.

That sounds like you'll want as much CPU and RAM as you can reasonably squeeze into the machine. A Macbook Pro may not be what you want, as those aren't expandable and aren't serviceable. Despite the "pro" in the name, they're no longer aimed at professionals at all. They're much more about being lifestyle statements than being useful tools. If you find that it doesn't have enough resources to serve your needs, the only option is replacement. If it breaks, typically the only option is replacement of massive components, like the entire motherboard. This cost is borne by Apple if you're still under warranty, but once you're past the Applecare limit, it's almost never worth fixing. ($1000+ repair bills.)

It strikes me that the best machine type for what you want is a desktop. Do the GIS and CAD there; you can load the sucker up with oodles of RAM on the cheap. You can also jam in any GPU you like, and go whole-hog on gaming without having to worry about heat and power. A 120V plug and a desktop case with decent, quiet 120mm fans can deliver and exhaust a hell of a lot of both.

If you try to do heavy lifting with a laptop, you always run into size, heat, noise, and battery life issues. It needs a huge, heavy battery to provide the power, it needs a big case with numerous fans to exhaust the heat, and will usually run very hot on your lap, sometimes to the point of active discomfort. They'll typically have a big screen to present the information, as well, further increasing weight and possibly size. You end up with, more or less, a 'luggable', a big heavy thing. The more muscular and powerful it is, the worse it will be as a laptop.

Typically, I think of machines like that as units you carry from plug to plug, rather than being true laptops. Sometimes a computer like that is really important to have, but they're bad at running on your lap, and they tend to be unreliable as hell. They're running hot, being shaken around all the time, banged around in your luggage, dumped onto strange desks, and their hinges are constantly exercised. Their useful life rarely exceeds two or three years.

Contrast that with a desktop, which can easily last a decade or longer, and costs a lot less to boot. The only real wear items on desktops are fans, mice, and keyboards, and those are cheap and easy to replace. Spinning disks can be another failure point, but as long as you have a good backup, replacing them is usually cheap. It's also annoying, primarily because you have to restore the data, which can take a day or more. But that's a relatively low probability failure, typically around 2% a year with a good manufacturer.

It may also be worth pointing out that a decent-specced Macbook Pro 16" is about $4,000, and even at that, it's wimpy as hell on the CPU. (6 core, 2.4GHz is about as fast as it gets, which is terrible.)

You could buy a killer desktop, one way faster than the relatively constrained MBP, and two reasonable laptops for that much money.