PC Build Thread 2020

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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

NAND prices plummet!

Inland Platinum 2TB SSD for $200 at MicroCenter.

It's QLC with only a 3-year warranty, but at $200 the price to performance ratio is amazing. It's only $10 more than their lower level drive, with faster max speeds and longer durability.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

LadyGeek wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:09 pm ...Another area that has a need for speed are the open-source distributing computing projects. I've participated in projects like Folding@home and BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing). Use your CPU and GPU cycles to help others. The clients will make heavy utilization of your GPU if it's supported. I'll restart this effort when I get a chance.

My future GPU card should be able to support these projects.

A good benchmark is to measure how long it takes you to complete an assigned unit. If you like to overclock and eke out every CPU cycle possible, this is for you. You can help others while justifying why you "need" to have a fast PC.
I've fired up a Folding@home project on my Win 10 Lenovo ThinkCentre M910 SFF (Small Form Factor) PC.

I missed a very important point about high horsepower applications. Fan noise. :annoyed Running at 99% CPU capacity turns the fans on within a minute. The PC is currently sitting on the top of a desk near eye level.

If I decide to build a new PC from scratch, it will be with a tower case so I can fit it in an enclosed area under my desk. There's adequate ventilation and it will shield me from the noise.

If I stay with my current PC, the desktop form factor will work fine turned vertically and fit in this same area.
Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:10 am [According to the specs, you have some tight tolerances for a video card. From https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PD ... F_Spec.pdf:
Slot 1: low-profile (length < 150mm, height < 68mm), PCIe 3.0 x16*
With those sorts of clearances, you'd be looking at much older GPU chipsets. Newegg shows several NVIDIA GeForce GT 710, GT 730, and GT 1030 low profile cards at or below 150mm in length. There's also a smattering of Radeon R7 240 cards. Of those, the GT 1030 cards would give the best performance, but nothing close to a modern card.
I'll start researching this soon. The limiting factor is the mobo interface. There's no point getting a faster card if the mobo can't keep up with it. I also need to watch my power consumption, as I can't / won't upgrade the PSU.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

dreamingbutterfly wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:07 pm Just wanted to chime in about coolers. Noctua of course are regarded as the best, especially the NH-D15. However they are a bit spendy at $89.99 for the unsightly standard version and $99.99 for the much more visually appealing Chromax Black. For a more economical solution, look into the Scythe Fuma 2. In the reviews I found it performs nearly as well as the top-end Noctua but costs only $59.99 and isn't unsightly. I recently replaced the stock cooler (Wraith Stealth) on my Ryzen 3600 with the Fuma 2 and my max temperatures have fallen over 20 degrees celsius. Plus it's whisper quiet.
Noctua makes great CPU coolers and some decent case fans. Yes, their traditional color scheme leaves something to be desired. For now, I have decided to hold off buying a Noctua cooler. I wanted the opportunity to evaluate how effective the bundled Wraith Prism cooler was in keeping thermals for a Ryzen 7 3700X at acceptable levels. Time will tell.

Glad to hear you're happy with the Scythe Fuma 2. I'll keep that one in mind if I eventually decide to go the aftermarket route.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

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^^^ 2 posts up. Having a store-bought PC made me rusty with my home-brewing instincts. After running at max horsepower for most of the day, I decided to check the case temperature. It was too warm, especially at the PSU.

I quickly found out why my case fans were running full speed. My CPU temperature was 93 deg C. :shock:

I measured CPU temps with both the NZXT CAM and Core Temp* monitors.

My CPU's Tj is 100 deg C, so you want to be at least 10 deg C below that. Core Temp shows the min / max temperatures and I could see that each of the 4 cores had maxed out at 100 deg C at some point in time. The cores run around 37 - 40 deg C when they're not maxed out.

Researching further, small form factor PCs (what I have) are not designed to run for long periods of time at high CPU loads. If today's experiment results in a bricked PC, the replacement will be a full-up home-brew.

When I ran this app on my previous home-brew PC, I was very careful to keep the CPU max temperature at 80 deg C.

* Spam alert - When installing, uncheck the box that asks if you want "additional icons". This is a known issue - it will install unwanted software. Also, don't click on the "Check for driver updates" link in the UI. It was blocked by my browser's ad blocker.
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

If you're looking for a good airflow case, Gamers Nexus has some of the best and most informative reviews (including thermal testing) out there. In their testing, they found that better airflow generally resulted in less noise compared to sound dampening cases - as long as you have PWM fans, good airflow means you can dial down the RPM to maintain a given temperature. A sound-dampening case, meanwhile, is offset by the higher fan speeds needed to cool the internals.

I bought my Coolermaster NR600 on their recommendation, but I believe the Silverstone RL06 is remains their overall top thermal performer despite reviewing it back in 2017.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Good info, thanks. My previous home-brew was a Lian-Li case and Silverstone power supply. Every time I upgraded, I'd put the CPU and GPU product brand sticker on the front. The front panel was full of stickers.
Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:10 am ...According to the specs, you have some tight tolerances for a video card. From https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PD ... F_Spec.pdf:
Slot 1: low-profile (length < 150mm, height < 68mm), PCIe 3.0 x16*
With those sorts of clearances, you'd be looking at much older GPU chipsets. Newegg shows several NVIDIA GeForce GT 710, GT 730, and GT 1030 low profile cards at or below 150mm in length. There's also a smattering of Radeon R7 240 cards. Of those, the GT 1030 cards would give the best performance, but nothing close to a modern card.
Thanks for the research. You're right, this is a very limited selection. The Newegg product selector came up with exactly 1 card that would fit - an MSI GeForce GT 1030.

Max GPU length: 150 mm, Form Factor: low profile, Display Port x 1

The reviews were less than favorable. I might pass on the card and wait until I'm ready to build from scratch.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by zxllxz »

PCpartPicker will alert you to incompatibilities with your part choices and let you now what the power consumption of your configuration. It is also useful to check on current prices and price histories.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Independent George wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:09 pm If you're looking for a good airflow case, Gamers Nexus has some of the best and most informative reviews (including thermal testing) out there. In their testing, they found that better airflow generally resulted in less noise compared to sound dampening cases - as long as you have PWM fans, good airflow means you can dial down the RPM to maintain a given temperature. A sound-dampening case, meanwhile, is offset by the higher fan speeds needed to cool the internals.

I bought my Coolermaster NR600 on their recommendation, but I believe the Silverstone RL06 is remains their overall top thermal performer despite reviewing it back in 2017.
Did you upgrade the stock fans and/or add any additional fans? I just installed 2 Corsair ML120 Pro fans for front intake in an Antec Three Hundred case. At some point I'll probably replace the stock exhaust fans (TriCool 120mm & 140mm), but they're quiet enough and working so it's not a priority at the moment.

Even though the testing (in the link below) was done more than a few years ago, the basic principles of air flow inside a computer case still apply. Fans. Openings (however slight). Negative pressure. Positive pressure. Noise. Dust. And hopefully acceptable temperatures for key computer components. Quality fans and power supplies are generally more efficient and quieter at a given load today, which is good. Being able to set fan curves (especially on graphics cards) is really nice.

The Big Air Cooling Investigation -- Very interesting read
https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/the-b ... igation/1/
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Independent George wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:14 pm NAND prices plummet!

Inland Platinum 2TB SSD for $200 at MicroCenter.

It's QLC with only a 3-year warranty, but at $200 the price to performance ratio is amazing. It's only $10 more than their lower level drive, with faster max speeds and longer durability.
The $200 price point (for 2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD) has been hit. Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by whodidntante »

dreamingbutterfly wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:07 pm Just wanted to chime in about coolers. Noctua of course are regarded as the best, especially the NH-D15. However they are a bit spendy at $89.99 for the unsightly standard version and $99.99 for the much more visually appealing Chromax Black. For a more economical solution, look into the Scythe Fuma 2. In the reviews I found it performs nearly as well as the top-end Noctua but costs only $59.99 and isn't unsightly. I recently replaced the stock cooler (Wraith Stealth) on my Ryzen 3600 with the Fuma 2 and my max temperatures have fallen over 20 degrees celsius. Plus it's whisper quiet.
I don't mind hearing a GPU fan kick up now and then, but the constant sound of little, high RPM fans gets to me after a while.

For my high spec but admittedly aging PC, I went with a fanless CPU cooler. AKA a big pancake stack of aluminum fins and copper heat pipes. Well, it's not really fanless, but more dependent on the case airflow from the 4 140mm fans and a slight amount of convection. I was a little nervous about it, but great decision. I never see the CPU thermal fold back for my workloads. The only downside is it is huge, so you have to factor that in to the build.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

dwc13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:32 pm
dreamingbutterfly wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:07 pm Just wanted to chime in about coolers. Noctua of course are regarded as the best, especially the NH-D15. However they are a bit spendy at $89.99 for the unsightly standard version and $99.99 for the much more visually appealing Chromax Black. For a more economical solution, look into the Scythe Fuma 2. In the reviews I found it performs nearly as well as the top-end Noctua but costs only $59.99 and isn't unsightly. I recently replaced the stock cooler (Wraith Stealth) on my Ryzen 3600 with the Fuma 2 and my max temperatures have fallen over 20 degrees celsius. Plus it's whisper quiet.
Noctua makes great CPU coolers and some decent case fans. Yes, their traditional color scheme leaves something to be desired. For now, I have decided to hold off buying a Noctua cooler. I wanted the opportunity to evaluate how effective the bundled Wraith Prism cooler was in keeping thermals for a Ryzen 7 3700X at acceptable levels. Time will tell.

Glad to hear you're happy with the Scythe Fuma 2. I'll keep that one in mind if I eventually decide to go the aftermarket route.
The color scheme for my build is white, silver, and black, so I just got the single-fan NH-D15S heat sink, then swapped out the Noctua beige and brown/orange? (not sure what is the best label for that color) fan for two Noctua Chromax black fans with the same specs, using the white sound dampeners. Also used Chromax for the case fans. The NF-A20 actually shipped from Europe.

The motherboard also has that same color scheme, and I bought white memory modules to round the whole thing out. Why I spent so much time color-coordinating when almost no one is going to see it, I don't know. But it was cheaper to buy the regular heat sink and swap out for Chromax fans than to buy the Chromax heat sink.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:57 pm Researching further, small form factor PCs (what I have) are not designed to run for long periods of time at high CPU loads. If today's experiment results in a bricked PC, the replacement will be a full-up home-brew.
It really depends on how small the small form factor is. I have an older gaming system that is a mini-ITX build in a Silverstone Raven (v1) case. That case has a SFX PSU, but also supported a normal-sized (for the time it was released) graphics card. It is a 14L case, so not super small, but not roomy either. It does have good support for cooling though (including radiator support for water cooling, although I opted for air cooling), so I think I maxed out temperatures at upper 60s/lower 70s playing games on it. It was my attempt at a DIY Steam machine, back when that was a thing.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Mudpuppy wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:58 pm
The motherboard also has that same color scheme, and I bought white memory modules to round the whole thing out. Why I spent so much time color-coordinating when almost no one is going to see it, I don't know. But it was cheaper to buy the regular heat sink and swap out for Chromax fans than to buy the Chromax heat sink.
Funny how pricing works out sometimes. In the end, you got what you wanted and for less -- something most of us would like to be able to do more frequently. For my current build, I was all set to buy Crucial Ballistix 2 x 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM with white heatsinks from Newegg. My MB and case are black, so wanted to add just a bit of color to help break things up...for nobody to see. Last Friday I stopped by Micro Center and the same RAM modules but with black heat sinks were on sale for $30 less. Very easy decision, lol.

I've seen a few online pictures of cases modded in part by using "high heat" paints to accessorize the interior and some components. There are some really talented craftsman modding computer cases and components.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

dwc13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:32 pm Noctua makes great CPU coolers and some decent case fans. Yes, their traditional color scheme leaves something to be desired. For now, I have decided to hold off buying a Noctua cooler. I wanted the opportunity to evaluate how effective the bundled Wraith Prism cooler was in keeping thermals for a Ryzen 7 3700X at acceptable levels. Time will tell.
My 3600X came with the Wraith Spire cooler (one step down from the Prism), and it's totally fine. I never intended to use it long term, but put it on so I could use the machine while I was waiting for the AM4 clamp for my old Corsair H50 water cooler to come. But I don't think I'm going to switch. Idle temps are in the 40s, getting up into the mid-50s when I'm busy with work, video conferencing, etc. It goes up into the low-mid 70s when my son is gaming, and peaks out at 83 if I run video encoding for hours on end. This is with the FCLOCK bumped up to 1800 (stock is 1600) to match the DDR4-3600 memory and PBO enabled.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

dwc13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:30 pmDid you upgrade the stock fans and/or add any additional fans? I just installed 2 Corsair ML120 Pro fans for front intake in an Antec Three Hundred case. At some point I'll probably replace the stock exhaust fans (TriCool 120mm & 140mm), but they're quiet enough and working so it's not a priority at the moment.

Even though the testing (in the link below) was done more than a few years ago, the basic principles of air flow inside a computer case still apply. Fans. Openings (however slight). Negative pressure. Positive pressure. Noise. Dust. And hopefully acceptable temperatures for key computer components. Quality fans and power supplies are generally more efficient and quieter at a given load today, which is good. Being able to set fan curves (especially on graphics cards) is really nice.

The Big Air Cooling Investigation -- Very interesting read
https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/the-b ... igation/1/
I added two Noctua NF-S12B Redux fans (1200 rpm) to the stock setup. I bought those because my current PC doesn't support 4-pin PWM fans, but that will change in a few months.

That's a great link which is still relevant today; the basic idea is always the same - get cool air onto hot components, then vent them out of the system as fast as possible. There are lots of ways to do that, each with different tradeoffs. I think direct, positive-pressure airflow is the simplest (and case manufacturers seem to agree), but NZXT has some great negative-pressure designs that work great. Case designs in general have improved, too; my hope is that they'll get smaller and more airflow efficient as HDD enclosures start to disappear the way optical drive have. My one complaint about my NR600 is that there's too much wasted space in front - it's great for a water-cooling rig, but very few people do, especially in a $70 budget case.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

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Independent George wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:18 am
dwc13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:30 pmDid you upgrade the stock fans and/or add any additional fans? I just installed 2 Corsair ML120 Pro fans for front intake in an Antec Three Hundred case. At some point I'll probably replace the stock exhaust fans (TriCool 120mm & 140mm), but they're quiet enough and working so it's not a priority at the moment.

Even though the testing (in the link below) was done more than a few years ago, the basic principles of air flow inside a computer case still apply. Fans. Openings (however slight). Negative pressure. Positive pressure. Noise. Dust. And hopefully acceptable temperatures for key computer components. Quality fans and power supplies are generally more efficient and quieter at a given load today, which is good. Being able to set fan curves (especially on graphics cards) is really nice.

The Big Air Cooling Investigation -- Very interesting read
https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/the-b ... igation/1/
I added two Noctua NF-S12B Redux fans (1200 rpm) to the stock setup. I bought those because my current PC doesn't support 4-pin PWM fans, but that will change in a few months.

That's a great link which is still relevant today; the basic idea is always the same - get cool air onto hot components, then vent them out of the system as fast as possible. There are lots of ways to do that, each with different tradeoffs. I think direct, positive-pressure airflow is the simplest (and case manufacturers seem to agree), but NZXT has some great negative-pressure designs that work great. Case designs in general have improved, too; my hope is that they'll get smaller and more airflow efficient as HDD enclosures start to disappear the way optical drive have. My one complaint about my NR600 is that there's too much wasted space in front - it's great for a water-cooling rig, but very few people do, especially in a $70 budget case.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Independent George wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:18 am
dwc13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:30 pmDid you upgrade the stock fans and/or add any additional fans? I just installed 2 Corsair ML120 Pro fans for front intake in an Antec Three Hundred case. At some point I'll probably replace the stock exhaust fans (TriCool 120mm & 140mm), but they're quiet enough and working so it's not a priority at the moment.

Even though the testing (in the link below) was done more than a few years ago, the basic principles of air flow inside a computer case still apply. Fans. Openings (however slight). Negative pressure. Positive pressure. Noise. Dust. And hopefully acceptable temperatures for key computer components. Quality fans and power supplies are generally more efficient and quieter at a given load today, which is good. Being able to set fan curves (especially on graphics cards) is really nice.

The Big Air Cooling Investigation -- Very interesting read
https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/the-b ... igation/1/
I added two Noctua NF-S12B Redux fans (1200 rpm) to the stock setup. I bought those because my current PC doesn't support 4-pin PWM fans, but that will change in a few months.

That's a great link which is still relevant today; the basic idea is always the same - get cool air onto hot components, then vent them out of the system as fast as possible. There are lots of ways to do that, each with different tradeoffs. I think direct, positive-pressure airflow is the simplest (and case manufacturers seem to agree), but NZXT has some great negative-pressure designs that work great. Case designs in general have improved, too; my hope is that they'll get smaller and more airflow efficient as HDD enclosures start to disappear the way optical drive have. My one complaint about my NR600 is that there's too much wasted space in front - it's great for a water-cooling rig, but very few people do, especially in a $70 budget case.
I prefer positive pressure airflow, too, but to each their own. Having space in your computer case to implement water cooling if you choose to go that route is generally a plus, I would think. As for case designs, IMO it would be a step in the right direction if some of the legacy baggage (space) was eliminated or at least repurposed. There is still a need to support multiple drives of varying types. Some builders want an internal optical drive to watch movies and (re)install software on their PC. Microsoft removed download links to Office 2007 a while back; I suspect they'll do the same with Office 2010 when it goes EOL next month. In addition, not everyone will opt for all M.2 SSDs, especially if they already have an investment in multiple older HDs/SSDs. In one of the 5.25" bays, I'm going to install an Icy Dock bracket that holds up to 4 x 2.5" hard drives/SSDs. Doing so will eliminate the need to install brackets & SSDs in a 3.5" bay that would obstruct the intake fans.

https://www.newegg.com/icy-dock-mb344sp ... -_-Product

One thing I didn't fully account for on this build: I forgot the stock exhaust fans (non-PWM) in the old (@2008) Antec Three Hundred case need a 4 pin "Molex" connector (possibly 2) from the power supply. I'd rather use fewer thick cables to the power supply, especially one that would go across the motherboard. I'm probably heading out to Micro Center later to buy a couple more PWM fans and a 4 pin Y splitter so I can use the nearby fan header for both. The other hiccup I ran into was the power switch LED cable has a 3 pin plug (1 & 3 with pins) while the motherboard has 2 pins. So I took an Exacto knife and slightly lifted the tab holding the problematic pin in place, then pulled out that pin and inserted it into the middle slot.

The new Ryzen 7 3700X build is basically finished. I'll be running a few tests to verify things are stable, but no issues thus far during limited regular use. Later I'll play around with memory settings and update the BIOS...if a stable version is available.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by mxs »

It looks like you have a good handle on this, but I thought I would mention that https://www.logicalincrements.com/ helps you make sure you aren't spending too much on one component and neglecting others.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ That's helpful, thanks. Those prices don't include the monitor, which can be significant if you are also a video "enthusiast".

I'll add that to the websites I've used previously: Tom's Hardware: For The Hardcore PC Enthusiast and AnandTech: Hardware News and Tech Reviews Since 1997

FYI - I decided to go with a new build. It's just a matter of when and figuring out what to do with my Win 10 Lenovo desktop (which it will replace).

I'll keep my 27" LG display port monitor.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Honestly, my dream build would be a Micro ITX using the NZXT H1 and these custom side panels. I think the Tesselation pattern in cherry would look fantastic; I just can't stomach the $450 price tag. Solar System looks pretty good, too. If I had the woodworking skills, I'd make my own custom case to resemble one of those old wood-paneled radios. I'm tired of everything either looking like an iPod, or red/black color schemes.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by tuningfork »

I just built a new PC for my girlfriend a few weeks ago. She wanted something mid-range for work at home and future hobby/business when she retires in a few years. She researched pre-built PC's she thought would work for her, to give me a range of power and price. Her budget was considerably higher than the last time I built a PC for her about 8 years ago, which was low-end and struggling with today's workloads.

Here's what I built:
Ryzen 5 3600
MSI Pro B450-A Pro Max
16 GB (2x8GB) G.SKILL Ripjaws V
EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 SC Ultra
Samsung 970 EVO M.2 500 GB SSD
Corsair RM650x 2018 power supply
Be Quiet PURE BASE 600 case

I went with B450 rather than B550 or X570, mainly because it's mature technology (so she won't be calling me to complain about freezes and crashes that sometimes happen with bleeding edge BIOS/chipsets), and we have no need to upgrade to next gen CPUs or storage.

The discrete GPU (low-end) is there to ensure the system can handle photo processing or other graphics operations without issue. The Ryzen CPUs with built-in graphics seem underpowered to me, and the really cheap business-class discrete GPUs aren't much better.

Some may think the power supply is overkill for this system, but a power supply with excess capacity runs very cool and quiet.

Overall I'm very happy with how quiet the entire system is. Performance is very good and no concerns about stability.

Although she doesn't play games, this system could handle some games with modest performance requirements. With a higher end GPU this would make a decent mid-range gaming system.

I haven't built a PC for myself for 6 years so it's about time for an upgrade. Building this PC for her allowed me to research my next build. Later this year or early next year I'll probably build a Ryzen 7 system for myself with a top of the line nVidia GPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator, as well as all the photo/video/music stuff I do for hobbies.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Independent George wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:43 pm Honestly, my dream build would be a Micro ITX using the NZXT H1 and these custom side panels. I think the Tesselation pattern in cherry would look fantastic; I just can't stomach the $450 price tag. Solar System looks pretty good, too. If I had the woodworking skills, I'd make my own custom case to resemble one of those old wood-paneled radios. I'm tired of everything either looking like an iPod, or red/black color schemes.
Great-looking combination. I'm probably not in either companies targeted customer demographic, though. I think the most I have ever spent on a case was an aluminum one from Lian Li that I bought years ago. Probably $150 or so at the time. I wouldn't spend more on a computer case than on a CPU it housed. However, others might decorate their case and make it showpiece. Nothing wrong with that approach, either.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

Independent George wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:43 pm Honestly, my dream build would be a Micro ITX using the NZXT H1 and these custom side panels. I think the Tesselation pattern in cherry would look fantastic; I just can't stomach the $450 price tag.
To be fair, the $399 for the case also includes a power supply, water cooler, and a riser for your GPU. So the case itself is something like $150.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by somber »

I'm holding off my next build for another month or so, in anticipation of Ryzen 4000 series processors becoming available for desktops. You can already buy laptops with R5 4600H and 4600U, so the desktop versions should be here soon. I'm expecting significantly better performance and lower power consumption, but that's just rumor, at this point.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

lazydavid wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:38 am To be fair, the $399 for the case also includes a power supply, water cooler, and a riser for your GPU. So the case itself is something like $150.
Fair point; I would prefer to select my own components (especially given the horror stories about NZXT Cam) and buy the case separately, but I agree that's not a terrible price for the bundle.
somber wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:30 am I'm holding off my next build for another month or so, in anticipation of Ryzen 4000 series processors becoming available for desktops. You can already buy laptops with R5 4600H and 4600U, so the desktop versions should be here soon. I'm expecting significantly better performance and lower power consumption, but that's just rumor, at this point.
I was excited by the 4000 series mobile processors, but there are sadly very few AMD laptops despite the superior performance; compared to desktops (which are mostly purchased/assembled by enthusiasts), the laptop market is generally less tech savvy, and Intel still carries a significant brand premium. That's just one more reason I wish I could build a laptop to my own specs (without having ram chips soldered into the dang motherboard) instead of buying from a system integrator.

Also, the rumor is the Zen 3 CPUs are going to be given a 5000 model number to make it less confusing (since the 4000U mobile processors are actually on the Zen 2 architecture). Ultimately, that has no effect on the product, but doing so makes way more sense than the current naming scheme.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

somber wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:30 am I'm holding off my next build for another month or so, in anticipation of Ryzen 4000 series processors becoming available for desktops. You can already buy laptops with R5 4600H and 4600U, so the desktop versions should be here soon. I'm expecting significantly better performance and lower power consumption, but that's just rumor, at this point.

As @Independent George noted, Ryzen Mobile 4000 parts are Zen 2. Don't expect Zen 3 mobile parts until 2021. AMD's (very unfortunate) current naming convention for Ryzen Mobile parts has caused needless confusion. This is especially problematic because older generation Zen+ mobile parts are sold as Ryzen Mobile 3xxx. They are fabbed at 12nm (Global Foundries), an enhanced version of the 14nm process used for the original Ryzen release (Zen). While Zen+ mobile parts are an improvement over their Zen counterparts, they're definitely not Zen 2 mobile parts (TSMC 7 nm).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by somber »

Most of the tech news sites are still referring to them as Ryzen 4000 series desktop CPUs. I think it would be a mistake to bump up to 5000 just because the 4000 mobile chips are Zen 2, but AMD certainly doesn't need my opinion :wink: . I'm reading that the Zen 3 CPUs are going to be announced on October 8, and I'm really looking forward to it. The R5 3600 system I built earlier this year is fast, but I think the 7nm process is going to make a big difference in performance and power usage.

Edit to add: I envy those of you who have a Micro Center close by.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Is anyone else having trouble finding isopropyl alcohol? I haven't experienced any thermal issues with my cpu, but given that it's twelve years old, I'm betting it's bone dry by now. I should probably put down some fresh paste while I'm building the new system, but I haven't seen any alcohol in stores for a while.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

What parts / connectors are you cleaning with the alcohol? You might be able to find a substitute, albeit more expensive.

I have isopropyl alcohol on my own shelf (70% and 91%), but I haven't purchased any recently.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by palanzo »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:58 pm What parts / connectors are you cleaning with the alcohol? You might be able to find a substitute, albeit more expensive.

I have isopropyl alcohol on my own shelf (70% and 91%), but I haven't purchased any recently.
I'm guessing the CPU so he can put down new paste. Walmart has isopropyl alcohol available.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Makes sense, thanks.

I'm refreshing my PC build skills and used the opportunity to find a good reference: How to Apply Thermal Paste - Intel
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by zxllxz »

Paul's Hardware on youtube is a good source for the beginner PC builder.
Here is his last beginner build video (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHY6ygHj80c&t=524s
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Independent George wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:28 pm Is anyone else having trouble finding isopropyl alcohol? I haven't experienced any thermal issues with my cpu, but given that it's twelve years old, I'm betting it's bone dry by now. I should probably put down some fresh paste while I'm building the new system, but I haven't seen any alcohol in stores for a while.
If you don't have isopropyl alcohol you could use a small amount of Everclear to help clean/remove thermal paste from your cooler and/or CPU.
For those of legal drinking age in their jurisdiction, Everclear 190 is @$18 a for a 750ml bottle at Walmart. Note that some states have banned Everclear 190, so it also comes in a diluted form (151 proof). Shame to waste liquor, but it would be for a good cause.

FYI, the cooler bundled (Wraith Prism) with the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU I purchased came with thermal compound factory applied. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I left it on my during my build. No issues so far, but I haven't really pushed the envelope...yet. Just in case, though, I have Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:34 pm ^^^ Good info, thanks. My previous home-brew was a Lian-Li case and Silverstone power supply. Every time I upgraded, I'd put the CPU and GPU product brand sticker on the front. The front panel was full of stickers.
Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:10 am ...According to the specs, you have some tight tolerances for a video card. From https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PD ... F_Spec.pdf:
Slot 1: low-profile (length < 150mm, height < 68mm), PCIe 3.0 x16*
With those sorts of clearances, you'd be looking at much older GPU chipsets. Newegg shows several NVIDIA GeForce GT 710, GT 730, and GT 1030 low profile cards at or below 150mm in length. There's also a smattering of Radeon R7 240 cards. Of those, the GT 1030 cards would give the best performance, but nothing close to a modern card.
Thanks for the research. You're right, this is a very limited selection. The Newegg product selector came up with exactly 1 card that would fit - an MSI GeForce GT 1030.

Max GPU length: 150 mm, Form Factor: low profile, Display Port x 1

The reviews were less than favorable. I might pass on the card and wait until I'm ready to build from scratch.
It's a sign -- start a completely new PC build. There's a fractal generating powerhouse GPU -- Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition -- calling your name. Leave the Lenovo on (away from your desk) for Folding@home.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ I was thinking about that. :)
zxllxz wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:34 pm Paul's Hardware on youtube is a good source for the beginner PC builder.
Here is his last beginner build video (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHY6ygHj80c&t=524s
That's a good tutorial. It brought back memories of my prior builds.

It can't be understated that you have no internet connection until the drivers are installed - which is when you install the OS. Having a second PC available to download what you missed is very helpful.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by stan1 »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:06 pm ^^^ I was thinking about that. :)
I could definitely see you rocking a chill ice white/silver/blue vibe on your RGB memory, cards, and fans as you keep the forum in check
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by palanzo »

stan1 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:26 pm
LadyGeek wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:06 pm ^^^ I was thinking about that. :)
I could definitely see you rocking a chill ice white/silver/blue vibe on your RGB memory, cards, and fans as you keep the forum in check
Just like this? :mrgreen:

Image
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Once again I'm reminded how weird BHs are compared to the average consumer.

Report: Availability & Supply of NVIDIA RTX 3080 Video Cards

I get wanting/needing to upgrade - I started this thread in large part because of how excited I am about the forthcoming Zen3 release. But it still strikes me as crazy to go all-in on day 1 when (1) we still don't know how it stacks up against the Radeon 6000, (2) what else Nvidia has up its sleeve pending Radeon release, and (3) every review has been saying that you're really not getting that much additional performance unless you are gaming in 4k (which very few people are). And I truly can't understand getting emotionally invested in it to the point of getting angry at having to wait a few days/weeks to buy something.

Again - my PC is twelve years old; I fully understand the hype, especially when PC components are one of the few places where you can quantify exactly how much improvement you are getting for your money. But for the life of me I can't understand jumping on the newest and shiniest thing just because it's new and shiny. (Though I suppose that's probably why I'm still gaming on a twelve year-old PC to begin with).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

To those "helping" me decide on a build, I should mention that the Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition draws more power alone (320 W) than my entire Lenovo desktop PC (210 W). :shock: I'm guessing the designers who called the architecture "Ampere" were somewhat serious.

Another consideration is that you should match your display to the monitor. My 27" LG 27EA83 monitor (2560 x 1440 (WQHD)) doesn't meet 4K HD resolutions. I'll look at a new monitor to match whatever card I get.

I'll start my build as soon as one of my two Lenovo PCs (Win 10 or Linux) becomes unusable or I decide to give one way. In the case of an early demise, I have enough redundancy to dual-boot Win 10 and Linux in either PC.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by abracadabra11 »

Independent George wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:09 pm Once again I'm reminded how weird BHs are compared to the average consumer.

Report: Availability & Supply of NVIDIA RTX 3080 Video Cards

I get wanting/needing to upgrade - I started this thread in large part because of how excited I am about the forthcoming Zen3 release. But it still strikes me as crazy to go all-in on day 1 when (1) we still don't know how it stacks up against the Radeon 6000, (2) what else Nvidia has up its sleeve pending Radeon release, and (3) every review has been saying that you're really not getting that much additional performance unless you are gaming in 4k (which very few people are). And I truly can't understand getting emotionally invested in it to the point of getting angry at having to wait a few days/weeks to buy something.

Again - my PC is twelve years old; I fully understand the hype, especially when PC components are one of the few places where you can quantify exactly how much improvement you are getting for your money. But for the life of me I can't understand jumping on the newest and shiniest thing just because it's new and shiny. (Though I suppose that's probably why I'm still gaming on a twelve year-old PC to begin with).
I think those that jumped in on the 3080 had some decent evidence to suggest that their purchase was well-warranted when comparing historical gen-on-gen performance gains. Will the comparison to RDNA 2 be interesting? Absolutely! But I doubt anyone's going to regret purchasing a 3080.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by ChowYunPhat »

I recently bought a PowerSpec B744 for $800 and then a $200 Lian Li XL case to house the system. Overall, really happy with the value and visual upgrades. Worth a look if you have the inclination to transfer the motherboard, power supply, and reconnect in a new case (don't do this if you've never built a PC before). Loved the outcome. The PowerSpec PC by itself is nice as well.

POWERSPEC PC
Intel® Core™ i7-9700K Processor
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
ASUS Prime Z390-P
16GB composed of 2- 8192MB DDR4/3200 DIMMS
1TB NVMe Solid State Drive
Realtek Integrated Gigabit Ethernet RTL8111
Dual Band Wireless B/G/N/AC/Bluetooth
ESET Internet Security Trial and Microsoft Office 365 Trial
600 Watt 80 Plus
Standard Keyboard
Optical Scroll Wheel Mouse
Onboard graphics and sound.
http://www.powerspec.com/systems/system ... ction=B744

LIAN LI CASE DYNAMIC XL CASE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyFOPiY8KBg
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

This evening I received an email from Dell -- curiously sent Saturday evening -- informing me of a delay in delivery of a monitor I had ordered in late August. The website listing had indicated a delivery date by September 22 (2020). I decided I could wait a few weeks for delivery and therefore didn't buy a different monitor another vendor. After I placed the order, I received an email from Dell confirming the monitor would be delivered by September 22, 2020.

The revised delivery date is now December 29, 2020. LMAO, Dell wouldn't even commit to making the cut-off for Christmas.

I understand Covid-19 is (and has been) adversely affecting supply chain. IMO, Dell should have been upfront with customers and provided a realistic projected delivery date rather than the bullsh*t one it gave to induce sales. Perhaps Dell is no longer getting enough from the "Market Development Fund" program at Intel -- to help cover charges for expedited shipping from overseas, of course. I mean, Dell would never use those monies to inflate their financial numbers and lie to the investing public, right?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by d18lover »

dwc13 wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:07 am This evening I received an email from Dell -- curiously sent Saturday evening -- informing me of a delay in delivery of a monitor I had ordered in late August. The website listing had indicated a delivery date by September 22 (2020). I decided I could wait a few weeks for delivery and therefore didn't buy a different monitor another vendor. After I placed the order, I received an email from Dell confirming the monitor would be delivered by September 22, 2020.

The revised delivery date is now December 29, 2020. LMAO, Dell wouldn't even commit to making the cut-off for Christmas.

I understand Covid-19 is (and has been) adversely affecting supply chain. IMO, Dell should have been upfront with customers and provided a realistic projected delivery date rather than the bullsh*t one it gave to induce sales. Perhaps Dell is no longer getting enough from the "Market Development Fund" program at Intel -- to help cover charges for expedited shipping from overseas, of course. I mean, Dell would never use those monies to inflate their financial numbers and lie to the investing public, right?
Slightly off-topic - You just triggered me - I had such a poor Dell experience. I ordered some refurbished monitors from them for the work-from-home setup. It was all they had in stock. They both had terrible dead/bright pixels. Just getting someone on the phone was impossible, so I did the online return process. After the month that they had the monitors back in their possession I finally had to file a chargeback.

Back on topic - I desperately want a new gaming rig, still working from home, want to play MS Flight Sim and some other non Xbox Games, and bored of the Xbox (just no good games these days). I can't justify anything until the more midrange Ampere cards are available and announced. Considering buying all of the other pieces as I can find slick-deals on them. Another hitch in the process is there are zero flight-sticks in stock anywhere until late 2020/early 2021. Can't fathom FlightSim any other way.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ I feel for you, as not having the right controller makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for the flight-stick availability info - I'll keep that in mind.

Update - After researching Intel documentation, my Lenovo desktop's i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60GHz is thermally protected. As soon as Tj gets to 100 deg C (max spec), it will throttle back to protect itself.

I've restarted my folding@home project and am now keeping an eye on the PSU. The fans are at 100% and the PSU is most definitely thermally stressed out. I really want to run this project.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:25 am Update - After researching Intel documentation, my Lenovo desktop's i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60GHz is thermally protected. As soon as Tj gets to 100 deg C (max spec), it will throttle back to protect itself.

I've restarted my folding@home project and am now keeping an eye on the PSU. The fans are at 100% and the PSU is most definitely thermally stressed out. I really want to run this project.
If you're taxing the system enough to thermal throttle, it might be worth looking into water cooling - either a 360mm AIO for simplicity, or building a custom loop if you really want to have some fun with a project. Yes, your cpu is protected, but it's really not great that you're getting to that point in the first place.

I'd love to build a loop, but can't justify the time & expense of building of it; if you're regularly hitting TjMax, it's definitely worth it for your rig. If I had the time and resources, though, I might try and replicate this (taken to the second level of insanity in part 2).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ This is for my current desktop - the Lenovo small form factor PC that I'm looking to replace. It has a 210 W PSU and wasn't designed for 100% loading.

Actually, I was considering liquid cooling for my new build. Fan noise is a big deal for me, so anything I can do to reduce that would be helpful.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Mudpuppy »

dwc13 wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:07 am This evening I received an email from Dell -- curiously sent Saturday evening -- informing me of a delay in delivery of a monitor I had ordered in late August. The website listing had indicated a delivery date by September 22 (2020). I decided I could wait a few weeks for delivery and therefore didn't buy a different monitor another vendor. After I placed the order, I received an email from Dell confirming the monitor would be delivered by September 22, 2020.

The revised delivery date is now December 29, 2020. LMAO, Dell wouldn't even commit to making the cut-off for Christmas.
It's not just a supply chain issue. It's also a horrible time of year to try to buy from a vendor who has extensive government contracts. July 1st is the new fiscal year for many state agencies. Late August / early September is the start of many schools and universities. October 1st is the start of the federal fiscal year. Right about now, they're getting a good idea of what those entities will be purchasing through either already submitted POs or sales quotes. All of those entities are going to be prioritized over a private consumer buying a single monitor.

And the time thing is likely just a time zone thing. I wouldn't be surprised if Dell is sending their emails time stamped with UTC and your email client isn't properly translating that to local time. If you see something like -0000 at the end of the date/time stamp, that means it's the UTC time zone. If something was sent at 8pm UTC time, that would be 1pm Pacific Daylight Time.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:13 am ^^^ This is for my current desktop - the Lenovo small form factor PC that I'm looking to replace. It has a 210 W PSU and wasn't designed for 100% loading.

Actually, I was considering liquid cooling for my new build. Fan noise is a big deal for me, so anything I can do to reduce that would be helpful.
Awesome! Be sure to share your experiences with water cooling so that I can learn from it. I haven't really experienced any problems with fan noise, but I enjoy tinkering and could use a project once my new PC is set up...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

I haven't committed to anything, but it's an option to explore. I'll pick my CPU first, then see which option (air or water) gives me a quiet environment. Cost and complexity will be considered.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Horsefly »

I've probably built 20 desktop PCs over the years, mostly for ourselves and friends / family, and a few for folks that paid me for it. I hadn't built one since about 2012, and figured I was due for an upgrade. I didn't know things like PC Parts Picker even existed, but it (and Newegg's version of the same tool) were pretty handy to find parts that worked together. Fact is, going through the effort to identify compatible parts was the only skill that I brought to the old builds, so I'm not sure anyone really needs to pay someone for a build any more. I ended up buying almost everything on Amazon, which gave me the parts generally withing 2-3 days.

Here's what I went with:
  • Ryzen 5 3600X CPU
  • Asus ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard
  • Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B 51.17 CFM CPU Cooler
  • G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory
  • Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4 GB SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card
  • Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case
  • EVGA BQ 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
I threw in a 2TB Western Digital Green Disk from a previous tear-down, so the unit has 2TB of SSD and 2TB of spinning disk. For no particular reason I blinged it out some LED strips for a continuous light show through the dark tempered glass of the case. I haven't really stressed it much, but I'm sure it will be plenty fast for anything I throw at it.
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