PC Build Thread 2020

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LadyGeek
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

lazydavid wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:37 pm
LadyGeek wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:07 pm
lazydavid wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:55 am We just bought almost 600 of these, which are rated for 810w and have true sine wave output:

https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/products ... P-BR1350MS

They run about $180.
Thanks! The APC product selector didn't find that model until I dropped the power draw. I guess they're being conservative (or pushing more expensive products).

I followed the "Buy" link to Newegg which has it listed for $175. Searching further, I found a model without the USB charging ports for $155.

APC website: APC Back UPS Pro BX1350M, 1350VA ($155 at Newegg) This unit does not have a price, so I'm wondering if it's for resellers only.

FYI - APC has a trade-in program for up to 25% off. Unfortunately, their website prices are far too high to make it worthwhile to take advantage of free recycling.
I personally own two of those (one is the 1250 variant), and they're absolutely quality units. But they're MUCH older (mine are coming up on their second battery replacement), and in addition to not having USB charging ports, have stepped wave rather than sine wave output. I'm very happy with them and am going to keep them until they die, but if I were buying today I would definitely get the current model.
Aargh. I missed that, thanks. My current UPS, APC Power-Saving Back-UPS Pro 1000 (discontinued) is a stepped sine wave.

If there were no differences in the specs, I may have decided to go with the cheaper model (stepped sine wave). I figure that APC knows what they're doing and the approximation is "good enough".

However, the pure sine wave model has a wider range of accepted inputs. Both on voltage range (8 V higher) and frequency (+/- 3 Hz deviation from 60 Hz).

Every once in a while, the power to my home drops a phase. No clue why, but my lights will flicker and the UPS will kick in. Less than a second later, I'm back to normal. Having better specs gives me confidence that the UPS will work better under slow transient conditions.

I decided to add $20 to my cost and switched to the pure sine wave model (BR1350MS).
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

I, too, am eagerly anticipating Cyberpunk 2077. I saw an article that said that the stated system requirements will only get you passable performance and you'd need even more power to get a good experience. This concerned me, since my computer is six years old (at least the CPU/mobo and GPU)!

Current rig:

Intel Core i7-4770 (3.4Ghz) (4 core/8 thread)
Asus Z87 TUF Sabertooth mobo
16Gb RAM (4x4Gb)
Asus Radeon R9 290 (4GB VRAM)
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
WD Blue 4TB HDD (5400RPM)
Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 (620W) power supply
Cooler Master HAF 912 case


I've never chased the latest or greatest parts. Instead I try to buy parts that will last the longest, without paying a huge premium. But it's looking like I may not be able to handle Cyberpunk 2077 at decent performance. It may be time to upgrade. I mentioned passing my current rig to my kids (It runs Minecraft great!) to my wife and she was amenable. So...now what do I get?

Toms put out a really detailed article about Cyberpunk 2077:
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/cyber ... mendations

Their top-of-the-line option is just way too much. But the "minimum ray tracing" build sounds just about right:

Ryzen 5 3600 (6-core/12-thread) : $200
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4/ac : $125
G.Skill Aegis 2x8GB DDR4-3200 : $58
Adata XPG Gammix S5 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD : $65
EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO : $310
Corsair Carbide 175R : $60
Thermaltake 600W Gold: $70
TOTAL PRICE: $888


I put together this build as my plan earlier today:

CPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/kD8cZf
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor  ($294.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B 51.17 CFM CPU Cooler  ($48.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory  ($68.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive  ($89.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB GAMING OC Video Card  ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1092.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-09-25 10:33 EDT-0400


But for the ray tracing, an RTX is really necessary. If the 3060 is going to be sub $400, that sounds like a good option.

I guess there's no rush, certainly not until November. Maybe the 3060 will be out by then? Or the new Zen 3s will push the Zen 2 prices down.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Brain wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:22 pm I, too, am eagerly anticipating Cyberpunk 2077. I saw an article that said that the stated system requirements will only get you passable performance and you'd need even more power to get a good experience. This concerned me, since my computer is six years old (at least the CPU/mobo and GPU)!

Current rig:

Intel Core i7-4770 (3.4Ghz) (4 core/8 thread)
Asus Z87 TUF Sabertooth mobo
16Gb RAM (4x4Gb)
Asus Radeon R9 290 (4GB VRAM)
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
WD Blue 4TB HDD (5400RPM)
Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 (620W) power supply
Cooler Master HAF 912 case
The last motherboard I had before my current rig (Lenovo) was the Asus Z87-PRO (without Wi-Fi). It's a workhorse and is amenable to overclocking. This was the first time I could update the BIOS from Windows. Until then, there was absolute separation between BIOS and the operating system - security and reliability were a big concern.

My experience with Asus over the years is why I prefer to stick with them for my new build. They're not the best, but I have confidence in their products.
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Bumping in anticipation of tomorrow's Zen3 reveal.

Techies are mostly focused on RDNA2 and the GPU wars (and hoping to finally have some real competition in that space), but as a strategy gamer I've always been more CPU focused. AMD has turned the tables in desktops (heh) so thoroughly that the tech press is more or less treating Zen 3's dominance as a foregone conclusion. It wasn't that long ago that they had to sell their corporate headquarters just to keep the lights on.

I hope that laptop OEMs start to follow suit, as I plan on buying one next year. AMD's mobile chips get great hardware reviews, but Intel still dominates the laptop market.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Great minds think alike. You beat me to the bump. :)

On the subject of cases, are there any concerns about RF interference with those clear / tinted covers? My concern is cellphone, wi-fi, and bluetooth devices receiving interference from all the signals generated by the PC itself.

For example, wi-fi can't connect because a harmonic of one of the on-board motherboard clocks falls in the wi-fi operating frequency. The wi-fi antenna is picking up this signal and drops the connection because its receiver is jammed (blocked) by the PC's clock.

From an EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) perspective, the PC does nothing but generate RF signals that will interfere with all of those sensitive RF (Radio Frequency) receivers. On-board (and GPU) digital signals run anywhere from kHz to well over the CPU clock frequency.

It's why PCs have shielding and go through an FCC certification to ensure this doesn't happen. The clear plastic cover bypasses the shielding and allows those internal PC signals to radiate out into the environment.

I can cite all of the EMI / EMC specs and regulations, but the bottom line is that homebrew PCs without proper shielding are radiating RF. How much? Hard to say.

It's a major reason I'm going with a full metal case (not a clear cover). Am I overly concerned?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by tuningfork »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:04 am On the subject of cases, are there any concerns about RF interference with those clear / tinted covers?
...
It's a major reason I'm going with a full metal case (not a clear cover). Am I overly concerned?
That seems like a valid concern, and I see it's been brought up by many people on other forums. I have two computers, one with a window and one without. My wireless devices are generally reliable but I have occasional issues with certain devices. No idea if the windowed case is involved. I suppose I could experiment the next time it happens.

For me, the bigger issue with a windowed case is audible noise. The windowed case used to house my primary PC. It was always noisier than I liked, and research told me that plastic windows don't shield fan noise as well as metal, especially a metal case with foam lining. So I bought a different case with silence in mind (the reviews of my windowed case said it was quiet, but those were probably coming from gamers used to jet engine fans). I moved all my parts from the windowed case to the new case and it is much quieter. The windowed case now houses my home server, which is "socially distanced" in a corner where the sound isn't as noticeable.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

I'm not aware of anyone experiencing RF interference issues from a PC, but there's a wide gulf between that versus saying that there are no issues. My gut feeling is that it's theoretically possible, but unlikely.

In practical terms, I think if it were a common issue, it would have been revealed by now. When the iPhone had a defective antenna design, people picked up on it almost immediately; likewise, the 3080 driver issues were identified, diagnosed, and apparently fixed within a few days. There are thousands of game streamers on YouTube running wireless headsets and wifi with their homebrewed PCs, plus competitive overclockers pouring ridiculous wattage levels into their rigs. I've seen plenty of reports of multiple wireless devices using the same frequency bands and interfering with each other, but I'm not familiar with any reports of EM noise from their rigs being an issue.

That's not so say it won't be an issue in the future (especially given the power draw on the new Nvidia cards) - strictly speaking, you can't prove an issue does not exist, but a single instance would immediately disprove the null - but for now, I wouldn't worry about it. That said, now that you put the idea into my head, I wonder if you could integrate a faraday cage into future case designs. I'm also a mechanical watch enthusiast, and I know that's one of the tricks watchmakers use to protect movements (along with silicon springs and nonferrous metals in the case).

Since this is an investing site, I thought this MLID podcast with a semiconductor industry analyst interesting (though BHs will likely cringe a bit during the guest's intro, when he talked about his trading history). At the end of the day, the analysts' collective work is what lets us index, so I really can't complain too much.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

tuningfork wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:07 am For me, the bigger issue with a windowed case is audible noise. The windowed case used to house my primary PC. It was always noisier than I liked, and research told me that plastic windows don't shield fan noise as well as metal, especially a metal case with foam lining. So I bought a different case with silence in mind (the reviews of my windowed case said it was quiet, but those were probably coming from gamers used to jet engine fans). I moved all my parts from the windowed case to the new case and it is much quieter. The windowed case now houses my home server, which is "socially distanced" in a corner where the sound isn't as noticeable.
I didn't realize that a case window would transmit more noise than a metal one. Fan noise is a big concern for me. Thanks for the info, I'll stick with the metal (no clear window) case.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Independent George wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:14 am I'm not aware of anyone experiencing RF interference issues from a PC, but there's a wide gulf between that versus saying that there are no issues. My gut feeling is that it's theoretically possible, but unlikely.

In practical terms, I think if it were a common issue, it would have been revealed by now...
Good point.
Independent George wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:14 am ...That said, now that you put the idea into my head, I wonder if you could integrate a faraday cage into future case designs. I'm also a mechanical watch enthusiast, and I know that's one of the tricks watchmakers use to protect movements (along with silicon springs and nonferrous metals in the case).
Remember that you'll have to think in 3 dimensions. You'll likely get leakage where the cage pieces are joined. A rule-of-thumb is to keep openings less than 1/10 wavelength at the highest frequency.

A fun research project: Figure out the amount of RF attenuation by a microwave oven door. The size of the metal mesh in those windows is not arbitrary. It's at a fixed size for a reason. That will get you thinking if you want to build something - especially if you need good air flow. RF needs small openings. Air needs large openings.

FYI - When I was employed (now retired), I worked with quite a bit of hardware. At one point in my career, I worked with antenna engineers and EMI / EMC engineers. They taught me quite a bit, which is why I'm sensitive to RF issues.

Update: Several grammar fixes.
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Dyloot
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Dyloot »

Independent George wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:27 amAMD has turned the tables in desktops (heh) so thoroughly that the tech press is more or less treating Zen 3's dominance as a foregone conclusion.
I am very impressed by AMD. With that said, I find the hardware website and YouTube coverage on the topic to be a bit clickbait-y for my taste. The latest gen of Intel CPUs were great for gaming. I've seen no benchmark that shows that the Ryzen chips as superior. You can add some qualifiers to the debate like price vs. performance to give AMD the edge, but I'm much more interested in a performance discussion vs. a cost discussion.

I think Tomshardware put it well in a recent AMD vs Intel 2020 article:
AMD wins the CPU war overall right now, but depending on your needs, an Intel processor could still be the better choice. If you want the best in overclocking, gaming or software support, or if you want productivity performance without buying a discrete GPU, Team Blue has the advantage. But if you want the best balance of price and performance in the Intel vs AMD lineup, Team Red deserves your money.
If I used my workstation for video editing I'd definitely opt for one of the Ryzen line. For everything else, I find it to be choice between cheaper AMD CPUs and Intel motherboard chipsets and software. So far I've stuck with Intel, but when I next build I'll take a fresh look and see what CPU/MB makes the most sense at the time.

I look forward to seeing what Zen 3 brings in the coming weeks.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

And... it looks like AMD is moving to Intel pricing.

5900x - 12 core/24 thread - $550
5800x - 8/16 - $450
5700x - 6/12 - $300

Basically 2x prices for 25% increase in performance compared to Zen 2 - not what I was hoping for. This actually makes me lean towards Zen 2 - or wait a few more months longer for a price drop.

ETA: for clarification, I mean the prices are nearly 2x the non-X/XT variants of the Zen 2 CPUs. The 'X' SKUs never made sense to me in the 3000 series to begin with, so I might head to Micro Center tomorrow and go ahead & build my 3700 system.

ETA2: I need to do some thinking. If it helps my next desktop lasts as long as my current one (twelve years), the 5800X is worth the extra cash. If I expect the tech landscape to change enough that I expect to upgrade in 3-4 years (like most people do), a 3600 or 3700X makes should be more than sufficient. I suppose it doesn't matter all that much when amortized over the expected lifespan of the machine, but I really like to get the most out of my money. It just really solidifies what an incredible value Zen + and Zen 2 is/was.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

You're basing expectations on CPU reliability. The Zen 3 process uses the same 7 nm process as Zen 2, but with a new architecture. I would expect its lifetime to be similar to Zen 2. If this wasn't the case, I would expect AMD to set those target prices higher - higher reliability is always a higher price point.

You really don't want to be the first kid on the block with the latest CPU. Why? It needs time in the field to flush out the initial bugs. Yes, there are bugs. Manufacturers tweak their designs all the time. I'd wait a few months to be sure. So, be the 2nd or 3rd kid on the block. Or, use an existing mature design.

The 5800X is closest to the 3700X in terms of cores / threads, but draws 105 W vs. 65 W for the 3700X.

I think you should stick with your gut and plan on a 3-4 year upgrade cycle.

I've stated early in this thread that you should base your build on what's currently available - there's always something new in the pipe. For example, DDR5 RAM is starting to hit the street.

I am proceeding with my new build. The first step is parts acquisition.

A quick check on Newegg shows the Ryzen 3700X at $324.89 - increased from 299.99 a few weeks ago.

- The GPU (RTX 2060 Super) and power supply (Seasonic FOCUS GX-750) are out of stock...
- The Samsung 970 EVO Plus dropped in price to 89.99

Update: I'm also finding a lot of out-of-stock products on amazon.com. I may have to wait until the supply chain catches up.
Update1: Acquisition on hold due to parts availability, see below.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:09 pm You're basing expectations on CPU reliability. The Zen 3 process uses the same 7 nm process as Zen 2, but with a new architecture. I would expect its lifetime to be similar to Zen 2. If this wasn't the case, I would expect AMD to set those target prices higher - higher reliability is always a higher price point.

You really don't want to be the first kid on the block with the latest CPU. Why? It needs time in the field to flush out the initial bugs. Yes, there are bugs. Manufacturers tweak their designs all the time. I'd wait a few months to be sure. So, be the 2nd or 3rd kid on the block. Or, use an existing mature design.

The 5800X is closest to the 3700X in terms of cores / threads, but draws 105 W vs. 65 W for the 3700X.

I think you should stick with your gut and plan on a 3-4 year upgrade cycle.

I've stated early in this thread that you should base your build on what's currently available - there's always something new in the pipe. For example, DDR5 RAM is starting to hit the street.

I am proceeding with my new build. The first step is parts acquisition.

A quick check on Newegg shows the Ryzen 3700X at $324.89 - increased from 299.99 a few weeks ago.

- The GPU (RTX 2060 Super) and power supply (Seasonic FOCUS GX-750) are out of stock...
- The Samsung 970 EVO Plus dropped in price to 89.99

Update: I'm also finding a lot of out-of-stock products on amazon.com. I may have to wait until the supply chain catches up.
1 down, 1 to go (RDNA 2 reveal on 10/28).

Ryzen 7 3700X is $280 at Micro Center, but in-store only. I bought one from Micro Center a few weeks ago and received an email with a code for a free download of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I don't know if that promotion is still available.
https://www.microcenter.com/product/608 ... ism-cooler

Pretty good "placeholder" AM4 CPU on sale -- Ryzen 5 2600 (65W TDP, 6C/12T and includes Wraith Stealth Cooler) for $150 at newegg.com
https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-2600 ... 6819113496

Great time to be building a computer -- potent and (relatively) affordable options from AMD, Intel & Nvidia, as well as PCIe Gen 4 storage options starting to hit the market.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:09 pm A quick check on Newegg shows the Ryzen 3700X at $324.89 - increased from 299.99 a few weeks ago.

- The GPU (RTX 2060 Super) and power supply (Seasonic FOCUS GX-750) are out of stock...
- The Samsung 970 EVO Plus dropped in price to 89.99

Update: I'm also finding a lot of out-of-stock products on amazon.com. I may have to wait until the supply chain catches up.
PSUs have been in short supply since the corona hit, and they're typically at full msrp or higher when they're available. Unless you need to upgrade, it could be worth holding off on to your old one; otherwise, you should jump on it when you see it in stock. Some of it might be due to increased demand from people upgrading to the RTX-3080 GPUs (which have substantially higher power draws), but this has been an issue all year. Gamers Nexus did some detailed reporting on the supply chain issues a few months ago. I was extremely lucky, and managed to pick mine up right as Newegg had a 10% off coupon.

I have a MicroCenter near me, which has the 3700X for $280 (with an additional $20 off if I pair it with a motherboard). It had dropped to $260 earlier this year, but I had just started doing my research at that point and hadn't wanted to commit yet. The question for me is whether I want the 3700X for the core count, or the 5600X for the improved IPC. Since I had originally planned to wait for Black Friday, independent benchmarks will give some new data points. Also, it lets the early adopters beta test the BIOS for me (which is another advantage to the 3700X - I won't have to flash the BIOS).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

I'm leaning toward building a budget NAS instead of buying one off the shelf, primarily to get a more capable rig with more future-proofing than Synology or QNAP offer at my pricepoint (around the $380 or so cost of a Synology DS418).

What do you all think of the below configuration? I know the Pentium is anemic, but the NAS will only need to transcode at most one or two streams, as I can mostly direct-stream most of my Plex media. I plan to shuck easystore drives for the HDDs, but I'm not sure if these will work with the mobo I've chosen without modification or not. Any advice on whether this configuration is sound, or what I can change to make it cheaper without impairing performance?

This would be my first build, as to date I've only bought and used pre-built PCs, so I also want to make sure I'm not biting off more than I can chew.

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold G6400 4 GHz Dual-Core Processor ($64.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B460M Steel Legend Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team Elite Plus 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 CL16 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Silicon Power A60 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Mini XL MicroATX Desktop Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Apevia Prestige 800 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($66.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $379.92

In addition, I'm not sure what to use as the OS to run the NAS. I know FreeNAS is popular, but I've read that it isn't for beginners or folks wanting a set-and-forget system (which I definitely want). Any ideas?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by harland »

I would wait for the benchmarks before deciding on Ryzen 3000 or 5000 series. The previous gen will lower in price once the new stuff is on store shelves. No point in buying now.

[Comment removed by Moderator Misenplace.]
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Code: Select all

Name	Cores	Core Clock	Boost Clock	TDP	 Price 		Notes		 $/GHz		 $/GHz - Boost
3600	6	3.6 GHz		4.2 GHz		65 W	 $199.99 	 		 $0.0556 	 $0.0476 
3600X	6	3.8 GHz		4.4 GHz		95 W	 $209.09 			 $0.0550 	 $0.0475 
3600XT	6	3.8 GHz		4.5 GHz		95 W	 $239.00 			 $0.0629 	 $0.0531 
3700X	8	3.6 GHz		4.4 GHz		65 W	 $294.99 	No cooler	 $0.0819 	 $0.0670 
5600X	6	3.7 GHz		4.6 GHz		65 W	 $299.00 	Suggested MSRP	 $0.0808 	 $0.0650 
There's so many options in such a tight price band that it's hard to figure out what the best value is.

I certainly want to focus on value vs. pure price or pure performance. I can certainly afford a 5950 or ever a Threadripper, but I don't play the sort of games that require that. I'm not big on FPS games. I focus mostly on RPGs and strategy games. I'm playing Crusader Kings 3 right now and will get Cyberpunk 2077 when it comes out. I'd lean more towards performance than price at this point, but value and "future-proofing" are really my key goals.

My rig is six years old and does all my spreadsheets/emailing/browsing/streaming just fine. I don't play as many games as I used to. But when I do play, I certainly want to experience the game as intended. Right now, I only have (2) 1080p monitors. Upgrading my monitors would be twice as expensive as these chips!
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by othermike27 »

deskjockey wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:49 am I'm leaning toward building a budget NAS instead of buying one off the shelf, primarily to get a more capable rig with more future-proofing than Synology or QNAP offer at my pricepoint (around the $380 or so cost of a Synology DS418).
...
This would be my first build, as to date I've only bought and used pre-built PCs, so I also want to make sure I'm not biting off more than I can chew.
...
In addition, I'm not sure what to use as the OS to run the NAS. I know FreeNAS is popular, but I've read that it isn't for beginners or folks wanting a set-and-forget system (which I definitely want). Any ideas?
I have been building my own PCs since 2008. A couple years ago I rebuilt one into a 9-drive NAS using the UnRAID OS. Although this system is in regular use holding backups of my other computers, I built it mostly for hobby interest/curiosity. I have been using Synology NAS units since 2011 and I'm generally quite pleased with them. I currently run a DS416j as my primary NAS device, and I plan to upgrade that to a DS1520+ in about a month with some Cyber Monday help. Those are my bona fides for the following comments on your plan.

I don't have any specific comments about your proposed parts list, except that the motherboard is limited to 6 SATA devices. If you are future-proofing, you may want to investigate compatibility of add-in drive controller(s) with the rest of your hardware and software setup.

Are Easystore drives still hiding WD Reds? I shucked one for a cheap 1 TB drive (well before all the recent SMR flap), but I would be surprised if WD hadn't changed their provisioning by now.

I don't see how a home-built rig gives you much of a future-proofing advantage over the packaged products, unless you're ready to buy way more motherboard and maybe a bigger case too. What are you future-proofing against?

I suggest sticking with a plain old PC for your first build. It's not that the actual assembly is harder: PC or NAS, most of what you do is wield a Phillips #1 screwdriver and follow directions. But the up-front part is more complex for a NAS: requirements definition and compatibility of all components in particular.

Finally, I would not call any NAS, whether home brew or off-the-shelf, a set-and-forget system. But Synology's Diskstation Manager (DSM) is pretty slick and has lots of capabilities and apps to explore.

My 2 cents. Whatever you decide, happy NASing.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Brain wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:52 pm

Code: Select all

Name	Cores	Core Clock	Boost Clock	TDP	 Price 		Notes		 $/GHz		 $/GHz - Boost
3600	6	3.6 GHz		4.2 GHz		65 W	 $199.99 	 		 $0.0556 	 $0.0476 
3600X	6	3.8 GHz		4.4 GHz		95 W	 $209.09 			 $0.0550 	 $0.0475 
3600XT	6	3.8 GHz		4.5 GHz		95 W	 $239.00 			 $0.0629 	 $0.0531 
3700X	8	3.6 GHz		4.4 GHz		65 W	 $294.99 	No cooler	 $0.0819 	 $0.0670 
5600X	6	3.7 GHz		4.6 GHz		65 W	 $299.00 	Suggested MSRP	 $0.0808 	 $0.0650 
There's so many options in such a tight price band that it's hard to figure out what the best value is.

I certainly want to focus on value vs. pure price or pure performance. I can certainly afford a 5950 or ever a Threadripper, but I don't play the sort of games that require that. I'm not big on FPS games. I focus mostly on RPGs and strategy games. I'm playing Crusader Kings 3 right now and will get Cyberpunk 2077 when it comes out. I'd lean more towards performance than price at this point, but value and "future-proofing" are really my key goals.

My rig is six years old and does all my spreadsheets/emailing/browsing/streaming just fine. I don't play as many games as I used to. But when I do play, I certainly want to experience the game as intended. Right now, I only have (2) 1080p monitors. Upgrading my monitors would be twice as expensive as these chips!
Check your notes. The 3700X comes with a stock cooler. The 5600X (Zen 3) does not.

Details are this report: AMD Ryzen 5000 and Zen 3 on Nov 5th: +19% IPC, Claims Best Gaming CPU
AMD has decided to only bundle coolers with processors 65 W and under, citing that in its research that customers who buy the higher power processors almost always prefer to use their own cooler to eke out more performance when at full load.
Update: See corrections below.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Independent George wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:59 am ...PSUs have been in short supply since the corona hit, and they're typically at full msrp or higher when they're available. Unless you need to upgrade, it could be worth holding off on to your old one; otherwise, you should jump on it when you see it in stock. Some of it might be due to increased demand from people upgrading to the RTX-3080 GPUs (which have substantially higher power draws), but this has been an issue all year. Gamers Nexus did some detailed reporting on the supply chain issues a few months ago. I was extremely lucky, and managed to pick mine up right as Newegg had a 10% off coupon.

I have a MicroCenter near me, which has the 3700X for $280 (with an additional $20 off if I pair it with a motherboard). It had dropped to $260 earlier this year, but I had just started doing my research at that point and hadn't wanted to commit yet. The question for me is whether I want the 3700X for the core count, or the 5600X for the improved IPC. Since I had originally planned to wait for Black Friday, independent benchmarks will give some new data points. Also, it lets the early adopters beta test the BIOS for me (which is another advantage to the 3700X - I won't have to flash the BIOS).
So, I should have jumped on the chance when everything was in stock a few weeks ago... Moving forward, you're right. PSU pricing has sky-rocketed - if you can find it.

This is a perfect example of identifying gray market products. Newegg is clear on the product's country of origin and warranty coverage, but you need to understand what that means.

Here's what I want: Seasonic FOCUS GX-750, 750W 80+ Gold, Full-Modular (Sold by Newegg, out of stock)

Here's what's available: Seasonic FOCUS GX-750, 750W 80+ Gold, Full-Modular (Sold by 3rd party, Ships from China)

Scroll down each page to the "Warranty" section. The product sold by Newegg has the full 10 year manufacturer warranty. Products shipped from China (and elsewhere if you check the other resellers) are sold with the reseller's warranty - 1 year - there is no manufacturer's warranty.

I could find a "Sold from the US" reseller on Amazon, but it's $250.

Seasonic's policy: What if I bought the power supply from another country?
Local distributors reserve the right to reject grey market or cross border products, which were imported privately by the customer, or were sold to the customer in other regions or from other countries, or through an unauthorized channel. ... you must return your power supply to the original point of purchase...
I'm also having difficulty finding a GPU card. At this point, I'm putting everything on hold as you suggest and will wait for the supply chain to catch up. From another perspective - If you have to return an item in short supply, its replacement won't come back any time soon.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

othermike27 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:03 pm
I have been building my own PCs since 2008. A couple years ago I rebuilt one into a 9-drive NAS using the UnRAID OS. Although this system is in regular use holding backups of my other computers, I built it mostly for hobby interest/curiosity. I have been using Synology NAS units since 2011 and I'm generally quite pleased with them. I currently run a DS416j as my primary NAS device, and I plan to upgrade that to a DS1520+ in about a month with some Cyber Monday help. Those are my bona fides for the following comments on your plan.

I don't have any specific comments about your proposed parts list, except that the motherboard is limited to 6 SATA devices. If you are future-proofing, you may want to investigate compatibility of add-in drive controller(s) with the rest of your hardware and software setup.

Are Easystore drives still hiding WD Reds? I shucked one for a cheap 1 TB drive (well before all the recent SMR flap), but I would be surprised if WD hadn't changed their provisioning by now.

I don't see how a home-built rig gives you much of a future-proofing advantage over the packaged products, unless you're ready to buy way more motherboard and maybe a bigger case too. What are you future-proofing against?

I suggest sticking with a plain old PC for your first build. It's not that the actual assembly is harder: PC or NAS, most of what you do is wield a Phillips #1 screwdriver and follow directions. But the up-front part is more complex for a NAS: requirements definition and compatibility of all components in particular.

Finally, I would not call any NAS, whether home brew or off-the-shelf, a set-and-forget system.

My 2 cents. Whatever you decide, happy NASing.
Thanks, othermike27. Yes, easystores are still hiding Reds, so they are still quite popular for shucking. As for future-proofing, the DS418 only has 2GB of RAM (non-expandable), a very weak ARM processor, 4 bays, and Gigabit Ethernet, but the setup I'm planning will have much more RAM right off the bat (and two additional slots for more if I ever need it), an NVMe drive for caching, a better processor to start (and a socket that can accept any 10th-gen Intel processor), a 2.5GbE port, and support for 6 drives as a start (with the case having room for several more and the mobo having PCIe slots for a SATA card). I'm planning on starting with 4 drives and growing as needed from there.

I'm a newbie to the NAS world, so I'm just parroting what I've read elsewhere regarding the "set-and-forget" nature of Synology compared to FreeNAS, so please let me know if that's off-base.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

LadyGeek wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:19 pm
Brain wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:52 pm

Code: Select all

Name	Cores	Core Clock	Boost Clock	TDP	 Price 		Notes		 $/GHz		 $/GHz - Boost
3600	6	3.6 GHz		4.2 GHz		65 W	 $199.99 	 		 $0.0556 	 $0.0476 
3600X	6	3.8 GHz		4.4 GHz		95 W	 $209.09 			 $0.0550 	 $0.0475 
3600XT	6	3.8 GHz		4.5 GHz		95 W	 $239.00 			 $0.0629 	 $0.0531 
3700X	8	3.6 GHz		4.4 GHz		65 W	 $294.99 	No cooler	 $0.0819 	 $0.0670 
5600X	6	3.7 GHz		4.6 GHz		65 W	 $299.00 	Suggested MSRP	 $0.0808 	 $0.0650 
There's so many options in such a tight price band that it's hard to figure out what the best value is.

I certainly want to focus on value vs. pure price or pure performance. I can certainly afford a 5950 or ever a Threadripper, but I don't play the sort of games that require that. I'm not big on FPS games. I focus mostly on RPGs and strategy games. I'm playing Crusader Kings 3 right now and will get Cyberpunk 2077 when it comes out. I'd lean more towards performance than price at this point, but value and "future-proofing" are really my key goals.

My rig is six years old and does all my spreadsheets/emailing/browsing/streaming just fine. I don't play as many games as I used to. But when I do play, I certainly want to experience the game as intended. Right now, I only have (2) 1080p monitors. Upgrading my monitors would be twice as expensive as these chips!
Check your notes. The 3700X comes with a stock cooler. The 5600X (Zen 3) does not.

Details are this report: AMD Ryzen 5000 and Zen 3 on Nov 5th: +19% IPC, Claims Best Gaming CPU
AMD has decided to only bundle coolers with processors 65 W and under, citing that in its research that customers who buy the higher power processors almost always prefer to use their own cooler to eke out more performance when at full load.
Good catch.

Hmm, so that probably means the 3600X and 3600XT don't come with coolers.

As for the 5600X:

From the article you quoted:
This will be the only processor (at launch) with a 65 W TDP, and as such this is the one that AMD will ship with a bundled cooler.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by sycamore »

Brain wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:41 pm ...
Good catch.

Hmm, so that probably means the 3600X and 3600XT don't come with coolers.

As for the 5600X:

From the article you quoted:
This will be the only processor (at launch) with a 65 W TDP, and as such this is the one that AMD will ship with a bundled cooler.
At least at newegg and Amazom, the 3600X and 3600XT do come with Wraith Spire cooler.
3600X: https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3600 ... 6819113568
3600XT: https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3600 ... 6819113653
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

Brain wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:41 pm Good catch.

Hmm, so that probably means the 3600X and 3600XT don't come with coolers.

The 3600X absolutely, positively 100% comes with a cooler. I'm using it (on my 3600X) as I type this. Specifically, it comes with the Wraith Spire, which is kind of in the middle of the packaged coolers in terms of performance. It works fine, my CPU tops out at 83C if I set it to do video encoding for hours on end. FWIW, mine has what you might consider a very mild overclock, with the Infinity Fabric running at 1800Mhz (instead of 1600Mhz) to match the PC3600 RAM.

I was originally planning to re-use my old Corsair H50 AiO water cooler (even bought the AM4 bracket for it), but am not going to bother since the stock fan is good enough.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

lazydavid wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:26 pm
Brain wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:41 pm Good catch.

Hmm, so that probably means the 3600X and 3600XT don't come with coolers.

The 3600X absolutely, positively 100% comes with a cooler. I'm using it (on my 3600X) as I type this. Specifically, it comes with the Wraith Spire, which is kind of in the middle of the packaged coolers in terms of performance. It works fine, my CPU tops out at 83C if I set it to do video encoding for hours on end. FWIW, mine has what you might consider a very mild overclock, with the Infinity Fabric running at 1800Mhz (instead of 1600Mhz) to match the PC3600 RAM.

I was originally planning to re-use my old Corsair H50 AiO water cooler (even bought the AM4 bracket for it), but am not going to bother since the stock fan is good enough.
Okay, so they all have coolers. Cool. ;)

Still makes picking between the lot pretty hard.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

It's not only the CPU, but the other components which all go into defining how fast your PC will be. IOW, you need to benchmark total performance for the specific application.

There are a ton of websites that do this for a living. Like this one: CPU Benchmark Hierarchy 2020 - A Comparison of AMD and Intel Processors | Tom's Hardware

More importantly, you need to group components with similar performance. You don't want to have the world's fastest graphic card in a PC that can barely read email.

Start here: Logical Increments and see where your CPU fits in the grand scheme of things. Remember - faster, better, means more expensive, larger case and power supply. Cheaper means smaller, less power, slower.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

deskjockey wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:49 am I'm leaning toward building a budget NAS instead of buying one off the shelf, primarily to get a more capable rig with more future-proofing than Synology or QNAP offer at my pricepoint (around the $380 or so cost of a Synology DS418).

What do you all think of the below configuration? I know the Pentium is anemic, but the NAS will only need to transcode at most one or two streams, as I can mostly direct-stream most of my Plex media. I plan to shuck easystore drives for the HDDs, but I'm not sure if these will work with the mobo I've chosen without modification or not. Any advice on whether this configuration is sound, or what I can change to make it cheaper without impairing performance?

This would be my first build, as to date I've only bought and used pre-built PCs, so I also want to make sure I'm not biting off more than I can chew.

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold G6400 4 GHz Dual-Core Processor ($64.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B460M Steel Legend Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team Elite Plus 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 CL16 Memory ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Silicon Power A60 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Mini XL MicroATX Desktop Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Apevia Prestige 800 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($66.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $379.92

In addition, I'm not sure what to use as the OS to run the NAS. I know FreeNAS is popular, but I've read that it isn't for beginners or folks wanting a set-and-forget system (which I definitely want). Any ideas?

IMO, the most challenging part to building a PC is deciding which components to use in the build. There are so many choices at varying price points today, unlike when I built my first PC decades ago. This is a particularly good time to build a PC given the arrival of next generation technologies from AMD, Intel and Nvidia. For a DIY NAS, you should use more reliable components (MB, SSDs/HDs, fans) since it will be running 24x7.

With the components you have currently selected for this build, you won't be live streaming on Twitch or YouTube or transcoding 4K video. No worries, that's not for everyone. There is an abundance of online resources available to help with the actual PC assembly, if needed, so set aside any concerns you might have in that regard. Just in case, it would be a good idea to have internet access during your build (e.g., another computer, smartphone, tablet).

You mentioned Plex so I'm going to assume you will be using Plex Media Server with the new NAS. The Pentium G6400 is anemic (your description) compared with more recent CPUs, but for a NAS it's serviceable. Assuming Direct Play / Direct Stream is the typical scenario, not too many streams, and very little transcoding because of file format/remote users/subtitles, you should probably be okay. IMHO, Intel integrated graphics are corporate America's version of an 8th amendment violation (prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment), but that's the gamer inside of me.

General considerations:

1. Verify (as best you can) that your selected CPU includes a cooler (heatsink/fan). If it doesn't come bundled with one, you'll need to buy a CPU cooler. The pcpartpicker links you posted were interesting. For newegg, the linked listing indicated a CPU only item. I didn't attempt to decipher the linked information overload, uh, listing for Amazon.com; however, I suggest you don't solely rely upon user comments, especially for that site.

Even if the CPU comes bundled with a cooler, you might need to purchase thermal compound to apply on top of the CPU (after it has been properly seated in the socket) before attaching the cooler. If there is already thermal compound on the cooler (like there was on the Wraith Prism cooler that came bundled with the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU I bought recently), you can either use it or remove it and apply your own. I don't recommend using a low quality CPU cooler in a build.

FWIW, I think you can probably do better from a price/performance perspective if you look at AMD-based offerings (AM4 motherboard). Since you mentioned most of your media can be Direct Streamed (no subtitles, right?), raw CPU power isn't of paramount importance...yet.

2. The Pentium G6400 4 GHz has Intel Quick Sync, but to use hardware accelerated streaming in Plex requires a monthly subscription, I believe.

https://support.plex.tv/articles/115002 ... streaming/

3. I don't have experience with FreeNAS so I offer no opinion on that software. Well, other than a simple approach is better for some users rather than one with a dizzying array of features & functionality. That being said, what are you looking to implement with a NAS that you can't already achieve using Plex (or a similar software)? File storage/backup seem likely, but aside from that (if anything).

FWIW, I'm considering repurposing an old computer into a NAS powered by openmediavault. It supports Plex Media Server. I haven't investigated this option thoroughly enough at this point, though.
https://www.openmediavault.org/
https://dbtechreviews.com/2020/01/insta ... an-old-pc/

4. I haven't used an M.2 NVMe SSD in a NAS. Sounds like you'll be using one for the NAS OS, rather than data storage. WD Red 3TB hard drives have been deployed in my NAS since 2016, no issues. 3TB+ SSDs (especially M.2 NVMe) are still on the expensive side ($ per MB) compared with similar capacity spinning rust drives.

And since you mentioned shuckable drives...
https://forums.serverbuilds.net/t/shuck ... rives/3550

Good luck with your build.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

dwc13 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:06 pm General considerations:

1. Verify (as best you can) that your selected CPU includes a cooler (heatsink/fan). If it doesn't come bundled with one, you'll need to buy a CPU cooler. The pcpartpicker links you posted were interesting. For newegg, the linked listing indicated a CPU only item. I didn't attempt to decipher the linked information overload, uh, listing for Amazon.com; however, I suggest you don't solely rely upon user comments, especially for that site.

Even if the CPU comes bundled with a cooler, you might need to purchase thermal compound to apply on top of the CPU (after it has been properly seated in the socket) before attaching the cooler. If there is already thermal compound on the cooler (like there was on the Wraith Prism cooler that came bundled with the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU I bought recently), you can either use it or remove it and apply your own. I don't recommend using a low quality CPU cooler in a build.
I agree to not base important decisions from product review comments. What I do recommend is getting the information directly from the manufacturer's website. (deskjockey -It confirms what dwc13 says in the second paragraph, but I want to show where the information comes from so you can see this for yourself.)

For my intended selection of an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700X Drivers & Support | AMD

Watch the video: How to Install AMD Ryzen™ Processors

The CPU comes with the thermal compound already applied to the stock cooler. It's not a paste, but a specially prepared adhesive patch. Follow the video and carefully place the cooler on top of the CPU and secure it in place.

Important: Do not add thermal paste. Too much paste is bad for thermal performance. Trust the manufacturer on this - they know what they're doing.

You'll need thermal paste if you decide to replace the stock cooler. The video Cooling Tips for AMD Ryzen™ Processors goes into more detail.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

dwc13 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:06 pm IMO, the most challenging part to building a PC is deciding which components to use in the build. There are so many choices at varying price points today, unlike when I built my first PC decades ago. This is a particularly good time to build a PC given the arrival of next generation technologies from AMD, Intel and Nvidia. For a DIY NAS, you should use more reliable components (MB, SSDs/HDs, fans) since it will be running 24x7.

With the components you have currently selected for this build, you won't be live streaming on Twitch or YouTube or transcoding 4K video. No worries, that's not for everyone. There is an abundance of online resources available to help with the actual PC assembly, if needed, so set aside any concerns you might have in that regard. Just in case, it would be a good idea to have internet access during your build (e.g., another computer, smartphone, tablet).

You mentioned Plex so I'm going to assume you will be using Plex Media Server with the new NAS. The Pentium G6400 is anemic (your description) compared with more recent CPUs, but for a NAS it's serviceable. Assuming Direct Play / Direct Stream is the typical scenario, not too many streams, and very little transcoding because of file format/remote users/subtitles, you should probably be okay. IMHO, Intel integrated graphics are corporate America's version of an 8th amendment violation (prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment), but that's the gamer inside of me.

General considerations:

1. Verify (as best you can) that your selected CPU includes a cooler (heatsink/fan). The pcpartpicker links you posted were interesting. For newegg, the linked listing indicated a CPU only item. I didn't attempt to decipher the linked information overload, uh, listing for Amazon.com; however, I suggest you don't solely rely upon user comments, especially for that site.

Even if the CPU comes bundled with a cooler, you might need to purchase thermal compound to apply on top of the CPU (after it has been properly seated in the socket) before attaching the cooler. If there is already thermal compound on the cooler (like there was on the Wraith Prism cooler that came bundled with the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU I bought recently), you can either use it or remove it and apply your own. I don't recommend using a low quality CPU cooler in a build.

FWIW, I think you can probably do better from a price/performance perspective if you look at AMD-based offerings (AM4 motherboard). Since you mentioned most of your media can be Direct Streamed (no subtitles, right?), raw CPU power isn't of paramount importance...yet.

2. The Pentium G6400 4 GHz has Intel Quick Sync, but to use hardware accelerated streaming in Plex requires a monthly subscription, I believe.

https://support.plex.tv/articles/115002 ... streaming/

3. I don't have experience with FreeNAS so I offer no opinion on that software. Well, other than a simple approach is better for some users rather than one with a dizzying array of features & functionality. That being said, what are you looking to implement with a NAS that you can't already achieve using Plex (or a similar software)? File storage/backup seem likely, but aside from that (if anything).

FWIW, I'm considering repurposing an old computer into a NAS powered by openmediavault. It supports Plex Media Server. I haven't investigated this option thoroughly enough at this point, though.
https://www.openmediavault.org/
https://dbtechreviews.com/2020/01/insta ... an-old-pc/

4. I haven't used an M.2 NVMe SSD in a NAS. Sounds like you'll be using one for the NAS OS, rather than data storage. WD Red 3TB hard drives have been deployed in my NAS since 2016, no issues. 3TB+ SSDs (especially M.2 NVMe) are still on the expensive side ($ per MB) compared with similar capacity spinning rust drives.

And since you mentioned shuckable drives...
https://forums.serverbuilds.net/t/shuck ... rives/3550

Good luck with your build.
Thanks, dwc13! I hadn't thought to look at whether the Pentium came with a CPU cooler, so I'll do that. I did look at AMD processors and mobos, but the one thing that took them out of contention for me was that none of the mother boards had more than 4 SATA ports, and I want to have at least six, since I'll be using it with five drives initially (for RAID 6) and want to be able to expand beyond that at some point, if needed.

As for the media, yes, most can be direct streamed, except the handful of titles that have subtitles (a dozen, at most)--I'm trying to figure out a way of eliminating that small problem.

I want my NAS to host the Plex Media Server and serve as a file storage location both for backups and large media collections (like our family photos and videos). That's really it--I'm not looking to run VMs or anything else that fancy.

Yes, I'll be using the NVMe drive to host the OS and (if I can figure out how) as a cache for the NAS. I figure 256 MB should be enough for that use case. For the RAID drives, I've got my eye on easystore 10TB drives--I already have three that I acquired over the past year that I'm using as directly attached storage for two of our computers (one serves as the media repository for the old laptop running our Plex server, the second backs up the media on the first, and the third back up my main PC). Those three will end up going in the RAID array and will be joined by two more (at first).

The more I look into FreeNAS, the less sure I am that it's a good fit for me, since it seems to require at least some familiarity with Linux (of which I have none--I've never touched a Linux machine). OpenMediaVault seems like a better alternative, but Linux in general gives me pause.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

deskjockey wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:30 pm
Thanks, dwc13! I hadn't thought to look at whether the Pentium came with a CPU cooler, so I'll do that. I did look at AMD processors and mobos, but the one thing that took them out of contention for me was that none of the mother boards had more than 4 SATA ports, and I want to have at least six, since I'll be using it with five drives initially (for RAID 6) and want to be able to expand beyond that at some point, if needed.

As for the media, yes, most can be direct streamed, except the handful of titles that have subtitles (a dozen, at most)--I'm trying to figure out a way of eliminating that small problem.

I want my NAS to host the Plex Media Server and serve as a file storage location both for backups and large media collections (like our family photos and videos). That's really it--I'm not looking to run VMs or anything else that fancy.

Yes, I'll be using the NVMe drive to host the OS and (if I can figure out how) as a cache for the NAS. I figure 256 MB should be enough for that use case. For the RAID drives, I've got my eye on easystore 10TB drives--I already have three that I acquired over the past year that I'm using as directly attached storage for two of our computers (one serves as the media repository for the old laptop running our Plex server, the second backs up the media on the first, and the third back up my main PC). Those three will end up going in the RAID array and will be joined by two more (at first).

The more I look into FreeNAS, the less sure I am that it's a good fit for me, since it seems to require at least some familiarity with Linux (of which I have none--I've never touched a Linux machine). OpenMediaVault seems like a better alternative, but Linux in general gives me pause.

My new PC is built around an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk Wi-Fi motherboard (AM4), which has 6 SATA 3 ports. It's an ATX motherboard, so it wouldn't fit your case. However, Micro ATX AMD AM4 motherboards with 6 SATA 3 ports are definitely out there.

I apologize in advance if you're already familiar with searching on newegg.com's website. If you're not, go to the motherboard section using the expandable menu on the left side (Components | Motherboards| AMD Motherboards). From the AMD Motherboards menu, select CPU Socket Type (check AM4), then scroll down and select Form Factor (check Micro ATX and, if desired, Micro ITX); finally, scroll down to SATA 6Gb/s (check the box for 6x, and if desired, 8x & 10x). Then click "Apply". Your search should return the ASRock B550M Pro4 AM4 Micro ATX MB, which has 6 SATA 3 ports, as well as other Micro ATX AMD AM4 motherboards with 6 SATA 3 ports.
https://www.newegg.com/asrock-b550m-pro ... klink=true

Building an Open Media NAS Part 1 -- A 3 part series from 2017. You'll get a sense of the author's experience with an older version of OMV.
https://ridwankhan.com/building-an-open ... c34ce824f5

BTW, if you use an Android smartphone, you're using a device with an OS based upon a custom flavor of Linux. Piece of cake, right?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

othermike27 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:03 pm

I have been building my own PCs since 2008. A couple years ago I rebuilt one into a 9-drive NAS using the UnRAID OS. Although this system is in regular use holding backups of my other computers, I built it mostly for hobby interest/curiosity. I have been using Synology NAS units since 2011 and I'm generally quite pleased with them. I currently run a DS416j as my primary NAS device, and I plan to upgrade that to a DS1520+ in about a month with some Cyber Monday help. Those are my bona fides for the following comments on your plan.
Appreciate your thoughts on UnRAID OS. Are you running any VMs on your UnRAID server?

I have several 320GB to 1TB IDE & SATA hard drives salvaged from previous computers. I might just scrap the IDE drives so I don't need to use space hogging ribbon cables and molex 4 pin power connectors. UnRAID could allow me to repurpose orphan drives of varying capacity. I would be taking the same approach as you did -- interest/curiosity, as I use a Synology DS916+ for primary storage/backup.
dwc13
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

LadyGeek wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:27 pm
dwc13 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:06 pm General considerations:

1. Verify (as best you can) that your selected CPU includes a cooler (heatsink/fan). If it doesn't come bundled with one, you'll need to buy a CPU cooler. The pcpartpicker links you posted were interesting. For newegg, the linked listing indicated a CPU only item. I didn't attempt to decipher the linked information overload, uh, listing for Amazon.com; however, I suggest you don't solely rely upon user comments, especially for that site.
I agree to not base important decisions from product review comments. What I do recommend is getting the information directly from the manufacturer's website. (deskjockey -It confirms what dwc13 says in the second paragraph, but I want to show where the information comes from so you can see this for yourself.)

+1 for verifying package contents from the Manufacturer's website. The online equivalent of measure twice, cut once.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by othermike27 »

dwc13 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:47 am
othermike27 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:03 pm

I have been building my own PCs since 2008. A couple years ago I rebuilt one into a 9-drive NAS using the UnRAID OS. Although this system is in regular use holding backups of my other computers, I built it mostly for hobby interest/curiosity. I have been using Synology NAS units since 2011 and I'm generally quite pleased with them. I currently run a DS416j as my primary NAS device, and I plan to upgrade that to a DS1520+ in about a month with some Cyber Monday help. Those are my bona fides for the following comments on your plan.
Appreciate your thoughts on UnRAID OS. Are you running any VMs on your UnRAID server?

I have several 320GB to 1TB IDE & SATA hard drives salvaged from previous computers. I might just scrap the IDE drives so I don't need to use space hogging ribbon cables and molex 4 pin power connectors. UnRAID could allow me to repurpose orphan drives of varying capacity. I would be taking the same approach as you did -- interest/curiosity, as I use a Synology DS916+ for primary storage/backup.
Probably best to dump the IDE drives. They are probably smaller capacity and may not be compatible with current HW or NAS SW. But you can certainly build an UnRAID array with drives of various sizes. That's one of the pluses of this software. For those unfamiliar, UnRAID is developed and maintained by Lime Technology, Inc. https://unraid.net/ It is not free, but the one-time license fees are modest and scaled according to the number of drives in the server. There is a 30-day free trial so you can download the software and try it out before buying. Best of all, UnRAID scales up easily so your initial configuration doesn't lock you in to something that can't be upgraded. For a good source of info on all things UnRAID, check out this blogger on Youtube. He has a whole series of videos on UnRAID: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HybwCOV ... O-45qV7SOF

All that said, I am going to consolidate all my computers and parts and stuff down to one new-build desktop and one Synology NAS. Personal experience suggests that marital harmony should be considered as part of requirements planning, and DW is not soothed by blinking lights and spinning disks <sigh>. Laptops are small so they don't count, right?

No experience with VMs at all. Just downloaded the Microsoft-supplied Ubuntu VM to my PC, and plan to set up a couple other Linux variants as well. I will experiment with VMs on PC and server.
deskjockey
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

dwc13 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:58 pm
My new PC is built around an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk Wi-Fi motherboard (AM4), which has 6 SATA 3 ports. It's an ATX motherboard, so it wouldn't fit your case. However, Micro ATX AMD AM4 motherboards with 6 SATA 3 ports are definitely out there.

I apologize in advance if you're already familiar with searching on newegg.com's website. If you're not, go to the motherboard section using the expandable menu on the left side (Components | Motherboards| AMD Motherboards). From the AMD Motherboards menu, select CPU Socket Type (check AM4), then scroll down and select Form Factor (check Micro ATX and, if desired, Micro ITX); finally, scroll down to SATA 6Gb/s (check the box for 6x, and if desired, 8x & 10x). Then click "Apply". Your search should return the ASRock B550M Pro4 AM4 Micro ATX MB, which has 6 SATA 3 ports, as well as other Micro ATX AMD AM4 motherboards with 6 SATA 3 ports.
https://www.newegg.com/asrock-b550m-pro ... klink=true

Building an Open Media NAS Part 1 -- A 3 part series from 2017. You'll get a sense of the author's experience with an older version of OMV.
https://ridwankhan.com/building-an-open ... c34ce824f5

BTW, if you use an Android smartphone, you're using a device with an OS based upon a custom flavor of Linux. Piece of cake, right?
I'm embarrassed to say that I assumed PC Part Picker covered all of the equipment available for sale on NewEgg, so I didn't bother to check with NewEgg directly. Will do that now and rethink things.

As for Android, yes, I grant that it's a flavor of Linux, but it's far more user friendly than Linux since it's all GUI based. I really hate the idea of having to use the command line for anything. Having the command line as an option is fine, but not as the sole interface to do major stuff, at least for me. And I've heard too many stories from friends about how they've spent hours trying to figure out how to make things work because the instructions in Ubuntu or Debian or Mint left out key steps that the devs thought were too obvious and basic to include (but really weren't to a Linux newbie). I've certainly had my share or problems with Windows and MacOS, but rarely do they stem from undocumented critical steps in a procedure.

I have to say, the more I think about it, the less sure I am about going down this road. I'm tempted to buy a Synology for the turnkey aspect and call it a day, especially given a good point someone over on Reddit brought up; the resale value of Synology devices compared to homebrew. Decisions, decisions...
stan1
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by stan1 »

deskjockey wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:42 am I have to say, the more I think about it, the less sure I am about going down this road. I'm tempted to buy a Synology for the turnkey aspect and call it a day, especially given a good point someone over on Reddit brought up; the resale value of Synology devices compared to homebrew. Decisions, decisions...
Form factor would be another factor for me, the compact size of a Synology home device brings value to me (although I simplified home architecture further and don't have a NAS).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

deskjockey wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:42 am
I have to say, the more I think about it, the less sure I am about going down this road. I'm tempted to buy a Synology for the turnkey aspect and call it a day, especially given a good point someone over on Reddit brought up; the resale value of Synology devices compared to homebrew. Decisions, decisions...
The biggest advantage to a DIY NAS is you have much more control over the hardware components. There might be a cost advantage, too, depending upon what components you already have and can repurpose for the build. Is it worth the effort? That's entirely your call. If you are in the market for a new computer to replace an existing one, building a DIY NAS might be worth undertaking if you have the time. But since it's now college football season, that might be an issue.

I have been using a Synology DiskStation 916+ (4 drives) since 2016, primarily for storage/backup and occasional audio streaming. It replaced a DiskStation 207 (2 drive), which I bought in @2007. Earlier this year, I was looking for several old files and unboxed the DS207 that had been stored since its replacement was installed. After directly connecting it to a notebook computer and changing a few network settings, I was able to access the data. Still works after all these years.

Synology supports its NAS devices with regular firmware & software updates with additional/improved features. DiskStation devices can be more expensive than a DIY NAS, especially if you want an expansion unit and/or already have many of the components to put together a DIY solution. IMO, the base units have been well worth the investment. Note that I have not used an expansion unit with the DS916+.

If interested, you can check out an online demo of Synology DiskStation Manager operating system.
https://demo.synology.com/en-us

In the past, one of the criticisms of Synology DiskStations was directed at the CPU used in some of the devices. Some people thought the CPUs were underwhelming, especially when compared with what could be used in a DIY NAS. Also note the lack of an HDMI port on Synology DiskStations. If this is a deal-breaker, consider looking at QNAP and Asustor NAS devices.

Plex Synology NAS Performance List - 2020 Edition. This is a quick compilation of Synology devices
https://nascompares.com/2020/03/02/plex ... 0-edition/

Installation & Setup of Plex Media Server on Synology
https://forums.plex.tv/t/installation-s ... y/572179/8

I've seen a number of people on this forum mention they have a Synology DiskStation. At least a few can probably tell you about their experience using Plex with their Synology NAS.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

othermike27 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:39 am
Probably best to dump the IDE drives. They are probably smaller capacity and may not be compatible with current HW or NAS SW. But you can certainly build an UnRAID array with drives of various sizes. That's one of the pluses of this software. For those unfamiliar, UnRAID is developed and maintained by Lime Technology, Inc. https://unraid.net/ It is not free, but the one-time license fees are modest and scaled according to the number of drives in the server. There is a 30-day free trial so you can download the software and try it out before buying. Best of all, UnRAID scales up easily so your initial configuration doesn't lock you in to something that can't be upgraded. For a good source of info on all things UnRAID, check out this blogger on Youtube. He has a whole series of videos on UnRAID: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HybwCOV ... O-45qV7SOF

All that said, I am going to consolidate all my computers and parts and stuff down to one new-build desktop and one Synology NAS. Personal experience suggests that marital harmony should be considered as part of requirements planning, and DW is not soothed by blinking lights and spinning disks <sigh>. Laptops are small so they don't count, right?

No experience with VMs at all. Just downloaded the Microsoft-supplied Ubuntu VM to my PC, and plan to set up a couple other Linux variants as well. I will experiment with VMs on PC and server.
Thanks for your insights & links. You are correct: laptops, as well as bookshelf speakers and OLED TVs, don't count.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

dwc13 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:10 pm
The biggest advantage to a DIY NAS is you have much more control over the hardware components. There might be a cost advantage, too, depending upon what components you already have and can repurpose for the build. Is it worth the effort? That's entirely your call. If you are in the market for a new computer to replace an existing one, building a DIY NAS might be worth undertaking if you have the time. But since it's now college football season, that might be an issue.

I have been using a Synology DiskStation 916+ (4 drives) since 2016, primarily for storage/backup and occasional audio streaming. It replaced a DiskStation 207 (2 drive), which I bought in @2007. Earlier this year, I was looking for several old files and unboxed the DS207 that had been stored since its replacement was installed. After directly connecting it to a notebook computer and changing a few network settings, I was able to access the data. Still works after all these years.

Synology supports its NAS devices with regular firmware & software updates with additional/improved features. DiskStation devices can be more expensive than a DIY NAS, especially if you want an expansion unit and/or already have many of the components to put together a DIY solution. IMO, the base units have been well worth the investment. Note that I have not used an expansion unit with the DS916+.

If interested, you can check out an online demo of Synology DiskStation Manager operating system.
https://demo.synology.com/en-us

In the past, one of the criticisms of Synology DiskStations was directed at the CPU used in some of the devices. Some people thought the CPUs were underwhelming, especially when compared with what could be used in a DIY NAS. Also note the lack of an HDMI port on Synology DiskStations. If this is a deal-breaker, consider looking at QNAP and Asustor NAS devices.

Plex Synology NAS Performance List - 2020 Edition. This is a quick compilation of Synology devices
https://nascompares.com/2020/03/02/plex ... 0-edition/

Installation & Setup of Plex Media Server on Synology
https://forums.plex.tv/t/installation-s ... y/572179/8

I've seen a number of people on this forum mention they have a Synology DiskStation. At least a few can probably tell you about their experience using Plex with their Synology NAS.
Thanks, dwc13--I'll have to mull this over for a few days to decide what direction to go in.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

LadyGeek wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:20 pm I'm also having difficulty finding a GPU card. At this point, I'm putting everything on hold as you suggest and will wait for the supply chain to catch up. From another perspective - If you have to return an item in short supply, its replacement won't come back any time soon.
So much for patience. I don't think the supply chain shock will go away any time soon. My wish list $450 GPU card just went out-of-stock at Newegg. In-stock replacements are going for $500 - $600. :shock: Checking Amazon, I found a GPU card for $414.

Amazon shows dates when products will be restocked. Newegg just says "out-of-stock". Looking at availability, I'm seeing a scarcity of GPU cards. I would expect GPU prices to decrease as new cards are introduced. That's not happening and didn't want to wait and see what happens next. Trigger pulled. Taking the best from Newegg and Amazon:
  • CPU - AMD Ryzen 7 3700X - Amazon, 294.99
  • Cooler - Noctua NH-U12S AM4 - Amazon - 59.95
  • GPU - PNY GeForce RTX 2060 Super - Amazon - 414.99
  • Mobo - ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus - Amazon - 160.92
  • RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3600 - Newegg - 144.99
  • PSU - Seasonic FOCUS 750 Gold SSR-750FX 750W 80+ - Amazon - 119.99
  • Case - Fractal Design Meshify C Black ATX - Newegg - 84.99 + 8.99 shipping
  • SSD - SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2 2280 500GB - Amazon - 89.99
  • UPS - APC BR1350MS 1350 VA Pure SineWave - Newegg - 174.99
Everything but the cooler is sold by Amazon or Newegg, so I'll have a US warranty. The cooler is sold by the manufacturer.

Mobo - I changed to the version without Wi-Fi. I don't need it and didn't realize there was a version without Wi-Fi until later.

Parts start arriving this week. The power supplier is the outlier (October 29).

Update: Modified post to show change in PSU acquisition. See posts below.
Update 10/14/2020: Modified power supply delivery date to October 29 (was November 5).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by palanzo »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:02 pm
LadyGeek wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:20 pm I'm also having difficulty finding a GPU card. At this point, I'm putting everything on hold as you suggest and will wait for the supply chain to catch up. From another perspective - If you have to return an item in short supply, its replacement won't come back any time soon.
So much for patience. I don't think the supply chain shock will go away any time soon. My wish list $450 GPU card just went out-of-stock at Newegg. In-stock replacements are going for $500 - $600. :shock: Checking Amazon, I found a GPU card for $414. I also found a Seasonic power supply for $179.

Amazon shows dates when products will be restocked. Newegg just says "out-of-stock". Looking at availability, I'm seeing a scarcity of GPU cards. I would expect GPU prices to decrease as new cards are introduced. That's not happening and didn't want to wait and see what happens next. Trigger pulled. Taking the best from Newegg and Amazon:
  • CPU - AMD Ryzen 7 3700X - Amazon, 294.99
  • Cooler - Noctua NH-U12S AM4 - Amazon - 59.95
  • GPU - PNY GeForce RTX 2060 Super - Amazon - 414.99
  • Mobo - ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus - Amazon - 160.92
  • RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3600 - Newegg - 144.99
  • PSU - Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Gold SSR-750FX 750W 80+ - Amazon - 179.09
  • Case - Fractal Design Meshify C Black ATX - Newegg - 84.99 + 8.99 shipping
  • SSD - SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2 2280 500GB - Amazon - 89.99
  • UPS - APC BR1350MS 1350 VA Pure SineWave - Newegg - 174.99
Seasonic PSU - This might be a gray market product, but it's sold by a Delaware company (within the US). I have an email to the seller requesting clarification. Delivery is not expected until Oct 23 at the earliest. If Newegg restocks before then, I may cancel the order and go with Newegg.

Everything else is sold by Amazon or Newegg, so I'll have a US warranty.

Mobo - I changed to the version without Wi-Fi. I don't need it and didn't realize there was a version without Wi-Fi until later.

Parts start to arrive this week. The power supplier is the outlier (October 23 - November 2).
Looks like you can order the Seasonic GX-750 from Amazon for delivery November 3rd.

https://www.amazon.com/Seasonic-GX-750- ... B077J9G9CH

Is that the one you are looking for?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Good eyes, but the "Plus" variant has fully modular cabling. The FOCUS (not plus) variant has semi-modular cabling.

Thank you! I was confused by the product name, thinking the "Plus" was a better version. It's not. See: FOCUS GX
The newly upgraded FOCUS PX and GX series are the successors to the FOCUS PLUS Series, which became an instant top seller in the power supply market after its launch in 2017. In 2019, Seasonic engineers have made improvements to the popular series such as removing the inline capacitors on the supplied cables.
I have canceled my Focus PLUS order and replaced it with the FOCUS as you've suggested.

Your link: Seasonic FOCUS GX-750, 750W 80+ Gold
My link: Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Gold SSR-750FX 750W

Update: The box picture shows fully modular. Will check on this.
Update1: Order revised to the "non-plus" variant.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by palanzo »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:26 pm Good eyes, but the "Plus" variant has fully modular cabling. The FOCUS (not plus) variant has semi-modular cabling.

Your link: Seasonic FOCUS GX-750, 750W 80+ Gold
My link: Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Gold SSR-750FX 750W

Update: The box picture shows fully modular. Will check on this.
I started on the Seasonic website. I could not find the Plus version.

https://seasonic.com/focus-gx

The Focus says full modular.

The body of Amazon also says full modular. I find this happens a lot on Amazon. You type in the search box and it shows you a non Amazon sold product which is often different. Takes a while to hunt around on Amazon to find the real thing.

Which GPU did you really want? :D
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ I was updating my post at the same time you posted. See my previous post. I changed to the "Non-plus version".

Since this is a reseller, I had to "request" cancellation. We'll see how this goes, but I have a while to straighten it out.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by palanzo »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:47 pm ^^^ I was updating my post at the same time you posted. See my previous post. I changed to the "Non-plus version". :)

Since this is a reseller, I had to "request" cancellation. We'll see how this goes, but I have a while to straighten it out.
I remember reading a review on the updated Seasonic PSUs. I had forgotten about the previous Plus series.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Watching this video (Hardware Unboxed: Best SSD for Gaming) got me to thinking.

If you only have a small SSD (NVME or SATA) for booting your OS, and install your games on a large platter, the games can't take advantage of SSD speeds for load times. So there's a benefit to installing games on SSDs. Is there a benefit to having a separate boot SSD from a second SSD for games? Or is one big SSD good enough?

And with PCI-E 4.0 compatible NVME out there now, would it make sense to put the OS on that slot and then another M.2 drive in the second slot for games, plus the platter for media storage? Or is that just too much?

Example:

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/jKG23Z
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Corsair MP600 Force Series Gen4 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 4 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $793.95

vs.

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/DJqNGq
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($169.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 4 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $728.96

It's only $65 more and you get 500GB extra space.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Your comparison is (PCIe Gen 4 SSD, PCIe Gen 3 SSD, HD) vs. (PCIe Gen 3 SSD, HD)

The video is clear to say (1) don't use a hard drive to store games and (2) there's not much difference between PCIe Gen 3.0 and Gen 4.0 for load times. There is some difference, but not enough to matter.

An additional complication for your proposed configuration is that you'll need a backup / restore procedure for each drive.

To keep things simple, one big M.2 SSD for everything (including the boot OS) will work fine. PCIe Gen 4 would be faster, especially for OS boot time.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

For me, the big differentiator in SSDs isn't PCIE 3.0 vs 4.0, but QLC vs TLC due to durability concerns. The performance differences are negligible right now, but the lifespan is not. While on paper, a QLC drive's expected lifespan should be more than sufficient to my uses, I nevertheless will pay more for a TLC drive just for the extra peace of mind.

This is probably very much in line with the BH tendency to oversave for retirement. I doubt I will fill a 2TB drive even once, let alone write over it 200 times before a technology change renders it as moot as IDE, but just in case I need to access the drive twenty years from now...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:35 am Your comparison is (PCIe Gen 4 SSD, PCIe Gen 3 SSD, HD) vs. (PCIe Gen 3 SSD, HD)

The video is clear to say (1) don't use a hard drive to store games and (2) there's not much difference between PCIe Gen 3.0 and Gen 4.0 for load times. There is some difference, but not enough to matter.

An additional complication for your proposed configuration is that you'll need a backup / restore procedure for each drive.

To keep things simple, one big M.2 SSD for everything (including the boot OS) will work fine. PCIe Gen 4 would be faster, especially for OS boot time.
I guess the key question is whether the SSD technology makes the "separate-drives-is-better" policy moot?

Price aside, would one SSD drive be just as efficient as two? Or is there a "bottleneck" that the system can only access one thing at a time on one drive vs. two things simultaneously on two?

If it could access two drives at once, would it ever make a difference? Does the increase in cache size help?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

Brain wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:53 pm I guess the key question is whether the SSD technology makes the "separate-drives-is-better" policy moot?

Price aside, would one SSD drive be just as efficient as two? Or is there a "bottleneck" that the system can only access one thing at a time on one drive vs. two things simultaneously on two?

If it could access two drives at once, would it ever make a difference? Does the increase in cache size help?
My understanding is that larger SSDs tend to be faster than smaller ones, so my guess is that the "separate drives is better" adage is now toast. Check out this video for a bit of info on it.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Adding to deskjockey -

It depends on the software. An OS is designed to support a lot of things running at one time, so it might benefit. But.. applications (games) are installed on a single drive, not across them. You'll only be accessing a single drive during game play.

Increasing cache (RAM) size couldn't hurt if it prevents swapping to disk.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
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