|OT| The PC Hardware Thread -- Buy/Upgrade/Ask/Answer

Copons

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Nov 12, 2018
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Welp, got a pay raise, but somehow this month balance will be red instead of black. :thinking-blob:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor (£176.71 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard (£82.80 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (£125.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: SanDisk Solid State Drive 128 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For £0.00)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For £0.00)
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB VENTUS OC Video Card (£684.57 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master N400 ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For £0.00)
Power Supply: XFX 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (Purchased For £0.00)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer (Purchased For £0.00)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit (Purchased For £0.00)
Monitor: LG 27UL850-W 27.0" 3840x2160 60 Hz Monitor (Purchased For £0.00)
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard (Purchased For £0.00)
Mouse: Mionix NAOS 7000 Wired Optical Mouse (Purchased For £0.00)
Total: £1070.06
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-17 10:45 GMT+0000


(all the parts I'm carrying over from the olde builde of the days of yore are marked as "purchased for 0")
 

Copons

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congrats!

also - so jelly :negative-blob:
Thanks mate!
But don't be jelly!
I'm sure the day after the amazon no questions refund period Nvidia will announce the 3090 Super Ti Titan Max XXL Gaiden card, on sale for 99.90£ :sweaty-blob:

(Or, more likely, the Black Friday will punish me hard for caving in and not waiting just 2 more weeks)
 
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lashman

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Thanks mate!
But don't be jelly!
I'm sure the day after the amazon no questions refund period Nvidia will announce the 3090 Super Ti Titan Max XXL Gaiden card, on sale for 99.90£ :sweaty-blob:

(Or, more likely, the Black Friday will punish me hard for caving in and not waiting just 2 more weeks)
i wouldn't be able to afford one even if they did that :negative-blob:
 
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Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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Building a new PC:
PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
CPU | AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor | €329.00 @ Amazon Deutschland
Motherboard | ASRock X570 Extreme4 ATX AM4 Motherboard | €257.80 @ Alza
Memory | Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory | €142.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
Storage | Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | €174.99 @ Amazon Deutschland
Video Card | Asus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB ROG Strix Gaming OC Video Card | €1348.90 @ Alza
Case | Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C ATX Mid Tower Case | €164.60 @ Amazon Deutschland
Power Supply | Corsair HX Platinum 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply | €145.90 @ Amazon Deutschland
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total | €2564.09
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-19 22:30 CET+0100 |


Was originally planning to only spent like half on the GPU, and settle for a 2080 (non Super), but since I got some money back from my tax declaration for last year, I said "fuck it, go all out". I am still on my old 1080p monitor, since I'm waiting on a few 27" 1400p monitors to come out, then I'll get one of those too.

Here's an in progress build: (still missing the GPU and the thermal pad, so cooler not installed yet)

 

Parsnip

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I grabbed some faster ram the other day and doubled my ram from 16 to 32 while I was at it.
Turns out speedier ram actually helps in some gaming cases, ran a few benches and I can actually get a solid 60+ fps now on AC Odyssey where previously it would constantly float just under 60 more often than not.

Also grabbed a nvme drive but haven't put it in yet, gotta dust my pc first and have been feeling extra lazy for the past few days.
 
OP
Durante

Durante

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Yeah, now that there are games which reall utilize a larger number of cores (and maybe even vectorization at the same time) they can more easily run into memory speed limits, especially on consumer platforms with dual channel memory.
 
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Arsene

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Boy do I regret getting DDR4-2133.

I upgraded from 8gb to 16gb last year but kept the same stick I had from 2016 (previously was using single channel, y'know like an idiot). But I'm considering upgrading to a faster speed alongside doubling to 32GB some time next year. But I'm worried about DDR5 coming out and instantly making my purchase outdated. But DDR5 would require a new mobo and a new CPU... argh...

I really need to upgrade my CPU and Mobo and I wanted to upgrade on Black Friday, but maybe I should wait until DDR5 and upgrade all 3 at once.. DDR5 is still only "estimated" for 2020 and my CPU is bottlenecking me hard while my mobo is slowly falling apart. Its a really tough decision and next gen is right around the corner.
 
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Kvik

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Downunder.
Mivey , I saw your new mobo has 3 M2. sockets. Do you happen to know if you can setup a RAID0 array with two of the slots? :02notes:
 

Mivey

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Mivey , I saw your new mobo has 3 M2. sockets. Do you happen to know if you can setup a RAID0 array with two of the slots? :02notes:
I can't find anything on the manual for this, but based on what people on the internet are saying, it should be possible, but no guarantees.
One of the two M.2 is the WIFI M.2 slot, and at any rate it doesn't directly connect to the PC Express bus, but goes to the CPU, so you can probably only use the two slot underneath the heatsink (or M.2 "armor")
 
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Parsnip

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Boy do I regret getting DDR4-2133.

I upgraded from 8gb to 16gb last year but kept the same stick I had from 2016 (previously was using single channel, y'know like an idiot). But I'm considering upgrading to a faster speed alongside doubling to 32GB some time next year. But I'm worried about DDR5 coming out and instantly making my purchase outdated. But DDR5 would require a new mobo and a new CPU... argh...

I really need to upgrade my CPU and Mobo and I wanted to upgrade on Black Friday, but maybe I should wait until DDR5 and upgrade all 3 at once.. DDR5 is still only "estimated" for 2020 and my CPU is bottlenecking me hard while my mobo is slowly falling apart. Its a really tough decision and next gen is right around the corner.
There's always something just around the corner isn't there.

If past is anything to go by, DDR5 will probably be hella expensive and who knows what kind of availability it will have. I haven't read up on it too much, but I wonder how fast they are going to spin up DDR5 manufacturing in favor of DDR4, there are only so many factories in the world.
If the price doesn't end up being super high and there are significant benefits, you can always sell your old stuff if you end up upgrading now.
 
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Parsnip

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I've been thinking about cases again, and I think I'm starting lean on something slightly larger than I was planning at first. Like, in the past I've always been thinking that the Define Nano S is my next case but the more I think about it and look at it, the less confident I feel about that. It just feels too small. My current GPU fatness is above their recommended size just as an example, and it seems like it's best suited for blower style GPU's anyway, there's just so little room between PSU and GPU. I guess if you get SFX PSU there would be a little more space there but eh, I don't feel good about that.

Leaning more and more towards the Define Mini C. It's smaller than the big R# cases though obviously not nano size but it's nearly half the weight and more roomy. Would also house my current mobo which is matx so I could get it now instead of waiting until I get a new mobo. Starting to get antsy about it, the R4 has served me well since 2013 but it's just so unwieldy now and has useless parts and stuff.
 

Copons

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Who's the guy who dropped the new CPU right before putting it onto the motherboard and then spent the entire evening painstakingly fixing all the bent pins?

THIS GUY!

(btw bios recognized the CPU without errors, windows booted, etc. just I'm bummed because according to the MS support my Win licence is not eligible for a reactivation, so fuck me I'll have to buy a Win key... anybody knows a nice and cheap seller?)
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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Copons Nice save! Phew!

Parsnip I had the same issue with my GFX Card barely fitting in my old Refine R3 so i recently upgraded and i would recommend you check the height of your CPU Cooler too as my old cooler is too tall and wouldn't fit in my new case. I didn't think to check that until after i'd ordered.
 
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prudis

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So .... i plan to make me some big backup of all the important stuff and also pretty much my whole Steam library . (about 12TB atm)
Originally i though of getting NAS , but what i need is pretty much just copy the files to backup and occationally once in a month access them or copy new data ... so i feel kinda feel live NAS might be bit of a overkill when all i need is cold longterm storage with few accessess a month.
Any tips for whats best in this use-case and better for my not so huge budget?
 
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Parsnip

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Parsnip I had the same issue with my GFX Card barely fitting in my old Refine R3 so i recently upgraded and i would recommend you check the height of your CPU Cooler too as my old cooler is too tall and wouldn't fit in my new case. I didn't think to check that until after i'd ordered.
Yeah, that's been the second thing I've been looking at with the cases. Some of the smaller cases I've been looking at like the Thermaltake Urban SD1 wouldn't fit my current cooler.

So I'm closer and closer on settling on something smallish to midsize instead of ultra small. Still plenty smaller than my current one, much more modern in terms in having stuff like optical drive slots, better dedicated ssd slots, etc etc.
 
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AHA-Lambda

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Ok dokey, complete PC hardware newbie reporting in for need of a GPU upgrade (at least?)

This is my current build that is now 5 years old


i7-4790k
16GB RAM
GTX 970

My GPU is seemingly now too old for Half Life Alyx, so i've a few questions:

1) What is the best Nvidia GPU to get these days at a moderate-high budget? What's the differences between the GPU brands offering the same chipset?
2) From my current build should/must I upgrade anything else? I am particularly wary of the PSU given the horror stories of PSUs going on fire and obviously destroying everything
3) Does a GPU swap (or anything further) require a reinstall of Windows 10?
4) Anything else I should know? I'll likely get someone to do any mods for me tbh
 

Mivey

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Looking at PC monitors, it seems that you can't get decent HDR and variable refresh without paying thousands, though I guess it's good to know that this combination exists, and can only get cheaper as time goes on.
Still, for now I'll settle on a decent variable refresh monitor, as HDR still seems very much in its infancy, with support on PC lacking, and from what I'm reading, games don't use it well consistently.

My GPU is seemingly now too old for Half Life Alyx, so i've a few questions:

1) What is the best Nvidia GPU to get these days at a moderate-high budget? What's the differences between the GPU brands offering the same chipset?
Maybe you should talk about price point first, and where you live, as prices vary a ton across the world.

2) From my current build should/must I upgrade anything else? I am particularly wary of the PSU given the horror stories of PSUs going on fire and obviously destroying everything
Your Corsair seems like it should easily handle any GPU you throw at it, so I wouldn't worry. Corsair PSU also come with a 10 year warranty for a reason, as in, Corsair wouldn't give those out if they were breaking very often before then.

3) Does a GPU swap (or anything further) require a reinstall of Windows 10?
Nope. On my new PC I first installed my old 970, to install verything so I didn't need to wait until the new GPU was delivered, and when I installed that one, Windows installed the driver within a minute or two.
 
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Durante

Durante

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Looking at PC monitors, it seems that you can't get decent HDR and variable refresh without paying thousands, though I guess it's good to know that this combination exists, and can only get cheaper as time goes on.
Yeah, this is sadly true.

For a good HDR result you need either local dimming or OLED -- the latter isn't really a thing in monitors (for pretty good reasons), and the former is still extremely expensive (probably at least in part due to rarity).
 

AHA-Lambda

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Maybe you should talk about price point first, and where you live, as prices vary a ton across the world.

I live in the UK and I'm looking for the most I can get out of a GPU between about a £400-£600 range (so about $500-$800).
 

AHA-Lambda

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Make sure to note the difference between the 2070S / SUPER and the "old" 2070. It's a somewhat significant performance step.
Ta, 2070 Super then.
What's the difference between all of the manufacturers for the chipsets? Are there particular ones to avoid or that are worth extra?
 
OP
Durante

Durante

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Ta, 2070 Super then.
What's the difference between all of the manufacturers for the chipsets? Are there particular ones to avoid or that are worth extra?
Basically, noise and cooling performance. Generally, as long as it fits in your case (make sure of that, some of these are massive), the larger the quieter.

I've personally had some not-great experiences with Zotac, while Palit always seem to have good HW at a fair price, but I don't think there's any general consensus on which manufacturer to get or avoid.
 
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AHA-Lambda

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Excellent, thanks very much 😊
Last question I guess, are the other parts of my PC still reasonable for gaming (particularly HLVR)? I don't see any reason yet personally to change the RAM, CPU etc?
 

Theswweet

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Excellent, thanks very much 😊
Last question I guess, are the other parts of my PC still reasonable for gaming (particularly HLVR)? I don't see any reason yet personally to change the RAM, CPU etc?
4790k is getting older, so you might want to consider getting a new CPU... problem being, you'd need to get a new mobo and RAM too.
 
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Durante

Durante

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I'm pretty sure that a 4790k will be sufficient for HL:A, but it is getting somewhat long in the tooth. You should expect that you'll want to upgrade it in the not too distant future.
 
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Mivey

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Ah, I forgot to report on my experience with the IC thermal pad:

It was honestly more of a hassle to learn how to properly apply the stock cooler, it took me a while before I got it right, without shifting it too much. It's not that hard if you know how to start. With the thermal pad it's easy to retry if you messed a bit, I imagine this would have been torturous for me if I had to use paste.

CPU readings of the 3700X show it go to 38 at idle, which seems pretty good at default clock rate and with the stock cooler, so the thermal pad doesn't seem to cause any problems.
 
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Durante

Durante

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Well shit, thought I'd get longer out of my CPU than my GPU tbh 😥
I think you'll be fine until games built from the start (primarily) for PS5-level hardware appear (so, 2021?). Then, in high-end games, the relative lack of cores can become an issue.
 
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madjoki

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Speaking of 2070 super, seems like Nvidia killed CoD promo early. Would've been nice to get that :(
 

AHA-Lambda

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OK, I think I've decided on this GPU:

Gigabyte 2070 Super GAMING OC 3X

IMO, it's really not been the easiest thing to pick a single GPU even after narrowing it down to one chipset, after considering all the manufacturers and the variants they have of each GPU too.
I've picked this one though as my last GPU was also Gigabyte and it's gave me no worries, plus this variant seems to be their best of the 2070S they do from what I can tell, and there's not much between them all in price, so I'm feeling reasonably ok with picking this one.

I've 2 questions I want to be sure of before I purchase:

1) Nvidia's website says the 2070S needs a 650W PSu, and I do have one of those. But I assume that figure though is Nvidia's recommendation in taking into account a whole system though as a GPU alone won't take 650W of course?
From what I can see, I think a 2070S does take more power than a GTX970 but it shouldn't be of any concern, right?

2) I also wanted to make sure of course that the card actually fits in my case!
It's surprisingly hard to get accurate dimensions for cards, lots of product pages either don't have them or are different to each other. The amazon link above says the card is 41cm long which can't be right, the Gigabyte website says ~28cm.
Anyway I have a Fractal R4 case which currently fits a GTX970, and from everything I can see the 2070S is smaller in length and width but slightly thicker. It should fit in the case, right?
 
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Durante

Durante

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AHA-Lambda
1) Yes, if you have a decent quality 650W PSU you'll be fine (if you don't plan to LN2 overvolt the GPU or anything :p)
2) I've found Geizhals to be generally very reliable with measurements (and also quick to find): Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC 3X 8G ab € 547,18 (2019) | Preisvergleich Geizhals Österreich -- it says 286x114x50mm for this card. An R4 is pretty roomy IIRC, what's important is that you don't have anything in the next 2 PCIe slots with a card like this.
 
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AHA-Lambda

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Ta much :)

AHA-Lambda
1) Yes, if you have a decent quality 650W PSU you'll be fine (if you don't plan to LN2 overvolt the GPU or anything :p)
I don't even know what this means, so no I won't :p
My PSU is about 5 years old now but it does seem to be a good one from what I've seen.
Considering some of the previous posts, I'll likely need a more extensive PC upgrade in another couple of years anyway.
 

TheLetdown

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Oct 30, 2018
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So, my Costco has one of those pre-built IBuyPower setups that has:

  • I7-9700F
  • RTX 2060
  • 16 gb DDR4
  • 480 GB SSD
  • 2 TB HD
and one those fancy looking cases, for $1299.00

For some reason, I'm kinda interested in it. I've never done a prebuilt, and I've been putting together my own PCs for the past 20 years with the goal to ride them out for as long as possible, and I've been successful at doing that.

I know I could probably rotate a lot of what I have in my current rig (i5-2500k / 970) because I've got a nice PSU and some fairly recent SSD purchaces. I could then go a lot further for that same amount, but I'd be looking at needing:

  • mobo
  • GPU
  • CPU
  • RAM, most likely, since I'm sure these are DDR3
  • case + fans

Am I crazy (or just lazy) in thinking the prebuilt might be a solid choice, with the idea that I could upgrade the GPU down the line?
 

Theswweet

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Mar 12, 2019
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So, my Costco has one of those pre-built IBuyPower setups that has:

  • I7-9700F
  • RTX 2060
  • 16 gb DDR4
  • 480 GB SSD
  • 2 TB HD
and one those fancy looking cases, for $1299.00

For some reason, I'm kinda interested in it. I've never done a prebuilt, and I've been putting together my own PCs for the past 20 years with the goal to ride them out for as long as possible, and I've been successful at doing that.

I know I could probably rotate a lot of what I have in my current rig (i5-2500k / 970) because I've got a nice PSU and some fairly recent SSD purchaces. I could then go a lot further for that same amount, but I'd be looking at needing:

  • mobo
  • GPU
  • CPU
  • RAM, most likely, since I'm sure these are DDR3
  • case + fans

Am I crazy (or just lazy) in thinking the prebuilt might be a solid choice, with the idea that I could upgrade the GPU down the line?
This is a better deal:

 
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TheLetdown

A six-pack of letdown.
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I have a GSYNC monitor, so I'm leaning toward an NVIDIA card. That, and I've basically always had them.

I would like to make the switch to Ryzen, though. The 3700/3900 seem to have some serious output and I've seen things where people think the chipset might stick around for a little while, so there's a little bit of future-proofing.
 
OP
Durante

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
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Am I crazy (or just lazy) in thinking the prebuilt might be a solid choice, with the idea that I could upgrade the GPU down the line?
That seems like a pretty decent price for those specs in a prebuilt. I'd just be careful with prebuilts to check that they have a decent quality PSU (of course you can also replace that).
 
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Theswweet

Dirty Weeb
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In my experience, CyberPower at least doesn't cheap out on the PSU. They aren't always the best specs and/or efficiencies, but they're units I'd trust to run a system. I'd imagine iBuyPower is similar.
 

Copons

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All right so I've got a nice fucking problem, after a week of building the new PC and using without issues.

When booting, the mobo (B450 Tomahawk Max) does 3 beeps (1 long 2 slightly shorter) and then black screen.

On the mobo manual, 3 beeps mean a RAM issue, but I've tried moving them around, removing them, adding one and then the other, to no avail.

On the mobo there are 4 "ez debug" leds: cpu gpu ram boot.
The gpu one stays on.
I've tried removing it and replacing, I've even tried my old one, nothing changed.

Should I ask Amazon for a mobo replacement?
Or RAM?

Damn fucking hell, it's a very fucked up time in my life and I fucking needed an easy win, but oooh no.
 

gabbo

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Dec 22, 2018
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I'm pretty sure that a 4790k will be sufficient for HL:A, but it is getting somewhat long in the tooth. You should expect that you'll want to upgrade it in the not too distant future.
I have a i53750 which is really showing it's age lately, and I'm terrified to upgrade to any new cpu, as im worried ryzen3xxx or whatever number intel's i5/i7 is up to now, won't last more than a year or two into the next console gen and I prefer to hold onto my main component for as long as I can, as you can see by my old ass cpu that I still push with new titles.

GPUs are always a little easier to swap out, so that's less a worry right now - but is it likely id see diminishing returns from say a ryzen3600 in two- years? id rather not need a completely new build because ryzen3 ends up not supporting am4 if I can help it
 
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EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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Copons Hmm, i'd try a CMOS Reset in the bios but unless you or an app have changed settings it does sound like something has gone pop in the last few days unfortunately,

You've already reseated RAM and GPU so i'd make sure all the cabling is still firmly connected and if you have a modular PSU make sure they're all connected properly at the PSU too. Can you try another monitor cable or a different port on the GPU and monitor? I don't know if a dodgy cable could cause the debug LED to light up but it's worth checking.
 

low-G

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Yeah, now that there are games which reall utilize a larger number of cores (and maybe even vectorization at the same time) they can more easily run into memory speed limits, especially on consumer platforms with dual channel memory.
Did something new happen with vector units? Seems like something they've been using more of over time?
 

Copons

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Copons Hmm, i'd try a CMOS Reset in the bios but unless you or an app have changed settings it does sound like something has gone pop in the last few days unfortunately,

You've already reseated RAM and GPU so i'd make sure all the cabling is still firmly connected and if you have a modular PSU make sure they're all connected properly at the PSU too. Can you try another monitor cable or a different port on the GPU and monitor? I don't know if a dodgy cable could cause the debug LED to light up but it's worth checking.
Tried resetting the CMOS, flashing the BIOS, and trying all the GPU ports with 2 different cables.

What I don't understand is that the beeps and the debug led are supposed to indicate a faulty GPU, but the same issue happens with the old working GPU.

I've seen that someone had some success botting by putting the GPU in the second slot, at least it would mean that the mobo is faulty, and I can just order 1 replacement instead of all the things.
Though this is hella annoying as the little metal cover pieces on my case are not replaceable, so once I remove them they're gone (I mean, I'll use some tape, but still...), and also that if the mobo is faulty I'll have to remove the CPU and I suppose I'll have to do the whole thermal paste thing for the first time in my life. 😭
 
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