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

daxy

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I figured out it’s the PSU. Did a paperclip test and it was the exact same result as in my setup. Starts up fine the first time. Then, it won’t start up again unless it’s powered down for a little while.

I double checked my ram and GPU and the problem wasn’t (also) there. Exhibited the same behavior in different configurations.

Thankfully this thing has a five year warranty, so I’ll be able to get it replaced for free.

Edit: one thing I really regret and really bungled up was that I forgot about the lock on my GPU's PCI slot, so when I pulled it out (somewhat forcefully) I also broke off that little lock. The slot itself seems to be working fine and the GPU wasn't damaged by the looks of it. I put it back in and it's still working... Really hope I didn't damage my motherboard. The PCI slot itself is not a super huge deal. I have a x8 lane that I could also use.
 
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- Sometimes (it happened twice, like once a week), it boots to a black screen. I can hear all fans spinning as usual, and whatnot, but nothing appears on screen. Everything is fine when I reboot.
This happened to me a couple of times i think it started happening since the last BIOS update but I'm not 100% sure and it could just be a coincidence.
 

daxy

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Dec 6, 2018
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I've got something slightly similar happening. 🤔

A few weeks ago I've built the new PC (Ryzen 3600 + MSI Tomahawk Max + MSI 2080 Super + Corsair LPX 3200), which had all kinds of issues.
I've replaced both the CPU and the mobo, and now it's working fine.

Except:

- Sometimes (it happened twice, like once a week), it boots to a black screen. I can hear all fans spinning as usual, and whatnot, but nothing appears on screen. Everything is fine when I reboot.
It's rather scary, considering all the hardware issues I had not long ago. 😭

- The boot time is generally VERY slow. Much slower than my old PC (i5-4440 with a whatever AsRock mobo, etc.). Like 1 minute instead of 20 seconds, or something like that.
A few times it took much more than a minute to get to the desktop.
I can only assume it's because I haven't reinstalled Win after changing hardware (even more so, after changing from Intel to AMD).
When you say it boots to a black screen, is it black throughout? You don't see your MB manufacturer's screen even?
 

daxy

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Nope, all black.
The monitor even turns off after a bit, with the "no signal" message.
It couldn't be your GPU, right? Too bad the ryzen doesn't have an igpu.
I think it'd definitely not be a bad idea to do a fresh Windows installation. You can keep all your files in the windows.old folder, then move stuff back.
Does your motherboard have an LED with diagnostic codes or some other way of communicating errors? Worth looking at before that issue crops up again, so you can get a read on what’s happening.
 
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Copons

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It couldn't be your GPU, right? Too bad the ryzen doesn't an igpu.
I think it'd definitely not be a bad idea to do a fresh Windows installation.
Does your motherboard have an LED with diagnostic codes or some other way of communicating errors?
I'd exclude the GPU because I tried it on the old PC, and never had any issues.

The mobo has a very loud beeper, that I know even too well as before replacing CPU and mobo a few weeks ago it tended to beep A LOT.
It hasn't beeped once since I've replaced, and I'm very thankful for it, because it kinda became a PTSD trigger of some sorts.

Anyway, atm I can't easily do a Win install, as I've got a bit of storage shortage, and I'd rather wait longer until I get a NVMe.
 
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daxy

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So because of all this fun stuff I've been looking into what it'd cost to replace my motherboard, cpu and ram. I'm looking for something mid-tier, not too pricey but hopefully capable enough to play nice with next gen.

Based on what we're hearing about next gen, 8C/16T makes sense, right? In that category the 2700 or 2700x seems great value. The 3600 is also in my price range (200 euros), but I worry about its 6/12 setup.

Don't quite know what to do with the motherboard. Preferably something not too pricey. Something around 100 euros would be ideal.

As for memory, I'm seeing a lot of great prices around 50-70 for fast (3000 mhz) 16gb. I'll just pick whatever from a reputable brand.

Not sure what's good for cooling nowadays. What's today's equivalent of a Hyper 212 evo? I.e. simple, cheap and decent cooling performance.

Sidenote: would 150 euros be a decent price to sell my current setup of a z97x-ud5h (mobo), i5-4690K, and 16gb (DDR3 @ 1600-2133)?
 
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OP
Durante

Durante

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I'd say that you should probably go for the 3xxx series Ryzens, the difference (particularly in gaming) is pretty significant.
In particular, the 3600 should be very similar in performance in parallel workloads to the 2700, but significantly faster in sequential (or not fully parallel) ones.

In terms of mainboards, I haven't followed recent news closely, but it seems like x570 boards start at ~150€. Those would get you the most out of Zen2, but it's probably not really necessary for your use case. I do remember some earlier Ryzen boards being a bit picky with memory support, and you have to be careful whether they support 3xxx-series CPUs out of the box.

In cooling an inexpensive option I have read good things about and often see recommended is the Arctic Freezer 34.
 
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daxy

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Thanks for the advice! Yeah, it'll only really be used for games. I don't plan on rendering videos or anything. Gonna have to spend some time looking at motherboards then. Like the last time I was shopping for parts, it seems like it'll take more time to figure out than the rest.
 
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ISee

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I can only assume it's because I haven't reinstalled Win after changing hardware (even more so, after changing from Intel to AMD).
Windows 10 is surprisingly forgiving when it comes to hardware changes this days, even when it comes to mainboards. Still, looking how "crucial" the interplay between the new Windows Scheduler, the new AMD Chipset drivers and the CPU microcode is for Ryzen: At least consider to do a fresh windows install (version 1909). Not because I expect that to solve the problem (I really don't), but to get the most out of your ryzen without anything possibly left behind and not working correctly.

For the rest of your problem: Yes, the Tomahawk MAX comes with ryzen 3000 support out of the box. But AMD's bios support was (and still is) rather suboptimal currently and the early bios versions had many problems in regards to CPU detection, memory training, cold boot errors, long posting times, clock behavior etc. Keeping your bios up to date is recommended and is your safest bet to solve those problems. Especially as chances are high that your stock MAX version is just on AGESA 1002 or an older 1003 version. We are currently at version 1004 revision b.
 
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Copons

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Windows 10 is surprisingly forgiving when it comes to hardware changes this days, even when it comes to mainboards. Still, looking how "crucial" the interplay between the new Windows Scheduler, the new AMD Chipset drivers and the CPU microcode is for Ryzen: At least consider to do a fresh windows install (version 1909). Not because I expect that to solve the problem (I really don't), but to get the most out of your ryzen without anything possibly left behind and not working correctly.

For the rest of your problem: Yes, the Tomahawk MAX comes with ryzen 3000 support out of the box. But AMD's bios support was (and still is) rather suboptimal currently and the early bios versions had many problems in regards to CPU detection, memory training, cold boot errors, long posting times, clock behavior etc. Keeping your bios up to date is recommended and is your safest bet to solve those problems. Especially as chances are high that your stock MAX version is just on AGESA 1002 or an older 1003 version. We are currently at version 1004 revision b.
Updating the bios should be more painless than a fresh Win install, so I might as well try that.
I have no idea what an AGESA is, but I can guess it comes out of one of these: Support For B450 TOMAHAWK MAX | Motherboard - The world leader in motherboard design | MSI Global 😅
 
OP
Durante

Durante

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There's a rumour of a Intel DG-1 with 96 execution units floating around. If true, that makes my suspicion that Intel won't release anything in the graphics market that anyone in this forum will be interested in in 2020 more likely.
 

Ascheroth

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I'm looking for a new monitor.

I have a 1080p 60Hz 24" one right now (which I'll likely keep as a secondary one, unless that's problematic).
I'd like to get one with G-sync (or ideally Freesync that is G-sync compatible since I don't want to lock myself into Nvidia hardware).
Not sure if I should go for 1080p or 1440p (I have a 2060RTX and an i5-4670k).
I have absolutely no clue at all when it comes to monitors.

Any recommendations/suggestions? :)
 

ISee

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I'm looking for a new monitor.

I have a 1080p 60Hz 24" one right now (which I'll likely keep as a secondary one, unless that's problematic).
I'd like to get one with G-sync (or ideally Freesync that is G-sync compatible since I don't want to lock myself into Nvidia hardware).
Not sure if I should go for 1080p or 1440p (I have a 2060RTX and an i5-4670k).
I have absolutely no clue at all when it comes to monitors.

Any recommendations/suggestions? :)
How much money are you willing to invest?

In general:

- Running a 1080p/60hz monitor alongside one with higher, variable refresh rates is no problem at all.

- FreeSync =/= FreeSync. Some monitors are better, have wider or smaller refresh rate ranges. But there are enough FreeSync monitors out there that are of equal quality to Gsync. Still, a bit more research is needed.

- There is a huge difference between panel types. The cheapest ones will be TN panels, which have their positives, like very low latency but have viewing angel issues and colors are rather "yellowish" on them. Expect for some very high end ones. IPS is what most people prefer with "realistic" colors, but it can be a bit more "blurry" in motion and response times are not as tight as on TN panels. VA has good contrast and black levels (not as good as oled obviously) and is being used in most "curved" screens, colors can have a bit of a neon look to them. With exceptions here and there... What I'm trying to say is: There is no perfect PC panel and it is easy to get into a rabbit hole while researching.

- Forget about HDR. Nothing is good enough to carry the HDR brand, except for those high end 2500€+ PC displays.

- Do not get fullHD when going to 27". Pixel density just becomes noticeable imo (not enough pixels per inch --> you start noticing them).

- I'd take 1440p, if your budget allows it. True a 2060 won't allow you to hit 144 fps, but you'll probably hold on to your monitor for longer than your GPU anyway. Besides that, VRR is best when running at high, unlocked frame rates. But it is also amazing below 60 fps.
 
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Durante

Durante

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And are you using it only for gaming or also for productivity tasks?

Without knowing the answer to any of that, generally, at the lower-cost freesync range you have to be careful of brightness flicker at rapid FPS changes. A lot of monitors in that range suffer from that with "unofficial" G-sync compatibility.

Another big question is if you want a TN, IPS, or VA panel. The short of it is:
  • TN: very fast pixel transitions, bad viewing angles, often mediocre colors and contrast
  • IPS: sufficiently fast transitions (especially modern high-refresh panels), good viewing angles and colors, mediocre contrast
  • VA: good contrast and colors, decent viewing angle, some slow transitions (often from black to mid-tones)
Personally I use VA since I care more about the contrast than some smearing on transitions, but it's sadly a tradeoff regardless of what you choose.
 
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Ascheroth

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I'd say up to 300 or 400€ is what I'd want to spend (though if the "best" option turns out to be just over that, that's fine too).

It would be mainly for gaming, watching series, browsing the web, stuff like that.

The panel type question is tricky :cold-sweat:
My gut-feeling points towards IPS I think.

1440p 27" sounds appealing too.
Thanks for the input already :)
 
OP
Durante

Durante

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Looks like an option with those specs in that range might be the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-mhd . With some googling the only apparent issue I found is that you might need to adjust the response time setting depending on framerate (i.e. a different setting is appropriate at ~60 FPS than at ~144 FPS). That's not too unusual for VRR monitors in that price range sadly.
 
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ISee

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Most problem is finding something with an operating rate of at least 48-144Hz indeed. Most manufacturers are hiding that stuff like crazy, but in my opinion it is essential for VRR. You will not get 70+ fps everywhere and orientating around 50-70 will be your best bet for some games (and still a great experience!). Not having to deal with drops below 60 was the main reason why I bought a GSync display a couple of years ago.


1440p + IPS + 48-144+ range:

Best one is probably the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD, but we are talking 600€ here.
Bit better from a budget pov is the LG 27GL850-B, but it is still 500€. A good Display, not much to complain about.
The Asus VG27AQ is also 500€, but seems to work best above 100Hz... according to some reviews. Has some interesting features though.


Recommendation that fits your budget:
AOC AGON AG273QCX for about 430€. but It's a VA panel. Biggest complain will be the viewing angles, but this is a curved display. You are meant to look directly at it, so whatever imo. Colors seem to be fine, very good response times, 48-144Hz range. Hard to dislike the display, especially for the price.
Just ignore the HDR branding, it's not HDR. Use it as a SDR display. But that goes for all of them.

Sorry for not hitting your criteria with my recommendations, but you your budget is just not there and you really want the 48Hz+ range (at least!).
 
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Ascheroth

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Hm. Well if 500€ is just needed for a good VRR monitor than that's how it is (I only said 300-400 because I really have no idea about monitors and their price ranges, haha). Being useful at sub 60fps also sounds important, since that is also partly why I want a VRR monitor (didn't realize that this isn't standard).
I'm going to take a look at those suggestions, thanks!

The ViewSonic sounds like a steal though :thinking-blob:
 

ISee

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(didn't realize that this isn't standard)
It is, for "true" G-Sync displays with nvidia modules. They are all certified for 30Hz+, but seem to go down to 1Hz. Of course, there isn't much sense in going below 30fps in the first place but it can be beneficial to be able to drop below 48fps without loosing the variable refresh rate feature. But nvidia asks a premium for it and still expects you to dramatically limit your future GPU choices.
Not something I'd recommend doing in 2019/2020!
 
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Ascheroth

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I'v ordered the Viewsonic after some deliberation, thanks again for the help!
 
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ISee

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Asus rolled out a new Bios version for some X470 boards today and Precision Boost Overdrive seems to be doing something. At least in combination with negative voltage offsets (also didn't work correctly previously).

I've set a -0.1V offset, activated PBO and that resulted in ~100MHz extra clock on all cores during CB20, Temperature is down by ~5°C and points up by ~200. The same goes for the TimeSpy CPU score and performance in Far Cry New Dawn (~5%).

That's for once a positive development.
 

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
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I got myself 2 Logitech's G603 mice. I really like them. I had been using the G403 for over a year and really liked the form factor but the internal battery never really works out well for me. G603 is the same form factor but runs on AA's so it's a win. I think the sensor is also different, so yay.
I also finally retired my old old M510 which was my couch mouse, but these days I actually end up sitting on the couch much more so I was using that thing a lot. The thumb button has also been doing random double clicks for a long time so it was time. It served me well enough, nearly 8 years.

One downside though, you can't sync up two lightspeed wireless units into one receiver. I wonder if there's some kind of bw limitation there or some other technical hurdle, I don't know why else they would not allow it.
 
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ISee

Oh NO!
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2019 was the year I decided to build myself a high end PC with top specs. I wanted to have a beast, at least just once. Today it got destroyed, I'm just not allowed to have a nice PC it seems.
Twice a year I open up my PC, lay it on the ground, clean everything from dust, repaste the CPU and GPU (not necessary), clean all fans etc.
I'm an air cooling person and I like my system quite and clean. Before I close everything and put the PC back where it belongs I like to do a quick boot to see if all drives are being recognised (pulling a cable can happen).
Right the moment my youngest entered the room and came right next to me. I asked her if she wants to help me?
"No papa, I feel sick."
And then she puked into my open case with a running system.
Took care of her first (kisses,tea, bed, Harry potter audio book, dog keeps her company and she feels better already).
I removed the CMOS battery, dissembled everything and rinsed it with water (after grounding it for a second). Still I don't have high hopes because the display went dark the moment it happened.

I'm not angry, I'm sad.
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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Put the bits in a tub of rice in the warmest cupboard in the house to help evaporate... stuff.
Glad to hear kiddo is feeling better, got my fingers crossed for the PC now! :)
 
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xinek

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Apr 17, 2019
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I've heard cleaning with alcohol or distilled water works, because it will clean without leaving behind residue. Never tried it myself, but I've never been in this situation because I have cats instead of kids.
 
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fearthedawn

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Apr 19, 2019
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how did you manage to do that? lol :p
Nothing special, i just had the case open for cooling in the summer (cheap and bad case without any fans) right next to the desk and stupid me placed a glas right at that edge of the table and forgot about it.

It happened ~12 years ago and was the event that finally taught me to be a bit more mindful of my surroundings. (Important skill for clumsy people like me)
 
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EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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I've killed a mechanical keyboard or 3 a few years ago by knocking a pint of Kahlua White Russian onto them but not for years now.
One each year and then i learnt to be more careful. My Ducky Shine YOTS still has a squiffy E key because of it. I really should crack it open and give it a clean with Iso but it's been in storage for years.
 

lashman

Dead & Forgotten
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Nothing special, i just had the case open for cooling in the summer (cheap and bad case without any fans) right next to the desk and stupid me placed a glas right at that edge of the table and forgot about it.

It happened ~12 years ago and was the event that finally taught me to be a bit more mindful of my surroundings. (Important skill for clumsy people like me)
i see, lol ... that was a close one then ... could've been much worse than just the gpu :p
 
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NarohDethan

Anime threads enthusiast
Apr 6, 2019
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My air cooling unit once leaked water and splashed my PC. Just dried it. waited a few days and everything seems fine now.

the PSU died within months tho
 

Maneil99

Junior Member
Jan 3, 2020
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I broke a brand new 5TB HDD when installing it. pulled the sata cable from the wrong part and took off the whole IO connector.
Newegg was nice enough to send me a new one.
 

xinek

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
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I pulled out my video card before realizing it was held in by some kind of clamp things. Don't think it damaged anything permanently, though. :face-with-cold-sweat:
 

fantomena

Toss a coin to your Witcher.
Dec 17, 2018
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I pulled out my video card before realizing it was held in by some kind of clamp things. Don't think it damaged anything permanently, though. :face-with-cold-sweat:
Every time I just see into my computer I feel like Im doing a surgery.
 

Copons

MetaMember
Nov 12, 2018
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Apparently my hardware woes won't ever end.

After replacing mobo and cpu the rig (ryzen 3600, rtx 2080 super oc) was working fine, until a couple of days ago it crashed out of rdr2.

Considering that rdr2 is not very stable, I blamed it, but then...
I started noticing that mp4 and webm files, both on chrome and locally) were showing heavy artifacting.
Then I tried the gamepass: both metro exodus and outer worlds crash to desktop on launch. Metro works in dx11 mode though.
I tried launching civ6 that worked fine just a week ago, and in dx12 crashed as well.
Astroneer on gamepass and dota underlords seem to work fine though.

I've already done all kinds of stuff with the drivers, I've even reinstalled win ffs.

Later I'll try with the old 780.
If anything works, I'll send the 2080 back to amazon and ask for a refund instead of a replacement.
I dont have it in me anymore, honestly


EDIT:
Tried with the 780: everything seems to work, even RDR2 booted fine (although, it's kind of painful to look at 😢).

I'm returning the 2080 with a refund instead of a replacement.
I need some serenity, and so I'm done with changing pieces of the PC for the time being.
 
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ISee

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While I am at it: What's a good PC case for about 100€?

  • excellent airflow
  • do not care about RGB
  • 4 x 14mm noctua fans ready to be build in.
  • needs to hold NHD15 air cooler
 

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
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While I am at it: What's a good PC case for about 100€?

  • excellent airflow
  • do not care about RGB
  • 4 x 14mm noctua fans ready to be build in.
  • needs to hold NHD15 air cooler
Depends what you need in terms of features I suppose.
I like my Define Mini C. It's not as mini as the name suggests but it's not quite full tower either.
You can get a windowed or windowless.
It should fit the NH-D15 if the specs are to be trusted, it definitely fits my good old and trusty NH-U12P.
Only 2 full size hdd slots though, if that's a factor.
 
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daxy

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Dec 6, 2018
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I really like Phanteks’ cases. My super basic Enthoo Pro has served me well so far, considering I got it for only €50. Nice and roomy. Decent cable management. Easy to clean. No frills.

Their entire lineup is nice though and tends to review well. It’s also a local company, so I’m partial to them for that too 😇
 
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ISee

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Thanks for the tips.
Define mini C is a bit to small for my liking tbh, but I really like the simple look.
Phantek really has some interesting cases, especially the Phantek P400A DRGB.
Only problem is: It can't fit the NHD15 (165mm) and the case can only take 160mm tall CPU coolers. :(
Back to step zero.
 

Theswweet

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Apparently Intel is saying that the GPU that they're showing at CES is specifically designed to ease developers into understanding the architecture? That the actual cards are coming later. I hope that's true!
 

d00d3n

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Jan 26, 2019
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Has anyone else noticed frequent short increases in GPU Fan RPM after upgrading to the latest NVIDIA driver? These RPM spikes (seem to reach max RPM and are very loud) last about 5 seconds for me, they sometimes repeat a couple of times in a row, and continue to appear over time (tested in Borderlands III and Witcher III). I am pretty sure that this is a completely new issue after upgrading to the new driver. The GPU is a 2080 ti, running a 650 Mhz memory overclock and the automatically suggested curve core overclock in MSI Afterburner.