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PostPosted: December 1, 2018, 7:29 pm 
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Well, 7 years after my last real upgrade I thought it was time for something new.

This is my tentative list. I haven't done a ton of research and review reading yet so this is just a starting place:

MB - Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (WI-FI)
CPU - Intel® Core™ i7-9700K Processor
RAM - G.SKILL 32GB (2 x 16GB) Ripjaws V Series DDR4 PC4-25600 3200MHz
System Drive - SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 500GB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe 1.3 64L V-NAND 3-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Graphics - EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti


Item notes:

MB - There are way too many variations out there these days. Other than going with Abit once I've always had Asus motherboards so I'm sticking with them since I've had pretty good luck with their products. I'd really like one with TB3 onboard but Asus has been pretty slow with getting on that train. However I don't have any TB3 items anyway so it's not a big deal but I did want to future-proof a bit more if possible. This one seemed to get decent reviews and wasn't crazy priced as I want to stay in the $300 and under range.

CPU - I changed my mind from the 8700K even though they are pretty similar in performance. Not a total done deal yet as it is like $60 more and I'm still debating if it's worth it. My head says no it's not worth the money but who doesn't want the latest? 9900Ks are overpriced though and run pretty hot so that's why I didn't consider that option.

RAM - I am going with 2x16GB so that in the future, if needed, I could easily go to 64GB. I do think 32GB will be enough for a long time but hey why not leave the option available.

System Drive - 500GB is more than enough for an OS drive so I might even look at something with less capacity unless there's not much price difference. My current OS SSD is only 256GB and it still has 100GB free after 6+ years. The motherboard supports two M.2s so for an application drive I can add a 1TB or something.

Speaking of SSDs, they are getting pretty cheap. You can find a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for $128 ($294 for the 2TB) at the moment. That seriously has me considering this build to be sans-spinning drives. Maybe have an external drive you turn on when you want to move stuff off but for day to day use you don't need a ton of storage always available. I'm almost there now as I currently only have 2 HDDs (1.5TB and 2TB) in my system.

Graphics - This has already been purchased. I will take it from my current PC and put the previous AMD card back in there.

I haven't looked into the other miscellaneous items. I'll probably get another case so that I can leave my current PC intact. I'll need a power supply and some sort of cooling but I think that pretty much covers it.

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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 1:33 am 
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I'd stick with 500GB M.2 You'd probably want to put a few key games and apps on the OS drive because the SSD M.2 NVMe drives are super fast, even when compared to other SSDs. On a side note, I had to jump through hoops to transfer my Windows 10 from my old motherboard/hard drive to the NVMe back when I got it. I don't know what your plans are for Windows, but if you are trying to transfer over your current license without buying it again, start googling procedures.

https://www.groovypost.com/howto/transf ... se-new-pc/

I use a separate 2 TB SSD for games and software now. I still have 2 spinning 8TB drives for movies, TV shows, etc though.

The only thing you'll be lacking is the new combo USBC/Display ports that are in the 20xx Nvidia cards with RTX if you end up liking VR, but you already knew that from a previous thread.


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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 2:56 am 
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Winnow wrote:
I'd stick with 500GB M.2 You'd probably want to put a few key games and apps on the OS drive because the SSD M.2 NVMe drives are super fast, even when compared to other SSDs.


The motherboard has 2 M.2 slots built onto it. For games and apps I'd just buy a second M.2, 1TB probably, and plug it onto the MB. That's basically the setup I have now with my two existing SSDs. C:/ for the OS/System files and D:/ for the applications. So it is nice that I wouldn't have to use any drive slots in the case for that.

I will probably just get the 500GB as planned as I can get it for $110 now at Micro Center. The 256GB is like $30 less or something so eh.. A bit more space than you need is never a bad thing.

Speaking of Micro Center, even with tax buying the listed components there comes out to only $45 more than the best prices I can find online for each component. And I'd have to order from 2-3 different places if I wanted the best prices so I'm just going to buy locally as it's less hassle. It is also easier (and quicker) to return stuff if it doesn't work.

Winnow wrote:
On a side note, I had to jump through hoops to transfer my Windows 10 from my old motherboard/hard drive to the NVMe back when I got it. I don't know what your plans are for Windows, but if you are trying to transfer over your current license without buying it again, start googling procedures.


When I was at my last job we had MSDN accounts so I claimed a bunch of Windows keys before I left. I have no idea if those expire or anything, and I know that's not officially what they are supposed to be used for, but that's my current plan especially as I will be keeping my current PC functional for awhile. If that plan doesn't bear fruit I'll look at alternatives. If that means buying it (/shudder) then so be it.

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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 5:30 am 
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Aslanna wrote:

When I was at my last job we had MSDN accounts so I claimed a bunch of Windows keys before I left. I have no idea if those expire or anything, and I know that's not officially what they are supposed to be used for, but that's my current plan especially as I will be keeping my current PC functional for awhile. If that plan doesn't bear fruit I'll look at alternatives. If that means buying it (/shudder) then so be it.


No idea if those will work or not. I pirated Windows forever until they offered the $30 upgrade to Windows professional even if you didnt have a legit product key. So I have a legit copy of Windows 10. I had been upgrading windows so long, I wanted a fresh start with the new PC. For some reason, I couldn't just clone to the M2 drive, so I had to clone to another hard drive, register that drive with Windows 10 to the new motherboard/cpu, then I was able to install a fresh copy of windows 10 on the M.2 drive since Microsoft install now recognized whatever hardware checks it needed while checking in with the Microsoft servers to verify the license. It was a major pain, took me most of a day figuring out and reinstalling several times. It would have been easy if I didnt want a fresh install of Windows 10 and was using a regular drive instead of NVMe.

Just make sure you check your motherboard BIOS settings. Need to set it to recognize MVMe as a boot drive. Those little stick of gum sized drives are cool but on my MB, it was a bitch to install due to a super tiny screw that held it in place. IMO they should work like RAM with the little latches that snap in place. Newer MBs have probably improved on how they install.

Pretty sure you can still pirate Windows, I see it on the usual sites while I'm surfing for TV/movies to download. I don't pirate much software anymore though. Not worth the hassle, especially an OS.


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PostPosted: December 2, 2018, 12:02 pm 
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Winnow wrote:
Pretty sure you can still pirate Windows, I see it on the usual sites while I'm surfing for TV/movies to download. I don't pirate much software anymore though. Not worth the hassle, especially an OS.


These days I pretty much buy everything as I don't need the headaches of shady software. In the old days I had an 'excuse' of not having much money but I have a decent paying job these days so no excuse not to pay for the things I use. Even if Windows 10 is the worst OS in human history.

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PostPosted: December 4, 2018, 11:51 pm 
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Winnow wrote:
Those little stick of gum sized drives are cool but on my MB, it was a bitch to install due to a super tiny screw that held it in place. IMO they should work like RAM with the little latches that snap in place. Newer MBs have probably improved on how they install.


Not really. It involved slotting it in and then screwing the other end down the same way as it has always been as far as I know.

Tip: Install it with your motherboard out of the case!

I have the RAM, CPU, and M.2 installed. I ended up getting the items listed in my first post. I just need to buy a case, PSU, and cooling to finish things off. I am running into an issue trying to determine if a particular cooler fits in a particular case though. I would like to install it on the top but supposedly a lot of case/MB combos have an issue with that and a 280mm cooling system as they don't have enough clearance with the RAM. No clear idea how to find ones specifically compatible with that cooler I was looking at. The industry could use a bit more standards in regards to this.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2018, 10:56 am 
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Yeah, I spend a lot of time on tech/hardware forums while researching components to make sure someone else has had success with the combinations I'm considering. Memory compatibility with MB, etc. If I can find a forum for the motherboard, I spend awhile reading through it to see what troubles people have been running into. Every MB has it's quirks but I try and make sure it's issues aren't something that will impact how i'm going to use it.


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PostPosted: December 6, 2018, 12:51 am 
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I picked up a power supply and a cooler on the way home so everything is now taken care of except the case. For whatever reason that has turned out to be the most difficult thing to purchase. However as I wanted to make sure things worked I plugged them together on the table sans case and used the onboard graphics.

Power Supply - I picked up a Corsair HX850i. Micro Center had it at $219 which way too much. I checked Amazon and they had it for $150 so MC price matched them. I'm sort of liking that price match thing since I basically get Amazon/Newegg prices without having to wait on shipping since Micro Center is local. As I'm not really going to overclock (much) and I will only by running 1 video card I figured 850W would be more than enough. According to power estimates all my stuff will run 97W-330W so I didn't think I needed the 1000 or 1200 watt varieties. One odd thing is this power supply has a Fan Test button on it, since normally the fan doesn't spin unless needed, but it doesn't seem to work so I don't know if it's defective or what.

For the cooler I had read that it didn't fit my motherboard/memory combo but some others said it did. I decided to take a chance and it's fine with all 4 memory slots taken up. I'm only using two right now so if I ever did go to 64GB it could have been an issue but I tested clearance with the slot closest to the CPU and it fit. Close... but it fit!

For Windows it was easy. I went to the MS site and downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool and ran that which created a bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 install. From there I installed onto the M.2 and used one of my MSDN codes for Windows 10 Pro and it appears to have activated with no issue but I'll give it a month just to be sure.

And of course one of the first things I installed was Classic Shell since 'Metro' is terrible. Unfortunately it turns out Classic Shell had stopped being developed in Dec 2017. He put the source code out there and others have taken over and renamed it Open-Shell. I haven't tried that version yet however the last Classic Shell version still seems to be working for now.

Anyway, once I get all the basics installed I'll take a backup image using Macrium Reflect (free!) in case I ever need to start from scratch again. That beasts reinstalling Windows and all your applications manually if you ever need to which saves a lot of time in the configuration department. That way when the next Windows update trashes my system at least I'll have something to fall back on.

It feels nice to have a (mostly) current system again! Although not so nice when I get the credit card bill. Now if only I had a case to put it all in...

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PostPosted: December 9, 2018, 12:08 am 
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Still no case! I think I'll probably go with this Fractal Design though. It doesn't seem like there are a lot of cases out with USB-C on the front at the moment. My motherboard and cooler does have the RGB stuff but I don't think I want a case with the clear sides although if I ever did I could get one for this case for $30. I don't think I will though!

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PostPosted: December 10, 2018, 10:42 am 
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Aslanna wrote:

And of course one of the first things I installed was Classic Shell since 'Metro' is terrible. Unfortunately it turns out Classic Shell had stopped being developed in Dec 2017. He put the source code out there and others have taken over and renamed it Open-Shell. I haven't tried that version yet however the last Classic Shell version still seems to be working for now.


Just make sure it doesn't cause problems. The old shell may be familiar but without reliable updates, may be the cause of issues when normal Windows 10 updates occur.

I don't mind the Windows 10 interface as I use Freecommander (great free dual pane file manager) so I don't use much of Windows UI.

I woke up to the Windows "October" update yesterday. Seems ok so far. File associations with my image viewer were broken but that's pretty minor and an easy fix.


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PostPosted: December 10, 2018, 12:15 pm 
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I read a bit more on the motherboard and it seems Asus skimped on the VRM. I'm not exactly sure what 'phases' are all about (other than power related) but I guess they only used 4 which isn't the greatest as far as efficiency goes so that area will get hotter. Most say it's not really an issue when not crazy overclocking and using the 9700K, as opposed to the 9900K, so I may just keep it for now. I'll try running it at 5.0-5.2 GHz and see how it performs before deciding. Sad that Asus seems to classify the $300 range as budget now and tries to cheap out where they can. Between that, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 onboard, and only 1Gb Ethernet it's a bit disappointing and may lead me to look at another brand in the future.

I am also having an issue with the CPU cooler. It's making 'rattling' noises. Not sure how to phrase it better but it sounds like older hard drives when they were doing a lot of disk seeking/reading/writing. Most say it's air in the system but whatever it is it's not acceptable as it's rather loud. I'll wait until I get a case and everything is situated where I want it to decide but if it doesn't improve I'll be taking it back.

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PostPosted: December 10, 2018, 12:36 pm 
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Aslanna wrote:

I am also having an issue with the CPU cooler. It's making 'rattling' noises. Not sure how to phrase it better but it sounds like older hard drives when they were doing a lot of disk seeking/reading/writing. Most say it's air in the system but whatever it is it's not acceptable as it's rather loud. I'll wait until I get a case and everything is situated where I want it to decide but if it doesn't improve I'll be taking it back.


I hate noise when it comes to PC parts. I like that my CPU and GPU fans power down into low mode when not playing games. Makes for a very quiet PC combined with SSDs.


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PostPosted: December 10, 2018, 12:54 pm 
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I also have learned over the years that when it comes to power supplies, quality not power it by far the most important thing. I used to go through power supplies way too often, then I splurged on a higher end power supply and it's been great ever since. It's only in the 550W range I think which is on the lower end power-sire but it's been a rock and quiet for years. So if choosing between power and quality, choose a lower wattage, higher quality PSU.


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PostPosted: December 10, 2018, 3:39 pm 
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The power supply isn't the problem. I bought a decently priced one and it is rated 80 Plus Platinum. The (potential) issue is the motherboard and how it regulates the voltage. As I said I'm not very up on that technical stuff other than most people say 4 phase isn't that great, especially on a ~$300 motherboard, but that could just be in regards to overclocking.

https://www.hardwaresecrets.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-motherboard-voltage-regulator-circuit/4/

Quote:
Let’s take the CPU voltage regulator circuit. If this circuit has two phases (or channels), each phase will be operating 50% of the time in order to generate the CPU voltage. If this same circuit is constructed with three phases, each phase will be working 33.3% of the time. With four phases, each phase will be working 25% of the time. With six phases each phase will be working 16.6% of the time. And so on.

There are several advantages in having a voltage regulator circuit with more phases. The most obvious is that the transistors will be working less loaded, which provides a higher life-span to these components and a lower operating temperature. Another advantage is that the more phases you have usually the output voltage is more stable and also the noise level is lower.


So much I didn't know. Before this I had no idea what phases were or why one would want more! I probably should have done this sort of research before buying components but I got a bit impatient trying to get stuff purchased while places still had the Cyber Monday/Week sales running. Ah well, nobody to blame but myself! For now everything is running fine at stock. I would like to bump things up to at least 4.0 or 4.5GHz though. I'm sure it will do it fine I'm just concerned about the heat of the VRM components.

Winnow wrote:
I hate noise when it comes to PC parts. I like that my CPU and GPU fans power down into low mode when not playing games. Makes for a very quiet PC combined with SSDs.


Yeah that's why I went with an AIO cooler. The one I have in my previous PC is 6 years old and still working silently. This new (overpriced) one would be silent if it wasn't for the loud crackling noises the pump is making. Which rather defeats the purpose. From the searches I've done it seems fairly common with the NZXT coolers. I have ordered the case so once I get everything together if it's still making the noise I will probably bring it back. I am not sure if I will exchange it for another of the same or try a different brand. It seems most of them use the same Asetek pump though so I'm not sure how much difference there would be.

As far as noise from the PSU goes the fan doesn't even run until it hits 40% load so that's nice. Although even if it did run I doubt it would be that loud.

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