New Computer

ukoffroad

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Jan 13, 2010
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Lynchburg, Va
I think Kennith is building Skynet. :p Your attention to the details makes me tired just reading it. I can see the connection to audio stuff for you now. I managed to get out of that after a few years before it ate all my $$$.
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
I think Kennith is building Skynet. :p Your attention to the details makes me tired just reading it. I can see the connection to audio stuff for you now. I managed to get out of that after a few years before it ate all my $$$.
Yeah, I'm pretty into audio. This thing will be fed by my Korg Prologue 16, and MIDI is pretty important for me. I can't play a piano due to nerve damage; nor much of anything else, but I can damned sure enough play a synth; especially if I have that MIDI option on top of direct recording. :D

I wish this particular build was going to meet some higher standards, but I do fully intend to use that other case, and I'm sure I'll be rearranging things here and there before that point (why I bought the stupid-proof Fractal case; for ease of alterations during that process), so it can't be too buttoned up.

This is what it looked like upon first boot the other day. Never mind the mess. I was still testing things and I'm still deciding where I want the cutouts on that shroud. It's a little cleaner now. I'll snap a better shot when I pull it back on the bench to install the card reader and audio.

That's a lot of RGB without actually installing any strips:

57582

It's a mess there, but I did end up replacing those two Fractal fans with the Be Quiet! units and getting the wiring better. No sense getting it too tight just yet, though.

I forgot that's a 1080 SC. My 980 Ti is the Classified. I really dig the looks of that 1080.

I think I'm just going to let it have that "Blade Runner" look it seems to want to generate. I can dig it. the lights look a hell of a lot better dialed into the fuscia... Fusckia... Whatever. I can't spell that shit. Either way, the accent illumination will be kind of "pinkish".

You know, given the aesthetic it's going to end up with, cold cathode lighting might actually be a better fit than hidden strips. Haven't used those in a while. I can get the same effect if I water cool it later, though, by frosting the acrylic tubes and edge-lighting them.

It'll certainly look much better than it does in that picture.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
Here is one of the several reasons it's not finished yet:

57590

That doesn't look like much, but I can't button everything else up until I know where the hell all that is going to end up, and that's not including the actual power cable that feeds the stuff. Beyond that, there's the new USB3 header card going in, as well as two optical drives and their associated cables.

If you don't know how big that stuff is, the card reader on the left is 5.75" wide. Since I'm not modding this case, I have the standard amount of room behind the motherboard tray to work with. So, this build hasn't really changed in annoyance since 2002 or so. :ROFLMAO:

The sound card is bad as fuck. I bought that thing over ten years ago now, and it still outperforms much more expensive units; but it wasn't exactly cheap.
It's just plain clean. It's easy to run, as well. They haven't even updated the drivers since 2015 and I never have a single hiccup with anything at all. It's as powerful as anything you'd like, but somehow as simple as on-board audio. Why Asus can't do that well in other software areas is beyond me.

A nice feature is the rear ports light up in their associated colors. That makes about five inches of sense until you have to reach back there to unplug something and forget what's what. It also helps illuminate the rear of the case for other things. Odd, but helpful on occasion. I'm surprised nothing has burned out.

They've got optical outputs inside the RCA jacks, as well.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
Well, that was strange.

The OSD refresh rate counter wasn't working on my monitor, and I tried everything right down to a factory reset to get it back. Obviously drivers were involved along with a bunch of other standardized checks. It's a feature built into the monitor that I'm sure has more than one dependency when G-Sync is enabled, but come on...

As if it can't count by itself? Frame is processed, frame is counted. You can do that with a fucking wristwatch.

Anyway, after all that nonsense last night, I just reset the actual computer via the physical reset button and it started working again. Huh... I saw the post on Reddit suggesting someone tried it, and I thought: "What a fucking moro.... Oh, shit. It worked..." :ROFLMAO:

I must have had that machine unplugged five times since noticing the counter wasn't working. I'll have to fire off a couple of e-mails to see where those dependencies are. It's got to be related to G-Sync. I can't really think of another reason the monitor wouldn't be able to count it's own processed frames.

It's not a necessary feature, but I like it; and if something like that isn't working, it's best to investigate.

All that being said, I feel I should point out that the Predator X34 is one of my favorite monitors of all time. They're even better now, but you absolutely get what you pay for. Obviously the panel is great, but the rest of it is what really sets it apart. The actual build quality is obscenely good, and those legs are solid aluminum.

The whole support structure feels largely indestructible. It's built like things used to be built, and I like that. I'll pay a lot more for that.

The one thing it's missing is a D pad for the OSD. Honestly, at this point I'd take Bluetooth for an Xbox controller, but the point is there's no excuse for those rows of buttons set up like a MFD anymore. I just had to calibrate it again after the factory reset, and imagined again how much easier it would be if there was a D pad.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
It seems the card reader and USB hub all work perfectly, as well as the one inside the case.

I'm still getting the occasional hiccup on Youtube, but that could be anything. I've got more tests to do. The GPU hasn't changed, but the motherboard has, so there's always a slight suspicion there, and it's hard to diagnose intermittent drops of one frame sent to the monitor. Either I catch it or I don't. It's the "my car made a funny noise a few times" issue.

Lots of new stuff going on in X570, though, and plenty of room for an occasional optimization requirement or internal delay. I haven't calculated how many PCIE lanes I'm using yet, either. Obviously the motherboard socket is suspect when this happens, but I'm not going to write it off just yet.

The new cables have not been managed just yet, for that very reason. I'll at least need a 3.0 header extension, as I'm not about to have those fat cables in the main compartment any more than they have to be. Once it's all long enough, I'll bother to harness it up properly before moving to SATA stuff.

I don't feel like moving it again right now, so I'll probably take the weekend to build those templates for the interior trim. I picked up some poster stuff and two sheets of that foam board for the purpose. That way I can just walk next door and only spend a few minutes on the brake.

Looks like I'll be making four panels. Rather than bother brushing the things myself, I'll smooth them over and just vinyl wrap them down at the tint shop in dark brushed aluminum finish. That 3M stuff looks pretty damned sick, and I can get whatever reflective properties I like; or even layer a couple.

There was one fan making a noise. I'm not sure what it is, but it sounds like something just ended up around the bearing area in shipping. I'll just RMA it for a refund instead of fucking with the thing and buy a replacement ahead of time so I can make some progress.

I should point out that it does not take this long to build a computer and it's not this complicated, if this thread has scared anyone off. I'm just taking my time, and I'm low on energy anyway. Nearly anyone can have their own build slapped together in an hour. Don't let the thread "talk" you out of doing it yourself. :)

The odds of anyone here needing half the shit in this system are incredibly slim, and I'm using it throughout the process. It's actually pretty damned easy and quick to put one together.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
Sweet.

I got the templates for the major internal panels done. There will be some trim panels and I have to cut a window, but the hard stuff is finished.

Sometime next week I'll be able to go over and make them.

There's nothing to photograph now except a mess, but once those are in and fitted I'll be able to get the cables mounted properly.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
Shit. I'm getting a stable 100fps in Just Cause 3, completely maxed out, at 3440X1440. I haven't even pushed the thing yet.

That's pretty impressive. I guess it will indeed run Crysis. :ROFLMAO:

I'm headed over now with the templates to double check the brake action, but there may be some things that need to be done ahead of time.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
I remembered what kind of cable that MIDI card uses to communicate with the D2X. I could have used any four pin connector, or just four wires, but I wanted to use what it came with, to avoid stressing the terminals or ending up with a loose connection.

I knew damned well I'd used the things countless times in the past, but the initial purpose and name was eluding me.

It's a fucking CD Audio cable! Finally! It finally clicked. They were common back in the day when sound cards needed to be connected directly to a CD ROM drive, and the drives had headphone jacks and volume knobs built in. My memory was jogged when I was playing around with an old CD Blaster from Creative Labs. I must have stared at it for five minutes before I remembered what I was looking for... :ROFLMAO:

That was driving me crazy.

Normally I put everything back into the box, whether I'm using it or not. My last motherboard was acting up with all that installed (it was just something I'd repaired) and somehow the cable never made it back in the packaging. Here I go to install the thing, and I flat-out forgot what it was called.

I'd contacted Asus to ask, and it looks like they may just send me one, even though I misplaced it. That's pretty damned cool of them.

There's a big project going on in the shop, and I'm not about to get in the way with that giant metal brake, so it might be a few days before I bend the sheets, but I'll snap a couple of shots ahead of time when I install the GPU brace tonight. The lights won't work on the brace until I make an ARGB hub, but it'll do that job.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
2002 called, and they want my computer back... Still messy, but no sense doing anything about it just yet.

I know it's hard to believe, but it's going to look nice in there, and I'm not going to cheat; no untidy balls of cable will be hiding anywhere, and not even under the PSU shroud. Right now I'm still moving things around and waiting to get the panels done. You can see that I've started to figure out how I want the internal connectors routed if you look closely enough, though.

I'm still waiting on a cable, and I haven't put the optical drives in yet. That's six more required cables that have to disappear, factoring in the MIDI connector. So, there's no sense in being too tidy about it now. The stiff extensions are in there so I'm not stressing the motherboard terminals every time I disconnect something. I may actually use those, but they'll be routed differently if I do.

There will be another GPU support, as well. That turned out to be exactly the length I wanted for a duct, anyway, and that sound card has always sagged like hell for some reason. It doesn't look like it fits any aesthetic right now, but it will. When the second goes in, it'll fully hide the USB expansion card. The first is covering the MIDI I/O card.

57636

That drive bay will be removed, cut down and used for something else. A little more lighting will be present for a general glow, the trim will go in; it's going to be pretty darn cool for a job that doesn't involve cutting the case any more than for a side window. This is temporary, after all, but also a test-drive of cable routing before I go pulling apart and cutting up a $300 Lian Li case you can't even buy anymore.

I'm not really rushing anything. There's no need, and it's more fun this way.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
As a side note, I hate those stupid tool-less drive bays, as well as the way they're always mounted.

You need no more than one bent piece of steel or aluminum with some slots cut in it. Done. the same number of drives can fit in a quarter of that space with better cooling for themselves and less restriction right by the intake fan. All you need is a screwdriver. It's not rocket surgery.

Normally I'd need more drives, but springing for the motherboard with two M.2 slots was a great benefit. It will have two Velociraptors in RAID 1 for local storage, as well as the SSD in the picture. It's just the game drive. I don't like having all that crap mixed in with the important stuff.

I think this is going to turn out rather well.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,238
86
North Carolina
I think RGB compatibility issues have become worse over the years.

It's a fucking LED. I don't care if it's on the RAM or not. Doesn't matter who makes it, a product from Manufacturer A absolutely must receive power and signal the same way as Manufacturer B. Any one of these companies could implement compatibility with the rest easily. They say it's not standardized, but they're half lying.

They can make an aftermarket fan as proprietary as they like, but they can't do shit about a DIMM slot. Same goes for the LEDs themselves. They're all the same. If there is an incompatibility, they've implemented it themselves. Period.

So, it's not a complete lie, but it may as well be. There is no IP involved beyond the IP they insert to suggest there's IP to protect... It's a "hole in the bucket" scenario. Consumers are just too ignorant to see that.

Normally I'd use an external controller (You don't ship a system built like this; reliant on Asus software... LOL), but I'm not doing that this time around. It'll work, but it's just plain annoying and cumbersome. I'm waiting on a few things to come in, but for now I'm just cursing about companies cutting their noses off to spite their faces.

Come on Asus. Just put a fucking header/pigtail next to each LED array and sell a separate controller, or open the taps to other companies. This is Apple nonsense. Stop being Apple. Be Microsoft, instead. Let everyone play in the same sandbox without a headache.

I'll probably just end up using a splitter, but either way I'll need two software installs to set everything up.

On an amusing note, I've accidentally connected the stuff to the smart lighting in my house. I mean, I knew I was connecting it, but I didn't know it would sync right to the motherboard and never let go. God damn. Let Jack die, already. :ROFLMAO:

I'll fix that later tonight.

Cheers,

Kennith