New Computer

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Just wow. Chuck years air combat was great. Remember Comanche? Gunship 2000?
Fuck yeah! Those were fun.

Hell, I've still got the theme song for LHX Attack Chopper stuck in my head. Those games remind me of Sierra Online, actually; The Imagination Network.

I used to really enjoy the Red Baron dog fights. WWI aircraft really lend themselves well to multiplayer.

There's more than one reason I keep these old rigs and CRTs around. Emulation is cool, but it just doesn't feel right. :)

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Here's a little more candy. The boxes aren't in hot shape, but they've been moved and stored about a billion times. Everything's still in there, though.

57734

I'm honestly surprised they survived. You know how things like to disappear over the years.

Something tells me that wouldn't be as expensive to replace as Jetfighter II was, though...

Cheers,

Kennith
 

brian4d

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2007
5,951
16
High Point, NC
Here's a little more candy. The boxes aren't in hot shape, but they've been moved and stored about a billion times. Everything's still in there, though.

View attachment 57734

I'm honestly surprised they survived. You know how things like to disappear over the years.

Something tells me that wouldn't be as expensive to replace as Jetfighter II was, though...

Cheers,

Kennith
I still have manuals and 3 1/2's threw all boxes away years ago. I need to go into the attic for Christmas deco's I may see what I have left. Really cool stuff you have there.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Damn it. The replacement board showed up and there is a small dent in the top of one of the capacitors. It's tiny, but this shit is expensive, and I'm not going to have it popping down the road because of that bullshit, or even bother testing it. I'm not wasting my time on that nonsense; not even five minutes of it.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
I may write Asus off completely, at this point. Under no circumstances should that capacitor have made it past even the most cursory of examinations.

Even if I pick up another identical board from a convenience perspective, that will be the last product of theirs that I ever buy or suggest.

Asus manufactures shitty motherboards these days. Period. Their quality control is simply lower than everyone else, their community engagement is horrid, they ignore customers, and build shoddy products that sometimes accidentally work. Do NOT buy an Asus product. You have been warned.

Honestly, I don't know why the fuck I did it this time. I suppose it came down to the power delivery and extra USB expansion. Either way I'm back at ground zero. Fuck Asus.

I'm not kidding when I say that, on average, for every ten Asus boards I buy, three are either dead on arrival or dead after testing. Everyone else seems to manage a 10% failure rate, but not Asus, who is also the provider of the most unreliable, incompatible, and flat-out broken software ever released outside of a Bethesda product.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Well, I ordered an Aorus Master from Gigabyte.

The retail versions are much better equipped than the early samples, and actually blow this Asus out of the water, anyway.

Three M.2 slots, and two USB 3.1 headers right on the board. It should also have a thicker PCB; that Asus was far to flimsy for this platform. It has REAL heat sinks. Some have said the backplate they use is directly cooling the VRMs. If that's the case, holy shit. That's the kind of stuff I do when I'm paid to build a machine. If not, the real heat sinks will do the job better than anyone.

The last sample I saw had a fucking Thunderbolt header, as well... That would be cool to use, if it's there and it's fully functional, but it's not a deal-killer if it didn't make it to retail. I wasn't expecting one anyway.

Doesn't have a hole in the socket for the thermal probe, but I don't give a shit. That has no bearing on everyday overclocking; only phase change setups. It does have dual BIOS, which is fucking nice as hell. I wish that Asus did. Gigabyte seems to have bothered to include many more cables and extensions, as well.

Here's what I think happened with Asus: The industry eclipsed their expertise. They were second best for decades; with Abit scoring top marks in reliability and initial quality. And yet, as products advanced, Abit fell off the radar and eventually died quietly. Asus started having problems around that time. I think they sat on their ass too long and don't have the skill to properly equip these new platforms.

MSI could potentially radiate better, given the heat pipe connecting the chipset to the VRM array, but that might not actually be the case. As hot as X570 gets, it could actually increase VRM temperatures. I've no way to know at this time; and don't believe most tech reviewers; there are only a few worth listening to. I like the feature set on the Gigabyte.

The only issue is the RAM QVL doesn't include much in the way of 32gb kits with 16gb modules from the IC manufacturers I prefer, and doesn't include the kit I bought for this machine. Whatever. Sometimes stuff that isn't on the list actually works.

With that third M.2 slot, I'll be able to put games and incidental programs on a really fast drive as well as more important stuff; leaving plenty of space for a couple of Velociraptors in RAID. It's got enough SATA ports to handle the dual optical drives, ESATA port, and everything else, as well. I'm not sure how many lanes they'll take up, but I don't think it's a problem.

I wish EVGA would take up X570, though. Their motherboards are pretty hot shit, and their support is legendary, with great extended warranty support. They're not on AMD at this time, unfortunately. If they expand the line and push a little harder, they could very well be the new Abit; because they're not just buying these things; they're actually engineering them.

Next year should see a new socket from AMD in Q4, or at least an announcement. I tend to use stuff on the tail end of a platform's life-cycle, after all the issues have been worked out, so I'm not concerned about that. X570 supports all the standards that will be equipped in the near future, unless DDR5 ends up on motherboards. That won't matter to me, though; and I wouldn't pay release prices for that stuff anyway.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Another nice thing about the Gigabyte is it looks like I'm more able to remove the M.2 heat sinks if they're stupidly implemented. The Asus board was going to make that a pain in the ass, and it may as well have had them stuck in a fucking oven. This way I can install my own if I think they did a poor job.

I sure hope this RAM works, because it's hard to get hold of good stuff right now. This stuff has become more picky than you might expect.

I'll be taking that PSU down to UPS later tonight. As noted, it had obviously been opened before and poorly repackaged. Another is on the way.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
I almost did. I've used their stuff a lot, and I honestly wasn't worried about the heat pipe. They certainly know their stuff.

In the end, Gigabyte had a few features MSI didn't in this specific class (one tier below halo product); though I did give up the potential for five expansion slots as offered by MSI. I liked the increased rear I/O options, power arrangement, and extra 3.1 header; which is probably why Gigabyte had to give up the fifth slot.

There was one more issue, though... I don't like black and gold color combinations at all, and overall wasn't a fan of the aesthetics. I'm not of a mind right now to start pulling things apart and machining/anodizing them when someone else isn't paying for it. :ROFLMAO:

Cheers,

Kennith
 

brian4d

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2007
5,951
16
High Point, NC
I almost did. I've used their stuff a lot, and I honestly wasn't worried about the heat pipe. They certainly know their stuff.

In the end, Gigabyte had a few features MSI didn't in this specific class (one tier below halo product); though I did give up the potential for five expansion slots as offered by MSI. I liked the increased rear I/O options, power arrangement, and extra 3.1 header; which is probably why Gigabyte had to give up the fifth slot.

There was one more issue, though... I don't like black and gold color combinations at all, and overall wasn't a fan of the aesthetics. I'm not of a mind right now to start pulling things apart and machining/anodizing them when someone else isn't paying for it. :ROFLMAO:

Cheers,

Kennith
  1. my MSI laptop I had to crack the entire case off to add 32 gigs. You should have seen how the engineers designed the double heat pipes to cool the 1060 and sky lake. Impressive! Thing sounds like a jet engune when it cranks up (not often) but the hottest I’ve got is 81 and that was after 5 hours of gaming. I try to check the core of both but they cool down so fast after quitting the game it’s hard to gauge..
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Here's another reason people should be buying external sound cards, and perhaps the most damning of all:

https://www.aorus.com/upload/Album/2019052415295859f63f36f42cbeccd7e666d7751143a55b_big.png

That sound section takes up as much space as the RAM on the PCB.

I get it on very entry-level boards and in laptops. That's where on-board sound should be a thing; but here?

That's literally enough room to plant an entire 486 computer on that motherboard with it's own video output, RAM, and and storage. It's enough room for basic video functionality during builds or overclocking, to add more USB or SATA, or even another drive slot...

A $60 sound card will blow that thing out of the water. So, wouldn't you rather have something else adding heat and using up that valuable real estate?

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
That Gigabyte board is leaps and bounds above the Asus. It showed up today, so of course I immediately opened it.

First, it was actually in an anti-static bag, and packed in a nice foam frame. Static is a bit of a "bad luck" issue, in the end. It's not normally a problem, but that's not why you need to include the damned bag. They do a great job of protecting PCB components in storage and shipping.

The accessory package was far more extensive, and would have actually saved me forty dollars.

Overall PCB build and finish, as well as rigidity and cosmetic treatments are much higher quality, as well. This feels more like an Asus board used to feel in the past, and the components are actually mounted as carefully as they are in the product photography. It's fucking clean...

Any that's both figuratively and literally. Asus left flux all over the place on both boards, fingerprints from production, and a bit of damage.

In a shocking twist, that backplate is indeed coupled with the VRMs; it's with thermal pads, but it's something. It's a much better mating method than Asus used on the damned M.2 sinks, actually, and that's on the back of the board. I will certainly be getting a fan on that plate, because it's actually metal.

I don't know how well their new BIOS will hold, or if my current RAM will work, but that will be decided over the weekend; perhaps some tonight.

Initial impressions, though, are positive. Overall build quality is up there with MSI, and it makes 2019 Asus ROG look like 2003 Biostar.

This is not even a fair comparison with Asus, at this point. It's not a competition... It's just a one-way beat-down. :ROFLMAO:

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
Sad cause asus used to build quality stuff... if memory serves Asus was first to market to support 754 pin 64 bit AMD processors.
I can't remember. Too many brain rattles; but I suspect they were certainly one of the first, if not the first. I was still working with a lot of Abit units at that time.

I do know my first Asus board was chambered for 386, to which I fitted a Cyrix CPU and math co-processor. That thing was a tank, and so were their boards nearly the next twenty years. To my mind, the last good board they manufactured was the Sabertooth 990FX R2.0; and my word I must have installed thirty or forty of those things. It was hit or miss, but when they hit they really were in it for the long haul.

It gave people the Asus they wanted without me having to worry about longevity; so long as I burned the fuck out of them. I did pop about 30% of those, as well, but the real issue was talking people down from the ROG bullshit, which was already terrible at that point.

At the time, though, quality was already in the tank on most of their lineup, and had been for a number of years; heat sinks that weren't actually contacting the components they were meant to cool, poor PCB lamination, overall flimsy construction, hot spots that were alarmingly concentrated, unreliable BIOS setups that were almost too risky to update, components literally falling off boards, and pre-bulged capacitors...

The Sabertooth was the last true standout. Now people are buying them for the same reason they buy Yeti coolers and GMC trucks. Either they've been using them for twenty years (two or three fucking boards, usually, and an irrelevant sample), or they just plain want that brand.

As noted, though, in my price range, I don't typically do a lot of gaming builds. I'm too expensive, so it's normally a mix of hardened workstations, architectural integration, extreme overclocking builds, and things of that nature. I've also done quite a few daily drivers, but they start at $2,000 for even the most basic. I give a ten year unconditional hardware warranty. I can't fuck around with anything even remotely questionable.

My personal rigs exemplify the "great mechanic has a shitty car" scenario; and they're tacky. :ROFLMAO:

I usually don't really feel like building them, but when I do, I get to have fun with all the stuff I would never put in a paid build, and I can be lazy with the wiring. No cutting, splicing, or anything of the like. Just manage it as best I can out of the box in an hour and go.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
I'm getting the stuff wired up again now, so I'll have a couple of pictures soon that will be tidier. I went a bit more generic with cable locations so I can test it in the case and swap the board more easily if I need to, but it's going to be clean for a daily driver.

I can't properly fire it up yet, because I don't have another machine with M.2 drives, so I have to use a USB adapter on Monday to pull files I've generated when I was running the rig with the Asus board. The boot drive will need wiping, unfortunately. I can manage the other drive when it's alive again.

This one feels a lot better, though. I don't have that paranoia in the back of my head this time around. Should have done this to start with...

A note on that motherboard: Connectors are very well placed in general; much better than the Asus, but I do wish they'd have pollinated the board with fan headers in a couple more locations for cleaner builds. It's nice to have them clustered together at times, but there really ought to be a couple on the left side of the PCB.

The facility for a Thunderbolt header is there, but I suppose they decided to wait until the next revision to actually include the pins. You can tell it existed on the sample boards. It's not a big deal, though, because they couldn't really have fit a really good setup there. Best to use a dedicated card for this, anyway.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
The reason I'm filling this thread out so much is someone might find it useful in the future. This isn't a show-piece build, and it illustrates that while building a PC is technically as simple as plugging things in, that's not how it goes in reality. While everyone should be encouraged to try it eventually, build guides and YouTube videos make it sound much more flawless than it is.

Given how many complex (in production, not installation) parts are required, the odds of something causing a problem are high. That's where the guides will let you down. People assume they've done something wrong, when they likely haven't. You can't physically build one backwards.

Likewise, the final photograph will show what most people are likely to accomplish if they try really hard; not what someone like me could pull off if I really put my mind to aesthetic perfection. Those are not livable machines in the real world. Stuff breaks, you need to change things around every now and again, and you're going to be using those headers.

Most of the "clean" builds you see on the net are rather like those off-pavement pictures with a tilted camera to make a hill look steep. They'll plug in power and reset and nothing else from the front panel, only install a video card, and shun card readers and optical drives. That's not a useful machine, with dead USB ports and a headphone jack that doesn't work; as well as no work-focused or legacy I/O.

Odds are I'll never use the headphone jack, as I use a separate sound card, but it's an illustration, as well as just doing the right thing and making all the ports work.

If they do take pictures from the rear, they'll make sure those wires have been pulled first. It's smoke and mirrors. Anyone can pull off a build like that with nothing connected, but not everyone can terminate custom length cables or make a custom motherboard tray. It's showing people an unrealistic result.

I've done it many times with modified cases, but that's not what you're going to do for yourself. When I get a custom order, I find out precisely what sort of connectivity the customer requires, and work toward that goal with tracks, custom length cables, and ducts; as well as heavily modified or custom-built cases.

In the end, it's an illustration and thread to help inform one of his most efficient move. Sometimes it's best for a person who's new at this to buy a basic build from a system integrator, and then just add the GPU, upgraded RAM, and a few other things themselves. That's a good first-time project.

Starting from a bare case and a pile of new parts isn't really the first project people should attempt. It's easy, but then again so is rebuilding an engine...

Cheers,

Kennith
 

DiscoHasBeen

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2016
105
13
Indy
I remember we got our first computer in 96/7, I think. Didn't know a thing about them. I guess our first few were junk because I spent countless hours on the phone with their tech support. I finally said "fuck it, if these morons can do this surly I can". That and I read an article were the author encouraged his readers to not be intimidated to take the cover of and dive in. He compared it to a car, lift the hood and it's just a bunch of parts. So I've built numerous systems over the years for myself, friends, and family and I can remember sending one MB back that was DOA. Besides that no issues. The computer before the one I have now was probably 9-10 years old (and slower than fuck) before it went belly up.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know shit compared to Kennith, but with Google you don't really have to. Whatever problem you may run into someone's had it before and someone else has answered it. Same with phones. Example, I bought a OnePlus 5 off of Ebay. Discovered it wouldn't lock on to gps. Did a search and found a forum where this guy posted a fix. It seems the phone had a little gold connection between the antenna and the MB. On some phones this was missing. A tightly folded up piece of aluminum foil later and gps nirvana.
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,406
101
North Carolina
I remember we got our first computer in 96/7, I think. Didn't know a thing about them. I guess our first few were junk because I spent countless hours on the phone with their tech support. I finally said "fuck it, if these morons can do this surly I can". That and I read an article were the author encouraged his readers to not be intimidated to take the cover of and dive in. He compared it to a car, lift the hood and it's just a bunch of parts. So I've built numerous systems over the years for myself, friends, and family and I can remember sending one MB back that was DOA. Besides that no issues. The computer before the one I have now was probably 9-10 years old (and slower than fuck) before it went belly up.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know shit compared to Kennith, but with Google you don't really have to. Whatever problem you may run into someone's had it before and someone else has answered it. Same with phones. Example, I bought a OnePlus 5 off of Ebay. Discovered it wouldn't lock on to gps. Did a search and found a forum where this guy posted a fix. It seems the phone had a little gold connection between the antenna and the MB. On some phones this was missing. A tightly folded up piece of aluminum foil later and gps nirvana.
Usually the junk stuff is either related to poor quality power supplies and proprietary components not letting the thing breathe from a performance perspective, bloatware installed from the factory, or countless software conflicts resulting from the same. You don't need the stuff I just bought, but they build like Vizio... Whatever is cheapest from factory surplus or trade shows. They tend to use crappy RAM, as well, and that's a big mistake.

You run into more bad motherboards the higher up you go on the performance/feature spectrum, and more now than in the past, despite how silly that sounds. The more they have to do, the more their level of expertise and attention becomes critical; and then there's that burn in, which many don't survive. If they don't, that's your part that's going to pop a few months or years down the road, or even just cause annoying issues that can't be easily diagnosed by most.

It can be tough to find help sometimes nowadays, because so many people ask incredibly obvious questions that use similar keywords to whatever you're trying to find out. Even then, it can be a case of "Ford vs Chevy", or poor quality/out of date advice. It really depends on how hardware/software specific the question is, and newer stuff isn't as well sorted.

Most of the time you'll be absolutely fine, though.

One thing I'll talk through a bit is the burn in; which is part of how nicer boutiques and even some larger system integrators ensure quality. The objective is literally to try and break stuff and find limits (getting a feel for how those different parts work together), by applying an accelerated wear test before and during setup. Good parts can and do last for thirty to forty years (or more), and shaving a few off to ensure reliability is no issue.

In there, it's a bit like a carburetor on a custom engine. Every computer, once assembled, prefers many different settings in different ways than others. You find 5% here, 1% there, a degree down somewhere else, a hot spot to cure, conflicts to eliminate, voltages that relax things a bit... It's kind of a holistic assembly and setup process; and aside from just overall build quality, that's really what you're paying for if you call me or, say, Falcon Northwest.

Well, that and the great warranty and service, and a system tailored precisely for your use case. You get a long-lasting system that is faster and more relaxed.

As noted in my last post, however, that's not what people are going to do, and that's fine. You don't need every last hidden megahertz, and that last five degrees doesn't really matter in daily use for the vast majority of people.

Here's a build that's still functional today, that just happens to be right beside me at the moment. Most of the parts are beginning to approach twenty years old now, some have reached that point. It still works just fine:

Deepthought1.jpg

Again, it's one of mine, so it's less tidy than it could be. I may actually get in there and finish it up at some point, because I'm clearly not going to upgrade it again, as it's maxed out for the platform.

Here's a finished front panel for one of the few gaming rigs I've built for someone else. Yes, I do custom case badges when appropriate. This one is sterling silver, and no, that's not my couch. The orange peel is only visible under very harsh light in photography. We later perfected the finish to be smooth as glass in any light; camera or not:

frontpanel.JPG

...and all the parts of that case cut, bent, welded, sanded, blasted, etched, and waiting for an oven to heat up for three stages of custom-blended powder:

P1020424.JPG

It took a long time, but we finally nailed what I wanted out of it, which is a finish that only sparkles to full effect in candle light. There was more than one point at which we didn't think it was actually possible, but it worked in the end. Park that bugger by a candle, and it looks like a night sky full of bright, glittering red stars. The end user is into polytheistic lifestyle stuff, so I thought it would be a nice touch.

Didn't tell him, actually, and I got a call later going on about how awesome it was when it started to sparkle. :)

Obviously all that is not needed, and you can see how the cables actually tuck under the E-ATX motherboard there to remain almost invisible yet still accessible within reason. It's just fun to look at this sort of thing sometimes. I don't really take many pictures of anything I do because I spend so much time photographing other shit that I just don't feel like it.

These two were taken by the end user and the powder shop. I was there at the time, but too busy fucking with the final blend to bother taking a picture.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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