The "New Toys" Thread

Jupix

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Thing is, I cannot believe that Apple supplied a machine such as fabulous as that with such an awful storage drive. Spinning platters, really? You can't tell me you couldn't have put a 128 or 250GB with a massive spinner for storage?
They supplied it with whatever you configured, including lame spinning drives or huge SSDs (for the time).


Furthermore, why haven't we made a software that makes it looks like you have both the boot drive and a storage drive appear as one drive but, make software store files only on the hard drive? (...)
How do you propose the "software" knows where to write each file?

You need to tell it case by case anyway, which defeats the purpose of having extra software in the middle.

You can already assign specific stuff to specific drives at the OS level (relocate Program Files or Users directory) or application level (like your Steam library / specific games to specific drives and so on). It's far more robust compared to some middleware or 3rd party API which intercepts your write calls (making them slow) and "guessing" where the file should go physically.

Besides, the window for "solving" this "problem" is rapidly closing as SSDs are getting big enough and cheap enough that applications are no longer needed to be installed on auxiliary spinning drives.
 

Emarline

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Games and other such items are stored on HDD's while the programs and OS are on the SSD.
Certain games run noticeably better on an SSD, particularly in an MMORPG kinda setting where there's a fair number of loading screens. Like in World of Warcraft for instance, my QoL went up massively when I moved it to an SSD. It's the difference between a half-second loading screen or one that could be up to like 10 seconds if you're loading into a particularly populated city.
 

Spectre

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Furthermore, why haven't we made a software that makes it looks like you have both the boot drive and a storage drive appear as one drive but, make software store files only on the hard drive? And, if a boot drive breaks, make it so that you can mount the drive independently from each other. I know we have hybrid drives but, those aren't as fast as SSD but, quicker than HDD. I've done it so far with my machines. Games and other such items are stored on HDD's while the programs and OS are on the SSD. It's worked great but, you can't do such a setup with someone that's not so tech savvy and know for a fact that their files are on the "storage" drive. Problem with my idea is that we have RAID but, you can't really do that with SSD and HDD I believe.
They have, more or less. It's called "Mac OS X" and it works with the Fusion Drive or you can make your own Fusion Drive equivalent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/pro-tip-how-to-create-and-disable-a-fusion-drive/
 

93Flareside

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They have, more or less. It's called "Mac OS X" and it works with the Fusion Drive or you can make your own Fusion Drive equivalent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/pro-tip-how-to-create-and-disable-a-fusion-drive/
Problem is, you're missing one key element.

And, if a boot drive breaks, make it so that you can mount the drive independently from each other.
techrepublic said:
Remember that prior to working on any storage related task, it's extremely importance to backup you data from the drive(s) you'll be working on. The process to both create or break a Fusion Drive is destructive, so any/all data contained in those drives will surely be lost.
 

prizrak

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Problem is, you're missing one key element.
That's an extremely niche case, considering your boot will always be on SSD and those almost never fail.

- - - Updated - - -

I can. Not only Apple that does it either. Take a look at Best Buy the next time you go there. There are all kinds of PCs made that have terrible storage setups. Hell, even so called high end machines cheap out in that department.
It's not so much cheap out as it is pricing. The one I have is literally the lowest model you could have gotten for that generation, however it is still more than fast enough to run a browser on and watch some YouTube. The load times are pretty quick when you never close your browser ;)

The thing that sux is that this is the kind that cannot be easily upgraded, it is literally glued together so if I wanted to swap out internals it would be a much bigger pain than I am willing to deal with.

- - - Updated - - -

How do you propose the "software" knows where to write each file?
It's actually pretty easy, most used stuff gets automatically put on the SSD, if it's not accessed within X amount of time and the space is needed for something more frequently used stuff it gets moved back to storage. You can even have some logic built in for the types of files, for example video of music files would never be moved over even if they are accessed often because there isn't any real benefit to being able to serve up a video faster. Can even optimize the algorithm to prioritize software that is known to make many random seek requests vs something like a video stream.
 

eizbaer

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Isn't that the exact principle of Intels Optane Memory stuff - tiny SSD to speed up OS and most used programs? DOes anyone know where the "logic" part behind that solution actually sits?
 

Spectre

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Problem is, you're missing one key element.
It can be done *but* you have to mount it on another machine that's actually still running to change some configs first or recover data. Even a conventional SSD/HD pairing like the one in my system, when set up properly, is going to be unable to boot off the HD alone unless you actually waste a bunch of space duplicating the boot volume on your rotating platter and do a bit of hackery.

More info here: https://www.gillware.com/blog/data-recovery/fusion-drive-data-recovery
 

Blayde

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Steam link that was on sale



Dinger 3 port HDMI switcher



3x AmazonBasics 3ft HDMI cables for the aforementioned switcher, which connects to my WDTV and Steam Link

Venture Electronics Monk Plus Exclusive Blue (x2) from MassDrop with a set of addons





These really are pretty amazing for 5$

And a couple of AmazonBasics A to Type C usb cables for my phone, since i dont want to keep unplugging my only Dash Charge cable from the wall and wearing it out
 

Blayde

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In my case it is in the same room, but steam has some weird issues with screen priority and when the TV is off i constantly have to deal with the mouse roving to a fourth monitor, a 5 metre hdmi cable (which would have cost around 20$ anyway here, what i paid for the link), the sound not being transmitted, or being duplicated and having to mute my PC.

I can also move the steamlink to any other TV in the house if i feel like it, or if i move and my TV and PC are not in the same room.

With the steam link pressing the xbox button on my controller triggers the link and CEC on my tv, meaning i can sit in my chair, have both the steam link and tv turn on and start the link without getting up.

You have to work hard to be this lazy, but only once :)
 
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73GMCSprint

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Dell U2718Q

It's my first 4K monitor and it's purdy.

Just running it off a Radeon HD7970 for now, so 4K gaming isn't happening yet, but that should change in the next few months...
 

Cryptopygia

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Thrustmaster T300 Ferrari Alcantara Edition

Wanted a wheel that was both PS4 compatible, and an upgrade over my DFGT.

Also picked up the add-on shifter, and a set of Mechanix gloves as a cheap substitute for racing gloves.
 
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Jupix

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Warning! Nerd content ahead!

New PC toys! Literally. I didn't need this machine, but I wanted something to do and really badly wanted to screw around with AMD's new architectures (Zen and when I can get my hands on it, Vega). I'm also really excited for the prospect of a cheap, quiet, overclockable quadcore that performs pretty reasonably in gaming for 119?.

A while back I was renovating my office and coinciding with that, I moved the big i7, 1080ti SLI, 4ktv gaming machine to my home theater room for couch gaming duty only. It's more comfortable, but in that use case, FPS, builder, strategy games are out of the question. So now I wanted to build this low cost machine and use it for desktop gaming, where mouse & keyboard controls are preferable.





- Asus Prime B350-Plus motherboard
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200, 4C/4T 3.1 GHz, boost 3.4 GHz stock
- 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz CL16 DDR4 memory
- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD
- Fractal Design Define C enclosure
- Windows 10 Home retail license of course

Additionally I dismantled my old primary gaming PC and used the following parts for this:
- Corsair HX650 PSU
- Asus GTX660 DCII GPU
- Kingston SSDNow 120GB SSD

Finally, for cooling, I used the Noctua NH-D15 CPU heatsink with one fan, and 2x 14cm Fractal Design case fans which I'd upgraded from in the i7 machine and just had them lying around doing nothing productive. For the Noctua I needed to purchase the AM4 installation kit. I could've gotten one for free from Noctua as free support in exchange for a picture of my motherboard invoice, but because I didn't want the whole project stalled while Noctua was delivering the package from overseas, I decided to cough up the 8? and get the kit locally.



Beauty shot of the Ryzen processor installed on the B350-Plus. It sure is a sexy looking processor like all the Ryzens.



First order of business for any PC build: test all the parts outside the enclosure to make sure they aren't DOA.

Second order of business specifically in any Ryzen build: upgrade the motherboard BIOS and with it the AGESA microcode. The most important purpose of this is to improve RAM support. Unfortunately in my case it didn't help much.

Ryzen is notoriously difficult to pair with high speed memory. For the B350-Plus the memory compatibility listing has almost no 16GB 3200MHz kits and the few that there are, are not available for me. Unfortunately I got pretty unlucky too and my choice of Corsair isn't playing nice. I can get 2800MHz at most with occasional bootloops (otherwise stable).

At this point it was already clear how quiet the machine was going to be. The D15 is of course total overkill for a low wattage quadcore. At stock with the fan idling the temps were in the low 40s Celsius under full prime95 burn. It could easily be run passively with this heatsink with lesser overclocks than mine.

Everything tested, time for the build:



Define C in stock form. It has two 12cm 1200rpm fans, one front inlet and one rear exhaust. It's very minimalistic in the main compartment as it doesn't have optical drive bays or HDD bays. I also like the PSU shroud which further reduces the visual clutter. The cable throughputs with the rubber grommets are really nice as usual with Fractal, it's the same with the Arc XL that I have.



I upgraded the case ventilation to these 14cm 1000rpm fans that were preinstalled into the Arc XL.



New ventilation setup. Two inlets. The rear doesn't have a 14cm fan install space, though I would've gone with dual inlets anyway. It's good enough as the air escapes naturally with overpressure, and visually more appealing this way I think.



Funny wiring for the case fans. Noctua extension - splitter - ULN adapter (ultra-low noise, i.e. voltage reduction adapter). In the end while I'm using the machine the fans are running at 700rpm, which is very quiet.



Everything installed.



Rear, no problems at all with cable management. The biggest problem could've been clearance for the SSD power connectors but there was so much clearance that even that wasn't a problem.



Overclocking and stability testing.

I was able to boot up and run some benchmarks at 3950MHz and 3975MHz (on Ryzen CPUs the multipliers go in 0.25 increments). But those frequencies are not stable. 4.0GHz wouldn't even POST.

After the iterative process that it always is, I ended up at 3.9GHz with +0.2V voltage offset. That works out to roughly 1.39V in practice. Ryzen CPUs have internal voltage management and the voltage fluctuates a lot during regular use.

Memory is at manufacturer recommended voltage of 1.35V. Funnily enough it defaulted to 1.25V.

With these settings I tested everything to be 6 hours Prime burn stable with CPU temps peaking at 71C, with the machine still relatively quiet, at least compared to the i7 6-core machine which is insanely noisy under full burn.

So how good is the cheapest of the cheap Ryzen lineup?

If you're really interested, read reviews, but I was able to test against some other random hardware I have; mobile Intels in my laptops and the i7-5930k.



So basically in a multithreaded workload it's battling in a similar performance bracket as a laptop i7 quadcore. The big i7 hexcore desktop machine I have is about twice as fast.



Similar story with the Fire Strike Physics test.

Of course I didn't buy the CPU for heavily CPU-dependent workloads, I bought it for gaming. For that, it's good enough. That's actually amazing considering the 119? price tag. I really like this little processor.

For gaming, this PC will really only come into its own when I can get the GPU situation sorted. Currently I'm using the 4.5 years old midrange GTX660 which is totally the bottleneck at the moment. Although I overclocked it for about 5-10% more performance it's still dreadfully slow for 2017. I'm using my Dell 3008WFP (11 years old at this point, geez time goes quickly) 2560x1600 60Hz monitor. So that is slightly heavier to run than 1440p60 which is still considered respectable today. I'd classify it as a midrange monitor where maybe a GTX1070 or 1080 would be appropriate. So an overclocked Vega should be a great fit as it directly competes with those cards in performance.



The problem is that Vega 64 cards are insanely expensive at the moment and not the "smart purchase". On the other hand, Vega 56 was only just released so it's pretty expensive too (599? compared to its MSRP about 400?) and not in stock.

So, the plan currently is to wait for Vega 56 to become available and more reasonably priced, and put it under watercooling (perhaps with this Alphacool cooler).

Until then, I can do some light gaming and the framerates are what they are, basically console tier or worse. The situation will improve with a new GPU. If I really absolutely must have more grunt I can take a 1080ti from the other machine and put it in this. But it's not strictly necessary at the moment so I'll just use it like this.

Some example gaming from games I'm playing at the moment:



Dishonored 2. Pretty high settings but autoresolution putting it on a really garbage resolution. It's borderline playable with really open-minded optimistic rose colored glasses on.



Deus Ex Human Revolution, yes the older one (the better one).

I'm slowly replaying it. Being 2 years older than the GPU, it's running great with 60fps on high settings.



Anno 2205. 20-30 fps on very high settings.





Transport Fever, also 20-30fps with maxed out settings.


That is all, total cost of the build around 800? with Windows and it does what it's supposed to (barely because of the GPU). Now I'm just waiting for Vega(tm).
 
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GRtak

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Nice to see another Ryzen build out there. I am just finishing up my R7 build. I have to make things all nice and pretty yet, but it is functioning fine(still want a better graphics card too, but Vega is out because it is power hungry :( ).
 

Eye-Q

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Warning! Nerd content ahead!

[...]

New ventilation setup. Two inlets. The rear doesn't have a 14cm fan install space, though I would've gone with dual inlets anyway. It's good enough as the air escapes naturally with overpressure, and visually more appealing this way I think.
More nerd content ahead! :p

I have a Define C as well (Core i5-4460 with a Scythe Ninja 3 and Geforce GTX 960) and installed the first fan in the middle spot and the second one in the top panel as far back as possible. The speed of the top fan is managed by the mainboard according to the CPU temp and in idle it's completely off at around 40?C CPU temp, only when I heavily load the CPU the top fan begins spinning after about 20 minutes. Just put the dust filter element in the top and the heat rises automatically. :)
 

thevictor390

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I just bought some used, expensive PC parts on craigslist in what I'm sure was an extremely ill-advised move. Surprisingly the seller turned out to be a 15 year old kid who was saving up to buy a car.

Ryzen 7 1700
16 GB RGB-enabled RAM
ASUS Prime B3 Plus non-RGB-enabled motherboard :?
Corsair H100i V2 closed-circuit CPU watercooler
Carrying over from old system: 750W PSU, GTX 1070, wifi card, HDDs, etc

The watercooler was an unexpected addition and doesn't nearly fit in my case, which desperately needed an upgrade anyway (ca. 2005)

So, I bought one of these:


As far as I can tell it's nearly the only choice I had for a midsize case that can hold 3 HDDs and is has a slot for the H100i's 240mm radiator.

Now as this is Craigslist things of course weren't that simple. The kid didn't get the AM4 adapter for the H100i so the AM3 bracket is just kind of wedged between the screws, which mostly works out as long as you don't breathe on it too hard. Needless to say I ordered the $5 adapter plate. I also had to temporarily remove one stick of RAM because the USB cable for the CPU cooler(!) blocks most of the slots. Finally, onboard audio doesn't appear to work at all, so that's another $25 for a PCI sound card.

The case just arrived so its time to properly mount the CPU cooler and do some cable management. For the last week or two I've been running with the radiator hanging out of the case like a side car :lol:
 
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