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Messages - Ari Altman

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Home Theater / Re: 2 questions from HTPC build. Amazingly cool.. !
« on: July 13, 2019, 12:45:01 PM »
Thanks very much.   All is as you say,   and it was astonishing to watch win install in just minutes.   I've been around since early days of NT (MCSE 18149),  and what you can build now is just so much fun. 

Trying valiantly to get the 1660TI graphics driver to install,  it wouldn't go from the gigabyte cd'z...   

Maybe a suggestion:   would it be useful to have a tricks and tips for each build forum thread for builders to contribute to  ?   I would be happy to let folks know the orientation needed for the cooler,  and that no,  you can't put the fan on top,   and so on.   That might make the HTPC build smoother,   if anybody read that first.  Just an idea.

Thanks for having this site,  hope it makes a few bucks on click thrus...

Glad you're making progress. The best place to go for drivers for the 1660 Ti is the Nvidia Drivers download site.

The buyer's guides are updated monthly, so it's hard to create one "tips and tricks" thread that will continue to apply. In fact, because this build has changed so much recently, going from ATX to mATX, perhaps I should start a new thread. Are you working on the $1,250 HTPC Build? If so, why don't we make this thread you created the official thread? I can change the title and link to it from the buyer's guide page!

Video Cards / Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
« on: July 12, 2019, 08:41:14 PM »
I dont understand why amd keeps putting out these cards with blowers

To be honest, it shocked me that they did so given nvidia moved away from them, and OEMs and case manufacturers are learning to deal with it (blowers allow for less attention to case cooling). That and they designed an open air model for the Radeon Vega VII. Maybe it's slightly cheaper with the single fan and motor, but we're talking a dollar or so. Missed opportunity.

Actually just had a theory come to me... could be that AMD couldn't (or wouldn't for secrecy purposes) get samples to board partners in time and gave then exclusivity on open air coolers as a consolation prize. Given that many are huge Nvidia partners means this makes some strategic sense.

Video Cards / Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
« on: July 12, 2019, 04:25:09 PM »
I see you recommended the 5700, what do you think of the 5700xt for $400 or would you recommend another $400 card.  I read the thermals aren't good but hoping those prices will hold once models with different coolers come out.

Performance-wise, the 5700 XT is amazing. In terms of cooling, it's pushing the limits of the blower cooler, and the RX 5700 is much better. So, overall, I like the 5700, but the XT is the best bang for the buck on the market, and custom models won't arrive until September from what I've seen.


Iím still using an older setup from a previous guide (asus rog strix, 1080ti sc black in fractal core). one issue i have is if i plug in my headset/mic into the front aux ports, when i use mic in games, people say they hear a whining / aircraft engine noise in the background. i think it might have to do with the gpu interference because i can also hear a correlation (noise increases when iím running a game).

if i plug my headset to the back auxiliary ports that seems to have less noise but not ideal since i plug regular speakers there. my situation seems to be similar to

iím also using a cheap headset and donít want to buy an expensive one if that doesnít help. any ideas?

1) i prefer aux for convenience but is there performance / cost difference between aux/usb headsets? anything i lose from not using the onboard sound card?

2) or any other way to shoes or prevent the noise? would a better aux headset do anything?

I've heard of this being a problem, but not specifically that the front panel jacks are worse than the rear jacks. At least you have rear jacks that are working well!

I don't think buying a more expensive 3.5mm headset is going to help, as this is a problem with the motherboard's audio implementation. I think you could get around it using a USB headset, but these are typically wireless. You'll probably only see USB on wired headsets that have a surround implementation, like the Logitech G432. Given the low cost of that headset, it might be worth trying. Another example is the slightly more expensive HyperX Cloud II.

Home Theater / Re: 2 questions from HTPC build. Amazingly cool.. !
« on: July 12, 2019, 08:34:57 AM »
Hell, dlbrum, and welcome to the Forum. Fellow member Secret has some great tips as always, but I can clarify a few additional points.

I believe you are using a Gigabyte board, so the instructions may be a bit different, but in general, once you get into the UEFI (I find "delete" to be universal, while the F key shortcuts differ by manufacturer), you will find a selection for AMP, but not dual channel. Dual channel is simply a physical characteristic - either you have RAM sticks in both channels or you don't. The first two RAM slots and the second two RAM slots each represent one of the channels, which is why you want to split the RAM sticks with a gap between them when using two sticks. In Gigabyte's UEFI, there will be a selection for "Advanced Memory Settings", and you'll find AMP there, where you set DDR4-3200.

And in terms of the SSD, once you install Windows 10 on it, the UEFI will know that it is the boot drive. So don't worry too much about selecting which drive is the boot drive before you have Windows installed. You can technically do it, but it won't mean much.

Thanks, Ari!


SilverStone's rep confirmed for me exactly what you found - that they had tested the older Corsair H60 (as stated in this forum, which is probably what you found already).

Here's his feedback based on the current market situation:

"it's been a while since we've recommended liquid cooling inside one of these cases.... we haven't had the need to check for AIO coolers in cases like the FTZ01 since there are now many more good low profile air coolers available."

So, you may be on your own, but if you are able to fit an AIO in, please report back!

CPUs, Motherboards, and Overclocking / Re: AMD's Announces Zen 2
« on: July 10, 2019, 04:02:30 PM »
Then why make it?

Primarily for OEMs who want product differentiation. A little auto-overclocking will most likely bring the 3700X on par with the 3800X, but OEMs don't typically offer or support overclocking.

Ari and Jago,

Wanted to share some info I've come across with respect to putting Corsair AIOs into the FTZ01 (or the Raven equivalent).  Back in 2014 a hardware rep for SilverStone posted on a forum addressing this question and stating that SilverStone had confirmed in house that the Corsair H60 would fit.  He (or she) posted pictures showing an H60 with one of the included 15mm thick case fans mated to the Corsair H60 waterblock.  There were apparently two versions of the H60 around that time frame, one with corrugated tubing and one without, and SilverStone says they verified that both would work.  The rep went on to say that the solution depends on a proper orientation of the water block and twisting the tubes a couple times.  The rep did not say what the correct water block orientation was, but from the pictures it looks like the block should be oriented so that the tubes exit the block towards the RAM, and the radiator should be oriented such that the tubes exit the radiator towards the gpu.  The tubes then coil counterclockwise from the block to the radiator 270 degrees.  Being 2014, the post obviously doesn't say anything about the most recent revision to the H60.

Second, I've found scattered reports of builders using both the H55 and H75 with success.  The H55 was the most common AIO I found used, and no one has much to say about installing it.  Two people raved about using the H75 because it has a slimmer 25mm radiator.  It looks to me like the H75 is sold as a push-pull AIO with two fans on either side of a 120mm radiator.  I presume anyone using it in a case like the FTZ01 is using only one fan, and even then may be subbing in a 15mm fan.

Anyway, finding some proven examples of relatively simple AIO installations in FTZ01s is enough to push me to give it a go.  I'll try to benchmark all three of my cooling options (stock Noctua NH-L12S, NH-L12S with Scythe 12mm fan added, Corsair H60) and post the results here for future users.  No promises that I'll be quick about it though.  My daughter turns 1 year old in 4 days and she's keeping me busy most of the time.   ;)

This is awesome info, bensrichards. But you know what - I can actually ask SilverStone about this directly. They may simply say they haven't tried Corsair's newest coolers, but at least we'll have a chance at more clarity. Hopefully I'll get the answer before your daughter turns 1 - definitely don't skip her birthday party planning to test CPU coolers!

CPUs, Motherboards, and Overclocking / Re: AMD's Announces Zen 2
« on: July 10, 2019, 11:01:08 AM »
I saw some benchmarks and the 3800x certainly doesn't look to be worth $70 more than the 3700x for what looks like a minuscule performance boost.  The 3900x certainly looks promising for the price, especially for us content creators.

Yes, that sounds about right. I think this is probably why AMD didn't sample the 3800X to reviewers. It's just not going to be a big seller.

CPUs, Motherboards, and Overclocking / Re: AMD's Announces Zen 2
« on: July 09, 2019, 09:08:57 PM »
They're here and they look good  :)

Yes, absolutely. But see my comments in the latest TBG DIY PC Update. The issue is that the only boards guaranteed to support Ryzen 3000 start at $170, while the only chips available for purchase are $250 and down (the 3600X, 3600, 3400G, and 3200G), which leads to a serious mis-match. I've inquired with AMD's PR firm whether they'd like me to publish a recommendation on compatible motherboards, and will have that in the guides if it comes through. I can almost guarantee that not a single B450 board in the retail channel has proper BIOS support out of the box, as I just purchased a Gigabyte B450 board at retail two weeks ago and it had a January BIOS. Ryzen 3000 code wasn't released by AMD until May.

But don't worry - going forward, Ryzen 3000 will be in TBG's guides. It's just a matter of when, and given that B550 isn't arriving until next year, it's going to be the 3700X and 3900X paired with the X570 once those high-end chips actually hit retail in quantity. The 3800X looks like a pass to me, and I'm not that enthusiastic about the 3600X either, as their "slower" siblings the 3700X and 3600 seem like much better values.

Hi Ari, have you looked at using any of the Intel X-series in any of your builds?

Only the Supreme Dream Machine uses one. Otherwise they just don't make sense anymore. Basically an outdated lineup except at the very top.

Questions or comments on TBG's guide to "Assembling the Ultimate Mini-ITX Gaming PC (2019)"? Post them here!

Hi, first of all thanks a lot for the detailed instruction + this forum is great for tips.

I am planning to order and build a slightly cheaper confirguration than the July recommendation.

i5 9600 instead of i7 9700,
MSI RTX 2060 Ventus OC instead of EVGA GeForce RTX 2070
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB instead of Crucial P1 1TB (Adata is a bit more expensive but looking at performance seems better value)

The i5 9600KF is slightly cheaper here than i5 9600K. Would the KF version be ok to use in this build? Also does the 9600K version have any advantage over the KF version - for example switching to onboard graphics when not gaming?

Welcome to the Forum, qnordic! I figured you were from Europe based on your screen name!

Your plan sounds good. Dropping from the Core i7-9700K to the Core i5-9600K won't affect gaming performance too much, at least in current games, but do keep in mind that the 9600K will become obsolete faster. In terms of the 9600K or 9600KF, the 9600KF should only be purchased if it is cheaper. It lacks onboard graphics, which makes trouble-shooting harder, and also means you can't repurpose the system later on as an office/family PC when you retire the CPU from your gaming system. I'd say it must be at least 10% cheaper to make it worth buying. In the US it's a terrible choice because it is more expensive.

The RTX 2070 may be dropping in price about $50 this week, so before buying the 2060, wait until the end of the week to see if that happens.

But as for the SSDs, you are entirely correct: the SX8200 Pro is much faster than the P1 1TB, and spending the extra money on it makes sense as long as you're not losing out on other components because of it. For example, if the 9600KF were $30 less than the 9600K, and the SX8200 were $30 more than the P1, I would use the $30 to get the 9600K, because I think it has more utility to the user and will hold its value much better.

General Discussion / Re: Ari, NEED quick help!
« on: June 29, 2019, 11:00:35 AM »
Iím not familiar with that.  I would still need a regular router in addition to what you linked correct? 

Also, if I donít need a router, do I just plug one of these 3 towers into my modem and then hardwire my PC and Xbox into it like I did my nighthawk?  Will I miss QoS from my Nighthawk for prioritization purposes?

Iím just not familiar with mesh systems.

We have had a Century Link modem connected to a Netgear Nighthawk router.

They are the future, and it's exactly what you need for your multi user setup. Read my review of the competing Deco M9 to understand how it works.

General Discussion / Re: Ari, NEED quick help!
« on: June 29, 2019, 09:07:13 AM »
My Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router I bought back in 2015 bit the dust in a storm on Friday.  So I'm going to go on Saturday to Best Buy and pick up a new one.  As you know I'm a hardcore gamer and want the best.  I play hard wired and liked the QoS settings on my Nighthawk 1900.  I'm wondering how much routers have changed or improved in the last 4 years?  I was looking at staying with Netgear and going after the XR700 but I see it doesn't have WiFi 6.  Would I be better off going after the Nighthawk AX12?

Both are over $470 so I know that's a lot of money but I plan on having this for many years and want to future proof my purchase.  Also there's 3 adults living where I live with probably 20 internet devices connected soooo yeah.  It's a large house so I might need a range extender given where the router will be.

Thanks for your input and if there's another model you'd recommend please let me know what you think. 

Also, when it comes to Ethernet cords, I've been using the same ones for MANY years.  Would I need to upgrade those or does that not really matter?

Thanks for all your help!

Edit - Scratch that, I'm probably going to go with whatever Best Buy has tomorrow and they don't have either of those two I mentioned available for purchase.  I need internet for work and since I'll be hard wired for my online gaming (PC/Xbox One X) and I already have a Nighthawk Range extender I bought in 2017 (assuming it'll still work with a new Nighthawk?) I'll probably just try and find the best available product to purchase. 

I'm kind of in a sucky situation where I don't WANT to wait, but I might have to if I can't find something good enough.  I also don't want to overpay if I'm not going to use something.

I would strongly recommend you get a mesh system, especially for your situation with lots of users. Range extenders were, are, and always will be a second-rate solution. Go for the Linksys Velop right here.

As for WiFi 6, I think it's too early too know whether that will actually make a difference. In my opinion, 802.11ac is more than fast enough IF it's in range. And with mesh, you are always in range. That's the secret.

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