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Messages - Ari Altman

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1
Home Automation / Re: TBG's Smart Home Buyer's Guide
« on: Today at 11:54:34 AM »
TBG has made lots of changes to its Smart Home Buyer's Guides for Spring 2019, so feel free to ask questions here!

2
What's a good test to run to benchmark my system to make sure I did all this right?  I had one program I bought on Steam but I don't remember what it was called.

Also, I tried syncing my iPhone to new PC (couldn't do it for the last year or 2 on last build after being able to do it for the previous 9 years) and no such luck again.  I don't know what's going on.  I know last time I talked to you about it you said you're more of an android guy so you didn't really have any advice.  This is a big deal to me and I don't understand what's going wrong.  I have everything backed up to iCloud except some music/photos/video's.  And for whatever reason when I start syncing from photos app, sometimes it doesn't find my iPhone XS Max at all, and other times when it does, it'll start syncing process only to stop moments later "because an error occurred."  After this happens it typically doesn't find the iPhone again unless you unplug it and start process over again, but at this point I have about a full year of photos/video's that haven't been synced and if something happens to my phone those memories are lost forever.  I guess I'll have to contact Apple or Microsoft and see if they can help me figure this out.

Most likely the app you bought was 3DMark. See if you can find that on your Steam account. It's not under games, it's under "Software" in the "Library" menu.

I'd recommend you go to the Genius bar at an Apple store if you can, perhaps with a screenshot of what happens when you try to connect. Honestly, connecting smartphones of all types to a PC has always been much harder than it should be, and the iPhone is absolutely the worst. Whenever I try to connect iPhones for family members, half the time it doesn't work. My guess is that Apple just doesn't care about the drivers it writes for Windows.

3

Thank you Ari, for your thorough reply! Do you think the Komplett build would be more or less noisy than your build?

Also, I am planning to buy an ultrawide monitor (something like this one https://www.komplett.no/product/1126766/datautstyr/skjermer/skjermer/lg-34-led-curved-34gk950f-b# or this https://www.komplett.no/product/959477/gaming/gamingskjermer/acer-34-predator-curved-led-g-sync-x34p# ). Would your build be able to handle these types of monitors?

The noise from a PC is determined by two things: the fans (on the case, CPU cooler, GPU, and PSU) and the degree to which the case blocks the noise. The one problem with the Komplett PC is that it uses an unusually small Noctua cooler, and smaller fans are always louder at the same cooling level. I would never recommend that cooler in a giant case like the Fractal. So overall, the $1,250 build will be quieter.

In terms of the monitors, the first thing to know is that the LG is a terrible price. It hasn't dropped enough in price since release. As for whether the system can handle it, its ports can absolutely handle the resolution, but it really comes down the games you're playing. Trying to run WoW versus something like Metro Exodus is going to be completely different. You have to decide how much extra power you want to buy now to run games you don't own yet.

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Hi Ari,
Thank you for maintaining this site! I was about to order your build when someone recommended this other build to me. It is a little more expensive (approx. $400 more, assuming I build it myself), but is it any better? I am having a hard time comparing the specs as it has been 10 years since I built my last pc. I would love to get your opinion on it, if you wouldn´t mind taking a look please?

This is the build: https://www.komplett.no/product/11052/pc-nettbrett/komplett-pc/komplett-gamer-premium/komplett-silent-gamer-premium?offerId=KOMPLETT-310-11052#
(the site is in Norwegian, but you should be able to read the specs of the components even so)

I am not a huge gamer (I will just be playing WoW Classic, which is not demanding at all), so silence is more important than power for me - but I would like to be able to play any new games that come out in the next few years on decent settings.

Thank you so much in advance :)

Hello, Frey! I'm guessing you're from Norway, so thanks for journeying all the way to the TBG Forum!

The system you've linked to is a very nice one, and is a higher-end build than the $1,250 Quiet Gaming PC. But if you're just playing WoW Classic, you really don't need a GeForce RTX 2070, which is a $500 GPU on its own. The RTX 2060 in the current $1,250 build is more than capable of handling any new games at decent settings.

Looking at the other components, the Core i7-8700 is a fairly good choice, but it too is pretty expensive, about 40% more than the Ryzen 7 2700 but not even 10% faster. The biggest problem is the Kingston A1000 480GB, which is an old PCIe drive that just doesn't offer great performance or capacity for the price. I'd prefer a WD Blue 3D 1TB SATA drive assuming you can use the space, or perhaps one of the really good 512GB PCIe, like the XPG SX8200 Pro.

The last thing I'll say is that that Fractal Design Define R6 is a very nice case, and is indeed very quiet, but from my point of view, Fractal hasn't really kept up with current design trends. The R6 is big and boxy just like earlier R-series cases, and has an awkward hard drive cage that makes it more difficult to work with. If you really like that style, then go for it, but the Phanteks P400S case that costs about 3/5 as much is just as quiet, and much more compact.

The builds on TBG are updated every month taking into account the latest product releases and price cuts, which helps readers get the best components possible. The pre-made system on Komplett.no is a high-quality build, but I'd guess it was designed about six months ago based on the component choices, so it's just a bit out of date.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

5
I was able to bend the cooler and get plenty of clearance.  Thank you!  I did try taking that heatsink off the board, but it was covering some chips so I figured leaving it off wasn't a good idea.  Looks like this new cooler has quite a bit more clearance to the PSU than the other one, too.  Love the build guide!  I have been using Macs for quite awhile, and it's been years since I built a PC.  So useful!  This build is for a portable VR gaming machine.

Great to hear that worked! And yeah, the Noctua NH-L12S is just 70mm tall, versus 83mm for the SilverStone NT06-Pro, so you get a lot more clearance between it and the power supply. That provides more space for air to move, and the other benefit is that the fan on the NH-L12S is much quieter. The trade-off is that it's offset a little closer to the motherboard heatsinks, which is what you found, but actually you're the first reader to say it didn't fit. A number of other readers have tried it and it worked. My guess is that manufacturing tolerances are off enough that it couldn't quite clear with your sample. That's how close it is!

In any event, sounds like you'll be up and running soon enough. Enjoy!

6
Okay, I'll try that.  Any advice on how to bend them?  Just pliers?  I tried pushing on them and they seemed pretty stout.  Thanks!

Just try to use your hands, holding the base firmly in one hand and pushing on the back of the heatpipes with the palm of your other hand. Don't use pliers, as that could snap the pipes. If you can't do it by hand, let me know, and I'll update the guide (again), switching back to the NT06.

And I should say that I'm quite aware of the problem with the heatsink covers on the newest motherboards. It's most definitely not just the Gigabyte Z390I Aorus, in fact, a number of Asus boards are much worse in this regard, making it impossible to use any low-profile heatsinks. And this is all causing a lot of headaches for PC builders. It's shame that these purely decorative covers are breaking compatibility with numerous coolers. I've previously made both SilverStone and Noctua aware of the problem.

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In fact, AudiAddict, whose system you see profiled in the Gallery, HATED the NT06-Pro, which is why I switched it out!

8
This past week I purchased all of the parts in this build guide, but when I went to assemble I had an issue.  The CPU cooler now listed (Noctua NH-L12S) does not fit.  The heat pipes contact the heat sync on the Z390 I Aorus board, and it does not sit flat on the CPU.  I noticed in the reader build they are using the cooler from previous builds (SilverStone NT06-PRO-V2) with the Z390 I Aorus board and it clears.  Thought I would mention it, as I am returning the Noctua cooler and getting the SilverStone.

Thanks for checking in, taylorj3. You can actually bend the heatpipes on the Noctua slightly to get it to sit correctly. The NT06 Pro was swapped out because the Noctua really is a nicer cooler. Have another look before you box it up.

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Okay, I got the XMP done and changed it to 170% like you said.  So it looks like the 3200 RAM overclock and 5.0ghz CPU overclock has taken place.

Now for overclocking the GPU.  I downloaded MSI Afterburner.  But I don't know what numbers to put in when I'm in there.  What do I overclock it to?  Where do I input the numbers?  Remember I'm a noob in all this lol.

I'll have to see if I can figure out the RGB issue.  If I hit the reset switch it changes all the different lighting modes on the case.  Only problem is it doesn't seem to have an OFF setting. 

Last, I'm noticing when I start up my PC, it looks like AI Suite 3 is booting up every time when I boot the PC up, then I have to right click on it and hit Exit every time.  I looked on apps that start up when PC does and it isn't listed.  How can I get that to stop?

Sounds like you made progress on the CPU and RAM overclocks. You can probably just leave them there from here on out. But the fact that AI Suite is starting up isn't a problem - that's how it's supposed to work. It applies the overclock (if AI Suite has been used to set it in the first place).

In terms of the GPU overclock, I'd probably leave it at the factory overclock for now. If you really want to tinker, you can increase the core clock by 50MHz and the memory clock by 250MHz, and also make sure the raise the power limit to the max. Don't forget to apply the changes to see them take effect, and right click on a profile number to save them to a profile.

And yeah, as for your lights, it sounds like your builder just hooked them up to the case, not the motherboard. If you want to shut them off, you'll need to pull the power plug for them. Should be a SATA power connector somewhere connected to the wires coming from the front fans.

10
Comments or questions on TBG's Op-Ed "The Simpler Smart Home of the Future, Delivered by Amazon"? Post them here!

11
The HTPC Build / Re: $1250 High end HTPC Apr-May build
« on: May 14, 2019, 01:33:43 PM »
yes I was looking for PC case with an optical drive bay and they are getting scarce. Fractal Design has a some but in a mid-tower.  the Silverstone has a nice low profile. any recommendations on a pc case with an optical drive for the ASUS MOBO ?

You can use the SilverStone GD09 case and the Asus motherboard if you switch to the ultra-low-profile Noctua NH-L9a cooler. Otherwise, you'll have to go much bigger with the case. The GD09 is the smallest HTPC-specific ATX on the market.

12
The HTPC Build / Re: $1250 High end HTPC Apr-May build
« on: May 14, 2019, 11:32:19 AM »
Hi Ari. This is what I currently have for this build -
  Silverstone GD09B case
  Corsair CX 650w 80 plus Bronze PSU
  (2) Artic F12 PWM  (120mm)
  Asus ROG Strix B450F **
  AMD Ryzen 7 2700
  Noctua NH L9x65E   CPU Fan
  (2) corsair vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 8GB  (16GB total)
  Western Digital blue 4 tb HDD
  Western Digital Blue 500gb M.2 SSD
  seagate 2tb HDD (from a dead laptop. Icy Dock adapter)
 Belkin surge protector 4000 joules ( you should review surge protectors )

I saw where you mentioned to change MOBO because of the fit problem. so I can keep the case and get another MOBO  or keep the MOBO and get another case 

Anyone looking to buy a silverstone case? will mark down from retail lol

There really isn't any other option when it comes to HTPC cases. I think you'll either want to get a new motherboard, or if you'd prefer not to mess with your installation, you can get a really low-profile cooler like the Noctua NH-L9a. It will still work fine with the Ryzen 7 2700, which is a 65W CPU.

By the way, I contacted SilverStone to let them know about this new problem on the latest generation of full-width AM4 motherboards, so they are now aware of it and will incorporate it into any redesign of its HTPC cases going forward.

13
XMP showed up fine in the selectable settings in the bios on my last build but it doesn't in this one.  At least I'm not seeing that screen that you're showing in those screenshots. When I click overclocking presets, that drop down bar with the different presets isn't there, nor is XMP like it was before on my last one.  I'll check again.

Also I turned off RGB in BIOS, 'saved and exit' afterwards and it is still lighting up.  I've been crazy busy with work lately too that's why it's taken a while to respond.

Check again on XMP. It's got to be there.

As for RGB, it's possible that your builder just hooked it up to a controller on the case, rather than the motherboard. It would use the case's reset switch as a lighting switch. See what that button does when you have the chance.

14
I do not have the Blu-ray drive yet, am working on cable management and trying to put the drive bay holder back in and attach to the crossbar. I am planning on purchasing the LG 14x Blu-ray burner, if I can get the cage back in. the MOBO is screwed into place and the cpu and cpu cooler are installed  but for some reason the optical drive holder does not fit without pushing the cpu fan  will send a photo tomorrow am at work presently  :)

opal2350 - after reviewing photos of the Intel motherboard used in TBG's review of the GD09 and the Asus B450F AM4 motherboard, I can see that there may in fact be a problem. The AMD socket is rotated 90 degrees, and furthermore offset to the right, making the fit issue you mention a distinct possibility.

For now, I have updated the guide to the GIGABYTE B450 AORUS Elite, which many other TBG readers have successfully used in the past. It's socket is not offset as much.

Alas, these are the kind of issues you get into when using compact cases like the GD09. There's very little room for error, and here the error really is brought on by Asus. Its latest motherboards have "broken" a number of industry standards on socket spacing.

By the way, as this has nothing to do with the August 2018 build issue, I will be moving your issue to the current $1,250 High-End HTPC thread.

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Hi  I should have read this post first as I have the same problem. I am using the Asus B450F MOBO with amd 7 2700 and the noctua NH-L9x65 se. the optical drive bay hits the cpu fan  the fan is square so turning it will not help. it hits the fan casing  itself. I have a western digital HDD in the "hidden" area  and have adapted my 2 TB HDD from a dead laptop to fit under the optical drive. would have to push the cpu fan sideways a couple of hairs to fit the drive bay in, not sure if that is good for the cpu and any vibration from the drive bay and fan pushed together

Welcome to the Forum, opal2350!

Actually, you have a slightly different problem, as the NH-L9x65 is the cooler shown in the photos above that fits perfectly in this system. My guess is that you are using an older blu-ray optical drive, most of which were far longer than the industry standard for optical drives. As you can see in the photo above, a DVD burner does not impact the fan on the L9x65.

With all of that said, please do report back on the exact components you're using to determine if it could be something else.

Note that I've reported the compatibility issues a number of times to SilverStone, but they have no plans to redesign the GD09 at this point, as big HTPC cases do not represent a growing market.

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