Author Topic: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build  (Read 46217 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #195 on: July 31, 2019, 09:32:13 AM »

Hey Ari,

The optional CPU cooler I got wasn't the SilverSone AR06, but rather the Noctua NH-L9i.  Was this part part of the build recently updated?  We discussed coolers in an earlier post.  You had recommended a different cooler for a different case (which I accidentally purchased, but cancelled the order on time), but informed me that for the Node 202, I needed to stick with the Noctua NH-L9i because the other one wouldn't fit. 

Hoping I have the right fan! 

I can inspect more closely when I try to continue my setup process at home later, but it seriously sounded like the fan was scraping up against something.  It wasn't just normal loud fan noises of blowing air.  It was a roar and a grind.  During the moments of silence, the fan simply didn't blow at all, which I thought was unusual.  I thought the fans always blew at least lightly, but maybe I'm wrong about that?

Oh, yes, the build was completely reworked for August, you have the July build using the Fractal Design Node 202 case (now featured in the $1,000 Esports Build), which needed a shorter cooler (the Noctua NH-L9i). So no problem at all, you have the right gear.

The Noctua NH-L9i is a virtually silent fan. Even at full speed it doesn't roar. I would definitely take a look to make sure there isn't a cable that got caught in there when you were putting the case panel on.

It's also possible the sound you heard was the GPU ramping up its fans and then settling down. It will hit 100% for a brief period at boot up, and it will be loud.

As you and Stan Hope above are discovering, there's lots to juggle when building ITX PCs, but the result once everything is sorted is something really awesome!

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #196 on: July 31, 2019, 10:05:56 AM »

Hey Ari,

The optional CPU cooler I got wasn't the SilverSone AR06, but rather the Noctua NH-L9i.  Was this part part of the build recently updated?  We discussed coolers in an earlier post.  You had recommended a different cooler for a different case (which I accidentally purchased, but cancelled the order on time), but informed me that for the Node 202, I needed to stick with the Noctua NH-L9i because the other one wouldn't fit. 

Hoping I have the right fan! 

I can inspect more closely when I try to continue my setup process at home later, but it seriously sounded like the fan was scraping up against something.  It wasn't just normal loud fan noises of blowing air.  It was a roar and a grind.  During the moments of silence, the fan simply didn't blow at all, which I thought was unusual.  I thought the fans always blew at least lightly, but maybe I'm wrong about that?

Oh, yes, the build was completely reworked for August, you have the July build using the Fractal Design Node 202 case (now featured in the $1,000 Esports Build), which needed a shorter cooler (the Noctua NH-L9i). So no problem at all, you have the right gear.

The Noctua NH-L9i is a virtually silent fan. Even at full speed it doesn't roar. I would definitely take a look to make sure there isn't a cable that got caught in there when you were putting the case panel on.

It's also possible the sound you heard was the GPU ramping up its fans and then settling down. It will hit 100% for a brief period at boot up, and it will be loud.

As you and Stan Hope above are discovering, there's lots to juggle when building ITX PCs, but the result once everything is sorted is something really awesome!

Okay, I'll take a look inside when I get home. There were definitely some cables hanging around, but I thought they were tucked off to the side of the fan.  I can try to tie them down a bit more firmly. 

I'm pretty sure it was the CPU fan because I physically saw it through the case opening.  Then the sound died down once the fan completely stopped.  Again, is it typical for the fan to completely idle for periods of time? 

I'm still not sure my GPU is even connected properly and working.  What would my best way to test that be when I go home?  Like I said, my monitor won't display anything if I plug my DP chord directly into my GPU.  For now, I have to plug it into my MOBO ports.  Any guidance with this? 

Thanks for all your help so far!

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #197 on: July 31, 2019, 10:16:12 AM »

Okay, I'll take a look inside when I get home. There were definitely some cables hanging around, but I thought they were tucked off to the side of the fan.  I can try to tie them down a bit more firmly. 

I'm pretty sure it was the CPU fan because I physically saw it through the case opening.  Then the sound died down once the fan completely stopped.  Again, is it typical for the fan to completely idle for periods of time? 

I'm still not sure my GPU is even connected properly and working.  What would my best way to test that be when I go home?  Like I said, my monitor won't display anything if I plug my DP chord directly into my GPU.  For now, I have to plug it into my MOBO ports.  Any guidance with this? 

Thanks for all your help so far!

Sounds like you have a few issues. The CPU fan should actually continue to spin at all times. There is no "zero-fan mode" for CPUs, at least not officially, and it's nothing you'd want to do manually unless you had a huge heatsink (which you obviously can't have in a slim build). So make sure to clear all cables from that CPU fan, and test it with the side panel off so you can watch it carefully.

As for your video output problem, it does sound like you need to make some adjustments to get your video card working. Having the motherboard Displayport is a great thing for troubleshooting, but it won't allow you to actually play games using the GPU in your system. So go back and make sure of two things:

(1) the GPU is fully seated in the PCIe extension bracket, and that the bracket is properly connected to the motherboard.

(2) the power cable is attached to the GPU, with the other end properly attached to the power supply's modular "PCIe" socket.

Report back on how all this goes - hopefully we'll make some progress!


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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #198 on: July 31, 2019, 02:22:47 PM »

Sounds like you have a few issues. The CPU fan should actually continue to spin at all times. There is no "zero-fan mode" for CPUs, at least not officially, and it's nothing you'd want to do manually unless you had a huge heatsink (which you obviously can't have in a slim build). So make sure to clear all cables from that CPU fan, and test it with the side panel off so you can watch it carefully.

As for your video output problem, it does sound like you need to make some adjustments to get your video card working. Having the motherboard Displayport is a great thing for troubleshooting, but it won't allow you to actually play games using the GPU in your system. So go back and make sure of two things:

(1) the GPU is fully seated in the PCIe extension bracket, and that the bracket is properly connected to the motherboard.

(2) the power cable is attached to the GPU, with the other end properly attached to the power supply's modular "PCIe" socket.

Report back on how all this goes - hopefully we'll make some progress!

Great, thanks for the quick feedback.  I'll definitely take a look when I get home. 

To preempt a GPU cable question, however, can you confirm how the cables provided with the EVGA Supernova 550 GM are supposed to attached between the PSU and GPU?  I found figuring out which cable connections to make to be by far the most confusing part of the build.  Naive me thought it would be much more intuitive. 



So this is the cable I determined connects the GPU to the PSU.  It's labeled "VGA", which, after some internet searching, I learned is not standard and confused a lot of other people as well.  It was 8 pronged (one end was 6+2), which I believe is what I put into the 8 prong part of the GPU (there's an 8 pin section right next to a 6 pin section), and the far other end was just a full 8 pin.  Question 1: does it matter which side goes into the GPU and which goes into the PSU?

Noob question 2, pertains to the image below:



Do you plug in both blue circled ends (one into the PSU, one into the GPU) or do you use one of the blue circled ends and the red circled end.  I think I used the 2 blues.  I couldn't quite understand why the chord was built the way it was.  Feel free to educate me :)

Thanks again!


Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #199 on: July 31, 2019, 03:17:44 PM »
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing, by the way!

Homitu

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #200 on: July 31, 2019, 05:24:11 PM »
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing, by the way!

That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 05:57:30 PM by Homitu »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #201 on: July 31, 2019, 07:14:35 PM »
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing, by the way!

That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Have you loaded windows yet? If not, I'd pull the video card out for now and proceed with onboard video. We can sort out the video output issue later.

As for the sticker that got stuck in your fan, that's a case badge. Some people like to decorate their systems with them, but you're probably fed up with it at this point!

Homitu

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #202 on: July 31, 2019, 08:41:05 PM »
That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Have you loaded windows yet? If not, I'd pull the video card out for now and proceed with onboard video. We can sort out the video output issue later.

As for the sticker that got stuck in your fan, that's a case badge. Some people like to decorate their systems with them, but you're probably fed up with it at this point!

Yes, Windows is fully installed.  Even with the GPU plugged in, I've been able to load Windows and get the computer operational as normal.  Everything seems good except the video card right now. 

As an update to my earlier post, I did go ahead and completely remove the video card and reinstall it, from the riser card, to the connector, to the GPU; made sure each part was tight and locked.  Then slid the whole unit back in onto the MOBO and made sure it clicked into the PCIe port.  Rebooted and am still experiencing the same issue. 

Each time I do something like this, I am unable to get display at all, neither through the GPU nor the MOBO.  But just trying a few times, plugging the DP cable in and out, seems to eventually get the MOBO port to issue display.  Never any luck with the GPU though. 

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #203 on: July 31, 2019, 10:01:12 PM »

Yes, Windows is fully installed.  Even with the GPU plugged in, I've been able to load Windows and get the computer operational as normal.  Everything seems good except the video card right now. 

As an update to my earlier post, I did go ahead and completely remove the video card and reinstall it, from the riser card, to the connector, to the GPU; made sure each part was tight and locked.  Then slid the whole unit back in onto the MOBO and made sure it clicked into the PCIe port.  Rebooted and am still experiencing the same issue. 

Each time I do something like this, I am unable to get display at all, neither through the GPU nor the MOBO.  But just trying a few times, plugging the DP cable in and out, seems to eventually get the MOBO port to issue display.  Never any luck with the GPU though.

All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.

Homitu

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #204 on: August 01, 2019, 06:02:30 AM »
All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see. 

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #205 on: August 01, 2019, 06:32:19 AM »
All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see.

Sounds like you have a plan. Testing with your friend's GPU (and having him test yours) actually sounds like a better first step than disassembling the system. I don't believe you'll be able to insert the GPU directly into the motherboard unless you remove the board from the case, due to the support bracket running down the middle of it. Don't worry about plugging the GPU into the slot outside of the case. As long as you prop it up with something (like a shoebox), it will be fine. The worst thing that would happen if you didn't prop it up is the whole thing would tip over due to the weight, but it won't break anything.

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #206 on: August 22, 2019, 06:46:18 PM »

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see.

Sounds like you have a plan. Testing with your friend's GPU (and having him test yours) actually sounds like a better first step than disassembling the system. I don't believe you'll be able to insert the GPU directly into the motherboard unless you remove the board from the case, due to the support bracket running down the middle of it. Don't worry about plugging the GPU into the slot outside of the case. As long as you prop it up with something (like a shoebox), it will be fine. The worst thing that would happen if you didn't prop it up is the whole thing would tip over due to the weight, but it won't break anything.

Hey Ari,

I wanted to update you on my results!  So, before experimenting with swapping GPUs with my buddy, I had a mini lightbulb moment with the power cables.  I recalled my power supply seemed to come with several excess cables (which I asked you about in an earlier post.)  I realized I could plug in TWO power cables into the GPU: one 6+2 prong cable, and one 6 prong cable.  Immediately after plugging in the 2nd power cable and attempting to boot, I was able to get display to my monitor directly from my GPU!  It seemed to work perfectly. 

Does that sound right that it should require both power cables?  Your previous posts seemed to imply it should only require one 6+2 prong cord. 

Overall, everything seems to be pretty good.  I have crashed twice in the middle of games, though, which seems like that should never happen with a brand new computer.  Both times, they were hard freezes.  No alt+tabbing, no ctrl+alt+del.  Frozen mouse, screen, and buzzing sound, requiring a hard reboot.  Is there anything I can do to diagnose what might have caused the crashes?  Any kind of system monitoring software? 

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #207 on: August 22, 2019, 09:30:28 PM »

Hey Ari,

I wanted to update you on my results!  So, before experimenting with swapping GPUs with my buddy, I had a mini lightbulb moment with the power cables.  I recalled my power supply seemed to come with several excess cables (which I asked you about in an earlier post.)  I realized I could plug in TWO power cables into the GPU: one 6+2 prong cable, and one 6 prong cable.  Immediately after plugging in the 2nd power cable and attempting to boot, I was able to get display to my monitor directly from my GPU!  It seemed to work perfectly. 

Does that sound right that it should require both power cables?  Your previous posts seemed to imply it should only require one 6+2 prong cord. 

Overall, everything seems to be pretty good.  I have crashed twice in the middle of games, though, which seems like that should never happen with a brand new computer.  Both times, they were hard freezes.  No alt+tabbing, no ctrl+alt+del.  Frozen mouse, screen, and buzzing sound, requiring a hard reboot.  Is there anything I can do to diagnose what might have caused the crashes?  Any kind of system monitoring software?

Sounds like you figured it out! Yes, indeed, you need all the PCIe cables attached. In general, you want to fill all the power receptacles in a PC. There's just one exception, which makes things confusing: some motherboards have two similar receptacles, an 8-pin and a 4-pin or an 8-pin, sort of like your video card, and most of the time you do not need to plug a power cable into both. But yes, for your video card, you do.

As for those random crashes, can you tell me if you changed any settings in the UEFI, like the RAM profile, overclocking, or power management? It sounds like your system has an instability related to a hardware setting. By the way, because the $1,250 buyer's guide is always changing, if you are still having trouble and want additional guidance, also list all the components in your build.