2020 Ryzen 3900X Quarantine Build

For many weeks now, there have been some discounts on the AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU. More than likely, the cause would be the Ryzen 3950X and possibly the release of the Threadripper 3000 series CPU. I’ve been bouncing bettween building a 2000 series Threadripper or Ryzen 9 3000 series. Even thoughts of Threadripper 3000 series. The prices are very reasonable and the performance is outstanding. I eventually went with the 3900X 12-core CPU because of a Best Buy deal. For $450, you get the processor and 500GB Western Digital SN750 NVMe drive. Not bad in my opinion.

Ryzen 9 3900X, Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
Western Digital SN750 500GB NVMe

Next was the motherboard. I was torn between the Asrock X570 Taichi and Gigabyte X570Aorus Master. I spent the extra money and went with the Gigabyte board. This was the board that many reviewers got from AMD as part of their press kit. For what I was looking for, both motherboards were close but I preferred the look of Gigabyte more than Asrock. My older Intel 5820K build used an Asrock motherboard – cost and features were great but software experience was lacking.

Finding ram took longer than expected. The cost at time of purchase was not bad, it has been rising a little bit. I have decided that I wanted 32GB capacity. I think it will pair nicely with 12 cores. I will mainly be developing on this machine and using virtual machines. Deciding what speed and CAS latency took some thinking. I could save money and get 3200MHz and CAS 18. Or was it worth getting 3600MHz and CAS 16 for my use case? I will hardly game on this machine and if I do, rarely will I play FPS (first person shooter) and recent games. I decided to get a 3600MHz with CAS 18. I ended up with TeamGroup T-Force Dark ZA.

Next is the tower. I wanted a tower that had good air flow, cable management, and 5.25″ bay. All of this has a starting price of $150. Fractal Design just released their new Define 7. I have a 4 and 5 and really like the series. They are just heavy and if you lose parts, they are not available (drive cages). I don’t need it to be heavy and durable. It’s just going to sit on the floor and I can do without the 5.25″ bay. I’ve been interested in the NZXT H510. I really like the cost and features. Only down side is the air flow. Well, I decided to go close loop water cooling – that takes care of that.

3x 3.5″ drive cage, nice cable management in the back
Removable radiator mount on the front makes installing easy
So fresh and so clean

I was very surprised at how great this tower is for only $70. It’s been a while since I built a computer using more recent cases. Lots have changed. The cable management in the back is really nice. The removable plate for front mounting the radiator is a nice touch. The power supply shroud is nice. The three 3.5″ HDD drive cage on the bottom is great. This case really has a lot of functionality at a great price. It is also light compared to the Define R series. This case also has a USB3 and USB Type-C port on the top of the case.

Next is cooling. There have been many reports of difficulty with dual 140mm coolers. To avoid this, I went with the Corsair iCUE H100 Pro XT dual 120mm cooler. I don’t care for RGB and wish they made coolers without them.

Finally, the power supply. I really like EVGA and have used them in the past. I also wanted modular. I picked up the Supernova 850W Ga 80 Plus Gold.

You can check out my complete build at pcpartpicker.com.

Here are some other parts from old builds and some new I bought.

  • RAID5 drives
    • 2x Seagate Barracude Green 2TB
    • Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB
  • 2x Noctua NF-P12 redux-1300 120mm case fan. I wanted to get quieter fans.
Mount 3x 3.5″ hard drive

Shout out to @edgarcreates for hooking me up with the featured image.

Building a mini gaming machine around i3-6100 and Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Wifi

My son and I recently build his first PC. He wanted to start playing games on the computer and other things. I used some spare parts I acquired on a failed Hackintosh attempt earlier this year. He does not need anything too high-end since the games he is interested in playing have low to medium requirements. Here is the parts we used. Many of the parts I got used.

The Fractal Design Define Nano S is a very nice case. It is a bigger case than the usual cases for mini-itx motherboards but I don’t mind it. There is plenty of room for multiple hard drives, wire management, and fans.

Plenty of room for more goodies
Plenty of room for cable management and hard drives

The motherboard, for a mini-itx, has plenty of features. It has 2x HDMI ports that support 4K resolution and 2x Intel LAN ports. Be careful with the CMOS battery on these types of motherboards. It’s the typical type of battery but it does not sit on the motherboard. Wires come out of the board and taped onto the battery. If you lose the wires, you will need to replace the wire and battery altogether unless you know how to make the wire yourself.

Lots of connectivity options in the back

The 500W power supply is more than enough to power the i3-6100 processor, eVGA 750Ti video card, as well as the rest of the components. I don’t plan to over clock the CPU or GPU. At load and playing Overwatch, the power consumption floated between 78-88W. The semi-modular is a big help with cable management as well.

500W power supply

I recorded the build and uploaded it on Youtube. You can check it out.

Freenas on X79 and Intel 3930K

I had some time this past weekend to clean up an old computer I no longer use. It was a X79 platform that was replaced by X99. For many months it has just sat there turned off. I did upgrade the old OS (Windows 7 Home) to Windows 10 Home.

Recently, I lost my back up to my Synology DS1815+. I needed to find another way to back up the data off this NAS. I figured I could repurpose this machine since it’s not doing anything. The first thing I needed to do is clean it up. Check the fans and filters and clear the dust. Check the wires and cables and improve the air flow.

The radiator is dusty

Next, I removed the CPU heatsink and checked the thermal paste. I used isopropyl alcohol to remove the thermal paste. Make sure you use this in an open area. The smell can be harmful. Also, don’t spray directly onto the component. I sprayed it onto a paper towel then used it to wipe off the paste.

Isopropyl alcohol

Make sure you remove the paste thoroughly. When applying new paste, make sure you don’t put too much. It is suggested to use a pea size.

Pea size thermal paste

The ram I have installed is 32GB (4x8GB). I found some old ram that should work. Two sets of 2x4GB. Both are running at 1866Mhz but different models. The 32GB is running 1600MHz.

Mix and match ram

They still worked together. They will only run at the lowest speed though.

32GB+16GB does not equal 49152MB

I’m not sure why the BIOS calculates the total ram to be 49152MB. It should be 48GB (48000MB). I used a 16GB Kingston DataTraveler to install Freenas.

I used Seagate 2TB drives from an old Freenas server. I had 8 but somehow I can only find 7. I configured it to be a RAID5 in ZFS where 1 of the 7 drives is the parity drive. This should be large enough to be the back up of my Synology server.

7x 2TB Seagate HDD

The total capacity is just under 11TB. I’m running a script right now to do the back ups. I can’t seem to get the rsync service to work on Synology to Freenas. I’m using a Robocopy script to do the back up. I’m experiencing a lot of permission issues so some files are failing to be copied over. I may jump on macOS and use rsync to handle the rest of the back ups.

Check out my parts list if you’re curious about the details of the parts I used. The H80i is a loud cooler though. I want to switch that out some day.