Rebuilding, Part Two

So, I went in to work for some approved overtime a couple weeks ago, and that extra time was reflected on my most recent paycheck. That plus price drops on Amazon meant it was PC building time. So, I ordered a new motherboard, processor and RAM yesterday, to rebuild the CyberPowerPC gaming computer that I bought a little over a year ago. The fact that major components started failing a little over a year after purchase has made me start nicknaming this computer “Buyer’s Remorse.”

I’m not entirely certain what’s going bad, either the motherboard, processor or RAM. I didn’t feel like trying to test them, so I just replaced them. This is what was in the computer when I bought it:

-MSI B250M Bazooka motherboard: LGA 1151 socket, DDR4 RAM slots, and other stuff (do a web search if you’re interested in the stats.)
-Intel i5-7400: 3.0 GHz quad core
-MSI AMD Radeon RX580 graphics card (4GB VRAM)
-Windows 10 Home

From the start, the computer was a dream. It gamed so nicely. That RX580 could play Final Fantasy 15 on nice settings out of the box, and other notoriously “heavy” games like Arkham Knight and Ark: Survival Evolved ran nicely too. When I went to dual boot Windows and Linux, I ran into issues with the RX580. AMD doesn’t do proprietary Linux drivers anymore, and I had screen flickering with the “Pro” open source driver. So, I swapped the card for my EVGA Nvidia GTX950, which runs great in both Windows and Linux.

Well, more recently, the computer has started not booting correctly. It wouldn’t post the first time every time, leading me to come to the conclusion that one of the main components was going out, either the motherboard, processor or RAM. So, I decided to replace those components. Here’s what I got from UPS today:

-MSI B450-A Pro motherboard: AM4, DDR4, etc.
-AMD Ryzen 5 2600: 3.4 GHz base clock, 6 cores, 12 threads
-16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4 2133 MHz Corsair Vengeance RAM

The whole setup cost me less than $371, after tax and wth Prime shipping. Here’s a pic of my initial planned build:


The initial install went fine. I had to remove the little brackets for the Stealth cooler on the Ryzen 5, but that was fine. The cooler screws directly to the back plate. Ryzen and RAM installed:



And, the system all put together:



And, the computer where it goes:


I even put the Ryzen sticker on the front of the computer, which isn’t something I normally worry about. But, I was removing the Intel sticker anyway, so why not? 😉

All said and done, it took a little over an hour to build. (I didn’t even finish the Metallica black album during the time it took to build) The motherboard is a full ATX motherboard, because that’s how I roll. But, the one that came out wasn’t, so it’s fortunate I had some extra spacers and screws, so that it’s in the case securely. Also, some may have noticed that the graphics card is the EVGA Nvidia GTX950. That’s because the MSI AMD Radeon RX580 still has issues in Linux. I don’t have a Windows license that isn’t tied to that other motherboard, so I had to install Linux, though I would have anyway. When I booted up the system, I got some nasty screen distortion. I tried the Pro graphics stack for the open source driver, but the distortion was still there. So, I simply switched cards. The Nvidia GTX950 runs like a champ with proprietary drivers.

So, that’s what I have. I’m still installing software and testing stuff, but it’s looking good so far. 🙂

5 responses to “Rebuilding, Part Two

    • Nope, they stay red.

      Speaking of lights, the HDD activity light had never worked prior to me rebuilding the computer. It’s a little thing, but it’s also bright and I’d never seen it light up before. So, I guess that either didn’t work on the other board or wasn’t wired correctly.

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