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
-8GB DDR4
-1TB HDD
-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:

IMG_20190503_170002453

Continue reading

Ah, That New Monitor Feeling

I finally got myself a 1080p monitor.

IMG_20190427_175431551

It’s an Acer SB220Q 21.5″ monitor, 1080p display. It has VGA and HDMI hookups and it came with a VGA cable, but I don’t know who in their right mind would hook up a 1080p monitor with VGA. My graphics card doesn’t even have VGA, I’d have to have used a DVI to VGA adapter. Fortunately, I have HDMI cables a plenty, so I used one of those to hook it up. But, that was how I planned it. Had I not had one, I’d have bought a HDMI cable with the monitor.

I really like it, the display is nice and crisp. I had to do some minor text scaling fixes in both Solus OS (Linux) and in Firefox. That would have been necessary in Windows too, as no OS on the planet handles HiDPI displays that well. Fortunately, it’s only 1080p and I have excellent eyesight, so setting both to 1.1x scaling worked great. I watched some of Steve Neill’s Enterprise videos that he’s been re-posting on his blog on the new monitor. 🙂

Anyway, it’s Amazon’s choice for “monitor.” It’s only $90, and is considered by many to be the best sub $100 monitor, with 4.3/5 stars on Amazon.

Here it is next to my old Samsung monitor:

IMG_20190427_171720719

The Samsung I’ve had for ages, it’s a 20″ display with a max resolution of 1600×900. Not a bad monitor at all, but it has seen better days. (the screen has a pretty bad scratch in it, which is totally my fault) Even though it’s got a smaller display, the bezel is much larger, so the Acer and Samsung are practically the same size.