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System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Intel 13th Gen DDR5 ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on February 24, 2023, 17:38 hrs »
I have built several rigs since the year 2000, and this is easily the best mid-ATX case I've used. While it's not perfect, I have few complaints. I absolutely love the compact size, while easily holding an ATX motherboard and related components. Despite the smaller compartment, I had no space-related problems getting everything in place and neatly connecting wiring. The overall build quality of the case is very good, especially at this price point.

I had a minor issue with mounting the EVGA SuperNOVA P6 power supply, which has a small "ECO" rocker switch, in addition to the power switch. If you look closely at the photo with the area circled in red (2nd to last photo), you'll see that the fitment is a bit tight for this PSU. The frame bent up a little where it catches above the edge of the rocker switch, but it's holding the PSU just fine. I would have trimmed it with my Dremel, but I did not want to risk voiding the case's warranty in case I had to send it back. It's a minor quibble, and most PSUs don't have that rocker switch anyway.

My only other quibble with the case is the power button, and it's minor as well. The button has very little travel, and requires a somewhat firm push. At one point I had to reset the computer, and holding down the button to restart the computer took a couple of efforts. A little more travel, with a softer actuation point would be helpful. On the positive side, you're less likely to accidentally trip the switch.

The single rear-mounted 120mm RGB exhaust fan was okay, but I'm not into RGB. I replaced it with 120mm non-RGB 3-pin Antec case fans that I found on sale on Amazon ($20-ish for a 5-pack), and I added two more fans as intake at the bottom. I'm sorry that I didn't include a photo of the new fan array, but there was plenty of room for all of them.

I did not bother with adding two more fans at the top, but it would have been easy enough had I chosen to do so. All fans are controlled by the motherboard, and so far it's been exceptionally quiet, even with the 120mm Noctua CPU cooler, as well as the 2 GPU fans. I'll hear the fans slightly ramp up on occasion, but it's never been excessive or attention getting.

The dark tinted tempered glass panel is nice, but I would have been just as happy if it was a solid metal panel. It will easily change out with the backside metal panel, if you prefer. Both panels are very easy to remove and reinstall, and they firmly hold in place.

Click the images for the full size photo:

System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 15, 2022, 10:32 hrs »
Excellent video regarding AIO liquid cooling:

System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 13, 2022, 11:02 hrs »
Here's an informative article from Tom'sHardware:

DDR5 vs DDR4: Is It Time To Upgrade Your RAM?

The bottom line is that DDR4 is the better value. However, the article was published in December 2021, or six months ago. That can be a lifetime when it comes to computer tech.

Staying with the Core i5-12600K and choosing a DDR4 motherboard and RAM remains a viable option. DDR4 is mature, and it would save you a considerable amount of cash. Another thing is that PCIe 5.0 is in its infancy, with few peripherals to support it anyway.

There's nothing wrong with choosing DDR5. It all depends on your budget and what makes you happy, but "bang for the buck" remains in DDR4's corner, at least for now.
System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 10, 2022, 16:05 hrs »
Looking at today's prices, the motherboard and the CPU are available for a little less. Although the motherboard is still priced the same, it is currently available with a $20 rebate. The CPU's price is also down by $13:

MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR5 Intel ATX Motherboard $230 (with additional $20 rebate)

Intel Core i5-12600K 12th Gen Alder Lake 10-Core 3.7 GHz 125W w/UHD Graphics 770 CPU $265
System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 09, 2022, 12:20 hrs »
Under the assumption that you want DDR5 RAM, that looks like a good combination. The mobo has four M.2 slots; three of which run PCIe 4.0. You get USB-C support for your case, as well as built-in WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.2. The Core i5-12600K CPU has onboard APU, so a separate graphics card is not required. Looks like win-win for your needs.

All that's left is to decide on RAM and a CPU cooler (air cooled vs liquid). For memory, I'd look at DDR5 4800 RAM, which will pair up with the Core i5-12600K perfectly. I think 32GB total (2 x 16GB) is the sweet spot for years to come, even if you decide to go with Windows 11.

This deal over at Amazon is probably the best DDR5 RAM option at the moment:

Kingston Fury Beast 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 4800 RAM $190

Should you decide on liquid cooled, for an extra $5 I'd take the S36 over the S24:

Fractal Design Celsius S36 360mm Silent High Performance CPU Liquid Cooler $120
System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by nick on June 09, 2022, 12:02 hrs »
Ok so I am considering this motherboard and chip combination MSi PRO Z690

Do you see any potential problems with this setup?

System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 09, 2022, 11:51 hrs »
As an FYI, I'm not pushing you to get a Core i5 over a Ryzen 5 or 7. I believe it's worth a close look, but ultimately you have to decide what's best for your needs and your budget. As I said before, there is nothing inherently wrong with choosing an AMD build.

Keep in mind that if you want PCIe 4.0 support, then you can't have an AMD solution with onboard graphics. With Core i5 you can have both, plus the added support of PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM. The downside is the power requirement... nearly double that of most Ryzen CPUs (125W vs 65W). Of course, running a separate video card with an AMD CPU would draw more power as well.
System Builds & Upgrades / Re: Nick's ATX Build
« Last post by scuzzy on June 09, 2022, 09:08 hrs »
I took a close look at this. Intel's Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is an automated overclocking technology that is a moot point, unless you plan to overclock an Intel Core CPU. It also has to be configured in the BIOS/UEFI in order to get the added boost. The bottom line is that XMP is an option available only for Intel Core CPUs, but XMP-enabled RAM will work perfectly fine with AMD.

On a related note, AMD's version is Accelerated Memory Profiles (AMP). Ryzen's Accelerated Memory Profile (RAMP) is also being thrown around as a possible name. Regardless of what it's called, AMP will be available for AMD's upcoming AM5 socket. If I had to take a Scientific Wild Ass Guess, I'd say that future RAM sticks will support both XMP and AMP.

Just another thing to know. But if you don't overclock, it won't matter anyway.
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