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pierces

My PC is turning 80...in computer years!

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Tip on transferring Win 10.  If you have and old retail 7 or 8 you can install 10 and select below the enter code page a link to skip the code and enter later.  You can then update everything and when running correct goto SETTING -> Update and Security -> Activation ( enter your retail number for 7 or 8.  If you old OS was pro then it activates as pro.  

 

Retail software is King...

 

framer

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23 minutes ago, framer said:

Tip on transferring Win 10.  If you have and old retail 7 or 8 you can install 10 and select below the enter code page a link to skip the code and enter later.  You can then update everything and when running correct goto SETTING -> Update and Security -> Activation ( enter your retail number for 7 or 8.  If you old OS was pro then it activates as pro.  

 

Retail software is King...

 

framer

 

Sadly, my history is full of OEM and "thank you for participating in our beta program" versions and I seem to have reached the end of my free upgrade cycle. Since Win 10 is the last version of Windows (so sayeth Microsoft) with feature updates rather than full versions every year or two, it may be time for me to just buy a retail version so I can roll it forward from here.

 

Dave

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I originally had an OEM  Win 7 home but bought a Pro upgrade  $100 online with Microsoft.  I found out it was then considered a retail version.  I then had used their free upgrade to 10 and was able to download the Win10 media from Microsoft.  I never had a 10 code.  I used that media and used my above install procedure with my Win 7 Pro Upgrade Code and it worked perfect. 

 

framer

 

 

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4 hours ago, framer said:

I originally had an OEM  Win 7 home but bought a Pro upgrade  $100 online with Microsoft.  I found out it was then considered a retail version.  I then had used their free upgrade to 10 and was able to download the Win10 media from Microsoft.  I never had a 10 code.  I used that media and used my above install procedure with my Win 7 Pro Upgrade Code and it worked perfect. 

 

framer

 

 

 

Not a direct response to you, but the reasoning behind my decision may help future DIY adventurers.

 

With no more versions of Windows planned, maybe the days of OMG! WTH! upgrades are over. So far, I have liked the incremental changes and improvements brought by the periodic feature updates. There have been a few hiccups but for the most part, it is a "kinder" method with only a few minor interface changes. There is still a mishmash of licensing options but at least the rules are pretty clear and if you aren't in the business of selling PCs or have a bunch of them in a business. All you have to worry about is Home or Pro. 32-bit vs. 64-bit shouldn't even be a question now that even bargain-basement pre-configured PCs have at least 8GB of RAM (32-bit can't address more than 4GB of RAM). As a DIY guy, I have always just gone with OEM installs because they were cheaper and I didn't care about transferring the license since there would likely be a version bump before the next PC. The new rules make the retail version attractive to me as a home system builder since I can transfer the license from PC to PC going forward.

 

Dave

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42 minutes ago, pierces said:

 

Not a direct response to (your project of building a new PC)

 

I had been a Mac user for many years and have an iMac mid 2017.

I recently decided to "upgrade" by boosting the memory from 16GB to 32GB.

Seems to be working perfectly specially with the Photoshops/Luminar4

 

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20 hours ago, tommui987 said:

 

I had been a Mac user for many years and have an iMac mid 2017.

I recently decided to "upgrade" by boosting the memory from 16GB to 32GB.

Seems to be working perfectly specially with the Photoshops/Luminar4

 

 

Most of the basic tech and the reasons for it is shared between PC and Mac. Adding memory is one of the few DIY upgrades available for iMac owners but it is also one of the most effective. 

 

Dave

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Well, that was a fun 2 hours!

IMG_20191221_100156.thumb.jpg.776d7e14c8155f2adbf9af433eb7ddb3.jpg

 

 

Quick snap of the new beastie with everything plugged in and wired up! Only missing the graphics card and of all things, A SATA cable for the hard drive.

 

Install the graphics card, finish up with a zip tie here and there, bolt on the glass front and it's ready to fly. In theory.

 

 

Dave

Edited by pierces

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Last piece of hardware is on the way!

 

A price drop and a Christmas gift card got together and arranged for an ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB graphics card to be delivered later this week. Not the top of the GPU heap but pretty perky. Especially compared to the 2GB GTX960 I'm currently running. 

 

It has been almost an entire year since I started this and it will be good to wrap it up and finally put a bow on the package. 

 

Dave

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It started up!

 

I plugged in the last pieces and gave it a test run. The bios came up and all the pertinent parts were properly detected. More importantly, all the pretty lights in the fans and such came on ! I will probably turn off all the RGB stuff as soon as the controller programs are loaded, since the machine will be hidden from view. Or maybe I'll make it all red to match the case just for consistency. I chose non-RGB when there was an option but it seems that higher-end stuff is coming with customizable illumination by default these days. I ordered a bootable installation copy of Windows 10 Pro (retail) that will arrive today, so I guess my evenings are pretty well booked for the next week or so. I plan on running the two machines side by side to do the transfer of data and thankfully, the monster monitor upgrade from last year will let me run a 2560x1600 remote desktop window like I do with my work laptop so I don't have to fiddle with multiple keyboards and mice (which I always end up typing on or moving the wrong one).

 

I'll post the boring benchmarks and my hopefully less boring impressions in a week or so. Or so.

 

Dave

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I'm glad it went without hiccups. I didn't see the lights dim here north of Houston☠️  Transfers of data have always bent me the wrong way. That two-mouse-thing has me really messing up. It seems you've had a good year building the new putr. My youngest son has always made his from scratch as well as all his ARs and has tried his darnedest to get me to do the same. I've always been to skeert to do that, so do the off-the -shelf thing. I would definitely go with the all red even though it will be hidden. Makes for a cool nite lite.

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5 hours ago, masterdrago said:

... Makes for a cool nite lite.

 

Doesn't affect the night vision either... 😉

 

 

Dave

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Damn...

image.thumb.png.e768c639e367bb97f0ed640442d40d81.png

 

Sort of pretty!

 

Can't put the front glass shield on until it's mounted on the wall, but that is one attractive piece of hardware...if I do say so myself. 🙂

 

I t seems my choice of the cooler was a good one. On initial load, the fans weren't working. During the troubleshooting, the CPU temp never exceeded 101° F. now it is running almost silently at 93°.

 

Tech is good. Good tech is great!

 

Dave

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Almost there. Files copied and I'm using the new computer as a primary now to help identify the stuff that I use regularly without thinking that I may have forgotten to install.

 

Some brief first impressions:

  • Muy perky.
  • Excel and word load and are ready for file selection in about two seconds. Not a phrase. Less than two seconds.
  • Edge browser is sub-second.
  • Photoshop loads from a fresh startup in a bit under five seconds. Seven if opening a normal 24MP file.
  • Lightroom is coming up and ready to browse in about 10 seconds. This is compared to a minute or two on the old box. To be fair, I think my configuration on the old machine was part of that. The new config with the working files and catalog on the same SSD with the archive on the hard drive seems to be a happy setup. I really like the way Lightroom manages the catalog. My catalog has 171k files spread across two drives and three main sources: Working, Archive and OneDrive Pictures folder (local copies replicated to the web from my phone and then down to the desktop). Moving a folder from working to it's archive location is seamlessly mirrored in the real file structure by Lightroom. Even between physical drives. Very handy.
  •  
  • image.thumb.png.fa5186f0d070e330a67093987566b77f.png

I haven't really been able to see a difference in the speed of the graphics or how it may improve rendering of filters and such but the colors are great after calibration and the new card is sooooo much quieter than the old one (think hairdryer...which is why it's on the other side of the wall in the closet). I'm sitting at my desk right now with the new machine on the floor in front of it and I can't hear it over a tv at a very moderate volume. Since it's an open design, the only fans on the machine are three on the radiator and another three on the graphics card with none running over 600 rpm at the moment. This generation of chips really runs cool.

 

Still a ways to go but the computer area in the closet is clear (long, sweaty morning) and ready to configure for the new rig. This part has to be easier than installing the mini split A/C last weekend!

 

Edit: Almost forgot an impression. Built-in gaming WiFi on the motherboard is insanely fast. On my Google mesh WiFi, it is nearly identical (within 5%) of the 420MB/s or so that I get wired on the old machine. I looked it up and if I had gigabit internet with a WiFi-6 (802.11ax) router, it would theoretically give me gigabit wireless connectivity. Really impressive.

 

Dave

Edited by pierces

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Dave:

Do you use your TV to show your photos?

 

If so, what is the procedure?

Thanks!

 

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55 minutes ago, tommui987 said:

Dave:

Do you use your TV to show your photos?

 

If so, what is the procedure?

Thanks!

 

 

I have my Fire TV set to display a selected album from my Amazon Photos account as a screensaver, but if I were to want to do a slide show, I would create an album (Amazon Photos does virtual albums without duplicating images) of the specific images and trigger a slide show. The slide show function doesn't have a lot of options, but it is easy and quick.

 

Dave

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Th...th...th...That's all, folks!

 

The new machine is officially on duty. The old machine has been set up to be accessible via remote desktop for a few weeks in case I find some little thing not included in the backups and so I can do some image and filter rendering comparison tests.

 

Still a little cable management to do, but everything is connected and working. The monitor and PC are on the 1500VA UPS and the peripherals and hub on their own smaller unit. The Xbox has it's own. In its cupboard, the inbound network stuff is on one as well, so if I blow a circuit here or have a localized power outage, I will still have internet...and something to look at it with. I'll be adding a new external drive for backups, pretty up the shelf area and reconfigure my desk accessible USB ports but there's no rush (another year? 😶).

 

IMG_20200127_135649.thumb.jpg.605e87d219d5445bc1613a40179a69c7.jpg

 

Almost a year since I started and so far, I feel the process was worth it. I learned a lot about the new tech, even if I ended up not adopting all of it. The machine ended up costing me about $2250 plus the forever copy of Windows 10. I haven't found any online customize-it-yourself site where I can get a representation of the same package for less and often more. Also, many features I want, such as the drive combination and overdone cooling needed for where it is mounted in a non-ventilated space simply aren't available as options.

 

I realize that most people won't want or need a high performance desktop and fewer will want to build their own, but hopefully this little "blog" had provided some information that will help folks understand the basic what and why of computer components and provide some insight when they shop for an off-the-shelf PC/laptop or configure one online.

 

I'll keep track of this thread in case anybody has more questions or comments.

 

Happy processing!

 

Dave

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Dave - This was tremendously helpful and equally enjoyable to read.  If it's not too much trouble, would you mind summarizing all of the various bits and pieces that you ended up using?  Sorry if you already did that and I missed it.  I'm getting ready to pull the trigger and am still going back and forth between DIY and off the shelf.  Thanks!!  

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1 hour ago, bobmacliberty said:

Dave - This was tremendously helpful and equally enjoyable to read.  If it's not too much trouble, would you mind summarizing all of the various bits and pieces that you ended up using?  Sorry if you already did that and I missed it.  I'm getting ready to pull the trigger and am still going back and forth between DIY and off the shelf.  Thanks!!  

 

It was sprinkled here and there with some additions and edits but there's the final list:

 

CPU - Intel 1-i7-9700K
RAM - 2-2x16GB kits for 64GB -Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 3200 MHz DDR4 DRAM 
Motherboard - Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
GPU - ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Overclocked
SSD - 2x XPG GAMMIX 1TB S11 Pro 3D NAND PCIe NVMe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 SSD
(one for boot and one for working directories)
HD - Seagate BarraCuda 6TB Internal Hard Drive HDD 5400 RPM 256MB Cache
CPU Cooler - Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Liquid cooler
Power Supply - Seasonic FOCUS Plus 750 Platinum SSR-750PX 750W
Case - Thermaltake Core P3 ATX Tempered Glass Gaming Computer Case Chassis

 

Glad you got some use out of a year's worth of my rambling! 🙂

 

Dave

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34 minutes ago, pierces said:

Glad you got some use out of a year's worth of my rambling! 🙂

 

One man's ramblings are another man's research.  🤣

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I just did a quick check on the Dell web site, trying to match your specs where possible:

 

Dell XPS Desktop Special addition

i7 9700K (same CPU)

RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB GDDR6 (same GPU)

64GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM (slightly slower...3200 MHz not an option)

850W Power Supply (vs. your 750W)

1TB SSD Boot, 1TB 7200rpm storage (vs. your 2 X 1TB SSD AND 6TB spinning...I'd need to add a large external HD)

Boring black box case (vs. your work of art airport landing system)

Win 10 Home

 

Total price = $2720

 

Ouch.  You got some good deals that I may or may not be able to match (maybe prices have dropped some in the months that have passed??). Going the DIY route though could save me enough money for a $500 lens. 😉

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15 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

I just did a quick check on the Dell web site, trying to match your specs where possible:

 

Dell XPS Desktop Special addition

i7 9700K (same CPU)

RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB GDDR6 (same GPU)

64GB 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM (slightly slower...3200 MHz not an option)

850W Power Supply (vs. your 750W)

1TB SSD Boot, 1TB 7200rpm storage (vs. your 2 X 1TB SSD AND 6TB spinning...I'd need to add a large external HD)

Boring black box case (vs. your work of art airport landing system)

Win 10 Home

 

Total price = $2720

 

Ouch.  You got some good deals that I may or may not be able to match (maybe prices have dropped some in the months that have passed??). Going the DIY route though could save me enough money for a $500 lens. 😉

 

One of the reasons I build my own computers is exactly what you are seeing. Options like unusual drive configurations and liquid cooling are hard to find unless you go with a super custom (read as super expensive) gaming rig. I spent about $2250 plus about $200 for Win10 Pro, but I got exactly what I wanted. I get to roll the full-retail version of Windows forward next time, which is an option I never had with past OEM versions, so that's a plus. I also got all the cool wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity on the Strix gaming motherboard as well as one-click overclocking, superfast ethernet and all kinds of USB connections from 2.0 to type-C. 

 

Like I said, it's not for everyone,  but if you do go the DIY route, there are definitely some advantages.

 

Dave

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Dave, I keep looking at your water cooled overclocked rig. CPU thermals should be okay with the CPU on water but how much air do you have running over all the rest?  In my mind the board (mosfets, chipset, and m.2 ssds) and GPU are all on air (cannot see it all that well). So the board components will benefit from directed air flow. It might be okay in a closet but have you run a benchmark and check temps to make sure they remain in spec?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, masterdrago said:

Dave, I keep looking at your water cooled overclocked rig. CPU thermals should be okay with the CPU on water but how much air do you have running over all the rest?  In my mind the board (mosfets, chipset, and m.2 ssds) and GPU are all on air (cannot see it all that well). So the board components will benefit from directed air flow. It might be okay in a closet but have you run a benchmark and check temps to make sure they remain in spec?

 

I check it once in a while. It crept up into the high 70s here a couple of days ago and I thought it prudent to look. The CPU was running at  4.76GHz on all eight cores at 96° F and the MB sensor showed 113°.  The Strix board is heavily heatsinked to handle the issues that may arise from its native overclocking utility and the Strix graphics card is heavily cooled as well (I specifically chose the three-fan model). Both SSDs are heatsinked and have never showed signs of throttling. Heat spreaders on the memory too. Note that the case is completely open on all sides with a glass front, so there is no heat build-up. Convection pulls a mild but noticeable breeze from the bottom to top. 

 

So far, so good.

 

Dave

Edited by pierces

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Dave,

 

I had not planned on getting a new laptop so soon after upgrading my desktop computer but I could not resist this one.  https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ZenBook-Pro-Duo-UX581GV/

I can put PS tools and menus on the 2nd screen and have the whole top one to work on.  A bit heavy but only 1/2lb more that I've been using.

 

framer

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7 hours ago, framer said:

Dave,

 

I had not planned on getting a new laptop so soon after upgrading my desktop computer but I could not resist this one.  https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ZenBook-Pro-Duo-UX581GV/

I can put PS tools and menus on the 2nd screen and have the whole top one to work on.  A bit heavy but only 1/2lb more that I've been using.

 

framer

 

I officially want one. I'm not going to get one, but I really want one. That is the first laptop to cause that reaction in a long, long time. 

 

Very cool!

 

Dave

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