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About Kaelon

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  1. I know that this topic was inherently unpopular / incendiary, especially since the vast majority of people in the LTT community are, like myself, enthusiasts. But I think that there are several use-cases for purchasing and/or building a PC: General Consumers, by and large, will play sub-AAA titles casually and use PCs for productivity purposes. ~$400/PC (excluding peripherals) is plenty powerful for this audience, given the widespread availability of multi-core processors, cheap RAM, high-speed storage, and integrated / budget graphics that render most games at acceptable framerates with satisfactory levels of detail. PC Gamers, or those who spend the majority of their "PC time" gaming rather than doing non-gaming tasks, will find that this ~$400 mileage varies based upon the subject of their gaming hobby. Turn-based and grand strategy gamers, for example, will be fine play on a machine with lower specs because the game has nominal differences between the low-end and even the mid-tier for performance. However, first-person shooters and immersive open-world RPGs have higher framerate requirements and lower-performing machines will show visual artifacts - such as dithering, aliases, skipped/missed framerates, and screen tearing - especially at low-to-medium specifications. Competitors, those who play in either amateur of professional esports, will inherently need mid-to-high-tier components in order to be seen credibly in their competition and to have an advantage in game. The ~$400 PC is inherently unacceptable to this audience, and the audience is arguably much larger than the OP may think it is. Anyone who plays games in a group for a competitive end will feel the pressure to spend more on their hobby to have an advantage, even if that group is tiny and their immediate friend-circle, rather than open team-based competition. Enthusiasts, who the OP admits is excluded from the definition of "most people," inherently want the best quality for their hobby and ~$400 won't cut it other than as a thought experiment or a tinkering exercise as a proof-of-concept. Think of this group as any other group of enthusiasts - be it stereo / home media enthusiasts, car enthusiasts, home improvement enthusiasts, etc. These are min-max'ers, people whose passion (the "enthusiasm") is directly derived from their ability to drive quality on their own terms. This is a pretty large definition and different price-points and budgets for this group (since, after all, the entire LTT could be thought of as enthusiasts), but entry-level or mass-consumption machines defeat the point here. The reality that the OP cites, re: high refresh-rate monitors, is a use case that cuts across groups 2, 3, and 4 above. If you're playing an FPS game, even as a general PC gamer, you will notice screen-tearing on 60 hz displays playing with a mid-tier graphics card; if you're competitive, ~120 hz with system synchronization (G-SYNC or FreeSync) is a basic expectation to avoid critical time-driven lag; and, enthusiasts, by and large, wouldn't tolerate something less than fluid (or as Linus calls it, "buttery-smooth") refresh rates. Just my two cents.
  2. Generally speaking, it sounds like you've got some corrupted system applications, drivers, or DLLs. If I ever exhibited any of these behaviors you're describing, the machine would be a prime candidate for a fresh system wipe and restart. This doesn't sound like a hardware issue, FWIW.
  3. In short, no. Mining Cards are a very specific application of a GPU to be used for, as you can surmise, mining cryptocurrency (or, more specifically, performing a series of complex mathematical computations to advance publicly held ledger data). This is an extremely narrow use case, and in order to gain processor benefits for the rest of your system, you would need to have applications (and corresponding drivers) that specifically take advantage of GPUs for computational purposes. By default, games and pretty much every other application on your system won't benefit from the power of a mining GPU. There are certainly some nuances to this answer, including possible workarounds (many, but not all, convoluted). While Mining GPUs are inexpensive, by and large it's also because they have a very specific workload associated with their capacities.
  4. You will definitely get more bang for your buck if you're thinking of waiting until the 3000 Series to come out. However, if you're looking to future proof and are willing to wait a few months, consider a build in the Fall with the 3000 Series in mind. That should give you, very comfortably, 18-24 months at the top-end of the spectrum.
  5. I would try the following steps: Try a different SATA cable into SATA-1 port and see if the cable is faulty. Attempt a different SATA port on your motherboard, with a different cable. Try installing the 2.5 SSD into another machine, if you have one. If the above three don't resolve, then, pretty safe to say that the SSD is done. Let me ask has it been more than 5 years that you've had it?
  6. Seems completely fine - the Motherboard seems to be reporting the CPU ambient temps, and as I mentioned, anything below 80 C is totally fine. In a TUF Gaming setup, you should be able to creep up even higher with adequate cooling.
  7. 60 C is perfectly fine. Most CPUs and surrounding Motherboard components are rated to operate safely at 80 C and lower However, many systems are purpose-built to tolerate higher. For example, gaming laptops routinely can handle up to 88 C without much issue. However, anything above 95 C is considered critical and can potentially lead to potential decoupling of silicon, and actual damage to your chips.
  8. Yes, those look like neither dead or stuck pixels - and it's likely dust beneath the panel. You could try and repair this yourself, or you can try and get a can of compressed air (though, we're talking a micro-particle that slipped in a miniscule space in between the panel's glass and the liquid crystal matrix. So unlikely you can just "blow" it out. But at least some signs you may be able to troubleshoot or get locally addressed. Personally, if I were dealing with this, I would return to the reseller (preferably, a purchase made through Amazon or Best Buy would cover something like this in the United States).
  9. Basically, what @Jtalk4456 says, because solid peripherals (a good mecahnical keyboard for gaming and a robust gaming mouse) will hit you for another ~$100-$170 depending upon your needs and preferences. Generally speaking, though, at a ~$1,200 starting price, I would go for an AMD Ryzen 7 chip with a GeForce RTX 1660 Ti combination to start. If you're willing to wait another few months before you pull the trigger, the GeForce 2000's will be dropping in price as soon as the 3000 Series is released and that might be a good moment to build around a 2080.
  10. Thanks! And yeah, it comes pre-installed with ASUS ROG laptops, and when you download NVIDIA drivers, it's one of the many options offered. I usually leave PhysX uninstalled, but hadn't checked into it for years and thought this might be a good time to check in with the LTT brain-trust. I'm going to leave the USB-C driver in there, out of an abundance of caution. Thanks again!
  11. I appreciate that! Glad to hear that PhysX is pointless, just as I suspected. The list of titles officially leveraging PhysX is minuscule, too. Yeah, I've never used GE before so didn't even know about the instant replay/record/stream feature. I have a dedicated recording/streaming PC that I push content out to using an Elgato 4k60 Pro Mk. 2 capture card, so it was never top of mind. Will definitely look into it. Will also need to look into the NVIDIA-provided USB-C driver and why it would somehow be superior to the standard Windows 10 Pro USB-C drivers.
  12. Kaelon

    Looking For Chair

    Have you considered a BeautyRest? They are office-style (so, non-gamer design), but they come in solid black and dark grey, and look really great and are exceptionally sturdy. I just replaced my last BeautyRest (which served me for over 15 years!) with a new one for less than ~$300. Something like in this family.
  13. Hi Everyone! Traditionally, when setting up a brand new machine, I uninstall all of the NVIDIA software and drivers (GeForce Experience, HD Audio, etc.), especially PhysX. Is this the right thing to do today? (In this example, I'm using a new laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q.) Given that there are only ~40 games out on the market that support PhysX, none of which are current or new AAA titles, it seems like this software would technically classify as abandonware or bloatware, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything important or otherwise obvious here. Otherwise, I assume it's fine to remove it along with HD Audio, the NVIDIA USB-C Driver, GeForce Experience, etc. Am I right in saying that? Thanks for your thoughts!
  14. Thanks! For those following, I went with this machine from QNAP: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MSWNXKL And I bought 4 x 8TB WD Reds, as recommended, for 24/7 operation. Quick question: If I want to expand my storage, I can just add the storage normally and don't need to re-provision to maintain my RAID-5 setup, is that right?
  15. Thanks, but, I'm more interested in the hardware recommendations here. Should I be looking at old Xeon Servers? What processors should I be investigating? Ideally, I'd like to buy a competitively-priced already-built solution, so that I can just add hard drives. Possible?