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Dredgy

$10K (AUD) ITX Workstation

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is my second attempt to build a super powerful, ITX workstation. I'm in no hurry to complete, but I have enough parts now that I can post some pictures.

 

My ageing X79 workstation (Intel 4930K 6c/12t, 64GB DDR3 & 2x GTX780Tis) has started failing quite rapidly - I've lost the graphics cards, the mass storage array, 2 monitors, the mouse & the keyboard. This PC was well over $10k Australian when new (closer to 20 I think), and even now replacing it spec for spec is not going to be cheap, but I'm going to throw in a few upgrades as well.

 

My wants: Good monitors (I got 144Hz TN panels last time, and I actually just want bright, color accurate IPS displays now with the right resolutions), hot swappable storage, good CPU and GPU. I want this in as small a case as possible, which poses a problem with CPU cooling, so I quickly revised that to "smallest case possible that can fit a 240mm radiator". 

 

Being Australia, prices are quite high, shipping to my location in particular is very high, especially considering some parts have to be shipped from the US.

 

Parts list, acquired so far, all prices in AUD and include shipping:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3950X - $1235
  • Mobo: Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX Mobo with Thunderbolt - $458
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro 100x + 2x Noctua IndustrialPPC 120mm - $200 (I already had one fan lying around)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (2x 32GB) 2666Mhz - $581.89
  • PSU: Corsair 750W SFX Platinum Power Supply - $264.48
  • Mouse/Keyboard: Logitech G613 (terrible keyboard, will be swapping it out) and Logitech G603 Mouse - $251.99
  • Case: Sliger SM570, matte white - $596.60 (not yet delivered)
  • Dust Filters: Full kit for Sliger SM570 from DemciFlex - $85 (not yet delivered)
  • Storage 1: Samsung 970 Evo Plus Nvme 2TB (primary boot) - $671
  • Storage 2:  Samsung 860 QVO 2TB (for weekly backups, changed to Sandisk Ultra 3D 2TB) - $349

Parts List to Acquire:

  • Monitor 1: Eizo EV2730Q - ~$1749 + shipping
  • Monitor 2: Samsung CJ89 Super Ultrawide 49" - ~$1200 + shipping
  • Monitor 3: Dell Ultrasharp 4K 30.5" - ~$649 + shipping
  • GPU: RTX 2080Ti. Will wait until March to order in case of Super Variant. ~$1700 + shipping.
  • Thunderbolt Dock: Elgato Dock - ~$379
  • Disk Dock: Blackmagic Multidock USB 10Gbps - ~$850 

Total spent so far: $4691.96

Total to spend (approx): $6527

Total (approx): $11,218.96. Safe to say, the monitor budget might have to drop, as I really wanted to do the build for less than $10k. I don't really need the 4K monitor, but we will see what happens. I'm hoping for a price drop on the EIZO, it was down to $1400 on boxing day but I had just ordered the CPU so had exceeded my PC budget for the week.

 

Anyways, onto the actual build so far. It didn't start that well. I ordered a 3950X on a drunken impulse, and when it arrived it had two bent pins out of the box! Not cool. The motherboard hadn't arrived yet, so I was thankfully able to send it back to be repaired without impacting the build.

cpu2.thumb.jpg.3da21b8201561d7f2919629cae3fccdd.jpg

 

Thankfully, it got back to me the same day the motherboard, PSU and RAM all arrived.

parts.jpg.4b936320f09e9bd9635712f3ee68502e.jpg
RAM was something I was actually the most excited for - I was running 512MB of RAM up until 2010, so I overcompensate now. In my current PC, I have 8x8GB sticks so it's completely mindblowing to me that I can have 64GB of RAM in just two RAM sticks!

1342851545_Photo20-1-20113148pm.thumb.jpg.3b0769f412e8e2955a9ff243daebb29c.jpg

 

The PSU is also exciting: 750 watts! In an SFX form factor! At platinum efficiency! Insane. And it comes with fully sleeved cables which might actually prove problematic in the confines of an ITX case.

psu2.jpg.87fab2e700de9a34ba4af57568f0b704.jpg

psu1.jpg.cd34d145b98e0022e021646503578927.jpg

 

Motherboard is also exciting, but only because it has thunderbolt on AMD which I never thought I'd see happen. Lack of thunderbolt on X79 was a major limiting factor as I couldn't have high speed external storage arrays. 

165973477_Photo20-1-20113221pm.thumb.jpg.b538fcc41f730c6061954247b276e825.jpg

2104449895_cpusocket.jpg.59aba007161f7f031555b82da720a972.jpg

 

In my haste, I realised I'd forgotten a cooler so I can't actually test this, but even as it stands, I have a 64GB RAM, 16 core, 32 thread system on a tiny ITX board. Storage & cooler should be here tomorrow, and the case was ordered right before I started typing this thread. It has to dispatch from the US, so I'm not sure how long it will take.

 

Anyways, I'm loving how this build is shaping up so far, is a super fun project.

 

Mouse and keyboard also arrived, do not like the keyboard very much, but am currently using it on my current PC.

Photo 20-1-20, 11 30 58 pm.jpg

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Just now, hni_7 said:

nice

amazing how much preformance you can get in a small case/build

just a question why do you want a small pc, you can get better preformance  and price on a bigger chassie

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, hni_7 said:

amazing how much preformance you can get in a small case/build

just a question why do you want a small pc, you can get better preformance  and price on a bigger chassie

For fun.

 

I don't think the price would change much, except on the case and maybe on the motherboard, but if I went for full size, a) I'd be bored and b) I would subsequently keep adding stuff (custom loop, 128GB RAM at least, enthusiast platform) that would blow out the cost.

I also have an EATX build at the moment, and it can't fit on my desk, so it sits underneath where all the dust sits and I never get to see it

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1 hour ago, hni_7 said:

amazing how much preformance you can get in a small case/build

just a question why do you want a small pc, you can get better preformance  and price on a bigger chassie

Go to a smaller build adds more challenge which is more fun to build I guess, also smaller footprint means more space on the desktop. For me a smaller build like real SFF is more than a device but it's also kind of minimalistic furniture. They're classy rather than ordinary.


SILVER GLINT

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X || Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 I Aorus Pro WiFi || Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3600 MHz || GPU: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT || Storage: Intel 660P Series || PSU: Corsair SF600 Platinum || Case: Phanteks Evolv Shift TG Modded || Cooling: EKWB ZMT Tubing, Velocity Strike RGB, Vector RX 5700 +XT Special Edition, EK-Quantum Kinetic FLT 120 DDC, and EK Fittings || Fans: Noctua NF-F12 (2x), NF-A14, NF-A12x15

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3 hours ago, Dredgy said:

This is my second attempt to build a super powerful, ITX workstation. I'm in no hurry to complete, but I have enough parts now that I can post some pictures.

 

My ageing X79 workstation (Intel 4930K 6c/12t, 64GB DDR3 & 2x GTX780Tis) has started failing quite rapidly - I've lost the graphics cards, the mass storage array, 2 monitors, the mouse & the keyboard. This PC was well over $10k Australian when new (closer to 20 I think), and even now replacing it spec for spec is not going to be cheap, but I'm going to throw in a few upgrades as well.

 

My wants: Good monitors (I got 144Hz TN panels last time, and I actually just want bright, color accurate IPS displays now with the right resolutions), hot swappable storage, good CPU and GPU. I want this in as small a case as possible, which poses a problem with CPU cooling, so I quickly revised that to "smallest case possible that can fit a 240mm radiator". 

 

Being Australia, prices are quite high, shipping to my location in particular is very high, especially considering some parts have to be shipped from the US.

 

Parts list, acquired so far, all prices in AUD and include shipping:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3950X - $1235
  • Mobo: Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX Mobo with Thunderbolt - $458
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro 100x + 2x Noctua IndustrialPPC 120mm - $200 (I already had one fan lying around)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 64GB (2x 32GB) 2666Mhz - $581.89
  • PSU: Corsair 750W SFX Platinum Power Supply - $264.48
  • Mouse/Keyboard: Logitech G613 (terrible keyboard, will be swapping it out) and Logitech G603 Mouse - $251.99
  • Case: Sliger SM570, matte white - $596.60 (not yet delivered)
  • Dust Filters: Full kit for Sliger SM570 from DemciFlex - $85 (not yet delivered)
  • Storage 1: Samsung 970 Evo Plus Nvme 2TB (primary boot) - $671
  • Storage 2:  Samsung 860 QVO 2TB (for weekly backups) - $349

 

 

 

 

 

damn son, this rig makes me kinda jealous. Just out of curiosity, what is the reasoning behind the 2666 memory? Does the ryzen 3rd gen still rely on fast ram? Also just cause I'm kind of curious, what kind of work do you use it for?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, PeterFile said:

damn son, this rig makes me kinda jealous. Just out of curiosity, what is the reasoning behind the 2666 memory? Does the ryzen 3rd gen still rely on fast ram? Also just cause I'm kind of curious, what kind of work do you use it for?

Poorish research on my part + necessity. So I didn’t know Ryzen required high speed memory so much - in my experience over many years, memory speed didn’t matter so I didn’t think to check if it suddenly mattered. Also it’s been a while, 2666Mhz is FAST for me coming from DDR3 - the RAM kit in my current computer is 2400Mhz but the CPU can’t actually run it at that, so I had to under clock it to 2133.

 

All a moot point as 2x 32GB kits aren’t that common, and this was the only one in stock the day I ordered.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, PeterFile said:

Also just cause I'm kind of curious, what kind of work do you use it for?

Ah basically video & photo editing on the fly, but also a wide array of programming experiments, media consumption, very light gaming (mostly emulation), and print design for things as large as billboards. I don’t need this much power as I’m in a position where most serious work that needs to be done, I have someone else to do it for me.

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2 minutes ago, Dredgy said:

Poorish research on my part + necessity. So I didn’t know Ryzen required high speed memory so much - in my experience over many years, memory speed didn’t matter so I didn’t think to check if it suddenly mattered. Also it’s been a while, 2666Mhz is FAST for me coming from DDR3 - the RAM kit in my current computer is 2400Mhz but the CPU can’t actually run it at that, so I had to under clock it to 2133.

 

All a moot point as 2x 32GB kits aren’t that common, and this was the only one in stock the day I ordered.

cool cool. I did the opposite, I bought 3200 mhz memory while my motherboard only supported 2666. It was on sale, so I didn't spend extra money, but still. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Cooler and storage and stuff arrived so set up a test bench.

3950X doesn't have any integrated graphics but everything turns on and seemingly works.

 

I used Noctua Industrial PPC fans just in case heat becomes a problem (my ambient room temperature is 38 degrees celsius at the moment).

Testbench.thumb.jpg.cf74933983da89fe7db05bc76d550437.jpg

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Found a spare GPU, got UEFI to boot. All looking good, still staggers me that I can get this spec on an ITX.

 

urefi.thumb.jpg.6ce3ba833cbe3c90a96213b24702aee7.jpg

 

Only issue is Idle temps are 60 degrees Celsius on an open bench, though fans are only running at quarter speed. But still, cramming it into the case when it eventually shows up could be fun.

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46 minutes ago, Dredgy said:

Only issue is Idle temps are 60 degrees Celsius on an open bench, though fans are only running at quarter speed.

If you're running it now as seen in the picture above with the fans blowing into the table, the 60 degrees are not that surprising. Try having the fans actually have room to blow away the air ;)


I have no signature

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, Helly said:

If you're running it now as seen in the picture above with the fans blowing into the table, the 60 degrees are not that surprising. Try having the fans actually have room to blow away the air ;)

Only half of the fans are on the table! ?

But yeah I’m not worried at all about temps, will get windows booted up this week some time, and then it’s just wait for the case to finally show up.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Okay, didn’t have too much time to work on it this week, I misplaced the screw for the nvme ssd which was irritating as hell. It took me forever to find a screw the right size (stole it from a terminal at work).

 

So finally got that in today, went to boot a Windows installer and...nothing. Well, the Windows logo. One day me and Windows will get along. Since it is 2AM here and I just flew in from work, I’m not in the mood to troubleshoot the windows install, and seriously considered just firing up openSuse...

 

Could also be an issue with the gpu, as this gpu is known to be faulty and was crashing windows regularly last time I used it.

28DDDECA-0E82-498A-B0FB-FFA72995F786.thumb.jpeg.6e892e228529dd4e8f4ef42ed323a16c.jpeg98360B3D-026F-4004-9739-284744236B20.thumb.jpeg.2ae3cbad916d102630795b4561ce7088.jpeg

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So old PC died completely, as did that 780TI. Case was delayed in shipping too, so it finally got here and I'll be doing final assembly tomorrow, and likely ordering a GPU for next week. But been using it like this for a week or so:

1037878262_Photo11-2-2032204pm.thumb.jpg.675f250550f8c5f0c762a59c5cd7b259.jpg

 

It's in an area semi protected from dust, but this means I'm running HDMI cables 20 metres to my dusty desk!

 

Every product I've ever owned from Samsung has failed spectacularly - microwaves, air conditioners, hard drives, phones, you name it. So I'm generally hesitant to use any of their products these days. Well 10 days into using this PC, Windows booted up into Automatic disk repair which put me on edge. So I returned the backup SSD (the QVO one) and purchased a Sandisk Ultra 3D 2TB instead, as I have a high degree of faith in them.

923936205_Photo11-2-2030606pm.thumb.jpg.574a23a107856e627136dae847a40772.jpg

 

Dust filters also look pretty slick, I was going to put them on the inside of the case, but leaning towards the external now.

 

414309942_Photo12-2-20103829pm.thumb.jpg.3cddf72caae700c7a609c929858f8259.jpg919555382_Photo12-2-20103927pm.thumb.jpg.ea68027dcf240ed1c2dee4d14048a931.jpg

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, PositiveRaisin2 said:

What’s the plan for the old mobo and cpu

Will sell the remnants of the old computer locally

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Samsung is a really good brand when it comes to ssds and I would give them a try, your regular Sata ssd won’t get the same performance as a nvme drive, if your 100% not budging for Samsung, then savrent is also a really good brand at a much cheaper price ?


Quote me for a reply, React if I was helpful, informative, or funny

 

AMD blackout rig

 

cpu: ryzen 5 3600 @4.4ghz @1.35v

gpu: rx580 @1.45ghz mem=2100mhz

ram: vengeance lpx c15 @3800mhz

mobo: Asus b450f

psu: cooler master mwe 650w

case: masterbox mbx520

fans:Noctua industrial 3000rpm x6

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 hours ago, scuff gang said:

Samsung is a really good brand when it comes to ssds and I would give them a try, your regular Sata ssd won’t get the same performance as a nvme drive, if your 100% not budging for Samsung, then savrent is also a really good brand at a much cheaper price ?

I have a samsung nvme as boot drive and its apparently already having issues.
Originally I had the redundant SATA drive as a Samsung QVO, but I’ve switched that to Sandisk.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Internals all but done. Ended up using the dust filters on the outside because I think they look good (sue me). Also much easier to access when I need to clean. GPU is only component left to order, any news on a 2080Ti super? 

C2A1B6AD-B52A-4FD6-9CC1-A0A17F55742C.thumb.jpeg.b77e01165bdfd714a6a21603c56d1637.jpeg
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Came out quite clean given the size. Fantastic case to work in, although I wasn’t able to connect the SATA drive because not enough clearance between the PSU and motherboard for the SATA connector! (Well I was, but not without doing some extremely janky shit that required the use of a mallet). Low profile sata cables are on the way!

 

Doing a bit of an unorthodox airflow design. Drawing air from the bottom two fans and using the radiator to exhaust. Temps under load max at about 75 degrees. Have ordered some Noctua thermal compound to see if that helps, but not expecting much of an improvement. Might also try a bit of undervolting, but the PC is not thermal throttling so I’m satisfied - also worth pointing out the industrial fans on the radiators are set to never hit 100% (3000RPM) so I have headroom there too. Main advantage of this layout is that it stops dust from settling on top of the machine, and dust is the biggest problem in this room.

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I love the progress pics and how clean you were able to do this... but after reading the OP I have just one question...

 

How in the world were you running anything on 512mb of RAM in 2010 before that upgrade?? I had 2gb RAM in my final Pentium 4 rig, and 4gb in my last Windows Xp rig with the Core 2 Duo E8500 in I think 2008 ?


HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

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Posted · Original PosterOP
34 minutes ago, Kalm_Traveler said:

I love the progress pics and how clean you were able to do this... but after reading the OP I have just one question...

 

How in the world were you running anything on 512mb of RAM in 2010 before that upgrade?? I had 2gb RAM in my final Pentium 4 rig, and 4gb in my last Windows Xp rig with the Core 2 Duo E8500 in I think 2008 ?


I had a 40GB hard drive in that build too (upgraded from a 2GB). That computer was P3 or P2 iirc, purchased in 1998. I only ever used to do programming which was never resource intensive, but my use cases widened a lot once I hit adulthood. Living rurally I’m used to a 6 GB cap on my internet too ( finally lifted in 2016, and I lived in the city for a few years beforehand) so to me a gigabyte or anything is a HUGE thing, and not something I take for granted,

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4 hours ago, Dredgy said:


I had a 40GB hard drive in that build too (upgraded from a 2GB). That computer was P3 or P2 iirc, purchased in 1998. I only ever used to do programming which was never resource intensive, but my use cases widened a lot once I hit adulthood. Living rurally I’m used to a 6 GB cap on my internet too ( finally lifted in 2016, and I lived in the city for a few years beforehand) so to me a gigabyte or anything is a HUGE thing, and not something I take for granted,

we need to make a movie about you - a rural programmer in the mid 2010's getting by on a 20 year old rig and a 6 GB monthly data cap... getting chills just thinking about it. I've lived in Utah my entire life and always thought we had it bad out here due to low population density but I remember growing up we had 256kbps DSL in 1997, and when I first moved out with friends in 2003 we had cable that was I think 50mbps.


HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

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Posted · Original PosterOP
29 minutes ago, Kalm_Traveler said:

we need to make a movie about you - a rural programmer in the mid 2010's getting by on a 20 year old rig and a 6 GB monthly data cap... getting chills just thinking about it. I've lived in Utah my entire life and always thought we had it bad out here due to low population density but I remember growing up we had 256kbps DSL in 1997, and when I first moved out with friends in 2003 we had cable that was I think 50mbps.

2003 I got a 1.5mbps connection I think, though it might have been 768k - I remember speed not being the major improvement, but rather being able to talk on the phone.

It has it's advantages - I am a very efficient programmer since I always target extreme low end. But it also makes me feel wasteful when I'm using cloud backup (on this new PC I have about 120GB backed up to dropbox atm) or when downloading steam games. This is also my first PC that doesn't have an optical drive!!

 

Anyways, more pictures. Set up the desk with my 2 monitors that currently work - a 32" Samsung, and a 4:3 touch screen point of sale monitor. Using my old speakers which still sound great, but now to get started on the actual bits of the PC I use every day!

 

423042309_Photo16-2-2043052pm.thumb.jpg.8c5ebed8f77883adbd5267de7aa2f8ed.jpg

 

And a picture of the old versus the new:

 

2028247066_Photo16-2-2033503pm.thumb.jpg.2f2e5a76b9e82c3fd308587ec4e55fc5.jpg

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Posted · Original PosterOP

And low profile sata cable arrived, and while it doesn’t really fit, the drive at least works!

 

3A6F57D5-E7ED-4969-8CD5-2BBE1E6D2106.thumb.jpeg.84990ca6f2eddd86463ba917f791edfa.jpeg
 

4TB of SSD storage, unthinkable just a few years ago! Macrium Reflect will be set to clone the boot drive in full to the backup drive regularly so that in case of a failure of the nvme drive, I can boot seamlessly into the SATA drive.

 

To prevent booting into the SATA drive regularly, booting into anything except the nvme drive is disabled in bios.


32065A2C-9020-4C5D-BD1F-0152CC18883B.thumb.jpeg.6322cea6103db004d73471a4061553a7.jpeg

 

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