ASUS Gaming Desktop

In November of 2021 I purchased an ASUS Gaming Desktop computer. I bought it at Best Buy and had it delivered to my front door.

The model is a ASUS ROG STRIX C15-B11. It comes with an Intel 11700KF CPU, an ASUS TUF Gaming Nvidia RTX 3080 NON LHR GPU, 16GB of rather generic RAM, an ASUS B560 Motherboard that has been modified somewhat, a 500GB NVMe, a 2TB Toshiba hard drive and a 750W power supply.

Positives include, a great price for what you get. Extremely well organized and cable managed inside the slightly small case. Parts that work mostly. I’ll cover this in the cons.

The particular unit that I obtained factory new in the original unopened box had a mouse, a keyboard, the computer itself and some of the usual suspects in the way of stickers and spare parts, etc.

The cons of the unit I have is that out of the box the CPU Heatsink was not performing it’s job in any fashion. First indicator of the issue was when the exhaust fan sounded like a jet engine on take off. I then installed CPUID’s HWMonitor tools and began trouble shooting.

CPU core 1 on the Intel processor was spiking into the 100C thermal throttle zone. Other cores were at approximately 95 C. One core was at 80 C.

I opened the case. I reached in moving my hand NEAR the heat sink/CPU cooler without actually touching it initially. No heat what so ever. Then I touched it gently and it was room temperature cold to the touch. Next I removed the cooler from the CPU and checked the application of thermal compound. It was woefully inadequate. I cleaned the cold plate of the CPU cooler, and the Intel CPU, using rubbing alcohol and microfiber towels. I reapplied Artic MX 4 thermal compound correctly to the TMI of the CPU and then re-installed the CPU cooler provided. Minimal change in results. CPU Core 1 was still approaching 100 C and throttling, the CPU cooler was room temperature to the touch.

I purchased a Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler and installed per the Noctua instructions.

HWMonitor now reports 75C or lower temperatures for all of the Intel i7 11700KF cores and package under extended load using AIDA64 in Stress test mode for 4 hours. I also removed the somewhat lackluster RAM and installed 32 GB of G.Skill DDR4 3600Mhz in a 4×8 configuration. In addition I put a WD 850 TB NVMe into the PCIe 4.0 4×4 m.2 slot, moving the 500GB WD 750 to the secondary M.2 slot which can only do PCIe 3.0 3×4.

Hardware issues solved, system performs like a demon in games, light work loads, heavy work loads, benchmarks, etc.

On February 10th, I attempt to log into Second life using firestorm’s latest viewer and get a series of dots in an array of colors.

This was immediately proceeded by an Armory Crate update.

I performed a clean install of firestorm to reveal the same symptom. I remove Firestorm viewer and the app data folders, reboot and then install Kokua viewer. Same result.

I uninstall the nvidia driver and do a clean install of the lastest nvidia driver, then reboot and attempt the login again. Same failed results.

My next step was to run an sfc /scannow from an elevated Admin mode command prompt. SFC reported no errors found.

At a total loss and having spent a few hours into the trouble shooting at this juncture I install Windows 10 cleanly. This in turn had deterimental impacts on my Mint 20.3 linux install on a different partition of the system and I chased that back and forth for a while.

Ultimately I reformatted the TB NVMe and installed windows cleanly then rebooted and installed Mint 20.3 cleanly. Things are performing smoothly once again.

I strongly advise my readers avoid ASUS Armory Crate software whenever possible.

Very well appointed laptop for all around use.

Razer Death Adder Essential

One of my favorite mice thus far, it looks sharp in white or black and it tracks exceptionally well. Holds up to use and abuse even gaming hard for hundreds of hours.

Comes in black or white models.

AMD Radeon DRIVER GLITCH

AMD Radeon Driver 20.4.1

This is one of the bugs that exist in the recent AMD drivers for the 5700 XT. It may also exist for other AMD cards with this driver or for this card on the 20.4.2 or 20.5.1 driver. This one was very difficult to isolate. I enabled the “Video Replay” feature in the AMD driver panel. A few days later many of my favorite games started to “hitch or stutter” during random events in the games I play. One of my favorite games that worked flawlessly before the change is Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I spent some time searching for any solutions.

I tested temperatures and enabled logging for temperature events, I looked at SMART data for my NVMe drives, I ran the typical sfc /scannow. I checked DirectX diag log files. Spent a lot of time searching for the proverbial needle in the hay stack that changed my performance.

RESULT: Disable the Video Replay in the AMD Video Driver panel and test your results. This solved my problems in Kingdom Come: Deliverance and in other titles on my system.

Linux Mint 19.2 Install of Netgear A-7000 USB 3.0 Wireless adapter

The following outlines the procedure to install the “rtl8814au” driver for Linux Mint 19.2

The kernel recommended is 5.0 or greater.

sudo apt install build-essential
sudo apt install bc
sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
sudo apt install git dkms
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
git clone https://github.com/tpircher/rtl8814AU
cd rtl8814au
make
sudo make install
sudo cp -R . /usr/src/rtl8814au-4.3.21
sudo dkms build -m rtl8814au -v 4.3.21
sudo dkms install -m rtl8814au -v 4.3.21

AMD Ryzen Gen3 Pricing

Now the pricing or at least the MSRP type pricing information is published for the AMD Ryzen Gen3 CPUs.

The Ryzen 9 3900x 12 core 24 thread 3.8Ghz Base – 4.6Ghz Boost clock CPU is slated for $499

The Ryzen 7 3800x 8 core 16 thread 3.7Ghz base to 4.5Ghz Boost clock CPU is slated for $399

The Ryzen 7 3700x 8 core 16 thread 3.6Ghz base to 4.4Ghz boost clock CPU is $329

I know these processors shake the tree and surpass Intel’s offerings which I am very pleasantly excited about. Competition brings down the price and increases the capabilities of the products for consumers. We all win. I am a bit disappointed at the MSRP levels. The MSRP type prices fall approximately into the same values as Intel’s pricing for the competing products. Kudos to AMD for becoming the Victor in the speed segment of consumer level processors. If the retail prices actually are significantly lower for retail than I anticipate, AMD has just hit the ball OUT of the park. This is certainly a home run for them in any case.

These prices are MSRP type values and the actual pricing could be 20% lower or even less on most of the sites such as newegg and amazon. July 7, 2019 is the release date for the processors to go on sale.

I have been firmly entrenched in the Intel CPU camp for nearly 20 years. AMD has not measured up until Ryzen was released. I built an AMD Ryzen 2 2700 CPU based system in April of 2019 to see for myself how well the Ryzen 2 CPUs stack up to Intel’s offerings. I was very happy with the results of that endeavor. Now AMD is in the lead! Now if AMD can just topple NVIDIA off of THEIR high horse in the Video card market space ; )

So long to an old supplier

Corsair is cutting corners

I have been building computer systems professionally since 1990. Before that it was merely a hobby. Through the years I came to trust certain vendors for parts more so than others. EVGA for their video cards, Antec Cases, Corsair RAM and Power supplies, Kingston RAM…. others come to mind but I am digressing. The point of this post is to explain what occurred that convinced me that continuing business with Corsair after 15 years and 1000s of reliable parts purchases is not in my best interest.

Corsair has begun to build and manufacture their own line of pre-built computers. This is a serious point of contention for their clients that purchase parts to build computers with professionally. They can of course exceed the buying power of any modest level builder or team of builders. I am not pleased about this but it was not quite enough to force my hand. You do not make money from your clients business to put further your own business when it is convenient for you to do so, by becoming their direct competitor. Very very bush league.

The final straw

The issue that ended it for me was a rather silly one. I have a power supply I purchased and use for one of my own personal computers, from Corsair. It is a very expensive high end AX860 power supply with a 10 year warranty covering parts and labor. I applied for an RMA for one of the cables for the unit. Five years of use had made the cable inflexible and brittle. I intended to transplant the power supply from the dated computer into a new build. I took a photo of the cable attaching it to the RMA request. I was informed that Corsair does not warranty items for usual wear and tear of standard use. Think about this for a moment. If they do not warranty any items for usual wear and tear of standard use, just what exactly do they warranty? If I put the item on a shelf in a storage locker for 7 years and then use it and it fails perhaps? After a time a higher level member of Corsair contacted me about the cable and offered to replace it free. I refused the offer. I do not want to be given special favor for having been a customer for years on a builder level. I want Corsair to reconsider their policy on warranty. The current one leaves considerable room for improvement.

Conclusion

If Corsair can not replace $5 worth of cables after five years of use, what if I have a client’s system that the PSU entirely fails on, what then? This totally undermines the validity of any warranty corsair might offer in my view. It also puts any future warranty or policies they MIGHT try to offer to counter the negatives of the current policies and procedures. Luckily I have only needed to RMA about 5 items to Corsair in 15 years and tens of thousands of parts ordered. Now they have lost my brand loyalty. I buy power supplies from EVGA and RAM from G.Skill instead. I trust those companies to make good on their warranties when asked to do so. I sincerely hope that your experiences with Corsair are better than my results were in this instance.

The Photo FINISH


Boot time variance between two high-end rigs

I have two computers that I use for my primary desktops. One I built in July of 2018. The other I built in April of 2019.

System 1

Intel i7 8700K 4.3Ghz CPU
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Motherboard
Corsair Carbide 600Q inverse Case
Corsair H115i Pro CPU Cooler
Corsair HX750i Power Supply
G.Skill Ripjaws V DD4 32G RAM
Samsung 960 Pro 512G NVMe drive
Western Digital 2TB Black Hard drive
EVGA GTX 1080ti FTW3 GPU
NZXT internal USB USB Hub
Netgear A7000 wireless External wireless adapter

System 2

AMD Ryzen 2 2700 4.1Ghz CPU
ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Motherboard
Corsair Carbide 100R Case
AMD Wraith Prism CPU Cooler
EVGA 500W Power Supply
EVGA DDR4 2400 16G RAM
Crucial P1 1TB NVMe drive
ASUS GTX 1060 3G GPU
Netgear A7000 wireless External wireless adapter

Results

Systems were both rebooted 10 times with Windows 10 Pro with the latest updates installed. The times were averaged.

System 1 reboots in 23.47 seconds

System 2 reboots in 36.59 seconds