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Member Since 09 Oct 2005
Offline Last Active Mar 14 2019 07:39 AM

Topics I've Started

Case [Rant]

08 January 2019 - 12:28 PM

Just bemused and venting......................


So as some may know, I was able to upgrade my gaming PC over the Christmas holiday.  And of course that got me thinking about finding a new case to replace my long-in-the-tooth Corsair C70.


The situation resulting in this bemusement and ensuring vent  (much of it of my own doing because I haven't been paying attention to cases in the last few years) is the difficulty finding a large selection of water-cooling able mid or full size towers that have 3 or more 5.25" drive bays.  I know, I know.......... 5.25" drives are going the way of the spotted red-beaked recluse sparrow, but I also have an XSPC dual bay reservoir that needs a suitable home when I move into a new case.


In about 72 hours of searching I've identified six cases that are readily available and match my criteria.  So in what decade did case designers decide that we no longer wanted or needed multiple 5.25" drive bays in a case that also supported some sort of internal radiator installation?





Ya'll Won't Believe It

11 December 2018 - 08:21 AM

So last month I was looking through my old purchase receipts and realized how long it's been since I've built a new gaming rig for myself.  Well that was May of 2013 to be exact.  Yeppers, 5 1/2 years since I've done a full ground up build.  Over time I've updated my video card and couldn't resist the temptation to try a couple of the WD SSD drives when they were released, but other than that my system has been pretty static.


So I started piecing together some used gear that I've picked up locally, online and at another forum and have come up with the following;


Current rig is listed in my sig.


New build upcoming over the holidays;



Gigabyte Z370 Auro Gaming 7



Intel Core i5-8600K


Video Card



Hard Drive

HP EX920 NVMe PCIe 512Gb


Hopefully this one will be as trouble free, reliable and durable as my current build.  Here's to me crossing my fingers..........

[SOLD] MSI GTX 670 Power Edition (x2) $100 Shipped

29 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

[SOLD] Only one card left.  Sold one of two.  Remaining card $50 shipped in the USA.


Hey guys.  I've done some parts swapping on my primary rig and pulled (2) MSI GTX 670 Power Edition cards from service.  These are matching cards - exact same BIOS, exact same clocks etc. and are in excellent condition.


I was running them in SLi and would like to sell both together, but will split them up if someone has use for just a single card.


$100 for both cards shipped in the USA (continental) and I'll throw in a SLi bridge as well.







Need Extra Windows 7 Pro 32-bit Key

31 January 2018 - 08:04 AM

Hey gang.  Does anyone have an unused Windows 7 Pro 32-bit activation key?  I've pulled an old laptop out of retirement to take a trip next week and need to do a fresh install, but I've lost my activation key over the years.


If you have one you're willing to part with please send me a PM.





Spectre - Meltdown Security Vunerabilities

23 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

So as most everyone knows by now, earlier this month it became public knowledge that there are a couple of potential exploit risks that exist in processors released in the last 20 years or so.  Initially it was reported that only Intel processors were at risk, but as the investigation has broadened it appears that some AMD and ARM processors could be vulnerable as well.  I'm placing this here in the OS:Microsoft section since we have a large group of enthusiasts that are running Intel and/or AMD processors and also happen to be on some version of the Windows operating system.


As it applies to reports of performance degradation, I've installed the updates on five different Windows 10 Pro (64) machines running various Intel processors from an Intel E6550 up to an Intel I7 3770K.

In day to day use all of the machines appear to be functioning exactly as they were with the exception of my main gaming machine (which I'll get to in a minute).  The four remaining machines are used in fairly standard fare, web browsing, emails etc.


My primary gaming rig presented an interesting case study however.  The release of the security updates coincided with my installation of two new SSDs to replace an aging SSD Raid0 array.  The new SSD array was installed and the PC was bench marked prior to the release of the security patches.  Initial disk benchmarks were exactly where I had expected them to be.  Sequential read / write, random read / write 4K, que depths etc. were all on par with claimed OEM specifications and the small set of data I was able to find online from reviews and other end users.  Subsequent to my fresh install and bench marking activities, Microsoft released the January, 2018 security patches.  Since I had anecdotal evidence that there could be some system slowdowns based on what I was reading, I decided to re-run my entire suite of bench mark tests.  On my gaming rig all of the synthetic graphics and productivity bench marks were in line with what they were prior to the security patches.  In some cases the benchmark results were slightly better, in others they were slightly worse, but each within the margin of error or repeatability.  The one anomaly I observed was in the disk tests.  Regardless of the bench mark suite used (AS SSD, ATTO, Crystal Disk) my random read speed and random write speeds decreased after the security patches were installed.  This was especially evident on the AS SSD 4K test where my speed dropped from 38 MB/s to 27 MB/s.  Sequential performance, higher que depths and access times remained within the margin of error.  Scratching my head on these results, I broke the array, secure erased each SSD, rebuilt the array and installed Windows again, but left my network cable unplugged so Windows couldn't automatically download and apply the updates.  I re-ran the tests again.  SSD Raid0 array at 4K returned to the same as it was after my initial install.  Then I connected my network cable and Windows downloaded and applied the updates.  I then ran the tests again.  My first observation wasn't an anomaly, 4K random performance dropped again after applying the updates.  I don't have any explanation, but it appears that the patches do have an impact on random disk performance (at least on SSDs and/or RAID arrays).  Fortunately, other than the synthetic disk benchmark goes, nothing else seems amiss. 


Now, my older AMD laptop with an nVidia MCP77 chipset and AMD Athlon X2 processor was a completely different animal all together.  The January security patches completely broke that machine and put it into a "no-boot" condition.  After my 3rd reinstall with the same results I finally found a Microsoft patch that fixed that problem.  For those of you suffering the same situation with older AMD based gear, find this update;