PC Gaming general discussion (Gaming PCs, game sales, news, etc...)

I went ahead and ordered the 12th gen hardware that @EllisDee listed - the i3-12100F, Gigabyte mobo, and G.Skill 16 Gb RAM. Build will probably happen over the July 4 weekend. I’ll let you know the results.

In the meantime, any suggested (free) performance tools I can use to compare before/after, so I can feel some instant measurable gratification?

Nice, congratulations!

RTSS (Rivatuner statistics server)

HWInfo64 will show you all the information you could ever want about your hardware: temperatures, fan speed, memory speed, hard drive lifespan, etc…

Rivatuner lets you display any HWinfo64 you want in an overlay while gaming. CPU usage, GPU usage, memory usage, etc…

Both are free.

EDIT: Pretty sure this is the video I used to figure out how to set them up. Dude’s got an accent, and the video is 15 minutes too long (19 minutes total) but it covers the entire process, starting with installing both and then showing how to connect them to create the overlay.

For super easy, don’t forget that Steam includes the option to display FPS in the corner (any corner, pick one) as you play.

I use Unengine Heaven as a benchmark, also some games that have good internal benchmarks like Tomb Raider (the 2013 one), Steep, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Rainbow 6: Siege, and Civilization 6 (for cpu-heavy tests), and GTA 5. They all have good options and most of those have a detailed results page with GPU/CPU utilization, low and high framerates, etc. I have a spreadsheet where I record the results on all of those every time I make a major hardware change.

Cinebench would be a good test for this since it’s designed to hit the CPU hard and that’s what’s being upgraded in this case. Free software.

3DMark is a standard for gaming and graphics performance benchmarking. There’s a free demo version on Steam (right hand side bar, look for “Download Demo”) which will work well enough for your purposes. No sense in paying to run Time Spy or Fire Strike a couple of times plus I’ve seen it cheaper – around the $3 point. Main reason to pay for it is to skip the cinematic sequence before each test but you’ll only be running it a couple of times.

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Seriously, that’s exactly what I want to do - run some tests before, capture data, and run again after the upgrade. Thanks to you, Jophiel, & EllisDee for all the assistance.

You guys convinced me about the 12100 over the 10100. Further reading only solidified you were right.

Here’s my parts list I’m thinking of buying to replace my old computer as a secondary workstation / email terminal.

Component Price
Intel 12100 $129.98
ASRock B660M-HDV Micro ATX $94.99
G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) $57.99
Samsung 980 500 GB M.2 NVME $59.99
EVGA SuperNOVA GA 550 W 80+ Gold $54.99
Rosewill FBM-06 MicroATX Mini Tower $44.99
Total $442.93

Anything jump out as a particularly bad decision?

The total used to say $370 when it was a 10100F, but 12th gen is worth it and I kind of need onboard graphics. It’s starting to look more expensive, now. The only reason I haven’t ordered it already – not that ordering it tonight (Sunday) or tomorrow (July 4th) would speed things up any – is because I’m torn on the case.

Still in contention are the fractal mini c and also just getting another define 7 compact same as my main system. The former is $50 more than the rosewill, while the latter is more like $70 more, but that one stands out by including a type c front port. That could be nice, but I don’t know if it’s $70 nice. Also I don’t love the idea of having two computers that look exactly the same.

Sound isn’t much of a concern with this second computer, but width is. In a perfect world I’d like it to be 7" or less, which the rosewill is. Both fractal cases are 8.27" wide, but then again 18" tall would be ideal and the rosewill is only 14" tall. None of these factors are mission critical, they just give me analysis paralysis.

Believe it or not the biggest advantage right now for the fractal cases is that the video card slot covers have screws while the rosewill has breakaways. I do have a 3050 sitting around that I’m not using that I could plug into this new computer no problem. It would just be a shame if I then sold the 3050 and now had a big hole in the back of the case because I had to break off the covers to put the video card in.

The minutia that dominates my priorities sure can get silly. Speaking of, I recognize that if I plug my extra 3050 into this new computer, it will become a $600 or $700 system that would blow the doors off the $1800 gaming system I put together last year. Fully double the fps or more. This fact is not lost on me, but I don’t care. Silence is golden.

EDIT: From what I’ve read the stock cooler for the 12100 is perfectly adequate, if a bit loud under load. It’s also nice and short, easily fitting inside the 7" wide rosewill case.

No real useful advice since it’s a pretty basic setup so not much to tweak. The stock cooler will likely be fine given the TDP of the chip but, if you decide to get a new cooler, make sure it’s compatible with 12th gen chips. And make sure you’re not buying an -f variant CPU if you need onboard video.

Also, just put your 12th gen & RTX 3050 system in another room and run cables to your monitor so you don’t have to hear it :wink:

Well, huh. Looks like Fractal just released a new case line this week (the ‘Pop’) with 20+ SKUs. It’s very close to exactly what I wanted to find, but just a hair too wide at 8.5". Still, at $80 plus another $10 for the optional type C front port… hmmm…

Something to sleep on.

Check this out on @Newegg: Fractal Design Pop Mini Silent Black mATX Sound Damped Solid Panel Tower Computer Case Fractal Design Pop Mini Silent Black mATX Sound Damped Solid Panel Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com

There are three sizes (XL, Mini and regular), two styles (air, silence) and like a dozen different colors. Quite the ambitious launch.

The most notable feature is that it includes an optical drive bay. It’ll be interesting to see how it does. They’re certainly putting a lot of eggs in this basket with 20+ SKUs.

The only reason I know about it at all is because the Gamers Nexus review was the very first video in my YouTube feed.

I ordered it as written with the Rosewill case. Ended up paying an extra $10 shipping to get the case here on Friday along with all the parts.

I kind of wanted to switch up brands as much as possible compared to my main computer. Ended up sticking with Samsung for the M.2 drive because $57 for 500 GB was plenty cheap enough and G.Skill memory seems to have by far the best stats in the budget price range, both clock speed and latency.

Other than that I’ll get to experience an ASRock motherboard (vs MSI), EVGA psu (vs Seasonic), and a Rosewill/Newegg case compared Fractal. Also will get to compare the MicroATX form factor to my standard ATX (compact) tower.

Well, poopy. I thought the Samsung 980 was PCIe Gen 4, but looks like it’s only Gen 3. Or at least the one I ordered is. Oh well, no biggee. The old machine being replaced has a mechanical spinner drive as the Windows drive. The horror. Gen 3 M.2 will be *checks calculator* infinitely faster.

Anyway, what does this warning on the Newegg decription of the motherboard mean? This is on the receipt page that confirms what I ordered:

CPU Socket Type: LGA 1700 * Dedicated LGA1700 mounting bracket is required.

Here’s a screen shot. Is that referring to if I buy an aftermarket cooler?

Incidentally, I did consider an aftermarket cooler but decided against it because I feel like most of them are still the smaller size, as in the bigger gen 12s chip wouldn’t be fully covered by “regular” coolers. Is there any truth to that? (I also read good things about the stock cooler and am curious.)

Google says:

Socket Size
AM4 (AMD) 40mm x 40 mm
LGA 1200 (old Intel) 37.5mm x 37.5mm
LGA 1700 (Intel 12th gen) 45mm x 37.5mm

That “45 mm” has me cocking an eyebrow. Existing coolers wouldn’t cover all that, would they? I assume that up until 12th gen launched they’d all be 40x40 to stay cpu-agnostic.

that means there is a very mounting-specific bracket required and you should order it along with the part

For what, to install the cpu? Why would a 600-series motherboard not include the parts needed to install a 12th gen chip? That’s the only chip the motherboard supports at all. It’s literally the only reason it exists.

Anyway, is there a way to tell what bracket I need to order? Here is the page for the motherboard:

I see that exact same warning in multiple places but nothing other than that one sentence.

12th gen uses a different sized and shape CPU from previous generations (rectangular vs square). You can still use older coolers designed for the previous socket types but you’ll get an adapter.

Since the 12100 comes with a cooler, you don’t need to worry about it unless you decided to replace it with a third party cooler.

Cool, thanks much. That’s what I was hoping.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the stock cooler ended up sucking and I needed to get a better one. Are brand new coolers bigger to cover the larger cpu size? As in, would one side of a 12th gen chip poke out 5mm beyond the edge of a hyper 212 or NH-D15?

I can’t seem to find any specs that tell you how big the little plate is that sits on top of the chip. I checked the NH-D15 because there seems to be more info easily available, but still no joy.

I don’t know if anyone is making LGA 1700 specific coolers yet and, if they are, they’re probably designed around the very high end. There was some initial concerns about how well an adapted cooler would work with the new sockets but the answer seems to be “Good enough” to the point where you might technically be leaving some cooling performance on the table but not enough to matter or worry about when using an i3, i5 or even i7 processor. If you’re overclocking an i9-12900 then maybe it’s worth looking into.

My guess is that we’ll need to hit the 13th or 14th gen before LGA 1700 specific coolers become a common thing just because it’s still a niche market made more so when you can use an older cooler on a LGA 1700 CPU but you’d have a much harder making an LGA 1700 rectangular plate backwards compatible. So right now you’d tool and make a cooler only usable on one generation of boards and anyone who thinks it costs too much will just buy an older cooler anyway.

I’ve just played through Iron Lung. It’s an indie horror that has really great an scarry atmosphere. For 5 bucks it’s worth trying. I highly recommend it if you like the genre.

So I did my build as discussed about 20 posts back this weekend. Was pretty straightforward - A little bit of tetrising to get the mobo into the case since I installed the CPU, cooler & RAM first. Some slight drama where it wouldn’t boot at all, until I found out that I needed to enable CSM support (more below).

I ran some benchmarking tools, and got much better numbers for everything CPU related. One of the tools said my RAM was underperforming because its clock speed was too low, and recommended turning on XMP in the Bios. I did that, reran the test, saw that the memory clock increased from 2133MHz to 3200, and did get better performance. I haven’t tried any games yet, that’s next.

So a few more questions -
There’s a windows tool, mbr2gpt that will convert my MBR partition to GPT and allow me to boot from UEFI and disable CSM support again. It seems like that’s a good thing to do - any reason I shouldn’t?

Any other optimization I should do in the BIOS?

What can/should I do with a functional but 8 yr old cpu/mobo/ram combination?

No reason not to disable CSM. Doing so may shorten boot times and you can always turn it back on if you need it. I totally neglected to mention XMP which is usually in my line of advice for ‘first’ time system builders.

Typical response for what to do with an old PC platform is “media server” but this assumes you own media that needs serving. Unless you need an extra email and web browsing box in the house, I’d consider just selling it for cheap. Or go the dark route of collecting three giant bins full of obsolete hardware like some people sitting in my chair right now.

Any advice where to sell it?

Speaking of obselete hardware, I have a friend who I helped move many years ago with a basement full of WWII era tektronix oscilloscopes, mostly broken. Maybe he’ll want it.